SATURDAY

New Yorker Tito Puente may have passed on, and there may be a Smithsonian exhibition that showcases Latin jazz’s Big Apple roots, but that in no way means New York mambo has been reduced to a fading genre reserved for dusty history books. Indeed, one of its most respected participants, Bronx-raised Puerto Rican timbalero Orlando Marin—who’s been getting people on the dance floor throughout the Spanish-speaking world since the ’50s—is still touring. Tonight, for his first visit to D.C. in 30 years, Marin will be joined by a nine-piece orchestra of mambo, salsa, and Latin-jazz vets who, among other things, have been associated with the legendary Palladium nightspot. Though Marin has never had the crossover success of Puente, his finest material still has universal appeal. On early hits such as “Se Te Quemo La Casa (Your House Is Burning),” this stand-up percussionist and his then-band offered elements that could wow rock fans, impress jazz snobs, and dazzle followers of any African-rooted genre. These recordings often proved combustible: Marin would start a tune by dispensing steady, pulselike clangs of his sticks against the tops and sides of his two timbales drums and cowbell, then explode with his band like a burst of synchronized, multi-hued fireworks. Marin will soon enter the studio for the first time since the ’70s, so expect him to show that he can still light up the night at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Rosslyn Spectrum, 1601 N. Kent St., Arlington. $28. (703) 218-6500. (Steve Kiviat)

More from WCP