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World Music

40,000 Years of Singing

Barrett Martin | Posted 04.14.2014 | Arts
Barrett Martin

Any musicologist or art historian will tell you that the music and art of a culture says everything about the culture itself. When did we stop creating culture and instead started devouring it?

Lila Downs Finds Three-Part Harmony Among Countries

Marty Lipp | Posted 04.07.2014 | Arts
Marty Lipp

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.

Bored with American Hip Hop, R&B and Funk? Go EAST, Music Lover

Cynthia Dagnal-Myron | Posted 03.17.2014 | Entertainment
Cynthia Dagnal-Myron

It's becoming harder and harder to find American R&B that satisfies my soul. I grew up on Chicago's Southside during the 50s and 60s. I danced dow...

From Another Green Isle: Cape Verde's Neuza at SOB's (VIDEO)

Michal Shapiro | Posted 02.26.2014 | Arts
Michal Shapiro

I expected a somewhat bare bones acoustic presentation from this, but as soon as I walked into sound check, I heard a fully electrified band warming up. The signature cavaquino (Portuguese ukulele) was there, but so was a synthesizer and a full kit.

Music that Round Trips Between Africa, Cuba and Spanish Harlem

Marty Lipp | Posted 03.24.2014 | Arts
Marty Lipp

The band responsible for "Yay Boy," the first salsa hit sung in the west African language of Wolof, was called Africando.

5 Reasons Why You Should be Listening to International Hip-Hop

Christopher Emdin | Posted 03.15.2014 | Arts
Christopher Emdin

Despite what has become of hip-hop culture in the United States, my trip to South Africa reawakened my love for the music and the culture. That trip showed me that hip-hop's purity still exists.

Amira Sings Balkan Sevdah at WOMEX 2013 (Video)

Michal Shapiro | Posted 02.15.2014 | Arts
Michal Shapiro

Amira is certainly one of the best known of the new generation of Sevdah artists. Raised in Bosnia-Herzegovina, she learned most of the songs in her repertoire from her mother. She also displays the kind of bel canto interpretation that characterizes the form.

Mundial Montréal #3: (Part Un) 'World Music Affaires!'

Marlon Regis | Posted 02.04.2014 | Entertainment
Marlon Regis

Without a chance to brush up on my poor speaking or understanding of French, I was whisked away from LA to Montréal, Canada after an invite came into my inbox to attend the 3rd annual world music conference/festival Mundial Montréal.

Mundial Montréal #3: (Part Deux) 'Along Boul. St-Laurent'

Marlon Regis | Posted 01.27.2014 | Entertainment
Marlon Regis

The sounds of the world are just that, and Saltarello's haunting harmonies from the Middle-Ages crossing into contemporary compositions, threw us into their Northern French Canadian region of Abitibi, cold and far, far away!

Two Harps That Beat As One: Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita (VIDEO)

Michal Shapiro | Posted 01.25.2014 | Arts
Michal Shapiro

As far as I know, the collaboration between Seckou Keita and Catrin Finch is the first one to pair the kora with another harp. And upon hearing this duet, one actually wonders what took so long.

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

Marty Lipp | Posted 12.04.2013 | Arts
Marty Lipp

Taking the concept to the next stage literally, Drexler applies the technology to a live audience setting, picking audience members to come on stage and choose the parts of the songs, which he then has to sing in real time.

Six Picks for the Week Ahead From The Family Savvy

Sarah Bowman | Posted 08.20.2013 | Los Angeles
Sarah Bowman

With some worldly music and film suggestions, an excellent chance to get your family ready for 4th grade history superstar Junipero Serra, and a flat-...

Diablo Love: Tomás Doncker & Alfred Preisser Bringing the Music of Howlin' Wolf to the SummerStage

Bessie A. Winn-Afeku | Posted 10.07.2013 | Arts
Bessie A. Winn-Afeku

It's Faust meets Romeo and Juliet. It's soul, funk, gospel and the blues. It's the music of the late Howlin' Wolf brought to life on stage. It is what you want to experience when you want to be taken away even for just a moment by a live musical and theatrical performance.

Dancing Till Dawn in Warsaw

Michal Shapiro | Posted 09.05.2013 | Arts
Michal Shapiro

There's something shakin' in Poland these days. Musicians who are curious about their folk legacy (the real one) have been discovering its joys, and are passing that joy along to a whole new generation of young people. And they are dancing up a storm... to the Mazurka.

Italian Group Revives Folk Tradition for a World Audience

Marty Lipp | Posted 08.20.2013 | Arts
Marty Lipp

The band -- let's call them CGS -- was part of a folk music revival in Italy that paralleled similar movements around the world, including the folk revival in the United States.

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

Marty Lipp | Posted 08.14.2013 | Arts
Marty Lipp

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.

A Devi Diva at the Highline Ballroom

Michal Shapiro | Posted 08.07.2013 | Arts
Michal Shapiro

The lady has chops, for sure, honed by a lifetime of rigorous study with various Indian vocal gurus.

Jamming in the Jungle

Michael Switow | Posted 08.05.2013 | Arts
Michael Switow

Every year, for some ten years now, I migrate to the shores of Borneo in late June or early July, to the base of a mystical mountain called Gunung Santubong, to my favourite spot for world beats -- the Rainforest World Music Festival.

With Dosa Hunt, Filmmaker Amrit Singh Emerges as Generational Voice

Jim Luce | Posted 07.27.2013 | Entertainment
Jim Luce

The closing gala for this year's New York Indian Film Festival (HuffPo), held in a banquet hall above NYU's Skirball Auditorium, was alive with artist...

Attaining Womanhood: Falu's 'Ghumar' Audio Exclusive

Mike Ragogna | Posted 07.08.2013 | Entertainment
Mike Ragogna

Based in New York, India born songstress Falu drops her new album Foras Road on May 28th, which was produced by Grammy-award winning producer Danny Blume of Jewel and Lisa Loeb fame.

Astoria Characters: The Different Drummer

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 07.15.2013 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

There's a Conga by the kitchen table. Tall and handsome, it stands next to a mushroom-shaped dumbek and a gloriously rotund davul. Richard Khuzami, whose smoldering eyes match his shoe-polish-black hair, has all these drums at his fingertips, yet when he wants to pound home a point, he raps on his shin.

Three Irish Stars Form New Neo-Trad Constellation

Marty Lipp | Posted 06.20.2013 | Arts
Marty Lipp

This month sees the appearance of a new constellation of neo-traditional stars in the Irish music firmament: the Teetotallers -- flute player Kevin Crawford of Lunasa; guitarist John Phillips, formerly of Solas; and fiddler Martin Hayes of the duo Hayes and Cahill.

Bravery Tapes: Garifuna Courage in the Face of HIV

Jens Erik Gould | Posted 06.11.2013 | Impact
Jens Erik Gould

In the Garifuna communities of Honduras, it's an act of courage to admit to being HIV positive. With a grant from the Pulitzer Center, photographer David Rochkind and I interviewed people who overcame fear and discrimination to go public with their diagnosis and help educate others.

Report From Chennai: Independent Music in India and Indian Ocean (Video)

Michal Shapiro | Posted 06.02.2013 | Arts
Michal Shapiro

I first became acquainted with Sonya Mazumdar as a voice at one end of a U.S.-India Skype session about the licensing of "Laya Project," a dazzling musical journey around the areas devastated by the massive 2004 tsunami.

A Catalan 'Waka Waka'

Michal Shapiro | Posted 05.18.2013 | Arts
Michal Shapiro

Hey, Shakira, are you reading this? Bet you never heard the song played quite like this before.