Sofiane Saidi and Mazalda at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage: The Sahel in Africa is a vast region with a rich and complex musical legacy. In it, balafon rhythms meet Arab grooves, and Bedouin psych melts into modern dance parties where the heirs of the voices that inhabited the desert are now the artists who mold the future of African contemporary music. Whereas artists such as Tinariwen (from Mali) and Mdou Moctar (from Niger) shred their electric guitars in the name of a Tuareg rock-and-roll rebellion, singer Sofiane Saidi built his career around the sound of Algerian rai, a form of folk music born in Oran. In search of a more expansive sound that would bridge rai with jungle, trip-hop and funk, Saidi teamed up in 2015 with Mazalda, a group of French musicians, for the album “El Ndjoum.” 6 p.m. Free.
Curling and cocktails at the Wharf Ice Rink: If you’ve watched curling during the Winter Olympics, you probably thought, “I can do that.” Spoiler: The sport is a lot harder than it looks. Try it free at the Wharf’s ice rink on Monday nights through February. There are 300 slots per night — plan to play in groups of two or four — and spaces often fill before the first stones hit the ice. Arrive early and grab a spiked hot cider or seasonal drink from Cantina Bambina. Just don’t forget your loudest pair of pants. 7 to 9 p.m. Free.
Tuesday, Jan. 14
‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ at Folger Theatre: Folger Theatre’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” imagines Shakespeare’s comedy in the early 1970s, complete with bell bottoms and a set that’s a near copy of the “Brady Bunch” house. Director Aaron Posner saw analogies between this era of women’s liberation and the Bard’s uproarious play, which sees scheming Falstaff’s plan to bilk wealthy wives of their fortunes unravel when the women band together. This will be the final production staged on-site at the Folger Theatre for two years, because the Folger Shakespeare Library’s multiyear building renovation project is set to kick off in March. Through March 1. $20-$85.
Meditation Tuesdays at Steadfast Supply: If the Headspace app isn’t cutting it, head to Steadfast Supply’s Meditation Tuesdays for a bit of Zen. The Navy Yard shop that’s devoted to artisan makers has enlisted Kadampa Meditation Center’s Sanema Hardrick to lead drop-in meditation classes every week. After 45 tranquil minutes, you’ll get 10 percent off any purchase. 7:15 p.m. $8.
Wednesday, Jan. 15
Uptown XO at Wicked Bloom: Musically, veteran District rapper Uptown XO’s D.C. roots run deeper than the open mic nights on U Street NW where he learned to rap as a teenager and where he eventually met his future supergroup collaborators, Oddisee and yU of Diamond District. Decades back, XO’s grandfather managed the proto-go-go group the Young Senators. His father is a jazz drummer who once played with Gil Scott-Heron. His mother studied saxophone at Howard University and performs in the marching band for Washington’s NFL franchise. 7 p.m. Free.
Hiss Golden Messenger at 9:30 Club: Hiss Golden Messenger creates folk music, but with a potent punch of funk. The mastermind behind the troupe, M.C. Taylor, is one of music’s most reliable excavators of the anxieties that come with trying to make art and raise a family on this frustratingly cruel planet. Hiss Golden Messenger’s 11th album, “Terms of Surrender,” is aimed directly at confronting that despair with more upbeat, straightforward rock rhythms. These often mask much of the angst that courses through Taylor’s lyrics, which the singer intended as a love letter to his children. 7 p.m. (doors). $26.
‘Sheltered’ at Edlavitch D.C. Jewish Community Center: Playwright Alix Sobler’s “Sheltered” opens on a dinner party at an upper-middle-class home in 1939 Rhode Island. The hostess, Evelyn, has something on her mind yet is reluctant to bring it up. Her longtime friend Roberta finally confronts her: “If you have something to say,” Roberta asks, “why don’t you just come right out and say it?” Although set against the backdrop of Nazism, “Sheltered” is less concerned with the problem of evil than the problem of good. Showtimes vary through Feb. 2. $25-$69.
Thursday, Jan. 16
Mavi at Songbyrd: One of the brainiest rap debuts of 2019 emerged from the mind of Mavi, a 20-year-old emcee who spends his daylight hours bouncing around lecture halls of Howard University studying neuroscience. It’s fitting that the album “Let The Sun Talk” materialized on the streaming site SoundCloud as one dense 32-minute track. Its brilliance lies in the Charlotte native — born Omavi Minder — guiding you through the heaviness of his psyche by untangling knotty rhymes atop crisp jazz-inflected beats. 8 p.m. $12-$15.
‘Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World’ at Atlas Performing Arts Center: Musa, a taxicab driver and new immigrant from Egypt, didn’t expect to fall for a vivacious diner waitress named Sheri — especially not when he already has a fiancee whom his parents approve of and who is busy planning their wedding. Egyptian American playwright Yussef El Guindi won the Steinberg New American Play award for this romantic comedy about culture clash and the American Dream in 2012. The Mosaic Theater Company will present the work at the Atlas Peforming Arts Center. Through Feb. 16. $20-$65.
Damien Jurado at the Miracle Theatre: What does an indie rock journeyman do after releasing a sci-fi-inspired trilogy of albums that explores mysticism and spirituality? For Seattle native Damien Jurado, it meant packing up to Los Angeles and releasing his most spare and affecting works yet. Jurado’s 2018 album “The Horizon Just Laughed” is an elegant ode to the 47-year-old’s hometown and the bittersweetness of leaving the past behind. His latest, “In the Shape of a Storm,” is even more stripped down, serving as a tender tribute to his friend and collaborator, the late singer-songwriter Richard Swift. The rocker’s show will honor his cohort with more than just music — Jurado connected with his current tour mate, stand-up comedian Nick Thune, at Swift’s memorial service. 8 p.m. $25-$30.
Friday, Jan. 17
‘Delita Martin: Calling Down the Spirits’ at the National Museum of Women in the Arts: There are multiple layers to the striking, large-scale prints from Texas-born artist Delita Martin, whose traveling show “Calling Down the Spirits” features seven works that aim to capture the spirit and essence of her subjects, often black women. Martin takes an unorthodox approach to portraiture — combining drawing, painting and sewing techniques in the same piece — and doesn’t aim for photorealism. West African masks, circles and the color blue — which represents spirituality and the ethereal, a major theme of “Calling Down the Spirits” — recur in many of her works. Through April 19. Free-$10.
Stretch and Bobbito and the M19s Band at the Kennedy Center: In the 1990s, there were few radio shows as influential as New York’s underground hip-hop program “The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show,” which helped introduce the world to Eminem, Jay-Z and the Fugees, among others. Now the DJs have teamed up with the M19s Band to produce their first album together, “No Requests.” The record, which drops in conjunction with a performance at the Kennedy Center’s the Club at Studio K, features Latin, Afro-beat, jazz and reggae reinterpretations of obscure dance songs alongside original compositions. 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. $20-$30.
Jeff Bradshaw and Friends featuring N’Dambi at City Winery: Back in the mid ’90s, Philadelphia-born trombonist Jeff Bradshaw became a part of the city’s music scene, alongside DJs like Jazzy Jeff and King Britt, songwriters Andre Harris and Vidal Davis, and Roots members Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter and James Poyser. As part of that crew, Bradshaw would make his mark on the neo-soul sound, working with such artists as Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and Musiq Soulchild. As a bandleader, Bradshaw keeps that collaborative style alive, mixing jazz, hip-hop and R&B, and on this date, he’ll be joined by N’Dambi, a singer who has sung background for Badu and Ariana Grande. 8 p.m. $35-$55.
Seu Jorge and Rogê at the Howard Theatre: Seu Jorge is perhaps best known for his role in Wes Anderson’s “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,” in which he covered David Bowie songs in Portuguese and on acoustic guitar; he’s even taken that act on the road. But the Brazilian talent is also an accomplished singer-songwriter and proponent of the country’s national style, samba. His latest record was a collaboration with countryman and longtime friend Rogê. With both on vocals and guitar, the pair recorded the album direct-to-disc, capturing the live magic of a handful of songs that have the same gentle melancholy as Jorge’s Bowie covers. 8 p.m. $45.
— Hau Chu, Fritz Hahn, Maria F. Barrios, Adele Chapin, Rudi Greenberg, Geoffrey Himes, Chris Kelly and Chris Richards