16 things to do in the D.C. area over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend – The Washington Post

Stretch and Bobbito and the M19s Band at the Kennedy Center: In the 1990s, there were few radio shows as influential as New York’s underground hip-hop program “The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show,” which helped introduce the world to Eminem, Jay-Z and the Fugees, among others. Now the DJs have teamed up with the M19s Band to produce their first album together, “No Requests.” The record, which drops in conjunction with a performance at the Kennedy Center’s the Club at Studio K, features Latin, Afrobeat, jazz and reggae reinterpretations of obscure dance songs alongside original compositions. 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. $20-$30.

Jeff Bradshaw and Friends featuring N’Dambi at City Winery: Back in the mid ’90s, Philadelphia-born trombonist Jeff Bradshaw became a part of the city’s music scene, alongside DJs like Jazzy Jeff and King Britt, songwriters Andre Harris and Vidal Davis, and Roots members Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter and James Poyser. As part of that crew, Bradshaw would make his mark on the neo-soul sound, working with such artists as Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and Musiq Soulchild. As a bandleader, Bradshaw keeps that collaborative style alive, mixing jazz, hip-hop and R&B, and on this date, he’ll be joined by N’Dambi, a singer who has sung background for Badu and Ariana Grande. 8 p.m. $35-$55.

Seu Jorge and Rogê at the Howard Theatre: Seu Jorge is perhaps best known for his role in Wes Anderson’s “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,” in which he covered David Bowie songs in Portuguese and on acoustic guitar; he’s even taken that act on the road. But the Brazilian talent is also an accomplished singer-songwriter and proponent of the country’s national style, samba. His latest record was a collaboration with countryman and longtime friend Rogê. With both on vocals and guitar, the pair recorded the album direct-to-disc, capturing the live magic of a handful of songs that have the same gentle melancholy as Jorge’s Bowie covers. 8 p.m. $45.

20th anniversary party at Cafe Citron: At a time when so many of the great turn-of-the-millennium bars are closing — Buffalo Billiards, the Front Page, the Clarendon Ballroom — it’s uplifting to see that Cafe Citron is celebrating 20 years in business. The Dupont Circle bar and club, known for its salsa parties, Latin American dance lessons, soccer viewing parties and mojito happy hours, marks its 20th birthday with an open bar from 8 to 9 p.m., a Brazilian samba show, free salsa lessons, and dancing until 3 a.m. on three levels. 8 p.m. Free.

Hopslam release at Midlands: The craft beer world is obsessed with hazy IPAs, fruity sours and stouts designed to taste like dessert, leaving some once-trendy beers reduced to afterthoughts. Hopslam, a limited-edition double IPA from Michigan’s Bell’s Brewery, was once so hyped that beer geeks followed delivery trucks to liquor stores to buy as much as possible. While the novelty has worn off, the liquid — malty, sweet with honey and massively dryhopped for grapefruit and floral notes — still has plenty of fans. Hopslam makes its 2020 D.C. debut at the Midlands, alongside five other Bell’s beers, including Vanilla Black Note, a chocolate stout aged in bourbon barrels with Madagascar vanilla beans. 4 p.m. Free admission, beers priced individually.

Saturday, Jan. 18

“Present Tense: DC Punk and DIY Right Now” opening at Transformer: Too many people talk about D.C.’s punk and hardcore scenes as if the music went quiet around the time Minor Threat broke up. (Recent documentaries about the music, while informative, haven’t gone past the ’90s.) But D.C. punk is still screaming and kicking, as this new solo exhibition by Farrah Skeiky proves. If you’ve been to a basement or church show in this past decade, you’ve probably seen Skeiky up front with her camera. Her photographs are the purest expression of punk: so raw and visceral you can feel the sweat coming off bodies and hear the frenetic riffs ripping from amplifiers. (Don’t be surprised if you find yourself writing down the names of bands to look up on Bandcamp later.) Skeiky is preparing for the release of her first photo book, “Present Tense: DC Punk and DIY Right Now,” by showing images of bands from the past six years, which opens Saturday with a DJ set by Ambrose Nzams and “plenty of seltzer” in homage to the Straight Edge scene. 6 to 8 p.m. Free.

“Let Freedom Sing” at THEARC: Many of the Rev. Martin Luther King. Jr.’s famous speeches were preceded by gospel music, sung by Mahalia Jackson and other great voices. It makes sense, then, that as King’s legacy is celebrated this weekend, the Howard Gospel Choir should be one of the highlights. The performance at THEARC mixes anthems of the Civil Rights movement with modern gospel sounds in a family-friendly program. 7 p.m. $15-$30.

Nah. at Pearl Street Warehouse: Stage fright afflicts plenty of musicians, even mononymous superstars like Rihanna, Adele and Lorde. Count Emelia Bleker, the vocalist for D.C.-based band Nah., among that lofty but beleaguered company. “I can very-barely open my eyes onstage,” she admits, adding with a laugh, “I have this conspiracy theory that if I open my eyes, I’ll go off key.” That phobia is part of what originally attracted Bleker to poetry, which she studied in college: the ability to self-analyze and create art without standing in front of people. But as she soldiers on in Nah., her poetic lyrics act as a sword and a shield. Occasionally, the lyrics sound like poems set to music, like the dreamy, spoken-word-and-guitar “Discography,” on the band’s debut album, “Teeth.” And sometimes, they are full-throated attacks, like on the album’s title track, which has a punk energy contrary to the album’s pop-rock melodies. 8 p.m. $12.

Love Town at Velvet Lounge: In the last months of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. led the Poor People’s Campaign, seeking economic justice for residents of American cities. On the weekend we celebrate King’s legacy, it’s appropriate that five veteran DJs are taking over Velvet Lounge’s upstairs concert space to raise money for Empower DC, a nonprofit that supports low-income D.C. residents. Expect nonstop dancing and partying to a mix of Afrobeat, house, disco, broken beat, old-school hip-hop and whatever other grooves DJs Stylus, Diaspora, Quartermaine, Martin Miguel and Trevski drop for the crowd. 9 p.m. $10.

Sunday, Jan. 19

Jazz and Freedom Festival at Eaton DC: For five years running, a festival organized by local trombone standout Shannon Gunn has gathered the District’s finest jazz musicians for a day of playing music for a cause. Gunn leads the Jazz and Freedom Octet to kick off performances, which will be interspersed with panel discussions on activism opportunities and poetry readings before an open-to-the-public jam session concludes the night. 3 to 11 p.m. $20 suggested donation.

Winterfest at Caboose Commons: Just in time for the return of snow and ice, Caboose Brewing’s Mosaic District outpost hosts Winterfest, a seasonal party where breweries (and a couple cideries) from the D.C. area and across Virginia join Caboose for a day of tastings. Participants include Richmond’s Vasen, Chincoteague’s Black Narrows and Silver Spring’s Denizens, and cidermakers Blue Bee, from Richmond, and Lost Boy, from Alexandria. In addition to drinks, there’s live music and the dog-centric Woofbowl food truck. The Local Hero Happy Hour invites teachers, nurses, doctors, police officers, active-duty military and other first responders for special drinks at 11 a.m., before the festival opens to the public. Noon to 7 p.m. Free.

Profs & Pints at Bier Baron Tavern: Whether you’re in the middle of dry January or continuing to imbibe in the fine alcoholic beverages available around the city, drinking is ingrained in the culture of this country. Why is that? One hundred years after the beginning of Prohibition, American University lecturer Matthew R. Pembleton joins the popular Profs & Pints series to discuss the rise of alcohol in America, and the multiple efforts to curb and ban its use. 3 p.m. $12-$15.

The Hip “Hop” Old-School Bar Crawl: Seven bars, 10 DJs, one holiday weekend. That’s the premise behind the annual Old-School Bar Crawl on U Street NW. Each venue is open for a three-hour window with a veteran local DJ: DJ Scientific plays records from “The Five Boroughs” of New York City from 4 to 7 at Ben’s Next Door, for example, while Cuzzin B drops a “California Love”-themed set at Cloak & Dagger from 5 to 8. (In previous years, some of the wildest scenes have been during the “Dirty South” tribute, which falls to DJ Cory T at Pure Lounge between 6 and 9.) The festivities are capped with local standouts Jahsonic, Deejay Casper and Harry Hotter going head-to-head at Lyve at U (the former Liv) from 8 to 11. You’re free to visit in the bars in any order, and wristbands guarantee happy hour specials during each DJ’s set. Get tickets in advance, though: Prices are $10 higher at the door. 3 to 11 p.m. $20-$30.

Monday, Jan. 20

Martin Luther King Jr. Day events at various locations: There’s no shortage of events around the District to commemorate the life of legendary civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser leads the annual peace walk and parade through Anacostia Park starting at 11 a.m. At the same time, in Silver Spring, AFI Silver hosts a free 50th-anniversary screening of “King: A Filmed Record … Montgomery to Memphis,” a compilation documentary of various highlights throughout King’s life, including his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. If you’re looking to spend a day off on the Mall, the National Park Service hosts 30-minute-long Park Ranger-led tours of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial at 2 and 6 p.m. The Kennedy Center’s annual “Let Freedom Ring!” concert is headlined by the acclaimed singer Chaka Khan. The concert begins at 6 p.m., and free tickets will be given out in the Hall of Nations at 4:30 p.m., with a limit of two tickets per person.

Chinese New Year at Tiger Fork: While the Lunar New Year doesn’t begin until Saturday, Blagden Alley’s Tiger Fork restaurant is ringing in the Year of the Rat with a week’s worth of food specials and flourishes to mark the occasion. Starting Monday, diners will be able to pick options off a special menu that includes traditional Cantonese dishes such as Emperor’s Dragon & Phoenix, which is a lobster alongside duck confit, and a pomelo almond custard. An all-day celebration on Saturday features special sweet and savory offerings, as well as a lion dance performance. Through Sunday. Prices vary.

— Hau Chu, Fritz Hahn, Rudi Greenberg and Chris Kelly

About the Author: kevinbishop

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