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Mamie Smith, Bessie Smith, and the Centennial Year of Race Records

2022-2023 Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra In-Person Concert Series

Evening Performance

Saturday, February 18, 2023 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1P0779
National Museum of Natural History
Baird Auditorium
10th St & Constitution Ave, NW
Metro: Federal Triangle
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Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra in concert (Photo: Jaclyn Nash)

Under the artistic direction of maestro Charlie Young, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra has celebrated some of the greatest jazz music throughout its 32-year history as one of the crown jewels of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The new SJMO season promises to continue that tradition in a series of standout concerts, all of which are held in person.

The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Ensemble delves into the vocal styling of legendary blues singers Mamie (“Queen of the Blues”) Smith and Bessie (“Empress of the Blues”) Smith. Both Mamie and Bessie Smith (no relation) were highly touted in the 1920s for their groundbreaking Okeh “Race Record” recordings. Singer Ekep Nkwelle performs “Crazy Blues" (1920), "Gulf Coast Blues" (1923), and “Jenny’s Ball” (1931).

2022-2023 Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra Concerts

General Information

  • This concert will be held at the Baird Auditorium at the National Museum of Natural History.
  • Limited number of tickets will be for sale at the door. Mobile device and credit card only; no cash transactions.
  • Refer to our health and safety information for in-person programs.
  • No series tickets are available.