"Parable of the Sower" has music and lyrics by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon. (Photo by Ehud Lazin)
"Parable of the Sower" has music and lyrics by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon. (Photo by Ehud Lazin)

Summer is heating up at Strathmore, with a diverse lineup of musicians, dancers, and performance artists set to entertain audiences of all ages.

Throughout June, the Concert Hall will host a series of shows that highlight the diversity of artistic expression in the Black community, starting with Grammy-winning Beninese singer-songwriter, Angélique Kidjo. World-music icon Kidjo will bring her acclaimed global sound back to the DMV on June 15—a fusion of West African traditions with elements of American R&B, funk, and jazz, as well as European and Latin American influences.

Four days later, Strathmore and Step Afrika!, one of most acclaimed African American dance companies in the world, celebrate Juneteenth with the high-energy Step Xplosion. The performance, now in its 8th year at Strathmore, honors stepping’s rich roots in the Black fraternity and sorority experience. This year’s performance features the return of in-person regional step teams and an explosive new work rooted in the resilience and determination of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Strathmore presents Octavia E. Butler's "Parable of the Sower." (Photo by Ehud Lazin)
Strathmore presents Octavia E. Butler’s “Parable of the Sower.” (Photo by Ehud Lazin)

Resilience is also a theme of Parable of the Sower, a musical adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s sci-fi Afrofuturist masterpiece. Created by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon, the fully staged congregational opera, which sold out twice last year, incorporates 200 years of Black music, including rock, blues, and gospel. 

When July arrives, music at Strathmore will move outside. This summer’s free Live from the Lawn concert series offers 11 performances that will have audiences on their feet—when they’re not relaxing on picnic blankets with snacks and drinks. 

Live from the Lawn Lineup

Fellow Pynins
Wed, July 5 | 7pm
The award-winning duo of Dani Aubert and Ian George will take audiences on a whimsical journey through folk originals and reworked traditional ballads gathered from their travels.

Wed, July 12 | 7pm
This 11-piece Afrofunk orchestra, a 14-time Wammie-winning group, explores the common groove between West African tribal music and James Brown-inspired rhythms. 

Cool Concerts for Kids: Falu’s Bazaar
Thu, July 13 | 7pm
Grammy-winner Falu and her band celebrate the instruments, languages, and cultures of South Asia in a trilingual celebration of diversity for young audiences.

Wed, July 19 | 7pm
Known for her reflective lyrics, the DC-based singer-songwriter’s rich sound comes from her deep appreciation for mid-century soul, jazz, ‘90s R&B, and folk music.

Cool Concerts for Kids: Sonia De Los Santos
Thu, July 20 | 7pm
The Mexican songstress shares stories about her favorite things—including birds, friendship, and chocolate—in this bilingual interactive celebration of Latin American musical traditions.

Carly Harvey
Wed, July 26 | 7pm
DC’s Queen of the Blues, Harvey combines blues, jazz, soul, and Indigenous American styles for a unique sound that’s all her own. 

Cool Concerts for Kids: Fyütch
Thu, July 27 | 7pm
This Grammy-nominated musician and social justice artist combines hip-hop and visual storytelling to educate, entertain, and empower the next generation.

Wed, Aug 2 | 7pm
The dynamic guitar ensemble’s instrumental global sound is inspired by Latin American, Middle Eastern, Celtic, and jazz grooves.

Cool Concerts for Kids: Dan + Claudia Zanes
Thu, Aug 3 | 7pm
Grammy-winner Dan Zanes and Haitian American jazz vocalist Claudia Zanes engage audiences of all ages with their joyful modern-day folk sound and commitment to accessibility.

Lakou Mizik
Wed, Aug 9 | 7pm
This multigenerational collective of Haitian musicians creates dance-party vibes with roots music that weaves together African, French, Caribbean, and US influences.

UkeFest Finale
Wed, Aug 16 | 7pm
Strathmore’s 15th annual UkeFest, created by Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, will culminate in an interactive celebration featuring an all-star lineup of diverse ukelele virtuosos. 

The excitement continues even after summer ends. Strathmore recently announced 25 new shows for its next season, featuring a range of captivating performances. Highlights include a special klezmer performance from Itzhak Perlman and guests, the joyful family-favorite Air Play, and Terrence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which holds the distinction of being The Metropolitan Opera’s first work written by a Black composer. These upcoming shows promise to deliver unforgettable experiences for audiences of all backgrounds and interests.

See the full schedule of Music Center and Live from the Lawn performances at strathmore.org/calendar.

About Strathmore

Strathmore is a multidimensional creative anchor in the community, where everyone can connect with the arts, and artists can explore their full potential.

A 501(c)3 nonprofit, Strathmore presents hundreds of performances, visual arts, and education programs, annually, for diverse audiences on its Montgomery County, Maryland, campus and in the community.

All of Strathmore’s facilities are Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accredited.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *