Editors' pick

Millennium Stage - The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

7/24 - 7/25

National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute Chamber Ensembles

Students in the NSO's Summer Music Institute perform. At the Millennium Stage.
7/26

National Dance Day 2014

The event includes a performance by AXIS Dance Company and lessons. At the Millennium Stage.
8/1 - 8/2

Washington International Piano Festival Participant Concert

Participants in the 2014 Washington International Piano Festival perform in this Millennium Stage concert. At the Millennium Stage.
8/3

Baby Bry Bry

At the Millennium Stage.
8/4

The Culture of Nigeria

At the Millennium Stage.
8/5

Silk Road Dance Company

At the Millennium Stage.
8/6

Phil Wiggins and Friends

At the Millennium Stage.
8/7

Charanjit Singh

At the Millennium Stage.
8/9

United States Marine Band

At the Millennium Stage.
8/10

Philadelphia Jazz Orchestra

At the Millennium Stage.
8/11

Cardinal Sons

At the Millennium Stage.
8/15

Quraishi

At the Millennium Stage.
8/18

Exekiel's Wheels

At the Millennium Stage.
8/19

Carlos Nunez

At the Millennium Stage.
8/20

The Quebe Sisters Band

At the Millennium Stage.
8/21

Navy Band Cruisers

At the Millennium Stage.
8/22

United States Marine Band

At the Millennium Stage.
8/23

Chocolate City Rocks!

At the Millennium Stage.
8/24
8/25

The US Navy Band Country Current

At the Millennium Stage.
8/27

Kotebel

At the Millennium Stage.
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Editorial Review

If there's another place on Earth where you can see a different live performance 364 nights a year for free, we haven't heard of it. The Kennedy Center wanted to open its doors to new audiences -- and new talent -- and succeeded beyond anyone's expectations with the Millennium Stage, where artists of all backgrounds and talents showcase their creative energy on a specially built platform in the Grand Foyer.

The stage lights up nightly at 6 and offers entertainment for patrons waiting for the opera or "Shear Madness," tourists passing through and folks who traveled to Foggy Bottom especially to take advantage of the hour-long show. On any given month there's a mix of classical music, jazz, storytelling, song and dance. Audience members might even catch Leonard Slatkin conducting a small ensemble from the National Symphony Orchestra, or jazz master Billy Taylor with his trio. Some months feature themes such as "Music in the Movies."

As a perk of office, members of Congress can nominate performers from their state to perform on the stage. You, too, can add the Kennedy Center to your resume: Local auditions are held one weekend a year in the spring. Don't be shy -- classical guitar, a cappella tunes, harmonica, folk songs and fiddles, anything goes.

-- Nicole Lewis