Riffing off our popular online mixtape series, Afropop culls some of the best tracks from these free digital mixes to put a spotlight on some of the best new music dropping from Africa and beyond. The eclectic array of colorful sounds showcases something for every Afropop listener from 8 to 80 including Malian blues, Latin electronic mash-ups, Afro-Peruvian rhythms, hip-hop, neo-cumbia, and whole lot more.
In the 20th century, music and culture from the African Diaspora traveledall over the world.... and East Asia is no exception. In this Hip Deepepisode, Afropop explores the different ways that Black music has influencedculture and society in places like China, Japan, Korea and Thailand. Chinascholar Andrew Jones takes us into the decadent underworld of 1930sShanghai, where a hybrid form of jazz that mixed African-American soundswith traditional Chinese melodies challenged notions of tradition andmodernity as political forces grappled to define the direction of modernChina. Then we visit Japan, where homegrown reggae groups such as the MightyCrown Soundsystem have fostered a massive Jamaican dancehall scene with anattention to detail. Plus, we speak with cultural critic Oliver Wang on thesurprising connections between Asia and the development of hip-hop.
Hip Deep's Egypt program series kicks off with a sonic tour of Cairo from the chatter of car horns on jam-packed streets to the lulling waters of the Nile. We start with a focus on the city's spiritual life, the persistent call to prayer broadcast from mosques city wide, koranic recitation, Coptic hymns sung in ancient churches, and a Zar healing ritual in a working class Cairo neighborhood. This program introduces the themes and central characters for this unique Afropop program series, which takes the pulse of an ancient civilization in the midst of upheaval and historic change.
We check in at the fifteenth annual Barranquijazz Festival in Barranquilla, Colombia, a very hip and international Latin jazz festival with a decided Caribbean flavor. We'll talk to some of the artists featured in the festival and hear new recordings by them: from Cuba, young piano superstar Harold López-Nussa; from Brazil, grandmaster pianist João Donato; from Venezuela, drummer Alberto Naranjo; from Spain, flamenco superstar Diego El Cigala; and from Noo Yawk, the one and only Eddie Palmieri. Plus a tribute to the late Colombian star, "El Joe" Joe Arroyo.
Grammy nominated ngoni virtuoso Bassekou Kouyate and his 8 piece band Ngoni Ba wowed the crowd recently at Lincoln Center. Ngoni Ba re-wired the ancient ngoni to create a dense, 21st century sound. We'll hear the concert and talk with Bassekou about hunters, his precocious son, and his future plans. We hear a very different take on the ngoni from Sidi Tourandeacute; who made his U.S. debut recently at BAM in Brooklyn. Side Tourandeacute; also has the honor of being the first artist here from the legendary city of Gao in northern Mali, the seat the ancient Songhai empire. Then we go to Egypt to hear how artists from Port Said are making new music for instruments that go back to the time of the Pharoahs.
By the mid 20th century, Cairo had become the unrivaled center for music and film production in the Middle East. Producers, writers, composers, actors, musicians, star singers, and creators of every stripe flocked here to take part in the city's fervent, international, progressive artistic milieu. This was the heyday of the diva Umm Kulthum, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, and the beloved singer and composer Abdel Halim Hafez. But events of the 50s and 60s signaled an inward turn for Egypt and Cairo. The 70s saw the rise of a rougher, more street-wise music--sha'bi--and films began to lose their edge. And the 80s saw the emergence of a slick new pop sound that has resonated in the Middle East ever since. We hear from artists, producers, and scholars in this unique Hip Deep edition.
Georges Collinet and Banning Eyre take a lighting tour through the best new music from Africa and the African Diaspora in 2011. Classic sounds from Orchestra Polyrhythmo, Hakim, Tinariwen, Seun Kuti and Vusi Mahlasela. Edgier new sounds from Blitz the Ambassador, Buraka Som Sistema and Baloji. New Latin music from Los Rakas, Daniela Mercury, Aurelio Martinez and much more.
The beloved, Grammy Award winning singer Cesaria Evora from Cape Verde passed away late last year at the age of 70. We celebrate Cesaria's life and art with an encore of our 1995 recording of her magnificent New York City debut at the Bottom Line. Cesaria, known as the "Queen of the morna" is backed by her classy group--piano, acoustic bass guitar, cavaquinho and lead acoustic guitar. As a special bonus, two accomplished protandeacute;gandeacute;s of Cesaria's--Fantcha and Mayra Andrade--pay their tribute with stories and songs inspired by one of the most influential and successful artists of the modern African era.
We visit one of the world's last untamed natural and musical wildernesses: The Guyanas. Riding along bumpy jungle roads and in dug-out canoes, Afropop producer Marlon Bishop travels from Suriname to French Guiana for the Transamazoniennes Festival, located in the remote border town of Saint-Laurent-Du-Maroni. We enjoy the region's fascinating cultural stew, where French Creole, maroon, Amerindian, Hindu, Javanese, and Dutch elements all mingle together on the outer fringes of the Amazon and hear styles like kaseko, bigi pokoe, aleke, and kawina. We'll speak with local stars Prince Koloni, Little Guerrier and Chris Combete, as well as visiting acts such as self-proclaimed "African gypsy" Wanlov the Kubolor and polyglot rap crew Nomadic Massive.
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