Washington Renaissance Orchestra


JAZZNET SHOWCASE Video and Pics of Performance at Historic Lincoln Theatre – Washington, DC


Who We Are:

 The Washington Renaissance Orchestra (WRO) is established, to promote and coordinate Big Band Jazz performances in and around the DMV area, as well as regionally, nationally and internationally. The Orchestra was formed as a vehicle to create performance opportunities for jazz musicians in a big band setting featuring jazz at its best, with world-renowned guest artists, to an audience of thousands each year.  These musicians are highly regarded performers and educators across the country and around the globe, and will be under the artistic leadership of drummer and composer Nasar Abadey.  Abadey is also Professor of Jazz Studies at Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University; and Allyn Johnson, the Music Director, pianist, composer, arranger, is also a Professor of Jazz Studies and Director of Jazz Band at the University of the District of Columbia.

The musical leadership of this organization will incorporate contemporary arrangements into its repertoire and commission new arrangements and masterworks for the jazz orchestra.  This will promote the development of creating new audiences, and sustaining those familiar and having a passion for big band in jazz music.  It will also cultivate a dynamic and adventurous spirit which keeps audiences coming back again and again.

All the members of this orchestra are residents of the DMV area and many are members of the DC Federation of Musicians.

Baiyina Abadey, Executive Producer


Bill Brower
Production Manager

Willard Jenkins, Artistic Liaison

Nasar Abadey, Artistic Director

Allyn Johnson, Music Director


The Washington Renaissance Orchestra consists of the following musicians:

Elijah Balbed:  Tenor Saxophone; Brian Settles:  Tenor Saxophone; Antonio Parker:  Alto Saxophone; Julian Lane:  Trombone; Reginald Cyntje:  Trombone; Leon Rawlings:  Trombone; Whit Williams:  Baritone; Alvin Trask:  Trumpet; Michael Thomas:  Trumpet; Thad Wilson:  Trumpet; Tom Williams:  Trumpet; Nasar Abadey:  Drums; Allyn Johnson:  Piano; James King:  Bass; and Navasha Daya:  Vocals.

Each member of this orchestra has 10 – 30+ years of professional performance experience.

Funded in part by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.”  

Media Sponsor WPFW 89.3.FM the messenger…

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WRenaissanceOrc

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WashingtonRenaissanceOrchestra