There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Today’s world-music market generally operates much as imperialism did a century ago: The Third World makes, the First World takes. The country that provides many exceptions to this rule is India, home of one of the world’s oldest and richest musical traditions. Take, for example, Trilok Gurtu, a Bombay-born percussionist and singer who has collaborated with jazz trumpeters, rock guitarists, and classical pianists. (You want names? Don Cherry, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, Jan Garbarek, Josef Zawinul, Andy Summers, and Katia and Marielle Labeque are just some of them.) Gurtu’s latest album, African Fantasy, features contributions from African vocalists Angelique Kidjo and Oumou Sangare as well as from Indian and European performers. There’s also someone playing that ubiquitous world-beat novelty, the didjeridoo. It’s a seamless but mostly not-too-slick meld of African and Indian traditional and pop styles, with a bit of jazz and a splash of circa-1978 Steve Reich. Considering the usual scale of Millennium Stage gigs, Gurtu’s performance probably won’t be as lushly layered as the album. But for anyone who loves the rich, contrasting tones of the tabla—one side of the North Indian percussive instrument is resonant, the other metallic—that’s probably just as well. Gurtu may be a fine composer, producer, and arranger, but he can hold an audience with just chattering fingers. At 6 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Grand Foyer. Free. (202) 467-4600. (Mark Jenkins)