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Perhaps you are only familiar with the term “Swahili” as the college language elective you almost took to impress your Peace Corps friends. If that’s the case, the World on the Horizon exhibition open at the National Museum of African Art will hip you to the cultural relevance of the East African region positioned in one of the most important trade routes the world has ever known. Pulling art, personal jewelry, religious texts, and architectural elements, the exhibition weaves a kitambaa that covers the broad geographic reach of Oman to Johannesburg. Organized by the Krannert Art Museum in Illinois, it features more than 150 works of art spanning four continents and includes rarely seen artifacts from public and private collections worldwide. One particular highlight is the exhibition’s display of exquisite illuminated Qurans with breathtaking calligraphy. It’s a can’t miss. Read more>>> The exhibition is on view to September 3 at the National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Ave. SW. Free. (202) 633-4600. africa.si.edu. (Hamzat Sani)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: Popular indie folk group Fleet Foxes performs at The Anthem. 8 p.m. at 901 Wharf St. SW. $45–$75.
Friday: The Kennedy Center Opera House hosts a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s philosophical satire Candide. 7:30 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. $45–$275.
Friday: Danish post-punk band Iceage performs at Union Stage. 8 p.m. at 740 Water St. SW. $15–$25
Saturday: Washington D.C.’s Irish contemporary arts company has given Frederick Douglass the Hamilton treatment, and as crazy as that combination sounds, it should be good. A hip-hop musical about the abolitionist hero is onstage under a Yards Marina tent courtesy of Solas Nua, which commissioned a double bill of new works from local theatermaker Psalmayene 24 and Irish playwright Deirdre Kinahan. Settled right on the Anacostia River, The Frederick Douglass Project performances will overlook Douglass’ historic Cedar Hill home. The performances were designed to segue one into the other, with Psalmayene writing about Douglass’s 1845 journey to Ireland, and Kinahan taking over the narrative once the activist and writer lands on the Emerald Isle and gets treated like, well, the 19th century equivalent of a hip-hop star. Read more>>> The show runs to May 24 at The Yards Marina, 1492 4th St. SE. $35. (765) 276-8201. solasnua.org. (Rebecca J. Ritzel)
Saturday: Echostage welcomes Netherlands-based DJ and producer Oliver Heldens. 9 p.m. at 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. $20–$30.
Saturday: Brooklyn-based rock band Wet performs at Black Cat with opening act Inc. No World. 8 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $25.
Saturday: Lewis Black, the comedian known as the “King of the Rant” brings his The Joke’s On Us tour to the Warner Theatre. 8 p.m. at 513 13th St. NW. $37.50–$77.50.
Sunday: Unless you’ve been living under a musically devoid rock, you’ve probably been hearing the more consistent influence of the African continent on hip-hop music stateside. These days it’s more likely than not that your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper hails from Cape Town instead of Compton and Lagos instead of Brooklyn. And while many in the U.S. are just getting their taste of the dance-demanding music from mama Africa, hip-hop on the African continent has a considerably long and poignant history. Howard University professor of African studies Msia Kibona Clark will use her new book, Hip-Hop in Africa: Prophets of the City and Dustyfoot Philosophers, as the central source material for her talk at the National Museum of African Art this Sunday. Clark, known as one of the foremost experts on hip-hop in Africa, runs an aptly named blog and podcast, Hip Hop African, that keeps current on the affairs of African diaspora musicians and provides great source material to explore everything from diaspora immigration to whether whining to Drake’s “One Dance” gets you hemmed up at the next Afrobeat party. Read more>>> The talk begins at 3 p.m. at the National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Ave. SW. Free. (202) 633-4600. africa.si.edu. (Hamzat Sani)
Sunday: Take a 2-hour worksop on “plants that break through the asphalt,” also known as weeds, with the artists behind The Environmental Performance Agency (EPA): Department of Weedy Affairs, which is currently showing at the Transformer gallery. 2 p.m. at 1404 P St. NW. Free.
Sunday: Actor and country singer Kiefer Sutherland performs with rocker singer-songwriter Rick Brantley at the Birchmere. 7:30 p.m. at 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $45.
Sunday: Rock artist Andrew W.K., of “Party Hard” fame, performs at 9:30 Club. 7 p.m. at 815 V St. NW. $25.
OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANNING
Tickets on sale now for Alaskan-grown rock band Portugal. The Man, performing at the Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sept. 21.
Tickets on sale now for Tenacious D, the comedy rock duo of actors Jack Black and Kyle Glass, performing at The Anthem on Nov. 7.
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