Friday, March 22
‘Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling’ at the National Museum of Women in the Arts: The contemporary German artist is best known for her singular, large-scale sculptures, and the downtown museum is exhibiting a selection of her works from the past two decades. The 77-year-old sculptor uses mainly organic materials such as cedar wood to construct impressively textured pieces that are largely abstract. Much of von Rydingsvard’s work is influenced by her upbringing in post-World War II Germany — where her parents were working class eastern European immigrant farmers. The anticipated display of von Rydingsvard’s sculptures will be her first solo exhibition in D.C. Through July 28. Free-$10.
Carla Bley Trio at Atlas Performing Arts Center: CapitalBop, a local jazz advocacy group founded in 2010, for the first time announced a full spring season of concert presentations. The season includes regular installments of the Spotlight Residency and Jazz Loft series; performances featuring New York saxophonist Ben Wendel and experimental pianist Angelica Sanchez, respectively; and, in a co-presentation with the Washington Women in Jazz Festival, a rare appearance by composer, pianist and NEA Jazz Master Carla Bley at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on Friday. The 82-year-old jazz legend will perform with her usual trio, which includes bassist Steve Swallow and saxophonist Andy Sheppard. 8 p.m. $20-$25.
Hirshhorn Shuffle at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: Museums don’t have to be a stodgy, solitary experience where it’s as quiet as a library. This guided midday program at the modern art museum will feature songs and musicians that respective artists listen to as they work while you walk by their exhibits throughout the museum. 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Free.
Saturday, March 23
Pup-Up Bar at Midlands Beer Garden: Saturday is National Puppy Day, and your Insta/Snap/Twitter feeds will be overflowing with your frens’ photos of adorable doggos. But wouldn’t you rather boop (read: cuddle) puppies in real life, and maybe even take one home? Park View’s Midlands DC Beer Garden is hosting its first “Pup-Up Bar” in conjunction with Devils Backbone Brewing and City Dogs Rescue. A team of “puptenders” will deliver beer to tables (using saddle-like beer can carriers), while adoptable rescue dogs meet and greet the public. Well-behaved dogs are invited to the outdoor party, as Midlands provides a dog treat bar and a dog caricaturist. It’s a chance to hang out with your four-legged best friend — or find one. Even better: A portion of the proceeds benefits City Dogs. 1 to 4 p.m. Free; food and drink prices vary.
Cherry Blossom celebration at the Smithsonian American Art Museum: Cherry blossom season is blooming, and the American Art Museum’s annual festivities are a great way to mark the beginning of spring. The day starts (and ends) with a performance from Nen Daiko, a taiko drum ensemble, and also includes Japanese-inspired music, such as Les the DJ, who will spin an all-vinyl set of Japanese soul, funk, pop and disco. Beyond music, there will be face painting and crafts, including kite-decorating, for families. 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free.
The Black Love Experience at TheARC: In a city where conferences are often staid, the Black Love Experience elevates the usual chatter of workshops and panel discussions by blending it with live music and comedy. This event will bring together creative minds in the black community to promote and encourage collaboration across the arts. D.C. go-go fixtures Junkyard Band will perform on the main stage alongside local DJs and musicians, including Black Alley. In addition to vendors, food and cocktails, there will be services as wide-ranging as massage therapy and astrological readings. 7 p.m. $45-$150.
The Veil D.C. pop-up at the Bruery Store and Union Market Dock 5: Is there a more hyped brewery in the Mid-Atlantic than the Veil? The Richmond brewery’s heavily dry-hopped IPAs — hazy, juicy and laden with aromatics of citrus and tropical fruit — have fans lining up to buy cans every Tuesday. While the Veil’s beers make it up to selected bars in the D.C. area, cans are hardly ever sold outside the brewery. This Saturday, though, the Veil is coming to two locations around Union Market. The Bruery’s shop on Morse Street will have five beers in cans and a “blueberry double chocolate chip maple marshmallow mocha triple stacked pancake Imperial Stout” — clocking in at 11 percent ABV — on sale beginning at 11 a.m. (Prices haven’t been set, but the Veil’s recent beers, sold in four-packs of 16-ounce cans, have cost $15-$22.) A wider collection will be available up the road at Dock 5, where 18 different Veil beers, ranging from IPAs, double IPAs and triple IPAs to fruited goses, tropical sours and a lambic-style ale fermented on cherries. Six-ounce tasters of any beer are $6; full 12-ounce pours are $9. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free admission.
Four Bitchin’ Babes at the Birchmere: If you have a favorite song about lost car keys — or microwave dinners, or menopause, or HMOs, or erectile dysfunction, or staycations, or vibrators, or the history of cheese — there’s a decent chance it was written by one of the Four Bitchin’ Babes, the long-running folk quartet that does its truth-telling with levity, candor and quirk. The band likes to test-drive material at the Birchmere, the Alexandria supper club that has served as the Babes’ unofficial home base for decades. “It’s like a comfortable pair of shoes,” bandmember Debi Smith says of the Birchmere, almost wistfully. A new song about orthopedics doesn’t seem far off. 7:30 p.m. $35.
‘La Paloma — At The Wall’ at GALA Hispanic Theatre: When Ricardo de la Vega and Tomás Bretón composed “La Verbena de la Paloma” in 1894, the action of that famous Spanish zarzuela (a combination of opera, spoken scenes and dance) revolved around Madrid. This update for our time is set on the Mexican border in modern-day Tijuana and San Diego, complete with a 25-foot reproduction of the border wall. Director Nick Olcott, composer Ulises Eliseo and writer Anna Deeny Morales’s new version about an asylum-seeking migrant is sung and spoken in both Spanish and English, with subtitles for both languages. 8 p.m.; showtimes vary through March 31. $20-$45.
San Francisco Symphony at the Kennedy Center: Michael Tilson Thomas, once a bad boy of American music, has become one of its gray eminences, but he’s remained one of its great communicators all along. As part of his final American tour as music director of the San Francisco Symphony, a position he will leave in June 2020 after 25 years, the 74-year-old will make one final appearance at the Kennedy Center leading a performance featuring the works of Beethoven and Mozart. 8 p.m. $50-$135.
Anoushka Shankar at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue: Anoushka Shankar learned from the best: Her father is world-renowned sitar player Ravi Shankar, and she is continuing his legacy as a composer and performer. She’ll play two back-to-back shows at Sixth & I next month, with a set list of North Indian classical pieces and beyond. “It’s a tour of open possibilities,” she wrote on Twitter about her series of American concerts, adding that listeners should expect “new work, old work, reinterpreted work and more.” 9:30 p.m. $45.
Sunday, March 24
Direct Current at the Kennedy Center: Direct Current, the Kennedy Center’s two-year-old festival of contemporary arts, describes itself as focusing on “new works, interdisciplinary creations . . . and innovative responses to topical concerns.” While all of that is undoubtedly true — a glance at its programming this year will make that clear — it’s not the whole story. Direct Current’s real priority is artists and works of art that are like no other. Sunday night marks the start of the two-week event with Icelandic multi-instrumentalists Hugar on the Millennium Stage. 6 p.m.; times vary through April 7. Free.
The Gang’s All Here at 3 Stars Brewing: It’s nice to have friends, especially in the beer world. When 3 Stars Brewing invited a few of its favorite breweries to come over and make some collaboration beers, its staff decided to throw a party, too. The guest list includes New York heavy hitters Other Half and Interboro, Virginia’s Ocelot and Alewerks, and Florida’s Civil Society and J. Wakefield, plus DJs, games and food trucks. Tickets include one beer and a souvenir glass; the VIP adds early access and four more beers. 1 to 6 p.m. $15-$50.
Nils Frahm at the 9:30 Club: Nils Frahm wrote and recorded a vast amount of music for his last album, 2018’s “All Melody,” but when whittling 60 compositions down into the album’s dozen, the Berlin-based composer was left with more than just scraps and leftovers. He has since released two EPs of this material, exploring solo piano and harmonium on “Encores 1,” and lush, ambient soundscapes on “Encores 2.” Frahm describes the EPs as “musical islands” that complement the album, and appropriately enough, he recorded the latter EP in an amplified stone well he found on the Balearic Islands of Mallorca. 7 p.m. $30.
— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin, Fritz Hahn, Chris Kelly, Anne Midgette, Chris Richards and Michael J. West