We Love Music: June Music Preview

Photo courtesy of
‘Earth Day Concert Dancers’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

Memorial Day is over, we’re on to June, and that means outdoor concerts and music festivals galore! The District’s got them all this month: Jazz, Folk, Blues, Rock, Pop, Acoustic — even crafts, dance, and all the culture you can stomach in one day (or over the course of many).

Here’s a look at June’s top “tickets” to get your butt outside and reap the benefits of living in a city where the world’s cultures collide with a wide-variety of  well-established American traditions.

Photo courtesy of
‘Smithsonian Folklife Festival’
courtesy of ‘clio1789’

June 1 – 13

DC Jazz Festival (formerly the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival)

All over DC | Performance times vary |Tickets & Ticket information available online

This year’s festival features over 100 performance in a dozen plus venues all over the District and is praised for being the biggest music festival in town as well as one of the most highly anticipated cultural events in the U.S. When not in season, the festival’s staff organize and present year-round events to preserve music education in DC, the nation and abroad while supporting outreach to expand the ever-evolving jazz enthusiast population.

The summer’s line-up includes: Paquito D’Rivera, Roberta Flack, the Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Band, the Roy Hargrove Big Band, James Moody, Claudio Roditi, Edmar Castaneda, Michael Philip Mossman, Akua Dixon and Quartette Indigo, the Berklee World Jazz Nonet, Roberta Gambarini, the Marshall Keys Quartet, the Marian Petrescu Quartet featuring Andreas Öberg, Tony Madruga, Uri Gurvich and more.

For a complete listing of all events, see DCJF’s website.

June 5 – 6

Washington Folklife Festival

Glen Echo Park | Saturday 12-10 p.m. & Sunday 12-6 p.m. | FREE

What to find out what’s going on in the DC area folk community? This is a great opportunity to do so. The Folklore Society of Greater Washington is sponsoring this festival celebrating it’s 30th anniversary this year. The festival is a good way to interact with the greater Washington metropolitan area’s most creative minds by participating in any or all of the live musical and dance performances, on-site storytellers, and craftspeople generating work all year long.

Performance schedules and a craftspeople roster are available.

June 19

Columbia Pike Blues Festival

S. Walter Reed Drive & Columbia Pike, South Arlington | 1- 8 p.m. | FREE

This all blues, all day festival is celebrating it’s 15th anniversary in Arlington and will complete the party with a totally awesome line-up that features some of the youngest blues players in the area. 16-year-old Jazz and Blues prodigy Matt Wigler will tickle the ivories as well as acclaimed Blues guitarist Debbie Davies, Danny Blew will rock the roof off the outdoor festival stage (yes, of course that’s possible) with his powerful blend of Mississippi Delta meets Chicago Blues, and of course there will be many more acts in between.

Heck, there’s even an instrument petting zoo for those interested (but mostly the kiddies). The gang at Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization are teaming up with the non-profit Guitars Not Guns for the 2010 installment of the blues festival. GNG believes that no child should be without the opportunity to learn and play the guitar. One child at the festival will even win a free guitar compliments of GNG.

June 23

Yes & Peter Frampton

Wolf Trap, Feline Center | 7 p.m. | $45 in-house, $30 lawn

My childhood consisted of my dad cranking whatever music he liked over the car radio since he was both the pilot and captain of whatever ride we were taking. His collection was quite extensive, ranging from Garth Brooks to Crosby, Still, Nash, and Young, even Shania Twain to B.B. King (so now you know where I get my eclectic tastes from, but I digress). One band has always stuck out to me since none of my friends seem to have any idea what I’m talking about when I say “Yes is an awesome band.”

So, I’m saying it now — YES IS AN AWESOME BAND … and they’re coming to Wolf Trap this summer along with Peter Frampton. The tickets are a little pricey, but for an outdoor classic rock show with the original cast of characters taking the stage is always worth an extra penny or two so start saving now.

June 24 – 28 & July 1 – 5

Smithsonian Folkways Festival

National Mall | 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with special evening events | FREE

If you thought the Washington Folklife Festival sounded like a perfect excuse to indulge in a cultural overload, then you ain’t seen nothing yet. The Smithsonian Folkways Festival is the mecca of Folklife festivals, especially in this town. The yearly festival is  held outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between the Smithsonian museums.

The featured topics this summer include: Asian Pacific Americans, Mexico, and “Smithsonian Inside and Out” where you can put your thinking cap on to discover some science meets culture conundrums.

June 27

Indie Bands with a Mission Benefit Show

Jammin’ Java | 1:30 p.m. | $10 advance/ $13 day of show

Okay, you caught me. This show is not outdoors. But it’s for a good cause. Indie Bands with a Mission is an informal non-profit organization and volunteer group run by high school students to raise money for food banks while promoting local bands who want to better the areas in which they live. Twenty-five percent of Indie Bands with a Mission’s profit will be donated to a local Washington, DC food bank.

This is the first ever benefit show for the non-profit, which a line-up featuring:  Rosy Likes RedCorrin Campbell, Find Vienna, and more.

Rachel moved to DC in the fall of 2005 to study Journalism and Music at American University. When she’s not keeping up with the latest Major League Baseball news, she works on making music as an accomplished singer-songwriter and was even a featured performer/speaker at TEDxDupont Circle in 2012. Rachel has also contributed to The Washington Examiner and MASN Sports’ Nationals Buzz as a guest blogger. See why she loves DC. E-Mail: rachel@welovedc.com.

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