“Harambee Carnival”

Dispersed throughout metro Washington, immigrants from the 40-plus African nations may not be an immediately noticeable cultural presence, but as one looks under the mainstream media radar, their artistic contributions stand out. The 8th annual “Harambee Carnival” (a fundraiser for Ahead. Inc.’s health and education programs in Africa and D.C.) offers a chance to sample, in one location, some of the African diaspora’s music, crafts, fashion, culinary arts, and more. The entertainment will start off with the quietly powerful griot music of Kouyate Bambino and conclude with the South African pop-mbaqanga of Mahala. Bambino, a unit of Washington and New York-based West Africans headed by Guinean kora player Sekouba Kandia Kouyate, will dispense acoustics with roots in the 11th and 12th centuries. Mahala, led by former Lucky Dube guitarist Mongezi Chris Ntaka and Miriam Makeba collaborator Thembi Mtshali, layer R&B-gone-broadway choruses over high-pitched, township-jive guitar. Other program participants include the African Masked Society stiltwalkers, Moroccan Nyansa dancers, Sierra Leone puppeteer Alban Odulamy, Ghanaian storyteller Ananse Gromma, West African dancer Vera Oye Ana, and the Zulu-influenced step choreography of Brian Williams’ Step Africa. Plus DJ Ibrahim Kanja Ba from the now-defunct WDCU, an African marketplace, musical-instrument-making, and lots of food. At 8 p.m. at the Sheraton Washington Hotel, 2660 Woodley Rd. NW. $20. (301) 530-3697. (Steve Kiviat)