Mbongwana Star hits the Sinclair on Friday as one of the most unique African bands to emerge in the past two years, with a raw, rhumba-redux sound that adds distorted bass and punk chords. The Congolese group includes Coco Ngambali and Theo Nsituvuidi, co-frontmen who once played in a band of paraplegic, homeless musicians and wield their wheelchairs onstage with kinetic authority. That show’s co-presented by World Music/CRASHarts, which also brings famed South African a capella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo back to Sanders Theatre on Saturday.
LA folk-rockers Dawes (pictured) have taken a more edgy, expansive turn on their latest album We’re All Gonna Die and bring that textural heft and R&B flavor to the Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, while Rhode Island’s John Cafferty & Beaver Brown—best known for their mid-80s hit “On the Dark Side” as the movie band Eddie & the Cruisers—bring classic rock ‘n’ roll to Arlington’s Regent Theatre. Then, on Sunday, the mercurial Venezuelan-American singer/songwriter Devendra Banhart brings his shape-shifting alternative folk into the Sinclair.