Ryan Muir for NPR
The Silk Road Ensemble (left), Yemen Blues (top right), M.A.K.U. Soundsystem.
Twelve bands, 17 different countries, three stages, one frenzied night: That's the promise of globalFEST, a yearly showcase for international musicians who come from around the world to New York's Webster Hall. There, they introduce themselves to American club bookers, festival programmers, band managers and, of course, music fans. If you pace yourself well, there's just enough time during the evening's six hours to get a good taste of each band — and this year's amazing array of talent was fresh and surprising, from the funked-out psychedelic grooves of Ethiopia (by way of Boston's Debo Band) to the Silk Road's joyously rollicking cross-cultural collaboration, to the atmospheric and haunting sounds of Wang Li, a solo Chinese jaw harp player.
For this week's edition of All Songs Considered, NPR Music's Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR contributor and Afropop.org senior editor Banning Eyre, and Rob Weisberg of WNYC (who also hosts WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise) join Bob Boilen to revisit some of the highlights and favorite discoveries from this year's globalFEST.