The Library of Congress and Washington Performing Arts’ Mars Urban Arts Initiative is co-hosting the first “Summer Concerts on the Lawn” outdoor musical performance series. The performances are on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. through Aug. 23 on the north lawn of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, across the street from the U.S. Capitol in conjunction with “LOC Summer Movies on the Lawn,” a series which showcases iconic films from the Library’s National Film Registry. Each film screening follows the musical performances at sundown.
Tickets for the performances are now available, but are not required, on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information and to secure tickets, visit this event-ticketing site. Entry is not guaranteed.
The concert series is the latest of many activities presented by the Library of Congress that seek to make America’s library and its treasures more accessible. This exciting lineup of locally-based musicians represents the variety of musical genres found in the Library’s music collections. A vibrant violinist, a West African griot street band, a tango trio and a summery jazz ensemble all will make up this live summer music compilation.
August performances include:
- Aug. 2: Cheick Hamala Diabate
Though Cheick Hamala Diabate sticks to the old-school roles of the griot, his music embraces the panoply of sound he discovered in America, taking him beyond the traditional trio of griot instruments: the n’goni, kora (gourd harp) and the balafon (wooden xylophone). He has long explored the connection between America’s traditions and his own griot roots. In 2007, Diabate’s collaboration with banjo player Bob Carlin, “From Mali to America” led to a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional World Music Album.
- Aug. 9: Trifilio Tango Trio
Formed in 2015, Trifilio Tango Trio is an international project that presents virtuosic performances of original tango music from Buenos Aires and Washington DC. Led by Argentine Emmanuel Trifilio (composition, bandoneon) and Devree Lewis (arrangements and cello), the trio celebrates the tango classics while creating new repertoire for today’s audiences. A DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities grant recipient, the group has performed recently in Havana, Cuba, San Francisco, Miami and Houston.
- Aug. 16: Sarah Marie Hughes & Coy Fish
Sarah Marie Hughes is an alto saxophonist, composer, and music educator from Pasadena, Maryland. She is primarily a free improviser who creates within and on top of many genre frameworks including but not limited to jazz, experimental, swing, blues, folk, pop and rock music. She appears with her quartet Coy Fish.
- Aug. 23: DuPont Brass and VeVe & tha Rebels
DuPont Brass describes itself as “a unique, soulful brass band hailing from the DC metropolitan area.” Started by five music majors from Howard University, today there are thirteen musicians: brass, a rhythm section and vocalists, trained in both classical and contemporary genres. The band has taken its irresistible stylistic blend of jazz, hip-hop and R & B to appearances throughout the city, including concerts for the D.C. Jazz Festival and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
VeVe & Tha Rebels is a Washington, D.C. based Afro-folk band, led by singer-songwriter Violet Marley. The Afro-folk sound is a mixture of folk, blues, go-go and reggae. Veve & Tha Rebels will a new culmination of songs written over the past year by Marley that address issues of love, community, race, criminal justice and much more. DuPont Brass and VeVe & tha Rebels are the 2018-2019 Washington Performing Arts Mars Urban Arts Initiative Ensembles in Residence.