McLean Project for the Arts Hosts MPAartfest 2021

By Editorial Team on September 27, 2021
Vendors at MPAartfest 2019. Image courtesy McLean Project for the Arts
Event: Sunday, October 3 from 10am to 4pm

The McLean Project for the Arts will host its annual MPAartfeston Sunday, October 3 from 10am until 4pm at McLean Central Park. Now in its 15thyear, MPAartfest transforms Central Park into a lively landscape of mini art galleries showcasing and offering for salethework of juried artists from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.MPAartfest 2021 is made possible with the help of the McLean Community Center, and through partnerships with our community and corporate sponsors, Fairfax County Park Authority and The Mather.

MPAartfest 2021 will consist of a one-day juried fine art and craft show/sale featuring the work of local and regional visual artists. This FREE event features contemporary art, live music throughout the day from some of the DC-area’s best musical talents, a Children’s Art Walk, food vendors, and much more. MPAartfest Artists will also be featured on the MPAartfest website

McLean Project for the Arts has released the musical line up and programming for MPAartfest 2021. Featuring everything from a 15-piece swing big band to a violin virtuoso and an all-star international collective, the MPAartfest Music Stage promises performances for every age and musical interest. 

Blues Alley Youth Jazz Orchestra will kick off MPAartfest at 10:00 am*. Comprised of accomplished student musicians and directed by legendary jazz bassist Michael Bowie, this award-winning, 15-piece youth swing big band seeks to preserve and promote the big band jazz art form. Now in its third decade, the Orchestra has performed at DC’s leading venues.

Vocalist, pianist and guitarist Sheyda Do’a  will perform with her band at 11:00 am. Blending sounds from across the globe into what she calls “melodies for the soul,” Do’a draws on her multicultural heritage and her upbringing in Albania to create music that inspires across cultures and generations. Do’a was selected in 2020 to the prestigious Strathmore Artist in Residence program.

Nataly Merezhuk’s Hot Band takes the stage at noon. Originally from Russia, Nataly has made her way from the Moscow Conservatory all the way to the United States’ Peabody Conservatory. Influenced by the sounds of Stéphane Grappelliand Svend Asmussen, Merezhuk brings her beautiful, classical tone to the world of hot jazz and swing.

At 1:00 pm, Project Locrea brings international harmonies to the MPAartfest Music Stage. Project Locrea is an all-star international collective featuring musicians from China, Argentina, Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Peru… and even the USA. With vocals and traditional instruments, the band weaves an intriguing, multicultural tapestry of music with impact and appeal to all and a joyous onstage presence. Led by Bulgarian flute player Yana Nikol, the music reflects not only the band’s ethnic diversity but their backgrounds in multiple music genres. Locrea is a word invented to reflect their ethos of Love and Creation.

Italian vocalist and loop artist Irene Jalenti kicks off the 2:00 pm hour. A dynamic, soulful and passionate performer and composer, Jalenti delves deeply into the meaning of each song and brings drama and conviction to her performance with her naturally deep tone and an impressive wide range. Adept at scat singing and able to sing in five different languages, Jalenti connects with and delights a range of audiences.

Steelpan musician Josanne Francis will close out the MPAartfest Music Stage at 3:00 pm. Born and raised in the twin-island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Francis’s music blends together and draws influence from traditional Calypso music, jazz, Indian, funk, rock and classical music.

The MPAartfest 2021 musical lineup was curated by Ken Avis, radio host of Antidote (WERA 96.7 FM) and a performing musician with the award-winning band Veronneau. Live sound provided by Frank Kayser.

MPAartfest 2021 will take place on Sunday, October 3, 2021 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm in McLean Central Park. Now in its 15th year, MPAartfest features the work of visual artists showcasing a wide variety of media and styles. During MPAartfest, McLean Central Park is transformed into a lively landscape of mini art galleries showcasing and offering for sale the work of acclaimed artists from the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Along with the artists’ tents and live music, MPAartfest offers food from local restaurants, a Children’s Art Walk, and much more. MPAartfest 2021 is made possible with the help of the McLean Community Center, and through partnerships with our community and corporate sponsors, Fairfax County Park Authority and The Mather.

MPAartfest admission is FREE, and all are welcome and encouraged to join. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information visit www.mpaart.org/ or email info@mpaart.org.

The event will be at McLean Central Park also online at www.mpaartfest.org.

McLean Central Park is located 1468 Dolley Madison Blvd; McLean, VA.