The Kennedy Center

Popular/World Music

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Upcoming Events

The Korean Cultural Center of Washington, DC presents Communion

Thu, Sep 27, 2018, 7:30 PM

The closing night event of DC's Korean Culture Week offers up a sensational soundscape with a performance by Park Jiha’s Music Ensemble, opens up an experience of woodwind-based neoclassical and innovative music from Korea.

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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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Falun Dafa Association of D.C. presents Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra

Sun, Oct 14, 2018, 3:00 PM

The Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra presents a concert that highlights the beauty of Chinese instruments within the grandeur of a full Western orchestra.

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Mason Bates's KC Jukebox: Future Folk

Thu, Oct 18, 2018, 7:30 PM

Indie-rock meets alt-classical in an immersive, innovative evening featuring performances by King Creosote, Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw, and The Dover Quartet.

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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 from The Empire Strikes Back performed live along with the full feature film.

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NSO Pops: Andrew Bird with Gabriel Kahane

Oct 26 - Oct 27, 2018

Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke leads Andrew Bird and Gabriel Kahane with the National Symphony Orchestra performing the indie stars’ original compositions reimagined for an intimate orchestral experience.

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SoriN Corp presents 1st Annual Korean Culture Show

Tue, Oct 30, 2018, 7:30 PM

Marking its debut, the nonprofit SoriN Corp, in partnership with Sorichung Enterprise, hosts its 1st Annual Korean Culture Show showcasing the traditional sounds and dances of Korea.

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Renée Fleming VOICES: Youssou NDOUR

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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Brian Wilson Celebrates Pet Sounds: The Final Performances, with orchestra and special guests Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin

Mon, Nov 5, 2018, 8:00 PM

The Grammy®–winning music legend and Kennedy Center Honoree with his band marks a milestone for the iconic Beach Boys album with a live performance of Pet Sounds. Original bandmate Al Jardine, guitarist Blondie Chaplin, and a 10-piece orchestra will accompany him. 

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Thom Yorke

Fri, Nov 30, 2018, 7:30 PM

Thom Yorke has confirmed a series of live electronic performances in the U.S. during which he, Nigel Godrich, and visual artist Tarik Barri will perform songs spanning his solo works. Support will come from special guest Oliver Coates.
Please Note: If the mail delivery option is selected when purchasing tickets by phone or online, the tickets will be mailed out in 30-45 days. 

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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.

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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.

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NSO Pops: An Evening with Brandy

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.

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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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Washington Performing Arts presents: Living the Dream....Singing the Dream

Sun, Feb 17, 2019, 7:00 PM

For more than 25 years, Washington Performing Arts’s Gospel Choirs have shared the inspirational gift of gospel music with audiences throughout the D.C. region and beyond.

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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.

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TU Dance + Bon Iver's Come Through (part of DIRECT CURRENT)

Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 7:30 PM

This evening-length performance features new music from Justin Vernon, of indie folk band Bon Iver, and new choreography from TU Dance, known for works that combine modern dance and classical ballet with African-based and urban vernacular movements.

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Gabriel Kahane—Book of Travelers: 8980 (part of DIRECT CURRENT)

Wed, Mar 27, 2019, 7:30 PM

The singer-songwriter performs his new song cycle with an evocative video backdrop, drawing on the conversations and stories Kahane gathered on an 8,980-mile trip just after the 2016 election. 

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Where We Lost Our Shadows (part of DIRECT CURRENT)

Sun, Mar 31, 2019, 5:00 PM

The U.S. premiere of this video oratorio, by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Du Yun and Palestinian videographer Khaled Jarrar, documents the experience of refugees in Germany. This timely new work will be performed by vocalists Helga Davis and Ali Sethi, with Shayna Dunkelman on percussion and Joseph Young leading the Peabody Modern Orchestra. 

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I'm With Her (part of DIRECT CURRENT)

Sun, Mar 31, 2019, 8:00 PM

The female folk supergroup is made up of Sara Watkins, a founding member of progressive bluegrass outfit Nickel Creek; Sarah Jarosz, a Grammy®-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist; and Aoife O’Donovan, the Grammy®-winning lead singer of progressive string band Crooked Still. 

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Phantom Limb Company: Falling Out (part of DIRECT CURRENT)

Apr 4 - Apr 5, 2019

Known for its marionette puppetry and multimedia theatrical production, New York's Phantom Limb Company has created a response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in collaboration with butoh dancer Dai Matsuoka. The work is the company's final installment in an environmental trilogy exploring our changing relationship to nature over time.

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Moon Medicin (part of DIRECT CURRENT)

Thu, Apr 4, 2019, 9:00 PM

This multimedia concept band, fronted by Harlem-based interdisciplinary artist Sanford Biggers, performs original compositions and re-imagined covers against a backdrop of sound effects and images of sci-fi, punk, sacred geometry, coded symbology, film noir, minstrels, world politics, and ceremonial dance. 

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Du Yun with OK Miss  (part of DIRECT CURRENT)

Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 9:00 PM

Du Yun— heralded as an “indie pop diva” by the New York Times—takes the stage with OK Miss, her own experimental band, for a set featuring excerpts from her musical Dim Sum Warriors.

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On the Work of Robert Mapplethorpe

Sat, Apr 6, 2019, 8:00 PM

Exploring the impact of the late visual artist's photography, the East Coast premiere of this theater piece by librettist Korde Arrington Tuttle and composer Bryce Dessner brings together choral ensemble Roomful of Teeth, the work of Patti Smith, and poetry by Essex Hemphill and others with large-scale projections of Mapplethorpe’s images. 

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Caroline Shaw and Friends (part of DIRECT CURRENT)

Sat, Apr 6, 2019, 9:00 PM

Composer Caroline Shaw, the versatile New York-based musician who is not only the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, but also a member of vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, is joined some of her musician friends in our intimate club-like venue. 

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Brooklyn Rider and Magos Herrera (part of DIRECT CURRENT)

Sun, Apr 7, 2019, 7:30 PM

The omnivorous string quartet joins forces with the acclaimed jazz singer to reinterpret classics from Mexico, Cuba, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Spain, celebrating such luminaries as Octavio Paz, Federico García Lorca, and Rubén Darío. 

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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.

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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.

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