We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Success! You're on the list.



Since moving to Paris in 1979, Kanda Bongo Man has built his reputation by singing and chanting fast-tempoed tunes sweated to by dancers in clubs worldwide. The style, known as soukous, sounds deceptively simple. It combines interlocking high-pitched electric guitar grooves with insistent percussion and Afro-pop vocal melodies. Soukous has been labeled by some as McMusic, and Kanda himself has acknowledged that the style is “commercial.” But in the hands of this drummer’s grandson, soukous has managed to garner some musical credibility. Eager in recent years to show his artistic range, Kanda has added South African jive rhythms and newer Congolese styles to his recognizable, if poppy, style of play. He’s in town with Vicky Fornah at 11 p.m. at Zanzibar on the Waterfront, 700 Water St. SW. $20. (202) 554-9100. (Steve Kiviat)