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 Song Exploder podcast tells the story of songs by breaking them into their pieces and letting you hear how they were built.

Most nights, you can walk into a blues club and find a harmonica player blowing their heart out onstage. The wailing, honking sound associated with Western movies and juke joints is what many harp players have emulated for decades. But in the rarefied world of the harmonica, the earth has lately shifted on its axis — primarily because of one man.

Kadellar / Wikimedia Commons

Earlier in 2015, I attended Austin's SXSW Festival, and as always was thrilled to meet so many talented musicians from around the globe. Three stand-out performers really caught my attention this year: two guys and a gal, Dani Carbonell from Uruguay but who lives in Spain, Rocky Dawuni from Ghana, who lives at present in Los Angeles, and Levante, an Italian female who was discovered whilst working as a barista in Italy.

Betto Arcos — world-music connoisseur and host of the Cosmic Barrio podcast — is a frequent guest of weekends on All Things Considered, where he shares the music he's discovered in his travels.

The music of Diomedes Diaz blasts from a cantina in La Junta, a village of dirt streets and cactus on the edge of a desert where the late singer grew up. His songs celebrate country living, all-night partying and falling in love.

This style of music is called vallenato. Diaz was Colombia's vallenato king, and his fans still flock to La Junta. Many, like retired oil worker Hector Suarez, come to see the people and places depicted in Diaz's songs.

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