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Dominican bachata has led the Latin-music coverage in the mainstream news lately, but this weekend in the D.C. area, the theme is reggaeton, son, and duranguense.
Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Nengo Flow recently released a 17-song mixtape, Real G 4 Life Part 2. Heavily autotuned over fairly conventional beats, Nengo spits Spanish and Spanglish verses alongside fellow reggaeton frontmen Tego Calderon, Arcangel, and Voltio—-who, frankly, make Nengo’s “flow” sound even more limited. But the more creative beats and synth washes on “Pa Eso Nada Mas” enhance his frenetic patter. Doors at 9 p.m. at D.C. Star, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. $30 in advance.
Cuban son nine-piece Sierra Maestra, whom we interviewed when the group played here in July 2011, returns to Artisphere tonight. After visa problems prevented the ensemble from touring the U.S. for a decade, it’s finally added the states to its lengthy international gig schedule. Sierra Maestra features five musicians from its original 1976 lineup—-when it was led by Juan de Marcos Gonzalez—-and the group hasn’t stopped cranking out classic pre-salsa dance music since then. There’s no new album, but no matter: Their manager says their repertoire is so large they can vary the setlist nightly. Fans of Buena Vista Social Club take note: that world-famous group, recorded in the mid-1990s, included four members of Sierra Maestra. A pre-show with DJ La Reyna begins at 9 p.m. The main show begins at 10 p.m. at Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd, Arlington. $22-$25.
Sunday, Grupo Montez de Durango, a cowboy hat-donning, Mexican-American duranguense band from Chicago plays The Palace in Woodbridge with the Mexican norteño band Los Rieleros del Norte. Grupo Montez’s blend of melodramatic pop and polka-flavored banda tunes might be jarring to anyone who doesn’t know the style—-it’s decidedly nontropical music for slow- and line dancing. 9 p.m. Sunday at The Palace, 13989 Jefferson Davis Highway, Woodbridge. $35.