There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The daughter of a Belgian father and a Congolese mother, Zap Mama vocalist Marie Daulne grew up learning Central African pygmy melodies from her mother—and listening to the Fat Boys and Roberta Flack on the radio. Zap Mama, consisting of Daulne and an ever-changing cast of supporting female singers, began as an a cappella unit melding the traditional words, clicks, and polyphonic melodies of Africa, Europe, and Latin America. On the group’s just-released fourth CD, A Ma Zone, Daulne completes the group’s transformation away from the traditionalism of its prior effort, Seven, by adding programmed and natural drum ‘n’ bass, R&B rhythms, and guest male rappers. While Daulne’s English-language crooning is underwhelming, her and her crew’s chanting, harmonizing, and grunting in Swahili, French, Wolof, and whatever else remain as captivating as ever. At 8 p.m. at the University of Maryland Inn & Conference Center, University Boulevard & Adelphi Road, College Park. $22. (301) 405-1150. (Steve Kiviat)