Kwanzaa celebrations -- Visitors to Enoch Pratt Free Library branches and the Central Library will learn about the principles and traditions of Kwanzaa. Free. 410-396-5430 or www.epfl.net for dates, times and locations.
Cave Canem poetry reading -- 2003 Cave Canem poetry prize winner Kyle Dargan and National Book Award recipient Lucille Clifton celebrate the 10th anniversary of Cave Canem, an organization of Afri can-American poets, and the publica tion of the new anthology Gathering Ground at 2 p.m. at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Central Library, Wheel er Auditorium, 400 Cathedral St. Cave Canem poets from the area will read from their works at the event. Reception and book-signing in the Poe Room after the program. 410-396-5430 or www. epfl.net.
African drumming -- Music di rector Amadou Kouyate and the Uni versity of Maryland School of Music's African Drum Ensemble present a concert of West African rhythms, 7:30 p.m. at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Ina and Jack Kay The atre, University of Maryland, Stadi um Drive and University Boulevard, College Park. Free. 301-405-ARTS or claricesmith center.umd.edu.
A Soulful Christmas -- Concert features Ray Parker Jr., Warren Hill, Eric Darius and Brian Culbertson with Bobby Caldwell, 8:30 p.m. at Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show begins at 8:30 p.m. $40 day of show; $35 in advance. 410-244-1131 or ramsheadli ve.com.
Ronald K. Brown/Evidence Perform -- Choreographer Brown and his dance company present Blue print of a Lady: The Once and Future Life of Billie Holiday with Nnenna Freelon at 8 p.m. Dec. 7 and an all-Evidence program featuring "Order My Steps," "Truth Don' Die" and "Grace" at 8 p.m. Dec. 8-9 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. N.W., Washington. $14-$38. 800-444-1324 or kennedy-cen ter.org.
Soulful Symphony performs -- Conductor Darin Atwater leads the Soulful Symphony in a performance of Duke Ellington's version of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite and Quincy Jones' gospel version of Handel's Messiah, 8 p.m. at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Ca thedral St. $15-$35. 410-783-8000 or balti moresymphony.org.
NPR's A Jazz Piano Christmas -- Pianists Allen Toussaint, Cedar Walton, Eric Reed, Jovino Santos Neto and Tigran Hamasyan and Geoffrey Keezer (with vocalist Nancy King) perform holiday songs at the annual concert. Concert is at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at the John F. Ken nedy Center for the Performing Arts, Terrace Theater, 2700 F St. N.W., Washington. $30. 800-444-1324 or ken nedy-center.org.
Colin Currie -- The Scottish per cussionist lectures at 2 p.m. and per forms works inspired by traditional African drumming at 3 p.m. at the Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Mu seum Drive. Free. 443-573-1700 or artbma.org.
Soulful Symphony performs -- Conductor Darin Atwater leads the Soulful Symphony in a performance of Duke Ellington's version of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite and Quincy Jones' gospel version of Handel's Messiah, 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tucker man Lane, North Bethesda. $18-$55. 877-BSO-1444 or bsoatstrath more.org.
The Colors of Christmas Con cert -- The third annual WSMJ Smooth Jazz Christmas concert fea tures Peabo Bryson, James Ingram, Stephanie Mills and Deniece Wil liams, 8 p.m. at the Hippodrome The atre at the France-Merrick Perform ing Arts Center, 12 N. Eutaw St. $38 and $53. 410-547-SEAT or ticket master.com.
Author talk -- Joy King, author of Dirty Little Secrets, will speak and sign copies of her book, 2 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Avenue Branch, Enoch Pratt Free Library, 1531 W. North Ave. Free. 410-396-5494 to register or go to www.epfl.net.
Morgan State Christmas con Cert -- Conductor Eric Conway leads the Morgan State University Choir in its annual Christmas con cert, 4 p.m. at Morgan State Universi ty, Murphy Fine Arts Center, 2201 Ar gonne Drive. $10-$25. 443-885-4440 or murphyfineartscenter.org.
Christmas Jazz -- Concert fea tures Frank Wess, Mulgrew Miller, Brooks Tegler, James King and Vince McCool, 8 p.m. at the Rams Head Tav ern, 33 West St., Annapolis. $32.50. 410-268-4545 or ramshead tavern.com.
Holiday celebrations -- Cul tural presentations, performances and holiday stories at the program Festival of Lights: Celebrating Di verse Holiday Traditions, in celebra tion of Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Diwali and Ramadan, noon-4:30 p.m. at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Mary land African American History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St. Free with museum admission: $8; $6 seniors and college students; free for ages 6 and younger and museum members. 443-263-1800 or africanamerican culture.org.
Kwanzaa Family Day -- Watch dancing and drumming by the Wasfi ri Kenyan Dancers, make an African mbira (thumb piano), hear stories about African history from Ikeme, take museum tours and more, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. at the Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive. Free. 443-573-1700 or artbma.org.
Dec. 17-April 1
"Meditations on African Art: Light" -- More than 40 objects from the Baltimore Museum of Art's Afri can art collection, including a Yoruba bead painting, Fante gold staff from Ghana and alabaster vessels from an cient Egypt, will be illuminated at the museum, 10 Art Museum Drive. Free. 443-573-1700 or artbma.org for hours.
"Aida" -- Elton John and Tim Rice's musical love story, based on Verdi's opera about a Nubian princess, an Egyptian princess and the soldier whom they both love, takes place at the Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. $30-$67.50. 410-547-SEAT or ticketmaster.com.
Family Day: A Kwanzaa Cele Bration -- Dancing, drumming, storytelling, craft workshops, African marketplace, ceremony, more, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African Ameri can History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St. Free with museum admission: $8; $6 seniors and college students; free for ages 6 and younger and mem bers. 443-263-1829 or africanameri canculture.org.
Through Jan. 7
"A Raisin in the Sun" -- Theatri cal show by the African Continuum Theatre about three generations of a black family in 1950s Chicago, at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. N.E., Washington. $27-$37. 202-399-7993.
The Original Superstars of Jazz Fusion -- Vibraphonist Roy Ayers, trombonist Wayne Hender son, flutist Bobbi Humphrey, saxo phonist Ronnie Laws, keyboard play er Lonnie Liston Smith and vocalists Jean Carne and Jon Lucien perform, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Rams Head Tavern, 33 West St., Annapolis. $60. 410-268-4545 or ramshead tavern.com.
Martin Luther King Jr. pro gram -- Lectures, freedom songs, crafts, films, community booths, more, in celebration of the civil-rights leader's birthday at the pro gram "Commemoration: Our Be loved Community: Lessons Learned From Martin Luther King Jr.," noon-5 p.m. at the Reginald F. Lewis Muse um of Maryland African American History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St. Free with museum admission: $8; $6 seniors and college students; free for ages 6 and younger and members. 443-263-1800 or africanamerican culture.org.
Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. -- Conductor Darin Atwa ter leads the Soulful Symphony in a musical tribute to King, 8 p.m. at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Ca thedral St. $15-$55. 410-783-8000 or baltimoresymphony.org.
New York African Traveling Film Festival -- Films including Ousmane, A Child's Love Story (Un amour d'enfant), My Lost Home (Ma Maison perdue) and Daughter of Kel toum will be screened at the Balti more Museum of Art, 10 Art Muse um Drive. Films have English sub titles. Free. Tickets available day of screening. 443-573-1700 or art bma.org for times.
Whoopi Goldberg -- Stand-up comedy show, 8 p.m. at the Lyric Op era House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. $50-$65. 410-547-SEAT or tick etmaster.com.
Beres Hammond and Marcia Griffiths perform -- Reggae art ist Hammond and Jamaican vocalist Griffiths take the stage at their For the Love of It concert, 9 p.m. at Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place. $22.50 day of show; $20 in advance. 410-244-1131 or ramsheadlive.com.