Live Review: Nas @ Wolf Trap — 7/14/19

Nas Live Concert @ Les Ardentes Festival-2411
Nas performs at Les Ardentes Festival in Belgium on July 11, 2013. (Photo by Kmeron)

It has been 25 years since the release of Nas’s debut, Illmatic. The New York emcee recently reminded fans at Wolf Trap why many consider it the best hip hop album ever. Nas brought Illmatic’s vivid street tales to the Filene Center and created a truly cinematic experience with the help of the National Symphony Orchestra.

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Preview: Nas w/ National Symphony Orchestra @ Wolf Trap, 7/14/19

Nas (Photo courtesy Wolf Trap)

Rapper Nas released Nasir, his 11th studio album, via Mass Appeal Records in 2018. But the hip hop artist is on tour now to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his album Illmatic, and he’s doing it in style. Nas performs the album with the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap on Sunday, July 14.

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Don’t Miss: Ben Folds w/ The National Symphony Orchestra @ The Kennedy Center, 12/4/15

Ben Folds (center) and the yMusic Ensemble (Photo courtesy Big Hassle)

Ben Folds has led an interesting musical career that defies stereotypes. Certainly, in the 20 years since he first collaborated with the Ben Folds Five, he’s become associated with chamber pop. And he continues to make interesting new strides in that area with his latest album, So There, released last month via New West Records.

For So There, Ben teamed up with the yMusic Ensemble, a classical music outfit in New York City, to produce a pop album built on a classical music foundation.

Watch Ben Folds and yMusic perform the title track to “So There” on CBS This Morning on Sept. 26, 2015:


The new album also offers Ben’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in three movements. And that particular part of the album is apparently the basis for a unique concert performance as part of Ben’s current tour, as he is set to appear at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, Dec. 4, with the National Symphony Orchestra.

Ben premiered the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in performance in March 2014 with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra to great acclaim.

Watch Ben Folds perform the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 2, 2014:


Ben is know for being an innovative composer and performer, and he’s certain to bring a few surprises to his DC show at the Kennedy Center. So don’t miss out on this intriguing concert opportunity! Tickets went on sale to the public a few weeks ago, and they are going fast.

Tickets are available online.

Ben Folds
w/ The National Symphony Orchestra
The Kennedy Center
Friday, Dec. 4
Show @9pm
All ages