Mdou Moctar grew up in a remote village in Niger, learned to play music on a homemade wooden guitar, spread his songs through the internet and starred in a Tuareg-language remake of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” He’s become one of the most popular players of Tuareg guitar, a hypnotic style that Western audiences have embraced. He dropped “Ilana (The Creator)” in March and plays D.C. on Friday. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW; Fri., 8 p.m., $18-$20.
Maryland-born roots rockers O.A.R. (the acronym stands for Of A Revolution) only released their latest album, “The Mighty,” in March, but the group is already looking ahead to the next release — and you can be a part of it. O.A.R. will record its seventh live album during Saturday’s show at Merriweather Post Pavilion, a venue the group has a long history with. The band is known for mixing up setlists, but given that O.A.R. hasn’t released a live album since 2012, fans can likely expect an emphasis on more recent material. Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md.; Sat., 6:30 p.m., $45.50-$75.50.
After making its D.C. debut last year, the international Gelato Festival returns for another celebration of the Italian dessert. The main event includes a gelato competition where you sample (and vote for) such unconventional flavors as bourbon bacon cannoli, pistachio baklava and sweet potato casserole. You can also learn how to make the stuff, play games and compete in gelato-eating contests. City Market at O, 800 P St. NW; Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m.-7 p.m., $25 ($10 for kids 3-12, free for kids 2 and under).
Takoma Park Folk Festival
Folk music isn’t just confined to Americana. What makes the genre unique is its diversity, which the Takoma Park Folk Festival spotlights every year. Sunday’s event features over 60 musicians performing across six stages, plus food vendors, community tables, games and a craft market. Acts include Gypsy swing band Orchester Praževica, klezmer music duo Klezcentricity and pianist Cynthia Marie. Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Road, Takoma Park, Md.; Sun., 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., free.
Adams Morgan Day
Adams Morgan Day unofficially marks the start of D.C.’s neighborhood festival season (H Street and Barracks Row are just two of the other places with block parties scheduled this month). Adams Morgan Day includes live outdoor music, a family zone and discounts at neighborhood businesses. A new IPA made by Atlas Brew Works for the occasion will be sold at select bars. Most of 18th Street NW; Sun., noon-6 p.m., free.