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The inaugural JeanFest22 in Vienna will celebrate the life of Jean Buttecali, a resident, business owner and volunteer who died in 2020 (photo by Pete Buttecali)

This weekend, Vienna will celebrate a longtime resident the way she would’ve wanted: with a party for a good cause.

The Rotary Club of Vienna will stage its inaugural JeanFest22 Charity Benefit Concert at the Town Green and Jammin’ Java on Saturday (Sept. 10) in honor of Jean Buttecali, a local business owner and frequent volunteer who died suddenly from an unknown heart issue in summer 2020.

Conceived by Buttecali’s husband of over 30 years, Pete, the concert will supplement the ViVa Vienna festival that the rotary club organizes every Memorial Day weekend as a fundraiser. All proceeds will be added to those funds for donation to community groups and charitable causes.

“She had a huge heart, big smile, and also really did a lot of stuff behind the scenes philanthropically with different organizations,” JeanFest22 Chair A.J. Oskuie said “…When we lost her, we wanted to celebrate her in some way, and this was the best way to sort of commemorate her memory and also have a good time. She would want to do the same thing.”

In a video about JeanFest, Pete Buttecali calls his wife’s death a “devastating” tragedy in a year already made challenging by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to their marriage and two children, the couple shared ownership of Woodpile Studios, a design firm noted for creating the logo for the 2005 Grammy Awards.

Yet, Jean “was an optimist” who wouldn’t “tolerate a collapse into grief,” he says. They had promised each other that “if one of us passed away, don’t put on a funeral, throw a party.”

In that spirit, JeanFest will kick off at 11:30 a.m. on the Vienna Town Green with food, retail vendors, and family-friendly entertainment:

Admission to the outdoor concert is free, but there will be buckets and QR codes that attendees can use to make donations.

The festivities will move to Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Avenue East) from 7-10 p.m. for live music from the Arlington-based FBI Band, whose frontman was one of Jean’s best friends, according to Oskuie.

Tickets to the indoor, more adult-oriented “JeanFest Night Jam” start at $22 and can be purchased through Jammin’ Java. Ticket, merchandise, food and drink proceeds will go to charity.

Oskuie says the 2022 ViVa Vienna alone brought in about $240,000. Over the next year, the rotary club will support over 70 different organizations nominated by its members this fall, with distributions starting in November.

Among the beneficiaries will be So Others Might Eat, a D.C. nonprofit that helps people experiencing poverty and homelessness. Jean Buttecali was a supporter, and her family set up a GoFundMe page after her death that raised over $16,000 for the group.

Oskuie estimates JeanFest could draw a total of 4,000 to 5,000 people, making it smaller than ViVa Vienna, but the organizers hope it can have as outsized an impact on others’ lives as its namesake had on theirs.

“It’s a lot of folks who were in awe of Jean and knew her quite well that are running behind the scenes and doing different things,” Oskuie said. “So, it’s a celebration of her life and the proceeds…will benefit local charities that we’ve been giving to through Viva Vienna for years.”

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The Virginia Chamber Orchestra started performing at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens during the pandemic (courtesy Virginia Chamber Orchestra)

The Virginia Chamber Orchestra is tuning up for a fall concert series at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Wolf Trap.

The “Music in the Gardens” series will kick off at 3 p.m. this Sunday (Sept. 4) with “Viva Violas!,” a showcase of that oft-overlooked member of the string family.

A quintet of performers from the professional, Northern Virginia-based orchestra will play for an hour at Meadowlark’s Korean Bell Pavilion. The advertised program features pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Anton Dvorak, and more:

  • Viola Duets from the Renaissance
  • Charles De Beriot: Two Duets
  • Telemann: Concerto for Two Violas
  • Dvorak: Allegro from Quartet in F Major, Op. 96, “American”
  • Mozart: Andante and Allegro from Viola Quintet in C Major

The series will continue throughout the month with a guitar quintet on Sept. 11, a viola duo with double bass on Sept. 18, and a clarinet quintet on Sept. 25.

All concerts take place from 3-4 p.m. and are free to attend, though Meadowlark’s $6 admission fees are in effect. The park has a $3 discount for people aged 6-17 and 55 and older, with kids under 5 getting in for free.

The Virginia Chamber Orchestra first teamed up with Meadowlark for the “Music in the Gardens” series in fall 2020, when concert venues remained closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Audiences were so large and enthusiastic that the Virginia Chamber Orchestra is continuing them with both a Spring and a Fall series in 2022, even though traditional concert venues have reopened,” the VCO previously said in a press release.

The series’ spring iteration started May 15 and concluded on June 26.

Long based at Northern Virginia Community College’s Ernest Center in Annandale, the VCO relocated to Capital One Hall in Tysons last year as it celebrated its 50th anniversary season.

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A new jazz series is coming soon to Reston Town Center (via RTCA)

A new jazz series is kicking off next month in Reston Town Square Park next month.

The Reston Town Center Association is launching a jazz series on Sept. 8. Called Sip & Stroll, visitors can purchase alcohol at some establishments on site and stroll to designated areas at select events.

The series kicks off with Darden and Friends on Thursday evenings from Sept. 8 through Oct. 27. Darden Purcell, a national recording artist and director of jazz studies at George Mason University, will close and curate the series.

The event is free and presented by RTCA and Reston Community Center.

RTCA Executive Director Robert Goudie says the series was launching to further expand the town center experience.

“What a way to launch it, with world-class jazz from Darden and her friends, presented in partnership with our longtime cultural partner, Reston Community Center, and with the generous support of Boston Properties and the Avant (our green room sponsor),” Goudie said. “We think that this will hit all the right notes.”

In a statement, RCC’s executive director Leila Gordon said the center was supportive of the idea when it was pitched it to the center by RTCA.

“Combining the beautiful early evenings of fall in the ambience of the park and offering audiences the added treat of sipping their beverage of choice from one of the participating restaurants, is a perfect match. We think people will thoroughly enjoy themselves,” Gordon said.

Alcohol can only be bought from establishments within the event perimeter — which is town square park and surrounding streets.

The concert will run on Thursday from 5-6:15 p.m. and the park will be open for the event at 4 p.m. All alcohol must be cleared from the park by 7 p.m.

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The Furia Flamenca Dance Company will serve as the artist-in-residence for The Alden’s 2022-2023 season (courtesy McLean Community Center)

A D.C.-based flamenco dance company will entertain McLean audiences for a full year as The Alden’s new artist-in-residence.

The McLean Community Center announced last week that its in-house theater will host public events and serve as an “incubator” for the Furia Flamenca Dance Company, which has performed in the center at 1234 Ingleside Avenue in the past.

“Alden audiences absolutely adore flamenco and pack the house at Furia Flamenca’s performances here,” MCC Performing Arts Director Sarah Schallern Treff said, noting that Furia founder and artistic director Estela Vélez de Paredez’s lectures on flamenco history and styles “have been especially popular.”

“I can’t wait to share even more of the company’s great work with the community,” she added in the news release.

Since it was founded in 2004, Furia Flamenca has performed throughout the D.C. area, including at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Theatre, National Theatre, and Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, according to its website.

The group will put on the first public show of its 2022-2023 residency at The Alden on Oct. 8 with “A Trip to Spain,” an interactive, family-friendly introduction to flamenco music and dance. Tickets for the show, which is being tied to Hispanic Heritage Month, will cost $10 for MCC tax district residents or $15 for non-residents.

Throughout its residency, Furia Flamenca will host open rehearsals, workshops and lectures for the public, concluding on June 3 with the show “Recordando La Alhambra” that it debuted in 2014.

“The production combines choreography with musical arrangements to highlight the common roots of flamenco, Middle Eastern and North African music and dance,” MCC says. “Furia Flamenca will be accompanied by live music.”

Expressing excitement about the upcoming residency, Vélez de Paredez noted in the news release that The Alden was home to the company’s first-ever theatrical production in 2009.

“We are therefore excited to come back to the venue where we made our first big visions a reality, this time as a resident company,” Vélez de Paredez said. “We look forward to continuing to educate our audiences on all aspects of flamenco and to returning to the Alden stage! We want to thank Sarah Schallern Treff for this amazing opportunity and for embracing us once again.”

Furia Flamenca will join an eclectic 2022-2023 season for The Alden that will kick off with rhythm and blues musician Lil’ Maceo on Sept. 11. MCC also shared today (Friday) that Sons of Mystro, a duo of reggae/pop violinists, will give a free concert at 5 p.m. on Sept. 17 in McLean Central Park.

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The 2022 Fairfax County karaoke competition will conclude at The PARC’s Tysons Block Party on Aug. 19 (courtesy of Celebrate Fairfax/AE Lands Photography)

Celebrate Fairfax Inc. will close out the summer tomorrow (Friday) with an outdoor bash and some tunes.

The nonprofit organization best known for staging the annual Celebrate Fairfax! Festival will kick off the third and final Tysons Block Party of the season at 4 p.m. outside The PARC (8508 Leesburg Pike), the events venue it established at a former Container Store.

In addition to food trucks, drinks, games and a free workout, the party will feature the championships of the Fairfax County karaoke competition, a longtime festival staple. The contest kicked off with an initial wildcard round on June 17 and had semifinals on July 15.

Traditionally held at the Fairfax County Government Center in June, the Celebrate Fairfax Festival had what appears to be its last hurrah in 2019. After cancellations in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, the fair was split up this year into an ongoing series of smaller events in different parts of the county.

While the news disappointed some fans of the festival, Celebrate Fairfax says it has been working to “really try to involve the community” with its new approach, and finding a new home for the karaoke competition in particular has “been a really rewarding process.”

“We love community feedback and we are constantly looking for new and excited ways to create events that are fun for the whole community,” spokesperson Katie Rorer said by email. “…Celebrate Fairfax has begun working on transitioning from planning and producing the Celebrate Fairfax Festival, to creating events and spaces throughout Fairfax County that foster a sense of community, fun, and belonging through placemaking opportunities!”

Upcoming events include a Shop Local Market at The PARC on Sept. 10, a grand opening celebration for the new Sully Community Center (13800 Wall Road, Herndon) on Sept. 17, and a 5K fun run at Kingstowne Towne Center on Sept. 24 to support the ConnerStrong Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

Rorer says a full calendar of events for this fall will be released soon.

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1964 The Tribute, a Beatles tribute band, will perform at The Barns on Feb. 9, 2023 (courtesy Steven Gardner/Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts)

(Updated at 2:15 p.m. on 8/12/2022) Perhaps sensing a growing weariness with the heat of summer, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts has released a preview of its upcoming fall season.

Announcing its first scheduled performances yesterday (Tuesday), The Barns at Wolf Trap will deliver an assortment of pop, rock, country, jazz, and orchestral music as well as some comedy sets, starting with the Rebirth Brass Band from New Orleans on Oct. 6.

The 382-seat indoor theater at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts typically hosts more than 80 performances during its regular season from October through May. In the summer, it’s home to the Wolf Trap Opera, which still has three performances scheduled on Aug. 12, 14 and 20 of “Susanna.”

The park’s open-air Filene Center also has another month left in its main summer season, which will continue tomorrow (Thursday) with a sing-along concert to the Disney film “Encanto.”

“This summer has been a welcome return to a full season of shows at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center,” Jo LaBrecque, vice president of communications and marketing for the Wolf Trap Foundation, said. “We’re dedicated to offering the community a diverse lineup of shows throughout the year, and we look forward to seeing audiences return to The Barns this fall.”

After going on hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic, The Barns returned with live, in-person performances — and some COVID-19 health policies — last year.

Wolf Trap is no longer requiring proof of vaccination or masks, though face masks are still welcome and individual artists may request a different approach, according to the park’s guidelines. Wolf Trap advises checking its website 48 hours in advance of a show for the most updated information.

Tickets for the first batch of 2022-2023 shows will go on sale Friday (Aug. 12) at 10 a.m. The full schedule is below. Read More

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Morning Notes

Sun shines through tree leaves in Vienna (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Man Dies After Fairfax City Crash — “A 32-year-old Maryland man died from injuries he received when the motorcycle he was riding Monday afternoon collided with an SUV on Chain Bridge Road in Fairfax City, according to a police release.” [Patch]

Suspect in Fatal Springfield Stabbing Extradited — “This evening, Jose Heber Hernandez Mejia was extradited back to Fairfax County from South Carolina. He’s charged with 2nd degree murder for the July 17 domestic-related stabbing in the 5200 block of Rolling Rd. Hernandez Mejia was held on no bond.” [FCPD/Twitter]

Arrests Made in Child Solicitation Sting — “Six men ranging in ages from 26 to 43 were arrested by Fairfax County Police as part of an online sting to identify and apprehend predators seeking to exploit children using the internet, according to a police brief.” [Patch]

Food Stolen From Mount Vernon Daycare — “Officers were called to the KinderCare at 4287 Buckman Road early Monday morning for a burglary that occurred over the weekend. When officers learned thousands of dollars worth of food was stolen from the center, they quickly jumped into action to ensure the kids wouldn’t go hungry by purchasing breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks.” [FCPD/Facebook]

Virginia Sees Bump in Pro-Choice License Plates — “Pro-life and pro-choice license plates aren’t new to Virginia: The commonwealth has issued ‘Choose Life’ plates since 2009 and ‘Trust Women. Respect Choice.’ since 2010…Since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, though, more people are buying pro-choice plates.” [Washingtonian]

Fire Department Enlists Starbucks for Backpack Drive — “#FCFRD is partnering with select local @Starbucks stores to collect backpacks for underprivileged children. Backpacks will be given to local schools in #FairfaxCounty for distribution. Backpacks will be collected until August 12. Please donate a new backpack today!” [FCFRD/Twitter]

Metro Seeks to Add More Trains — Metro is seeking permission to operate more of the 7000-series trains that were sidelined late last year after a derailment in Arlington, according to the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission. The transit agency is currently permitted to run 64 cars, or eight trains, per day, as long as their wheels are inspected daily. [The Washington Post]

State Legislators Consider Changes to Recall Process — “Activists in Virginia are increasingly turning to the state’s court-driven recall process to try to take out their frustrations on local officials they feel have done something wrong…The fact that the recalls almost never work doesn’t seem to be stopping the trend, but it’s causing some lawmakers to rethink a system that empowers judges, not voters, to decide when politicians deserve to be kicked out of office early.” [Virginia Mercury/Inside NoVA]

“American Idol” Winner to Take Wolf Trap Stage — “Her victory on Season 3 of ‘American Idol’ made her a household name. Now, Fantasia Barrino is bringing her signature sound to Wolf Trap in Virginia on Aug. 19.” [WTOP]

It’s Wednesday — Rain starting in the afternoon. High of 88 and low of 77. Sunrise at 6:19 am and sunset at 8:11 pm. [Weather.gov]

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The David Dorfman Dance company will perform “(A) Way Out of My Body” in McLean on April 14, 2023 (courtesy McLean Community Center)

The Alden Theatre at the McLean Community Center is about to get busy, with a full slate of music, theater, inspirational speakers and other entertainment over the next year.

The upcoming 2022-2023 season will feature local groups like the Virginia Chamber Orchestra as well as more far-flung yet notable figures, such as gold medal-winning U.S. gymnast Laurie Hernandez and The Peking Acrobats.

Kicking off with a free concert by saxophonist Lil’ Maceo at McLean Central Park on Sept. 11, the lineup is guided by a core theme of “healing, both personally and societally,” MCC said in its announcement on Monday (Aug. 1).

Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased through the theater’s website. Three of the musical performances are free, while the other shows have varying prices with discounts for seniors and students.

A full rundown of the schedule is below. All events are in the community center at 1234 Ingleside Avenue unless otherwise indicated.

Music

Lil’ Maceo

  • Sunday, Sept. 11, 3 p.m. — McLean Central Park (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd)
  • Free admission

For all ages. Old-school funky, foot-stomping R&B saxophone. Lil’ Maceo’s musical roots in funk, pop, dance and contemporary jazz will get you off your butt and partying.

Sons of Mystro

  • Saturday, Sept. 17, 5 p.m. — McLean Central Park
  • Free admission

The Sons of Mystro are brothers who use their violins to interpret reggae classics and American pop songs by such artists as Al Green, LMFAO, Bob Marley and Dua Lipa. They are winners of the Emerging Artist Under 21 Years Old Award from the International Reggae and World Music Awards.

The Boy Band Project

  • Friday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m.
  • $30/$20 MCC district residents/$25 seniors and students

The Boy Band Project transports you back to a time when the boy band phenom dominated pop culture and TRL was appointment television. Delivered with their own special mix of handsomeness, tongue-in-cheek humor and talent from Broadway’s “Wicked,” “Hairspray” and “Mamma Mia” (and more), these boys recreate the sounds and choreography of your favorite boy bands, from NKOTB to One Direction. Read More

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Morning Notes

A speed limit sign for Route 123 by the Tysons Corner Metro station (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Look Out for Spotted Lanternfly — “While there are still no sightings of the spotted lanternfly in Fairfax County, it is getting closer, and experts are on the lookout for it. This summer the invasive pest was found in nearby Loudoun County…The insect feasts on more than 70 plant species, though its preferred host is the tree-of-heaven.” [DPWES]

FCPD Detective Destroyed Evidence of Rape — Fairfax County police are reviewing dozens of unsolved sexual assault cases after the victim of a rape in 1995 learned that a detective had destroyed all physical evidence in her case, including the rape kit. Police now say they believe the woman’s account and that her case was handled inappropriately, but she says the department needs “to somehow be held accountable.” [The Washington Post]

Longtime Fairfax Symphony Leader Dies — “William Hudson, a pianist and conductor who led the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra for 36 years, establishing it as a leading regional orchestra in the capital area, died July 12 at his home in Vienna, Va. He was 89. The cause was atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, said his former wife, Denise Battistone.” [The Washington Post]

Tysons Corner Center Owner Reports Retail Resurgence — “Macerich…noted that distress in the retail industry has slowed dramatically after a pandemic-spurred wave of closures in 2020…Macerich said its leasing activity in the second quarter reflected retailer demand at levels not seen since 2015.” [CNBC]

Vienna Police Share Results of Increased Traffic Enforcement — “After a noticeable increase in stop sign violations, the Town of Vienna Police Department had a directed enforcement initiative during the month of June…During the Stop Sign Enforcement Campaign, officers worked a total of 469 events utilizing stationary observation of stop signs, which generated 219 stop sign violations and 74 other violations.” [Vienna Police]

Local Meal Service Company Gets New HQ — MightyMeals, an overnight meal delivery company that grew out of a Franconia restaurant in 2015, has leased a 16,000-square-foot commercial unit at 7669 Limestone Drive in Gainesville for its new corporate headquarters. The space is seven times larger than its current 2,400-square-foot cooking prep warehouse in Burke. [Washington Business Journal]

Signs for Renamed Vienna Street in Place — “Vienna officials have replaced street signs on the former Wade Hampton Drive with new ones reading ‘Liberty Lane.’ The switch was done in early July ‘with little fanfare’ (as requested by residents), town officials said in the government’s monthly newsletter.” [Sun Gazette]

Bus Planned to Upcoming Innovation Center Metro — “OmniRide is hoping to take advantage of the forthcoming 66 Outside the Beltway toll lanes, and for the first time, its passengers could be getting one-seat trips to the Dulles area by the end of the year. The transit provider is hoping to start a commuter route that would take riders from Balls Ford Road to the Innovation Center Silver Line Metro stop in December” [Inside NoVA/WTOP]

It’s Wednesday — Humid throughout the day. High of 90 and low of 71. Sunrise at 6:13 am and sunset at 8:19 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

A fawn in the woods (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

FCPS Students Rally in Support of Reproductive Health — “Students are calling on Fairfax County Public Schools to reform its sex education program — adding more information about contraception and increasing student access to contraceptives — in response to the fall of Roe v. Wade.” [The Washington Post]

Local Company Helped Built Groundbreaking Telescope — Earlier this week, NASA released the first images from its James Webb Space Telescope, built with a team of private companies led by West Falls Church-based Northrop Grumman. Offering “never-before-seen glimpses into the origins of our universe,” Webb is the “largest, most complex and powerful space telescope ever built.” [FCEDA]

Dozens Vaccinated Against Covid at Reston Clinic — “After months of planning and preparation, the clinic was held at Reston Community Center, located next to Hunters Woods Fellowship House, on June 15. While an initial survey conducted by the Hunters Woods program coordinator found only 50 people were interested in attending, thanks to community outreach, 72 adults and 14 children ended up getting vaccinated.” [Fairfax County Health Department]

Scotts Run Fire Station Gets New Engine — “A big day this Saturday at Station 44, Scotts Run! Engine 444 will be placed in service joining Rescue Squad and Ambulance 444 at the station. Crews working hard this week labelling fire hose to place on the engine. #FCFRD’s newest station opened on August 14, 2021.” [FCFRD/Twitter]

Vienna Considers Starting Budget Process Earlier — “Starting with its next fiscal-year budget cycle, Vienna government staff will give the Vienna Town Council information earlier in the process so they can set priorities to guide the rest of the discussions. The Council expressed support July 11 after Finance Director Marion Serfass outlined the revamped budget schedule.” [Sun Gazette]

Local Bus Drivers Train for Silver Line Phase II — “Fairfax Connector is gearing up for new bus routes coming with the Silver Line Phase II launch. Here’s a look at the most recent test of the bus bridge. As you can see Connector is joined by Metrobus @wmata and Loudoun County Transit” [Fairfax Connector/Twitter]

Northern Virginia Pounces on Cat Cafes — “Northern Virginia is no stranger to cat cafes, as there are 3 currently-open cafes that are all about 30 minutes away from interested Falls Church locals. Patriot Pawsabilities, Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe and Wine Bar and Meows Corner Cat Cafe and Lounge offer feline enthusiasts and/or the average animal lover a cuddly experience.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Former Fort Belvoir Leader Inspires in Alexandria — “Retired U.S. Army Colonel Gregory Gadson says that success happens by staying present, and letting go of the invisible anchors that hold you back. Gadson knows what he’s talking about. The war hero, actor, photographer, philanthropist and business owner is also the first-ever double amputee to command a major military installation — Fort Belvoir.” [ALXnow]

Young Lifeguards Train With FCPD — “Fairfax County police officers in the underwater search and recovery unit were at Lake Barcroft yesterday — but no one drowned. The Lake Barcroft Association had asked the unit to conduct a training class for junior lifeguards.” [Annandale Today]

Hawaiian Music Group Comes to Tysons — “Join us at our Tysons-Pimmit branch Saturday morning to participate in & enjoy the music performed by Ukulele Hui! This performance includes interactive elements. Ukulele Hui is part of the Hawai’i State Society of Washington, D.C.” [Fairfax County Public Library/Twitter]

It’s Friday — Clear throughout the day. High of 84 and low of 69. Sunrise at 5:57 am and sunset at 8:35 pm. [Weather.gov]

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