Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation

Events and Performances

New ticket subscription plan!

Buy tickets for any six jazz, folk, or blues concerts and get a seventh $25 concert free. Call the arts center at 301-377-7800 or 410-792-0664 for details.

Special Events at Montpelier
Sunday, December 4, 1 pm
Annual Holiday Open House

Montpelier Arts Center invites families to a fun holiday celebration! Tour resident artists’ studios, attend exhibition receptions, shop the pottery sale, enjoy holiday music, and be inspired by art demonstrations.

FREE

LIVE at Montpelier!
Sunday, December 11, 2016, 3 pm & 6 pm
A Charlie Brown Christmas with the Eric Byrd Trio

A Charlie Brown Christmas with the Eric Byrd TrioFor almost two decades, The Eric Byrd Trio (pianist/vocalist Eric Byrd, bassist Bhagwan Khalsa, and drummer Alphonso Young, Jr.) have traveled the world as enthusiastic ambassadors of jazz. Rooted in swing and be-bop, the trio also embraces gospel and the blues as core elements of their expansive performance style. Their body of work spans seven unique studio and live recordings on which they take a rigorous, modern approach to standards as well as original compositions, playing with great acuity within the broad and rich jazz tradition. In this special holiday concert, The Eric Byrd Trio celebrates the music from the Peanuts’ Charlie Brown Christmas show—songs we all grew up with and loved. By bringing fresh arrangements to these familiar songs, it gets everyone in the holiday mood. Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!

Tickets: $15/person

Special Events at Montpelier
Sunday, February 19, 3 pm
Past Voices Black History Month Concert: Valentine Pringle

Past Voices Black History Month Concert: Valentine Pringle The Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA)’s Past Voices series delves into the lives and music of little known black classical musicians, featuring Valentine Pringle. Born in the US, he is best remembered for his leading role in the British science fiction television series Sapphire and Steele (1979–1982). He also appeared in the films Shoot It Black, Shoot It Blue (1974), The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It (1977), Ragtime (1981), and Brittania Hospital (1982) as President Ngami. As a songwriter, he wrote “Louise” for Harry Belafonte as well as many other classics. Friend of Richard Pryor and Lou Gossett Jr., he also worked with musicians Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, and actress/singer Eartha Kitt. In the 1980s, Pringle and his wife moved to South Africa. Sadly, in 1999, two intruders burglarizing his home tragically slew Pringle. Through this performance, he will be remembered for his rich, Paul Robeson-like voice.

FREE

Smooth Sounds for Seniors at Montpelier
Thursday, March 9, 12 am
Ethel Ennis

Ethel EnnisBorn in Baltimore, Ennis began playing piano at age seven and soon performed in her church. Upon graduating high school in 1950, Ennis toured the U.S. and London with a number of jazz and R&B artists. In 1958, Benny Goodman selected Ennis as the female vocalist for his "all-star band" that toured Western Europe. Ennis has performed with a number of accomplished jazz and R&B artists such as Louis Armstrong, Count Basic, Duke Ellington, Wynton Marsalis, and Ray Brown. Nevertheless, Ennis’s solo performances hold the most significance in her career. Many have claimed that she "set a precedent" with her a cappella version of the national anthem at Richard Nixon's inauguration. In addition to her international jazz career, Ennis is also a woman minority entrepreneur, a band leader, a cultural ambassador, and a civic activist. Ennis believes music is not only a medium to be used for entertainment, but contains a “Soft Power” that "informs and inspires" others to bring about social change.

Tickets: $12/person

LIVE at Montpelier!
Friday, March 10, 8 pm
Davey Yarborough and Esther Williams

Davey Yarborough and Esther WilliamsAudience favorites husband-and-wife duo Davey Yarborough and Esther Williams bring their soulful blend of jazz and original songwriting to the Montpelier stage. As a performer, bandleader, composer, and arranger, Davey has worked with Sir Roland Hanna, Keter Betts, Billy Eckstine, Buck Hill, Shirley Horn, Lena Horne, and Joe Williams. From 1988 to 1991, Davey’s sax was part of the memorable background music for The Cosby Show. Esther is a diverse performer with an extensive repertoire in jazz, R&B, pop, spiritual, gospel, and musical theater. She has opened for the Temptations and Peaches and Herb as well as produced and directed three successful musical variety shows. Together, in 1998, Davey and Esther created the Washington Jazz Arts Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and mentoring young and aspiring musicians. They have performed up and down the east coast, including the Kennedy Center, the Savoy in New York, and the East Coast Jazz Festival.

Tickets: $25/person; 10% discount for Montpelier members & seniors

LIVE at Montpelier!
Friday, March 17, 8 pm
Thad Wilson Quartet featuring Vocalist Kristin Callahan

Thad Wilson Quartet featuring Vocalist Kristin Callahan Everyone who has heard Kristin Callahan agrees that her voice is fresh and vibrant; a vocalist to watch for years to come. From her tender ballads to her flawless execution of even the most challenging pieces, Callahan exudes charm and elegance, delivering traditional jazz in great style. Performing throughout the east coast, she attracts many of the finest recording and touring artists to join her onstage. Her third album, "A Burning Kiss," is slated for release in 2017. She appears with incredible trumpeter and bandleader Thad Wilson, who has played with many renowned jazz artists and toured the world, performing in numerous jazz festivals. Building his career in his native New Jersey, then NYC and Atlanta, he landed in DC, where he formed the Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra and teaches at George Washington University. He has become a major figure in the DC jazz community, known as an innovative artist, educator, composer, and bandleader.

Tickets: $25/person; 10% discount for Montpelier members & seniors

The Montpelier Classical Recital Series
Sunday, March 19, 3 pm
Jooyoung Kim

Jooyoung KimPianist Jooyoung Kim, a native of South Korea, is critically acclaimed on international stages for her dazzling technique, superb musicianship, and exquisite artistry. Since making her debut at the age of twelve as a soloist with the Korean Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Kim has presented numerous solo and chamber recitals in Korea, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and the United States. She has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras including the Korean Symphony Orchestra, Yonsei Sinfonietta, Yale University Symphony Orchestra, and the Ball State Symphony Orchestra, and others. She has given solo and chamber recitals in guest artist series in colleges and universities including Anderson University, Taylor University, Indiana Wesleyan University, Ball State University, to name a few. Currently, Dr. Kim is an adjunct piano professor at Indiana Wesleyan University as well as a founding member of Trio Harmonia and Ensemble ENLACE.

Free; $5 donation appreciated

Following the recital, please join us for a reception sponsored by CAAPA: Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts.

LIVE at Montpelier!
Friday, March 24, 8 pm
Laura Dreyer: Manhattan-Rio Connection

Laura Dreyer: Manhattan-Rio ConnectionNew York saxophonist Laura Dreyer leads a top-flight quartet of international recording and performing artists in a program demonstrating the special sound Brazilian jazz has developed in the New York jazz scene. Born and raised on the west coast, Dreyer is known widely as a saxophonist, flutist, and composer. She has pursued her passion for Brazilian music for over 20 years, while also cutting a strong career path in American jazz. Performing widely in the United States and Brazil, her band features incomparable pianist Tim Murphy and rhythm players Leonardo and Alejandro Lucini from Rio de Janiero. Enjoy beloved Brazilian jazz classics and original contemporary Brazilian jazz by Dreyer, an artist known for her authentic renditions and catchy, lyrical melodies.

"The Portuguese idiom of Brasil comes so naturally to her that she could almost fool even the most astute listener into believing that she is Brasilian."—Raul de Gama, Latin Jazz Network

Tickets: $25/person; 10% discount for Montpelier members & seniors

Special Events at Montpelier
Sunday, March 26, 2 pm
Women in Jazz: From Classrooms to Careers

In celebration of Women's History Month, this talk explores the unique path of girls and women who aspire to attain careers in jazz music. We will examine their challenges, attainable careers, and what it takes to succeed. Panel moderator Candy Shannon teaches audio classes at Howard University and directs the Tech Center in the School of Communications. As host and producer of WPFW’s “The Morning Brew–Friday Edition,” she will share her vast experience in television and radio. The panel includes Shannon Gunn, leader of Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes, an all-women jazz orchestra based in the D.C. area. Gunn’s studies reveal the different patterns in the jazz profession between girls and boys. Panelist Laura Dreyer is a world traveled saxophonist/flutist and composer, performing extensively with the famed Diva Jazz Orchestra and is often the only female in popular Latin jazz bands and in her own Brazilian jazz band. Join them for an informative and occasionally humorous program.

FREE

LIVE at Montpelier!
Friday, March 31, 8 pm
Todd Marcus

Todd MarcusBass clarinetist and composer, Todd Marcus, returns to the Montpelier stage to present his new quintet with guitar, piano, bass, and drums. The performance will feature compositions written by Marcus that capture elements of his west Baltimore neighborhood where the death of community member Freddie Grey in April 2015 led to the city's subsequent civil unrest. As a musician who has also worked as a community activist in his neighborhood for 20 years (at his nonprofit Intersection of Change), Marcus's new compositions seek to portray both the challenges and strengths of his community and find beauty in each. “Marcus…is clearly what the jazz polls call a “rising star”…In Marcus’s hands, the bass clarinet is no longer a specialty instrument. Its unique timbral richness becomes incisive, fully capable of forceful expression.” ---JazzTimes

Tickets: $25/person; 10% discount for Montpelier members & seniors

LIVE at Montpelier!
Friday, April 7, 8 pm
The Eastern Standard Time Jazz Quartet featuring Chris Vadala

The Eastern Standard Time Jazz Quartet featuring Chris VadalaOne of the country's foremost woodwind artists, Chris Vadala is in demand as a jazz/classical performer and educator. His performing credits include five gold and two platinum albums, two Grammys, two Emmys, and one Golden Globe award. In addition, he has performed and/or recorded with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Chick Corea, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Placido Domingo, Sarah Vaughn, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Henry Mancini, Doc Severinsen, New York Voices, Frankie Valli, and many others. In 2009, he became a member of the award-winning Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and has been the first call saxophonist with National Symphony Orchestra for many years. As director of jazz studies and saxophone professor at the University of Maryland, Vadala is recognized as a distinguished scholar-teacher. Enjoy jazz standards and original compositions from his recent album "Eastern Standard Time" during this performance.

Tickets: $25/person; 10% discount for Montpelier members & seniors

Smooth Sounds for Seniors at Montpelier
Thursday, April 13, 12 am
Denyse Pearson and her Gentlemen of Distinction

Denyse Pearson and her Gentlemen of DistinctionA native of Washington, DC, Denyse Pearson studied at the University of District of Columbia (UDC) with renowned trombonist and director of the UDC jazz ensemble, Calvin Jones, who aptly nicknamed her "Ms. Finewine" for her smooth and sweet vocal style. Notable career highlights include performing with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra at President Bush's Inaugural Ball and being invited to the stage at Catalina's Bar & Grill in Los Angeles by jazz icon, Joe Williams. Denyse relishes performing with jazz ancestors such as Nap Turner, Mary Jefferson, Keter Betts, and Major Holley. Carrying on the jazz tradition, Denyse continues performing the great jazz standards and composing original songs. Joining her on the Montpelier stage are her “Gentlemen of Distinction,” an ensemble of longtime friends and performers who have contributed to the world of jazz music at home and abroad for three decades.

Tickets: $12/person

LIVE at Montpelier!
Friday, April 14, 8 pm
Allyn Johnson

Allyn JohnsonNative Washingtonian, Allyn Johnson, is a multi-talented musician, composer, arranger, and producer whose trademark sound gives brilliance and fortitude to the art of jazz improvisation. As one of the nation's most sought after jazz musicians, he is revered by musical giants and the "young lions" of his generation. Chosen for the highly competitive Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program in 2001, he returned to teach in the program in 2002. Mentored by the late great jazz legend Calvin Jones, Johnson assumed his role as director of the jazz studies program at the University of the District of Columbia. In this capacity, he hopes to continue Jones’s rich legacy of service, musicianship, and academic excellence. Starting both the Divine Order and Sonic Sanctuary ensembles, Johnson explores combinations of gospel, classical music, acoustic straight ahead jazz, jazz fusion, and funk. No matter what configuration he may be heard in, you can best believe it will be just "good music for the soul.”

Tickets: $25/person; 10% discount for Montpelier members & seniors

LIVE at Montpelier!
Friday, April 21, 8 pm
B's Bees

BMontreal group B's Bees is a hard swinging jazz outfit known for writing compelling original music and playing high energy interpretations of the music of past masters such as The Jazz Messengers, Thelonious Monk, and Charlie Haden. When bandleader Brandon Goodwin won a scholarship to play at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2012, he formed B’s Bees with a lineup of some of the young star players in the city and never looked back. Since then, B's Bees have been in demand at prominent clubs around Montreal and the surrounding area. They are currently on the roster at two locations of Montreal’s House of Jazz. For this performance, enjoy classics by Charlie Haden including "Silence," "Chairman Mao," "Song for Che" and "Els Segador" as well as the group's own "Kanata Suite." This tour takes them from the Mid-Atlantic to New Orleans, where they will work with Delfeayo Marsalis before their next recording.

Tickets: $25/person; 10% discount for Montpelier members & seniors

Family Fun at Montpelier!
Saturday, April 22, 1 pm
Celebrate Earth Day at Montpelier!

Appreciate the beauty of Montpelier’s grounds while creating a fun and educational Earth Day activity for the whole family.

FREE

Special Events at Montpelier
Sunday, April 23, 2 pm
Jazz Talk: Allyn Johnson

Jazz Talk: Allyn JohnsonPerformer, composer/arranger and educator, Allyn Johnson was specially chosen by jazz legend Calvin Jones to succeed him as director of the jazz studies program and jazz ensembles at the University of the District of Columbia.

FREE


Montpelier Festival of Herbs, Tea and The Arts
Saturday, April 29, 10 am
Annual Montpelier Festival of Herbs, Tea, and the Arts

Hosted by Montpelier Arts Center and Montpelier Mansion/Historic Site, celebrate spring at this fun festival for the entire family! Visit the resident artists’ studios, watch art demonstrations, paint the Montpelier bird, and create spring-themed crafts. Stroll the Arts Center’s galleries and view the Substrates exhibition as well as art by Ellen Cornett and Barbara Talbott. At 1 pm, enjoy a classical recital by renowned pianist Stefan Scaggiari. Adjacent to the Arts Center is Montpelier Mansion/Historic Site. Visit the Mansion and stroll the beautiful grounds where you can purchase art, crafts, food, herbs, plants, and more. Self-guided tours are available year-round from 11 am – 3 pm (Thursdays – Tuesdays).

FREE
Held rain or shine


The Montpelier Classical Recital Series
Saturday, April 29, 1 pm
Stefan Scaggiari Performs “April in Paris”

Stefan Scaggiari Performs “April in Paris”Travel to Paris this April with pianist/singer Stef Scaggiari as he presents the music of Debussy, Chopin, and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, plus songs of Cole Porter, Leslie Bricusse, Duke Ellington, Sting, and Stevie Wonder. Stef’s career has taken him to Italy (Saluzzo Festival), Turkey (International Music Festival), the Netherlands (Rotterdam Music Festival), and Japan (Concord/Fujitsu Festival Tour). He has toured with the Carol Sloane group, the Modern Jazz Quartet, the Count Basie All-Stars, Mel Torme, and Tim Eyermann’s East Coast Offering under the auspices of “Partners of the Americas” and the great Felix Grant. As a soloist with the Kansas City Symphony, the Evansville Philharmonic, and the Calgary Philharmonic, he also performs in crossover classical/jazz concerts with his trio at the Shriver Hall Concert Series. With such an impressive resume, it is no wonder that National Public Radio exclaimed, “Stef’s musical contributions are major, sometimes miraculous.”

Free; $5 donation appreciated

Following the recital, enjoy a reception sponsored by CAAPA: Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts.

LIVE at Montpelier!
Friday, May 5, 8 pm
Hot Club of Baltimore

Hot Club of BaltimoreThe Hot Club of Baltimore performs the finest gypsy swing this side of the Atlantic inspired by the legendary French guitarist Django Reinhardt. Michael Joseph Harris is guitarist and artistic director of the group, which consists of a collective of top jazz musicians. The ensemble boasts a variety of configurations including an instrumental trio of two guitars and a bass; a classic quintet with violin; the late 40's “Django in Rome” sessions on piano, drums, and horns; and the big band sound of the early 50's when Reinhardt performed with Duke Ellington. Featuring the captivating voice of Alexis Tantau, the group performs gypsy jazz renditions of Occitan folk songs, Edith Piaf, Eartha Kitt, Maxine Sullivan, Charles Trenet, Jacques Dutronc, Ella Fitzgerald, and Henri Salvador.

Tickets: $25/person; 10% discount for Montpelier members & seniors

Special Events at Montpelier
Saturday, May 6, 11 am
Pen & Pose: A Workshop in Yoga and Writing

Yoga and writing both use literal and metaphorical vehicles to discover parts of ourselves that have lain dormant, illuminating pathways to feelings, memories, images, and stories embedded within our tissues, and helping us reflect, heal, and build community. In this workshop, we’ll get in touch with our bodies through breath work and poses; mindfulness techniques will slow the mind and create a sense of the sacred; and writing exercises will help excavate what gets buried inside. Wear comfortable clothing, and bring a yoga mat and your favorite notebook and pen.

Ages 18 & up; FREE

Smooth Sounds for Seniors at Montpelier
Thursday, May 11, 12 am
DC's Finest

DCD.C.’s Finest aka “The Doo Wop Cops” are five active and retired law enforcement officers from Washington, DC, who have gone from walking their beats to keeping the beat. All members of the group attended local schools and sang with a doo-wop group in the 50s and 60s. Those years are revisited each time the group takes the stage with their a cappella nostalgic renditions of songs of the past as well as some of the current hits. Entertaining several U.S. Presidents and performing with such stars of the music world as Chuck Berry, the Dells, the Persuasions, Stevie Wonder, and the Drifters, they have appeared on FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, as well as in People Magazine, The Washingtonian, Wall Street Journal, Southern Living, and more. Their legacy doesn't stop there however, they are most known for their dedication to the kids in America. They have visited many schools throughout the United States with an anti-drug, anti-handgun program that has proven to be very effective.

Tickets: $12/person

LIVE at Montpelier!
Friday, May 12, 8 pm
Sherry Winston

Sherry WinstonContemporary jazz flutist Sherry Winston has performed at The White House for President and Mrs. Clinton, and for former President George H.W. Bush. She has appeared on "The Today Show,” “Emeril Live,” BET TV, Live at Five, VH1, and many other national TV shows. Winston performed with Stevie Wonder in NYC and opened for Sinbad, Fourplay, Patti Austin, Jonathan Butler, Denise Williams, Ramsey Lewis, Chaka Kahn, Peabo Bryson, Regina Belle, and Grover Washington, Jr. As a businesswoman, she worked as national director of jazz promotion at Columbia, Arista, GRP, and Elektra-Asylum Records. She also ran her own promotion company and represented Uniworld Advertising Group in Japan. This multi-faceted musician recently released "For Lovers Only: A Cookbook and More," a how-to book on entertaining that special someone from the moment they enter your home until the second they leave.

Tickets: $25/person; 10% discount for Montpelier members & seniors

LIVE at Montpelier!
Friday, May 19, 8 pm
Cyrus Chestnut Trio

Cyrus Chestnut TrioVirtuosic and playful, pianist Cyrus Chestnut’s hard swinging, soulful sounds have become a staple in the jazz community. Blending contemporary jazz, traditional jazz, and gospel, plus the occasional seasonings of Latin and samba, Chestnut gives himself plenty of freedom to explore different emotions, while keeping his music in recognizable form. Chestnut has recorded and performed with many leaders in the music scene including Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Branford Marsalis, Chick Corea, Dizzy Gillespie, Jon Hendricks, and Betty Carter. An extremely versatile pianist, Chestnut has also collaborated with Vanessa Williams, Brian McKnight, Kathleen Battle, Freddy Cole, Bette Midler, Jimmy Scott, Isaac Hayes, and Kevin Mahogany.

"His brand of crisp articulation and blues-inflected harmony evokes another era...multifaceted and dynamic...Mr. Chestnut was the evening’s star and he brought charisma to the role..."- The New York Times

Tickets: $25/person; 10% discount for Montpelier members & seniors

The Montpelier Classical Recital Series
Sunday, May 21, 3 pm
Venteux Quintet

Venteux QuintetVenteux Quintet includes exemplary musicians based in Maryland. Flutist Ann Luther has extensive experience in a variety of performance and educational settings, establishing herself as a gifted educator and sensitive performer. Heidi Dewally performed extensively with the Milwaukee Ballet and Symphony Orchestra before moving to Maryland to teach oboe to students ages 10 to 80. Clarinetist Donna Noyes enjoys a successful teaching and performing career using her expertise in attaining high-performance awards to educate her students on how to do the same. Monica Schwartz owns and operates Orchard Music, a private bassoon studio instructing students, who are regularly selected for Maryland All-State, youth orchestras, and substantial to full college scholarships. Rich Roberts is an active free-lance performer and conductor whose post-doctoral studies with Dr. Harlan Parker of the Peabody Institute focus on the exploration of exemplary music for wind-band and chamber groups.

Free; $5 donation appreciated

Following the recital, please join us for a reception sponsored by CAAPA: Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts.

Special Events at Montpelier
Friday, May 26, 7 pm
Yoga & Jazz

Breathe in… breathe out! Breathing connects yoga, jazz, and life to achieve the perfect balance between hard and soft, the firm and flexible, and the give and take. Get some relaxation and find your center this evening at a yoga class with live jazz music. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat.

Ages 18 & up; FREE

Special Events at Montpelier
Saturday, May 27, 11 am
The Art of Yoga

Enjoy an hour-long yoga class in the beautiful galleries of Montpelier Arts Center. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat. Following the class, explore the art exhibitions in the galleries and discover the gorgeous grounds of Montpelier.

Ages 18 & up; FREE