There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The music being what it is, every old-timer needs a job, and New Lost City Rambler John Cohen has settled into a teaching career, but over the years he has also collected the songs on such albums as Smithsonian Folkways’ Mountain Music of Kentucky and Rounder’s High Atmosphere, documenting his travels with artful photos and evocative films. In conjunction with the Corcoran’s Keeping Time: Photographs of Musicians by John Cohen and Milt Hinton, in which Cohen makes plain the difference between photographer and shutterbug, the National Gallery of Art is hosting “The Films of John Cohen.” The series starts with 1979’s Q’eros: The Shape of Survival and 1991’s Carnival in Q’eros (June 21 at 12:30 p.m.). In the former, Peru’s Q’eros Indians exist on the fringes of a money economy; in the latter, they’ve been swindled by an alpaca dealer and risk bank foreclosure. Cohen himself, genial in person but a savvily laconic filmmaker, hosts The High Lonesome Sound (pictured), Sara and Maybelle, and The End of an Old Song (June 28 at 3 p.m.), portraits of the folk (and the stars) of the Southern Appalachians, for whom life and music are as inextricable as they are for the Q’eros. Pericles in America travels to Queens and Greece for a visit with clarinetist Pericles Halkias, while Dancing With the Incas journeys to the Peru of the Huayno (June 22 at 1 p.m.). Cohen returns to the National Gallery for Post-Industrial Fiddle, in which frustrated fiddler Gerry Morrell lives the Hazardous life in Woodland, Maine, and for his study of U.S Musical Holdouts (June 29 at 6 p.m.). At the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th & Constitution Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 737-4215. (Glenn Dixon)