There are lots of great opportunities in the region to hear live music free. Here are a few:
• Free concerts from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force bands are a Washington tradition. They perform on alternating days throughout the summer. Concerts are free and no tickets are required. The U.S. Navy Band plays on Mondays at 8 p.m. on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building. Look for them any Monday evening through Aug. 25. They also play some Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. at the Navy Memorial. Look for them there July 22 and 29 and Aug. 12 and 19. They can also be heard on Tuesdays at the Sylvan Theatre in front of the Washington Monument at 8 p.m. July 22 and every Tuesday in August. More information is at navyband.navy.mil.
The U.S. Air Force Band performs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building every Tuesday in July and August.and every Wednesday at the Sylvan Theatre in front of the Washington Monument every Wednesday in July and August. They also perform Fridays at 8 p.m. at the Air Force Memorial all remaining weeks in July and every Friday in August. More information is at usafband.af.mil.
The U.S. Marine Band plays Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the West Front of the Capitol Building all remaining Wednesdays in July and every Wednesday in August.
Twilight Tattoo, the Army Band’s outdoor ceremonial concert is an hour-long military pageant that features the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the U.S. Army Drill Team, the U.S. Army Blues and members of the U.S. Army Band Downrange. These performances are also free and open to the public. They’ll perform every Wednesday through Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. at Fort Myer in Arlington. Visit twilight.mdw.army.mil for details.
• The National Gallery of Art offers free jazz performances in the garden of its outdoor cafe every Friday evening during summer. They run every Friday through Aug. 29 from 5-8:30 p.m. but may be canceled due to excessive heat or inclement weather. They’re at the Pavilion Cafe at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden (6th and Constitution Ave., N.W.). Food and drinks available or picnics are allowed (alcoholic beverages must be purchased there). Upcoming performers include the Rick Whitehead Trio (tonight), Tom Williams (July 18) and Incendio (July 25). Visit nga.gov for remaining schedule and more information.
* Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecues are held various dates through Aug. 30 at the National Building Museum (401 F St., N.W.) and offer Texas-style barbecue, drinks and live music. Upcoming performers include Sour Bridges (tonight), the Bellfuries (July 17), the Giving Tree Band (July 18), Joe Firstman (July 19) Mustered Courage (July 31) and more in August.
Hill Country Barbecue is a D.C. restaurant and performance venue that features live country music. It’s at 410 7th St., N.W. Details at hillcountrywdc.com.
• Music on the Mall is an annual free concert series that brings local and regional musicians out for lunchtime concerts. The performances are sponsored by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. They’re held at 7th and Jefferson Drive, N.W.between the National Air and Space Museum and the Hirshhorn. Upcoming performers are Hari Vasan (July 15), Kendall Isadore (July 22), Jonathan Tucker (July 29), Cecily Bumbray (Aug. 5) and more. Visit dcarts.dc.gov for more information.
• The plaza at Washington Harbour along the waterfront in Georgetown also has a free concert series that runs into September. Performances are held on Wednesday evenings from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and include a wide variety of styles. Upcoming performers are Julia Fanning( July 16), Josh Burgess (July 23), Ken Fischer (July 30), Hand Painted Swinger (Aug. 6) and more. Visit thewashingtonharbour.com for details.
• The Capitol Riverfront will host free outdoor concerts at Yards Park throughout the summer at Yards Park (355 Water St., N.W.). They run on Fridays through Sept. 12 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Upcoming performers include Scott’s New Band (tonight), Framewerk (July 18), Jah Works (july 25), White Ford Bronco (Aug. 1) and more. Visit capitolriverfront.org for more information.