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Discoveries From globalFEST 2013

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    This year marked the 10th anniversary of globalFEST, which features musicians on three stages in New York City's Webster Hall. The festival has become renowned for featuring a diverse lineup of up and coming musicians, including Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
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    GlobalFEST showcases a fusion of international traditions, modern instrumentation and high energy performances. The Canadian, Polaris Prize-nominated electronic trio A Tribe Called Red showcased a mixture of pop music samples and traditional Indian ceremonial songs. Their set came to a close with a "Mother Earth" figure twirling eight hoops harmoniously to the beat.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
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    Mucca Pazza, a marching band with a punch of circus punk hailing from Chicago, attacked the stage with their bright uniforms and an accompanying set of cheerleaders. The headlining band's sound and size (they are composed of thirty members!) could barely be contained by the Ballroom stage.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
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    While Mucca Pazza are an American band, their sound is a madcap journey across the globe. The group's setlist was as colorful as its uniforms, varying from traditional Balkan Brass selections to covers of television show theme songs.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
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    Flamenco fusion filled the night in Webster Hall's Marlin Room. La Shica brought traditional flamenco dance to the stage, along with bursts of rock and hip-hop in her smooth vocals.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
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    The Martha Redbone Roots Project brought a unique and romantic spin on traditional roots music. Her songs' lyrics are comprised of poems from the poet William Blake.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
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    Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, globalFEST has continued to feature artists from the Gulf Coast region. This year, The Stooges Brass Band represented the city of New Orleans with the group's second-line-meets-hip-hop sound.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
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    GlobalFEST concertgoers get rare glimpses into musical styles that are otherwise almost impossible to see live. Christine Salem, who hails from the tiny French island of Réunion, made her New York City debut this year at the festival. Her performance showcased the traditonal style of maloya.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
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    The Los Angeles-based trio La Santa Cecilia showed off its soulful mix of Mexican and South American-influenced dance pop to the globalFEST crowds. The band also did its own take of U2's hit song "One."
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
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    Lo'Jo, comprised of keyboardist-singer Denis Péan and violinist Richard Bourreau, performed tracks filled with both North African and French folk influences. The combination of pounding keyboards and sleek violin created a rich and unique sound that filled the Marlin Room stage.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
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    GlobalFEST not only showcases new international artists, but also brings back to the forefront well known talents. Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi, an icon for nearly 40 years, delivered a beautiful and memorable look into the traditional Zimbabwean sound.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
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    Oliver Mtukudzi's sound of Afro-pop is well known as "Tuku music." He's released more than 60 albums. He was accompanied at his performance this year by his band, The Black Spirits.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
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    Acclaimed French-born guitarist and composer Stephane Wrembel has appeared on the soundtracks of Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Midnight In Paris. He dazzled the globalFEST crowds with his "Gypsy Jazz" guitar rhythms.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
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    Persian virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor and Turkish master artist Erdal Erzincan teamed up for a beautiful performance on the Marlin Room stage. While it wasn't the first time they played together, their unique melding of talents led to a mesmerizing performance filled with flowing improvisations.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
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    Erdal Erzincan performed with a bağlama, which is a Turkish stringed instrument, similar to a guitar. This was both Kalhor and Erzincan's first performances at globalFEST.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
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    Kayhan Kalhor showed off his talents with his kemancheh, a traditional Persian bowed string instrument. Along with his collaboration with Erdal Erzincan, he has also collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project Ensemble and the Kronos Quartet.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR

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Every January for the past decade a dozen or more bands from around the world have gathered in New York City for globalFEST - one long, frenzied night of live music showcasing the diverse cultures, histories and numerous sonic branches of "World Music." This year's lineup included Zimbabwe legend Oliver Mtukudzi and his band The Black Spirits, Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara, Chicago's wildly exuberant marching band Mucca Pazza, and much, much more.

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'sTranspacific Sound Paradise) join Bob Boilen to revisit some of the highlights and favorite discoveries from this year's globalFEST.

Artists Featured On The Show

  • Oliver Mtukudzi And The Black Spirits

    Oliver Mtukudzi performs during GlobalFest at New York City's Webster Hall on January 13th, 2013. i i
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR
    Oliver Mtukudzi performs during GlobalFest at New York City's Webster Hall on January 13th, 2013.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR

    GlobalFEST is generally a place to discover young new talent, but occasionally the producers welcome familiar friends to their party. This year, it was Zimbabwe's Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi, who has been an African musical icon since the late 1970s, who brought that sense of homecoming to GlobalFEST with his band, the Black Spirits.

    See And Hear Oliver Mtukudzi Perform At globalFEST 2913

  • Kayhan Kalhor And Erdal Erzincan

    Kayhan Kalhaor and Erdal Erzincan perform during GlobalFest at New York City's Webster Hall on January 13th, 2013.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR

    The soulful Persian classical virtuoso and composer Kayhan Kalhor has long been interested in creating artistic bridges to other musicians and styles. At this year's edition of globalFEST, he revived a partnership that initially began about a decade ago with a Turkish master artist, the baglama player Erdal Erzincan.

    Hear Kayhan Kalhor And Erdal Erzincan Perform At globalFEST 2013

  • La Santa Cecilia

    La Santa Cecilia performs during GlobalFest at New York City's Webster Hall on January 13th, 2013.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR

    Based in Los Angeles and fronted by the smoky-voiced Marisol Hernandez, this fast-rising band splices and dices an array of Mexican and South American sounds in their songs, from Mexican norteño and ranchera to Colombian cumbia.

    See And Hear La Santa Cecilia Perform At globalFEST 2013

  • Christine Salem

    Christine Salem performs during GlobalFest at New York City's Webster Hall on January 13th, 2013.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR

    As the globalFEST evening wound down, much of the buzz about who was the biggest find of the year centered around a seemingly unlikely figure: the vocalist Christine Salem, who made her New York City debut in this performance.

    Hear Christine Salem Perform At globalFEST 2013

  • Fatoumata Diawara

    Fatoumata Diwara performs during GlobalFest at New York City's Webster Hall on January 13th, 2013.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR

    Undoubtedly one of the breakout stars of this year's edition of globalFEST, the Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara had the crowd wrapped around her finger. Gifted with enormous stage presence and great looks, Diawara put on a tightly choreographed set that screamed with energy and edged towards rock and funk.

    Hear And See Fatoumata Diawara Perform At globalFEST 2013

  • Mucca Pazza

    Mucca Pazza performs during GlobalFest at New York City's Webster Hall on January 13th, 2013.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR

    The circus came to globalFEST in the form of Chicago's Mucca Pazza, a group of 30 clowns who could barely be contained in the cavernous ballroom at Webster Hall. They wore mismatched, thrift-shop marching band getups and sported a full range of brass, drums, violin, accordion and electric guitar — plus a gaggle of nerdy cheerleaders.

    See And Hear Mucca Pazza Perform At globalFEST 2013

  • A Tribe Called Red

    A Tribe Called Red performs during GlobalFest at New York City's Webster Hall on January 13th, 2013.
    Ebru Yildiz for NPR

    The night ended with bumping beats down at Webster Hall's Studio space with the Ottowa-based Native collective called A Tribe Called Red. They call their style "pow wow step": an imaginative and dance floor-ready blend of beats, aboriginal singing and dancing, and visuals and audio samples that turn "Indian" stereotypes on their heads.

    Hear A Tribe Called Red Perform At globalFEST 2013

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