There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
For the better part of five decades, Jamaica’s Beres Hammond has captivated reggae fans with his pleading, syllable-stretching R&B delivery. The veteran crooner usually lends his soulful style to romantic tunes known in Jamaica as lovers rock, but he’s also testified about social justice on smooth tunes like “Truth Will Live On” and “Putting Up Resistance.” On his last release, the 2012 double album One Love, One Life, he devoted one disc to love songs and one to tales of struggle. Using a calm, measured tone on the flattery-filled verses of “In My Arms,” Hammond duets with a female singer, pouring on the passionate melisma during the chorus and asking her to put her head on his shoulder. The phrasing might sound old-fashioned, but Hammond’s gift for catchy melodies and his band’s measured accompaniment keep his music from feeling retro. In a Jamaican music world filled with flashy, motor-mouthed dancehall rappers and purist Rastafarians, Hammond presents a sleek alternative. Beres Hammond performs at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $39.50–$75. (202) 803-2899. thehowardtheatre.com.