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4

FRIDAY

Jimmy Scott is often treated like a freak show. The now-79-year-old singer was born with Kallmann’s syndrome, a hormonal condition that stunted his growth and kept his voice from changing. As if that weren’t enough for Lady Luck to burden the future vocalist with, Scott’s mother was killed in an accident when he was 13, his former record company blocked him from releasing his own albums for 20-some years, and he developed a nasty problem with the sauce. With a life like that, David Lynch’s casting Scott in the final episode of Twin Peaks—warbling in his signature feminine pitch while a dwarf danced—makes some kind of sense. But Scott is worthy of attention even if you know nothing about his life: In a blindfolded listening test, his torch-song vocals will always sound exquisite—even if the gender of the singer is not clear. Roughed up a bit by smoking, Scott’s intonation, like that of his late cohort Billie Holiday, slowly yet confidently moves around the scales, conveying heart-wrenching passion in a manner devoid of schtick. Jimmy Scott and the Jazz Expressions play at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Gallery. $25. (202) 467-4600. (Steve Kiviat)