Tuesday, May 28
Joel Ross at Blues Alley: For more than 50 years, Blues Alley has provided a venue for Washington-area jazz fans to enjoy a mix of famous veterans and carefully curated national and local acts. On Tuesday night, the Georgetown club will host one of the most buzzed-about young jazz performers, Joel Ross. But this 23-year-old Chicago native doesn’t play a brass or reed instrument: instead, he leads his Good Vibes quintet from behind a vibraphone. On his debut album, “KingMaker,” released earlier this month on the legendary Blue Note Records label, Ross commands rhythms through his electrifying skill with the mallets, deftly weaving in and out of the mix to let his ensemble shine in the right moments. 8 and 10 p.m. $25.
Ballet Across America at Kennedy Center: The Dance Theatre of Harlem and Miami City Ballet will put on a week’s worth of performances at the Kennedy Center as part of the Ballet Across America series, which brings acclaimed U.S. companies to Washington to share their creativity and artistry. The first half of the week will feature full programs from the Dance Theatre of Harlem, while the Miami City Ballet takes over on June 1 and 2 — with the two companies dancing together on May 31 for a shared performance, including a world-premiere Kennedy Center commission by choreographer Pam Tanowitz. Through Sunday. $29-$119.
Wednesday, May 29
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever at U Street Music Hall: If you’ve been on the hunt for breezy throwback sounds for a summertime road trip, your ears would be best tuned to the sparkling guitar jams of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. The Australian quintet’s sound harks back to a number of blissed-out rockers of decades past such as the Feelies. But the band’s debut album, “Hope Downs,” overflows with its own unique knack for wryly written hooks and jangly guitar solos that are traded back and forth across three guitarists. Simmering below the surface are zippy bass lines and driving drum licks that ping-pong around your ears. 7 p.m. $18.
Youssou Ndour at the Music Center at Strathmore: Singer and percussionist Youssou Ndour doesn’t just embrace his home country of Senegal — he actively champions it. A former minister of tourism for the African nation, he boasts an impressive track record in social activism that rivals his musical one. Ndour has found success outside his homeland through his nuanced approach to African music, fusing hip-hop, jazz, soul and more for his distinct, eclectic sound. 8 p.m. $38-$87.
Thursday, May 30
Capitol Riverfront summer kickoff at Canal Park: Jacqueline Dupree has been taking pictures of her Southeast Washington neighborhood since 2000, documenting its transformation as Nationals Park, Yards Park and an endless stream of condo buildings moved in. Dupree, who works at The Washington Post, originally posted the images on her blog JDLand.com, but 20 of the most striking before-and-after photos are now on display in Canal Park. Dupree and the Capital Riverfront BID host a summer gathering in the park with live music, free ice cream from Altani Gelato and Ice Cream Jubilee, and a healthy dollop of neighborhood history. 6 to 8 p.m. Free.
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ viewing parties at various locations: And then there were four: Silky Nutmeg Ganache, Yvie Oddly, Brooke Lynn Hytes and A’keria Chanel Davenport are the last queens standing on the 11th season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” See who takes the crown at one of the numerous viewing parties around D.C. At Trade, JaxKnife is hosting with games and drink specials, followed by music from Wessthedj. JR’s weekly viewing parties offer a free 30-minute open bar for customers who can predict the result. Shaw’s Tavern offers $5 Stoli drinks. Goldie Grigio runs the party at the Duplex Diner, which features drag queen trivia at commercial breaks — and free shots for getting the answers correct. The show begins at 9 p.m., but early arrival is suggested. Free admission.
Michael Twitty at Brookside Gardens: Food writer Michael Twitty is best known for his deep explorations into the roots of African and African American cuisine. His 2017 book, “The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African American Culinary History in the Old South,” won the prestigious James Beard Award for its blending of historical research and interviews to demonstrate how American Southern comfort food owes its essence to Africa. Twitty will talk about his theory of culinary justice, which argues that marginalized communities deserve acknowledgment and ownership of their food traditions, during a free talk in Wheaton. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Free.
Friday, May 31
Pride kickoff party at Smithsonian American Art Museum: The events most associated with Capital Pride — the parade through Dupont and Logan circles, and the sprawling festival on Pennsylvania Avenue NW — take place the weekend of June 8-9, but Pride festivities actually begin May 31. The first big party takes place at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner Aquaria takes over the Kogod Courtyard for a DJ set, and local performers include Mundy, Ruth Allen Ginsburg and KC B. Yonce. Tickets include an open bar with Tito’s cocktails created by D.C. bartenders. 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. $60-$75.
National Symphony Orchestra at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception: The National Symphony Orchestra has increasingly performed outside the hallowed halls of the Kennedy Center in recent years, resulting in programs such as the popular NSO in Your Neighborhood series. For the first time in almost two decades, the NSO is visiting the largest Catholic church in America, as conductor and music director Gianandrea Noseda leads the orchestra through a program that includes Wagner and Debussy. 7 p.m. Free.
‘The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl’ at the Japan Information & Culture Center: By now you probably know that the Embassy of Japan is the place to go for screenings of the best anime films in D.C. That continues on Friday with “The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl,” which tells the tale of one girl’s night on the town that turns into a surreal journey through Kyoto. The film is directed by Masaaki Yuasa, best known for his cult 2004 hit, “Mind Game.” Early registration tickets have sold out, but first-come, first-served tickets will be available from 4 to 6 p.m. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Free.
Six-year anniversary party at Showtime: This intimate Bloomingdale bar has become a treasured neighborhood haunt in six short years. Fitting the usual low-frills atmosphere, the anniversary party caters to the bar’s regulars. Look for the usual drink specials throughout the day and a special performance by house band Granny & the Boys from 7 to 10 p.m., followed by DJ trio Punk Soul Sisters, until close. 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. No cover charge.
Duff McKagan and Shooter Jennings at City Winery: As the bassist for Guns N’ Roses, Duff McKagan helped welcome countless rockers to the jungle of Los Angeles. One such fan was Shooter Jennings, who met McKagan nearly 20 years ago, when he moved west in an attempt to leave the shadow of his father, country icon Waylon Jennings. In the years since, both McKagan and Jennings have followed their own paths, which have now converged: The two are sharing a studio and the stage, with Jennings producing McKagan’s “Tenderness,” an album that finds the older, wiser rocker tackling the turmoil of the day over Stones-inspired rock. 8 p.m. $40.
— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin, Fritz Hahn, Chris Kelly and Stephanie Williams