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Friday

Nigerian saxophonist/vocalist Lágbájá doesn’t wear his mask to conceal a secret identity or to bag a few sweet treats on Halloween; he wears it to convey his socio-political sympathies. Lágbájá is a Yoruba word that translates as “somebody, nobody, anybody, or everybody,” and since 1993, the performer has kept his face covered with cloth during public appearances to represent the uncelebrated African common man. Born Abisade Olagunde, the Lagos-based Lágbájá recites Yoruban and pidgin English verses (“Africa, Wake Up!”) and plays sax over his band’s mesh of Afrobeat, highlife, juju, and jazz rhythms. Although phrases such as “Africa is burning, let’s put out the fire” read simplistically, and Lágbájá’s musical approach borrows heavily from late Nigerian Afrobeat bandleader Fela Kuti, the combination of catchy sloganeering and funky African drums, Western keyboards, and brass lends him an artistic identity more colorful than any mask. Lágbájá performs at 8 p.m. at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. $20–$35. (202) 397-7328. (Steve Kiviat)