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Author Neil Gaiman will speak at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts on July 20 (courtesy of MasterClass)

This summer, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts will see the returns of John Legend and the Out & About Festival, along with some brand-new faces.

The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, the nonprofit that supports and programs the park, announced an initial lineup for the Filene Center’s summer season yesterday (Tuesday) that features both pop and classical shows.

Tickets for all the confirmed shows will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Feb. 16, though Wolf Trap members who donate $80 or more to the foundation can access presales right now.

In addition to a variety of concerts, Wolf Trap will introduce an expanded concessions building this summer with improved accessibility, including an elevator that will provide a stairs-free connection between the park’s upper and lower levels for the first time. The Meadow Commons project has been under construction since September and is expected to be finished this spring.

“[The Meadow Commons is] the embodiment of our community’s commitment and support to enhance the visitor experience through elevated concessions, improved accessibility, and more,” Wolf Trap Foundation President and CEO Arvind Manocha said. “With this upgrade, we’re dedicated to ensuring that all visitors can savor the magic of a performance at Wolf Trap.”

The Filene Center, the park’s 7,000-seat amphitheater, typically kicks off summer in late May around Memorial Day, but this year, the first performance on the schedule so far is the opera “Seven Deadly Sins” on Saturday, June 1. Kurt Weill’s “sung ballet” will be performed by up-and-coming orchestral musicians and opera singers in a collaboration between the National Orchestral Institute + Festival and Wolf Trap Opera.

The popular music slate starts on June 2 with The Beach Boys, led by original band member Mike Love. They will be followed on June 4-6 by John Legend, who visited last year and will sing songs like “All of Me” and Oscar winner “Glory” with the Wolf Trap Orchestra this year.

Other pop highlights will include:

  • June 8: soul singers Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight
  • June 9: rock/blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr.
  • June 18-19: Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant and country singer Alison Krauss, whose June 18 show is a makeup for one that got postponed last year
  • June 20: alt-rock band Wilco
  • June 22: Out & About Festival, a showcase of LGBTQ artists that launched with Brandi Carlile in 2023. This year’s edition is headlined by Alabama Shakes lead singer Brittany Howard.
  • June 29: Broadway in the Park with Arlington’s Signature Theatre
  • July 20: author Neil Gaiman will take the audience “on a literary journey”
  • Aug. 1: Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me
  • Aug. 10: Kidz Bop Live
  • Aug. 17-18: Boyz II Men
  • Aug. 25: rockers Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheridge
  • Sept. 11: country singer Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
  • Sept. 12, 14 and 15: James Taylor & His All Star Band
  • Sept. 13: actors Kristen Chenoweth and Alan Cumming, singing Broadway hits

On the classical side, Wolf Trap Opera will stage productions of Mozart’s “Così fan tutte” (June 21, 23, 29 and 27), Puccini’s “La bohème” (July 19) and the Pulitzer-Prize-winning “Silent Night” by Kevin Puts (Aug. 9, 11, 15 and 17). The Mozart opera will be in The Barns at Wolf Trap, while the others will be at the Filene Center.

The National Symphony Orchestra is also set to perform live scores for screenings of the original “Star Wars” (July 13) and “Ghostbusters” (July 26).

The orchestra will also celebrate the 200th anniversary of Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” on July 12 by conductor Ruth Reinhardt and Wolf Trap Opera artists. The program will include Samuel Taylor-Coleridge’s “Violin Concerto” performed by violinist Njioma Grevious.

Wolf Trap’s 2024 Kay Shouse Great Performance, which is designated annually to honor the park’s founder, will be an evening with the Washington Ballet on Sept. 5.

The full schedule can be found on Wolf Trap’s website.

The Beatles tribute band Classical Mystery Tour will join Fairfax Symphony Orchestra at Capital One Hall for a throwback concert on Feb. 10, 2024 (courtesy Matthew Baird)

The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and Capital One Hall in Tysons will throw back to 1964 next month — specifically to the D.C. concert that helped introduce The Beatles to America.

The Merrifield-based classical orchestra has partnered with Classical Mystery Tour, a Beatles tribute band, for a Beatles 60th Anniversary Tribute concert that will take over Capital One Hall on Feb. 10, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Recreating the Fab Four’s Feb. 11, 1964 show at the Washington Coliseum, the concert will kick off a new series that the Fairfax Symphony has planned for this year at Capital One Hall (7750 Capital One Tower Road), extending a partnership that dates back to the performing arts venue’s launch in 2021.

“Our partnership with Capital One Center is like a finely tuned ensemble,” Fairfax Symphony Executive Director Jonathan Kerr said in a press release. “Together, we’re able to curate an immersive series of concerts that resonate with audiences. We’re excited to ‘perform’ in such a harmonious partnership that enriches the community!”

Envisioned as a showcase for “generation-defining music,” the series will continue on March 8 at 8 p.m. with the Music of Billy Joel. For that concert, which is timed to the 45th anniversary of Joel’s album “52nd Street” and his upcoming 75th birthday, the orchestra will be joined by musician Michael Cavanaugh, a Tony and Grammy nominee for his starring role in the Billy Joel jukebox musical “Movin’ Out.”

The series will conclude — at least for this season — with a collaboration with the Indigo Girls on May 11 at 8 p.m. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, who make up the folk rock duo, have been performing arrangements of their music with symphonies around the country since 2012.

Supported by a partnership with ArtsFairfax, which vets community groups seeking to use the Tysons venue, Capital One Center Managing Director Jonathan Griffith says the concert series is intended to blend “popular music artists spanning multiple decades, with melodious, symphonic accompaniment.”

“Capital One Center is thrilled to partner with the Fairfax Symphony to bring three, very different and dynamic collaborations to life,” Griffith said. “…Together with the FSO, we’re creating unique concert experiences to serve our diverse Fairfax County and broader region, all made possible by the special public-private partnership between Capital One, Fairfax County and ArtsFairfax.”

The next show coming to Capital One Hall will be standup comedian Fortune Feimster, who is returning for two shows at 7 and 9:30 p.m. this Saturday (Jan. 20).


Sugar plum fairies are getting ready to descend on Fairfax County, which will host multiple productions of Pytor Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” this holiday season.

The 131-year-old ballet, now a Christmastime tradition, will first waltz into Tysons, with two shows at Capital One Hall (7750 Capital One Tower Road) on Sunday, Dec. 3.

Produced by Talmi Entertainment with dancers from around the world, NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet is returning to the concert hall’s main theater as part of its 31st annual North American tour. Doors will open an hour before the 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. showtimes.

“We’re the only nationally touring Nutcracker production, so we strive to top ourselves each year,” Talmi Entertainment Executive Producer Dan Talmi said in a press release. “There is a sense of pride and responsibility when it comes to this show. It has become a holiday tradition in households across the country and our team works year round to give audiences the best of everything.”

Starring Ukrainian ballerinas Karyna Shatkovskaya and Elena Pechenyuk as Clara, the production deviates in its second act by shifting the setting from the usual Land of Sweets to a Land of Peace and Harmony “where there are no wars and no children suffer.” Clara and the Nutcracker Prince are guided through the land by two dancers in the unique acro-ballet adagio “Doves of Peace.”

Other notable elements include marionettes and animal puppets, a hand-crafted Christmas tree that grows up to 100 feet tall, and the introduction of a Herald character that represents “the spirit of the forest.”

For those interested in a more local production, Capital One Hall will also host the Dance Academy of Virginia’s inaugural performance of “The Nutcracker Sweet” in The Vault at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4.

In addition, the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (FSO) and Fairfax Ballet Company will team up once again to present “The Nutcracker” at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts (4373 Mason Pond Drive) in Fairfax.

Scheduled for 4 p.m. on Dec. 16 and 17, the production is one of the few in the D.C. area with live music by a full orchestra, according to the FSO. This iteration — the seventh that the orchestra and ballet company have brought to GMU — will feature New York City Ballet members Emily Kikta and Aarón Sanz as guest soloists.

“Our unique production has become a cherished tradition of the season,” FSO Executive Director Jonathan Kerr said in a statement. “Audiences delight in the incredible dancers on stage, while Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable music is performed live by our orchestra musicians. The dance, live music, plus the stunning, digital scenery creates a winter wonderland in a magical production that’s perfect for the entire family.”

Capital One Hall sign at sunset (file photo)

A rock band that once represented Turkey in the popular Eurovision competition will take the stage at Capital One Hall in Tysons on Black Friday for a humanitarian cause.

The Capital One Center performing arts venue (7750 Capital One Tower Road) will host Manga in its main theater on Friday, Nov. 24 for a benefit concert to help children whose injuries from the earthquakes that devastated Turkey and Syria in February required amputations.

The fundraiser was organized by the American Turkish Association of Washington DC (ATADC), a nonprofit that promotes Turkish culture locally through cultural, educational and social events and programs.

“When you purchase your tickets, you are not only in for an unforgettable musical experience, but also contributing to a noble cause,” ATADC President Sevtap Schreffler said in a statement. “…We invite our community and American friends to support our fundraiser concert this giving season where Manga band will perform to give these children a new beginning in their lives.”

The proceeds will specifically go to the Bridge to Türkiye Fund’s Project CATE and Child Wellness Center, which are providing prosthetics and long-term medical, psychological and educational support to over 1,000 child amputees, according to Schreffler.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit southern Turkey on Feb. 6 left over 50,000 people dead and displaced many more. Months later, decimated cities are still recovering, as are the injured victims, who were “disproportionately” children, according to the ATADC.

Doors for Friday’s concert will open at 6 p.m. A Eurovision runner-up in 2010, Manga blends hip hop, electronic music and Anatolian melodies, per a press release.

Tickets are being sold through Ticketmaster and start at $45.

Other upcoming events at Capital One Hall include a concert by blues musician Joanne Shaw Taylor on Saturday (Nov. 25) and shows from comedian Jim Jefferies on Dec. 1-2.

Herndon High School band members solicit donations every year with a “Tag Day” fundraiser (courtesy Pride of Herndon)

Appalachian folk songs and AC/DC will both take over Herndon High School’s auditorium later this month.

The tunes will come courtesy of the school’s band, known as the Pride of Herndon, which will give a free concert on Oct. 30 as a show of gratitude after the community came through during a recent “Tag Day” fundraiser.

Held this year on Sept. 9, the annual fundraiser involves band students going around town to knock on doors, seeking donations to support the school’s extensive musical program.

“We realize there are many choices when it comes to donating, and we are so grateful to our community for their generosity,” Pride of Herndon director Kathleen Jacoby said. “Tag Day contributions help pay for concert programs, music, uniforms, instrument maintenance, invitational performances, and master instructors.”

The celebratory concert will start at 7 p.m. on the school auditorium at 700 Bennett Street. The program will include classical music and the aforementioned folk songs from the wind ensemble, along with pop and rock jams from the marching band.

Fresh off its 75th anniversary season, the Pride of Herndon has more than 100 students across different ensembles, including marching and jazz bands, a symphonic band, wind and percussion ensembles, an indoor drumline and a color guard.

The band is still raising money so students can travel to Waikiki, Hawaii, for the upcoming Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade, which commemorates the Dec. 7, 1941 attack that officially pulled the U.S. into World War II. The Herndon High School band was selected to represent Virginia in this year’s parade.

According to a message on the band’s website, it remains $5,000 short of its fundraising goal to cover all travel and shipping expenses.

The Concert Truck, a mobile music venue, will tour Fairfax County on Sept. 27-29 (photo by Sean Scheidt)

The sounds of Broadway are coming to Fairfax County in a truck this fall.

The Concert Truck will kick off the season with six stops across the county in three days, starting at the Oakwood Meadow Senior Residences in Rose Hill on Sept. 27 and concluding on Sept. 29 at the Providence Community Center in Oakton.

The mobile concert hall will also make stops at The Boro for its inaugural Tysons Fall Mixed Market, George Mason Regional Library in Annandale, the Mosaic District in Merrifield, and Capital One Center in Tysons.

At each stop, The Concert Truck co-founder and pianist Nick Luby will be joined by singer Jacob Lamb for an hour-long performance “featuring arrangements of Broadway classics,” according to a public relations representative for The Boro.

Luby started The Concert Truck with fellow pianist Susan Zhang in April 2016 as a way to expand the accessibility of live music, according to the pop-up’s website.

Equipped with lights, sound and instruments, the 16-foot box truck launched in Columbia, South Carolina, delivering eight performances in five days. It has since appeared across the country and partnered with local and national arts organizations, such as the Kennedy Center’s Washington National Opera and the Virginia Arts Festival.

The full schedule for the truck’s Fairfax County tour is below.

September 27, 2023 @ 11:00 a.m.
Oakwood Meadow Senior Residences
5815 S. Van Dorn Street, Alexandria, Virginia

September 27, 2023 @ 5:00 p.m.
Boro Park
The Tysons Mixed Market
8350 Broad Street Tysons, VA 22102

September 28, 2023 @ 11:30 a.m.
George Mason Regional Library
7001 Little River Turnpike Annandale, VA 22003

September 28, 2023 @ 5:00 p.m.
2905 District Avenue Fairfax, VA 22031

September 29, 2023 11:00 a.m.
Capital One Center — The Sculpture Garden
1680 Capital One Tower Road Tysons, VA 22102

September 29, 2023 @ 2:30 p.m.
The Providence Community Center
3001 Vaden Drive, Fairfax, VA 22031

For anyone looking to get a more traditional Broadway experience, Capital One Hall is bringing back its “Broadway in Tysons” series for a third year. The season will open with “Jesus Christ Superstar” — which is celebrating its 50th anniversary — on Oct. 20-22, followed by “The Cher Show” on Feb. 16-18, “STOMP” on April 5-7 and “Little Women” on May 17-19.

The Brooklyn fusion band Red Baraat will perform at The Barns on Oct. 28 (courtesy Wolf Trap Foundation)

The guitarist from The Police, a “Glee” crooner and even Emily Dickinson will pay a visit to The Barns at Wolf Trap over the next year.

The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts unveiled an initial lineup of performances today (Tuesday) for the 2023-2024 season at its 382-seat indoor venue, which primarily operates from October through May after the park’s Filene Center concludes its summer season.

Tickets for the newly announced shows will go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. this Friday (Aug. 11). They’re already available for purchase by Wolf Trap members, who are donors of $80 or more.

The upcoming season will feature performers from a variety of genres, including rock, musical theater, folk, comedy and chamber music, according to Wolf Trap Foundation President and CEO Arvind Manocha.

“The Barns gives everyone the chance to enjoy their favorite artists in a uniquely intimate setting, and this season continues to underscore Wolf Trap’s commitment to providing diverse and innovative performances for our patrons,” Manocha said in a statement. “We can’t wait to share the rest of this season’s lineup.”

Still performing at 80 years old, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Andy Summers will open the season on Oct. 13 with his “The Cracked Lens + A Missing String” tour, which combines music, photography, theater and short story readings.

Other highlights include jazz from the Branford Marsalis Quartet on Oct. 17-18, the 10th anniversary tour of indie/folk band The Lone Bellow on Nov. 26-27, and a holiday concert by actor and singer Darren Criss on Dec. 2-3.

Criss’s “A Very Darren Chrissmas” show is among several shows aimed at musical theater fans. The Barns will also host singer Linda Eder on Nov. 2, Broadway actor Stephanie J. Block on Feb. 9-10 and Tony Award winner John Lloyd Young on March 1.

In addition, the season will feature chamber music curated by artistic advisor Wu Han, starting on Nov. 3-4 with violinist Pinchas Zukerman celebrating his 75th birthday by playing work by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Dvořák.

The Orion String Quartet’s farewell tour (Nov. 19), the music of Beethoven (March 10 and April 19) and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (Jan. 28), and Emily Dickinson’s poetry (April 5) will also figure into the chamber music lineup.

A full breakdown of the season from the Wolf Trap Foundation can be found below. Read More

Strawberry Lane will get blocked off Saturday nights this summer for a new Mosaic Live concert series (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Updated at 12:20 p.m. on 6/23/2023 — The Mosaic Live kick-off event on Saturday has been canceled due to forecasted inclement weather, according to Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik. The series will instead begin on July 1 with the Munit Mesfin Band.

Earlier: Live music will take over Strawberry Lane at Mosaic District this summer.

A new “Mosaic Live” concert series is set to kick off on Saturday, June 24 at 5 p.m. It’s the latest addition to the Fairfax County Park Authority’s annual summer entertainment lineup, which is underway with 118 live performances scheduled at 20 different venues around the county.

The Mosaic Live kickoff event will be headlined by Groovalicious, a band that pays tribute to disco and other 1970s music. The Vienna Singing Princesses will serve as an opening act, with local elected officials expected to attend, according to the Providence District office, which helped organize the series.

Future concerts will begin at 6 p.m. every Saturday through Aug. 19:

  • July 1: Munit Mesfin Band
  • July 8: Los Three Baritones
  • July 15: School of Rock from Vienna
  • July 22: Brian Cunningham Project
  • July 29: Centro Cultural Bolivia
  • Aug. 5: Patrick Alban & Noche Latina
  • Aug. 12: Tobago Bay Calypso Band
  • Aug. 19: Ocho de Bastos

(Correction: This story initially said future concerts would begin at 6:30 p.m.) 

Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik’s office is also bringing back Nottoway Nights, a concert series that will take place on Thursdays at Nottoway Park (9601 Courthouse Road) in Vienna.

Nottoway Nights concerts will begin on July 6 and continue through Aug. 24, running from 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Last year, the Providence District office and FCPA tried out a Global Music & Dance series at the Graham Road Community Building, though the program isn’t returning this year.

The full Summer Entertainment Series schedule can be found on the park authority’s website.

By the water at Reston’s Lake Anne Plaza (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Lake Anne’s plaza will once again spring to life this summer with concerts.

Lake Anne Live! — an event series that kicked off last year — brings Thursday evening concerts to the plaza from June 15 through July 27.

The free concerts will feature music and dance from local musicians and dance instructors. Attendees will also have the chance to dance along the instructors, according to a release by the Lake Anne and Washington Plaza Merchant Association (LAWPA).

In a statement to FFXnow, the LAWPA team said they decided to continue the series this year due to popular demand.

“Because of the great response, especially to our dance nights, and because of repeated requests from our community and neighbors, we decided to have them again this year,” LAWPA said. “Our aim is to bring our community together for dancing, music, and laughter through the Summer.”

The line-up includes the following:

  • June 15 (6-9 p.m.): Salsa Instruction and Dance with David Norton
  • June 22, (6-9 p.m.): Swing Instruction and Dance with Gottaswing; pet adoptions by Lucky Dog Animal Rescue
  • June 29 (7-9 p.m.): Bruce Corsino concert
  • July 6 (6-9 p.m.): Bachata Instruction and Dance with David Norton
  • July 13 (7-9 p.m.): To be announced on Lake Anne Plaza’s social media pages
  • July 20 (7-9 p.m.): Concert with the Reston Community Orchestra
  • July 27 (6-9 p.m.): Salsa and Bachata Instruction and Dance with David Norton

The plaza is located at 1609 Washington Plaza North. All concerts are free.

Pimmit Hills residents recently held a pizza party to raise funds to cover legal fees from Washington Gas’ lawsuit over a planned gas pipeline (photo by Marni Penning)

The Pimmit Hills neighborhood has officially reached the “let’s put on a show” stage of its battle against a planned Washington Gas pipeline.

Faced with escalating legal fees, residents have banded together to stage a “Protect Pimmit Hills Hoedown” benefit concert from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday (June 3) as a fundraiser for four of their neighbors who were sued by the utility company.

The concert will be held at Pimmit Barn (1845 Cherri Drive) with “limited” food available for sale from the food truck, The Big Cheese. Providing the music will be the Pimmit Hillbillies, a band that neighborhood residents formed for this occasion.

“We hope this concert helps reinforce our community spirit by getting neighbors out and meeting each other to join fight this project that affects us all,” resident guitarist Tom Gillespie said. “We will bond over great tunes, grilled cheese sandwiches, and chocolate chip cookies while we talk about our ongoing pipeline battle.”

Filed by Washington Gas on March 3, 2022, the lawsuit challenges a Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals ruling that a special exception permit and 2232 review are required for the natural gas pipeline, the last phase of the Strip 1 Tysons project to upgrade about five miles of pipe from Tyco Road to Pimmit Drive.

A bench trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court had been scheduled for April 25 and 26, but the judge postponed it to the first week of September after the Virginia Supreme Court voided the zoning ordinance that guided the BZA’s decision, according to Christina Chen Zinner, one of the Pimmit Hills residents involved in the case.

Though the ordinance known as zMOD was readopted on May 9, it remains unclear how the Supreme Court’s ruling affected zoning decisions made during the two years when the code was initially in effect.

Because of the trial delay, Zinner and her fellow defendants shared earlier this month that they need to raise an additional $20,000 to cover their legal costs, which have climbed to $45,000. With the help of a recent neighborhood pizza party, they’ve made progress on that goal, raising $38,700 through Gofundme.

The Pimmit Hillbillies hope to finish the job. The band emerged from a virtual meeting, where residents brainstormed fundraising ideas.

“Knowing that I like to sing and play guitar, and compose my own songs, [my wife Stephanie] challenged me during the meeting to compose a protest song to help us promote our Gofundme drive,” Gillespie recalled. “I feel so passionate about fighting this pipeline that the lyrics and notes just flowed out of me.” Read More


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