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It’s another busy weekend for Caribbean and Latino music in the area. While the varied genres featured may not have a lot in common, they all can get one dancing. Although there won’t be a DC Caribbean Carnival parade this weekend as originally scheduled, because the organizers owe money to the city, various clubs around the area are still hosting carnival-related music events. If you want to see a parade, you will have to wait until July 14 and head to Baltimore, where many D.C. troupes will be joining the Baltimore Caribbean Carnival road march.
In search of live soca? On Saturday, you can see Kerwin DuBois and Swappi (the Bucket-Man) at the “Flags till Morning” event at the Hampton Conference Center in Capitol Heights, while Benjai and Tallpree will appear with DJ Super Slice at the Crossroads in Bladensburg. Benjai’s recent mesh of speed and lilting melody, “The People’s Champion,” and DuBois’ sweet “De Bachanalist” both offer charm, so either choice will give you that island feeling. Up I-95 in Baltimore, veteran salsa singer Jose Alberto, aka El Canario, will perform at 8 on the first day of the Baltimore Latino Fest at Patterson Park. Born in the Dominican Republic but raised in Puerto Rico from the age of 7, Alberto later became known for his improvising and whistling skills as well as his romantic melodies.
On Sunday, the Crossroads offers a 6 p.m. early show with Jamaican Beres Hammond. This longtime reggae crooner has been wowing folks with his smooth delivery for ages. The Verano El Zol 107.9 FM Fest is Washington’s commercial Latin music radio station’s annual celebration. This year’s varied Sunday bill includes the accordion-led California norteno of legends Los Tigres de Norte, the critically acclaimed tribal guarachero beats of Monterrey, Mexico’s 3Ball MTY, plus Carlos y Alejandra, Plan B, Eddy Herrera, K-risma Band, Los Adolecentes and mucho mas at the Montgomery Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg. Don’t marginalize 3Ball MTY. This young outfit melds state of the art electro-house with cumbia and sampled Mexican polka-like tubas, reggaeton, and pre-Hispanic percussion. Perhaps you will even see someone in those pointed boots that have become identified with their scene.