In recent years–under the enthusiastic leadership of MPAartfest Music Curator Ken Avis–music has become an integral and much-loved part of MPAartfest. The 17th Annual MPAartfest continues this tradition with performances throughout the day by some of the DC-area’s most celebrated musicians. This year’s music is sponsored by:
10:00am: Blues Alley Youth Jazz Orchestra –This award-winning 15-piece youth swing big band, directed by renowned bassist Michael Bowie, performs musical selections by masterful jazz composers such as Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and others. Watch them here!
11:00am: Alison Crockett — The quintessential nu jazz/progressive soul singer of her generation, Alison has a voice dripping soul with generous helpings of jazz, gospel, and blues. Her 2023 album release has spent 3 months on the US Jazz Chart–come hear this high-energy vocal powerhouse of jazz. Video link.
12:00pm: Crooked Sparrow –Named one of Arlington Magazine’s 2023 Local Musicians and Bands to Check Out Now, Crooked Sparrow is the combination of award-winning singer songwriters Valeria Stewart and Kevin Dudley. They are joined by fiddler Jenny Smith. There is never a dull moment with the blend of Texas, Latin America, Folk and Americana roots in this trio’s music. Video link.
1:00pm: Little Red and the Renegades –Combining blues, zydeco, funk, gospel, this is party music, best served with good friends, food, drink, and lots of dancing to the accordion and steel pan driven sounds of Little Red and the Renegades! These legends of the DC-area music scene have performed at venues as varied as the Kennedy Center and the funkiest down-home, juke dives of DC. Watch them here.
2:00pm: The Honey Larks — Presenting roots music with fabulous vocal harmonies, The Honey Larks are three best friends who came together for a one-off jam session which then grew into the female blues super group of Carly Harvey (DC’S Queen of Blues) Jenny Langer (Blues Hall of Fame) and Holly Montgomery (Blue Elan Records). Blues lovers won’t want to miss this! Video link.
3:00pm: Sean Heely and Abbie Palmer, with Agi Kovacs— Sean Heely has been taking the Celtic world by storm in recent years, selling out the 1,200-seat Hylton Arts Center for his Celtic Holiday in 2022. Joining him is multi-genre harpist (and Spring Benefit 2023 performer!) Abbie Palmer. With roots in World music, Classical training, and a contemporary writing style, Abbie brings an eclectic and eccentric flavor to any stage. Sean and Abbie will be accompanied by former Hungarian National Ballet dancer Agi Kovacs. Video link.