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Local outfit Bossalingo earned a following with its Monday night gigs at the Chi Cha Lounge from 1998 to 2005, but after that run ended, its members pursued other projects. Now, with a new album, Steps Beyond, bandleader and guitarist Michael Joseph Harris is working on re-establishing Bossalingo’s name. Inspired by the jazz-samba style of D.C. guitarist Charlie Byrd—as well as O’Farrill and The Latin-Jazz Allstars—the group dispenses Harris originals as well as mellow, rhythmic covers, from Thelonious Monk to The Beatles to Antonio Carlos Jobim. On Steps Beyond, “Sandunga” shines with West African-style drumming, and Harris’ arrangement of “Pure Imagination” (from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory) incorporates the Cuban clave rhythm. Tonight, two sets of percussionists and bassists will rotate, and New York Afro-Cuban pianist Arturo O’Farrill will amp up the energy with his brash keyboard rhythms.
Bossalingo performs with Arturo O’Farrill at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $18. (202) 337-4141.