Last year at Austin’s South By Southwest Festival, a muscular, shy young man with a fairly pronounced sunburn arrived for an interview with me.
Asgeir Trausti had recently arrived from a howling storm in Iceland. He shared a video on his cell which confirmed the conditions-- all dark skies and driving snow. On that same day, Austin was experiencing a fairly typical spring day, with warm temperatures, clear blue skies and gorgeous sunshine. It all went to Asgeir’s head--and his face, and his arms,which were glowing pink!
Hear All Songs Considered Hosts Bob Boilen And Robin Hilton On 'Emmaar'
How do you build on the reputation that has made your band the most visible ambassador of an entire people? For its seventh international album, Emmaar, Tinariwen has some striking ideas that were born out of both creativity and absolute necessity.
For fans of world music, South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo needs no introduction.
The group has been singing a capella together for 50 years, brought together by Joseph Shabalala, a young farmhand turned factory worker from the town of Ladysmith. He had a dream of tight vocal harmonies and messages of peace.
That dream developed, and the band came to the attention of Paul Simon, who had it record "Homeless" on his album Graceland. It introduced the group to the world.
Grammy-winning artist Angélique Kidjo is one of the biggest names in African music, and at 53, she's still moving at the speed of light. Her latest album, Eve, is out Tuesday and includes collaborations with some fellow stars: Kronos Quartet, the Luxembourg Philharmonic and Dr. John.
Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 10:02 pm
Language is not universal: Every user, every listener, every usage changes its shape and scope. It ebbs and flows, includes and excludes, goes extinct and re-emerges, changed — that is universal. Angélique Kidjo is, in every sense, a multi-linguist. She speaks four languages fluently, and sings in five. When, as a child in the West African nation of Benin, she couldn't understand the lyrics of the music she loved, she invented her own.
This past Sunday was a frenzied and unforgettable night in New York City: A dozen bands from as far away as Australia and the Congo (and as close as Mississippi), left it all on the stage for globalFEST, one of the most important world music events in North America, held each January at Webster Hall.
Putumayoalbums are impossible to miss. Since it first appeared on store shelves, the series has featured the distinctive, colorful artwork of Nicola Heindl. Each musical track is exotic and always melodic.