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Jazz in the Parks: Presenting Ben Williams
July 8 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pmFree
The region’s most acclaimed jazz musicians are returning to the ever-popular Jazz in The Parks on the Great Lawn this summer – this year, with a fourth, additional concert due to popular demand. Bring your neighbors and friends for the city’s favorite laid-back summer evenings – listed by Washingtonian magazine as one of the area’s top five outdoor spots to listen to live music just last year! Bring your own picnic, blanket and refreshments, and enjoy popular local food vendors and giveaways.
The events start at 5 pm with a children’s performer (get ready to dance!), followed at 6 pm by the headliners listed below.
Saturday, June 10, 5-8 pm: Presenting Corcoran Holt with Farafina Kan Percussion Ensemble
Saturday, July 8: Presenting Ben Williams
Saturday, August 12, 5-8 pm: Presenting Amy K. Bormet’s Washington Women in Jazz with children’s opening performer Baba Ras D.
Saturday, September 9, 5-8 pm: Presenting Rochelle Rice with children’s opening performance by Heidi Martin
More about the Artist on Saturday, July 8th:
Ben Williams: @benwmsonbass
When it comes to Black music, Washington, D.C. produces its share of game-changers. That long list includes Duke Ellington, Chuck Brown, Marvin Gaye, Shirley Horn, Roberta Flack, Bad Brains, Meshell Ndegeocello, Wale, and Oddisee. You can add Ben Williams to that venerated roster. Ben Williams is a graduate of Shepherd Park Elementary School and Grammy award-winning bassist, composer, singer, bandleader, and producer. For more than a decade, Williams has steadily become one of the most acclaimed and versatile bassists in modern jazz. In 2009, he won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. He has performed/recorded with such giants as Pat Metheny, George Benson, Stefon Harris, David Sanborn, Lauryn Hill, Wynton Marsalis, Robert Glasper, Maxwell, and Nicholas Payton. In 2013 and 2015, Williams received the DownBeat Magazine Critics Poll Rising Star Award for Bass. Williams became a “Rising Star” when he won the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition Award that landed him his first record-deal with Concord Records. Thereafter, he recorded and released State of Art in 2011 with his band Sound Effect. The album received an impressive 4.5-star review in DownBeat Magazine and reached #1 on the charts of iTunes and the National BillBoard. He was named the 2011 iTunes Breakthrough Artist of the Year in the category of jazz. In 2013 he won a grammy as part of Pat Metheny’s band for the album Unity Band. Ben’s most recent release is I Am A Man.
The Great Lawn is located at the center of the campus. Enter from 16th Street NW, or enter from Georgia Avenue at Butternut Street NW, and follow Main Drive around to the grassy area. Map 1010 Butternut Street NW for an address.
How to Get There:
Parking is limited on campus, so walking, scooting, biking, buses, and trains are recommended. The Parks at Walter Reed is a 12-minute walk from the Takoma Metrorail Station on the Red Line, and more than a dozen bus lines run up 16th Street NW and Georgia Avenue NW. Bike parking is available on campus. Some parking is available in on-street spots; please follow the signage.
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