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FRIDAY

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Want to go dancing without having to sleep all day Saturday because of a club’s late hours? You’re in luck: This evening, the National Museum of American History will be using one of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s stages to initiate its ENCUENTROS 1999 series—which celebrates the culture of Latin-Americans—with a South Texas Conjunto Dance Party. Since the ’30s, Mexican-American farm workers have celebrated the end of the workweek with the accordion-led, hip-moving sounds of conjunto at migrant labor camps, bars, and VFW halls. While the National Mall may not resemble any of those locations, it’s certainly an appropriate spot to honor America’s Tejano working class and its music, a unique melting pot of Mexican string band, European polka, Spanish bolero, African-American R&B, and Anglo-country influences. Los Hermanos Layton and Gilberto Perez y Sus Compadres provide the dancing music at 5:30 p.m. at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s South African Luvhandeni Stage on the National Mall Grounds, 3rd & Jefferson Drive SW. Free. (202) 357-2935. (Steve Kiviat)