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Announcing the 2019 Rosslyn Jazz Fest!

The Suffers, Cha Wa, Leyla McCalla, and JoGo Project to play free outdoor festival in Rosslyn 

One of the D.C. area's premier musical events, the 2019 Rosslyn Jazz Fest is back this fall for its 29th year. This year’s event will take place Saturday, September 7, from 1 to 7 p.m. in Gateway Park. It will feature a unique synthesis of sounds from the Gulf Coast that evoke jazz, blues, soul, funk and Caribbean genres. Headlining this year's event is the The Suffers, a group whose mix of different cultures and musical styles reflects their home city of Houston. The eight-piece band has been featured at major music festivals, including SXSW and San Francisco Jazz Fest, and has appeared on NPR’s “Tiny Desk,” “All Things Considered,” “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

In addition, two New Orleans artists will bring their music and message to the festival—Cha Wa with their signature combination of New Orleans brass band and Mardi Gras Indian traditions and Leyla McCalla (formerly of the Grammy award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops), who has won raves from "The New York Times" and "Offbeat" magazine. Rounding out the bill is D.C.’s go-go/jazz ensemble JoGo Project, who expand on iconic Chuck Brown’s tradition of setting jazz and pop standards to a go-go beat.

“The Rosslyn Jazz Fest is Rosslyn’s signature annual event and the largest outdoor music festival in Arlington,” says Mary-Claire Burick, president of the Rosslyn BID. “It is a community staple that exemplifies the vibrancy of our neighborhood and draws thousands from across the region to Gateway Park to enjoy an exciting, contemporary and inclusive lineup of jazz talent each year.”

Attendees can experience the music alongside local food trucks, a pop-up beer and wine garden, and the latest interactive installation aboard the Arlington Art Truck. Gateway Park is easily accessible by WMATA (a five-minute walk from Rosslyn Metro Station) and bikeshare along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. Limited parking is available.

Click here for a Spotify playlist of the 2019 Rosslyn Jazz Fest artists.

2019 Rosslyn Jazz Fest Lineup (set times to be announced soon):

The Suffers: SPIN called them “the sort of neo-retro group you never knew music was so badly missing,” and NPR's Bob Boilen wrote that “this band is on fire when it's in front of an audience.” Their 2018 release, “Everything Here,” highlights their “Gulf Coast soul” sound, a melange of the different cultures and musical styles present around the Gulf Coast and the city of Houston, the band’s hometown. Visit website.

Cha Wa: Cha Wa—Mardi Gras Indian slang meaning “we’re comin’ for ya” or “here we come”—embodies the city’s street culture while adding a modern twist. With their ever-evolving sound, Cha Wa received a Grammy nomination in 2018 for their most recent album, “Spyboy,” which highlights their new horn section and vocals supplied by frontman J’Wan Boudreaux. Boudreaux is the grandson of the most prominent Mardi Gras Indian today, Monk Boudreaux, the Big Chief of the Golden Eagles tribe. They’ll be playing at the Rosslyn Jazz Fest during their summer jazz festival tour that includes the Rochester International Jazz Festival, Telluride Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival and more. Visit website.

Leyla McCalla: “It sounds like she's partly in the moment and partly looking beyond it, and seeing truths that we've missed,” says NPR’s First Listen. Leyla is a New York-born Haitian-American who sings in French, Haitian Creole and English, and plays cello, tenor banjo and guitar. Her third solo album, “The Capitalist Blues,” was released in January. She calls this album her way of processing the current political environment. It has received praise from The Guardian, NPR and Popmatters. Visit website.

JoGo Project: Founded in 2014 by Elijah Jamal Balbed, JoGo Project is inspired by the musical stylings of Chuck Brown. A mix of jazz and go-go, the group performs throughout the DMV and has played at The Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, Funk Parade, H-Street Festival, Velvet Lounge, The Lincoln Theater and many others. Visit website.

Plan your festival experience:


About Rosslyn Business Improvement District

The Rosslyn Business Improvement District provides high-quality, customer-oriented services designed to define, enhance and continually improve Rosslyn for those who work, live, visit and do business here. As a resourceful and collaborative organization, we work in partnership with our key stakeholders and Arlington County to create a welcoming, creative, thriving environment that supports Rosslyn’s residents and a wide range of business types, from innovative start-ups to established Fortune 500 companies and international associations. We take an active leadership role in all that we do, serving as a collaborator, community builder and agent of positive change. For more information, please visit

About Arlington Arts

Arlington Arts is the presenting arm of Arlington Cultural Affairs, a Division of Arlington Economic Development that exists to create, support and promote the arts, connecting artists and community to reflect the diversity of Arlington County. For more information about the range of arts events in Arlington, please visit

Related Destination: Gateway Park

 Featured Rosslyn Events

Boot Camp with Coach Vic
Monday, April 29 - Wednesday, May 22
at Gateway Park

Rosslyn FRESHFARM Farmers Market
Wednesday, May 1 - Wednesday, October 30
at Central Place Plaza

Trail Tuesdays with Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail
Tuesday, May 14 - Tuesday, September 10