Sign up for our free newsletter

Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.

Whereas nouvelle-generation Haitian bands offer mostly sap and cheese, the old-school Tabou Combo emphasizes konpa, an earthier, African-rooted guitar, percussion, and horn sound. New York City-based, the core members of this 12-piece—who have been playing together for around 30 years—established its reputation melding Haiti’s polyrhythmic French Creole tradition with Cuban mambo, Dominican merengue, and James Brown funk. Determined never to be viewed as has-beens, the players have consciously tried to keep up-to-date decade after decade, while maintaining Tabou Combo’s rep as a dance band: They wore Funkadelic-influenced gear in the ’70s, reached out to the French-Caribbean dance club audience in the ’80s, and more recently have added rap and the occasional drippy ballad. Despite some overreaching, Tabou Combo’s songbook largely retains its original, joyously propulsive spirit without sounding retro. The band plays with Orlane, Eric Virgal, Doudou Chancy, and Fanfan at 7 p.m. at Blair High School, 51 University Blvd., Silver Spring. $25. (240) 463-7196. (Steve Kiviat)