Afropop worldwide is your source for music and stories from the African planet. We explore the the world through sound, from the ancient past to the cutting edge present, combining music, history, and culture. Distributed by PRI.
Changüí is a little understood, loose and lively, community-based music of eastern Cuba. In this program we sample recordings from the 2021 box set Changüí: The Sound of Guantánamo, and hear from Gianluca Tramontana, the man who made the recordings. Rooted in Afro-Haitian music, pan-Caribbean styles, Spanish poetic traditions and more, Changüí emerged in the mid 19th century in plantations, not unlike the blues. We also hear from musician and scholar Ben Lapidus, author of the only English language book on Changüí, and we update the story with Changüí fusions into jazz, salsa and hip-hop. Prepare to dance! Produced by Banning Eyre. APWW # 840
Mr. Eazi stands out among today's Nigerian pop stars in a number of ways. For starters, in a world of musical dreamers and schemers, he never set out to be a musician. Now, the 29-year-old is one of the most innovative and respected artists in the Afrobeats universe. His 2023 album The Evil Genius is an ambitious concept album recorded in a variety of mostly African countries. Each of its 16 tracks has an accompanying artwork by a different African visual artist. And there's more, as you will hear in Eazi's extensive interview with Planet Afropop's Banning Eyre. Episode #006
Tony Allen is among the greatest drummers of the past century. His sudden death at 79 in April, 2020, was a shock felt around the world. In addition to his seminal work with the king of Afrobeat Fela Kuti, Allen had a prolific solo career and performed and recorded with artists from Angelique Kidjo, Ray Lema, Ernest Ranglin and Oumou Sangare to Damon Albarn, Brian Eno and Jeff Mills. In this program we salute a towering career in global music, with insights from Michael Veal, co-author of Allen's autobiography. Produced by Banning Eyre. APWW #815
Cameroonian musician and composer Manu Dibango passed away on March 24, 2020 at his home in France, an early victim of Covid 19. This episode is a tribute to the exceptional man who, by chance, as he says, gave us the famous Soul Makossa, a tune that opened the Disco era. In this episode of Afropop Worldwide, Georges Collinet goes back in time to recollect his friendship with his fellow Cameroonian. He explores the many ways their lives paralleled and intersected after they were sent to France by their parents for an education. This musical journey is enhanced by the wisdom and sonorous laughter of Manu Dibango and by the mesmerizing music culled from over 200 records that Manu produced over a 60 year career. We'll sample some Maxi Voom Voom - as Georges Collinet on the Voice Of America was known - and have a taste of Andouillette and Suya in Yaoundé, Cameroon. And we'll finally know how to correctly say "Ma Ma Ko, Ma Massa, Ma Ma Makossa." This episode is definitely a multi-sensory delight! APWW #814
On this episode of Planet Afropop, we focus on Ghana at WOMEX 2023. But first, Mukwae updates us with South African sensation Tyla, and her hit "Water." Banning has a conversation and informal jam session with Ghanain musician Kyekyeku - recorded by the EBU at WOMEX in Spain. And we wrap up with Ghanain singer, Florence. She shares her origin story and we hear her music. Episode #005
Zimbabwe's Oliver Mtukudzi, one of the most beloved singer/composer/bandleaders out of Africa in the last century, died in Harare on Jan. 23 2019 after a long battle with diabetes. Tuku, as his fans knew him, composed countless songs that cut to the heart of life in Zimbabwe, from its struggle for freedom in the 1970s through the rocky road of independence ever since. In this program, we look back at our conversations with Tuku going back to our first visit to Zimbabwe in 1988, and hear his wonderful music at various points in his epic career. We also speak with his biographer, ethnomusicologist Jennifer Kyker, and take a deep dive into what made Tuku's music so special and the stories behind some of his most important songs. Produced by Banning Eyre.
Fela Anikulapo-Kuti would be 85 years old today had he not died from complications of AIDS in 1997. By the time of his death, Fela was the inventor of the enduring and influential Afrobeat music style, the composer of an enormous body of music, and one of the bravest political voices in 20th century African music. It is fair to say that no African musician before or since has sacrificed more for the principles he believed in. Nigerian history and music have barreled forth during the two decades since Fela left us. A powerful new generation of Nigerian musicians have emerged in that time, and the music they now champion has been dubbed “Afrobeats,” an appropriation of the name Fela gave his original sound during its heyday. The youngest artists on the scene today have no direct memory of Fela, though his legacy is impossible to escape. In this program, we hear from current day Nigerians from multiple generations and genres—fuji, juju, hip-hop, Afrobeats, and highlife - on how they remember this musical giant, and how they reckon with his complex and challenging legacy. Produced by Banning Eyre and Morgan Greenstreet. Hosted by Sahr Ngaujah. APWW #764
In this edition of Planet Afropop we focus on Brazil - especially with regard the the challenges facing indigenous people within the country. We speak with musical icon and now Minister of Culture, Margareth Menezes. We have a conversation with Brazilian musical legend Carlinhos Brown backstage at Central Park Summer Stage in NYC. We also have a fascinating, free-wheeling conversation with musician, rapper, cultural activist, and deep-thinker, Emicida. Episode #004
When we talk about the influence of American performers on African music, we usually think about a few obvious examples, legends like Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix or James Brown. In this episode, we go beyond these stars to explore the legacy of some lesser-known inspirations. We'll learn how the fluid guitar playing of '70s rock band Dire Straits became massively popular in the Sahel, influencing Tuareg rockers like Tinariwen and Tamikrest. We'll hear about the American country superstar Jim Reeves' African career, and the unlikely story of how the pedal steel made it from Hawaii to Lagos. Finally, we'll travel to Angola with the help of director Jeremy Xido, to explore that nation's death metal scene. And along the way, we will try to understand just how to account for taste. Produced by Sam Backer with help from Jesse Brent. Follow Afropop Worldwide on Facebook at www.facebook.com/afropop, on Instagram @afropopworldwide and on Twitter @afropopww. Subscribe to the Afropop Worldwide newsletter at www.afropop.org/newsletter/ APWW #703
Africa Seven (Steven Maecs) Producer Steven Maëcs speaks with with Rich Elson, the label manager of the fast-growing cult record label Africa Seven. Officially launched in 2015, based in London and Paris and with an outlet in New York. Africa Seven focuses on releasing curated remastered vinyl albums and eclectic painstakingly researched compilations, mixing big and big “ish” hits with thoughtful deep cuts.
Sometimes music can take you to places you've never imagined! That's what Afrofuturism does.… Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic that explores the intersection of African culture with science fiction, technology and the future - fusing magical realism with the beauty of Africa, beyond the clichés. The term was originally coined by Mark Dery (an American journalist working for The Washington Post & Rolling Stone). From the start, Afrofuturism was a child of music, born in the ‘60's in the boundless mind of Sun Ra, and it still shines in today's music of American artists such as Janelle Monae. Nowadays, Afrofuturism is flourishing in Europe and in Africa, constantly revitalized by artists who offer new perspectives to expand our idea of Africa. In this episode, we explore this boundless inner space and George Collinet is trans-connected to a futuristic nebula through a patchwork of stories, soundscapes, and various avant-garde music productions from the cosmos and elsewhere. The episode includes interviews with Ibaaku, Blick Bassy, Ikoqwe, Djely Tapa, Shabaka, Mélissa Laveaux, Afrotronix, plus Angélique Kidjo & Yemi Alade. Produced by Elodie Maillot. APWW #857
The confederations and clans collectively known as the Tuareg descend from the oldest inhabitants of North Africa. They lead a mostly nomadic existence across the Sahara Desert, in the lands we now know as Algeria, Libya, Niger and Mali. Tuareg communities have long felt neglected by independent African governments, especially in Mali, which has endured a succession of rebellions. In 2012, a Tuareg uprising led to a year-long crisis in which the Malian north separated from the country and fell under harsh control by Islamic extremists. Ironically, these extremists banned music, which in the hands of modern bands like Tinariwen had been a crucial means for expressing Tuareg aspirations. This broadcast unravels this complex history and provides a vivid portrait of the Tuareg predicament in Mali today. The program samples a rich variety of Tuareg music and includes conversations with Tuareg musicians and cultural authorities in the wake of Mali's crisis, as well as with University of Houston anthropologist Susan Rasmussen, who has been researching and writing about Tuareg culture for over 30 years, and veteran journalist and author Andy Morgan. APWW #727 Originally aired in 2017
Planet Afropop is the latest offering from Afropop Worldwide. Every two weeks, this podcast will feature lively conversations among the three hosts--Georges Collinet, Banning Eyre and Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe—as well as interviews, new music, trending African cultural news and much more. This is the maiden voyage for this podcast. It includes an introduction to the hosts, an interview with Afrobeats star Yemi Alade, and a conversation with author and producer Ned Sublette about Afropop's recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month. Episode #001
We honor the late Joe Cuba with this portrait of "Bugalú," produced for Afropop Worldwide by Ned Sublette. Bugalú is the Spanish spelling of boogaloo, and was also known as “Latin soul.” Joe Cuba was one of bugalú's most popular artists, best known for the major hit “Bang Bang” that his band created on the spot one night at a New York club. Joe was a mesmerizing storyteller, and we'll hear some of the major bugalú stars tell their stories, including Johnny Colon (“Boogaloo Blues”) and Tony Pabón (lead singer with Pete Rodriguez of “I Like It Like That” fame), and of course Joe Cuba himself. Originally produced by Ned Sublette in 1991 APWW #93
Beny Moré and Ismael Rivera are national heroes in their home countries, Cuba and Puerto Rico respectively. They were soneros of the highest order, masters of the art of improvised singing. We'll hear some of the songs that made them famous and follow their development as artists. Produced by Ned Sublette. APWW #134
Bachata is a music of the people. Recalling the American blues, bachata was infamous as the anthem of the hard-drinking, womanizing, down-on-his-luck man, vilified as the entertainment of the brothels and the cabarets, and worshipped by the down-trodden poor as the deepest expression of their feelings. Today it is an international sensation. Alex Wolfe, director of the film "Santo Domingo Blues: The Story of Bachata" brings us live ambience and stories of bachata stars Luis Vargas, Antony Santos, Luis Segura, and Aridia Ventura.
Veteran Afropop producer Banning Eyre visits the Zawose family compound in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, to experience the magic of the hypnotic music of the Gogo people, the Wagogo. Msafiri Zawose, son of the late Tanzanian music legend Hukwe Zawose, describes the music and the emergence of the new Zawose Reunion Band.
In this episode, we find out how cumbia left Colombia in the ‘60s and ‘70s and traveled to other countries. Everywhere it went, it transformed itself, adapting to its new environment. In Peru, it mixed with psychedelic guitar effects and Andean sounds to become chicha. In Argentina, it became the expression of a new generation of restless youth in the burgeoning slums of Buenos Aires. And in Mexico, it became so instilled in the local culture that some have forgotten that it came from Colombia in the first place. Produced by Marlon Bishop APWW #606
In the early 2000s, Afropop told the story of “Four Generations” in Congolese music—from rumba and rumba-rock to soukous and ndombolo. Now time has marched on, and once again, thrilling new sounds are emerging from Kinshasa and its global diaspora. We'll hear hyperkinetic roots-rock from Jupiter and Okwess, Fally Ipupa's embrace of the current Afrobeats trend, experimental innovations from Pierre Kwenders in Montreal, and more. We'll also speak with Congolese music connoisseur Lubangi Muniania for insights into the latest trends from one of Africa's greatest musical powerhouses. APWW #777
To make this unprecedented program, producer Ned Sublette traveled to Mbanza-Kongo, the ancient seat of the Kongo empire located in present-day northern Angola, where he spoke to Dr. Bárbaro Martínez Ruiz, professor of art and art history at Stanford. We'll learn about the simbi, the spirits that Martínez Ruiz describes as “the multiple power of god”; hear Antonio Madiata play the lungoyi-ngoyi, the two-stringed viola of the Kongo court; attend a session of the lumbu, the traditional tribunal of elders; and talk to Pedro Lopes, a nganga mawuko (traditional healer). With C. Daniel Dawson and Angolan composer and musicologist Victor Gama, we'll explore Kongo-Ngola culture in the diaspora – in Brasil, Haiti, Cuba, and more. A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY TO MBANZA-KONGO is supported by a 2012 Knight Luce Fellowship for Reporting on Global Religion. The fellowship is a program of the University of Southern California's Knight Chair in Media and Religion. APWW #651 Originally produced by Ned Sublette in 2012
Movement: A Conversation with Jesus Diaz: Meklit Hadero is a singer and composer and the host of a new podcast called Movement, which tells the story of global migrations through music. In this shared episode, Meklit speaks with Cuban-American percussionist Jesus Díaz about his journey from playing homemade drums in Havana to performing on the biggest stages in the world Diaz. Produced by Ian Coss and Meklit Hadero. #cuba #jesusdiaz #meklithadero #iancross #afromusic #storyteller #afropopworldwide #worldmusicproductions #habana #percussion #boleros #rumba
Congo has always played an oversized role in entertaining dance lovers on the continent and beyond with greats like Franco, Tabu Ley, Doctor Nico, Zaiko Langa Langa, Papa Wemba, Pepe Kalle, and others. We start in pre-independence Congo with the beloved "Papa" Wendo Kolossoy, the grandfather of rumba, as he talks with us at his home in Kinshasa. We talk to the man and listen in on a recording session. After sitting out most of the 3-decade Mobutu era, Wendo put together a band of veterans with stories to tell, and sweet melodies and rhythms to share. We also talk with the legendary singer and composer Simaro Lutumba who sat at the right hand of Franco. We catch Simaro rehearsing his band, Bana OK. We also check in with dueling superstars Werrason and JB Mpiana. APWW #389
Stambeli is traditional healing music in Tunisia. It is related to Moroccan gnawa music using similar instrumentation and generally for the purpose of healing a person during a ritual ceremony. But Stambeli also stands on its own at a time of cultural and generational change in Tunisia. Producer Tasha Goldberg touches down in Tunisia to connect with young and old generations who value and honor the culture of Stambeli. #tunisia #stambeli #ritual #tashagoldberg #sufi #sidialilasmar #alchaabania #nologoproject #labulle #afropopworldwide #worldmusicproductions #mounirhentati #gombri #africaninstrument #elouergli #yenna #master #trance #preislam #animism #musicheals #soundarchive #dancetrance #spiritualmusic
The World Sacred Music festival in Fes, Morocco fully delivers on its promise of bringing together profound, spiritual music from around the globe. In one edition of the Festival, Youssou N'Dour debuted his Egypt project, backed by an orchestra from Cairo; whirling dervishes from Turkey and qawwali singers Meher Ali and Sheher Ali from Pakistan revealed contrasting faces of Sufi music and dance; the Orchestra of Fes showcased Andalusian and Jewish traditions and the art of Arab maqam; and Sufi Nights showcased many varieties of Morocco's rich, Islamic folklore. This program brings you all that and more, including a behind-the-scenes glimpse of spiritual life in the medieval city of Fes. APWW #447
The oud is the ancestor of many modern string instruments, including the lute and the guitar. Its origins may lie in Persia or ancient Arabia, but now, it is played all over the world, used in spiritual and secular music, in classical, pop, and jazz settings. In this program, we hear oud music from Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Iraq, and elsewhere, exploring the instrument's history, lore, and rich variety of styles and sounds. We will talk with oud masters and innovators, and delve into mysteries surrounding this seminal string instrument.
The 700-year period of Muslim courts and conquerors in Medieval Spain (711-1492) leaves behind many mysteries. In the first of a three-part look at the musical legacy of Andalusia, this program presents period recreations of medieval Spanish music and considers the lasting influences the era would have on Europe. This program takes a provocative look at instruments--the lute and the violin--at the tradition of troubadours, European poetry and vocal styles, and much more, all informed by the insights of Al-Andalus scholar Dwight Reynolds (University of California, Santa Barbara). Many enigmas remain, but you may never hear European music in quite the same way after this venture into the heritage of Al-Andalus. This is part of Afropop Worldwide's "Hip Deep" series exploring the historical roots of musical cultures of the Afro-Atlantic world. Produced by Banning Eyre. APWW #432
Carnival in Trinidad is a feast for the senses – sights, smells, sounds, all blend together into a colorful celebration that you just have to see to believe. Trinidad born trumpeter Etienne Charles has composed an ambitious multi-part suite of music honoring the elements of Carnival that he experienced from a young age called Carnival: Sound of a People Vol. 1. Producer Trevor Smith speaks with Charles and we hear excerpts from the work. #etiennecharles #composer #musicalsuite #musicalspectacle #innovation #mas #masquerade #trinidadandtobago #carnival #savannah #jubjub #jazz #trumpet #soundofapeople #freedom #jabmolassie #mokojumbie #worldmusicproductions #africa #afrocaribbean #guggenheim #beaucoupbacchanalbreakfast #afropopworldwide #environmentalsounds #neguejadin #paibana #steelpan #ladysolanacea #liming #musicmasterpiece #lagahoo #douen
In January, 2000, a group of adventurous Afropop listeners accompanied by local artists including Habib Koite and special guest Bonnie Raitt toured Mali to hear the country's extraordinary music. This program recaps the adventure with vivid live recordings of Habib, Khaira Arby, the Super Rail Band, Lobi Traore and others in nightclubs, private homes and in the dunes of the Sahara. It was a trip that could never happen today, but close your eyes and listen, and you'll feel the magic. Produced by Sean Barlow and Banning Eyre. APWW #329
If you've followed the news out of Mali since 2012, you may be discouraged by the conflict, violence and political turmoil in the headlines. But Mali has a long and profound history. It has met many challenges in the past. In this program, Professor Cherif Keita expertly guides us through the early history of Mali, up through the end of the 20th century, told through the music of the country's great musical artists, Salif Keita, Toumani Diabate, Ali Farka Toure and others. It's a classic! Produced by Banning Eyre in 2010 APWW #588
In this episode, we make our annual trek to Miami to record the Afro Roots Festival. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Mali's Amadou & Mariam headlined. Over four decades, Amadou & Mariam have managed to joyfully combine their love story with a musical career. Touring the globe, they have become some of the most famous ambassadors of African music. Collaborations with Damon Albarn, Manu Chao, Santigold, TV On The Radio, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been well received. The duo have played the world's biggest festivals, from Coachella to Glastonbury, and opened for huge bands such as Coldplay and U2. Also in this episode, to celebrate Afro Roots at 25, are some of our favorite festival performances by Noura Mint Seymali of Mauritania and Dayme Arocena from Cuba. Produced by Sean Barlow. APWW #876 Image by: Edwin Cardona
Inspired by Jamaica's dancehall music from the 90s and early 2000s, Zimbabwean dancehall music (Zimdancehall) started out as an underground subculture in the ghettos of Zimbabwe and is now the country's most popular genre. In this episode we'll trace the subgenre's rocky rise to the top and meet some of its founding pioneers: the likes of producer, Jusa Dementor, and recording artist, Sniper Storm. We'll also explore the hidden layers behind the upbeat party tunes to reveal questions about: social class, language, originality and cultural authenticity; and how these underlying factors may play into Zimdancehall's prospects in the international music market. It's a fascinating story of resistance and persistence—it's the Zimdancehall story. Produced by DJ Kix in 2021
On "Breaking Into Afrobeats" Georges Collinet and Lagos-based producer producer FayFay, shed light on the challenges faced by aspiring artists in the Afrobeats music industry in Nigeria. This episode introduces listeners to emerging talents like Romi, Bayanni, Boy Spyce, Lady Donli, Young John and Kidd Carder - highlighting their journeys, obstacles, and aspirations. Through interviews and music, "Breaking Into Afrobeats" offers a glimpse into the diverse experiences and challenges faced by emerging artists in the Afrobeats industry. It highlights the financial hurdles, unscrupulous practices, and gender disparities that exist in the industry. The episode also emphasizes the importance of being a timeless creative, making music that can resonate for years to come. With a focus on talent, perseverance, and the power of social media - this episode showcases the dreams and aspirations of these artists, aiming to inspire listeners and promote a deeper understanding of the global phenomenon that is Afrobeats. APWW #875
Traditional Manding (Mande) griots living in France sit at the crossroads between Africa and Europe. Historically, their role has been to weave traditional, oral histories, often within music, to promote a united, peaceful society. As they have become part of the modern global community, each griot has their own way of staying true to these historical roles, while also broadening their appeal to multicultural audiences. In this program, we hear how these international troubadours spread their messages to the world by blending European music with the kora, the balafon, the guitar, and their own voices. Produced by Lisa Feder. APWW # 864
The 21-string harp, the kora, is a signature instrument of West Africa. Complex and beguiling, kora music was long the exclusive domain of griots, musical historians by heritage. But once recordings began to circulate in the 1970s, the instrument went international, finding its way into jazz, pop, rock and even classical and religious settings. In this episode, we sample a wide range of kora music, and hear tales of its remarkable global journey. APWW #860 Produced by Banning Eyre
Dar Es Salaam, a deep water port on Tanzania's Indian Ocean Coast, is a musical powerhouse. This on-the-ground report delves into the city's top music styles, Bongo Flava, modern taarab, Swahili rumba, local gospel and the latest craze, breakneck-paced singeli music. We hear from artists and producers, sample rehearsals and live shows, and reveal a rich musical world that is far too often overlooked in coverage of African music. Produced by Banning Eyre. APWW #874
The Oromo are the largest ethnic group in the Horn of Africa, but were relatively little known outside of the region until recently. This episode “Oromo Music: Historical Memory and Competing Visions in Ethiopia” looks into the history of the Oromo people and how music became an integral part of the early Oromo nationalism movement in the 20th century. Georges speaks with Kumera Zekarias, a PhD student in ethnomusicology who is working on an oral history project of the 1977 Oromo Cultural Showcase in Finfinne (Addis Ababa), a landmark two-day event which brought together Oromo musicians and listeners from across the diverse regions of the nation. The showcase was a statement of ethnic unity, which has since influenced how Oromo music is created, performed, and received. Professor Marta Kuwee Kumsa covered the event as a journalist and Damsho Ali, who was the event MC, provide first-hand accounts of how this show was organized and executed. They are joined by other Oromo academics, musicians, and music fans who relate the story of this event to larger themes of colonialism, multiculturalism, and how music continues to serve as an important source of oral history and historical memory in Ethiopia. APWW #858
Johnny Clegg holds a unique place in South Africa's musical pantheon. From his childhood immersion in Zulu culture, his mastery of Zulu language, dance and guitar playing, some 20 albums with three different bands, his tireless world touring and, finally, his brave public battle with cancer, Clegg was an inspired witness to tumultuous history in South Africa and around the world. Afropop was fortunate to conduct many interviews with the maestro and raconteur over 30 years. In this program, we sample the man's words and music over a long shape-shifting career. Produced by Banning Eyre in 2020. APWW #809
On March 6, 1971, a group of some of the top musicians from the United States – Ike & Tina Turner, Wilson Pickett, The Staples Singers, Santana, and more – boarded a plane bound for Ghana to perform in a musical celebration that was dubbed the “Soul to Soul Festival”. Thousands of audience members filled Accra's Black Star Square for a continuous 15 hours of music. The festival was planned in part for the annual celebration of Ghana's independence, but also an invitation for a “homecoming” for these noted African-American artists to return to Africa. This episode revisits the famed music festival at its 50th Anniversary and explores the longstanding legacy of cultural exchange with African diasporans originally set forth in the 1950s by Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana. Tune in for interviews with noted musicologist John Collins, poet and scholar Tsitsi Ella Jaji, concert goers and more. Produced by Brandi Howell. APWW #829
They call Sam Mangwana "Le Pigeon Voyageur" - a roaming pigeon. He could also be called a rolling stone because wherever he lays his microphone is his home. In this episode, we behold the amazing return of rumba's living legend - Sam Mangwana. Produced by Georges Collinet.
Papa Wemba, one of the greatest singers of the past African century, died on stage at age 66 in 2016. But his body of work, both in advancing Congolese rumba and innovating new African pop sounds, as well as influencing style, fashion and music production throughout Africa, is immense. In this episode we look back on an iconic career, drawing on some 20 years of interviews with the artist, and insights from Congolese music aficionado Lubangi Muniania. And, of course, the music!
In this episode, we trace the history of country music in Kenya, dating back to the 1920s and 30s when local populations first heard Jimmie Rodgers on early country western 78 records, to the current day, where the clubs of Nairobi are filled with rising stars bringing their own unique sounds to country music. Hear their takes on the hits of Don Williams, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and more. Tune in for an interview and performance from Kenyan country singer Steve Rogers, radio and tv presenters Catherine Ndonye and David Kimitho, music historian Elijah Wald, and Olvido Records founder Gordon Ashworth. Produced by Brandi Howell.
Sauti Za Busara means “sounds of wisdom.” That gives a clue to the music heard at the annual Sauti Za Busara festival in Stonetown, Zanzibar. It's cool, savvy, surprising but never dull, and often hard-grooving. Afropop Worldwide attended the first edition in 2004. In 2023, we returned for a three-day feast of fantastic performances from the Swahili coast, the Indian Ocean and beyond. Taarab, kidumbak, Bongo Flava, Wagogo tradition and much more were on the menu. In this program, we hear live recordings from and meet artists who may never make it to our shores, but who you'll be glad to meet. Produced by Banning Eyre.
The 2022 global music exposition, WOMEX, went down in Lisbon, Portugal. For the second year running, most of the African-related showcases featured bands led by women. In this episode we meet Selma Uamusse from Mozambique and Portugal, Djazia Satour from Algeria and France, Pilani Bubu from South Africa, and hear 78-year-old Lia de Itamaracá, Brazil, positively blow away this tough-to-please crowd. And we'll hear from some guys as well, Fra! with highlife funk from Ghana and Aywa fusing Moroccan, French and Spanish grooves. Produced by Banning Eyre.
The Malawi Broadcasting Corporation recorded a goldmine of local music in the 1960s and 70s, but the tapes were neglected and close to ruined when broadcaster Waliko Makhala raised the alarm. With help from the Norwegian Embassy and Norwegian broadcaster Sigbjorn Nedland, digitization got underway. In this program, we sample the results guided by Waliko, Sigbjorn and Martin White, curator of AfricanPoems, a website dedicated to preserving poetry from around the continent. Produced by Martin White.
The Afro-Roots Fest is Florida's state-wide celebration of Africa's global musical heritage. The 2022 edition featured a diva of Afro-Cuban jazz, Daymé Arocena, Sudanese American indie rock band Sinkane, Miami's own Latin music champions Cortadito celebrating their tenth anniversary, and more. We'll hear live highlights and interviews with the principles. Produced by Banning Eyre and Sean Barlow.