The best things to do in the D.C. area the week of Sept. 1-7


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D.C. Jazz Festival: The second day of the festival brings in-person shows including guitarist Paul Bollenback, once a familiar face in D.C., who returns from New York for a gig at Takoma Station (6:30 p.m., $20), and at Arena Stage, the great Regina Carter performs songs from her new project “Gone in a Phrase of Air,” which explores the displacement and community trauma of urban renewal. The evening includes spoken word and visual art as well as music, and is followed by a post-concert discussion. General admission tickets are sold out, but VIP tickets remain (7 p.m., $79).

202 Kickoff Celebration at the Wharf: September has been dubbed “202Creates Month,” since it contains so many events highlighting D.C.’s creative class — including the D.C. Shorts film festival, the D.C. Walls mural festival, Art All Night and the jazz and go-go-driven NextFest. The official kickoff takes place at the Wharf, with musical performances including DJs Little Bacon Bear and Tezrah, Latin rhythms from the Joe Falero Band, hip-hop and R&B by Dorothy Milone, and one-woman band Margot McDonald. A concert on the District Pier is followed by a “pop-up lounge” on the roof of La Vie. 6 to 10 p.m. Free with RSVP.

10 Years of Echostage: September of 2012 feels like a different world at this point, but it was 10 years ago that Panorama Productions — the team responsible for D.C.’s trailblazing Club Glow dance parties — opened the doors to Echostage, a massive nightclub that could welcome the burgeoning EDM scene. In 2021, Echostage was voted the top club in the world in DJ Mag’s annual poll. In 2022, it’s time to celebrate. The 10 Years of Echostage series continues with two big events over Labor Day weekend. Legendary Dutch trance DJ Armin Van Buuren, who appeared at Glow as far back as 2003 — who remembers Club Insomnia? — headlines Thursday with support from Ruben de Ronde and Adam Scott, while Saturday is given over to French DJ and producer Madeon. Thursday and Saturday at 9 p.m. $45-$50. 18 and over.

Culture Caucus Summer Festival at the Kennedy Center: The Kennedy Center wraps up its free summer Culture Caucus offerings with a two-day festival curated by arts educator Rose Powhatan, a descendant of Virginia’s Pamunkey Tribe. Friday includes an Afro-Caribbean dance class from Soka Tribe and American-Caribbean fusion music by Brett Walking Eagle. Saturday brings a “Carnival on the Lawn” movement class; cabaret performances, including Native American flute and Scotch-Irish music; and a headlining performance by the Red Crook-ed Sky American Indian Dance Troupe and the Stoney Creek Singers. An arts market is held both days. Friday from 5 to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday from 2 to 8:30 p.m. Free.

‘Spaceballs’ at Congressional Cemetery: D.C.’s coolest cemetery wraps up its space-themed summer movie series with a screening of “Spaceballs,” Mel Brooks’s 1987 sendup of “Star Wars.” Bring a blanket and BYOB, and spread out among the tombstones for an atmosphere that’s unlike any other. Ticket prices are recommendations; all proceeds go toward preservation of the historic graves and grounds. 6:30 p.m. $10 adults, $5 children.

D.C. Jazz Festival: Friday’s headlining events — Dianne Reeves at Arena Stage and Matthew Shipp at the Eaton’s Wild Days — are sold out, but don’t overlook the Anacostia Jazz Hop, which brings free shows at multiple locations throughout the neighborhood, including the Big Chair and Sandlot Anacostia; and Music and Murals, a walking tour of historical sites and modern murals along U Street, once the epicenter of D.C.’s jazz scene (10 a.m. and 2 p.m., $40).

Traditional Teaware Class at Valley Brook Tea: For the past 4,000 years, the craft of tea making has retained its cultural relevance in China, and the practice is not without its rules. Yunhan Zhang, owner of Dupont Circle’s Valley Brook Tea, has made it his mission to educate the DMV about tea culture. The one-hour class will teach guests how to properly handle instruments like the Gaiwan, a traditional Chinese tea brewer, and feature a range of teas for testing, in the shop that handles growing the plants abroad and processing the tea in-house. 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. $45.

D.C. Festival of Magic at the Capital Hilton: For its second year, the D.C. Festival of Magic is bringing its tricks to the Capital Hilton for three nights of shows. Don’t fret if you miss one of the seven shows lined up this year — roaming bar-side magicians will roam the halls to enchant you up close. The festival is geared toward adults, so leave kids at home for all events except for Sunday’s family show. The hotel’s famed tiki bar, Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Pop-Up Lounge, returned to the lobby earlier this year, and drinks will be available before the shows. Shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Free to $100.

D.C. Jazz Festival at the Wharf: The D.C. Jazz Festival’s main event is two days of concerts at the Wharf, with performances and discussions across five stages on Saturday and four on Sunday. The format can get a little confusing: The outdoor performances on the District or Transit piers are free with RSVP, though premier tickets, which allow seats in front of the stages, and VIP tickets, which add access to a lounge, are available for purchase ($89-$199; premier tickets sold out for Saturday). Meanwhile, seeing the artists at Union Stage, including the international JazzPrix battle of the bands final on Saturday, requires separate tickets, as does “Hargrove,” the documentary about the final year of the great trumpet player Roy Hargrove’s life, which screens up Water Street at Arena Stage on Saturday morning. Various times and locations. See dcjazzfest.org for a complete schedule.

National Book Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center: After an all-virtual program in 2020 and a multiday mix of virtual and inperson events in 2021, the National Book Festival is back to its regularly scheduled programming at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on the first Saturday in September. The free festival’s main stage draws celebs turned authors like singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe, “Parks and Recreation” actor Nick Offerman and deaf activist Nyle DiMarco. More than 120 poets, writers, and authors of children’s and young adult books will be in the building for talks and book signings, including the likes of David Maraniss, Clint Smith, Jason Reynolds, Donna Barba Higuera and Jesmyn Ward. With so many choices, it’s worth spending some time reading through the full schedule of events. If you can’t make it in person, several of the stages will be live-streamed, and the Library of Congress plans to post videos of all talks after the festival. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free.

Craftivism Circle at the Anacostia Community Museum: Pick up a ball of yarn and head to the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum for a “Craftivism Circle” that combines discussion about social justice issues in D.C. with craft time dedicated to the likes of knitting, crocheting and needlepoint. The free workshop is led by “Crochet Kingpin” Dwayne Lawson-Brown. Experienced crafters can bring along their current projects, while beginners pick up supplies and a few tips. Sessions are limited to 50 participants, and if slots this weekend fill up, the event will be held in October and November, too. 2 to 4 p.m. Free; registration required.

Black Food and Wine Festival at Sandlot Anacostia: Last week, Soul Mega brewing hosted a festival featuring local Black-owned breweries. But if beer’s not your thing, it’s not too late to celebrate other Black-owned businesses in the food and drink industry. The D.C. Black Food and Wine Festival spotlights companies including Michael Lavelle Wines, founded by Howard University alumni, and Union Market’s soul-food favorite, Puddin’. DJs and live bands are prepped with ’90s and ’00s throwbacks for the Sandlot Anacostia event, and guests are invited to participate in wine tastings. 3 to 8:30 p.m. $45.

Virginia Highland Scottish Games at Great Meadow: Among the competitions at the 48th annual Virginia Scottish Games: Throwing a stone that weighs 22 to 28 pounds from a standing position; tossing 20-foot tree trunks end-over-end; and lifting a 56-pound weight over a bar with one hand. Not into feats of strength? There are contests for highland dancers, fiddlers, and pipe and drum bands, too. The festival celebrates all things Scottish, in honor of the families that settled in Appalachia. Explore tents full of music, a dance stage, Gaelic poetry readings, parades of Scottish dogs, whisky tastings, living history demonstrations, a British car show and much more. Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. $20 per day or $30 for the weekend for adults; Children ages 5 to 12 $5 on Saturday, free admission on Sunday. Children younger than 5 admitted free both days.

Harbor Music, Wine and Arts Festival Weekend at Gaylord National Resort: This two-day blowout at National Harbor starts with a bottomless Saturday brunch hosted by actor Larenz Tate and featuring a performance by local jazz musician Marcus Johnson. Saturday evening brings “The Art of Luxury All White Event” hosted by Tate and actor Morris Chestnut, featuring a performance by Doug E. Fresh, fireworks, live artists, and indoor and outdoor bars. On Sunday, there’s an afternoon wine tasting with art and live music, followed by a rooftop party at Pose Lounge. Times and admission prices vary; Pass for all four events $200.

Residents Nights at Flash: If you’re a regular at Flash’s dance parties, you may recognize names like Meegs and KayLaSoul — the DJs dropping deep house or funky beats to warm up the crowd before the headliners take to the booth. Flash’s Residents Nights turn the openers into the main attractions, giving them a chance to shine even more brightly. 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. $10-$20.

National Symphony Orchestra Labor Day Concert: For the first time since 2019, the National Symphony Orchestra marks the unofficial end of summer with a free concert on the U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn. The program, conducted by Steven Reineke, includes a mix of patriotic tunes (John Philip Sousa’s “Liberty Bell March,” an Armed Forces Medley) and standards (Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”). Singer Jimmie Herrod of the orchestral pop band Pink Martini joins the NSO for two mini-sets featuring vintage pop and musical songs, including “Tomorrow.” Gates open at 3 p.m., with a dress rehearsal at 3:30 p.m. Picnics and low camp chairs are welcome. Seating is first-come, first-served, and no tickets are required. See the U.S. Capitol Police website for details about entrances, street closures and prohibited items. 8 p.m. Free.

Glen Echo Labor Day Art Show and Social Dance Showcase: More than 200 artists from across the Mid-Atlantic region show and sell sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, paintings and photographs at this 51-year-old showcase, held in the park’s landmark Spanish Ballroom. On Sunday and Monday, the Bumper Car Pavillion hosts a Social Dance Showcase. Try waltzing, Lindy Hopping or tango, among other styles, to the sounds of live bands, with free beginner lessons. Art Show: Saturday through Monday, noon to 6 p.m. Dancing: Sunday from 2 to 10 p.m., Monday from 1 to 8 p.m. All events free.

Adams Morgan Pedestrian Zone: Rain partially washed out the August debut of Adams Morgan’s new Pedestrian Zone, which shuts the 18th Street strip to vehicular traffic one Sunday per month. Cross your fingers for nicer weather for the second edition, and look for pop-up yoga classes, roving entertainers and family activities in the middle of the pavement, while surrounding businesses draw visitors in with special events, such as a day party with DJs at Tiki on 18th. Noon to 10 p.m. 18th Street NW between Columbia and Kalorama roads. Free.

JAB/TALsounds/Lieven Martens/Alma Laprida at Rhizome: Looking for a chilled-out cooldown after a hot and hectic Labor Day weekend? Head to Rhizome for an evening of ambient music from around the world. Headliner JAB, a.k.a. John Also Bennett, adds flute improvisations to drone tones; liner notes say he tries to “create nice, strange, and thoughtful music that reflects a genuine inner vision of self.” As TALsounds, Natalie Chami explores synth and voice, while Belgium’s Lieven Martens mixes field recordings with electronic instrumentation. Alma Laprida, an Argentine musician based in Maryland, improvises on the marine trumpet, a medieval string instrument that sounds like a horn — a unique sight and sound, even at a beloved Takoma venue that favors the experimental. 7 p.m. $10-$25 sliding scale.

Angela Davis at Busboys and Poets: Andy Shallal’s progressive bookstore chain marks its 17th anniversary over two nights of discussion with political activist and author Angela Davis, whose seminal 1974 “An Autobiography” was rereleased earlier this year. On Tuesday, Davis visits the Busboys and Poets in Anacostia for a conversation with Alicia Garza, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter. Reserved seats are sold out; remaining seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, including seats on the patio, where the conversation will be played through speakers. A live stream will be available on the Busboys YouTube and Facebook pages. On Wednesday night, Davis is the guest of honor at the Columbia branch of Busboys, where she’ll be in discussion with fellow University of California at Santa Cruz scholar and author Gina Dent. CNN White House correspondent April Ryan is the moderator. Again, all reserved seats are sold out, but all others are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tuesday and Wednesday at 6 p.m.; Organizers suggest arriving before 5:30 for admission. Free.

Lobby Boy at DC9: Richmond-based six piece Lobby Boy began life as bandleader Chez Goodspeed’s GarageBand demos, before guitarist Alberto Sifuentes Jr. and drummer Eva Wilson signed on to bring the songs to life at a show at Crayola House, a long-running house venue in Harrisonburg, Va., where some band members were living. The band credits Harrisonburg’s vibrant DIY scene (the city also hosts the annual indie music festival Macrock) and reputation as “the Friendly City” as keys to their personal and musical development. Almost four years after its first show, the band has released its debut record “Pretty Songs / Pursuits of Personhood.” The eight-track effort is full of synth-kissed songs brimming with sweet, Auto-Tuned melodies and heart-on-sleeve earnestness. Along with serving as a lyric and as part of the title, the phrase “pursuits of personhood” captures the band’s modus operandi, as people and artists. Tuesday at 8 p.m. at DC9. $13-$15.

Interview: Lobby Boy and ‘the pursuits of personhood’

Perfect Liars Club at D.C. Comedy Loft: After a pandemic hiatus, storytelling show Perfect Liars Club returns to the D.C. Comedy Loft for monthly shows beginning in September. The premise is simple: Listen to four outrageous anecdotes from local comedians and storytellers, then interrogate the quartet in an attempt to figure out which tale is a total lie. Turns out Washingtonians are not very good at this; according to Perfect Liars Club’s hosts, crowds have had roughly an 18 percent success rate in sussing out the liar during the show’s nine-year run. 7 p.m. $15-$20, with a two-item minimum of food or beverage purchases per person.

Daddy Yankee at Capital One Arena: Puerto Rican star Daddy Yankee shocked the music world when he announced his retirement from music earlier this year, but after a 32-year career, no one can blame the King of Reggaeton for hanging up his microphone. After all, he coined the genre name a decade before its first global explosion, which he helped kick off with smashes like “Gasolina” and “Oye Mi Canto” (his crossover hit with Queens rapper N.O.R.E.), and then helped make the sound even more expansive, paving the way for another generation of superstars with collaborators J Balvin and Bad Bunny and breaking records with the inescapable “Despacito.” 8 p.m. $225-$995.



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