Tonight, a stellar group of singers and instrumentalists assembles for the world premiere of a jazz song cycle, commissioned by the Kennedy Center’s Billy Taylor. “Portraits in Jazz: A Gallery of Songs” features an original score by Tony-winning Broadway composer Cy Coleman (Sweet Charity, Barnum) and Academy Award-winning lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman (“The Windmills of Your Mind,” “The Way We Were”). This theatrical concert, staged by Pat Birch (A Little Night Music), showcases an impressive ensemble of pop-jazz vocalists—Patti Austin, Carl Anderson, Janis Siegel, Lillias White, and Steve Tyrell—backed by L.A.’s roaring Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Coleman and the Bergmans will serve as onstage guides, linking a mosaic of musical vignettes that depict the glories and pitfalls of the jazz life. Whether this ambitious program succeeds or flops, it’s bound to be a memorable evening. The program starts at 8:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall. $27. (202) 467-4600. (Joel E. Siegel)