World Music with Deirdre Saravia

Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM

World Music with Deirdre Saravia takes you on a musical journey to some of the world’s most fascinating places.   From China to Brazil and the Balkans to Indonesia, World Music will introduce you to sounds from a world far from your own.  A world traveler herself, the Belfast, Northern Ireland native introduces each piece with details about the music, the musicians and the culture that produced them.

Saravia credits the work of performers like Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon for bringing world music to the attention of American audiences, but she has also seen a change in attitude in America towards foreigners.

Today foreigners feel more comfortable in celebrating their uniqueness, and as a result, there is a burgeoning interest in world music. "Not understanding the language is no longer a problem," says Saravia. "People enjoy the music for the beat, the instrumentation."

Though each World Music show is built around a central theme, it will rarely center on one type of music. Saravia strives for variety, though there will always be a connection between the songs she plays; music from as many as 15 countries can be represented in the same show.

"You come to learn that people are basically the same throughout the world," she says. "They sing about the same things."

Scroll to the bottom of this page to see Deirdre's World Music Picks, a closer look at some of the most notable world musicians.

The eyes of the pop music world are on Austin, Texas this week. Thousands of bands and fans have descended upon the city for the South by Southwest music festival. Austin is also home to its own music scene year-round — and one of its more unusual groups is tapping into a sound that has nothing to do with indie rock or hip-hop. They're called Riyaaz Qawwali.

The songs our grandparents sang can tell us who we are. Here in the U.S., the Lomax family became famous in the 1930s, when they recorded America's folk music.

In other countries that are changing fast, people are also trying to hold onto their heritage. The tiny, super-rich state of Qatar takes pride in its modernity, with its gleaming skyscrapers and lucrative gas fields. But it is also investing in a huge history project.

It was nearly 20 years ago, back in 1997, that the Buena Vista Social Club became an improbable worldwide sensation: a group of mainly elderly (and some younger) Cuban musicians, performing traditional son music for an album produced by Ry Cooder.

One of the best recently released music documentaries — The Last Song Before The War — wasn't originally supposed to be about music.

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