The Kennedy Center
Featured this season

DIRECT CURRENT

Modern masterpieces, cutting-edge composition, dance, drag, film, jazz, Hip Hop, video games, electronica, ecology, and activism all converge at the inaugural season of DIRECT CURRENT, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ new two-week celebration of contemporary culture. Focusing on works new to Washington, on interdisciplinary creations in which artistic worlds collide, and on innovative responses to topical concerns, this new spring immersion showcases some of the most potent, provocative, and original voices in American arts today. DIRECT CURRENT takes place on March 5–19 at the Kennedy Center and beyond, extending throughout the District of Columbia through new partnerships with four key alternative venues, to expand the growing audience for contemporary culture in the nation’s capital.

Upcoming Events


Taylor Mac: A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Abridged)

Tue, Mar 6, 2018, 7:00 PM

The D.C. premiere of this live vocal and theatrical presentation offers a radical, queer reading of American history with fabulous entertainer Taylor Mac and local performers.

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DEMO by Damian Woetzel: Now

Wed, Mar 7, 2018, 7:30 PM

The former NYCB principal dancer curates and hosts an evening of recent commissions and D.C. premieres from some of today’s most creative voices in dance and music.

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National Symphony Orchestra: John Adams's The Gospel According to the Other Mary

Mar 8 - Mar 10, 2018

In celebration of John Adams's 70th birthday year, Gianandrea Noseda conducts Adams's expansive composition for chorus, soloists, and orchestra depicting Jesus's final weeks as told from the unique perspective of Mary Magdalene.

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DIY Junkestra: Instrument-Making Workshop

Fri, Mar 9, 2018, 7:00 PM

This Explore the Arts workshop gives participants an opportunity to build their own musical instruments.

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Philip Glass's 20 Etudes: A 5-Pianist Collaboration with Philip Glass, Jason Moran, Aaron Diehl, Devonté Hynes, and Jenny Lin

Fri, Mar 9, 2018, 8:00 PM

Contemporary classical piano meets jazz improvisation in this live musical performance featuring Glass in his eagerly awaited Kennedy Center debut, along with our Artistic Director of Jazz Jason Moran and three other pianists.

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KC Jazz Club: Myra Melford with Snowy Egret

Sat, Mar 10

American avant-garde jazz pianist and composer Myra Melford returns to the Kennedy Center with her quintet.

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Mason Bates's KC Jukebox: California Mystics

Sun, Mar 11, 2018, 7:30 PM

This journey in ambience, rhythm, and texture explores music by composers from California's past and present, using Bedouin-inspired tenting and pillows to transform our Atrium into an immersive and inviting environment. Standing room only.

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Julia Wolfe's Anthracite Fields

Tue, Mar 13, 2018, 7:30 PM

In this multimedia D.C. premiere, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and conductor Julian Wachner reprise their Grammy®-nominated account of Wolfe's Pulitzer Prize–winning oratorio recalling Pennsylvania's coal-mining past.

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Mason Bates's Mercury Soul

Thu, Mar 15, 2018, 7:30 PM

New music will meet electronica, projected visuals, and immersive stagecraft in this visceral "classical rave" featuring new music by some of today’s most talked-about composers. NOTE: This event takes place at the 9:30 Club in D.C. Tickets on sale on their website November 15.


Philip Glass's Koyaanisqatsi: Film & Music with the Philip Glass Ensemble

Fri, Mar 16, 2018, 8:00 PM

The legendary American composer's iconic multimedia collaboration with experimental filmmaker Godfrey Reggio receives its Kennedy Center premiere, with the Philip Glass Ensemble and The Washington Chorus performing the score live.

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The Colorado: A Documentary Film & Live Music Experience

Sun, Mar 18, 2018, 7:30 PM

The D.C. premiere of this groundbreaking music-driven eco-documentary from filmmaker Murat Eyuboglu features the score performed live by Grammy®-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth and others, with narration by Academy Award® winner Sir Mark Rylance.

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