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The Kennedy Center’s prestigious Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program this year includes three D.C. jazz musicians in its ranks of 29 young artists from around the world.
Alto saxophonist John Kocur, pianist Amy Bormet, and drummer Nathan Jolley join musicians from Austria, Brazil, China, England, France, Greece, Israel, Japan, and Singapore, as well as elsewhere in the United States.
The Jazz Ahead program, founded by vocalist Betty Carter in 1993 and brought to the Kennedy Center in 1997, is an intensive two-week training and residency for emerging international jazz artists under age 30. The participants will take rigorous classes in performance, composing, arranging, and jazz history and business, and cap off the residency with three nights of free performances (including original compositions) at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. This year’s residency takes place March 15-28, with the Millennium Stage performances March 24-26 at 6 p.m.
Kocur, 26, leads his own quartet and teaches music at NOVA. Bormet, 25, is a member of Kocur’s quartet and leads an ensemble of her own; she is also in the graduate program for music at Howard. Jolley, 23, co-leads the Jolley Brothers band with his piano-playing twin brother Noble. All three musicians are also busy freelancers on the scene. Their exact performance dates at the Millennium Stage are TBA.