Call the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival a reincarnation. You once knew it as the East Coast Jazz Festival, the area’s annual midwinter jazz event, the beloved creation of singer/educator Ronnie Wells, who founded the event in 1992 and died in 2007. But this year the festival resurges with a new name and a new captain: D.C. saxophonist Paul Carr. Under his guidance, the MAJF gathers the cream of the D.C. jazz scene and the region’s most promising student musicians into the festival’s longtime venue, along with some nationally known jazz greats. The highlight of that mélange promises to be tonight’s performance by the Paul Carr Quintet, when the saxophonist plays with local bassist Michael Bowie and three world-renowned players: pianist Mulgrew Miller, trumpeter Terrell Stafford, and drummer Lewis Nash. But even that star-studded session is icing on the cake.

THE FESTIVAL TAKES PLACE FRIDAY TO SUNDAY AT THE HILTON ROCKVILLE, 1750 ROCKVILLE PIKE. $135-$175. INDIVIDUAL SESSIONS $15-$45. (301) 468-1100.