Liberated Muse @ The Kennedy Center-March 27, 2019

Liberated Muse performs at the Kennedy Center on March 27, 2019 as part of the DIRECT CURRENT series (Photo by Khari Dawson)

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announces the full lineup for DIRECT CURRENT, its two-week celebration of contemporary culture, which returns for a second season this spring (March 24–April 7). Showcasing new, topical, and interdisciplinary work by some of today’s foremost cultural risk-takers, the 2019 immersion takes place at the Kennedy Center and beyond, extending throughout the District of Columbia in collaboration with key alternative venues.

This year’s lineup boasts a strong female contingent, with works by composers Julia AdolpheLeila AduLera AuerbachAmanda FeeryYuka C. HondaNathalie JoachimLaura KaminskyMorgan KraussAllison Loggins-HullJessie MontgomeryJessica MeyerAngélica NegrónShara NovaPaola Prestini, Pulitzer Prize-winners Caroline Shaw, Julia Wolfe, and Du Yun, and members of the Iranian Female Composers Association. Likewise, female headliners range from visionary cellist Amanda Gookin to guitarist-composer Mary Halvorson, Mexican jazz vocalist Magos Herrera, experimental Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq, multi-disciplinary artist collective Liberated Muse, and folk supergroup I’m With Her.

Other featured artists and ensembles include Bon IverBryce DessnerDaniel FishVijay IyerGabriel Kahane,David LangTyshawn SoreyHenry ThreadgillBrooklyn Rider, the Brooklyn Youth ChorusChanticleerMoon Medicin, the Phantom Limb CompanyRoomful of Teeth, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, and the National Symphony Orchestra. All told, DIRECT CURRENT’s offerings span the artistic spectrum, from the world premiere of a new orchestral commission to Middle Eastern-jazz fusion and bold new experiments in dance. Three of the Kennedy Center’s resident artistic leaders – Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates, Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran, and DEMO series director Damian Woetzel – contributed to the second season’s programming, which includes talks with prominent thought leaders to supplement selected events.


Free multi-genre performances each night on the Millennium Stage

Each evening during DIRECT CURRENT, free live multi-genre performances will be presented on the Millennium Stageto amplify the wealth of mainstage contributions.

These launch with a program of “ethereal euphonies from the Nordic tundra” (The Independent, UK) by Icelandic instrumental two-piece Hugar (March 24). Showing just “how strong and flexible the scene of young musicians in New York’s improvised and experimental music world can be” (New York Times), composer and bandleader Amirtha Kidambi draws on influences ranging from her native South Indian Carnatic music, to free jazz, classical modernism, harsh noise, metal and punk with her quartet Elder Ones (March 25). Washington-area soul and R&B singer Tashera performs with her live band (March 26), followed by Liberated Muse, the all-female arts collective led by performing artist Khadijah Ali-Coleman, which engages audiences through an evening of soulful music and spoken word that Sophie’s Parlor (WPFW 89.3 FM) calls “inspiring and uplifting” (March 27).

About the Kennedy Center

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is America’s living memorial to President Kennedy. Under the guidance of Chairman David M. Rubenstein, and President Deborah F. Rutter, the nine theaters and stages of the nation’s busiest performing arts facility attract more than three million visitors to more than 2,000 performances each year, while Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts reach 40 million more around the world.

The Center produces and presents performances of music, dance, comedy, and theater; supports artists in the creation of new work; and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. With its artistic affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, the Center has produced more than 300 theatrical productions, and dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works, in addition to hosting numerous international cultural festivals. The Center’s Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Kennedy Center Honors is broadcast annually on CBS and The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is broadcast annually on PBS.

To learn more about the Kennedy Center, visit


The Kennedy Center presents DIRECT CURRENT
Second season, March 24–April 7, 2019

All events take place at the Kennedy Center unless otherwise noted.
For tickets and full schedule, visit


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