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Logan Fringe Arts Space: Trinidad Theatre
Tonight at 8:30 p.m.

Phoebe’s Take: We want the funk! Capital Fringe’s Late Night Cabaret pops off with a night of reggae, soul, and funky goodness from D.C.’s finest.

As Congo Sanchez’s name implies, the musical project of Jeff Franca (drummer of D.C.’s own Thievery Corporation) blends African, Latin, and Jamaican influences. Sonically psychedelic, the eclectic trio combines reggae mezcla with hip-hop to tell contemporary stories of pain, politics, and the human experience.

Veteran soul singer Sir Joe Quarterman hearkens back to the funkier D.C. of old. His appearance at Fringe means we might get treated to his hit 1973 single, “(I Got) So Much Trouble in My Mind.”

The Shifters bring the rocksteady rhythm. Its smooth ska sounds are equally lulling and wild, with killer horn solos and serenading vocals bringing you to another time and place. The busking Richmond duo Professor Bless and the Dancing Madwoman tell voiceless stories through sight and sound, with Barry Bless‘s heart-wrenching accordion ballads and Khalima‘s tantalizing dance performances. Wild costumes are guaranteed.

Look to DJs Analog Soul Club for a colorfully complex, carefully curated set. The vinyl soul DJ collective has been spinning its rare, global vintage finds all over the D.C. area.

It’s a talented lineup for the festival’s 10th-anniversary kickoff, and one that aims for a deeper level of storytelling and meditation through music. Let’s get cerebral.

Photo of The Shifters by Kevin Harber via Flickr Creative Commons