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TO JAN. 25

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Being a jazz fan is expensive. Going out to a club will set you back at least a paycheck, and berets don’t come cheap anymore. So it’s always a relief on the pocketbook when the Library of Congress’ annual Jazz Film Series starts: five nights of free flicks. The series begins on Monday, with a 35 mm print of Vincente Minnelli’s all-black 1943 musical fantasy, Cabin in the Sky, which includes appearances by Louis Armstrong (pictured) and Duke Ellington. Thursday is dedicated to the aforementioned Pops and includes footage from a 1965 Armstrong All-Stars concert and 1971’s Emmy-nominated CBS News Special: Louis Armstrong 1900-1971. On Jan. 18, the 1961 Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier film Paris Blues will be shown. The film tracks two jazz musicians through the Parisian nightclub scene and features a score by Ellington. Three TV programs are on the bill for the Jan. 22 screening: a 1958 Steve Allen Show featuring Armstrong; 1978’s Louis Armstrong: Gentle Giant of Jazz documentary; and the 1955 pilot for Wide Wide World, with an excerpt from a Washington, D.C., concert featuring Armstrong, Bobby Hackett, Velma Middleton, and Woody Herman. The final film in the series is Horace Parlan by Horace Parlan, the D.C. premiere of an hour-long documentary on the American-born, Denmark-based pianist. As always, it’s first come, first served—and the venue is small, so get there early. At the Library of Congress’ Mary Pickford Theater; see Showtimes for details. (Christopher Porter)