(Updated at 10:40 p.m.) When Hamid Habib Zada and Negin Khwalpak fled Afghanistan with their daughter Maram two years ago in hopes of escaping the Taliban, all they brought to America was a backpack full of diapers.
Their story is the inspiration for Arlington Chorale’s new concert, “We Stand Together,” which is premiering this Sunday, June 11 at 5 p.m.
Zada worked as a professional tabla player and Khwalpak as a conductor of Zohra, Afghanistan’s first all-female orchestra, before their escape. She currently studies conducting with a private teacher.
The Chorale’s artistic director, Ingrid Lestrud, noticed an online fundraiser for the couple in early 2022.
The fundraiser was posted by Jim Ross of the Alexandria Symphony, where Zada has played previously. After donating, Lestrud reached out to the couple and they quickly developed a relationship based on a shared love for music.
Zada and Khwalpak’s story serves as a guiding light behind Lestrud’s creative efforts to inspire change.
“This is one of the amazing things the show has — the voice of the refugee, the voice of the people that come from a hard situation, the people that started a life from zero and struggled [to get where they are today],” Khwalpak said in a brief interview with ARLnow.
For the upcoming show, Lestrud called upon Los Angeles-based composer Saunder Choi to create a piece that reflects the couple’s experience with loss, uncertainty, relocation and cultural empowerment. Zada will play the tabla during the live performance.
“Poetry and music have the capacity to carry our histories, longings, and dreams,” Choi said in a statement. “Together they can create a bridge between people and cultures where we can meet and truly see one another.”
The couple and Lestrud believe that the music will raise awareness for local refugees and inspire community support. Though Lestrud has worked with Zada in the past, she aims to feature Khwalpak as a conductor later this year.
The concert will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (4444 Arlington Blvd) at 5 p.m. Tickets are available for $20 on the Chorale’s website. Attendees may also purchase tickets at the door.
The Dutch ambassador, ballet dancers, a pair of expert bell ringers, and a princess.
All are among those set to be on hand for a special concert at the Netherlands Carillon near Rosslyn tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon. The “one-of-a-kind event that celebrates friendship and freedom” is set to take place from 4-6 p.m.
“The second annual Freedom Concert is organized by the National Park Service and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in recognition of the Netherlands’ Liberation Day (May 5),” the Dutch embassy said in a press release. “Princess Margriet will deliver a keynote speech on the importance of celebrating freedom. The event also features carillonneurs Edward Nassor (United States) and Rosemarie Seuntiëns (the Netherlands) and a special performance by the Washington School of Ballet.”
The Netherlands Carillon, which wrapped up a two-year restoration project in 2021, features 53 bells and “serves as a reminder of the strong bond between the United States and the Netherlands,” the embassy notes. It was a gift from the Dutch people after World War II.
Princess Margriet, born in exile in Canada in 1943, counts President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a godparent.
More on the free concert, below, from another embassy press release.
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the George Washington Memorial Parkway of the National Park Service present the 2nd annual Freedom Concert at 4 p.m. May 10 at the Netherlands Carillon.
The Netherlands Carillon is a 127-foot-tall musical monument and a symbol of peace and freedom. It was presented to President Truman in 1952 by Queen Juliana as a gift from the Dutch people to the American people as token of gratitude for their help during and after World War II.
The Freedom Concert is held in recognition of the Netherlands’ Liberation Day which is celebrated on May 5.
Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, the featured guest speaker, will give remarks on the importance of celebrating freedom. Her Royal Highness was born in 1943 in Canada during World War II. The Royal Family returned to the Netherlands once it was liberated by Allied Forces in 1945.
Carillonneurs Edward Nassor of the United States and Rosemarie Seuntiëns from the Netherlands will play a selection of modern and classical music, and students from the Washington School of Ballet will perform a dance choreographed by Mimmo Miccolis specifically for the concert.
At the event, the media will have the opportunity to interview Dutch Ambassador André Haspels, Christine Smith, Deputy Superintendent of the National Park Service – George Washington Memorial Parkway, and the carillonneurs and dancers from the Washington School of Ballet.
A new acoustic concert series is set to start strumming at Virginia Highlands Park.
“National Landing Unplugged” brings the Winchester, Va.-based string trio of Dunlap & Mabe to the Pentagon City area this Sunday (Sept. 4) for the first of five Sunday afternoon acoustic concerts happening this fall.
The free music series is being held at the park at 1600 S. Hayes Street and will run from Sept. 4 to Oct. 2. The music begins at 12:30 p.m. and will run for about an hour and a half.
Different artists are set to perform each week, starting with Dunlap and Mabe this Sunday. The remaining schedule of musicians will be announced in the coming weeks.
The concert series is being put on by the National Landing Business Improvement District (BID)
“Our NEW Unplugged Series will focus on a diverse lineup of mostly acoustic-style groups. We wanted to differentiate from the musical styles/offerings we traditionally feature at our longtime Friday music series,” a National Landing BID spokesperson wrote ARLnow.
The stage will be set up between the tennis courts and sprayground off of S. Hayes Street with the BID working on booking food trucks as well, the spokesperson said.
The National Landing BID serves Pentagon City, Crystal City, and Potomac Yard (which straddles Arlington and the City of Alexandria). Virginia Highlands Park and Long Bridge Park are the two largest parks that fall under National Landing BID’s area.
“This is a beloved space in the Pentagon City neighborhood that is already full of great programming and we saw an opening for activation on Sunday afternoons — for a fun and light family-friendly gathering in the park,” the spokesperson said of the park.
Along with this acoustic concert series, the “NaLa Fridays at the Park” summer series continues at Long Bridge Park through the rest of September.
A series of outdoor summer concerts is starting tonight (Friday) in Crystal City.
NaLa Fridays at the Park, formerly known as Fridays at the Fountain, is set to be held at Long Bridge Park (475 Long Bridge Drive). The concert series is set to run through October, according to the event’s website. One concert is scheduled for each Friday between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
This year is set to be the first time the concert series is being held at Long Bridge Park instead of Crystal City Water Park, its usual location. The organizer, the National Landing Business Improvement District, changed the venue because the water park is currently under construction, BID spokesperson Ashley Forrester told ARLnow.
Construction on the water park is expected to be completed in 2023.
The concerts are set to feature local bands and musicians, according to the event’s website. It is free to attend. Reesa Renee, a neo-soul and funk singer, is scheduled to perform at tonight’s series kickoff.
Applications for bands and musicians to perform are still open online. Performers are asked to play for 2.5 hours, according to the application survey.
The current lineup is listed below.
- June 17: Dunlap and Mabe, a bluegrass duo
- June 24: The Collective band, a cover band of music since the ’80s
- July 1: Crush Funk Brass, a brass band “embodying the brass tones of New Orleans,” according to its Facebook post
Unlike in previous years, no alcohol will be allowed in the concerts, said Forrester. Alcohol is prohibited at Arlington County parks.
Food trucks are still set to serve the crowds, however. Fine Dining to Go, which provides various types of cuisine from around the world, is set to run the food trucks this Friday, said BID marketing manager Colleen Rasa. Participants are welcome to bring their own food to the venue, according to the event’s website.
There is some seating at the venue and organizers say they will be giving out a limited number of picnic blankets each week to audience members. Attendees are also welcome to bring their own chairs.
The Lubber Run Amphitheater free summer concert series is back, with the first show set for this Friday.
A total of 29 performances are scheduled between now and Sunday, Aug. 14.
The amphitheater, located near the intersection of N. Columbus Street and 2nd Street N., is an outdoor, open-air space, run by Arlington County to provide family-friendly shows in the summer.
The first show in the lineup is a concert from Mark G. Meadows, a jazz musician, and his band The Movement, along with singer Kanysha Williams. It is set to take place this Friday at 8 p.m. They are expected to feature songs “Moon River” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”
The series has scheduled jazz, blues and rock performances, as well as theater, orchestra, a marching band and a puppet show. No shows are currently scheduled for Sunday, June 19, as the amphitheater is closed for Juneteenth.
The shows are open to all members of the family. Audience members are welcome to picnic at the venue, although alcohol is not allowed and smoking discouraged, according to a press release.
Unless otherwise specified, the concerts are set to take place at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. on Sundays. Bad weather may cancel shows, in which case information will be posted on Arlington Arts’ Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Concertgoers can visit the venue’s website or call 703-228-1850 for more information about the schedule of the day.
This summer’s scheduled shows are below.
- Friday, June 10: Mark G. Meadows and The Movement, Kanysha Williams
- Saturday, June 11: Aaron Myers
- Sunday, June 12: Dan and Claudia Zanes
- Friday, June 17: Stacy Brooks
- Saturday, June 18: Bumper Jacksons
- Friday, June 24: David Chappell and Friends
- Saturday, June 25: The 19th Street Band
- Sunday, June 26: Tale Wise: “Pirates Lost at Sea!”
- Sunday, June 26: Arlington Philharmonic (4 p.m.)
- Friday, July 1: Griefcat
- Saturday, July 2: Elikeh
- Sunday, July 3: Mr. Gabe & Holly
- Friday, July 8: The Fuss
- Saturday, July 9: Joe Keyes & The Late Bloomer Band
- Sunday, July 10: Cody Clark Magic: “Railroad Submarine!”
- Friday, July 15: Desanguashington
- Saturday, July 16: King Soul
- Sunday, July 17: Happenstance Theater: “Pinot & Augustine”
- Friday, July 22: Wicked Sycamore
- Saturday, July 23: Soul Crackers
- Sunday, July 24: Rainbow Rock Band
- Friday, July 29: Carly Harvey
- Saturday, July 30: Veronneau presents Blue Tapestry
- Sunday, July 31: Encore Stage & Studio presents “A Sidewalk Stroll!”
- Friday, August 5: Avant Bard Theatre, Encore Stage & Studio, Dominion Stage and The Arlington Players
- Saturday, August 6: Avant Bard Theatre, Encore Stage & Studio, Dominion Stage and The Arlington Players
- Sunday, August 7: Avant Bard Theatre, Encore Stage & Studio, Dominion Stage and The Arlington Players. (6 p.m.)
- Thursday, August 11: The 257th Army Band, The Band of the Nation’s Capital. (8 p.m.)
- Friday, August 12: National Chamber Ensemble
- Saturday, August 13: Karen Jonas
- Sunday, August 14: Blue Sky Puppets: “The Three Not So Little Pigs”
George Mason University is celebrating its 50th anniversary and the Arlington’s campus $250 million expansion this week with a concert, a new photo exhibit, and groundbreaking.
Beginning today (Monday), the Northern Virginia-based university will be hosting a week full of events at its Arlington campus in Virginia Square on Fairfax Drive, now known as Mason Square, culminating with an outdoor concert from a local cover band on Friday night.
There is a new photo exhibit opening in Van Metre Hall tomorrow called “Profiles of Arlington” that recognizes those “who are working to impact their community, their region, and the world.”
On Wednesday, there’s set to be an official groundbreaking ceremony for the quarter of a billion dollar expansion of George Mason’s Arlington footprint. That includes the 400,000 square-foot building set to be the centerpiece of the efforts, which is being called Fuse at Mason Square.
The building will house faculty from the Institute for Digital InnovAtion as well as the university’s new School of Computing. There will also be an atrium, 750-seat theater, a public plaza, and a below-grade parking garage. The building is estimated to be completed in the summer of 2025.
While construction actually started at the beginning of the year, Wednesday’s ceremony may include some news. The university previously said it would occupy about 60% of the space with the remaining 40% likely being leased to private companies.
The groundbreaking ceremony press release promises an “announcement of a landmark tenant.”
Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol and Virginia’s Secretary of Education Aimee Rogstad are both scheduled to be in attendance at the groundbreaking.
Thursday marks GMU’s 50th anniversary. The university officially broke off from the University of Virginia and became independent on April 7, 1972.
Then, on Friday, Mason Square will host an outdoor concert event featuring the David Thong Band which will play cover songs from across the decades. The event asks attendees to “dress your favorite decade,” with the best costume winning a prize.
Virginia Square-based Rocklands BBQ, Shrlington’s New District Brewery, and Captain Cookie & the Milkman (which is opening an outpost in Courthouse this spring) will also be there selling food and drinks.
The event is free.
Next week, noted philosopher Cornel West is set to speak at GMU’s Arlington campus about the current state of American democracy, human rights, and critical race theory.
(updated at 1:10 p.m.) Gateway Park in Rosslyn will be transformed into a concert venue for three musical performances this month.
Rosslyn LIVE!, a new neighborhood event hosted by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, will feature Broadway, pop and drag performances. The D.C.-based American Pops Orchestra will play all concerts alongside different featured performers every Thursday night this month outdoors at the 1300 Lee Highway park.
For the first concert, Broadway performers Mary Michael Patterson and Vishal Vaidya will sing show tunes, accompanied by the orchestra. The show will be next Thursday. Tickets are available now online.
The following Thursday, July 22, the orchestra will accompany singers Rayshun LaMarr, Hilary Morrow and Kevin Rose, who will be performing ’90s music. Tickets went on sale yesterday (Tuesday).
The last concert will be a drag performance on Thursday, July 29 with tickets available next Tuesday (July 13). The BID has yet to decide who the featured performers will be for this show.
Gateway Park will open each Thursday for concert-goers at 6:30 p.m. and performances will begin at 8 p.m.
Wine, beer and sangria will be available for purchase at $6 a glass. Kona Ice trucks will also be at the event to pick up frozen treats from, said a spokeswoman for the Rosslyn BID.
General admission standing room tickets cost $5. For $20, concert-goers can purchase a bundle that includes a spot on the lawn and a picnic blanket for two people. $20 can also buy a balcony seat.
A portion of ticket sales will be donated to the high school choir programs at Arlington Public Schools, according to the event page. Some of the proceeds will also go towards improvements at Gateway Park.
A unique concert for the pandemic era is scheduled Saturday in Ballston.
The dueling pianos will be on wheels and will make their way down the street between 6:30-8 p.m., weather permitting, a spokeswoman said.
“Ballston residents are encouraged to enjoy the concert from their balconies, the traveling dueling pianos will be on 9th Street and are likely to stop at the major intersections Stafford, Randolph and Quincy,” said the spokeswoman.
In addition to socially distanced viewing in person, the performance will be livestreamed online.
More from an event webpage, below.
Are you ready to beat the blues? You’re invited to join Ballston’s 9th Street Rocks event on June 20th! Enjoy the full piano bar experience as we bring the famous Bobby McKey’s Dueling Pianos to Ballston. Grab dinner and a cocktail to-go from one of Ballston’s many restaurants, and watch this roaming performance from your balcony on 9th St N.
We are very excited to present a special performance by Ballston’s own blues legend, Memphis Gold! Ballston knows his high-energy blues from his Friday night serenades during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. He’s continuing to bring his music to the streets on June 20th. You won’t want to miss this!
This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
Chosen among “the essential summer outings” in the DMV for 2019 by The Washington Post, the 50th Anniversary Season of Lubber Run Amphitheater’s Free Summer Concerts is underway!
Since the construction of the first permanent stage in 1969, generations of Arlingtonians have enjoyed free summer cultural events at the sylvan venue nestled two blocks off Route 50, ranging from Arlington Children’s Theater to bands like Eddie from Ohio and superstar Ritchie Havens.
More than a thousand music lovers turned out for 2019’s opening weekend concerts featuring two-time GRAMMY Award nominated singer-songwriter Raul Midon, followed on Saturday by acclaimed singer-songwriter Justin Jones.
As part of their nod to the venue, which Arlington Arts programs and manages, The Washington Post noted that “while the schedule includes the usual rotating cast of performers, there are also some standouts such as… local bossa nova powerhouse Verroneau.”
The venue also benefits from the strong support of the surrounding community, and especially the Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation. Other upcoming highlights range from area salsa stalwarts Sin Miedo and Arlington Philharmonic’s pet-friendly ‘Pops in the Park’, to an evening of cabaret performances by some of your favorite voices from Tony Award winning Signature Theatre!
Concerts continue through September 15, on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with 11 a.m. family-oriented programming on Sunday mornings (run-times vary). So bring a picnic, some friends and enjoy the arts at Lubber Run Amphitheater, located at 200 North Columbus Street, Arlington, Virginia 22203 (North Columbus Street and 2nd Street North).
While there is a small parking lot, there is abundant free street parking in the surrounding Arlington Forrest neighborhood.
For directions on how to get to Lubber Run Amphitheater and leave the car at home, check out the video below by Arlington’s Car Free Diet, a program of Arlington County Commuter Services (ACCS), a bureau of the Department of Environmental Services!
Here’s a sampling of upcoming programs into July. For a full-schedule, visit www.arlingtonarts.org.
Friday, June 21 — Full Power Blues Band
Saturday, June 22 — Sin Miedo
Sunday, June 23 — Grandsons Jr
Friday, June 28 — Arlington Philharmonic: Pops in the Park (pet friendly)
Saturday, June 29 — Signature Theatre: Cabaret Under the Stars
Sunday, June 30 — Encore Stage & Studio: A Sidewalk Stoll (family performance)
Friday, July 5 — U.S. Army Blues
Saturday, July 6 — The Fuss
Sunday, July 7 — Reptiles Alive (family performance)
Friday, July 12 — Vox Pop
Saturday, July 13 — King Soul
Sunday, July 14 — Rocnocerous (family performance)
The Village at Shirlington will be kicking off its summer concert series tomorrow (Wednesday), starting with the Dan Haas Band.
The concerts run every Wednesday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in front of Shirlington Library (4200 Campbell Avenue).
The theme of the concert series is “decades of summer,” with local bands performing music from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, as well as original songs.
Attendees 21-and-over are invited to try $5 wine samplings from Cheesetique. Proceeds will go to Arlington Thrive — a nonprofit providing emergency funds to locals in need — and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue — a nonprofit that brings dogs and cats from low-income, rural shelters to the D.C. region.
The full schedule
- June 19: Dan Haas Band
- June 26: Elizabeth, Phil & Chris
- July 10: Justin Trawick & the Common Good
- July 17: Lloyd Dobler Effect
- July 24: 19th Street Band
- July 31: Nathaniel Davis
- August 7: Driven to Clarity
- August 14: Eli Lev Band
Any rain cancellations will be announced by 4 p.m. the day of the concert, organizers say.
Local congregations are hosting a benefit concert in May to raise funds for families affected by gun violence.
The concert will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington at (4444 Arlington Blvd) on Saturday, May 4 from 7-8:30 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now for $10 per person or $25 for families.
The concert will begin with a performance from the children’s choir from Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church.
Choirs from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, All Souls Church in D.C. by Columbia Heights, and Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax are scheduled to then perform Gabriel Fauré’s “Requiem” together.
Local faith leaders have raised awareness of gun violence before. The Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ displayed 155 T-shirts outside the church three years ago in remembrance of the people who were killed with guns in the Greater Washington area that year.
Photo courtesy of UUCA