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As the American century bleeds to a close, anyone living in a U.S. city can define the blues. But along with dejection and despair, hard times breed defiance and determination, the signal qualities of the music to be performed at the Fifth Annual D.C. Blues Festival. Besides the Nighthawks and Saffire, the roster also includes Johnnie Johnson, whose manic, ghostly piano graces nearly every memorable side recorded by Chuck Berry. From noon to 10 p.m. at the Carter Barron Amphitheater, 4850 Colorado Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 619-7222. (MD)