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A jazz musician who draws inspiration from funk, soul, and Lilith Fair–ready songwriters, Esperanza Spalding knits together an amalgam of styles in a way that’s surprisingly clear, never mottled. She plays the stand-up bass with effortless panache, strumming, plucking, smacking, and challenging the boundaries of what wood and strings can do.To celebrate her birth month, she hits the road on a two-week “Thank You October” tour with longtime collaborators Leo Genovese and Lyndon Rochelle. Read more >>> Esperanza Spalding performs at 7:30 p.m. at the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $65. (703) 549-7500. birchmere.com. (Rachel Kurzius)


New Columbia Distillers, the first (legal) distillery to open in D.C. since before Prohibition, has made it to its second anniversary. To celebrate, bartenders at H Street NE’s Boundary Road will mix popular cocktails from the past two years using three versions of the distillery’s Green Hat gin: the original, the summer seasonal, and the hard-to-find 2013 winter seasonal. Co-owner John Uselton will also make an appearance and, of course, there will be hats. Boundary Road, 414 H St. NE. (202) 450-3265. greenhatgin.com. (Jamie Slater)


Acclaimed author Jesmyn Ward discusses and signs copies of her celebrated memoir, Men We Reaped, at Politics & Prose. 7 p.m. at 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.

DC Music Salon kicks off its fifth season at Watha T. Daniel Library with a screening of the documentary Bossa Nova—The Brazilian Music Which Charmed the World, followed by a discussion with local musicians and Jazz Samba Project curator Ken Avis. 7 p.m. at 1630 7th St. NW. Free.

At Bossa Bistro, check out a performance by Kansas city-based Afro-Cuban rock quartet Making Movies. The band is joined by local Latin rock act Le Manch. 9 p.m. at 2463 18th St. NW. $5.

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