Critic’s picks: World music

Zoe Colotis of Caravan Palace, which plays the House of Blues on May 22.
Zoe Colotis of Caravan Palace, which plays the House of Blues on May 22.(FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

CARAVAN PALACE With three hit albums to their name, the Paris-based electro-swing group, who sing in English but trade on a very City of Lights image, put a modern edge on classic vibes from the ballroom floor. Jaunty, quirky, and frenetically danceable, which is the point. May 22. Tickets: $28, advance $25. House of Blues, 617-876-4275,

MASHROU’LEILA A Lebanese band that covers a lot of ground — the European rock canon, Arab inflections — but builds on a soulful core, Mashrou’ Leila has an openly gay lead singer, a brilliant violinist, and all kinds of rebellious inclinations. Big in Beirut and across the alt-Arab scene. June 6 and 9. Tickets: $40, advance $30, two-show pass $50. Middle East, 617-864-3278,


LOS AMIGOS INVISIBLES Wild to think that Venezuela’s Amigos Invisibles have been at it for 20 years, pacing a revolution in new Latin sounds from rock to electro-cumbia. Their own tropical pop has absorbed it all, and they’re funky as ever. June 10. Tickets: $20. Brighton Music Hall, 617-779-0140,

LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO The perennial South African ensemble, likely the world’s most famous a cappella group, rolls on, with the gravitas of their 50-year legacy, the verve of young members, and the continued commitment to Zulu ceremonial and migrant workers’ songs. July 5. Tickets: $47-$65. Rockport Music. 978-546-7391,

KING SUNNY ADE “KSA,” as he’s affectionately known, is one of the great elders of Nigerian music and the undisputed ruler of the juju-music style, a relaxed, shimmering-smooth large-ensemble funk laden with Yoruba story-telling and spirituality. Not to be missed. July 6. Tickets: $35, advance $28. The Sinclair, 617-876-4275,

DEEP DIVES: REGGAE The ICA kicks off a Friday party series with the most summery sound of all: reggae. The three-DJ lineup, spanning roots, dancehall and the rest, features DJ Bud E. Green, DJ Warlock, and best of all Junior Rodigan, who’s an institution on the Boston reggae scene. July 8. Tickets: $15. Institute of Contemporary Art, 617-478-3100,


FEMI KUTI The elder son of Afrobeat maestro Fela Kuti, Femi built his own career early and moves freely between the music’s orthodoxy and crossover vibes. He’s becoming an elder in his own right in Nigerian pop, much respected in that ultra-dynamic scene. July 26. Tickets: $22. Brighton Music Hall. 617-779-0140,

PITBULL & PRINCE ROYCE The tireless Cuban-American rapper Pitbull and the well-coiffed Bronx-raised Dominican-American singer Prince Royce unite for a massive arena tour. Expect an extravaganza in two languages, and come-ons both lewd and classy. It might not be subtle, but it’s a party. Aug. 12. Tickets: $35.45-$135.45. TD Garden. 617-624-1050,

EDWIN PABON ORCHESTRA A proper salsa outfit led by an established veteran of Boston’s Latino community and its music scene, the Edwin Pabon Orchestra hits the Calderwood Courtyard series at the MFA, perfect fare for an evening al fresco. Aug. 17. Tickets: $30-$60. Museum of Fine Arts. 800-440-6975,

FENDIKA In Addis Ababa, Fendika is a project that documents music from across Ethiopia, a band that plays it, and a venue where they showcase fellow artists. On the road, it’s a music and dance troupe who are ambassadors not just of Ethiopian tradition, but also of the current scene. Aug. 31. Tickets: $30-$60. Museum of Fine Arts. 800-440-6975,



Siddhartha Mitter can be reached at