We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Free your mind with the warm buzz of the mbira dzavadzimu, and your body will follow. The metal-pronged thumb piano from Zimbabwe can chase away the bad energy of, say, potholed streets and impatient drivers. Or it can be used to call up and chat with an ancestor about getting through rough times. Someone like, say, Orpheus McAdoo. During the 1890s, the former slave from Greensboro, N.C., became South Africa’s leading concert impresario and befriended NAACP co-founder Booker T. Washington and African National Congress co-founder John Dube. McAdoo’s political acquaintances undoubtedly shaped his music, which encouraged visions of social change in colonial Africa. Tonight, join virtuoso mbira players Forward Kwenda and Erica Azim, the National Musical Arts chamber music ensemble, and actor Jasper McGruder—who, as McAdoo, narrates the program—in celebrating the cultures of Zimbabwe and South Africa with the multimedia presentation “Africa! Spirit Ascending” at 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. $25. (202) 467-4600. (AM)