Fruit Bats
Fruit Bats

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Friday: Djavan at Strathmore 

Since the 1970s, Brazilian singer Djavan has been wowing folks with his voice. Whether covering Beatles songs as a teenager, performing his own samba-pop, or vocalizing over jazz fusion and African rhythms, his reach from light and airy to honeyed and sentimental has drawn people in. As a child in northeast Brazil, 5-year-old Djavan learned to sing from his mother while she washed clothes in the river. Later he learned to play acoustic guitar and, at age 23, moved to Rio de Janeiro to establish a musical career. In 1976, he released his debut album and he hasn’t stopped since. His song “Samurai” featured Stevie Wonder and his own songs have been covered by jazz singer Al Jarreau and fellow Brazilians alike. In August 2022, he released D, his latest album, which features “Beleza Destruida (Beauty Destroyed),” a first ever duet with fellow jazzy samba-crooning great Milton Nascimento. During his first U.S. tour in 13 years, he’ll showcase tracks from D as well as his extensive back catalog, which features some funky and busy tracks. But Djavan really shines brightest on wistful ballads such as the 1981 “Faltando Um Pedaco,” where he croons up and down the scales in Portuguese about how the roughed-up heart of one who loves can have a missing piece like a waning moon. Djavan plays at 8 p.m. on April 21 at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Ln., North Bethesda. $38–$88.  —Steve Kiviat 

Djavan; Credit: Gabriela Schmidt

Ends Saturday: Maria Luz Bravo at Hamiltonian Artists

Glimpse, Gathered, a collection of photographs by 2020–2022 Hamiltonian Artists fellow Maria Luz Bravo, originated from her daily walks through Northwest D.C., in an attempt to harness “everyday artifacts that, when captured and gathered, gesture toward sentiment, oddity, and happenstance.” As with anything governed by chance, what Bravo finds is hit or miss, ranging from elbow-shaped plastic piping to a discarded origami bird and grass inadvertently covered by a spill of blue paint. Where Bravo’s works succeed are when she creatively transforms objects, rather than just depicting them as she found them. One side-by-side pairing, for instance, elevates both photographs. Each depicts sidewalk cement, one sprinkled with bits of botanical detritus, the other with paint splatters; what ties the two images together is their randomly patterned top layers, which jointly contrast with the carefully smoothed concrete below. (Flat surfaces are one of Bravo’s strengths: Another image features a footprint made in wet concrete that spans all four corners of a perpendicular bisection, while another captures the momentary partial shadow of a basketball backboard against a wall of gray-painted bricks.) Bravo pastes her photographs without fanfare directly on the gallery wall, their form echoing their theme of ephemerality. But she also uses video smartly; in one, Bravo follows an arrow-straight contrail as it dissipates in a clear blue sky, while in a multichannel installation, she toys fruitfully with video of houses where one can watch their large-screen, mounted televisions from the sidewalk. Bravo’s finest work is “Untitled 31,” a video that transforms another motif of Glimpse, Gathered—objects resting on overhead wires—into a minimalist triumph. The video captures a pair of birds sitting on a wire, but Bravo records the footage through rippling water, fancifully transforming the wire’s straight line into three-dimensional curves and bubbles. In her hands, the spare, monochromatic setting becomes a grippingly elemental tableau. Maria Luz Bravo’s Glimpse, Gathered runs through April 22 at Hamiltonian Artists, 1353 U St. NW. Free. —Louis Jacobson

From Maria Luz Bravo’s Glimpse, Gathered at Hamiltonian Artists; Credit: Vivian Marie Doering

Saturday: Do the Loop Through Katzen Art Center, Kreeger Museum, Dumbarton Oaks

In an inspirational demonstration of community and art’s power to bring people together, six local institutions are joining forces for a free day of gallery visits, scavenger hunts, garden tours, grub-on-wheels, interactive workshops, and live music. The participating parties include the American University Museum at the Katzen Art Center, the Kreeger Museum, Dumbarton Oaks, Jackson Art Center, Addison/Ripley Fine Art, and Klagsbrun Studios. These storied buildings will open their doors to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, with a complimentary shuttle on hand to cart art-goers between locations. It’s a great opportunity to catch AU Museum’s groundbreaking exhibit Madayin: Eight Decades of Aboriginal Australian Bark Painting from Yirrkala before it leaves in May. The first of its kind here in the States, the collection is a rare chance to see these larger-than-life, exceedingly exact, and enthrallingly delicate pieces of art. At Dumbarton Oaks, catch an educational guide to foraging, titled “Playing with Your Food: Herbs and Edible Plants.” It’s sure to give you some inventive ideas for your Sunday roast. At the Kreeger Museum, admire the custom Philip Johnson-designed home and the enviable private collection it holds, featuring works from Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Joan Miro, and D.C. favorite Sam Gilliam—all while listening to the jazzy tunes of Lena Seikaly. Also on the docket: the VIP opening of the nocturne-laced Trevor Young exhibit, Wastelands; an Earth Day-inspired community mural workshop; and a close-up tour with curator John Beardsley of the outdoor art installation “Brier Patch” by Hugh Hayden, an evocative contemplation of education, sprung from the 100 wooden elementary school desks, most of which feature tree branches unfurling from the seats and reaching—in determined tangles—for the sky. Do the Loop runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 22 across Northwest D.C. See for programming details and shuttle schedule. Free. —Emma Francois

“Bluest Vapor” by Trevor Young, Wastelands VIP opening at Addison/Ripley Fine Art

Saturday: Fruit Bats at 9:30 Club

If you haven’t yet listened to A River Running to Your Heart, the new Fruit Bats album is a perfect fit for a drive on Rock Creek Parkway or a Sunday afternoon sprawled across a sunny stretch of Dupont Circle. The LP fuses pensive lyrics with upbeat melodies. The acoustic guitar lines and gentle drums embody frontman Eric D. Johnson’s signature folkiness. Fans of the release can hear tracks live on April 22, when Fruit Bats play at 9:30 Club. The band has rotating membership centered around Johnson. The singer-songwriter has been in the game for a while, gaining recognition in 2004 for the song “When U Love Somebody.” His group took a hiatus in 2013, but has been active again since 2016. A River Running to Your Heart is the Fruit Bats’ 10th album. Johnson is 46 now, and his age seeps into tracks like “We Used to Live Here,” a nostalgic dive into his 20s. Johnson’s ultimate objective, though, according to a press release, is to “explore the importance of what it means to be home, both physically and spiritual.” Fruit Bats play at 6 p.m. on April 22 at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25. —Dora Segall

Sunday: Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer, and Rakesh Chaurasia at Strathmore

Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer; courtesy of the Strathmore

The ambiguous definition of “folk” music, when considered in a broad sense, allows for considerable global cross-pollination within the bounds of the mega-genre. The American banjo and double bass certainly fit within that tradition, along with the Indian tabla and bansuri, or bamboo flute. And so it made sense to Béla Fleck, whose eclectic explorations of the banjo have oozed from folk and classical to jazz and rock, to combine forces with bluegrass bassist Edgar Meyer and tabla master Zakir Hussain, first on a 2009 album (and later Tiny Desk Concert), and later for a 2018 concert that added flutist Rakesh Chaurasia. Fleck may be the best known to U.S. audiences, but to South Asian audiences, it’s Hussain, the son of even-more-legendary tabla great Ustad Alla Rakha Qureshi, who played with Ravi Shankar and single-handedly introduced the percussive instrument to the world. At Strathmore, the trio turned quartet reprises their 2018 show with the same lineup and more than a decade of collaboration under their belts. Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer, and Rakesh Chaurasia play at 7 p.m. on April 23 at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Ln., North Bethesda. $30–$60. —Mike Paarlberg

Sunday: The Way Out Is In: A Musical Meditation at River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Plum Village Monastics and Born I; courtesy of the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation

Buddhist monastics singing and playing classical-tinged folk-pop with rapped sections by a D.C. hip-hop artist and meditation teacher may sound contrived, but the France-based Plum Village Monastery and locally rooted Born I make it work. (You can check out one song available on YouTube.) Vietnamese Buddhist monk and anti-war activist Thich Nhat Hanh, whom Martin Luther King Jr. nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1967, was also an author and a poet who established the Plum Village Monastery. Hanh died last year at age 95, and this year Plum Village monastics—who also sing, play guitar, violin, drums, and cello—are doing a music and meditation tour with the local rapper, born Ofosu Jones-Quartey. Born I says via email that this project came together when he was contacted by Brother Phap Huu, the abbot of Plum Village, who, along with some of the other monastics there, listened to Born I’s first album, In This Moment. In June 2022, Born I visited them and they began creating songs together. The rapper’s flow is rooted in ’90s hip-hop, with lots of busy wordplay. He spits verses influenced by his meditation studies and his own life that contrast with the vocal harmonies of the Plum Village musicians. He describes this collaboration as a “dream come true.” In addition to doing songs with Plum Village, Born I will do a solo song, and the monastics will recite Dharma teachings and Hanh poetry. Plum Village hope the tour can provide people with practices to reduce suffering and inspire compassion and joy. Plum Village Monastery and Born I perform on April 23 at 7 p.m. at River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6301 River Rd., Bethesda. $55–$165. —Steve Kiviat