Spring’s 10 essential pop concerts

Washington is a music city. It isn’t a music industry city like New York, or Los Angeles or Nashville. But against tremendous odds, important sounds get made here — across various scenes, styles and traditions, too. That all feels apparent this approaching concert season with roughly half of this spring’s highlights originating right around the corner. Let’s get out there and see if the stars can outshine our neighbors.

Home Rule festival launch

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Warning: The following is a preview of a preview. Heading into its third summer, the District’s Home Rule music festival continues to celebrate the past, present and future of DMV jazz — and at this special launch party, the festival’s promoters will be doing it all in the space of a few hours. The evening begins with a screening of “Black Fire,” a documentary film about Black Fire Records, the storied D.C. jazz label behind essential 1970s recordings from Experience Unlimited and Oneness of Juju. After that, live performances from Oneness of Juju co-founder James “Plunky” Branch and the flexible Baltimore trumpeter Brandon Woody. The future? You’ll have to listen for it between sets when organizers announce this year’s complete festival lineup. Feb. 23 at Songbyrd, songbyrddc.com.


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