city life

Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2016 – Outdoors in D.C.



The largest annual cultural event in the U.S. capital is back: Smithsonian Folklife Festival! Taking place outdoors on the National Mall only five stops from our office, you can enjoy the heart of Washington, D.C., while learning about international and national cultures in a whole new light. Having been to this event myself, I can guarantee that it is filled with a diverse group of people, activities, and foods, making it well worth your time. The event is free to the public and features activities and foods from two distinct cultural presentations: Basque: Innovation by Culture and Sounds of California.


Closest stop via metro is L’Enfant Plaza on the Yellow Line


June 29th – July 4th and July 7th – 10th


11am – 5pm

Special events begin at 6:30pm

What To Expect

Started in 1967, this festival highlights cultural traditions and practices of the featured areas, with hands-on demonstrations that make you feel like you’re almost there! The goal of the festival is to present various regions, near and far, to the people of the greater Washington, D.C. area, increasing awareness of diversity beyond the hustle and bustle of the city. With musicians, artists, cooks, craft-makers, storytellers, and more, you are sure to learn plenty of things and immerse yourself into a whole new world! To help you out, we’ve provided some information on the two cultures featured this year.

Basque: Innovation by Culture


Photo: Dan Cole, Smithsonian Institution –

The Basque country spans Northern Spain and southwestern France, bordering the beautiful Pyrenees mountains. They were among the first European explorers to discover and impact the Western hemisphere, influencing regions in Idaho, Scotland, Mexico, Argentina, and more. The people of this region are known for their strong cultural preservation and practice, their pride felt throughout their community. However, the Basque look outward and are progressive in their search for sustainability across borders, making them economically innovative. They were on the forefront of the Industrial Revolution with the discovery of iron in their mountains, and now focus much of their resources on sustainable energy and engineering.

The festival will feature musicians, dancers, boat-makers, cooks, and other members of the region, sure to provide you with insight into their way of life across the Atlantic Ocean.

Sounds of California


Photo: Nations Online Project –

Although it may seem familiar and not too far away, California is home to a constantly shifting culture, influenced strongly by Latin American communities and traditions. Bordering the Pacific Ocean, the state spans a large portion of the West Coast, creating ample land for incoming populations. With the greatest amount of diversity than any other U.S. state, and home to the largest Native American population, California is comprised of millions of individuals who migrated to the area to seek identity. One in four immigrants live in the state, making it on the forefront of one of the most heated debates in the country.

The festival will feature concerts and activities that provide a glimpse into musical culture and the dynamic shift of identities in the state. These artists tie their traditions from their original homelands into the customs of California, bridging together entirely distinct regions.

The cultures and traditions are sure to make you feel as though you’re in another state or country, so think of it as a stay-cation! We hope you can make it to this spectacular festival and enjoy it just as much as we have in the past.

For more information, visit the official page for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival here.

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DC Jazz Fest 2016 – Back and Better Than Ever!



The DC Jazz Festival is about to kick off to a great start, beginning June 10th and lasting all the way to June 19th! The event spans four locations across the Washington, D.C. area, giving you ample opportunity to check out one of the great shows these musicians have to offer. Since there are so many venues, dates, and performers, we wanted to provide you with a list breaking it down. That way, you can easily figure out when, where, and what time works best for you!

Hamilton Stage: With a late-night menu and trendy vibe, this venue is perfect for those who want to kick-back after work, grab a bite, and enjoy the show.

600 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005

Friday 6/10 – Regina Carter Quartet / Ben Williams & Sound Effect

Doors 7pm; Show 8:30pm

Saturday 6/11 – Kurt Elling / Jody Nardone Trio

Doors 7pm; Show 8:30pm

Sunday 6/12 – Etienne Charles Creole Soul / Jimmy Greene Quartet

Doors 6:30pm; Show 7:30pm

Wednesday 6/15 – Cymande / Chelsey Green and The Green Project

Doors 6:30pm; Show 7:30pm

Thursday 6/16 – Ernest Ranglin & Avila with special guest Yotam Silberstein

Doors 6:30pm; Show 7:30pm

Friday 6/17 – Maceo Parker

Doors 6:30pm; Show 7:30pm (Late Show: 10pm; Doors 9:30pm)

Saturday 6/18 – Smoke Sessions Records Presents Harold Mabern Quartet with special guest Eric Alexander/Steve Turre Quartet

Doors 7pm; Show 8:30pm

Sunday 6/19 – Joey DeFrancesco Trio/ Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles

Doors 6:30pm; Show 7:30pm

Sixth & I Stage: This historic synagogue brings together secular culture and Judaism, guaranteed to create a thought-provoking and entertaining night in downtown D.C.

600 I St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Sunday 6/12 – Steve Coleman and Five Elements

Show 8pm

A Night at the Kennedy Center: DC Jazzfest Salutes Howard University Jazz: Hosting the leaders of Jazz education at Howard University, this is sure to be a spectacular night hosted by elite musicians that shape the youth in our area and beyond.

2700 F St NW, Washington, DC 20566

Monday 6/13 NEA Jazz Master Benny Golson, gospel master Richard Smallwood, Greg Osby, Loston Harris, Mark Batson, Tim Warfield, Cyrus Chestnut, Paul Carr, Afro Blue, Carroll Dashiell, Raymond Angry, Shelton Becton, Reginald Cyntje, Kris Funn, Savannah Harris, and more

Show 8pm

DC Jazzfest at the YARDS Stage: If you are looking for a festival experience, this venue is right for you! It overlooks the Anacostia River at Capitol Riverfront under a large white tent, spanning the last weekend of the Jazzfest.

355 Water St, SE, Washington, D.C. 20003 (Off M St, near Navy Yard)

Friday 6/17 – GRRLS RULE:  Cissa Paz, Sharel Cassity & Elektra

Gates 5pm; Music till 10PM (FREE)

Saturday 6/18 – Cécile McLorin Salvant, Eddie Palmieri, The Chuck Brown Band, DCJazzPrix finalists

Gates 2pm; Music till 10pm (Children under 12 FREE)

Sunday 6/19 – Kamasi Washington, Igmar Thomas & Revive Big  Band with Talib Kweli, Bilal, and Ravi Coltrane, E.J. Strickland & Transient Beings, Fred Foss’ homage to NEA Jazz Master Jackie McLean

Gates 2pm; Music till 10pm (Children under 12 FREE)

Now with all the information right in front of you, help support the DC Jazzfest while enjoying one of Districts most exciting events of the summer. There’s no reason to miss out on one of these incredible shows filled with great artists!

For more information, visit the official site for the DC Jazz Festival here.

Posted in activities, Blog, city life, music, summer, washington dc | Leave a comment