Baltimore Sun’s BEST party in 2 weeks

Top things to do in Baltimore this week: Asia North Festival, Jewish Film Festival, Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival and more

Asia North Festival

A celebration of Asian arts, food and culture — the latest in an ongoing effort to highlight Baltimore’s Asian heritage. Commences March 29 with an opening party set for 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at Motor House, 120 W. North Ave., featuring music from Baltimore’s Ami Dang, a 2019 Baker Award finalist who performs Indian music, and EN’B, a group from Los Angeles’ Koreatown that sings music inspired by the black and Korean diaspora, along with an art exhibit and Asian food. Most events are set for March 30, also at Motor House: from noon to 6 p.m., look for performances from Shodekeh, Washington Samulnori, The Washington Guzheng Society, Phounam Pin and others. At 7 p.m., the newly formed Baltimore Asian Pasifika Arts Collective is presenting a storytelling showcase. Also at 7 p.m., a Night Market Underground, with food, drink and performance, is slated for Graffiti Alley, behind Motor House. The festival wraps on March 31 with a 3 p.m. food tour of the neighborhood, courtesy of Bite of Baltimore, including samples from the neighborhood’s Korean restaurants. All events are free save for the food tour, which’ll run you $10.

Baltimore Jewish Film Festival

Or, as it’s known officially, the William and Irene Weinberg Family Baltimore Jewish Film Festival, runs through April 16 at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts, 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave. in Owings Mills. Offering a tantalizing selection of films you’ll most likely never see anywhere else, the lineup this week includes two narrative features, the Israeli “And Then She Arrived,” about a man who abandons plans to marry his high-school sweetheart to wed a Jerusalem waitress, but doesn’t enjoy the best of luck (7 p.m. March 26), and the Hungarian thriller “Budapest Noir,” with a journalist in Pre-World War II Hungary, as the country prepares to align with Hitler, trying to solve a young girl’s death (7 p.m. March 28). Tickets are $5-$16 per film; for a full schedule.

Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival

You’ve got beer (60 on tap, all you care to taste). You’ve got bourbon (40 varieties, all you care to taste). You’ve got BBQ (organizers promise to keep “the portions heavy and the prices low”). And live music, plus seminars from master distillers, brewmasters and pit masters. 6 p.m.-10 p.m. March 29, noon-6 p.m. March 30 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road in Timonium. $40-$125.

Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1

Guest conductor Markus Stenz and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, with help from esteemed German pianist Lars Vogt, perform the Brahms concerto (“a pillar of the romantic repertoire”) and Schoenberg’s orchestral tone poem “Pelleas und Melisande.” 8 p.m. March 29 and 30 at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. $25-$80. Also 8 p.m. March 28 at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane in North Bethesda. $35-$90.

Jo Koy

The comic, a regular on “The Adam Carolla Show” podcasts and frequent contributor to “Chelsea Lately,” brings his Break The Mold tour to the Modell Lyric, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. 8 p.m. March 29. $35-$45.

Maryland Day

Our friends in Anne Arundel County are offering myriad ways to commemorate the 385th anniversary of our state’s founding, including free and reduced-price museum admission, walking tours, lectures, crafts demonstrations and kids’ activities. Events are scheduled throughout Annapolis and southern Anne Arundel County March 29-31 (the actual Maryland Day was March 25, but let’s not let being picky spoil the fun). For a full schedule, check out

Whiskey in the Shed

Not only a whiskey tasting with the folks from Old Line Distillery, but a chance to learn more about “the rich science and history behind whiskey distilling.” Doors open 7 p.m. March 28 at the Maryland Science Center, 601 Light St. $60.

Beat Circus

The Boston-based band and their frontman, Brian Carpenter, celebrate the release of their first album in 10 years, “These Wicked Things.” Considering one reviewer praised their last record for being “the prettiest darn dark Americana record in recent memory,” this should be good. Also appearing: Quattracenta, Holy Fingers and Kamyar Arsani. 8 p.m. March 30 at The Windup Space, 12 W. North Ave. $8.

The Big Baltimore Kite Fest

Celebrate kites in all their high-soaring gloriousness with an afternoon of kite-flying, kite-making and kite demonstrations from the experts. What better way to spend a beautiful spring day? (There’ll even be a “Will It Fly?” competition, something we’d assuredly lose, but maybe you’ll fare better.) Noon-4 p.m. March 30 in Patterson Park near the pagoda, 27 S. Patterson Park Ave. Free.

Orioles season opener

The new-look O’s kick-off their season against the (justly) hated Yankees in New York. Game time is 1:05 p.m. March 28 on MASN2 and ESPN, or on radio at WJZ-FM, 105.7.

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