Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts

Honoring Duke Ellington, J Dilla, Rakim, DJ Jazzy Jeff & Ravi Coltrane at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts


Hip Hop & Jazz Festival: A Celebration of Cultural Intersections

In an era where artistic boundaries blur, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts takes a groundbreaking step with its new annual season focus, Hip Hop &. This innovative series explores the rich intersections of Hip-Hop with other genres, delving into the diverse ways this dynamic art form impacts culture. The inaugural festival, Hip Hop & Jazz, stands as a testament to the intricate relationship between two distinctly American-forged art forms.

A Night of Musical Brilliance

March 30: Celebrating Icons - Duke Ellington and J Dilla

On the eve of March 30, music aficionados are in for a treat as the festival unfolds with a special one-night-only event in the Concert Hall. The stage will be graced by none other than Robert Glasper, a two-time Grammy Award–winning composer, conductor, arranger, musical director, and bassist Derrick Hodge, and the Black Radio Orchestra. This exceptional ensemble comes together to celebrate the 125th and 50th birthdays, respectively, of music icons Duke Ellington and J Dilla.

April 19: Rakim & DJ Jazzy Jeff & Ravi Coltrane Project

The musical journey continues on April 19, as three legendary musicians converge in the Concert Hall. Rakim, the iconic wordsmith; DJ Jazzy Jeff, a two-time Grammy Award winner; and the Grammy–nominated saxophonist, bandleader, and composer Ravi Coltrane join forces for The Rakim & DJ Jazzy Jeff & Ravi Coltrane Project. This promises to be a night where the boundaries of musical genres are pushed, creating an experience that transcends conventional norms.

The Artistic Vision

Simone Eccleston, the Director of Hip-Hop Culture & Contemporary Music, expresses profound excitement about the festival. "We are so excited to launch our Hip Hop & Festival celebrating the deeply interconnected and symbiotic relationship between Hip Hop and Jazz. As two of America's greatest art forms and vital genres within the Black Music Continuum, they have transformed global culture," she shares. The festival aims to uplift the artistic contributions of icons such as Duke Ellington, J Dilla, and John Coltrane.

Honoring a Creative Genius

The festival takes a moment to pay tribute to Meghan Stabile, a creative genius whose legacy continues to resonate. Stabile's profound influence on the artistic landscape is acknowledged, making the festival not just a celebration of music but also a heartfelt dedication to an inspiring individual.


Photo Credit to Kennedy Center Photo: