Fri.Super smooth R&B singer Brian McKnight headlines a bill at DAR Constitution Hall (202-397- 7328) Friday and Saturday that also features New Edition and Raheem DeVaughn. For more on McKnight, see the Spotlight on Page XX. . . . Capital Jazz Fest kicks off at Merriweather Post Pavilion (202-397-7328) with George Benson and Chaka Khan. Others performing at the weekend-long event include Boney James, Joe Sample, Lee Ritenour, Kenny G, Lalah Hathaway, Paul Jackson Jr., Spyro Gyra and Marcus Miller. . . . One of the reigning stars of Haitian music, Emeline Michel is at Zanzibar (202-554-9100).

Sat.The rocking Long Beach Shortbus stops at the Recher Theatre (410-337-7178). The group features former members of Sublime. . . . Local group Swing Shift plays as part of the fourth annual Big Band Extravaganza at Fairfax High School (tickets available at the door) along with the Lanier Middle School Jazz Ensemble and Fairfax Jazz. . . . DJ Sasha, No. 4 in the prestigious DJ magazine annual Top 100 poll, is spinning at the Fur Nightclub (202-842-3401). . . . The main man in indie icons Pavement, Stephen Malkmus, is at the Black Cat (202-667-7960) with his current band the Jicks. . . . Byron Lee & the Dragonaires, legendary influences on the Jamaican music scene, jam at the Crossroads (301-927-1056). . . . Despite multiple opportunities to do so, I've never seen Robbie Fulks put on a bad live show. He's a natural showman who writes great songs and has a delicious sense of humor. Check out the review of his latest CD elsewhere on this page and go see him at Iota (703-522-8340). . . . DJ Craze, a three-time DMC champion, is working it at Sonar (410-327-8333) in Baltimore along with MC Armanni.

Sun.Latin superstar Juan Luis Guerra and the popular and influential Marco Antonio Solis are sure to have the MCI Center (202-397-7328) grooving to the styles of merengue, salsa, norteno and Tejano. . . . Kevin James is a funny man. He practically stole the movie "Hitch," and he has one of the few sitcoms on TV that isn't painful to watch. Hear his stand-up act at the Warner Theatre (202-397-7328). . . . Australia's The Cat Empire is jamming at the Funk Box (410-625-2000) with its mix of jazz, funk and any other genre that catches the band's ear at the moment.

Tues.It may not feel like the first time, but Foreigner comes to the Birchmere (703-549-7500). The group had a string of hits back in the day, including "I Want to Know What Love Is," "Double Vision," "Hot Blooded" and, of course, "Feels Like the First Time.". . . Revered veteran Carlos Santana and newcomers with potential Los Lonely Boys play Merriweather Post Pavilion (202-397-7328). . . . John Zorn's Masada String Trio performs at the DCJCC Goldman Theater (800-494-8497) on the opening night of the Jewish Music Festival, which runs through June 15.

Weds.Some of today's hottest pop-rock bands are at Merriweather Post Pavilion (202-397-7328) as The Killers along with Keane, Louis XIV, Maximo Park and Regina Spektor take the stage. . . . You know that politically minded Bill Maher is going to have fun in the home of his favorite targets. The often controversial comic is at the Warner Theatre (202-397-7328).

Thurs.Raul Midon plays a jazzy blend of soul, pop and Latin at McPherson Square (202-628-2800). It's a 1 p.m. show so plan lunch accordingly. . . . Guitar master Al DiMeola is at the Birchmere (703-549-7500). He's touring with an electric band, the first time he has done so in quite a while.

-- Curt Fields