World Music

World-music DJ Betto Arcos is back — this time, with music he's found all over the African continent. The host of Global Village on KPFK in Los Angeles recently joined NPR's Arun Rath to discuss new albums from four different corners of Africa, including soulful songs from a prison in Malawi, dance music from Congo and a collaboration between a Malian singer and a Cuban pianist. Hear their conversation at the audio link, and check out the music below.

Xan Padrón

A Spanish musician is pushing the limits of her chosen instrument, and now she’s coming to San Antonio.

“My name is Cristina Pato. I am a bagpiper from Galicia, in Spain.”

 You probably haven’t heard bagpipers make the kinds of sounds she does.  (Hit "Listen" to hear her music)

 “For me, trying to make the instrument work outside of its comfort zone, is always a beautiful challenge. I have been playing bagpipes since I was four years old. That means it’s like an extension of my personality.”

It was 1964 when the young Philip Glass found himself in Paris. He was on a Fulbright scholarship to study with the revered pedagogue Nadia Boulanger. It was a career move carefully planned. Glass wanted to be a composer and he knew Boulanger's rigorous lessons in traditional Western harmony and counterpoint would sharpen his skills.

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.

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