Syrian dance artist Omar Souleyman keeps some ineffably cool company: He was Björk's standout recommendation when the Icelandic dame guest-hosted NPR's "You Must Hear This" series in 2009. They recently collaborated on a limited-edition 12-inch, one that features Souleyman's favored Syrian dabke and Iraqi choubi genres, which drops later this year. Arguably even better: Souleyman's joyous, hyperactive dance shows often include poet Mahmoud Harbi, a longtime collaborator who lackadaisically smokes cigarettes onstage next to Souleyman and whispers occasional lines in his ear, which are then instantly repeated. It's this playfulness that made last year's Jazeera Nights such an enthusiastic, inclusive jaunt in world music; don't pass him by.
Sun., June 12, 9 p.m., 2011