• Events
Jan 23
“Cyrano de Bergerac” by the Comédie-Française In more than 300 select movie theaters in the US.
Jan 1
Boris Chouvellon: an Artist in Residence Show Gallery 1515 N Gardner St Los Angeles, CA 90046
Demarcy-Mota's Ionesco Suite BAM Fishman Space 321 Ashland Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11217

French Jazz @ DC JazzFest 2018: Frédéric Yonnet, AJOYO and Ancestral Memories

The nation’s capital’s signature jazz event, DC JazzFest, will once again present its wide array of renowned and resident artists in settings across the community, in all four quadrants of the city, in over 22 neighborhoods and 40+ venues. This year edition will feature a sizzling lineup of international artists, including some of the best French musicians:

Thursday, June 7 – 7.30 p.m.
DC JazzFest at City Winery
Opening ceremony - Frederic Yonnet with special guest Maimouna Youssef

Born in Normandy, France to a Parisian father and French Guyanese Creole mother, Frédéric Yonnet lived in and around Paris most of his life. As a child, he and his dad performed comedy routines in theaters throughout France and by 14, he decided to literally march to the beat of his own drum. After a short stint as a drummer, Yonnet revisited an instrument he had received as a child, the harmonica.

Using an instrument many have owned but few have mastered, urban jazz harmonicist Frédéric Yonnet’s musical skills and stage presence crush every preconceived notion you’ve ever had about the harmonica. Regarded for decades as the choice instrument of street musicians and loners who wanted to express themselves through country music or the blues, in Yonnet’s hands the harmonica becomes something completely different; a lead voice in urban jazz, R&B and hip-hop. With each performance, stereotypical walls come tumbling down as Yonnet presents the harmonica in a refreshing and modern context that is boldly stylish, enchantingly cool and absorbingly brilliant. Just listen to his sound. It funks. It rocks. It hips and hops. It grooves. It sways. It testifies. It prays. It has a reverence for gospel, blues and jazz while appealing to a generation bred on pop rock and hip-hop. His current collaboration with Dave Chappelle aptly called, Dave Chappelle’s Juke Joint featuring Frederic Yonnet and the Band with No Name, showcases both his harmonica chops, improvisational skills, and music directing prowess. The show, which takes partygoers on a musical journey reminiscent of the Juke Joints of the South, segues into a band vs. DJ battle with hip-hop legend DJ D-Nice. Conceived by Chappelle and Yonnet, it's part concert, part comedy and all-out unpredictable when their famous friends stop by to jam.

Yonnet’s impressive style has led to performances, tours and recordings with some of the heaviest hitters in the music business including legends Stevie Wonder, Prince and David Foster, English singer-songwriter and musician Ed Sheeran, jazz sweetheart Katarine McPhee, R&B artists Erykah Badu, India.Arie, Anthony Hamilton, John Legend, and hip-hop cipher Talib Kweli. Rolling Stone magazine refers to Yonnet as “Prince’s killer harmonica player,” and praise he’s received from comedian Dave Chappelle, contemporary jazzman Bob James, songstress Patti Austin and producer Pharrell Williams affirm his mission to change the way the music industry, musicians and enthusiasts regard the pocket-size reed instrument.


Thursday, June 14 – 8 p.m.
Jazz in the ‘Hoods at Atlas Performing Arts Center

AJOYO is the vision of multi-reed player Yacine Boularès, a mystic brew blending African tradition, jazz and soul.  More than music, it's a joyful ceremony, a fuller experience bringing musicians and audience close together. AJOYO chants in the name of Tony Allen, Oum Khalsoum, Charlie Parker and Donnie Hathaway. Stomping towards you in the eye of the dancer, arms open, horns, bell and bass interwoven like the fabric of a ceremonial dress, AJOYO speaks the language of the talking drum with a New York accent.

Originally from Tunisia in North Africa (by way of Paris), Yacine Boularès has played sax, composed and arranged music for Cameroonian musicians such as former Fela Kuti drummer Jojo Kuo, for the late Martino Atangana, for the Haitian Kompa legends Tabou Combo, and for Placido Domingo’s latest album Encanto Del Mar. 

The project originated in these encounters and influences, as Yacine assembled a band that reconciles his North African and Western heritages.  AJOYO celebrates life, love and justice through music: music for the heart, the mind and the body, the kind that is soulful, sophisticated and that makes people want to dance.

Sunday, June 17 – 3.45 pm
DC JazzFest at The Wharf
Ancestral Memories featuring Yosvany Terry & Baptiste Trotignon

Cuban-American saxophonist/percussionist/composer Yosvany Terry and French pianist Baptiste Trotignon present a unique program inspired by the rich and diverse musical traditions of the African Diaspora in the United States and former French colonies in the Americas. Their co-led Ancestral Memories Quartet captures the rhythms, melodies, and harmonies of the Caribbean, New Orleans and French Louisiana, re-imagined through 21st century aesthetics and a modern jazz sensibility.

Ancestral Memories has been made possible by the French-American Jazz Exchange (FAJE), a program of FACE Foundation and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, in collaboration with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.