Saturday, July 19: Larry Heard has been one of the most influential producers on the house music scene since the mid '80s, when the Chicago native released "Can You Feel It" and "Washing Machine" as "Mr. Fingers" on the legendary Trax label. Releases have been sporadic over the past few years; but on his new and stunning album, "Where Life Begins," Heard marries deep, soulful beats to a "quiet storm" of jazzy keyboards and instrumentation. Since he considers himself more of a musician, Heard's DJing appearances are rare, so don't miss him tonight at the DC Sanctuary. Tickets are $15 ($10 for members) and the music runs from 11 to 5.

Thursday, July 17
Over his 57-year career, bassist Keter Betts has played with a who's who of jazz greats: Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Joe Williams, Charlie Byrd, Stan Getz, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joe Pass, Clifford Brown, Cannonball Adderly -- you get the picture. Betts is currently a lecturer at Howard, teaching another generation how to swing. He turns 75 on July 22, but he's being feted this afternoon during the weekly Jazz-O-Scope concert at the Hirshhorn Museum. Nasar Abadey, Tim Eyerman, Dick Morgan, Chuck Redd and Paul Wingo perform as "the Keter Betts All-Stars" from 5:30 to 7 on the museum's plaza. Cake will be served.

More jazz is on tap at the Capital Club's annual Sinatra Soiree, which features an open martini and cocktail bar and dancing to music from the band Swing Town. If that doesn't inspire some ring-a-ding-ding, I don't know what will. Tickets are $40 at the door for women and $60 for men -- save a few bucks by reserving yours online at www.capital-club.com.

Tonight also marks the grand opening of Bar Noir, the renovated lounge at Visions Cinema Bistro. What's new? The creepy mural has been painted over and the cocktail list features drinks named after retro stars like Greta Garbo. Beginning at 7, the "Opening Night Red Carpet Gala" features hors d'oeuvres, $5 martinis, $1 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, a DJ and more. There's no cover, but you should RSVP to bar-noir@visionsdc.com.

Friday, July 18
Cocktail Charities has raised almost $130,000 for local nonprofit groups at its weekly happy hours; but sadly, the organization is calling it quits after tonight's fourth anniversary party at Anzu. Tickets for the black-tie-optional event are $50 each and include a dinner buffet and open bar. (Designated driver tickets, which include admission and food, are $40.) They can be purchased online at www.cocktailcharities.org. As you'd expect, the proceeds from the evening go to charity -- for the 161st and last time.

With all the blinging and product placement in hip-hop today, I think it's time for a Native Tongues revival. During its heyday in the late '80s and early '90s, the loosely organized collective, which preached a return to positivity and social commentary, included groups like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. Two more, the Jungle Brothers and Black Sheep perform tonight at the VIP Club -- ironically enough, Saturday night is "the Allen Iverson Celebrity Weekend VIP Party" with Kevin Garnett. Choose your path wisely. Doors open at 9.

Here's a combination that should get your mouth watering: fresh barbecue on an outdoor patio, drink specials, a dinner buffet and jazzy R&B and go-go music by Suttle Thoughts. You'll find all of that every Friday night at the 94th Aero Squadron restaurant in College Park. Doors open at 9 and admission is free until 10. Leave the athletic wear and T-shirts at home, though.

Saturday, July 19
One of my favorite things about the whole swing dance revival is the way it's bringing generations together. Today's Lindy Hoppers show an almost spooky reverence for the octogenarians who were involved in creating the dance, dressing in clothes their grandparents would have found trendy and arguing about whether certain styles of sneakers were "authentic" enough to wear to a dance. Of course, they all love the music. Since 1999, Christian Community Group Homes, a charity that helps low-income senior citizens, has organized a benefit dance called "Thank the Generation That Brought You Swing." It brings together the original jitterbuggers and present-day dancers for an evening of vintage jazz by the Tom Cunningham Orchestra. The night includes a beginner dance lesson, performances by two dance teams -- the Eight Week Wonders and the Smooth-N-EZ Hand Dancers -- and more than three hours of music. Tickets are $20 ($10 is tax deductible).

Larry Heard has been one of the most influential producers on the house music scene since the mid '80s, when the Chicago native released "Can You Feel It" and "Washing Machine" as "Mr. Fingers" on the legendary Trax label. Releases have been sporadic over the past few years; but on his new and stunning album, "Where Life Begins," Heard marries deep, soulful beats to a "quiet storm" of jazzy keyboards and instrumentation. Since he considers himself more of a musician, Heard's DJing appearances are rare, so don't miss him tonight at the DC Sanctuary. Tickets are $15 ($10 for members) and the music runs from 11 to 5.

Simply put, Paul Van Dyk is one of the world's top DJs, winning awards and packing clubs from the United States to Ibiza to Singapore. His style comes close to trance. But since he doesn't like the term, let's just describe it as uptempo, densely layered electronic dance music. Tickets for tonight's 18-and-over show at Glow are $35, and Van Dyk's show should be worth the money. Find out more (and buy tickets) at www.clubglow.com.

If standing in a noisy bar and shouting to be heard over a DJ doesn't sound like a good way to meet people, you'll want to check out the Quiet Party at Recessions. The idea is simple -- keep your voice down at the bar, and there's no talking at all in a back area. Instead, you communicate with a pencil and paper. Doors open at 9, and there's a $5 cover charge before 10 ($8 afterward).

Sunday, July 20
Comedian Tommy Davidson ("Bamboozled" and "In Living Color") and radio personality Olivia Fox (currently on WPGC 95.5-FM) promise an evening of "Nothin' but the Truth" tonight at the Jokes on Us Comedy Club. T Rexx, Vincente Christian and DJ Will and E-Robo are also on the bill.

Tuesday, July 22
What hath "American Idol" wrought? A lot of knock-off competitions around town that feel more like karaoke contests than actual talent searches. That's why Absolut Jams at Zanzibar on the Waterfront is such a great event -- it's for jazz musicians, groups and singers, which means you have to have some chops if you want to take home the $5,000 grand prize. The contest, which runs through the end of the month, takes place from 7 to 10 tonight and admission is free. Dress to impress.

Wednesday, July 23
The Olde Heurich Brewing Company brews its Foggy Bottom beers in Utica, N.Y., these days, but the company was founded in Dupont Circle 130 years ago. (The brewery sat on the banks of the Potomac River; part of the Kennedy Center now occupies the site.) As part of the company's birthday celebrations, Garry Heurich is appearing at the Foggy Bottom beer tasting at the Evening Star Cafe tonight. Have a question about brewing? Ask away.

Wine critics Michael Franz (The Washington Post) and Paul Lukacs (Washingtonian and the Washington Times magazines) put their wine and food pairing prowess to the test tonight at Clyde's Tower Oaks Lodge. Franz and Lukacs will each pick a few wines from the restaurant's list to match with several courses of food, explaining their selections. Tickets are $65 and include food and wine. Call 301-294-0200 for more information or make reservations.

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