Just added to the list of major inauguration weekend events: Honey-voiced singer and Motown legend Smokey Robinson will headline the Kennedy Center’s annual free Let Freedom Ring Choir concert on Jan. 20.
The KenCen’s free celebrations of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, held since 2003 in collaboration with Georgetown University, have featured Patti Labelle, India.Arie, Bobby McFerrin and Brian McKnight.
But every four years, the event coincides with inauguration festivities around Washington, making it a major attraction for out-of-towners as well as locals. In 2009, Aretha Franklin performed during a whirwind weekend that also brought Oprah Winfrey to the arts center for live tapings of her show. Robinson’s performance is one of the many events that will pack what will be a very busy inaugural weekend, culminating in swearing-in events on Jan. 21.
If you’re hoping to attend Robinson’s performance in the Concert Hall, here’s what you’ll need to know: Free tickets are required. Two tickets per person will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 5 p.m. the day of the concert to those in line in the center’s Hall of Nations. The line frequently forms hours before the show; the concert is at 6 p.m.