Friday night is diva night at Constitution Hall (202/432-7328), when both Patti LaBelle and Chaka Kahn perform. Groove rockers Gargantua Soul made some big noise up in Woodstock, and Friday they bring their loud, funky rhythms to the Metro Cafe (202/518-7900), with Papa Shake. Local hard rock band Funny Money holds a CD release party Friday at Jaxx (703/569-5940), along with 619 and Third Rail. And perhaps the funniest comedy/music duo around, the smart, snappy and very fin-de-siecle Tenacious D, performs Friday at the 9:30 club (202/393-0930). Cool roots music Friday at IOTA (703/522-8340) with the Silos and opener Mount Pilot. The next night on the same stage, the early show is worth checking out for the band Snakefarm, which plays old-time country murder ballads but with techno beats.
This week is a reggae lover's dream: Saturday afternoon it's Jamaica Reggae Day at Banneker Field (on Georgia Ave. across from Howard U.) with Reggae Star, Jeroy Sibbles, Ken Boothe, Carl Malcolm, Positive Vibration, D.K.G.B. and Englishman. Saturday night it's the D.C. Oneness Reggae festival at MCI Center (202/432-7328), featuring Bunny Wailer, Toots & the Maytals, Luciano (with Dean Fraser, Mikey General and the Firehouse Crew), David Rudder, and locals D.K.G.B. And Wednesday, the 9:30 clubs hosts the Spirit of Unity Tour, with Steel Pulse, Third World, Maxi Priest, Monifah, Culture and Ras Shiloh.
Saturday, local songwriter hero Bill Danoff performs a "twilight dinner concert" with Side by Side at the Starland Cafe (202/244-9396). Monday, one of Brazil's finest groups, Ile Aiya from Bahia, brings its Afro-Cuban sound to Howard University's Cramton Auditorium (202/432-7328). An excellent bonus to the evening is a performance from the D.C.-based International Capoeira Angola Foundation. Capoeira is an indigenous Brazilian dance, part sensual movement, part martial-arts, and a clear precursor to breakdancing.
Local bluesman Ben Andrews has been in the U.K. making a record, but he's back and this week resumes his Tuesday night residency at Madam's Organ (202/667-5370). On Thursday, the local music and dance tango group QuinTango performs at 6 p.m. on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage (202/467-4600).