Friday, June 7
DC JazzFest at various venues: Sure, you’ll see big names like Snarky Puppy and Jon Batiste at this year’s DC JazzFest, but the local bands are the true stars of the show. The 10-day celebration is one of the largest public gatherings of the District’s jazz community, bringing together dozens of musicians who will play at various venues around town. Established veterans including Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes (June 7), Chuck Brown Band (June 7) and Elijah Jamal Balbed Quartet (June 13) are just a few of the esteemed D.C. acts on the bill. Through June 16. Venues and ticket prices vary; many events are free.
Capital Pride Presents: Riot! at Echostage: The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots is the theme of the first big event of Pride. “It’s to remind us of how Pride began and why we can celebrate our victories today,” says Aaron Riggins of Trade, which is co-producing the event with Capital Pride. Riggins and the organizers are proud of “the sheer number of diverse queer artists that will be onstage,” with performances happening constantly throughout the huge space, headlined by “RuPaul’s Drag Race” veteran Vanessa Vanjie Mateo and veteran D.C. DJ Ed Bailey. Looking back to Stonewall, “our cast of performers is meant to be a reflection of the diverse participants that have been fighting for our freedoms since,” Riggins says. 9 p.m. $30-$35.
Booty Rex at Black Cat: Booty Rex began almost a decade ago as a fusion of two different all-female DJ nights: the Anthology of Booty and She Rex, at an Adams Morgan bar named Chief Ike’s Mambo Room. “It started off as a group of friends coming together,” says Ebony Dumas, who spins with Anthology of Booty as DJ Natty Boom. “Back then, there were a lot of punks and working-class folks.” Booty Rex eventually moved to the Black Cat, where they could offer DJs spinning different genres on different floors to appeal to more people. This year, with the Black Cat slimmed down to one floor, Dumas says the soundtrack will be contemporary, with current hip-hop and tropical bass spun by a team of six DJs. 8 p.m. $15.
Women’s World Cup watch parties at various locations: Every four years, the Women’s World Cup grows in prestige and public awareness. The United States is the defending champion, which always helps, but this tournament is a bigger deal than ever, with sports bars and special events taking place across the region over the next month. Host nation France kicks off the tournament with a match against South Korea on Friday at 3 p.m. The French Embassy opens the doors of its La Maison Francaise in Georgetown for a viewing party with food and drink for sale, beginning at 2 p.m. Free tickets are required for each attendee, including children, and must be reserved in advance. Expect some divided loyalties at Wunder Garten on Sunday, when the British Embassy hosts a viewing party for a match between England and Scotland. Expect English and Scottish food and drink for sale, embassy-sponsored raffles and the match on multiple TVs in the NoMa beer garden’s tent. Kickoff is at noon. Women’s World Cup runs through July 7.
Charly Bliss at U Street Music Hall: Tackling more serious subject matters, including death and sexual assault, Charly Bliss’s sophomore album, “Young Enough,” shows a band that has matured at breakneck speed from its first effort, “Guppy.” But what hasn’t changed is the quartet’s effervescent pop sound, which is omnipresent and even bolstered with a shimmering synth. Through the dark themes that pervade “Young Enough,” the band manages to offer a ray of light: For as relentless as the world is, Charly acknowledges life’s misgivings with acceptance while sharing its profound wisdom. 6:30 p.m. $16.
Capital Jazz Fest at Merriweather Post Pavilion: India.Arie, Gladys Knight, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Chrisette Michele, Raheem DeVaughn, Brian McKnight and George Clinton are some of the starry names headlining this year’s Capital Jazz Fest. The annual festival takes over Merriweather Post Pavilion for a weekend, with multiple outdoor stages and hours of jazz and soul music. It’s a scene beyond the music, too, with a food court, arts and crafts for sale at a festival marketplace, and meet-and-greet opportunities with Capital Jazz Fest artists. Through Sunday. $59.50-$129.50.
‘American Myth and Memory: David Levinthal Photographs’ at the Smithsonian American Art Museum: The subject of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s latest exhibition is little plastic toys. David Levinthal’s photographs, which span from 1984 to 2018, examine the anxieties and pop culture iconography of postwar America through miniature figurines, including cowboys and Barbies. The 70-year-old photographer will be at the museum on Friday from 6 to 7 p.m. to talk about his work for those wanting to gain insight into the striking images. On Saturday at 3 p.m., SAAM will screen John Wayne’s classic 1956 Western, “The Searchers,” in conjunction with the program. Through Oct. 14. Free.
Michael Che at the Miracle Theatre: “Saturday Night Live” star and co-head writer Michael Che kicks off his summer comedy tour with DJ/comedian Cipha Sounds in the District next month. Che co-anchors SNL’s “Weekend Update” segment, and judging from the name of the tour — “Liberal but Gangsta” — he’ll have plenty of political commentary here, too. Catch Che at Capitol Hill’s charming Miracle Theatre, a Barracks Row landmark that opened in 1909 as a vaudeville theater and now serves as a second-run movie theater and performance space. Through Sunday. $39.75.
Saturday, June 8
David H. Koch Hall of Fossils — Deep Time at the National Museum of Natural History: The National Museum of Natural History’s fossil hall reopens Saturday after being closed since 2014 — news that should thrill dinosaur fans of all ages. The 31,000-square-foot exhibition space will cover more than 3.7 billion years of history, starting at the beginning of time and delving into speculation about humans’ impact on the Earth. See hundreds of new specimens and old favorites in new, more scientifically accurate poses, in addition to multimedia experiences and fossils that visitors can actually reach out and touch. Free.
Mixtape Pride Party at the 9:30 Club: From 2008 to 2018, Mixtape was one of the city’s best monthly dance parties, thanks to DJs Matt Bailer and Shea Van Horn and their eclectic selection of ’80s remixes, electro-pop, disco and hip-hop. Though Mixtape came to an end in September, Bailer is bringing it back for a special Pride revival with guest DJs Keenan Orr, Lemz and Tezrah. “Pride has been a freaking good time,” Bailer says. “People have been out and about all day, drinking and parading.” The DJ, who spins tunes at a number of gay bars around town — he’ll be at Pitchers on Friday — says he matches that vibe with “uplifting, soulful and sexy” music for everyone to sing along with. Bailer says he’s also noticed the atmosphere at Washington’s LGBTQ bars becoming “more inclusive, more queer” over the past year or so. He’s hoping that will continue when Mixtape makes its comeback. 10 p.m. Sold out.
Pride on the Pier at the Wharf: Last year’s inaugural Pride on the Pier featured a waterfront DJ and beer garden. This year’s celebration is more akin to the National Cherry Blossom Festival, with a full afternoon of music and family-friendly games and activities, capped by a 30-minute fireworks show over the Washington Channel. DJ Rosie of the local Lure parties and Pride veteran Drew G are among the artists spinning tunes, while wine and beer flow at gardens on the piers. VIP tickets ($75-$125) include unlimited food and drinks as well as access to a designated fireworks area. 2 to 9:30 p.m. Free.
Pink Sweat$ at the 9:30 Club: What sets Pink Sweat$ apart from his peers isn’t what he brings to the table, but what he doesn’t. The R&B crooner takes pleasure in simplicity — he relinquishes hiding behind overpowering trap beats in favor of an acoustic, stripped-down sound that accentuates his vulnerability. Pink Sweat$ wears his heart on his sleeve, expressing grief over him and his lover being more like “Whitney and Bobby” than “Bonnie and Clyde,” or how “your love used to fill me up, but now I’m filling up my cup mixing Coke and Henny.” With just a little, he still manages to speak volumes. 6 p.m. $20.
Sunday, June 9
Capital Pride Festival: The Capital Pride Festival is the capstone of Pride celebrations, occupying four blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue NW near the Capitol. A full day of activities includes music, DJ and dance performances on three stages, multiple beer gardens, an area for sports and games, and a family-friendly section with face painters and a 30-foot waterslide. The evening ends with a concert sponsored by local radio station Hot 99.5. Noon to 10 p.m. Free.
Hailu Mergia at the Hamilton: Before doing music full time, Hailu Mergia used to work as a taxi driver, many of his passengers oblivious to the fact that they were sitting inches away from an Ethiopian musical legend. In 1985, Mergia released “Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument,” a masterful album of accordion-driven jazz music that sounded light-years beyond anything at the time. The release was largely unheard of outside of Ethiopia until a U.S. record label reissued the album in 2013 and propelled Mergia to international fame. The attention gave him newfound confidence to perform and make music again, and thankfully there are more chances — such as his show at the Hamilton, part of the DC Jazz Festival — to see his future-forward take on jazz live. 7:30 p.m. $19.75-$39.75.
Rediscover Eastern Market: In 2007, an early morning fire at the 134-year-old Eastern Market caused $20 million in damage. It took two years for the landmark market to rebuild and reopen. To mark 10 years since its rejuvenation, Washington’s Department of General Services hosts a weekend-long celebration of the Eastern Market neighborhood. Sunday features architectural tours of the building and family-friendly games at in the North Hall between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., and a ceremonial cake cutting at 2 p.m. The outdoor farmers market and flea market runs all day, as usual. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.
Thick Paint at Pie Shop: If the untethered, off-kilter vocals behind Thick Paint sound familiar, there’s a good reason — it’s the project of Reptar’s lead singer Graham Ulicny. There are fragments of Reptar’s groovy stylings that shine through in Thick Paint, though that’s where the similarities largely end. Initially a solo effort turned fleshed-out band, Thick Paint and Ulicny assert free rein to be looser and more brazen with song arrangements. Ulicny achieves this by harnessing a twangy guitar and buoyant percussion that manically switch time signatures at whiplash speed. Sunday’s show at the Pie Shop marks a rare opportunity to see this in action. 7 p.m. Free, but donations encouraged.
Frank Lloyd Wright birthday picnic at the Pope-Leighey House: There are three houses in the District where you can marvel at the architectural work of Frank Lloyd Wright, but there’s only one that’s open to the public. The Pope-Leighey House, located right next to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, was constructed by the famous architect in 1941. In honor of Wright’s birthday, there will be a bring-your-own-picnic setup at the Alexandria home. There will be live jazz, open-house tours and a dessert included with the price of your ticket. 1 to 5 p.m. $10-$30.
— Hau Chu, Fritz Hahn, Adele Chapin and Stephanie Williams