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Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 06/13/2011

15 fantastic free D.C.-area concerts this summer


See the Pietasters — and plenty of other bands — for free this summer. (Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post)
After last week’s weather, the thought of standing outside for any reason besides waiting in line at an ice cream truck probably isn’t too appealing. But with R&B legend Smokey Robinson kicking off the Live on Woodrow Wilson Plaza series this afternoon and Fort Reno announcing its summer schedule, it’s time to get ready to brave the heat and enjoy some free music. There are dozens of local series and hundreds of free shows over the next few months, but here are 15 to definitely add to your calendar.

Maimouna Youssef - June 17 at Carter Barron Amphitheatre

Going Out Guide’s free concert series kicks off with a performance by the scintillating jazz/soul singer. Other concerts are June 24, July 15 and July 22.

The Pietasters - June 22 at Lee District Park

The ska-soul stalwarts keep ’em skanking.

OK Go - June 23 at the Kennedy Center

Power-pop meme-makers play Millennium Stage’s 14th anniversary show. Enter to win free tickets here.

Beasts of No Nation - June 27 at Fort Reno Park

Enjoy some heavy metal on opening night of one of the city’s most beloved and longest running free series. Other Fort Reno highlights include Title Tracks, Office of Future Plans and the Cornel West Theory.

The Funk Brothers - between June 30 and July 4 on the National Mall

The final schedule hasn’t been announced yet, but this group — which served as backing band for many of Motown’s biggest hits — will be featured as part of the festival’s celebration of rhythm and blues.

Last Train Home - July 1 at Mason District Park

It’s always a welcome return home for these alt-country former locals.

Steve Martin & Steep Canyon Rangers - July 4 at National Mall

The funnyman is also a mighty fine banjo player. He’ll show off his musical chops during the annual Capitol Fourth concert.

Chopteeth - July 6 at Strathmore

It’s an instant party when the sprawling Afrobeat collective takes the stage.

Young Lions - July 9 at Petworth Jazz Project

The group continues to be one of the most exciting and innovative in the local jazz scene.

Elikeh - July 22 at National Gallery of Art

Another standout from the surprising fertile local Afropop scene.

Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun - July 28 at Frying Pan Park

The King of Dieselbilly is a guitar hero.

Tom Principato - July 31 at Baker Park

The blues guitarist trades licks with the best of them.

The Barkays - Aug. 6 at Fort Dupont

The Stax Records soul/funk favorites are down to one original member, but they’re sure to delight the fans at Fort Dupont.

Virgin Mobile FreeFest - ??? at Merriweather Post Pavilion

We’re not sure what the date will be for the annual free mega-concert. But we do know it will be back and we have some guesses as to who will be playing.

Chuck Brown - Sept. 23 at Woodrow Wilson Plaza

What better way to wrap up the summer than with a free concert by the Godfather of Go-Go?

By  |  11:45 AM ET, 06/13/2011

Categories:  Music

 
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