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The Brooklyn-born pianist Randy Weston was reared in blues and gospel, grew up with some of bebop’s revolutionaries, and as an adult began exploring musical traditions from all across the African continent—from Somalia to Nigeria to Morocco. His vision manages to assimilate all of those sources into an insoluble whole, equally able to interact with a Harlem big band or the Master Musicians of Jajouka. Weston’s music encompasses many musical traditions and also many human experiences: His sound can be dark or joyful, gnarled or straightforward, folksy or erudite—sometimes all at once. The only two things you’re sure to encounter at a Weston concert are the fierce but complex rhythm he generates with his percussive piano style and the profound emotional impact that explodes out of every performance, no matter what he plays.
Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Trio performs at 8 P.M. and 10 P.M. on Friday, Oct. 30, at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $30. (202) 337-4141.