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Concerts on the Lawn

Performance Information

Washington Performing Arts and the Library of Congress present “Summer Concerts on the Lawn,” Thursday evenings at 7pm from July 11 through August 15.

Enjoy an evening on the North Lawn of the Thomas Jefferson Building (10 First Street SE, adjacent to the Supreme Court and U.S. Capitol Building) with live music and a screening of an iconic film from the Library’s National Film Registry. Bring a friend and a picnic blanket or lawn chair!

Jul 11: Brent Birckhead Quartet
Jul 18: Elena & Los Fulanos
Jul 25: Bytes & Beats: Shing02, EyeQ, Substantial, Marcus D
Aug 1: ENTATY Music + Go-Go Dance Workshop
Aug 8: KanKouran West African Dance Company
Aug 15: Verny Varela Combo + Salsa Dancing with Julio Santamaria

Free, registration encouraged. Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov.

This series is made possible in part through the generous support of Encompass Supply. The July 18 and August 15 performances are funded in part by a grant from the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs (MOLA).

Co-presented by the Library of Congress and Mars Arts D.C., a partnership of Mars, Incorporated and Washington Performing Arts, with support from Jacqueline Badger Mars.

Thu, Jul 11, 7pm • Brent Birckhead Quartet
Film (sundown): Mary Poppins (Disney, 1964)
Free, registration encouraged

Saxophonist Brent Birckhead is a “riveting” improviser (New York Times), an award-winning soloist, bandleader, and composer with a drive for creative risk and a deep respect for legacy. While studying at Howard University, he was the winner of Downbeat magazine’s Student Music Award for best blues/pop/rock soloist. Birckhead’s playing demonstrates an impressive mastery of styles—funk, R&B, and go-go, in addition to mainstream jazz—honed in major D.C. groups like the Bohemian Caverns Orchestra and the Chuck Brown Band. He has performed and toured with a starry roster of legendary artists, among them Lauryn Hill, Nas, Dave Chapelle, Wale, Eric Benet, and many more. Recent appearances with his band have included stops at prestigious venues including the Blue Note, Hollywood Bowl, Merriweather Post Pavilion, and Billboard Tokyo and Osaka. He is currently a member of the faculty at Morgan State University. 

Thu, Jul 18, 7pm • Elena & Los Fulanos
Film (sundown): Beauty and the Beast (Disney, 1991)
Free, registration encouraged

Elena & Los Fulanos is a WAMMIE-nominated D.C.-based Latin folk band, mixing original tunes with covers that share perspectives of Latinx identity. The artists are of Nicaraguan, Mexican, and American heritage and have a unique musical style based on the intersection of musical traditions from each country. Elena & Los Fulanos recently appeared at the Washington Folk Festival, the National Portrait Gallery, Tropicalia, and the Hamilton. 

Thu, Jul 25, 7pm • Bytes & Beats: Shing02, EyeQ, Substantial, Marcus D
Film (sundown): A League of Their Own 
Free, registration encouraged

Shing02, EyeQ, Substantial, and Marcus D headline a unique concert celebrating the best of Japanese and African-American traditions, combining Eastern and Western cultures. The lineup pairs some of the most exciting and relevant influencers in the animé-inspired and lo-fi hip-hop universes, with emcees who worked directly with groundbreaking composer/producer Nujabes on the hit television show Samurai Champloo. Show creator Shinichiro Watanabe and key collaborators such as Nujabes and Fat Jon brilliantly merged the worlds of animé and hip-hop fans like never before, earning a worldwide following and providing a springboard for the now-massive lo-fi, chill-hop, and underground hip-hop movements. 

Thu, Aug 1, 7pm • ENTATY Music + Go-Go Dance Workshop
Film (sundown): Jaws
Free, registration encouraged

Led by Demetrius Brown (ENTATY), a native of Southeast Washington, D.C. and an alumnus of Duke Ellington School of the Arts, ENTATY Music is one of D.C.’s renowned hometown bands. ENTATY has performed in front of thousands of attendants in various venues around the country opening up for such artist as Kelly Rowland, Tank, LL Cool J, DMX, Xzibit, The Loxs, Music Soulchild, Cassidy, and Lil Scrappy. He worked with producer Chucky Thompson’s Lifeprint Entertainment, collaborating with artists like Raheem Davaughn and Chuck Brown. The band was recently featured at Dupont Underground and the Anacostia River Festival. 

Thu, Aug 8, 7pm • KanKouran West African Dance Company 
Film (sundown): E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Free, registration encouraged

KanKouran West African Dance Company was founded in 1983 to introduce the essence of traditional African dancing and drumming to American audiences. The group’s thrilling performances captivate fans of all ages with electrifying dances and rhythms, promoting intercultural understanding and enriching our American cultural heritage through the integration of authentic West African performing arts. 

Thu, Aug 15, 7pm • Verny Varela Combo + Salsa Dancing with Julio Santamaria
Film (sundown): Jurassic Park
Free, registration encouraged

Verny Varela is a renowned D.C.-based arranger, composer, singer and flutist. He was born in Cali, Colombia and raised in the “Barrio Obrero,” home to some of the world’s most famous salsa musicians. Verny’s distinguished career as a jazz and salsa artist has included collaborations with Ismael Miranda, Adalberto Santiago, and Pete “El Conde” Rodríguez, all members of the Fania All Stars. In 1997, Varela became the lead singer in the Gabino Pampini Band, and later toured Europe and the U.S. with Tito Gomez. He has been nominated three times for the Washington Area Music Awards (WAMMIES) and has performed at many prominent venues, including the Kennedy Center; Lincoln Theatre; Smithsonian; Embassy of Colombia; Embassy of Panama; the World Salsa Festival in Lima, Peru; and the Petronio Álvarez Festival and Feria de La Caña de Azucar in Cali, Colombia. Varela currently teaches at Howard University. 

Julio Santamaria is a D.C.-based dancer and choreographer who hails from El Salvador. He is an alumnus of the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School and has been an active performer in El Salvador, Texas, and the DMV. He studied at the Ecos del Mundo Compañia de Danza and previously was a member of Ballet Teatro Mauricio Bonilla Dance Company in San Salvador.