Fri. Sauce Boss Bill Wharton, celebrated in Jimmy Buffett's "I Will Play for Gumbo," cooks up his blues-based stew at Madam's Organ (202-667-5370).

Sat. One of the founding fathers of hip-hop, Afrika Bambaataa, is at a Red Cross charity event at Club Five (202-331-7123). . . . Venerable folk singer Oscar Brand, who has recorded albums about cats (loves them) and presidents (much less so), is at the Washington Ethical Society Auditorium (7750 16th St. NW; 202-546-2228). . . . Dancehall star Capleton, along with Cocoa Tea, Richie Spice, Chuck Fender and Bushman, brings a taste of Jamaica to Bladensburg's Crossroads, starting at 4 (301-927-1056). . . . The inaugural Silver Spring Jazz Festival, featuring resident bassist Keter Betts and keyboardist-entrepreneur Marcus Johnson, as well as French harmonica virtuoso Frederic Yonnet, singer Alyson Williams and saxophonist Nick Colionne, kicks off at Silver Plaza (between Georgia Avenue and Fenton Street) from 4 to 10 with jazz bands from Montgomery Blair, Einstein and Blake high schools parading through Silver Spring on flatbed trucks at 3. The event is free.. . . Travis Morrison, lead singer-lyricist for late, lamented art-rockers the Dismemberment Plan, previews his upcoming solo debut, "Travistan," at Galaxy Hut (703-525-8646).

Sun. It's the semifinals of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition at the National Museum of Natural History's Baird Auditorium from 1 to 5, with judges Kurt Elling, Al Jarreau, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jimmy Scott, Flora Purim and Quincy Jones (202-357-3030). . . . Prog-rock never dies, it just eventually gets recycled: Nektar and Caravan travel from distant shores and times to the Birchmere (703-549-7500).

Mon. High pressure: The finals of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition will be at 7:30 at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, along with a performance of the winning composition in the 2004 Jazz Composers Competition. The top two finishers at the last vocal competition in 1998 were the late Teri Thornton and Jane Monheit. (202-467-4600).

Tues. Three-time Grammy-winning Panamanian pianist and composer Danilo Perez and his trio perform at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at 8 (301-405-2787); at noon, the trio will participate in a free workshop with local musicians at the Latin American Folk Institute in Mount Rainier. (3800-A 34th St.; 301-887-9331).

Weds. Teada, one of Ireland's most exciting new traditional bands, performs Wednesday at Baldwin's Station in Sykesville (410-795-1041) and Thursday at Vienna's Jammin' Java (703-255-1566).

-- Richard Harrington