Metro Weekly

Editor’s Pick: Chaka Khan and Deborah Cox Headline Merriweather’s Capital Jazz Festival

An annual event since 1993, Merriweather's Capital Jazz Festival is billed as a "Jazz Festival With Soul."

Capital Jazz Festival
Capital Jazz Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion

Since its inception in 1993, the Capital Jazz Festival, an annual outdoor festival, held annually at Merriweather Post Pavilion, has earned a reputation as a destination for fans of top-shelf R&B and old-school soul.

That probably strikes you as odd, given the festival’s name. In response, organizers at Capital Jazz have taken to calling the event “the jazz festival with soul,” which ultimately does a suitable enough job of capturing its essence.

After the pandemic forced organizers to take a hiatus in 2020, they returned last year with a two-day to-do over Labor Day, since Merriweather wasn’t able to reopen until late in the season.

This year finds the fest back in its usual berth during the first weekend in June. And helping kick things off on Saturday, June 4, is gay-popular diva, powerhouse vocalist Deborah Cox.

Also performing on Day 1 is headliner Faith Evans, plus Musiq Soulchild, Keyshia Cole, Common, Dwele, Cory Henry, and Adi Oasis, formerly the lead singer of the great disco orchestra Escort.

Saturday’s show, hosted by Tony Richards, will also feature DJ Kid Capri and a special musical tribute to Teena Marie with “special surprise guests.”

The Sunday, June 5, lineup skews more toward jazz, although the headliner is a true soul legend who just so happens to be an incredibly gay-popular diva, too: Chaka Khan.

Also on the bill is the deserving diva-in-waiting Ledisi, plus Jeffrey Osborne, Damien Escobar, Tower of Power, Maysa, Naturally 7, The String Queens, and Butcher Brown.

The Bassman will host Sunday’s show, which also features Celebrity DJ Flex Alexander.

Saturday, June 4, and Sunday, June 5, starting at noon both days.

Merriweather is at 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, in Columbia, Md.

Tickets are $104.75 to $135.75.

Call 800-551-SEAT or visit

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