COLOMBIA LOOKS LIKE A MAGICAL COUNTRY, judging from native son Hector Fabio Castano's painting of lush trees and tall waterfalls dusted by mist. "Landscape From the Highlands," Carlos Catasse's take on his native Ecuador, shows hilly farmland divided into squares of gold, green and orange, a patchwork of autumnal colors. These two oil paintings are part of the exhibition "Dreams in Green and Gold: Landscapes of Ibero-America," at the Meridian International Center. Nineteen countries are represented in the exhibit, which includes Omar D'Leon's murky painting of a boatman in Nicaragua and Carlos Garay's impressionist springtime view of Santa Lucia, Honduras.

--Nicole Lewis

At the Meridian International Center, 1624 Crescent Pl. NW. Free. Through Jan. 30. 202-667-6800.


WHEN LAST HEARD from, vocalist Frank McComb was fronting Branford Marsalis's jazz-funk project, Buckshot LaFonque. Marsalis is now an A&R scout for his longtime label, Sony, where one of his first signings was McComb. The saxophonist also produced McComb's debut album, "Love Stories," due in March. Already released overseas, it has garnered comparisons to classic Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway (like them, McComb is a master of the Fender Rhodes). McComb makes his Washington debut at Blues Alley on Thursday.

--Richard Harrington

At Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Thursday at 8 and 10 p.m. Tickets are $16 plus a $7 beverage minimum. 202-337-4141.


A MONTH-LONG RETROSPECTIVE OF BERNARDO BERTOLUCCI'S films continues with a screening of "Last Tango in Paris," the director's fierce exploration of human carnality. A middle-aged American widower (Marlon Brando) and a beautiful French bride-to-be (Maria Schneider) meet while looking over an available apartment. Lust gets the better of them and suddenly they're all over each other like syrup on pancakes. This leads to subsequent encounters in which they attempt to exorcise their demons through brutal, impersonal sex. Members of the Forum for the Psychoanalytic Study of Film, which is co-sponsoring the series with the Italian Cultural Institute, will discuss the psycho-sexual dynamic of the 1972 film after the screening. In Italian with subtitles.

--Rita Kempley

At the National Gallery of Art East Building, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Today at 5 p.m. Free. 202-737-4215.


ROMANCE AND NOSTALGIA will be thick in the air when Eric Hampton Dance and Karen & Alvin share a program next weekend. Hampton's works include "Brief Encounters," set to music by Scriabin, from the company's first-ever performance in 1991; "Two for Two," a duet; and "Nocturne 1," a love triangle set to Chopin that Hampton created almost 20 years ago. The works have been staged by Hampton's assistant, Harriet Moncure Williams; the choreographer, who has Lou Gehrig's disease, monitors progress by videotape. Completing the bill is Alvin Mayes's "Embraceable You," created to tunes such as "They Can't Take That Away From Me."

--Sarah Kaufman

At the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville. Saturday at 8 p.m. and next Sunday at 7 p.m. $12-$15. 301-230-3775.