The Kennedy Center

Popular/World Music

Featured this season 2

Upcoming Events

National Symphony Orchestra: Labor Day Capitol Concert 2019

Sun, Sep 1, 2019

The National Symphony Orchestra led by Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke performs its annual free Labor Day weekend concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Sunday, Sep. 1, at 8 p.m. The concert features vocalists Mykal Kilgore and Nova Payton in a program of popular songs by R&B hitmakers including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, James Brown, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and others.

NSO Pops: Jim James—The Order of Nature: A Song Cycle

Wed, Sep 4, 2019

The eclectic frontman and founder of indie-rock band My Morning Jacket teams up with conductor Teddy Abrams for a special performance of their orchestral song cycle The Order of Nature featuring vocal chorus The Capital Hearings. The first half of the evening features Mason Bates performing his Warehouse Medicine from The B-Sides, Julia Wolfe’s Big Beautiful Dark and Scary, and Copland’s Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo.

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NSO at Wolf Trap: Jennifer Hudson

Thu, Sep 5, 2019

Showcasing her undeniable powerhouse pipes with the NSO, Grammy® and Oscar® winner Jennifer Hudson brings her signature soul sound to the stage. 
NOTE: Tickets for this performance are available through Wolf Trap only.

NSO Pops: Maxwell: A Night at the Symphony

Sep 18 – 21, 2019

The multi-Grammy® winner has artfully managed to transfix music lovers for more than two decades with songs ranging from “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)” and “Pretty Wings” to “Lake by the Ocean.” Maxwell redefined soul music with his acclaimed debut album Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, and this year releases the final installment of his blacksummers’NIGHT trilogy.
NOTE: Please see important details below about VIP Package merchandise and ticket pick-up.

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Celebration Concert Tours International presents Worship in Washington

Sun, Sep 29, 2019

Sandi Patty, TaRanda Greene, Travis Cottrell, and the 400-Voice American Festival Choir perform in a concert of spectacular Gospel and contemporary Christian music.

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Renée Fleming VOICES: Gavin Creel

Thu, Oct 3, 2019

Gavin made his Broadway debut originating the role of Jimmy Smith in Thoroughly Modern Millie, earning him his first Tony® nomination. He has since received a Tony Award® for his performance as Cornelius Hackl in Hello, Dolly! with Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce, and starred on Broadway as Jean-Michel in La Cage Aux Folles and Claude in Hair.

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Washington Performing Arts presents Pink Martini with special guest Meow Meow

Sun, Oct 13, 2019

Featuring a dozen musicians with songs in 25 languages, Pink Martini performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras all across the globe.

On Sale 8/26/2019

NSO Pops: Nat King Cole at 100

Oct 17 – 19, 2019

Celebrate the centennial of the late, great American music legend with a concert showcasing his seminal talents as a vocalist, pianist, and trailblazing icon. Conductor Michael Butterman leads the NSO and an all-star band in such timeless songs as “Unforgettable,” “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66,” “Mona Lisa,” “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” “Smile,” “L-O-V-E,” and more with a stellar cast of vocalists including Patti Austin, Freddy Cole, Dulé Hill, and BeBe Winans. Music direction by Grammy® Award-winning drummer, composer, and bandleader Terri Lyne Carrington.

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Pan American Symphony Orchestra presents Forever Piazzolla

Sun, Oct 20, 2019

The first orchestra in the nation to focus solely on Latin American music, the Pan American Symphony Orchestra brings the world’s great Latin American musicians, artists, and composers to the Terrace Theater stage for concert evenings of beautiful music, song, and dance .

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WORLD STAGES—The Manganiyar Seduction

Nov 1 – 2, 2019

Conceived and directed by Roysten Abel, The Manganiyar Seduction brings together more than 40 singers and instrumentalists from the Rajasthani deserts performing traditional Manganiyar music in an astonishing audio-visual feast.

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NSO Pops: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix™ in Concert

Nov 29 – Dec 1, 2019

Year Five begins! Between crushing on Cho Chang, studying for his O.W.L.s, and the ever-growing number of detentions from Professor Umbridge™, Harry Potter™ must find the time to discover the secret of his terrible nightmares. Experience the film in HD on a giant screen with composer Nicholas Hooper’s score played live by the NSO.

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Taylor Mac's Holiday Sauce

Thu, Dec 12, 2019

Christmas as calamity. Celebrating the holiday season in all of its dysfunction, Taylor Mac is joined by longtime collaborators designer Machine Dazzle, music director Matt Ray, and a band of eight to reframe the songs you love and the holidays you hate. 

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NSO Pops: A Holiday Pops! with Leslie Odom, Jr.

Dec 13 – 14, 2019

Our annual tradition, complete with Santa, the joyful voices of The Choral Arts Society of Washington, and even “snow!” Warm your spirit with fresh takes on comforting classics and sing-along favorites in the festively decorated Concert Hall. This year, we welcome Leslie Odom, Jr., whose 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™.

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Getty Music Presents Keith & Kristyn Getty and Friends: SING! An Irish Christmas

Sat, Dec 14, 2019

Come sing along with Keith and Kristyn and special guests for an evening that unites tradition and innovation in a vibrant celebration of the season!

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NSO Pops: Game ON!

Wed, Jan 8, 2020

Don’t miss this mesmerizing celebration of symphonic video game music in its world premiere! Game music legend Andy Brick conducts the NSO and The Washington Chorus in concert premieres from more than a dozen blockbuster video games combining unrivaled, world-class symphonic arrangements with stunning in-game HD videos and never-before-seen concept art.

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NSO Pops: Diana Ross

Jan 9 – 11, 2020

Legendary entertainer and Kennedy Center Honoree Diana Ross returns to perform hits from her remarkable career!

On Sale 9/12/2019

NSO Pops: Megan Hilty and Cheyenne Jackson

Feb 13 – 15, 2020

The two multi-talented stars of the stage, screen, and music charts join forces with conductor and notable actor Damon Gupton and the NSO over Valentine’s Day weekend to celebrate songs from Broadway, film, and the American Songbook.

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WORLD STAGES—The Clemency of Titus (with Havana Lyceum Orchestra)

Feb 13 – 15, 2020

After stand-out performances at the Kennedy Center’s Artes de Cuba festival in 2018, the multi-award-winning Havana Lyceum Orchestra and one of Latin America’s most cutting-edge theater directors Carlos Diaz join forces for a Cuban adaptation of Mozart’s opera La Clemenza di Tito.

On Sale 9/12/2019

Renée Fleming VOICES: Norm Lewis

Sat, Feb 29, 2020

Tony®-nominee Norm Lewis, recently seen in NBC's Emmy®-winning broadcast of “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!,” joins Renée Fleming VOICES for a spellbinding showcase of his remarkable talent and charisma. He's starred in Broadway's Porgy & BessThe Little Mermaid, Les Misérables, Chicago, Side Show, Miss Saigon, and The Who’s Tommy, and made history as the first African American Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera.  His television credits include The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Gotham, The Blacklist, and Blue Bloods, as well as his recurring role as Senator Edison Davis on the hit drama Scandal.

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NSO Pops: Disney•Pixar’s Up in Concert

May 1 – 2, 2020

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, this animated classic comes back to the big screen with the NSO playing Michael Giacchino’s Oscar®- and Grammy®-winning score live to the film. 

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Renée Fleming VOICES: Mariza

Mon, May 4, 2020

In less than twelve years, Mariza has risen from a local phenomenon to one of the most widely acclaimed stars of the International Music circuit, seducing audiences worldwide with her breathtaking voice, charismatic stage presence, and powerful blend of traditional and contemporary song forms. Mariza’s career now proceeded with even greater success than ever, with multi-platinum album releases, and appearances on some of the most important stages in the world.

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NSO Pops: Bernstein's On the Town in Concert

Jun 25 – 28, 2020

Don’t miss the NSO in a show-stopping, semi-staged version of Leonard Bernstein’s first Broadway musical hit! The story follows the adventures of three sailors on 24-hour shore leave during WWII and features classic numbers such as “New York, New York,” “Lonely Town,” and “Some Other Time.”