eliza berkon is a features writer and musician based in washington d.c. 

15 Concerts You Don’t Want to Miss Around D.C. This Week

MONDAY, DECEMBER 24

If you’ve been looking for a pre-nap holiday concert for the little ones, The Choral Arts Society of Washington’s A Family Christmas is a good bet. Catch it at the Kennedy Center. Show 11 a.m. $20-$45. All ages, accessible venue.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25

Add some swing to the holiday season at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, where accomplished jazz musicians from the D.C. area play holiday hits at the 20th annual All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam. Show 6 p.m. FREE. All ages, accessible venue.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 26

Good luck finding a more addictive vocal intro than Anita Baker’s lead-in to “Caught Up in the Rapture,” one of the smoothest pop songs of the 1980s, off an album that won Baker her first two Grammys. Though the vocalist had announced her retirement tour early this year, she recently revealed a 2019 Vegas residency. (Move over, Britney and Gaga.) Snag tickets for her show at the Theater at MGM National Harbor.. Show 8 p.m. $187-$350+. All ages, accessible venue.

Dutch DJ Tiesto—known for hit remixes of “Jackie Chan” and “All of Me”—comes to Echostage. Show 9 p.m. $40-$50. 18+, accessible venue.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27

He’s not yet 30, but European DJ Zedd has already built a fairly solid reputation in EDM, with a 2013 Grammy and collaborations with Shawn Mendes, Ariana Grande, and Maren Morris (nominated for another three Grammys this year). See him at Echostage. Show 9 p.m. $40-$60. 18+, accessible venue.

Song titles don’t get more classically country than “Tonight I’ll Scrape a Heart Off the Barroom Floor.” Hear more where that came from from Frederick, Maryland’s Michelle Hannan and One Blue Night at Hill Country Live. Show 8:30 p.m. FREE. All ages, accessible venue.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28

Three-time Grammy winner The Roots, a band that can play just about anything but has a reputation for socially conscious hip-hop and soul, takes a break from their regular gig at The Tonight Show for a set at The Fillmore. Show 8 p.m. $69.50. All ages, accessible venue.

If you missed Elvis Costello earlier this year, don’t worry—there’s always NRBQ. Short for New Rhythm and Blues Quartet, the longtime band definitely has a Costellian vibe. (Or perhaps we should say Costello, a fan, has an NRBQ vibe.) Catch them at The Hamilton. Show 8 p.m. $25-$35. All ages, accessible venue.

Odd Mojo is an artist with range, rapping with urgency on “Make a Way” while affirming in the sunny, 90s-esque “Who Got Da Propz” that “Music is my life/I said goodbye to all the negative vibes.” See all the Maryland rapper’s sides at Songbyrd. Show 8 p.m. $12. All ages, inaccessible venue.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 29

Baltimore songwriter Joy Postell—who grabbed a national spotlight earlier this year with new album Diaspora and songs such as “Consciousness,” a powerful response to centuries of racially charged violence and injustice toward African Americans—comes to Songbyrd. Show 8 p.m. $10. All ages, inaccessible venue.

Los Sadicos, a tribute band to 1960s-era Peruvian proto-punk group Los Saicos, stops by Songbyrd with original Los Saicos member “Papi.” Show 11 p.m. $15. 21+, inaccessible venue.

Florida foursome Fat Night takes the ethos of ’70s soft rock and adds touches of contemporary soul to build a sound that’s both nostalgic and new. Check them out at Hill Country Live. Show 10:30 p.m. $12-$15. All ages, accessible venue.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30

Though Charlottesville duo David Wax Museum began its career as a “Mexo-Americana” band, its latest album retains very little of that sound, blending traditional folk tracks with songs that favor distortion, gauzy vocal production and space-age synths. See them at Union Stage. Show 7:30 p.m. $20. All ages, accessible venue.

If the first few bars of Dave East’s “Phone Jumpin” sound a little frightening, that might be because they’re sampled from the score of Psycho. (Maybe avoid listening while showering.) The New York City-bred rapper, who began his career in earnest after finding himself in prison for half a year, plays The Fillmore. Show 8 p.m. $29-87+. All ages, accessible venue.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 31

There are at least a dozen NYE concerts in D.C. to choose from this 2019 eve, but may we recommend a few: Cyrus Chestnut at Blues Alley, Wesley Bright and the Honeytones at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue with George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at The Anthem, The Rock-A-Sonics at Pearl Street Warehouse and The Seldom Scene at The Birchmere. For a longer list of ticketed parties, concerts, and events, see here.

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16 Concerts You Don’t Want to Miss Around D.C. This Week