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Houston International Festival

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Noon Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, in downtown Houston. See www.ifest.org for information.

Houston's annual celebration of exotic cultures (and itself) has taken the theme of "The Silk Road: Journey Across Asia" this year – perhaps best exemplified by the Friday-night collaboration between the boundary-pushing Kronos Quartet and Afghani ensemble the Homayun Sakhi Trio; tickets sold separately – and the color of iFest's silk on opening weekend is deep, deep blue. Headlining Saturday on the Bud Light World Stage is latter-day guitar-slinger Jonny Lang, preceded by the always-cool Jimmie Vaughan and his Tilt-a-Whirl Band featuring Lou Ann Barton. Sunday it's another double shot, with L.A.-born traditionalist Keb Mo and Bay Area smoking gun Robert Cray. Scattered among iFest's other stages is the usual complement of zydeco (Lil Brian, Step Rideau, Corey Ledet), Latin (Karina Nistal, Guillermo Serpas Trio, Raniel Pinto Afro-Cuban Orchestra) and local (Mike Stinson Band, Chango Man, Come See My Dead Person), meaning that however far that Silk Road winds, it always leads back to Houston. See the festival's Web site for a complete schedule.
 
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