THE MAIN EVENT
Friday, March 24 - Sunday, March 26
Hilton Norfolk The Main - 100 E. Main Street
A Weekend Celebration For The Arts, March 24-26. A weekend fundraising event that will be a preview of Norfolk’s newest destination, The Main. The event offers a full program of both performing and visual art experiences for ticket holders featuring various pieces from eight different art organizations. The Main's pop-up galleries will house a unique collection of art ranging from large-scale sculptures to avant-garde paintings.
Sunday, March 26 5:00PM
Douglas Wilder Perf Arts Ctr
Hear the voice hailed as “one of the very few most beautiful in the world” (The Washington Post). Grammy Award-winning soprano Kathleen Battle takes the audience on a journey of hope and salvation in this concert that combines traditional spirituals like He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired, and Go Down Moses with the writings of abolitionists Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. Ms. Battle’s performance is backed by the mighty Norfolk State University Choir, which has performed twice at the White House and is known for the beauty of its choral tone.
Swan Lake - Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet with Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Friday, March 31 7:30PM
Granted its “Royal” title in 1953 by the just-crowned Queen Elizabeth II, this legendary troupe is one of the world’s oldest premier dance companies and the longest continuously operating ballet company in North America. The company has performed to rave reviews at home, throughout the U.S. and around the world, and now makes its Festival debut with its critically acclaimed Swan Lake, which “cast its spell over the entire audience…you could have heard a proverbial pin drop” (Winnipeg Free Press). Named a New York Times “Critic’s Choice,” the troupe has long been a favorite of ballet fans. See this breathtaking performance with the Tchaikovsky score performed by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra!
Saturday, April 1 7:30PM
Sunday, April 2 2:30PM
Pants Down Circus
Saturday, April 8 2:00PM and 7:00PM
TCC Roper Perf Arts Center
This Australian company blends cirque-style acrobatics and quirky wit in a show that dares you not to laugh. In their Festival debut, the troupe brings its "Pants Down Circus ROCK!" show, inspired by and performed to classic rock by Aerosmith, AC/DC, Joan Jett, Queen, Metallica and Bon Jovi--and it's "a winner of a show that zings from start to finish! Enough tricks up their sleeves to give any major circus company a run for their money" (Herald Sun).
Cecile McLorin Salvnt
Sunday, April 9 7:00PM
Robin Hixon Theater
Classically trained, this award-winning jazz vocalist has seized the imagination of the audience with her “resoundingly eloquent” voice—“whether growling the blues or barely breathing, Salvant has inbuilt swing, an actor’s stagecraft, an instrumentalist’s precision…jazz-informed artistry of the highest class” (The Guardian). Hear a Grammy-winning artist who tops the critics’ “best” lists.
David Russell - Guitar
Wednesday, April 12 8:00PM
NPR calls this Grammy Award-winning guitarist “a classical guitar god,” a title proven by the rush to the record store occasioned by his album releases. One of the most prolific and acclaimed classical guitarists performing today, David Russell has received shelves full of awards and honors; he’s even had a street named for him in Spain. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear one of the world’s great guitarists in the Festival’s intimate Robin Hixon Theater; tickets are limited, so order early.
Friday, April 14 8:00PM
Since their first recording, this R&B trio--discovered and mentored by the late musical megastar Prince--have caused a flurry of musical crushes among critics from Billboard to The New York Times. GQ called the album "Irresistible...the sound is voluptuous, vocal lines intertwine and rise to altitudes that are both euphoric and melancholy...one can't not adore this record," and seeing them live, Billboard raved: "KING called forth collective sighs of fulfillment when performing...together the ladies left the audience in love."
Jazz and Poetry Night
Thursday, April 20 5:00PM - 7:00PM
Celebrate National Poetry Month with Virginia's Poet Laureate & The Jimmy Masters Trio
The Jimmy Masters trio jazz band will perform 5-6pm.
Time Seibles, Virginia's Poet Laureate, will read poetry 6-7pm.
Free, open to the public.
Yosvany Terry Quintet
Thursday, April 20 7:30PM
In Cuba, music runs in the blood, and a number of musical dynasties have defined both tradition and innovation. Saxophonist/percussionist/composer Yosvany Terry comes from a family of music-makers and has seized and carried the standard forward to a brave new age. “Lyrical, complex and caffeinated, it combines the instrumentation and ground rules of the classic hard-bop quintet with the rhythmic savvy of Afro-Cuban music.
Les Violons du Roy
Friday, April 21 8:00PM
This acclaimed Montreal chamber orchestra has performed around the world, winning rave reviews for their musicianship and deeply researched, authentic performances of music from the 17th century to the contemporary.
Urban Bush Women - WORLD PREMIERE
Saturday, April 22 8:00PM
Weaving contemporary dance, music, and text with the history, culture, and spiritual traditions of the African Diaspora, this astonishing troupe performs innovative, exciting works that bring untold stories to life.
Scott Dettra - Organ
Sunday, April 23 4:00PM
Christ & St. Luke's Church
Hailed as one of the leading American concert organists of his generation, Scott Dettra leads a vibrant music program as Director of Music and Organist at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, the country’s third largest Episcopal parish. Millions have heard him play on radio programs such as Pipedreams, Performance Today, and The New York Philharmonic This Week. Experience a virtuosic performance that is “dynamic and dazzling…pure euphoria for the audience” (The Washington Examiner).
Virginia International Tattoo
Thursday, April 27 7:30PM
Friday, April 28 7:30PM
Saturday, April 29 7:30PM
Sunday, April 30 2:30PM
For centuries, the cry “Tattoo” echoed throughout Europe — first a call by to innkeepers to “Turn off the taps!” — and then as the name for a grand display of military bands and drill teams. The legendary Tattoos of Edinburgh and Nova Scotia are now rivaled by the largest Tattoo in the U.S. — our own Virginia International Tattoo. Mounting a mighty spectacle that changes every year, the Virginia International Tattoo summons more than 1,000 performers including fife and drum corps, bagpipers, military bands, precision drill teams, and performing ensembles ranging from step dancers to motorcycle stunt drivers. A salute to international friendship and an emotional call to the love of country in us all, the Tattoo is an unmissable celebration.
64th Annual Parade of Nations
Saturday, April 29 10:00AM
Grab your lawn chairs and come to downtown Norfolk. Floats from each of the 28 NATO Member Nations. Visiting international bands from the Virginia International Tattoo. Local and visiting high school marching bands.
Parade Route Map
Saturday, April 29 11:30AM
Town Point Park
Visit the NATO Village. Pick up a NATO Explorer Passport and visit each country booth to get a passport stamp and lots of other goodies including treats, maps, and brochures. Afterwards, you’ll want to plan your own vacation. Learn all about NATO and its activities at Allied Command Transformation – try out the simulations and visit the NATO Photobooth.
Kid's Zone. NATOFest is great for kids and families! Kids can enjoy their own area with games, crafts, and international themed activities.
Have a drink in NATO Village. Sample an international beer and wine. Take a seat at the tables by the Market Stage to enjoy performances- International style!
Music and Performances on the Market Stage. Cultural dancers and performers will entertain guests all afternoon on the NATO Market Stage. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the lawn while watching the entertainment, something new every half hour.
International Food. At NATOFest, you won’t find your average festival food. Sample Greek, Italian, German, and French cuisines.
Mariachi los Camperos
Tuesday, May 2 7:30PM
Get an early start on your Cinco de Mayo celebration! The world's leading mariachi band, this Grammy Award-winning ensemble won fame for their performances with Linda Ronstadt, particularly on her milestone Cancione de Mi Padre album.
Waterside District's Opening
Thursday, May 4 - Sunday, May 6
Waterside District will be open to the public on Thursday, May 4th, with official Grand Opening celebrations on May 11 – 14th! Everyone is invited to our opening, and people can access the many dining and entertainment experiences that Waterside District has to offer. Thursday - Michael Ray concert, Friday - Cinco De Mayo, Saturday - Family Fun Day, Sunday Fun Day at The Harbor Club.
Thursday, May 4 7:30PM
Their soaring vocals thrill in ancient madrigals that echo with history and passion, seduce with unforgettable renditions of standards from the Great American Songbook, and rev up crowds with hits like Queen’s Somebody to Love. Close your eyes and you’ll scarcely believe this extraordinary sound comes from just a dozen male voices. “Otherworldly harmonies and aching, unresolved melodies.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
Friday, May 5 8:00PM
For jazz lovers and anyone who appreciates great performance, this ensemble of 15 of the finest soloists, ensemble players and arrangers is the cream of the crop. Led by the legendary Wynton Marsalis, whose record-breaking Grammy® wins accompany his many other awards and accolades, including the Pulitzer Prize for Music, the National Medal of Arts and many more, the Orchestra brings new life to every age of jazz, winning new audiences as they thrill faithful jazz fans in performances around the world.
Spring Town Point Virginia Wine Festival
Saturday, May 6 11:00AM - 6:00PM
Sunday, May 7 11:00AM - 6:00PM
Spend a spring weekend on the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront in Town Point Park, samping a variety of over 200 wines from over 30 premier Virginia wineries! Feast on gourmet foods, shop from specialty merchants and enjoy live music at the most anticipated wine festival of the Spring season. All wines presented during the festival are available for purchase by the bottle or case throughout the day.
André-Michel Schub, piano with American String Quartet
Wednesday, May 10 7:30PM
Artistic Director of the Festival’s Chamber Music Series, pianist André-Michel Schub has been described by The New York Times as “pianistically flawless.” A student of the great Rudolf Serkin, he was the 1981 grand prize winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition; he has performed with the world’s most prestigious orchestras and is an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Waterside District's Grand Opening Celebrations
Thursday, May 11 - Sunday, May 14
Waterside District will kick-off Grand Opening with celebratory fun all weekend long from Thursday, May 11th through Sunday, May 14th. This four-day long event will be open to the public and filled with live music, pop-ups and activities for the entire community. Everyone is invited to participate, and we’re excited for everyone to be a part of the festivities! Thursday - Weezer concert, Friday - Norfolk's Biggest Happy Hour, Saturday - Family Fun Day and Chase Rice concert, Sunday Fun Day at The Harbor Club and Brunch at Blue Moon TapHouse for Mother's Day.
Rob Fisher's Coffee Club Orchestra
Thursday, May 11 7:30PM
Rob Fisher is an award-winning conductor, music director and pianist; he’s also beloved by millions as the leader of A Prairie Home Companion’s Coffee Club Orchestra. Hear Fisher and his hand-picked big band perform irresistible arrangements of your favorite melodies from the Great American Songbook and the golden age of musical theater.
Jinjoo Cho, violin - Eric Wong, violin - Fitz Gary, viola - Madeline Fayette, cello
Wednesday, May 17 10:30AM
This is chamber music as it was meant to be heard: the communion of gifted artists in an intimate, beautiful setting, among music lovers and friends. At the Festival’s Coffee Concerts, the performance is so close you hear every note, and witness the interactions of the artists with each other and with the music. After the performance, patrons can mingle with the performers, a lovely postscript to a perfect performance experience.
Stockley Gardens Arts Festival
Saturday, May 20 Noon - 4:00PM
Sunday, May 21 Noon - 4:00PM
Stockley Gardens Park, in Norfolk's Ghen neighborhood
People flock to Stockley Gardens in Norfolk’s historic Ghent neighborhood to browse through jewelry, pottery, paintings, and other works of art by over 130 artists. The park is full of strollers, dogs and tantalizing smells. Music drifts from the stage. Friends stop to chat. Throughout the weekend, there is a feeling of hope.
Each year, a nationally recognized artist or curator judges the artists, who compete for cash prizes. There is also an Emerging Artist Competition, also with cash prizes, for college and high school students, as well as recent graduates. Award winners are announced during the Artists’ Reception, which is held Saturday evening on the Main Stage.
Occasionally, parking does become an issue in the area surrounding Stockley Gardens Park. Please click HERE to download our helpful parking map.
Virginia Beer Festival
Saturday, May 20 2:00PM - 6:00PM
Sunday, May 21 2:00PM - 6:00PM
The Mid-Atlantic’s largest, oldest and most dynamic beer festival celebrates a diverse selection of more than 150 brews from around the world. America’s craft beer explosion combines with international tradition to create a unique culinary experience. Travel around the world in one afternoon in a taste bud tantrum along the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront at one of USA Today’s 2013 Best Beer Festivals!
Berlioz Requiem - Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Saturday, May 20 8:00PM
In this towering masterwork, the huge orchestra is augmented with additional players in every section, plus brass choirs in the four corners of the hall and a chorus of 140 singers, making it a once-in-a-lifetime event for music lovers. Berlioz dreamed of creating an “awesome musical cataclysm…which will, I hope, live on as a great landmark in our art.” His music heightens the dramatic story, as the soul confronts the Day of Judgment and emerges in glory; the score shifts from a mighty wall of sound that engulfs the listener, to moments of utterly beautiful simplicity. Hear the Virginia Symphony Orchestra perform this great work for the first time!
Play Me, I'm Yours
May 23 - June, 4
Streets, Parks, Squares and in other Public Spaces across the city
Olga Kern - Piano
Wednesday, May 24 7:30PM
One of the most sought-after pianists performing today, Olga Kern’s star power is only exceeded by her extraordinary musical gifts. Her headline-making wins at the great piano competitions sealed her fate, from her triumphant First Prize at the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition at the age of seventeen, to her Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition — the first woman to take that prize in more than thirty years.
Wold Premiere Opera
Kept: A Ghost Story
Thursday, May 25 7:30PM
Sunday, May 28 3:00PM
Be among the first to hear this new opera! The Festival’s John Duffy Institute for New Opera seeks and supports the work of opera composer and librettist teams, providing mentors and shepherding new works to the stage. This spring, one of those carefully tended nestlings will fly, with the world premiere of Kept — the 19th-century story of a wild young woman, the lighthouse keeper she marries, and the dark secrets they share. Kept marks the first operatic collaboration between composer Kristin Kuster and poet Megan Levad, whose haunting score and vivid poetry illuminate the hearts of these ill-fated lovers.
William Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play (abridged)
Friday, May 26 8:00PM
Saturday, May 27 8:00PM
Welcome back the troupe that’s been skewering Shakespeare and other assorted subjects for decades, as they stage the Bard’s “first play,” discovered in a parking lot and, at 3,000 pages, too long to stage in its entirety. So the “bad boys of abridgement,” as “the other RSC” has come to be known, have whittled the imaginary masterpiece down to a breakneck 90 minutes of hilarity. A hit at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe, the show is “A romp of epic proportions…bright, fast, outrageous fun!” (Edinburgh Guide).
Joey Alexander Trio
This 13-year-old phenom has caught fire in jazz circles and beyond in recent months, with television appearances on Today and 60 Minutes, the cover of DownBeat and features The New York Times and People magazine. He began playing at the age of 5, picking out Thelonius Monk tunes on an electric keyboard. At 9, he won a major international competition, and by 11 he was playing the major jazz festivals including Newport and Monterey. His second album garnered two Grammy® nominations — making him the youngest jazz artist ever nominated. His mentor, Wynton Marsalis says: “I love everything about his playing — his rhythm, his confidence, his understanding of the music.” Don’t miss this chance to hear this exciting young artist!
First Fridays Downtown Street Party
Friday, June 3 5:00 PM
End the day with First Fridays! Live music, drinks, vendors and friends. Featuring music by Buddha Council and The Fuzz Band.
Event and other information
41st Annual Norfolk Harborfest
Friday, June 9 - Sunday, June 11
Launch your summer with the area's biggest dock party.
28th Annual Bayou Boogaloo
Friday, June 23 - Sunday, June 25
Music & Cajun Food Festival.
4th of July Fireworks
Tuesday, July 4 5-10 PM
The 35th Annual Fourth Of July Great American Picnic. Celebrate Independence Day with the greatest fireworks show in the area.
Norfolk Waterfront Jazz Festival
Friday, July 14 - Saturday, July 15 5-11 PM
The 35th Annual JAZZ festival.