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27

SUNDAY

Calling Trinidadian performer David Rudder the “Bob Marley of soca” is no mere press hyperbole. Sure, the man known at home as “King David” hasn’t reached the reggae legend’s visibility. But since winning his country’s Calypso Monarch and Road March competitions at the 1986 Carnival, he has, album after album, mixed poetically crafted lyrics of politics, romance, and Afro-Caribbean culture with a catchy blend of calypso, soca, and R&B. Rudder is a Shango Baptist who grew up listening to Stevie Wonder while backing traditional calypsonian Lord Kitchener. He utilizes gospel call-and-response techniques as much as the singsongy intonation of his island’s roots genre. Rudder manages to stay contemporary by occasionally employing current soca’s speedy tempos, and his well-rounded approach makes songs about jumping and grinding at Carnival time (“High Mas”), taking in a cricket match (“Rally ‘Round the West Indies”), and fruit-industry exploitation (“Banana Death Song”) equally captivating. At 5 p.m. at Zanzibar on the Waterfront, 700 Water St. SW. $23. (202) 554-9100. (Steve Kiviat)