Los Hombres Calientes

Orchestra Hall

The brilliant concept of Los Hombres Calientes was no less than essentially tracing the rhythms of the African diaspora from the North American epicenter of New Orleans, throughout the Caribbean, and into South America and its musical Mecca of Brazil. And they did it spectacularly, with exotic melodies and scintillating rhythms sweeping from Congo Square via Cuba, Haiti, Trinidad, and other torrid spots to Bahia. Los Hombres' core has always been Bill Summers, a percussion genius who was once a member of Herbie Hancock's Headhunters, and Irwin Mayfield, who was once an up-and-coming NOLA trumpeter but now is a multi-headed musical juggernaut, including serving as jazz artistic director of the Minnesota Orchestra. Except for a handful of sporadic gigs in the last few months, Los Hombres Calientes haven't performed since before Hurricane Katrina. This hotly anticipated resurrection should suffuse a Minnesota August night with fire and spice. Summers and Mayfield will lead a new and significantly expanded Hombres lineup that will feature New Orleans musicians Aaron Fletcher (sax), Jamal Batiste (drums), Leon Brown (trumpet), Michael Watson (trombone), and Ronald Markham (piano). New York salsa great Ruben Rodriguez will be joining them on bass. $22-$60. 8 p.m. 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.371.5656. —Rick Mason

MONDAY 8.23

Mos Def

Autolux give new meaning to the phrase acquired taste
courtesy of the artist
Autolux give new meaning to the phrase acquired taste

Guthrie Theater

There isn't much that Mos Def can't do. Grammy-nominated albums? Check. Appearing in socially conscious films? Check. Appearing in big-budget blockbusters? Check. Broadway? Check. Rappers that act usually end up marginalized in one medium or the other; they're regarded as vain if they appear onscreen, and they lose street cred if they continue to produce albums, getting labeled as sellouts. But Mos Def has toed that line masterfully, opting for quirky, vulnerable roles onscreen and an equally offbeat, yet almost universally lauded discography. 1999's Black on Both Sides became an instant classic (as has last year's The Ecstatic) and his tongue-twisting, stream-of-consciousness delivery has given every wannabe rapper something to which to aspire, while simultaneously setting the baseline for real deals vs. the sucker MCs. You don't listen to Mos Def as much as stare in amazement at his formidable skill set and wonder, "How does he do that?" It's not magic, but it's somewhere in the neighborhood. $46-$48. 7:30 p.m. 818 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis; 612.377.2224. —Pat O'Brien

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