The Kennedy Center

Popular/World Music

Featured this season 2

Upcoming Events

NSO Pops: A Night of Jazz with Gregory Porter

Jun 21 - Jun 27, 2018

An artist whose music is at once timeless yet utterly of its time, Gregory Porter joins the National Symphony Orchestra for an evening in support of his album Nat King Cole & Me.
NOTE: There are two 8 p.m. performances of Gregory Porter with the NSO Pops: Thursday, June 21 and Wednesday, June 27.

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NSO Pops: Melissa Etheridge

Jun 22 - Jun 23, 2018

Melissa Etheridge brings her raw, expressive voice and powerhouse guitar prowess to the Concert Hall for a sampling of heartfelt hits from her groundbreaking career.

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National Symphony Orchestra DECLASSIFIED: Ben Folds Presents Jon Batiste, Kishi Bashi, and Joachim Horsley

Fri, Jun 29, 2018, 9:00 PM

Ben Folds curates and hosts this unique “part concert, part party” event that defies the traditional classical music presentation by shining a spotlight on great live music performed by the NSO and special guests in a laid-back and relaxed setting.

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Irvine School of Music presents Recital Showcase 

Sat, Jun 30, 2018, 7:00 PM

The Irvine School of Music is proud to debut students and faculty for a recital showcasing all levels of musicianship.

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Stephen Stills & Judy Collins

Sat, Jun 30, 2018, 8:00 PM

Folk music legends Stephen Stills and Judy Collins tour together for the first time sharing songs from their rich catalogs and debut songs from their latest album. Singer/songwriter Kenny White will open the show. 

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A Capitol Fourth 2018

Wed, Jul 4, 2018, 8:00 PM

Celebrate Independence Day with the NSO and special guests in a free concert of patriotic favorites, classical masterworks, and more, all followed by the spectacular fireworks display!

Raphael Saadiq

Fri, Jul 27, 2018, 8:00 PM

The Grammy®-winning singer and producer will head out on his first tour in several years with his anticipated fifth solo album! In addition to his critically acclaimed albums and award-winning work on film and television, Saadiq has for years been a celebrated producer and collaborator for big-time acts like Prince, Chromeo, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, TLC, and many more. Saadiq will be joined by DJ and producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest.

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NSO Pops: Star Wars: A New Hope (film with live orchestra)

Sep 12 - Sep 15, 2018

Experience the classic original film in the Concert Hall! Join Luke, Leia, and Han Solo on their epic journey as the NSO’s performance of John Williams's Oscar®-winning score takes the music to new heights, from the bustling Cantina scene to the foreboding trumpets echoing Darth Vader’s first appearance.

On Sale 7/16/2018

Renée Fleming VOICES: Meow Meow

Sat, Sep 15, 2018, 7:30 PM

The international song siren extraordinaire makes her Kennedy Center debut with her outrageous and glorious brand of “kamikaze cabaret.” This post-post-modern diva will seduce you with her spellbinding vocal talents and uproarious comic absurdity. 

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Renée Fleming VOICES: Christopher Jackson

Sat, Sep 29, 2018, 7:30 PM

Before earning international acclaim and a Tony® nomination for originating the role of George Washington in Hamilton, Christopher Jackson garnered raves for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s other Broadway smash In the Heights and for portraying Simba in The Lion King

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NSO Pops: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (film with live orchestra)

Oct 23 - Oct 25, 2018

The National Symphony Orchestra presents John Williams’s iconic Oscar®-nominated score fromThe Empire Strikes Back performed live along with the full feature film.

On Sale 7/16/2018

NSO Pops: Andrew Bird with Gabriel Kahane

Oct 26 - Oct 27, 2018

Renowned as a “one-man orchestra of the imagination,” versatile singer/songwriter and classically trained violinist Andrew Bird joins the NSO as part of his national tour performing with indie musician Gabriel Kahane. In his Kennedy Center debut, Bird masters delicately layered pop melodies with nuanced creative genius in innovative orchestrations of his songs conceived by Kahane.

On Sale 7/11/2018

Renée Fleming VOICES: Youssou N'Dour

Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 8:00 PM

The Senegalese singer, percussionist, and humanitarian—dubbed “perhaps the most famous singer alive” by Rolling Stone—brings his stratospheric vocals, visionary African rhythms, and powerful messages of social activism and tolerance to the Concert Hall.

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NSO Pops: A Holiday Pops! Under the Mistletoe with Ashley Brown

Dec 14 - Dec 15, 2018

Warm your spirit with fresh takes on comforting classics in this singalong tradition with the NSO and The Washington Chorus, a perfect holiday treat for the entire family! Join us in the festively decorated Concert Hall for this year’s program that welcomes musical theater darling Ashley Brown—originator of the title role in Mary Poppins on Broadway—in her NSO debut.

On Sale 7/11/2018

NSO Pops: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (film with live orchestra)

Jan 22 - Jan 24, 2019

The National Symphony Orchestra presents John Williams’s iconic Oscar®-nominated score from Return of the Jedi performed live along with the full feature film.

On Sale 7/16/2018

NSO Pops: An Evening with Brandy Norwood

Jan 25 - Jan 26, 2019

Following her acclaimed Broadway debut and Kennedy Center engagement as Roxie Hart in the Tony®-winning revival of Chicago, Brandy is the latest entertainer to join the NSO in exploring fascinating connections between R&B and symphony, following the likes of Ledisi, Boyz II Men, Fantasia, and many others. In her first collaboration with a live orchestra, the multi-platinum, Grammy®-winning singer/actress performs favorites from her iconic career.

On Sale 7/11/2018

Renée Fleming VOICES: Nellie McKay

Fri, Feb 8, 2019, 7:30 PM

The always-unpredictable singer-songwriter Nellie McKay is impossible to categorize, from doing Brecht on Broadway to creating tributes to the likes of Doris Day and Joan Rivers. Part cabaret, part sparkly pop, her music is as tuneful and clever as the best of the Great American Songbook.

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NSO Pops: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (film with live orchestra)

Feb 21 - Feb 23, 2019

The National Symphony Orchestra presents John Williams’s iconic Oscar®-nominated score from The Force Awakens performed live along with the full feature film.

On Sale 7/11/2018

Renée Fleming VOICES: Patina Miller

Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 7:30 PM

Patina Miller’s star power transcends the divide between Hollywood and Broadway. On stage, she won the Tony Award® for Best Actress in a Musical for Pippin, On screen, she’s wowed with recurring roles in The Hunger Games and TV’s Madam Secretary.

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NSO Pops: An Evening with Leslie Odom Jr.

May 1 - May 3, 2019

Leslie Odom Jr.'s remarkable talents continue to inspire audiences across the globe, from his Tony®-winning role in Hamilton to singing “America the Beautiful” at the 2018 Super Bowl™. In his first collaboration with the NSO, he returns to the Kennedy Center with a sensational program combining Broadway and jazz classics, including songs from Rent, Spring Awakening, and a tribute to Nat King Cole.

On Sale 7/11/2018

NSO Pops: 50 Years Over the Rainbow: A Judy Garland Celebration

Jun 28 - Jun 29, 2019

Marking half a century to the week since the entertainment world lost one of its greatest treasures, the NSO and a trio of exceptional singers remember the immortal music and extraordinary cultural impact of Judy Garland—star of The Wizard of Oz, Easter Parade, Meet Me in St. Louis, A Star Is Born, and countless more.

On Sale 7/11/2018