Join the Convention of World Music
Ok, I'll admit it. That headline is just a clever ploy to get you to read this week's missive about The World Music Show (9/8). I mean, it doesn't hurt to be topical right? But when you think about it, what could be better than a group of people getting together to state the following platform: We like to hear music from around the globe! And we will not rest until sounds from every corner of this fine planet are heard!
If we were to adapt that goal, then we certainly have our work cut out for us. So let's make this week's show a continuation of that exploration.
To begin the journey, in hour one, we'll hear some Jazz Griot music from Ribouem. Ribouem is a multi-instrumentalist who has taken on the monicker of Jazz Griot, which means he is a member of a class of traveling poets, musicians and storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa. Ribouem's storytelling is done through his music. Also featured in that first set will be tunes from Sam Mangwana, Oliver Mtukudzi (who are both from Zimbabwe) and Kinobe & Sou Beat Africa, who plays a ton of instruments, including the Kora.
And because that first chunk of music features a bunch of strong male voices, this second bit of music features a couple of powerful female voices. The set will kick off with a couple of selections from self-described Afro-pean Zap Mama. However, Zap Mama is actually a Belgian musical group founded and led by Marie Daulne, who says that her mission is to be a bridge between the European and the African and bring the two cultures together with music. This set will end with another powerful female voice, who happens to have a connection to Richmond, Virginia. Ethiopian singer Minyeshu (pictured on the cover of this week's blog), whose CD "Dire Dawa," (which is where she was born) has touches of West African, Classical, European Folk, Blues, Jazz, and Caribbean flavor that works well with her Ethiopian aura. What's the RVA connection? Wel, her guitarist, Donnie Duvall, great up in Richmond and even attended U of R.
Staying on the African continent, we'll move to Agadez, Niger to hear from a young Tuareg guitarist and songwriter who has captured the attention of many around the globe with his virtuoso guitar playing. Omara "Bombino" Moctar has been compared to the likes of Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker and Ali Farka Toure. Does he deliver? Well, you'll have to tune in to find out. To round out this set, you'll hear tracks from both King Sunny Ade as well as from Baaba Maal, who has Royalty in his background.
And, I just read about Maal, who along with a dozen other stellar musicians, including the legendary Tony Allen and Toumani Diabate (heard here on the World Music Show) are heading up a tour dubbed "Africa Express." The tour, which is a collective of African and Western musicians - will board ‘The Africa Express’ and travel through many parts of Great Britain peforming in festivals as well as in pop-up performances at railway stations, schools, factories, offices, shopping centres and homes. If that tour ever comes here, we're all going!
All that fun is just in hour one of this week's show. In hour two, they'll also be a bevy of fine music, including tracks from The Pinker Tones, Diego Garcia, Dan Zanes & Barbara Brousal, and the Malyasian ukelele player with the sweetest voice ever, Zee Avi. Plus, I'll do a throwback, as it were, to a time when Reggae/Pop was featured on mainstream radio on a regular basis. What band do you think of when you just read that? Well, if it was UB40 (extra points this week if you can tell me what UB40 stands for), then you win. Plus, I'll have us all visit a "Ghost Town," courtesy of the British/Ska band, who are also part of that scene, known as Fun Boy Three.
And, as always, I'll throw in a few musical surprises throughout this week's show. Because what would a World Music Convention be without any of those?
The World Music Show aires Saturday nights at 10:00 p.m. on WCVE Public Radio, on 88.9FM or online via this website. You can also leave a comment below about the show, or Tweet me on Twitter, @wcveworldmusic.