Kennedy Center to host hip-hop festival with Nas, K’Naan

By Daniel S Levine,

The Kennedy Center announced its lineup for the 2013-14 season, which will feature its first hip-hop festival. Nas and K’Naan will headline the week-long “One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide.”

According to The Associated Press, the festival will start with Nas’ performance of tracks from his debut album Illmantic with musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra. Puerto Rican group Calle 13 and K’Naan are also going to perform and the Center will have a graffiti exhibition during the festival.

“Hip-hop is clearly something new and different for us,” Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser told the AP. “I think to do something very current is important. We’re trying to speak to many different audiences.”

If hip-hop isn’t your favorite genre of music, the Kennedy Center will have plenty of other artists performing during the upcoming season.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the center will also host the International Theater Festival 2014. England’s Bristol Old Vic and South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Companies from other countries will also travel to Washington to perform.

Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick will have its East Coast premiere and the Washington National Opera will host productions of La Forza del destino and Tristan und Isolde. The family-friendly The Lion, the Unicorn and Me will also debut during the holiday season. Russia’s Bolshoi ballet is also set to perform.

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