J Dilla, Rakim, And DJ Jazzy Jeff To Be Honored At Kennedy Center’s Inaugural Hip-Hop Festival

J Dilla, Rakim, And DJ Jazzy Jeff To Be Honored At Kennedy Center’s Inaugural Hip-Hop Festival

The late J Dilla is among the hip-hop greats being honored at the Kennedy Center’s inaugural hip-hop festival. 


The late Slum Village member J Dilla, along with Rakim and DJ Jazzy Jeff, is one of the hip-hop greats being honored at the Kennedy Center’s inaugural hip-hop festival. 

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts new “Hip Hop &” festival will be an annual event aimed at highlighting and celebrating hip-hop‘s intersection with other music genres, Rock The Bells reports.

This year’s inaugural festival, which starts March 27, will focus on hip-hop’s cross between jazz. It begins with a special edition of the Kennedy Center’s Hip Hop Listening Sessions that will bring together select DJs, radio personalities, and producers to discuss and play classic hip-hop songs with jazz samples including Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” to Kendrick Lamar’s “For Free? (Interlude),” DCist reports. 

On March 30, a special one-night-only concert will take place with two-time Grammy Award–winning musical director, Robert Glasper, bassist Derrick Hodge, and the Black Radio Orchestra that celebrates the 125th and 50th birthdays of two late music icons, Duke Ellington and rapper/producer J Dilla. There will also be two performances by Igmar Thomas’s Revive Big Band. Thomas is the former bandleader for Lauryn Hill and Nas. Members of this supergroup, DCist reports, have 13 Grammys between them.

Then, on April 19 Rakim, two-time Grammy Award winner DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Grammy–nominated saxophonist, bandleader, and composer Ravi Coltrane assemble for “The Rakim & DJ Jazzy Jeff & Ravi Coltrane Project.”

“We are so excited to launch our Hip Hop & Festival celebrating the deeply interconnected and symbiotic relationship between Hip Hop and Jazz. As two of America’s greatest art forms and vital genres within the Black Music Continuum, they have transformed global culture,” Simone Eccleston, director of hip-hop culture & contemporary music for the Kennedy Center, said. 

Tickets can be purchased here.

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