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This long weekend offers a little bit of everything—-bachata, soul, dance from India, Afro-Peruvian, country, and more. The just-announced Sunday appearance by Haitian band Boukman Eksperyans is the weekend gig I’m most excited about.


Anthony Santos, a Dominican master of the soft, romantic bachata style, performs at 9 p.m. at Galaxy Night Club, 2031 University Blvd., Hyattsville, Md. Price TBD; call (301) 439-6666.

Nito Mestre is almost 60, and the Argentinean guitarist is best known for being in rock band Sui Generis. He’ll be here Saturday night with 8 de Bastos at 8:30 p.m. at Divino Lounge, 7345-B Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda. $20 (or $50 including includes dinner). (240) 497-0300.

Mallika Sarabhai performs in “Sampradayam: Traditions in Indian Dance” at 7:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. $18.50-$42.50. (202) 328-6000.

Ebony Hillbillies, a group made up of  New York African-American old-timey musicians, performs at 8p.m. at the Washington Ethical Society, 7750 16th St. NW. Free for Folklore Society of Greater Washington members, $20 for others. (202) 882-6650.


Eva Ayllon, a great veteran Afro-Peruvian singer who has performed in the area about once a year for the past four years, appears at the Hilton at 7920 Jones Branch Dr., McLean, Va. $35. (703) 978-1897.

Anita Ratnam performs in “Faces: Blessed Unrest” at 7:30 pm at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. $18.50-$42.50. (202) 328-6000. Ratnam will be performing hand-gesturing Bharata Natyam-style classical dance from India.

Mavis Staples and Bettye Lavette at Lisner Auditorium, 21st & H. Sts. NW. $25-$45. (202) 397-SEAT.  This is a powerful soul-vocalists bill. While I find the glacial pace of most cuts on Lavette’s latest cd, Interpretations: the British Rock Songbook, problematic, there’s no question that she’s strong live. Staples’ new cd, You are Not Alone, produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, is more varied tempo-wise, and she’s not bad live either.

Jamey Johnson, Colt Ford, and Josh Thompson opening for Hank Williams Jr. at the American Freedom Festival at 7 p.m. at the George Mason University Patriot Center, 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax. $27-$131.50. (703) 993-3000. Johnson is the current critics fave country singer/songwriter, and WMZQ listeners like him too.


Artisphere Open House, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 875-1100. Artisphere opens with local bands, dance and theatre.  Today includes Joe Falero’s Latin Jazz Allstars at 2:30 p.m.; bluesman Memphis Gold at 6 p.m., and afrobeat combo Chopteeth at 9 p.m..

K’naan at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. (202) 265-0930. This Canadian-based Somalian throwback style rapper’s gig is sold-out.

Boukman Eksperyans at 7 p.m. at the Crossroads Entertainment Complex, 4103 Baltimore Ave., Bladensburg, Md. $15. (240) 463-7196.  A politically active Haitian band who I enjoy for their funky polyrhythms.  The Haitian promoter assures me the show is happening although it is not on the club’s website. The band will be at the Richmond Folk Festival Saturday night if you’re up for a road trip.


“The Structure of  Salsa ” with La Excelencia and dance instructor/musical historian Eileen Torres at 6 p.m. at Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free.  703-875-1100  in Arlington —-read about the event here.

Raul Malo at 7:30 p.m. at the Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $29.50. (703) 549-7500. Malo’s Roy Orbison goes Tex-Mex vocals are always suave and powerful.