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Alternative cabaret

What do Greek poetry and American roots music have in common? Chris Mason has been mixing the two for his latest musical project and performs at the Roots Cafe on Saturday. Roots Cafe calls Mason the patriarch of the alternative-cabaret scene. He is part of the duo the Tinklers and inspired David Fair of Half Japanese to write a song about them.

Mason is joined by some friends, including Lyle Kissack and Anne Watts of Boister, as well as Mark Jickling and Fair of Half Japanese and Rebby Sharp of the Orthotonics.

Chris Mason and Friends perform at Roots Cafe at 8 p.m. Saturday Admission is $10. Roots Cafe is in St. John's Church, 2640 St. Paul St. Call 410-880-3883 or visit www.roots cafe.org.

Marsalis premiere

Culture Vultures, Washington Performing Arts Society's young professionals group, is presenting Wynton Marsalis' new Suite for Human Nature tomorrow and hosting an after-party at Republic Gardens.

Culture Vultures' motto -- "Go artsy, be a foodie, meet people" -- is aimed at attracting young professionals to the enjoyment of the arts by "providing a lively social setting and an opportunity to meet the artists." Artists from the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra will make an appearance at the event, which includes gourmet appetizers and a complimentary glass of wine.

Marsalis' Suite for Human Nature will have its world premiere tomorrow at the Lincoln Theatre by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Boys Choir of Harlem and Wynton Marsalis.

Admission to the Culture Vulture performance and after-party is $40. Performance time is 7:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. N.W. The after-party is held at Republic Gardens, 1355 U St. Call 202-785-9727 or visit www.wpas .org.

Better Than Ezra

Better Than Ezra, veterans of the Democratic campaign circuit, performs tomorrow at the 9:30 Club.

Better Than Ezra's blend of rock and melody has created "a more digestible form of alternative music for the masses," according to VH1.com. The band recently released a live DVD and CD from its 2003 concert at the House of Blues in New Orleans, the members' hometown.

The Southern rockers are big fans of former President Bill Clinton and performed at his 1996 inauguration and at a party to celebrate the opening of his Little Rock presidential library. Better Than Ezra also performed at one of John Kerry's post-debate parties in October.

Better Than Ezra performs tomorrow at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St., N.W. Tickets are $20, and doors open at 9 p.m. Call 202-393-0930 or visit www. 930.com.

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