The Kennedy Center

Popular/World Music

Featured this season 2

Upcoming Events


NSO Pops: Pink Martini with China Forbes and Ari Shapiro

Oct 26 - Oct 28, 2017

With an eclectic, whimsical charm and a repertoire spanning from jazz to classical to retro pop, the self-described “little orchestra” with lead singer China Forbes and special guest Ari Shapiro returns for a highly anticipated reunion with the NSO.

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NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular

Sun, Oct 29

Creep into the Concert Hall for costumed classics at this frightfully fun concert featuring ghoulishly attired musicians. Arrive early for trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Age 5+

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Renée Fleming VOICES: Cynthia Erivo

Sat, Nov 4

The British actress known for her inspiring Tony-winning performance as Celie in the 2015 Broadway revival of The Color Purple showcases her powerhouse voice for two remarkable evenings.

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Vocal Arts DC presents: New York Festival of Song: The Passion of Leonard Bernstein

Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 2:00 PM

As part of the worldwide Leonard Bernstein at 100 celebration, New York Festival of Song offers a Leonard Bernstein extravaganza.

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The Isley Brothers

Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 8:00 PM

CONCERT RESCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 5, 2017: The Isley Brothers have basked in the forefront of popular music for nearly 50 years with dozens of #1 hits, countless awards, and an induction into The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. 

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Notes of Honor: NSO Salutes the Military: Veterans Day Concert

Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 7:00 PM

The National Symphony Orchestra, in collaboration with the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore, is proud to present a free concert in honor of all service members and their families.


Renée Fleming VOICES: Barbara Hannigan & Reinbert de Leeuw

Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 7:30 PM

Barbara Hannigan is a Canadian soprano and conductor, and one of the world's leading performers of contemporary opera. She is joined for a fantastic evening of music by prolific and respected Dutch conductor, pianist, and composer Reinbert de Leeuw.

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Mason Bates's KC Jukebox: Mouse on Mars

Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 7:30 PM

Renowned German electronica duo Mouse on Mars brings its visionary sound to the Kennedy Center in a visceral event combining live electronica and acoustic instruments. Widely acknowledged as the heirs to Kraftwerk, Mouse on Mars makes a rare D.C. appearance.

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NSO Pops: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ in Concert

Nov 24 - Nov 26, 2017

Relive the magic of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ in high definition on a giant screen while hearing the NSO perform John Williams’s unforgettable score live to picture. Age 5+

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Renée Fleming VOICES: Angélique Kidjo

Thu, Nov 30, 2017, 8:00 PM

Angélique Kidjo is a Beninese Grammy Award®winning singer-songwriter and activist, noted for her diverse musical influences and creativity. Time Magazine has called her "Africa's premier diva."

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Alfred Street Baptist Church presents: How Great Our Joy: A Christmas Celebration

Tue, Dec 5, 2017, 8:00 PM

The Music and Worship Arts Ministry of Alfred Street Baptist Church returns to the Concert Hall with How Great Our Joy, a dynamic presentation of the Christmas story told through music, dance, and drama.

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NSO Pops: A Holiday Pops! featuring Megan Hilty

Dec 8 - Dec 9, 2017

Dash through the snow to our merrily adorned Concert Hall and warm your spirit with fresh takes on comforting classics and sing-along carols in this annual NSO tradition, joined this year by Tony®-nominated stage and screen star Megan Hilty.

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Getty Music Presents: SING! An Irish Christmas

Wed, Dec 13, 2017, 8:00 PM

Keith and Kristyn Getty bring their touring Irish Christmas show back to the Kennedy Center in a program built around their Christmas church music catalog and their love for historic carols.
Please see Update Note below. 

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The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents: A Family Christmas

Sat, Dec 16, 2017, 1:00 PM

The young and the young at heart will revel in the joy of the season as holiday favorites ring throughout the Concert Hall. 

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The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents: Christmas with Choral Arts

Dec 17 - Dec 24, 2017

Choral Arts celebrates the joys of the season in a delightful program of popular holiday standards and seasonal Christmas classics.

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NSO Pops: Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration

Wed, Dec 20, 2017, 8:00 PM

Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration is a 25th anniversary concert celebration of the acclaimed album that reinterpreted Handel’s oratorio Messiah

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BEN FOLDS PRESENTS. Part of the National Symphony Orchestra's DECLASSIFIED concert series.

Fri, Jan 12, 2018, 9:00 PM

Ben Folds presents another in his special series of unique live concert experiences, produced by Folds, that feature artists from multiple genres sharing the spotlight with the NSO to perform their hits, as well as new music. Featured artists will be announced at a later date.

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NSO Pops: Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds

Jan 19 - Jan 20, 2018

11-time Grammy®-winning singer/songwriter/producer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds joins the NSO in a world-premiere orchestral collaboration over two unforgettable evenings.

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CPAA Productions Ltd. presents: Image China: Dragon Boat Racing

Feb 2 - Feb 4, 2018

Dragon Boat Racing, an award-winning Chinese dance-drama performed by the Guangdong Song and Dance Ensemble, tells the story of the creation of one of the most iconic and enduring pieces of Cantonese music.


Washington Performing Arts presents: Anderson & Roe Piano Duo

Sat, Feb 3, 2018, 2:00 PM

Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe are on a mission: to make classical music a relevant and powerful force in society. The Juilliard-trained duo have performed together since 2002, known for their inventive programs, which blend classical masterworks with contemporary and pop—along with their own arrangements—making them "the very model of complete 21st-century musicians" (The Washington Post).

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Pan American Symphony Orchestra presents: Fusion of the Americas: Jazz Meets Tango, with Chaise Lounge

Sun, Feb 4, 2018, 7:30 PM

The Pan American Symphony Orchestra together with Chaise Lounge performs some of Chaise Lounge's original compositions of swinging symphonic "lounge" jazz.

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

Sun, Feb 11, 2018, 7:00 PM

For more than 25 years, Washington Performing Arts’ 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: West Side Story in Concert

Feb 14 - Feb 17, 2018

NSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke leads three concert performances of Bernstein's cherished musical take on Romeo & Juliet. Soloists will be announced in the coming months.

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NSO Family Concert: Let's Remix the Classix!

Sun, Feb 18

Learn the language of music with a fresh twist as the NSO reunites with Grammy®-nominated beatboxer and multi-instrumentalist Christylez Bacon and wildly original electric cellist/composer Wytold for a crash course in the fundamentals of remixing! Age 5+

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Music Celebrations International presents: The Capital Orchestra Festival

Mon, Feb 19, 2018, 2:00 PM

MCI's Capital Orchestra Festival returns to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in 2018 with five outstanding American student orchestras.
Please see below for details on reserving free tickets for this event.


NSO Music for Young Audiences: Two Divas and a Bear

Mar 2 - Mar 4, 2018

Join NSO violinist Marissa Regni, soprano Kari Paludan, and everyone's favorite stuffed animal as they explore the human voice along with the voice of the violin! Age 3+

On Sale 11/15/2017


Music Celebrations International presents: John Philip Sousa Band Festival

Sun, Mar 4, 2018, 2:00 PM

MCI brings four select concert bands from across the United States to perform toe-tapping works by Jphn Philip Sousa.
Please see below for details on reserving free tickets for this event.


Renée Fleming VOICES: Laura and Linda Benanti: The Story Goes On

Fri, Mar 9, 2018, 7:30 PM

Join Tony Award® winner (and brand new mom) Laura Benanti and her mother Linda Benanti on a musical journey through the special relationship between a mother and daughter. 

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Mason Bates's KC Jukebox: California Mystics

Sun, Mar 11, 2018, 7:30 PM

A journey in ambience, rhythm, and texture featuring composers from California's past and present. Using Bedouin-inspired tenting and pillows, the Atrium will be transformed into an immersive and inviting environment to explore works by Lou Harrison, Steve Reich, Nathaniel Stookey, and Mason Bates.

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Julia Wolfe's Anthracite Fields: Bang on a Can All-Stars, Choir of Trinity Wall Street & Julian Wachner, conductor

Tue, Mar 13, 2018, 7:30 PM

The Bang on a Can All-Stars, Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and conductor Julian Wachner present the multimedia D.C. premiere of Anthracite Fields--reprising their Grammy-nominated account of American composer Julia Wolfe's Pulitzer Prize–winning oratorio, in which historic photo-montages help recall Pennsylvania's coal-mining past.

On Sale 11/15/2017


Mason Bates's KC Jukebox: Mercury Soul

Thu, Mar 15, 2018, 7:30 PM

After a successful sold-out engagement in 2016, Mason Bates's signature event, Mercury Soul, returns to Washington for another custom blend of live electronica, classical music, DJing, and visual art, creating a cutting-edge, immersive dance club within the Kennedy Center.


Renée Fleming VOICES: Ute Lemper's Paris Days, Berlin Nights

Fri, Mar 16, 2018, 8:00 PM

The German singer and actress renowned for her interpretations of the work of Kurt Weill performs a collection of songs that journey through Europe and Argentina, featuring the Vogler Quartet.

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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.

On Sale 11/15/2017


NSO Pops: Black Violin

Wed, Apr 4, 2018, 8:00 PM

Violinist Kevin Sylvester (“Kev Marcus”) and violist Wilner Baptiste (“Wil B”) join the NSO to showcase their dynamic music style bridging Hip Hop beats and lyrical melodies with classical instrumentation and searing technique. Age 5+

On Sale 11/15/2017



Pan American Symphony Orchestra presents: Tango Impressions

Sat, Apr 14, 2018, 7:30 PM

The Pan American Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Sergio Alessandro Buslje, brings the passion and intimacy of Argentine tango to the Terrace Theater.

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NSO Music for Young Audiences: The String Thing

Apr 16 - Apr 30, 2018

A “silent” comedic tag-team—bassist Paul DeNola and violinist Heather LeDoux Green—takes a break from the NSO to introduce young audiences to some of the greatest music ever written in a hilarious program of music and mayhem. Age 3+

On Sale 11/15/2017


Washington Performing Arts presents: Chris Botti

Sun, Apr 22, 2018, 7:00 PM

Beloved by millions of fans worldwide, trumpeter Chris Botti is famed for a sophisticated sound ranging from enchanting ballads to serious grooves.

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JFK Jukebox: In Homage to JFK’s Legacy in Civil Rights

Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 7:30 PM

In celebration of President Kennedy, KC Jukebox presents an evening of music informed by the Civil Rights movement, from Carlos Simon's An Elegy: Cry From the Grave, to a special performance by David T. Little's band, Newspeak, to Ted Hearne's moving The Answer to the Question that Wings Ask.

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NSO Family Concert: Young People's Concert with Ben Folds

Sun, Apr 29

In the spirit of a concert series made popular by Leonard Bernstein at Carnegie Hall, new NSO Artistic Advisor Ben Folds hosts this enlightening music-filled performance for children and families, with special guests to be announced. 

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NSO Music for Young Audiences: Brass of Peace

May 18 - May 19, 2018

Comprised of 13 D.C.-area high school students, one of the city’s finest young brass ensembles joins retired NSO hornist Sylvia Alimena to teach audiences all about how this family of instruments makes music out of metal and wind. Age 3+

On Sale 11/15/2017


Music Celebrations International presents: National Memorial Day Choral Festival 2018

Sun, May 27, 2018, 3:00 PM

MCI partners with The United States Air Force and the American Veterans Center to present the 10th Annual Memorial Day Choral Festival.
Please see below for details on reserving free tickets for this event.


NSO Pops: Space, the Next Frontier 

Jun 1 - Jun 2, 2018

Explore the sights and sounds of deep space and the music, art, and fiction that it has inspired as the NSO and NASA present a celebration of science fact and fiction in honor of NASA’s 60th anniversary.

On Sale 11/15/2017


NSO Pops: Audra McDonald

Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 8:00 PM

As beloved on Broadway and opera stages as she is in her roles in film and on television, iconic singer and actress Audra McDonald joins the NSO for an exquisite selection of her favorite music.

On Sale 11/15/2017


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.

On Sale 11/15/2017


NSO Pops: A Night of Jazz with Gregory Porter

Wed, Jun 27, 2018, 8:00 PM

An artist whose music is at once timeless yet utterly of its time, Gregory Porter returns for an exciting evening of jazz.

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BEN FOLDS PRESENTS. Part of the National Symphony Orchestra's DECLASSIFIED concert series.

Fri, Jun 29, 2018, 9:00 PM

Ben Folds presents another in his special series of unique live concert experiences, produced by Folds, that feature artists from multiple genres sharing the spotlight with the NSO to perform their hits, as well as new music. Featured artists will be announced at a later date.

Buy Tickets