The deliciously effervescent sound of Orchestra Baobab, an especially sublime blend of Afro-Cuban and myriad pan African traditional and contemporary influences, was the cutting edge of Afro-pop in the 1970s. The group was formed at the beginning of that decade to play at the new, sophisticated Baobab Club in the Senegalese capitol of Dakar. Operating as something of a collective, the new band was then unusual for its integration of modern and traditional instruments (especially the famous talking drums), singing in indigenous languages, and incorporating genres from across the continent. The sound that emerged—and that's still intact 38 years later—was wonderfully melodic and enticing, with Caribbean and African rhythms entwining in glorious percolation, rich vocal harmonies, electric guitar lines from Barthélemy Attisso skittering across the mix, and a bristling horn section chortling away or sidling its way among the other elements. Highly influential in its heyday, OB gradually fell out of fashion and disbanded in 1985, but reunited with many original members for a 2001 London concert. The group was greeted with such acclaim that it again became a full-time enterprise, releasing a pair of new albums since the break, including this spring's irresistible Made in Dakar (Nonesuch). $50 at 7 p.m.; $35 at 9:30 p.m.
Mon., June 30, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2008