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Marty Lipp
Marty Lipp has been writing about world music since slightly after the world cooled. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Details Magazine, The Star-Ledger and had a world-music column for Newsday.

Entries by Marty Lipp

Professor Longhair and the Genius of American Synthesis

(1) Comments | Posted July 18, 2016 | 2:07 PM

As the rhythms roll and tumble across the piano keyboard, sometimes it seems the world comes together in the hands of Henry Roeland Byrd, better known as Professor Longhair.

Born in Bogalusa, Louisiana, and raised in New Orleans, "Fess" first began teaching himself piano when he found a broken-down one...

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After 30 Years Topping Charts, Gipsy Kings Still Amazed By Success

(1) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 3:08 PM

From busking on the streets of southern France to winning Grammys and making Buzz Lightyear swing his spaceman hips, the Gipsy Kings have had an unbelievable story - and it's been unbelievable to no one more than them.

"We never anticipated that we could even do this for a living...

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Irish-American Band Looks Back to its Future

(1) Comments | Posted February 16, 2016 | 9:23 PM

The story of the Irish-American group Solas is, in some ways, the story of Irish music over the past 20 years: a straddling of tradition and innovation; a push into new territory that still holds fast to its musical homeland.

The group has released an album to mark...

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Dominican Bachata Music Gets to Carnegie Hall

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2016 | 9:21 PM

When Joan Soriano left his mom, dad and 14 siblings in the Dominican countryside to take a shot at becoming a musician in the big city, even his wildest dreams could not have conjured being on the stage one day at Carnegie Hall playing his beloved bachata music.

"At the...

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Not Quite a Top Ten List of World Music

(0) Comments | Posted January 5, 2016 | 2:53 PM

If there is a downside to reviewing music professionally, it is that you are forced to keep moving forward and extricate yourself from albums that bring pleasure time and time again.

With the arrival of 2016, I have to once again say good-bye to musicians who bumped me up,...

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Ancient Italian Music for Modern Souls

(0) Comments | Posted November 15, 2015 | 5:46 PM

What does an illness stemming from an ancient superstition and its unusual treatment have to say to us today? Four recent albums from Italy try to tell us.

Centuries before the Italy of today, there was the mythology of tarantism, the belief that a bite from a particular spider would...

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Some Recent Albums Surprise With a Mix of Music With Origins on Both Sides of the Rio Grande

(0) Comments | Posted August 10, 2015 | 9:34 AM

Despite Donald Trump's impoverished view of Mexicans, they have a rich culture, only a hint of which has begun to make itself known among us gringos.

While Los Lobos broke ground for highlighting both cultures on the same album, subsequent artists on both sides of the Rio Grande have mixed...

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Classical Clarinet Player Eases a New Instrument Into the Irish Musical Tradition

(1) Comments | Posted June 4, 2015 | 11:33 AM

Revolutions usually don't sound so sweet. On the lovely and lively album The New Blackthorn Stick, Andy Lamy gives the clarinet a new place in Irish traditional music.

Over the past 15 years, Lamy, a longtime clarinetist with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, has complemented his tuxedoed life in...

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Latin Music From All Over the Map

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 1:45 PM

It seems appropriate to start off a column about odds and ends of recent Latin releases with the Buena Vista Social Club's latest, "Lost and Found," since it is a bit of yard sale of an album.

The loose amalgam of Cuban musicians brought together for the...

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With New Album and Book, Kidjo Gives Voice to Women of Africa

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 9:30 AM

A new album, a new book, a special performance at Carnegie Hall. After 40 years in the public eye, the whirlwind that is singer Angelique Kidjo seems to have found a cruising speed that suits her.

On November 5th, Kidjo headlines a multi-performer Carnegie Hall tribute...

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Summer in New York City: Keep Cool With Brazilian Music

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 3:30 PM


The World Cup is over but Brazilian music has an extra period for fans in New York.

For the multi-venue Brasil Summerfest, one of the headliners is Bebel Gilberto, who plays Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell on July 18th...

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Music for the Mythical Brazil

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 4:23 PM

The World Cup lets us non-Brazilians (and some Brazilians) bask for a moment again in the mythical Brazil -- land of dazzling futbol, beautiful beaches, sultry supermodels and supernatural jungles, all moving to a samba beat.

The truth, of course, lies just under the stereotype -- there is some tough...

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Album May Be "Final," But Cuban Singer Ferrer Is Not Done Yet

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 2:13 PM

Working through the decades in relative isolation -- a metaphorical island within the island of Cuba - Pedro Luis Ferrer has been distanced from the "star-making machinery" of popular music. But that never stopped him from simply carrying on, refining his art.

A child of the Cuban revolution, Ferrer fell...

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Rodrigo y Gabriela Show They Are Grateful to the Dead on New Album

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 10:50 AM

From Mexican metal band to busking in Dublin to Cuba to the White House, the unlikely story of Rodrigo y Gabriela continues with them getting back to their roots as an acoustic instrumental duo.

In a recent interview Gabriela Quintero said that after their last album, Area 52, where they...

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Lila Downs Finds Three-Part Harmony Among Countries

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 7:40 PM

Lila Downs was born with one foot in each of three cultures.

Her father was from Minnesota while her mother was Mexican, and Downs was brought up in both countries. In addition, her mom was very proud of her indigenous Mixtec heritage and dressed in traditional styles, which...

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Music that Round Trips Between Africa, Cuba and Spanish Harlem

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 10:45 PM

Back in 1992, dancers at Latin clubs found themselves spinning, quick-stepping and swinging their hips to a new song that had easily slipped into the skein of tunes that carried them across the dancefloor, but there was something distinctly different about it: the vocals, the lyrics.

The band responsible for...

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Latin-American Songwriter Creates 'App Song' and Takes it on Tour

(0) Comments | Posted October 4, 2013 | 1:58 PM

"I don't consider myself strictly a musician or a poet: I am a songwriter," said Jorge Drexler.

Drexler himself is sui generis: a half-Jewish Uruguayan former ear, nose and throat doctor and the only person given an Academy Award for a song in Spanish (his "Al Otro Lado del Rio"...

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Italian Group Revives Folk Tradition for a World Audience

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2013 | 6:41 PM

Mention "Italian music" to most Americans and they might think of opera, the Big Night soundtrack or some kitschy version of "O Sole Mio," but the country so dearly beloved here for its food and films also has a deep but overlooked wellspring of traditional music.

One of the performers...

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An Atypical Brazilian Pop Star Listens to Her Inner Voice for New Album

(1) Comments | Posted June 14, 2013 | 3:31 PM

In the high-energy world of Brazilian popular music, Marisa Monte has always stood apart -- a pensive pop star more interested in making beauty than shaking booty.

Since her debut live album in 1989, Monte has conquered the charts with her gorgeous, silky voice and thoughtful, gentle elegance. She...

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New Set Revisits the Rise of Tito Puente

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2013 | 8:18 PM

Despite decades of success and honors, Tito Puente is, in a sense, an unknown superstar. The "King of Mambo" in the late 1950s and "El Rey" throughout the salsa era that followed, Puente barely dents the consciousness of Anglo America, especially in more recent decades when salsa developed at an...

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