The Washington Juneteenth Jazz & Arts Festival, honoring D.C. native Duke Ellington, will be held on June 17 at the West Minister Presbyterian Church. The festival is in conjunction with the 11th Annual Washington Juneteenth National Holiday Observance.

The festival, sponsored by the National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters, is also a part of “June is Black Music Month,” a celebration of Juneteenth jazz. The Rev. Dr. Ronald Myers, founder and chairman of NAJJP will be the event’s featured performer.

“Jazz is African-American classical music, created from the hearts, lives and souls of Black folks in America,” Rev. Dr. Myers said in a statement. “The preservation of our unique African-American jazz music legacy is what Black Music Month and the celebration of Juneteenth is all about.”

Also performing with Dr. Myers is special guest, trombonist Dick Griffin. With a career spanning over 40 years, Griffin has performed with some of the biggest names in soul and jazz including Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Michael Jackson, among many others.

Originating in 1865, Juneteenth or the “19th of June,” recognizes the day when Union Gen. Gordon Granger announced freedom for all slaves in the Southwest.

Upon reading the order by Gen. Granger, the slaves happily celebrated and enacted America’s second Independence Day celebration and the oldest African-American holiday observance. Today, Juneteenth is recognized by 36 states and Washington, D.C.

For more information on this Juneteenth event call: 301-789-7592 or e-mail