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The motto for the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, “Standing Up for Real Jazz,” smacks of rigid definition—the Jazz-as-Ideology school. But festival curator Paul Carr doesn’t just wave the banner of purism: He builds a case for it. The first day alone features 21 different performances of solid, swinging, straight-ahead jazz (with an opening-night performance by Giacomo Gates, pictured above, and his ensemble). They run the gamut from middle-school combos to acclaimed veteran headliners—-the latter in most cases being singers, the special emphasis of this year’s festival. Read more >>> The Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival runs Feb. 14 to 17 at the Hilton Washington D.C./Rockville Hotel, 1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville. $15–$205. (301) 563-9330. midatlanticjazzfestival.org. (Michael J. West)
You could spend Valentine’s Day longingly and/or angrily looking at all the cheesy couple photos popping up on your social media feeds, OR you could go celebrate your love of finger foods and booze at Open City. Tonight’s special anti-Valentine’s Day menu is “an ode to the food that you’d never eat on a date,” like spinach and garlic dip, chili cheese fries, and sweet-and-sour chicken wings. The Woodley Park restaurant is also serving $8 drink specials, including the Lying Bastard, a cocktail with ginger beer, bourbon, and lime. And don’t forget dessert: sweet, gooey monkey bread. Open City. 2331 Calvert St. NW. (202) 332-2331. opencitydc.com. (Raphaella Baek)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: Maracuyeah presents a performance and dance party featuring avant-bolero artist Helado Negro at Restaurant Judy in Columbia Heights. 8 p.m. at 2212 14th St. NW. $5.
Friday: Dead Meadow, The Apes, and Sunwolf play DC9 in celebration of the club’s 10th anniversary. Read more in our Spring Arts Guide. 8:30 p.m. at 1940 9th St. NW. $13. Liberation Dance Party also returns to the club tonight. 9 p.m. at 1940 9th St. NW. Free.
Friday: Stylistics, Emotions, and Blue Magic perform romantic soul sets at Constitution Hall. 8 p.m. at 1776 D St. NW. $59–$125.
Friday: D.C. Arts Center opens “Mediating Dissent,” a new exhibition of ink and pencil drawings by Colombian artist Nelson Gutierrez. 7 p.m. at 2438 18th St. NW. Free.
Saturday: Last year, the members of Those Darlins stripped naked, huddled together, and snapped a photo for the cover of their album Blur the Line. They’ll bare it all again onstage at Rock & Roll Hotel tonight—emotionally, anyway. Read more >>> Those Darlins perform with Diarrhea Planet and Paperhaus at 8 p.m. at Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. $15. (202) 388-7635. rockandrollhoteldc.com. (Tim Regan)
Saturday: Japanese duo Cibo Matto performs at the Black Cat with Salt Cathedral. 9 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $20.
Saturday: The Autumn Defense, featuring Wilco members John Stirratt and Patrick Sansone, plays the Hamilton with Dawn Landes. 8:30 p.m. at 600 14th St. NW. $17–$20.
Sunday: Benin-born singer Angelique Kidjo’s new album, Eve, features guest appearances from Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmaglij, Dr. John, and The Kronos Quartet. But those high-profile guests make a quieter impact than Kidjo herself, not to mention the 10 female choirs from Benin and Kenya that appear on the album. Read more >>> Angelique Kidjo performs at 7 p.m. at Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. $30–$45. (202) 994-6800. lisner.gwu.edu.
Sunday: Red Hook Brewery presents an evening of comedy at Penn Social, with performances by MTV’s Jermaine Fowler, local comics Jenn Tisdale and Simone Shiz, and hip-hop artist Phil Adé. 7 p.m. at 801 E St. NW. $10.
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