Free Music! (Nothing Illegal, This Time)

Concerts throughout the summer

DC summers always guarantee three things: 99 percent humidity, hysterical screaming at Bay Bridge traffic, and plenty of free outdoor concerts.

Break out the picnic blanket/bug spray combo, because the Fort Reno Concert Series (Chesapeake Street and Nebraska Avenue NW) is back. Monday, June 22 marks the return of the popular series, with Pash, Funk Ark and The Sweater Set. Thursday, you can look forward to The Electricutions, Meow vs. Meow and Noon:30. Dog (of the non-howling variety) are welcome to join in on the fun.
Mondays and Thursdays, 7:15-9:30 p.m. Full schedule here.
Now, you can take in some jazz before heading to dinner at one of the strip's trendy restaurants. Adams Morgan's new outdoor concert series kicks off this Saturday on the extended sidewalk plaza (corner of 18 Street and Columbia Road NW). Catch the Northeast Jazz Trio with Maureen Andary. If one free jazz show leaves you wanting more, look forward to upcoming acts like The Ash Lovlies with Lou Black. Saturdays, 5-7 p.m.
Starting June 26, on Thursday evenings, you can enjoy the Sunset Serendades at the National Zoo while mingling with zoo animals. This free concert series includes a wide range of music including jazz, blues, pop, rock, reggae and more. The series kicks off with oldies band The Orioles. Come with an appetite, 'cause Häagen-Dazs will be handing out free samples of its new Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream in honor of National Pollinator Week. (The Häagen-Dazs Loves Honey Bees program works to conserve honey bee populations across the United States.) You can even go see a special beekeeper speak in the Invertebrate House. Thursdays, July 9-23, 6:30 -8 p.m. Full schedule here.
Every Friday evening, you can unwind with free jazz at the Pavilion Café at the Sculpture Garden (7th and Constitution streets NW). Pack a picnic or dine at the café while sitting amongst the gardens' many impressive works of art, and marvel at the fact that the whole place somehow manages to be an ice-skating rink a few months of the year. Fridays through Sept. 11, 5-8:30 p.m. In the case of poor weather, concerts are held inside the pavilion. Full schedule here.
No need to wait 'till July 4 to be patriotic. Join in on a tradition dating back to 1863 at the Live Military Band Concerts. On Mondays, see the U.S. Navy Band at the West Front of the Capitol, and on Tuesdays at the Navy Memorial. On Wednesdays and Fridays, catch the U.S. Air Force Band at the Air Force Memorial, and on Thursdays at the Washington Monument. Also on Wednesdays, the U.S. Marine Band performs at the West Front of the Capitol. Wait until Friday, and you can see the U.S. Army Band there as well. Be sure to look out for the special concerts on Independence Day and Labor Day. All performances at 8 p.m. Full schedule here.
Here's to a melodious and recession-friendly summer. Take that, scalpers!
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