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Out of nearly 5,000 entries from all 50 states, Naia Izumi stood out from the pack. The 34-year-old musician from Georgia, who now busks on the streets of Los Angeles, participated in the months-long search for NPR’s fourth annual Tiny Desk Contest winner this year. Izumi, with his delicate guitar playing and soulful voice, managed to impress judges so much that he actually won. It’s easy to see why. His entry into the competition was the genre-defying track “Soft Spoken,” a powerful meditation on his experience being a soft-spoken person and dealing with social and artistic prejudices because of how he presented himself: He identified as a woman for about seven years. “Soft Spoken” is an all out display of Izumi’s insane charisma, velvety vocals, and otherworldly musicianship. Now, stopping by Union Stage on his 10-city tour, he’ll showcase exactly why he’s the champ. He may be the Tiny Desk Contest winner, but his talent is mighty—don’t miss it. Read more>>> Naia Izumi performs at 7:30 p.m. at Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. Free. (877) 987-6487. unionstage.com. (Kayla Randall)
OH AND ALSO
Humorist and author David Sedaris speaks at Politics and Prose about Calypso, his new collection of essays in which he recounts his life, from his bout with skin cancer to his banter-filled family gatherings. 7 p.m. at 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.
The Freer Gallery of Art presents Spreading the Word: Buddhist Art in Japan, an exhibition that highlights the devout Buddhists who served as teachers and scholars of Buddhism on the island country. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Jefferson Drive and 12th Street SW. Free.
In collaboration with the Embassy of Portugal, the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage hosts a performance from pianists and close friends Pedro Burmester and Mário Laginha. 6 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. Free.
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