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Malian vocalist Khaira Arby has been performing in multiple languages, including Arabic and Tamashek, for decades. But her group only began touring the United States last year to promote her first international release, 2010’s Timbuktu Tarab. On that album, the Sahara Desert–born artist unleashes her high-pitched wail over entrancing rhythms and a supporting cast of women vocalists, often using a five-note scale heard in some African-American genres that has caused non-Malians to dub her group’s raw sound “desert blues.” Like some blues music, her lyrics often touch on social issues: “Feriene” takes a stand against female circumcision and “Youba” offers praise to exhausted salt miners. Arby is nationally known in Mali, but for this outing and her earlier spring tour, she opted to travel with a smaller band, sans backing singers or traditional instrument players. Her call-and-response dynamic has changed with only men in the group, and some arrangements can get repetitive, but Arby’s voice still galvanizes as it darts around her group’s nearly psychedelic chords. Khaira Arby and Her Band performs with Elikeh and The NRIs at 9 p.m. at Red Palace, 1212 H St. NE. redpalacedc.com.