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THURSDAY–SUNDAY

Reggae is in flux. Where once it seemed that the fast beats and frenetic vocal patter of dancehall were making roots reggae disappear, the latter’s laid-back one-drop riddim has recently enjoyed a resurgence in Jamaica. And here in the States, Hasidic performer Matisyahu has spread this island-born genre to the TRL crowd. The DC Annual Reggae Music Awards, now in their ninth year, have seen a few changes, too; though in years past a special panel chose winners, this year promoter Tony Java has opened up voting to the public. Sure, this won’t completely eliminate criticism—why only one nominee for best reggae radio show?—but it will allow a larger group of Washingtonians to choose winners in a spectrum of categories, everything from best reggae band and best sound system to best carryout food and best female reggae promoter. And though the awards probably won’t be honoring any Orthodox Jewish performers, events include a gospel-and-jazz-reggae brunch (11 a.m. Sunday at Zanzibar; performers include the Renewed Gospel Singers, pictured); an “After, After Party” (10 p.m. Friday at Club 1919, 1919 9th St. NW); an invite-only Saturday-night VIP bash, and of course, performances representing many of reggae’s variations. JohnStone Reggae Band, a four-time-nominated quartet with members from Jamaica, Guyana, Ghana, and the United States that released Eyes Open-Dub last year, uses echoing bass and ringing keyboard sounds to create a classic late-’70s sound. Three-time nominee Ijah Menelik also occasionally looks back, but on Utopia, the soulful vocalist from Montserrat also nods in the direction of R&B and hiphop. Join the movement of the people starting with the event’s awards night at 5 p.m. Thursday at Zanzibar, 700 Water St. SW. $20. www.dcreggaeawards.com. (Steve Kiviat)