Saturday afternoon belongs to the festival’s Jazz ‘n Families Fun Day at the National Mall’s Sylvan Amphitheatre (behind the Washington Monument on the south side). From noon till 6 p.m., the Mall offers jazz events you can take the kids to: music for both adults and the little ones, plus food, drink, crafts, storytelling, and facepainting.
Esteemed drummer Winard Harper, who also plays the balafon (an African marimba-like instrument), is holding down the stage at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. He’ll be performing with a sextet that includes DC favorite Ameen Saleem on bass. That’s at 7:30 tonight, 1333 H Street NE. Tickets are $25 apiece.
Tonight’s main event is the NEA Jazz Masters Concert at the Lincoln Theatre at 8:00. The double bill features the current incarnation of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, with Paquito d’Rivera sitting in, and the DC Bass Choir featuring the legendary Christian McBride as special guest. The Lincoln Theatre is at the corner of 13th and U, next door to Ben’s Chili Bowl; tickets are $25.