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5

FRIDAY

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Though some church-raised musicians feel forced to choose between the religious and secular paths, Los Munequitos de Matanzas have never had such a quandary. Formed in 1952, this 15-piece, multigenerational drums, vocals, and dancing unit presents two sets a night—one derived from traditional clave beats and salutes to the gods passed down by their African slave ancestors, one from the sensual sounds of rumba that they heard in the dockside area of Matanzas in their native Cuba. Both styles rumble under polyrhythmic percussion (on congas and wooden boxes), chanted vocals, and energetic dancing. But it’s the secular, speedier rumba that has the most live electricity. Less restrained in its choreography than its religious show partner, rumba dancing alternates between suggestive male-female duets and mock competitions, with participants carrying machetes. Los Munequitos are also here Saturday, but tonight’s show begins at 8 p.m. at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. $20-$30. (301) 808-6900. (Steve Kiviat)