Ocopa (Photo via Facebook/ Ocopa Restaurant)A Peruvian eatery on the H Street corridor is looking to offer some Latin dancing with its cebiche and pisco sours.

Ocopa at 1324 H St. NE submitted an application to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration this week to host live entertainment. The entertainment will include Latin dancing and “occasional live music,” according to the application.

A representative of the restaurant could not be reached immediately for comment.

If approved, the application would allow them to host live entertainment every day of the week between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m.

Photo via Facebook/Ocopa Restaurant


Jazz Lounge to Open in NoMa

XO at 15 K St. NELive jazz, food and cocktails might come to a vacant building in NoMa within the next couple months, a representative of a forthcoming restaurant said today.

XO, which will occupy the former Venus Lounge space at 15 K St. NE, is slated to open by Thanksgiving, said the restaurant’s representative, Jeff Jackson. The new jazz lounge plans to serve American cuisine for lunch and dinner, alongside beer, wine and cocktails.

“It’s a mainly commercial area, so the property owner is hoping to attract people who will stop in after work for drinks and something to eat,” Jackson said.

The restaurant has applied for a liquor license, which is the first step the establishment has taken toward opening. But the property’s owner also has plans to renovate the space’s interior.

XO is planning to accommodate 320 people inside and 60 people outside in a summer garden planned for the rear of the building, according to the liquor license application filed with the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration this week.

The restaurant is looking to open at 10 a.m. seven days a week, closing at 2 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Sunday mornings will have jazz brunches, Jackson said.

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Lunch Box ad (Image via Twitter/NoMa BID)Food trucks and free weekly lunchtime concerts have popped up in an old NoMa parking lot for a limited time this fall.

The NoMa Business Improvement District last week helped launch “Lunch Box,” which it bills as the District’s “first and only lunchtime food truck pod.” The space at 1st and N streets NE is slated to have food trucks, games and picnic tables available every weekday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. until Oct. 30.

On Wednesdays at noon until Oct. 28, Lunch Box also is scheduled to host musical acts, including:

  • Rew Smith, playing rock music this Wednesday.
  • Tony M, playing acoustic rock music Oct. 7.
  • Darcy Dawn, playing pop-rock music Oct. 14.
  • Jason Masi, playing acoustic soul music Oct. 21.
  • Levi Stephens playing soul and rhythm and blues music Oct. 28.

Image via Twitter/NoMa BID


Mr. Henry's Restaurant Capitol Hill Jazz Jam (Photo via Facebook/Mr. Henry's Restaurant)

A restaurant on Capitol Hill is looking to a help a local school with some jazz this week.

Mr. Henry’s Restaurant at 601 Pennsylvania Ave. SE is asking locals to bring in school supplies to donate during its Capitol Hill Jazz Jam Wednesday night. The drive, which is scheduled to run from 8 to 11 p.m., will benefit Two Rivers Public Charter School. The school has campuses in Near Northeast.

The restaurant hasn’t hosted a school supply drive before. But its employees are “interested in working with local schools as we rebuild Mr. Henry’s and develop local connections with Hill residents,” restaurant manager Mark Steele said in an email.

Admission to the jazz jam is free. But each attendee must order at least two items from Mr. Henry’s menu. School supply donations are optional.

Photo via Facebook/Mr. Henry’s Restaurant


Hundreds of Stevie Wonder fans descended on a field near RFK Stadium this morning to hear the Grammy-award winning artist perform “Sir Duke,” “I Wish” and some of his other hits for free.

The pop-up show, which was announced just hours before Wonder took the stage, drew more than 500 singing and dancing concertgoers, despite the late notice. Many of the attendees said they left work or switched their schedules to catch the five-song set.

“I just messaged my boss and said, “It’s my birthday. I don’t have any meetings today, and this is happening so I’m going to go,'” Fairlawn resident Rebecca Wyatt said. “Stevie Wonder is an American institution. Asking if you’re a Stevie Wonder fan is like asking if you’re a fan of pie.”

About 40 teachers and administrators from the Kingsman Academy Public Charter School in northeast Capitol Hill walked to the show together.

“We had a full day of [professional development] scheduled, but we put that aside and said, ‘Let’s have some fun,'” said Karimah Ware, the school’s director of interventions. “We’ll do a working lunch and catch up.”

The audience also included several National Guard members who work in the D.C. Armory building and a group of people brought to the show by D.C. General homeless shelter.

The surprise concert was a promotional event for Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” tour, which was just extended to include 20 more U.S. dates, including an Oct. 3 performance at the Verizon Center. Tickets for the D.C. show go on sale tomorrow.

The performance, which started at 10 a.m. and lasted about an hour, was the first of three free performances that Wonder performed on Monday. After finishing his set in D.C., Wonder left for Philadelphia, to perform a similar surprise show. He also will head to New York later today to play in the city’s Central Park.

On stage, Wonder talked about his new “Curb the Bullet” campaign against gun violence, and also brought out his children in between a set that included “Sir Duke,” “I Wish” and “As.”

The pop-up concert was the second such show hosted by Events DC, which also put on a surprise concert by local rapper Wale on the H Street corridor in April. Erik Moses, senior vice president and managing director of Events DC, said he hopes the success of the shows will encourage more organizations and performers to come to the District.

“All of us are interested in making certain that brands and event organizers know that D.C. is open for business,” he said. “We didn’t become the coolest city in America by telling everybody no.”


Stevie Wonder (Photo via Wikimedi)

Stevie Wonder is set to perform for free outdoors near RFK Stadium this morning.

The Grammy award-winning artist is slated to play two to three songs during the pop-up show in the field between RFK and 19th Street, Events DC tweeted today. The first 1,000 concertgoers also will get free doughnuts.

The show starts at 10 a.m.

Photo via Wikimedia


Morning Rundown

Union Station

Man Killed in Southwest Identified Cousin as Shooter Before Death, Police Say — Jerome Diggs said after he was shot this week that his cousin, Gary Nathaniel Proctor, was the shooter, according to police. “Yes, Little Gary shot me,” Diggs said, according to a police affidavit. “I didn’t call the police. I don’t think I’m going to make it. I just want to let somebody know who shot me.” [Washington Post]

The Benning Road NE Stench — Liquid that spewed from a garbage truck is suspected of causing a foul smell near Benning Road and 17th Street NE yesterday. [NBC Washington]

Ice Cream Jubilee in Navy Yard Honored — Time Out ranked Ice Cream Jubilee in Navy Yard as the 10th best ice cream in the nation. The site complimented the shop’s view of the Anacostia River and nontraditional flavors, such as caramel popcorn. [Time Out NY]

Deathcab for Cutie Concert on H Street NE? — Googling “events in D.C.” reveals a concert date by indie rock band Death Cab for Cutie today at Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar on the H Street corridor. The posting seems to be an error or joke because the band currently is touring in Australia. [Frozen Tropics]


"A Capitol Fourth" in 2010 (Photo via PBS)

Singer Barry Manilow, country music band Alabama and KC and the Sunshine Band will celebrate Independence Day with a free concert on the U.S. Capitol grounds.

The lineup for “A Capitol Fourth” on the Capitol’s West Lawn also includes “The Voice” contestant Meghan Linsey, pianist Lang Lang and the National Symphony Orchestra, among other performers, according to PBS, which will broadcast the concert with NPR.

Manilow, the show’s headliner, will open and close the 35th annual concert with a “special patriotic medley,” a news release from PBS said.

Actor and singer Robert Davi also will perform in honor of Frank Sinatra, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. And canons from the U.S. Army Presidential Salute Battery will blast as part of Peter Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.”

The concert is from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on July 4.

A couple miles away, the Foo Fighters and other performers will have a concert on July 4 in celebration of the rock band’s 20th anniversary. The show starts at noon at RFK Stadium.

Tickets cost $78.

Photo via PBS


Mayor Muriel BowserGo-go musicians, a symphony and a performing arts group descended on a Navy Yard park today for a pop-up showcase, as part of a new program to encourage art in D.C. neighborhoods.

Teaching for Change, the Gourmet Symphony and the Atlas Performing Arts Center came to Canal Park to show off projects they’re working on for the Capitol Hill area and other parts of the District. The event launched “District Innovation Zones,” which Mayor Muriel Bowser said will provide a temporary “stage for artists” at Canal Park and other locations across D.C.

“We want to open up the arts to all of the people of the District of Columbia,” she said at a news conference at Canal Park. “We want our city to be known for more than the Congress and the White House and the downtown museums on the Mall. We will make arts a signature activity in the District of Columbia.”

A group of musicians with Teaching for Change performed go-go music, while children danced nearby. Through its “Teach the Beat: Go-Go Goes to School” program, Teaching for Change aims to bring the District’s homegrown music genre to history, language arts and music classes in Ward 6 and other portions of D.C., said Deborah Menkart, the group’s executive director.

Across the park, members of the Gourmet Symphony played near a table of Italian food. The group is working with local social service groups to bring live chamber music to the District’s homeless when they eat.

Atlas Performing Arts Center representatives also showed examples of mobiles it will use in a installation that is set to go on display in September. The organization is looking for the public to help it make more than 50 mobiles for the project.

To help create the mobiles, the arts center will have workshops in its space on the H Street corridor, as well as D.C. community centers and schools.

“We look at these mobiles as a great metaphor of many different parts coming together to create a new whole,” said Douglas Yeuell, the organization’s executive director.

Teaching for Change, the Gourmet Symphony, the Atlas Performing Arts Center and other organizations received grants for their projects earlier this month through the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.


Common (Photo via Facebook/DC Jazz Festival)Wale performed on H Street, and Common is coming to Navy Yard.

The organizers of the DC Jazz Festival announced where dozens of performers will take the stage in locations across the District, including in Yards Park.

Common, Femi Kuti & The Positive Force, Sharón Clark and others will perform in the Water Street park during the festival set to run June 6 to 16.

Two days of outdoor concerts will be held on the Capitol Riverfront for the second year in a row, with activities for kids, vendors and chef demonstrations.

“The waterfront Yards Park has quickly become the centerpiece for the growing Yards neighborhood, and the return again this year of DC JazzFest is an important reason why,” Deborah Ratner Salzberg, president of event co-sponsor Forest City Washington, said in a statement.

Tickets for the June 13 concert with Common and Femi Kuti are available online and start at $45 each. See the DC Jazz Festival website for the full lineup citywide.

Photo via Facebook/DC Jazz Festival


Wale and Mayor Muriel Bowser at Bowser's inauguration party (Photo via Instagram/Wale)

(Updated at 2:25 p.m. Friday) Details are emerging about the free concert the rapper Wale will give in the District this weekend.

As Hill Now was first to report, the D.C. native will perform a free show on Saturday coordinated by Events DC and the the city-funded Washington, DC Economic Partnership.

The “secret” concert the D.C. native announced on Twitter overnight Thursday is rumored to be coming to H Street NE, to the parking lot of the 1207 H St. NE location of AutoZone. An event website that Events DC launched Friday lists H Street Main Street as a sponsor, plus &pizza, which has a location on the strip.

A press release sent Friday said, “This event will showcase the District’s thriving, diverse businesses including those located on the H Street corridor.”

The show will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday and requires an RSVP by email.

Julie Weber, a spokeswoman for the economic partnership, said Thursday that she could neither confirm nor deny that Wale will perform along the H Street corridor. An event organizer also declined to discuss the location.

Calls to AutoZone and to WestMill Capital Partners, which will redevelop the lot, went unanswered.

Wale, who grew up on Peabody Street NW and performed at Mayor Muriel Bowser’s inauguration party, gave another “secret” show in New York earlier this week, to promote the release of “The Album About Nothing.”

The nonprofit economic partnership promotes D.C. and recently coordinated the We DC exhibit at the South by Southwest festival, to boost the District as a creative hub.

Photo via Instagram/Wale


The Go-Go Symphony is back at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street NE this weekend, this time with go-go great William “JuJu” House on the drums.

House, who played for D.C. legends Chuck Brown and Rare Essence, will join more than three dozen other musicians for the 8 p.m. show Saturday honoring the District’s homegrown genre. As the Go-Go Symphony plays, the Da Originalz dance group will take the stage and emcee Ashley Jenkins will rap and sing.

The music will include the go-go song “Get Your Hands Up,” and the classical piece “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” but with a go-go twist.

“The thing I like about this program is how it uses so many disparate elements,” the show’s conductor, John Devlin, said.

The concert will be the fourth performance of the Go-Go Symphony since its creation last year. Most seats are sold out, but a limited number of standing-room tickets are still available.

“It’s a really fun time,” Devlin said.


Zac Brown Band (Photo via Zac Brown Band)

Tickets for Zac Brown Band‘s concert this summer at Nationals Park go on sale for the general public Friday, but some locals might be able to snag a seat early.

Members of the country band’s fan club and Citi credit card users already can get tickets, and Nationals season ticket holders will be able to buy them tomorrow. Everyone else will be able to buy tickets starting at 10 a.m. Friday.

The Avett Brothers will join Zac Brown Band for the Aug. 14 concert. Zac Brown Band previously played Nationals Park in 2010, with Dave Matthews Band.

Taylor Swift is also set to perform at the 41,000-seat stadium this summer. Tickets for her shows July 13 and July 14 already are on sale.

Photo via Zac Brown Band


Two veteran D.C. rock musicians are bringing a showcase of global music to the Hill Center

Starting March 15, the Hill Center will host four Sunday afternoon concerts by District musicians from Sierra Leone, Mali and Ethiopia.

Fugazi drummer and producer Brendan Canty and Jim Thomson — who coordinates music for the Capital Fringe Festival and was a drummer for Gwar — created the series to highlight D.C.’s lively global music scene, Thomson said. Its name, “Dounouya: Global Sounds on the Hill,” references a West African word for “the whole world,” organizers said.

“We’re going to focus on the international, cultural side of Washington, D.C.,” Thomson said. “This is a federal city, but it has a massive population of immigrants.”

The musicians will be Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang, which makes traditionally Muslim music with drum machines, and Cheick Hamala Diabate, a Malian griot and string instrument-player who has performed with American banjo players. Also on the lineup are the Feedel Band, which mixes Ethiopian music and American sounds, and Amadou Kouyate, a kora player and drummer.

The musicians all combine sounds from their families’ countries, the U.S. and elsewhere, Thomson said.

“They’re doing funk music influenced by James Brown, and jazz influenced by Duke Ellington,” Thomson, 49, said about the Feedel Band.

You might not hear Canty’s or Thomson’s punk roots in the sounds of the concerts, but they’ll be there in the shows’ “philosophy,” Thomson said.

“Exposure to punk rock was really always about attitude, not really style,” he said. “Punk rock opened another door to possibilities.”

The concerts at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE will be held March 15, April 12, May 10 and June 28. Tickets cost $12 each online and $15 at the door. Craft beer and wine will be sold.

Photos courtesy of Hill Center/Michael Crook, John Shore


National Symphony (Photo via Facebook/National Symphony)

The National Symphony Orchestra is coming to NoMa.

The orchestra’s NSO In Your Neighborhood series kicks off this week with free concerts in and near the neighborhood, including a performance tomorrow night (Tuesday) at NPR headquarters (1111 N. Capitol St. NE).

The seven days of performances are aimed at bringing chamber music into non-traditional settings, Executive Director Rita Shapiro said in a statement.

Here are highlights from the performance schedule:

  • Chamber performance at NPR, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Official kickoff event at Union Market, Wednesday Jan. 7, 7-8 p.m. RSVP required
  • Chamber performance at the NoMA Business Improvement District (1200 1st St. NE), Thursday, Jan. 8, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

For the full schedule of performances in NoMa and Brookland, and to RSVP to events, see the NSO website.

Photo via Facebook/National Symphony


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