Category Archives: Music

National Symphony Orchestra’s ‘NSO In Your Neighborhood’ Program Coming To Brookland Area Venues

We thought neighbors would be excited to hear that free world class NSO performances are coming to our neighborhood in the new year. From the program’s website:

NSO In Your Neighborhood is an initiative that provides free performances and educational activities by the National Symphony Orchestra in neighborhoods throughout the Washington DC area.

Here is a rundown of the events in our area. All of these concerts are free to the public with first-come, first-served seating (though note: some may require RSVP, as indicted below). For more information, check the NSO in your Neighborhood schedule here.

  • WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2018 7:00 p.m.
    Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America,1400 Quincy St., NE. NSO members Marissa Regni, violin; Rachel Young, cello; Paul Cigan, clarinet; and Lisa Emenheiser, piano perform an evening chamber music. Free and open to the public.
  • THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2018 6:30 p.m.
    Woodridge Neighborhood Library, 1801 Hamlin St., NE
    This 60-minute chamber performance takes place in the library’s Rotunda. Local musicians Brittney Allen (flute) and Herman Burney (cello and bass) are joined by NSO musicians Deanna Lee Bien and Claudia Chudacoff (violins); Eric deWaardt (viola); and Eugena Chang (cello). Free and open to the public.
  • FRIDAY, JANUARY 5, 2018 8:00 p.m.
    Israel Manor, Inc., 1251 Saratoga Ave., NE
    This 60-minute performance will take place in the church’s Capitol City Hall of Distinction and features NSO musicians Lisa-Beth Lambert, violin; Jennifer Mondie, viola; Eugena Chang, cello; and Nicholas Stovall, oboe. Free and open to the public.
  • FRIDAY, JANUARY 5, 2018 8:00 p.m.
    Smith Public Trust, 3514 12th St NE
    This 60-minute performance will be shared by NSO violinist Glenn Donnellan and a local hip-hop artist. Free and open to the public.
  • SATURDAY, JANUARY 6, 2018 11:30 a.m.
    Woodridge Neighborhood Library, 1801 Hamlin St., NE
    NSO musicians Heather LeDoux Green (violin) and Paul DeNola (bass) give a performance for families.
  • SUNDAY, JANUARY 7, 2018 6:00 p.m.
    Busboys and Poets, 625 Monroe St., NE
    NSO musicians and friends Ricardo Cyncynates and Jae-Yeon Kim, violins; Tsuna Sakamoto, viola; Eugena Chang, cello; and Claire Eichhorn, clarinet — will collaborate with local poets for this 2-hour performance. Free and open to the public.
  • SUNDAY, JANUARY 7, 2018 6:30 p.m.
    Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception,
    400 Michigan Ave., NE
    An hour long concert of chamber music by members of the NSO horn section— Abel Pereira, Robert Rearden, James Nickel, and Markus Osterlund, horn, and pianist Lisa Emenheiser — will be performed in the Crypt Church. Free and open to the public.
  • MONDAY, JANUARY 8, 2018 7:00 p.m.
    Dance Place, 3225 8th St., NE
    This hour-long chamber music concert by an NSO string quartet — Jane Bowyer Stewart, violin; Susan Midkiff, violin; Denise Wilkinson, viola; and Kerry van Laanen, cello — will be performed in Dance Place’s Black Box Theatre. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required at

Sistine Chapel Choir To Perform At The Basilica This September

We are posting this a little early since we assume this will be a well attended event, so you may want to make your plans now. On Wednesday, September 20  the Sistine Chapel Choir will perform at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at 6:00 p.m. From the event page:

For the first time in more than three decades, the Sistine Chapel Choir returns to the U.S. to perform.

This highly-accomplished group of 30 boys and 22 men sings for the Holy Father’s liturgies under the direction of Maestro Massimo Palomba. Officially called the Cappella Musicale Pontifica Sistina and affectionately known as the “Pope’s Choir,” this group is considered the most prominent and oldest choir in the world, dating back to the seventh century.

While this special event is free and open to the public, we encourage you to consider sponsorship opportunities. Become a part of the Papal Choir’s historic visit to the capital of the U.S.

There is more information about sponsorship levels on the event page. The Basilica is located at 400 Michigan Ave NE.

DC Punk Archive Rooftop Show At Woodridge Library This Wednesday

We thought music loving neighbors would be interested in this upcoming event showcasing DC Public Library’s DC Punk Archive collection. From the event page:

The DC Punk Archive is taking it to the roof this summer for a series of concerts outside on the 3rd floor terrace at Woodridge! Join us for a night of local music overlooking Langdon Park and learn more about the DC Punk Archive collection.

Woodridge Library is located at 1801 Hamlin Street NE.

All That Jazz at Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society

Outdoor murals set the scene for the cool vibes inside.

Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society, which has its second anniversary this month, certainly isn’t shy about the music it celebrates.

Right from the street, striking murals of jazz musicians lead you toward an unassuming front door. Step through that portal on a typical Wednesday or Sunday evening, and you’ll find yourself in one of Brookland’s coolest little haunts.

Inside, rustic brick and plaster walls are decorated with photographs of jazz musicians, framed prints of jazz-themed artwork, and African masks and artifacts. A collection of tables and chairs line up in front of the main stage, where from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., local and visiting musicians play everything from Cuban jazz to blues to neo-soul.

JACS celebrates jazz musicians of all generations.

Visit midway through a set, as I did several times recently, and you’ll be pleasantly shocked by the blast of trumpet, the cool tinkling of piano keys, the heartbeat thrum of a guitar, the rumble of drums. It’s a unique sensation all the more precious for being right in our own backyard.

While the ambiance is leisurely, it should be noted this isn’t the kind of jazz you zone out too. There’s nothing smooth or quiet about the music here at Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society. This is jazz that holds your heart in its palms, that excites you, that moves you. It’s impulsive, scattered, free-form.

Artistic director DeAndrey Howard has another, simpler way of putting it. His first words at the start of a recent show say it all: “Jazz, jazz, jazz.”

Jazz, and its historical roots, are everywhere you look.

The brainchild of Howard and Dr. Alice Jameson, Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society, a 501(c) nonprofit organization, is about more than just great jazz performances. It’s also about jazz education, about sharing the music with different generations of listeners and performers. During two shows I attended, the room was filled with people of all ages and backgrounds, some alone, some in groups, everyone looking straight up at the stage in the dim lights, marveling at these cats working their musical magic.

During breaks in the sets, people chat with one another or with musicians. There’s also time for guests to grab a meal from a local caterer serving dinners on-site. Non-alcoholic beverages and snacks are available throughout the evening.

In addition to serving as a cultural center for jazz, JACS also hosts other events, including lectures, spoken word performances, and writer’s groups. The building itself is available to rent for parties and special events.

A spoken-word performance piece celebrating the spirit of jazz

Coltrane. Ellington. Davis. Titans of jazz music, all of them. And all of them resurrected – along with other voices just waiting to be discovered – twice a week at Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society.

So the next time you pass by those vibrant jazz murals on 12th Street between Franklin and Girard and you hear that cymbal crash or trumpet call, do yourself a favor: Go inside and listen closer.

Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society is located at 2813 12th Street NE. Open on Wednesdays and Fridays. For a list of upcoming performances, visit Cover charge is $5.00 (some events are free).

Meet Force of Habit, A Band Led By Nuns At Catholic University

This story came out a while ago, but we thought readers who missed it would enjoy this lighthearted article from the Washington Post about Force of Habit, a band led by nuns who live and study at Catholic University. Along with religious music the band plays jazz standards. Here is a clip.

From the article:

The sisters, and those who know them, note that the band is part of a larger mission — to be a presence on the campus, connect with other students, and share and demonstrate their faith. It also serves as a reminder of what makes Catholic, the Vatican’s university in the United States, unique.

You can check out another video of a Force of Habit performance here.

Bring Your Vinyl To Saturday’s Farmers Market For Neighborhood Record Day

We thought music loving neighbors would be interested in Neighborhood Record Day coming to this Saturday’s farmer’s market at the Arts Walk. From their Facebook post:

Have some old (or new!) LPs lying around the house? Bring your favorites out to market this weekend – we’ll have a turntable and speakers set up to keep the tunes goin’. If you want to bring out more of the collection – this is a swap too!

Smith Public Trust’s ‘Brookland Zoo’ Event Combines Local Brew And Hip Hop

We thought Brookland beer and music lovers would be interested in this event which combines the two, Thursday March 9th from 7 – 11pm at Smith Public Trust. Entry to the event, which features beer from DC Brau, 3 Stars and Atlas Brew Works,  is free with an RSVP.  DJ Jahsonic will be spinning tunes from the  golden-era hip-hop. From the event page:




Smith Public Trust is located at 3514 12th Street NE.

RIA Porchfest Returns – Save The Date And Open Call For Performers

Porch Fest is an annual event organized by the good folks at Rhode Island Ave NE Main Street. The event transforms neighborhood porches and stoops into stages for an afternoon of free performances and community based fun. This year’s Porch Fest will be taking place Saturday April 15 from 2-6 pm . If  you are, or know of any performers, they are currently lining up participants. From the open call page, where performers can find application details:

We are seeking musicians + singers of all genres, dancers, poets + spoken word artists, etc. to perform at this lively, well-attended annual event.

Free CUA Symphony Orchestra Concert Featuring Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto

We thought Brookland music lovers would be interested in this free concert featuring Anthony McGill, principal clarinet New York Philharmonic performing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. The concert will take place Monday, February 27 from 7:30 to 10:00 PM at
Ward Recital Hall . The event is free but tickets are required, limit 4 per person. Reserve yours here.