We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
When the Soukous Stars first formed in 1989, the Congolese musical style the group was named for was the sound du jour for many African-music fans. Created by Paris-based musicians and named after a dance, it sped up the guitar rhythms of Congolese rumba and dropped the slow parts. Fifteen years later, soukous as a genre seems to have come and gone, but the Soukous Stars remain. Now based in New York City with an ever-evolving membership, the group has maintained a strong reputation thanks to its ability to keep up with current Congolese music trends and attract talented players. This means the band’s songs now start slowly but gradually speed up with dual tightly strung guitars sending out shimmering high-pitched rhythms as the vocalists engage in call-and-response exchanges. Add female dancers shaking their bellies and bottoms, and you’ve got quite the show. The evening starts at 5 p.m. at Crossroads Club II, 4103 Baltimore Ave., Bladensburg. $10–$15. (301) 927-1056. (Steve Kiviat)