Samba Mapangala at Smithsonian Folklife Festival Sunday, June 29

New regulations will soon make holding a large-scale event on the National Mall a much more burdensome affair, but thanks to a compromise announced this week, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival still has a home there for at least five more years. The 2014 festival includes creatively curated evening concerts that will bring Kenyan and Chinese artists to the Mall. Sunday, Diaspora Day, features Maryland-based Samba Mapangala and his Orchestra Virunga, serving up the feel of a late-night turn-of-the-’80s Kenyan nightclub on one stage. On the other, American banjoist Abigail Washburn will sing Chinese folk music, followed by the Shanghai Restoration Project, which melds lounge disco beats with swing and Chinese lyrics. Mapangala, who adds lush Lingala and Kiswahili vocal melodies to frenetic, high-pitched soukous guitar rhythms, was born in the Congo but spent many years in Nairobi (Kenya and China are this year’s featured countries at Folklife). In typical D.C. tradition, Mapangala and his band will get tourists, music geeks, interns, and immigrants alike shaking their things on the nation’s lawn. Samba Mapangala performs at 6 p.m. on the National Mall. Free. (202) 633-6440. festival.si.edu.

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