African, Latin, Music History, music phenomena, world music »

Yoruba Drums and Cuban Batá

Posted May 23, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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I had my brain seriously stretched by a recent podcast of Afropop Worldwide. It was a superb program about “drum speech”–a fascinating subject that has interested ethnomusicologists for a long time. Ned Sublette writes about it in his masterful study, Cuba and its Music: From the First Drum to the Mambo. He’s part the Afropop Worldwide team. I wanted to share just a few things that …

Music History, music phenomena, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries, world music »

Paul Bowles: Music of Morocco 1959

Posted May 9, 2016 by | 3 Comments
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Dust to Digital has just released a remarkable and historic box set: Music of Morocco, from the Library of Congress, recorded by Paul Bowles over a five-month period from July to December 1959. It is a snapshot, or perhaps a time capsule, of a culture then relatively pure and unmolested by the world outside.
Paul Bowles lived in Tangier for over 50 years, from his arrival …

brazilian music, music phenomena »

The Brazilian Political Telenovela and Some Songs About It

Posted May 4, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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(Pictured above, left to right:  Roussef, Lula, and Collor.) There is a French expression that says, “Plus que ça change, plus c’est la meme chose” (the more things change, the more it’s the same old thing”). Remember also that Charles DeGaulle, upon returning from a trip to Brazil, told reporters that, “Brazil is not a serious country.” Both statements could apply to the unfolding …

African, Art, Literature & Film, film, Jazz, Music History, music phenomena, world music »

The Armenian-Ethiopian Musical Connection

Posted April 20, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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The Éthiopiques (Ethiopian in French) collection of Ethopian popular music is certainly extensive; 28 volumes produced so far to my knowledge on France’s Buda Musique label, and probably more volumes have appeared since #28. The series was founded by an enterprising Frenchman named Francis Falceto, who went to Addis Abbaba in 1984 in search of Ethiopian popular music after hearing an Ethiopian LP by chance at …

African, Artist Spotlight, Music History, music phenomena, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP, world music »

Malick Sidibe, the “Eye of Bamako”, 1936-2016 RIP

Posted April 18, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Malick Sidibé, Malian photographer, has died at 80. Sidibé’s black and white photos captured the golden era of Malian music and culture during the 1960′s, a time of optimism, pride, pan-africanism, and joy. With the death of fellow Malian photographer Seydou Keita (1921-2001), Sidibé had been the only remaining photographic chronicler of a golden age.
Sidibé’s photos are full of post-independence joy. People came to his …

African, music phenomena, world music »

Overcoming Albinism in Africa – Two Stories

Posted March 30, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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An article earlier this week in the LA Times told the tale of a Tanzanian girl named Bibiana who was attacked because she was albino. Bibiana and Tindi Mashamba (also albino) had already lost their mother to asthma and their father to AIDs. Then somebody broke into their house and amputated Bibiana’s right leg and two of her fingers. A local foundation generously brought Bibiana to …

Artist Spotlight, Blues, Latin, music phenomena, Performances & Events »

The Rolling Stones in Cuba: Better for the Oldies than the Youth?

Posted March 28, 2016 by | 13 Comments
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The thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations is finally happening, and I am glad and grateful for it.
On the musical front, I heard NPR’s recent story on the Stones’ free concert in Havana before hundreds of thousands. Apparently only the older people will know the band; many of the younger folk interviewed had never heard of them. It isn’t surprising, given the embargo as well as limited …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, music phenomena, Performances & Events »

Tijuana’s Youth Orchestra: Bach, Not Banda, Mahler, Not Mariachi

Posted March 9, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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I know about El Sistema and the Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra, where Gustavo Dudamel got his training. I also know about his work with YOLA, the Youth Orchestra of LA, something Dudamel was behind creating. Both El Sistema and YOLA give inner city kids a way off the streets into the world of classical music.
With Venezuela in turmoil,  the future of El Sistema, funded …

Artist Spotlight, music phenomena, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #147: The Spiritual Side of World Music

Posted February 26, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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A few weeks ago we checked out some Spiritual Jazz classics, with music by John and Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Azar Lawrence, Doug and Jean Carn, and others. This week we’ll do the same with world music. Here goes:
We start with the last recording Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan ever made, this time with film composer Graeme Revell, recorded in …

Jazz, music phenomena »

A Tale of Three Album Covers

Posted February 15, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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I just read in the latest copy of Stereophile that there is a new audiophile version of the classic Beach Boys album Summer Days (and Summer Nights) from the 1965 Capitol Records release. It is the perfect album cover to depict the Southern California lifestyle, whether on the beach, on the bike path, or out sailing on a sunny warm summer day. The cover …

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