Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Week September 7-9: Blackbear, Carifesta, and Free Classes at CityDance

Here are the best events around town.

Former politician Jeff Smith discusses the US prison system at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe. Photo by Justin Sonfield.


MUSIC: You may not recognize Blackbear by name, but you’ve probably heard Justin Bieber’s hit, “Boyfriend.” The tune was co-written by Blackbear, which helps explain why his music also has a pop-meets-R&B sensibility. His zeitgeisty lyrics play to the Tumblr generation and have made him a huge Internet celebrity. U Street Music Hall. $15, 7 PM.

FESTIVAL: Head over to the Ronald Reagan Courtyard to munch on some plantains and listen to reggae. Carifesta celebrates Caribbean culture with Caribbean-American food stands, crafts, and clothing, as well as live performances by soca, reggae, and calypso musicians. Free, 12 to 8 PM.


DANCE: If you love movies like Save the Last Dance, this is for you: CityDance in Tenleytown offers free classes September 8 through 12. They’ve got everything from breakdancing for kids to jazz for adults; all you have to do is RSVP, and you’ll be grooving in no time. Classes are for all ages and run between 10 AM and 8 PM.

BOOKS: Jeff Smith was a member of the Missouri Senate until 2009, when he was convicted of obstruction of justice and spent about a year in prison. Now, Smith is back with a memoir entitled Mr. Smith Goes to Prison. He chats with Martin Austermuhle of WAMU about the book at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe. Free, 6:30 PM.


BOOKS: Cat owners often wonder what the heck goes on in their pet’s head. Local author Sophy Burnham took this curiosity one step further and wrote her latest book, Love, Alba, from a cat’s perspective. Alba’s tale of love triangles, friendship, and art theft peers into the psyche of these mystifying, adorable creatures. Upshur Street Books. Free, 7 PM.

FILM: Jazz composer, bandleader, and poet Sun Ra believes he has connected with the inhabitants of Saturn. That may or may not be the case, but there’s no disputing that his live performances are other-worldly. The documentary Sun Ra, A Joyful Noise explores how the man once known as Herman Poole Blount became an avant-garde jazz icon and afrofuturism pioneer. Anacostia Community Museum. Free, 11 AM.

MUSIC: Before Sisqo changed the way we thought about underwear, he was a member of Dru Hill. Like Boyz II Men and Jodeci, the Baltimore natives set the sexy, soulful tone that reigned supreme during the ’90s. Nokio, Sisqo, Jazz, and Tao will take you back to baggy-jeans friendly days at the Howard Theatre. $36.50 to $60, 8 PM.