If you’re going to call a performance series Friday Night Eclectic, why stop with making it eclectic merely once a week? It’s when you bring in artists who can be moment-to-moment eclectic—so even once the show’s underway, you never quite know what you’ll get—that you have truly bold programming. That’s how Strathmore has outdone itself by presenting THIEFS. The collective trio (drummer/vocalist Guillermo E. Brown, saxophonist Christophe Panzani, bassist Keith Witty) makes a glorious jumble. In their hands, acoustic jazz, hip-hop, soul, ambient, and dance music all wander freely through shifting environments: acoustic and electric, improvisation and composition, slow and fast, harsh and mellow, instrumental and vocal. But just as a Duchamp collage still bears the artist’s stamp, this sonic free-for-all manages to emerge sounding wholly, and only, like THIEFS. That’s how you do eclectic.
THIEFS perform at 8:30 p.m. at the Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. $20. (301) 581-5109. strathmore.org.