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Slovo Theater Group, Matt Braunger & More Announced for The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage December Schedule

December programming will also feature Matt Braunger, The Sweetback Sisters and more.

Slovo Theater Group, Matt Braunger & More Announced for The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage December Schedule

Millennium Stage is a manifestation of the Kennedy Center's mission and vision to welcome all to celebrate our collective cultural heritage in the most inclusive and accessible way possible. Millennium Stage will offer free live community performances, streamed live, plus online programs and film screenings, Wednesday-Sunday each week throughout our campus.

December events will include a tribute to Ukraine performance workshopped and created by Ukrainian and American actors and directors of the Slovo Theater Group, an evening of comedy with actor and podcaster Matt Braunger, country music group The Sweetback Sisters with their take on country's golden age using airtight harmonies, blazing leads, charging rhythms, and playful lyrics, and rising Boston and award winning artist Ali Mcguirk as she shows captivates the audience with her powerful but heartfelt voice, showing why she won Blues Artist of the Year at the 2018 Boston Music Awards. The Extraordinary Cinema Series, a curated Sunday matinee film series featuring the best in Independent art films, cult classics, and documentaries will feature two holiday Christmas movies this month, A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) and It's a Wonderful Life (1946).

For schedule updates and reservations, visit the Kennedy Center website. Registration does not guarantee entry to the event space. Access is first come, first served and may be restricted due to capacity. Performances are open to television and radio news coverage. Media crews must request access at least one full week prior to the performance date.

Chronological Schedule for December 2022

Please check the Kennedy Center websites for updates on programming.





Thu., Dec. 1

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage

Jake Xerxes Fussell

Singer, guitarist, and folk music interpreter Jake Xerxes Fussell has distinguished himself as one of his generation's preeminent interpreters of traditional (and not so traditional) "folk" songs, a practice which he approaches with a refreshingly unfussy lack of nostalgia. By recontextualizing ancient vernacular songs and sources of the American South, he allows them to breathe and speak for themselves and for himself; he alternately inhabits them and allows them to inhabit him. In all his work, Fussell humanizes his material with his own profound curatorial and interpretive gifts, unmooring stories and melodies from their specific eras and origins and setting them adrift in our own waterways. The robust burr of his voice, which periodically melts and catches at a particularly tender turn of phrase, and the swung rhythmic undertow of exquisite, seemingly effortless guitar-playing pull new valences of meaning from ostensibly antique songs and subjects.

Fri., Dec. 2

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage

Slovo Theater Group: Mothermotherland, (A Tribute to Ukraine)

Slovo Theater Group is a group of Ukrainian and American actors and directors in a unique artistic residency with the intention to write, workshop, and develop an original performance based on the work of Ukrainian author Mykola Khvylovy.!"

Sat., Dec. 3

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage

John Doe

John Doe was born in 1977 when he arrived in Los Angeles. His previous life in Tennessee, Wisconsin & Baltimore was a great & fertile time but new music and social changes led him to events that created a life in art. John met Exene Cervenka at the Venice poetry workshop Nov 1976 and he started working with Billy Zoom around the same time. When DJ Bonebrake joined X in mid-1977 the line up was complete. They released six studio records, five or six singles and one live record from 1978-1993. The Unheard Music documents their lives and progress as a band from 1980-83. In 2009 the film was included in the Sundance UCLA Archive of greatest films of all time. He has recorded 8 solo records w/ numerous renowned singers and players, more recently including Patty Griffin, Dan Auerbach, Aimee Mann, Don Was, Kathleen Edwards and Greg Leisz. He has appeared in over 50 films and television productions, with some of his most notable roles in Road House, Georgia, Roadside Prophets, Great Balls of Fire, Pure Country and Roswell.

Wed., Dec. 7

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage


Makana is a singer, composer, cultural educator and master of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. His music combines deep tradition with unbridled innovation to breathe fresh intensity into the timeless sounds of Hawai'i. The New York Times calls him "dazzling." His music has been featured on three Grammy-nominated albums, including the soundtrack of the Academy-Award winning film "The Descendants". Guitar Player Magazine ranked him as one of the top 3 guitarists in America, and the Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts recognized him with the Slack Key Legacy Award. Makana's live performances are raw, diverse and virtuosic, culturally informative, shared in multiple languages, and always spontaneous. Feel the presence of kūpuna (elders) as he honors their legacies while weaving in universal themes and sounds from around the world.

Thu., Dec. 8

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage

Donna The Buffalo

Donna The Buffalo is not just a band, rather one might say Donna The Buffalo has become a lifestyle for its members and audience. The band has played thousands of shows and festivals including appearances at Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival, Austin City Limits Festival, Telluride Bluegrass and countless others. Their very own festival, The Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance held annually in Trumansburg, New York hosts over 15,000 music lovers annually as a benefit for Arts & Education.

Friday., Dec. 9

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage



Valerie Coleman: Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes

Sarah Kirkland Snider: Thread and Fray

Nathan Daughtrey: Verve

Alexina Louie: Echoes of Time

Kevin Day: Un(Ravel)ed

Missy Mazzoli: Still Life with Avalanche

Sat., Dec. 10

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage


A headlining comedian since 2007 and an actor since childhood, Matt studied theatre in New York and improvisation in Chicago. Matt's television credits include recurring roles on ABC's Agent Carter, NBC's Up All Night, Netflix's Disjointed, Starz' Take My Wife and Amazon's Upload. Matt was a series regular on Fox's MADtv, a cast member of the TruTV series How to Be a Grown Up, and has appeared on Superstore, Fuller House, Man with a Plan, BoJack Horseman, Garfunkel and Oates, Maron, HBO's Family Tree, The Michael J Fox Show, Happy Endings, CONAN, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Pete Holmes Show, and Live At Gotham.

In 2009, he was named to Variety's Top 10 Comics to Watch, and Comedy Central's Hot 9 in '09 list. His debut album Soak Up The Night was released by Comedy Central Records and was an iTunes Top 20 Comedy Album for 2009. In 2010, he recorded his half hour Comedy Central Presents special and in 2012 released his debut hour-long special entitled Shovel Fighter, which was also released as an album. Matt has since released two more specials: Big, Dumb Animal and Finally Live in Portland.

Sun., Dec. 11

3 p.m.

Justice forum at The REACH

Extraordinary Cinema: A Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppets perform the classic Dickens holiday tale, with Kermit the Frog playing Bob Cratchit, the put-upon clerk of stingy Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine). Other Muppets -- Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and Sam the Eagle -- weave in and out of the story, while Scrooge receives visits from spirits of three Christmases -- past, present and future. They show him the error of his self-serving ways, but the miserable old man seems to be past any hope of redemption and happiness.

Mon., Dec. 12

6 p.m.

Concert Hall

Merry TubaChristmas

2022 is the 49th year of Merry TUBACHRISTMAS events which are presented throughout the world. TUBACHRISTMAS was conceived in 1974 by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher and mentor William J. Bell, born on Christmas Day, 1902. Since first TUBACHRISTMAS was conducted by Paul Lavalle in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink, musicians of all ages have gathered annually to perform traditional Christmas music arranged by American composer Alec Wilder on the tuba and euphonium.

*Participation is capped at 150 players.

Wed., Dec. 14

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage

Washington Musical Pathways Initiative

The Washington Musical Pathways Initiative (WMPI) is a talent development program for middle and high school musicians who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color with the goal of studying music performance at a conservatory or university/college school of music in order to pursue a career as a professional musician.

With partners, the DC Youth Orchestra Program, Levine Music, Kennedy Center, National Symphony Orchestra, and Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, WMPI is committed to enhancing the diversity of the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. region's classical music community, recognizing that by providing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environment for our students, we are preparing them for personal and professional success in an increasingly global society.

Thu., Dec. 15

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage

Kings Return

Kings Return is a vocal band of brothers - Gabe Kunda, Vaughn Faison, J.E. McKissic & Jamall Williams. The Dallas, Texas-based a cappella group was formed unintentionally in 2016 after first singing together for Gabe's college graduation recital. They have amassed almost 10 million views across all platforms and have been recognized by artists and brands such as Emily King, Anita Baker, Anthony Anderson, Joyce DiDonato, Apple, NPR, Dallas Morning News and so many more. Avoiding the confines of a single genre, Kings Return's sound is proudly born out of Gospel, Jazz, R&B/Soul, and Classical music.

Fri., Dec. 16

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage

DCLM Gospel Quartet

The DC Legendary Musicians presents an evening of Gospel featuring the GOSPEL QUARTET sounds of Minister, Carlton Harrison, Gary Spencer Melvin Caldwell, and Christopher John Burnett. Come celebrate Christmas a little early with these legends!

Sat., Dec. 17

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage

The Sweetback Sisters: Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular

The Sweetback Sisters are decking the halls with their modern take on the golden age of country music. This wildly popular show delivers a veritable explosion of yuletide splendor, complete with trivia, prizes, and, of course, all the holiday tunes you know and love. Year-round, The Sweetback Sisters and their band of brothers wow audiences with their family-style harmonies and blazing instrumentals. For this show, the Queens of Christmastime put their signature twist on holiday classics and hidden gems that are sure to get even your scroogiest uncle in a festive spirit. Songbooks and plenty of warm fuzzy feelings provided.

Sun., Dec. 18

3 p.m.

Justice Forum at The REACH

Extraordinary Cinema: It's A Wonderful Life

Frank Capra's classic stars Oscar nominee James Stewart as George Bailey, a decent small-town banker who learns what life would have been like if he'd never been born after he unwittingly becomes involved in a mistaken case of bank fraud, which threatens his spirit and tests his will to live until a wise angel compels him to see how his presence has made an incredible impact on the people of Bedford Falls.

Wed., Dec. 21

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage

Christmas in Ukraine featuring Gerden

Christmas in Ukraine offers a rich sampling of Ukrainian Christmas music and the dazzling dance traditions of Ukraine. Included will be Gerdan's original arrangements of songs and instrumental music from different regions of Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Through their performance Gerdan musicians and dancers tell the story of Ukrainian Christmas celebrations.

Founded by Ukrainian professional duo Solomia Gorokhivska and Andrei Pidkivka, musicians of Gerdan bring the fire and the edge of melodic ideas and rhythms that capture the listener. They reveal their passion for traditional Ukrainian music in their artistic expression to build cultural bridges in time and distance.

Thu., Dec. 22

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage

Holiday Swingin'! A Kat Edmonson Christmas

Kat Edmonson is an award-winning songwriter and singer "with an equal foothold in jazz, cabaret and vintage cosmopolitanism pop" (The New York Times). She has been featured on Austin City Limits, Tiny Desk Concerts, A Prairie Home Companion, and The Late Show with David Letterman. The New York Times describes her music as "Fresh as a spring bouquet" while NPR says, "Hearing Edmonson makes it virtually impossible to do anything but stop and listen." The award-winning songwriter and her band will perform these Yule-tide favorites along with Kat's originals for a magical holiday evening to remember.

Fri., Dec. 23

6 p.m.

Concert Hall

Messiah Sing-Along

Be part of Washington's most popular free holiday event, the Kennedy Center's Messiah Sing-Along. Back by popular demand, the evening concert features conductor Nancia DAlimonte as she leads members of the Washington National Opera Orchestra, guest soloists, a chorus of 200, and a very enthusiastic audience in Handel's masterpiece. A family and community tradition since 1971!

Sat., Dec. 24

12 noon

Millennium Stage

The Beltway Brass Quintet

The Beltway Brass Quintet is a project group led by Zachary Smith of the nationally acclaimed Dixie Power Trio. The members of the quintet reside in the Washington, D.C. area and quite frequently spend hours slogging around I-495, D.C.'s infamous beltway. It was on this stretch of highway that the idea for the Beltway Brass was conceived in 2003. The repertoire for the quintet is unusual in its emphasis on Twentieth Century jazz harmonies and stylings.

Sun., Dec. 25

6 p.m.

Concert Hall

All Star Christmas Day Jam

Join in our annual All-Star Christmas Jazz Jam, with host and vibraphonist Chuck Redd, drummer Lenny Robinson, trumpeter Tom Williams, pianist Robert Redd, bassist James King, and vocalist Lori Williams.

Mon., Dec. 26


Concert Hall

Encore Creativity

Encore Creativity for Older Adults is the nation's largest and fastest growing choral arts organization for older adults. Encore's guiding mission is to give all adults 55 and older, regardless of experience or ability, the opportunity to perform under a professional artist.

Encore is a leading organization in the field of creative aging, with over 1300 singers and 30 ensembles (and growing!) nationwide. Encore's programs include harmonized choral groups, Encore ROCKS singing rock 'n' roll hits, therapeutic Arts for Life programs for those with cognitive change and their care partners, and online Encore University classes to supplement singers' musical journeys.

Wed., Dec. 28

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage


Merci implement seamless sonic synthesis. The Washington, D.C. quintet-Seth Coggeshall [vocals, guitar], Nick Jones [guitar], Colby Witko [vocals, keys], Justin Mason [bass], and Jack Dunigan [drums]-funnel dreamy nocturnal pop through the lens of dyed-in-the-wool rock underpinned by live instrumentation (Think Lana Del Rey reimagining Foo Fighters' The Colour and the Shape, and you're halfway there!). After grinding it out around The DMV in various groups since high school, they make their introduction on a series of singles and a forthcoming 2021 full-length debut for Rise Records. Their first single "Foolish Me" illuminates the nuances of this sound. Fusing guitar bliss, soft keys, and lush pop mystique, the track unfolds with a hypnotic elegance and hints at more to come.

Thu., Dec. 29

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage

Comedy: Sara Schaefer: Going Up


In her new solo show, Sara Schaefer teaches you how to unlock your potential in this fake(?) seminar about defeating your hecklers, developing your TS (thick skin) and achieving total perfect comedy success. No matter your walk of life, you can make your dreams come true simply by Going Up!

Fri., Dec. 30

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage

Ali McGuirk

Ali McGuirk has made a career of captivating audiences with her powerful voice and heartfelt songwriting. In 2016, she was recognized by the Boston Globe as an "artist to hear," along with Lake Street Dive, Haim and other notable names. Shortly thereafter, she released her debut, self-titled EP and has been riding that momentum ever since.

In November 2017, she released her first full-length album, Slow Burn, which saw her working with an eclectic mix of artists. Slow Burn was named on multiple year-end lists, including Boston rock critic Steve Morse's Top Ten Albums of 2017, and contributed to Ali's current total of 7 Boston Music Award nominations and her 2018 New England Music Award nomination for R&B Act of the Year. At the 2018 Boston Music Awards, Ali took home Blues Artist of the Year.

Sat., Dec. 31

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage

Little Red & the Renegades

Austin, Texas music critic Lee Nichols says: "Little Red's sound is just flat out fun - it's an exuberant celebration of everything wonderful about American music, with a heavy emphasis on Zydeco and Cajun. He can easily glide from 'Bon Ton Roulet' to 'Zydeco Beach Party' to rhythm and blues, conjunto, and back again." Little Red, on Takoma Park's Azalea City Recordings label, has appeared with Dr. John, T-Bone Burnett, Brave Combo, Buckwheat Zydeco, Nathan Williams & the Zydeco Cha-Chas, Chubby Carrier, Chubby Checker, Queen Ida, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Rosie Ledet, and his music's been sampled by Madlib and Limp Bizkit. Little Red & the Renegades has been featured at Austin's South by Southwest and New York's New Music Seminar.

All performers and programs are subject to change without notice.

News: CREATIVISTS IN DIALOGUE: A Podcast Embracing the Creative Life is Now Live on Substa Photo
A new local podcast, Creativists in Dialogue: A Podcast Embracing the Creative Life, launches February 1, 2023, at Supported in part by a fellowship to producer Elizabeth Bruce from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Creativists in Dialogue features thoughtful, in-depth interviews with people from all walks of life about the role creativity plays in shaping who they are. 

Moisés Kaufman & Amanda Gronichs HERE THERE ARE BLUEBERRIES is Coming to Shakes Photo
Shakespeare Theatre Company will present a new work this season from multi-Tony nominated Moisés Kaufman, Amanda Gronich, and Tectonic Theatre Project (The Laramie Project, I Am My Own Wife): Here There Are Blueberries.  

Review: THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT at Keegan Theatre Photo
In a world of fake news, alternate facts, social media frenzy and an increasingly opinionated and polarized public/audience, the issues raised in the intellectually challenging play The Lifespan of a Fact are more relevant than ever.  Now being presented at the Keegan Theatre, this play may be short in length, but it probingly explores the weighty issues of the passion of the essay writer/prose stylist versus the scrupulous and zealous fact-checking of the journalist/article writer.

Review: MANDY PATINKIN IN CONCERT: BEING ALIVE At Strathmore Music Center Photo
The phrase “Mandy Patinkin in Concert” should always draw audiences, but this particular 'Being Alive' tour is just a lovely and loving performance, and it’s one well worth seeing. Patinkin is pure joy on the stage, and the feeling is catching.

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