The Kennedy Center


NPR's A Jazz Piano Christmas

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Holidays Jazz

Celebrate the season with a stylish twist on your favorite holiday classics. The Kennedy Center and NPR present A Jazz Piano Christmas, the annual holiday tradition featuring four celebrated jazz pianists performing their favorite seasonal music.

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Join the Kennedy Center and NPR for A Jazz Piano Christmas, highlighting the favorite seasonal music of four acclaimed performers. Winner of the Kennedy Center's Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition Helen Sung and 2018 NEA Jazz Master Joanne Brackeen return to the Terrace Theater, along with Brazilian virtuoso Abelita Mateus and Cajun blues master Marcia Ball. This perennially sold-out event will be recorded for future broadcast and streaming online. 

Note: Marcia Ball will sign CDs following both performances, in the States Gallery outside the Terrace Theater.

"Abelita Mateus has, in abundance, those indispensables of the musicians’ craft: sensitivity, creativity, and a prodigious technique. Most of all, she sparkles with refreshment - and for a jazz musician to sound refreshing in 2017 is no ordinary thing!"
John Lee, renowned jazz bassist and producer 

"Miss Brackeen succeeds where others have failed because she balances her swarming chord clusters with straightforward melodic statements and percussive bass figures. Her music breathes, and it sings."
—The New York Times

"Marcia Ball’s rollicking roadhouse rave-ups and soulful Gulf Coast R&B, her barrelhouse playing and her feel-good party tunes are iconic."
—USA Today

"Live jazz doesn't get any better."
—, on Helen Sung