The Kennedy Center

The Club at Studio K

Featured this season 2

Upcoming Events

Jazzmeia Horn

Sat, Jan 18, 2020

After graduating from the Kennedy Center’s Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program in 2013, Jazzmeia Horn went on to win first prize at the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Vocal Jazz Competition and the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Award. But her star-making performance of “Moanin’” at the 2018 Grammy Awards® (where her debut release received a Best Jazz Vocal Album nomination), let the rest of the world know just who she is. Don’t miss her anticipated return—this old-school soul is the future of jazz!

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Elijah Jamal Balbed Quintet: The Karma Suite

Thu, Jan 23, 2020

Award-winning saxophonist, educator, Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead graduate, and Washington, D.C. native Elijah Jamal Balbed is best known as a performing musician around town, having played with the likes of Cyrus Chestnut, Lalah Hathaway, Eric Benet, Dr. John, and the late, great Chuck Brown. He’s also deeply rooted into D.C.'s indigenous genre—Go-Go. Join Balbed and his quintet for an evening of music from their newest album, The Karma Suite.

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Hip Hop Karaoke

Fri, Jan 24, 2020

You know your favorite track. You can spit its bars in your sleep....but can you take it to the stage? Be part of the event that Washington City Paper named Best Hip Hop Night two years in a row.

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Kassa Overall's "Blue Swamini" featuring Carmen Lundy

Sat, Jan 25, 2020

Coming off a long run DJing with Jon Batiste and the house band on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, New York–based drummer, rapper, producer, and all-around Renaissance man Kassa Overall is making the switch to full-time front-man. His genre-bending new project “Blue Swamini” pays tribute to the late, great Alice Coltrane, channeling her spirituality through African American blues. Kennedy Center favorite Carmen Lundy joins the program, demonstrating why the Evening Standard declares, “In a world of pretenders, Carmen Lundy is a genuine jazz singer.”

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Mason Bates's KC Jukebox: Juan Atkins, Godfather of Techno

Thu, Jan 30, 2020

Detroit techno fuses with contemporary sounds in an immersive, designed space, featuring performances by Grammy®-nominated ensemble Inscape.

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The Time Machine Roast

Fri, Jan 31, 2020

Inspired by the line-crossing energy of comedy roasts, The Time Machine Roast hurls its hilarious flaming arrows at history. Nationally touring comedians get into character and costume for the meanest, funniest, most historically accurate jokes you've ever heard.

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Broccoli City Festival Preview

Sat, Feb 1, 2020

Broccoli City Festival partners with the Kennedy Center to take over the Club at Studio K for a night of music, art, and culture. Join BC founders and the BCF community as they provide a sneak peek of Broccoli City Festival 2020.

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Linda May Han Oh, Aventurine

Thu, Feb 6, 2020

Linda May Han Oh’s critically-acclaimed recent album, Aventurine, fuses left-field jazz, string quartet, and choir. Its genius recently moved an NPR critic to write, “Beyond her authority and dynamic presence as a bassist, Oh has become a first-rate bandleader and composer.” A supreme supporter of the jazz community, she’s racked up impressive credits collaborating with artists like Pat Metheny, Vijay Iyer, Dave Douglas, the late Geri Allen, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Time and time again, this young Australian powerhouse proves why her talent is so sought after.

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ill Camille

Fri, Feb 7, 2020

After her stellar appearance at the REACH Opening Festival’s Hip Hop Block Party, West Coast emcee ill Camille returns for an intimate performance in Studio K. With her transparency, cleverly constructed rhyme style, rhythm, and choice of subject matter, ill Camille is celebrated by the mainstream and underground alike.

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Chris Distefano

Sat, Feb 8, 2020

New York-based actor and comedian Chris Distefano is a star on the rise. With much-praised standup specials, a beloved history and comedy podcast, and a popular TV series, Chris has become a favorite with audiences and industry insiders alike.

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Bilal: Valentine's Day Residency

Feb 13 – 14, 2020

With an eclectic and energetic style that draws from gospel, jazz, soul, blues, and Hip Hop, Grammy®-winning vocalist Bilal returns to the Kennedy Center for a two-day Valentine’s Day residency. From his 2001 major label debut First Born Second to his 2015 release In Another Life, Bilal has proven to be one of music’s most dynamic artists.

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Baby Wants Candy: Historical Hip Hop Edition

Thu, Feb 20, 2020

Join the amazing group of improvisers from Baby Wants Candy as they create an epic Hip Hop musical based on a historical figure of your choosing.

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The Black Version

Fri, Feb 21, 2020

This incredibly funny and groundbreaking show begins when the director asks the audience to suggest a popular film title and then the cast, right there on the spot, improvises the “black version” of that film complete with its improvised soundtrack, dance numbers, DVD extras, audition reels, and much more. 

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Wild Horses

Sat, Feb 22, 2020

Wild Horses is a longform improv team made up of four best friends: Stephanie Allynne (Amazon's One Mississippi), Mary Holland (Starz's Blunt Talk), Lauren Lapkus (Orange is the New Black, Jurassic World), and Erin Whitehead (HBO's Animals).

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Mason Bates's KC Jukebox: Ekhodom and Mason Bates

Thu, Feb 27, 2020

Thievery Corporation's Eric Hilton and Gianmaria Conti offer their visonary Ekhodom in an immersive, designed space, with DJing and new music by Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates.

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Story District's Funnier Than Fiction

Fri, Feb 28, 2020

DC's storytelling pros bring their best and funniest stories to the stage about real situations that are so ridiculous, you just have to laugh.

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Jason Palmer, “Upward”

Sat, Feb 29, 2020

In 2018, trumpeter/educator/composer Jason Palmer and pianist/composer Kevin Harris interviewed a very special group of Boston mothers who had lost their children to gun violence. “Upward” their new multimedia presentation in which musicians transcribe tones and melodic flow to these courageous women’s words and stories, with the intent of honoring and celebrating the legacy of their loved ones in addition to bringing awareness to the need to end such acts in our community.

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BGR!Fest Secret Shows

Mar 5 – 7, 2020

BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Fest™ is a multi-day immersive live experience that celebrates, empowers, and elevates women and girls of color. Inspired by the popular BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ Awards, BGR! FEST™ brings renowned women musicians, thought-leaders, and creative innovators to the DMV during International Women’s Day Weekend.

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jaimie branch's Fly or Die (part of DIRECT CURRENT)

Wed, Mar 11, 2020

Rolling Stone says jaimie branch sounds like “Art Ensemble of Chicago jamming at an art-punk loft.” For more than a decade, the Brooklyn–based trumpeter/composer has joined diverse acts like William Parker, Spoon, TV on the Radio, and Bell Orchestre, always down to play with anyone from jazz masters to doom metal bands. Now, she’s touring with music from her critically acclaimed sophomore album FLY or DIE II: bird dogs of paradise, a sharply focused work that’s “highly sensitive, a bit stormy, and completely brilliant” (Free Jazz Collective).

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Jazz Doodle Jam! Jason Moran & Bandwagon + Mo Willems

Mar 13 – 14, 2020

Jazz Doodle Jam! is an intimate jazz concert where you collaborate with the band! Sit down at a table covered with paper, grab a marker or crayon, and join host Mo Willems for a new kind of participatory musical experience. Kids and grown-ups doodle to music played onstage by Jason Moran and The Bandwagon. The band reacts and improvises to the audience’s explorations, jamming together with pictures and music, blurring the lines between artists and audience. All ages welcome!

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Camila Meza and the Nectar Orchestra (part of DIRECT CURRENT)

Sat, Mar 14, 2020

Arriving on the New York jazz scene in 2009 from her native Chile, singer/guitarist Camila Meza made a name for herself immediately, delivering what the New York Times describes as “an appealing combination of lightness and depth to all material... Her improvising, on electric or acoustic guitar, is serious business.” Drawing inspiration from American jazz, Latin American music, and popular songs across decade and genre, Meza wows audiences with her rare combination of talents: fantastic singing, complex guitar work, and vivid musical storytelling. She’ll be performing music from her newest recording, Ámbar.

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The Amours

Thu, Mar 19, 2020

With a “hope to make everybody fall for substance again,” Washington, D.C. sister duo Jakiya Ayanna and Shaina Aisha immediately enchant every time they step up to a microphone as The Amours. Inspired by Mary Mary, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Clark Sisters, and Men of Standard, The Amours spent two years on the road with Grammy® Award-winning artist PJ Morton. Bringing their signature soulful sound to life on Morton Records, the duo’s debut single “All The Time” received critical acclaim by Okayplayer and YouKnowIGotSoul.

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Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

Mar 20 – 21, 2020

Two-time Edison Award-winning and Grammy®-nominated trumpeter, composer, and producer Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah takes us on a sonic journey, creating a bridge to liberation and freedom with some of music’s most daring musicians and improvisers.

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Mason Bates's KC Jukebox: Jeremy Kittle's Whorls with Joshua Roman and the Verona Quartet

Thu, Mar 26, 2020

Jeremy Kittel offers his melting pot of classical and folk music in an immersive, designed space, featuring performances from Joshua Roman and the Verona Quartet.

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Fri, Mar 27, 2020

Mortified is a comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories, and more) as shared by their original authors in front of total strangers. 

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Made in Puerto Rico

Apr 2 – 3, 2020

Made in Puerto Rico is a show about family, music, and cultural identity starring former attorney-turned-comedian Elizardi ("Eli") Castro.  

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Clarence Penn, Penn Station

Thu, Apr 9, 2020

Since beginning his professional career at 15, versatile drum master Clarence Penn has toured, performed, and recorded with a diverse who's who, including Roberta Flack, Dizzy Gillespie, Dianne Reeves, Wyclef Jean, Ellis and Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter, and Cyrus Chestnut. Witness his technical mastery and interpretation of classical, hard-bop, funk, experimental, and jazz styles.

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Kevin Ross

Fri, Apr 10, 2020

Known for his soul-drenched, buttery, smooth vocals, Washington D.C. native Kevin Ross is a multifaceted singer, songwriter, and producer who has toured with R&B/Soul artist Maxwell and written for artists like Jaime Foxx.

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The Second City & Kennedy Center's Jazz Comedy Experiment

Apr 16 – 18, 2020

Join us along with Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran for a true experience in creative expression across the worlds of music and comedy.

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Mason Bates's KC Jukebox: Michael Abels and Rob Garza

Thu, Apr 23, 2020

Thivery Corporation's Rob Garza combines psychedelic electronica with a string octet in an immersive, designed space. Plus, music from composer Michael Abels of the Academy Award®–winning film Get Out.

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Washington Improv Theater's iMusical

Fri, Apr 24, 2020

iMusical joins the unpredictable playfulness of comedic improvisation with the emotional power of musical theater.

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Jason Moran's Fats Waller Dance Party

Sat, Apr 25, 2020

Nearly 90 years ago, jazz music was party music. Jazz got people moving, whether played uptown or downtown in Depression-era juke joints across the country. The legendary Fats Waller—and his ability to get everyone on the dance floor—helped make the movement happen. Jason Moran keeps Waller’s life-of-the-party spirit alive in this multimedia/dance party event, reimagining the Harlem pianist’s hits as Afrobeat, funk, house music, and more modern grooves.

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