The Kennedy Center

Popular/World Music

Featured this season 2

Upcoming Events

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

Dec 18 - 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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New Year's Eve at the Kennedy Center: Thee Phantom and The Illharmonic Orchestra

Sun, Dec 31, 2017, 8:30 PM

He’s part B-Boy, part Beethoven! Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Hip Hop visionary Thee Phantom as his genre-busting ensemble combines the energy and passion of Hip Hop with the beautiful, sweeping sounds of live orchestration.

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New Year's Eve Grand Foyer Party featuring Vintage#18 and Mark G. Meadows & The Movement

Sun, Dec 31, 2017, 10:00 PM

Welcome 2018 with music and dancing from two local bands known for their high-energy mixes of jazz, soul, R&B, and blues. Commemorate the night with social photo booths, champagne and other drinks for purchase, and a big balloon countdown to midnight. Read more for free admission details. 

DECLASSIFIED: BEN FOLDS PRESENTS featuring Sara Bareilles and Caroline Shaw with the National Symphony Orchestra

Fri, Jan 12, 2018, 9:00 PM

Ben Folds presents the second in his special LIVE concert series, featuring performances by Grammy-nominated pop singer-songwriter and Broadway musical composer Sara Bareilles and Pulitzer prize-winning composer and singer Caroline Shaw with the NSO. Each artist will perform several songs with the orchestra, which will include their hits as well as new music. Folds will host, with Edwin Outwater conducting.

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NSO Pops: Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds

Jan 19 - Jan 20, 2018

In his first-ever collaboration with a full orchestra, the 11-time Grammy® winner and 2017 inductee into the Songwriters Hall of Fame joins the NSO to perform some of his greatest R&B and pop hits as a prolific singer, songwriter, and producer. 

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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.

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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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For Lovers Only: Alice Smith & Bilal

Sat, Feb 10, 2018, 8:00 PM

Four-octave singer/songwriter Alice Smith and Grammy®-winning vocalist Bilal offer a "double bill" pre-Valentine's Day concert featuring individual sets by each artist. 

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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

Celebrate Leonard Bernstein's cherished musical take on Romeo & Juliet in a lightly staged NSO concert performance featuring a cast of Broadway favorites including Corey Cott as Tony, Solea Pfeiffer as Maria, Ana Villafañe as Anita, Ephraim Sykes as Riff, and Joel Perez as Bernardo. 

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

Sun, Feb 18, 2018, 4:00 PM

The Pan American Symphony Orchestra together with Chaise Lounge performs some of Chaise Lounge's original compositions of swinging symphonic "lounge" jazz.
Patron Note: This event, previously scheduled for Sun., Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m., has been re-scheduled to Sun., Feb. 18 at 4 p.m.

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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+

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Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers

Sat, Mar 3, 2018, 8:00 PM

Celebrating the 80th birth year of legendary R&B singer/songwriter Bill Withers, Blue Note recording artist José James explores Withers's deep musical catalog from "Ain't No Sunshine" to "Just the Two of Us."


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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

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.

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.

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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+

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Falun Dafa Association of D.C. presents: Shen Yun

Apr 10 - Apr 15, 2018

Shen Yun's unique artistic vision expands theatrical experience into a multi-dimensional, inspiring journey through one of humanity’s greatest treasures—the five millennia of traditional Chinese culture.

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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+

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World Projects Corporation presents: Washington, D.C. International Music Festival 2018

Tue, Apr 17, 2018, 8:30 PM

World Projects Corporation brings its 2018 Washington, D.C. International Music Festival back to the Concert Hall stage.

On Sale 2/1/2018

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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Meshell Ndegeocello

Thu, Apr 26

The visionary vocalist and bassist returns with music from her new album Ventriloquism, an imaginative recording of covers that redefines the musical experience.

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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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Aymée Nuviola with special guest Dr. Ed Calle (part of Artes de Cuba)

Sun, May 13, 2018, 7:30 PM

The Grammy®-nominated multi-genre artist will present her uptempo Cuban timba dance and delicately crafted ballads in a collaborative performance with 2015 Latin Grammy® winner Dr. Ed Calle, one of the most recorded saxophonists in history with almost 9,000 singles. 

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Haydée Milanés & Trio with guest artist Pablo Milanés (part of Artes de Cuba)

Wed, May 16, 2018, 8:00 PM

With a style described as shy, sultry, and jazzy, singer / pianist Haydée Milanés is an influential part of the Cuban fusion scene. Widely known as “Pablito,” her singer / songwriter / guitarist father is one of the founders of the Cuban nueva trova.

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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+

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Los Van Van (part of Artes de Cuba)

Sat, May 19, 2018, 8:00 PM

One of the most recognized musical groups in Cuba today. these Latin Grammy® winners are known for their fusion of son montuno, rumba, funk, disco, Hip Hop, salsa, North American pop, and more.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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