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Orchestras love anniversaries as reasons to draw up theme programs, but only when those anniversaries are for composers most people enjoy: Mozart, Beethoven, and the like. John Cage is not one of them. He was an already weird composer of random ambient sounds before he discovered Zen Buddhism in the 1950s and got even stranger, at times jettisoning instruments and music altogether; his influence is felt more in the noise-rock and anti-art scenes than modern classical. That’s what makes D.C.’s weeklong festivities such a pleasant surprise. Highlights include tonight’s reading of Cage’s radio play James Joyce, Marcel Duchamp, Erik Satie: An Alphabet at the Corcoran, an open-ended Cage potpourri program performed by 77 musicians at the Library of Congress (Sept. 6, free), a piano concert by Stephen Drury at the Kreeger Museum (Sept. 8, $35), and art exhibitions at the National Gallery, American University Museum at the Katzen, and the Phillips Collection. MORE >> (Mike Paarlberg)
The John Cage Centennial Festival opens at 6:45 p.m. at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. Advance registration required. $15 for nonmembers. corcoran.org. (202) 639-1700. See a complete festival schedule at johncage2012.com.
Fro-yo shop Mr. Yogato is hosting a pop-up for your morning cup of joe. Every Monday through Friday from 7 to 10 a.m., D.C.-based micro-roaster Vigilante Coffee will supply a full espresso bar, single origin pour-overs, cold-brew iced coffee, and quick cups to go at the Dupont spot. Vigilante comes from Chris Roessler-Vigilante, who got his start in the coffee biz as an apprentice for a small roaster in Hawaii after graduating from Virginia Tech. He launched his own roasting company at the start of this year. The pop-up at Mr. Yogato is set to continue indefinitely. Vigilante also sells its coffee from several area farmers markets, Dangerously Delicious Pies on H Street NE, Boccato Gelato in Clarendon, and a couple other spots. Also look for it at food and fashion market Maketto, coming to H Street NE early next year. Vigilante Coffee at Mr. Yogato; 1515 17th St. NW; vigilantecoffee.com. (Jessica Sidman)
OH AND ALSO
In the Shadow of the Banyan, the debut novel by Vaddey Ratner, is a street-level story about the horrors of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime seen through the eyes of a child. Ratner reads at 7 p.m. at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. (202) 364-1919.
Photo courtesy of The San Diego Union-Tribune