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SUNDAY

Violinist Kennedy has always confounded his audience and critics, whether by dropping his first name midway through his career, or preferring the attire and demeanor of a rocker. His recording of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons was one of the highest-grossing classical albums ever, but his efforts to reconcile the instinctual elements of rock and improvisatory music with the classical world are obviously more important to him. “When great music, whether it’s Bach or Miles [Davis] or people like Portishead or Roni Size or whatever’s going on, when it’s really great and at a top level…there’s far more than just an intellectual justification for it, but it reaches a higher level of consciousness where everyone’s right in on the same zone—that’s what I’m into,” he says earnestly. A five-year hiatus from the concert stage culminated in 1996 with the release of Kafka, an album of his own compositions, which paved the way for his newest work, Hendrix: Concerto in Suite Form. This isn’t exactly a set of Jimi covers, however. “You’re not going to get me playing an electric violin and playing loads of Jimi Hendrix licks…because that would be the most gratuitous, redundant thing one could possibly do with his music. I’m gonna take those melodic things, I’ll fuck up the structure altogether and put it into a totally different structure,” Kennedy assures. He performs solo violin works by Bartok and Bach as well as the Hendrix concerto with his ensemble, the Kennedy Collective, at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8, at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. $20-50. (202) 467-4600. (Amy Domingues)