Women in Jazz Festival in DC


Amy K. Bormet presents the third annual Washington Women in Jazz Festival March 20 through March 27 with the week-long celebration of female jazz artists kicking off at the Atlas Performance Art Center on H Street in Northeast D.C.

The event has become popular in the D.C. area, getting great reviews from Washington City Paper. It features talented female artists, many of whom have collaborated on projects with Bormet. Kimberly Thompson, who plays the drums, opens the festival at 8 p.m. March 20 at the Atlas Performance Arts Center 1333 H St NE. Tickets are $25. All ticket information can be found at www.washingtonwomeninjazz.com/.

“There are a lot of women in the D.C. jazz scene that don’t get a chance to do their own shows because it’s harder to market women in jazz music, they will think of singers but won’t think of female instrumentalists,” Bormet said

Bormet launched the festival in 2010 after earning a graduate degree from Howard University, where she studied jazz piano. 

“This is the third year now,” Bormet said.  “I wanted to be able to market playing with my friends. This will be away to get them all together and we can all cross promote, because we have a lot of different audiences.”

The event has grown since it first started. This is the second year that the event will be a week long. In its first year, live performances were on five consecutive Wednesdays. This year there are nine shows.

“I really enjoyed finding different places across the city so that there are different audiences for each venue. I’m really reaching a lot of diverse crowds,” said Bormet.

Before attending Howard University, Bormet attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., and went to the University of Michigan for undergrad.

“Everyone knows that Howard is like Duke Ellington’s graduate school, because there are so many Ellington people that go there,” said Bormet.

While attending Howard, Bormet played in the Jazz Ensemble and composed for the group Afro Blue. Bormet will be returning for Howard University’s Jazz Week, at noon April 9 to do a presentation about the festival and being an entrepreneur.

The event also includes a contest for women under 21-years-old. The contest includes three instrumentalists and three vocalists. The winner wins a slot in next year’s festival. The young artist contest is at 1 p.m. March 23 at HR-57 Center for the Preservation of Jazz and Blues, 1007 H St NE. The show features vocalist Danielle Wertz who was last year’s winner.

Bormet, who sings and plays the piano, continues to grow in her own music career. Bormet has a duo project with her husband Matt Dievendorf who plays guitar. The two of them frequently tour together. She also released her debut album with her band entitled “Striking” in 2011.

For the future Bormet is applying for non-profit status for her festival in order to get more funding and grants. Bormet also plans on making another album with her band.

More information about Bormet and her music can be found at www.amykbormet.com/