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The idea of spending eight hours in the withering D.C. heat under a carcinogenic sun with the rest of the Independence Day yahoos is enough to keep this Casper-white, melanoma-surviving, left-leaning jazz fan in the cool of his house. But in its 20th year, District Curators has assembled an outdoor festival that could entice even an agoraphobic. German saxophonist and composer Gebhard Ullman’s Ta Lam Zehn reed octet with accordion is an obtuse but whimsical group whose new collection, Ta Lam, touches on everything from jazz tangos to pygmy chants. Singer-guitarist-trumpeter Olu Dara is no stranger to this area, but those who have missed his recent live gigs and the singular mix of avant-garde blues and gritty world beats on his debut In the World: From Natchez to New York should only be kept away by heatstroke. Other than Dara, percussionist Leon Parker is Freedom Jazz’s ace. Jackie Terrasson’s former stickman is a discrete master whose use of his percussion as a lead instrument on his second album, Awakening, is inspired. Local leaders include tablaist Broto Roy, whose sublime debut American Raga mixes Indian raga and jazz, and pianist and singer Loston Harris, whose good looks and chops are both displayed on his second album Comes Love. Harris’ mix of Chet Baker’s dreaminess and Nat King Cole’s suavity is a blatant grab for the Harry Connick Jr. crowd but his classic style and apparent talent speak to everyone—just like Freedom Jazz. With percussionist Ronnie Burrage’s electric jam band from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 4, at Freedom Plaza, 13th & Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free. (202) 783-0360. (Christopher Porter)