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Discoveries From globalFEST 2014

  • Roël Calister and Diamanta von Lieschdeck from Amsterdam's KiT, blending music from Curaçao with house and hip-hop, perform onstage during globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City on Jan. 12, 2014.
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    Roël Calister and Diamanta von Lieschdeck from Amsterdam's KiT, blending music from Curaçao with house and hip-hop, perform onstage during globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City on Jan. 12, 2014.
    Ebru Yildiz/for NPR
  • Congolese-Belgian artist Baloji started his globalFEST set at New York City's Webster Hall on Jan. 12, 2014 in high fashion - but by the end, he was working hard in rolled-up shirtsleeves.
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    Congolese-Belgian artist Baloji started his globalFEST set at New York City's Webster Hall on Jan. 12, 2014 in high fashion - but by the end, he was working hard in rolled-up shirtsleeves.
    Ebru Yildiz/For NPR
  • The Bombay Royale's founder, saxophonist Andy Williamson, is "The Skipper."
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    The Bombay Royale's founder, saxophonist Andy Williamson, is "The Skipper."
    Ebru Yildiz/NPR
  • Vocalists Shourov Bhattacharya and Parvyn Singh from The Bombay Royale, performing live during globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City on Jan. 12, 2014.
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    Vocalists Shourov Bhattacharya and Parvyn Singh from The Bombay Royale, performing live during globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City on Jan. 12, 2014.
    Ebru Yildiz/NPR
  • Playing a single-stringed guitar, the Jamaican artist Brushy One String held court in the intimate Studio space at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
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    Playing a single-stringed guitar, the Jamaican artist Brushy One String held court in the intimate Studio space at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
    Ebru Yildiz/NPR
  • Gospel trio Como Mamas hail from the Mississippi Delta.
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    Gospel trio Como Mamas hail from the Mississippi Delta.
    Ebru Yildiz/NPR
  • The Ukrainian "punk-folk" band DakhaBrakha brought its singular style to globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City on Jan. 12, 2014.
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    The Ukrainian "punk-folk" band DakhaBrakha brought its singular style to globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City on Jan. 12, 2014.
    Ebru Yildiz/NPR
  • Percussionist and vocalist Chikako Iwahori plays the small brass castanet-like instruments called the qarqabat during Hassan Hakmoun's set.
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    Percussionist and vocalist Chikako Iwahori plays the small brass castanet-like instruments called the qarqabat during Hassan Hakmoun's set.
    Ebru Yildiz/NPR
  • Percussionist Vernon Catlein from KiT, whose name stands for "Kuenta i Tambu" — "Stories and Drums" in the Antillean language of Papiamentu.
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    Percussionist Vernon Catlein from KiT, whose name stands for "Kuenta i Tambu" — "Stories and Drums" in the Antillean language of Papiamentu.
    Ebru Yildiz/NPR
  • Mauritanian artist Noura Mint Seymali performs at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
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    Mauritanian artist Noura Mint Seymali performs at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
    Ebru Yildiz/NPR
  • Mexican vocalist Salvador Duran's rich baritone was at the front and center of Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
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    Mexican vocalist Salvador Duran's rich baritone was at the front and center of Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
    Ebru Yildiz/For NPR
  • Banjo master Abigail Washburn, part of an Appalachian-Chinese mash-up called The Wu Force, performs at New York City's Webster Hall as a part of globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
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    Banjo master Abigail Washburn, part of an Appalachian-Chinese mash-up called The Wu Force, performs at New York City's Webster Hall as a part of globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
    Ebru Yildiz/For NPR
  • Lebanese singer Yasmine Hamdan brought her cool, underground electro-pop to globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City on Jan. 12, 2014.
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    Lebanese singer Yasmine Hamdan brought her cool, underground electro-pop to globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City on Jan. 12, 2014.
    Ebru Yildiz/For NPR

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This past Sunday was a frenzied and unforgettable night in New York City: A dozen bands from as far away as Australia and the Congo (and as close as Mississippi), left it all on the stage for globalFEST, one of the most important world music events in North America, held each January at Webster Hall. The whole thing lasts just five hours, but it's spread over three stages, highlighting the incredible - and always surprising - range and reach of what world music is: Afro-Caribbean carnival music mingles with electronic dance; punk-pop collides beautifully with Ukrainian folk; the sounds of Bollywood, Congolese-Belgian hip-hop, psychedelic cumbia and more. It all comes together at globalFEST.

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.

Hear and see performances from this year's (and previous year's) globalFEST.

Artists Featured On This Episode

  • The Bombay Royale

    The Bombay Royale
    Ebru Yidiz/for NPR

    Meet a band that crams vintage Bollywood, 1960s surf and blazing brass into a giddy new sound. The 11-piece Australian band, making its U.S. debut, seems happy to evoke memories of everything from the Village People to formulaic romances of the 1970s. --NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas

    Hear The Bombay Royale Perform At globalFEST 2014

  • Brushy One String

    Brushy One String
    Ebru Yidiz/for NPR

    A YouTube sensation whose song "Chicken in the Corn" has received more than four million views, Jamaica's Brushy One String has captured listeners' imaginations with his stripped-down style, as he uses his rich baritone to accompany a beat-up, single-stringed acoustic guitar. --NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas

    Hear Brushy One String Perform At globalFEST 2014

  • The Wu-Force

    The Wu-Force banjo player Abigail Washburn
    Ebru Yidiz/for NPR

    This is a brand-new band featuring clawhammer banjo player Abigail Washburn. The Wu-Force merges Appalachian folk and a punk sensibility with traditional Chinese music. --NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas

    Hear The Wu-Force Perform At globalFEST 20124

  • DakhaBrakha

    Dakhabrakha

    Dakhabrakha Ebru Yidiz/for NPR hide caption

    itoggle caption Ebru Yidiz/for NPR

    The group mixes everything from punk-pop to traditional Ukrainian songs in cool yet beguiling textures, often with the close harmonies usually associated with Balkan music. But it's really the live shows that take DakhaBrakha beyond mere curiosity to utter brilliance. --NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas

    Hear DakhaBrakha Perform At globalFEST 2014

  • Hassan Hakmoun

    Hassan Hakmoun
    Ebru Yidiz/for NPR

    Hakmoun and the other six members of his band layer soulful vocals, complex African polyrhythms, jazz-tinged synth and a deep rock groove into a satisfying whole. At its heart, his music remains warm, open and utterly joyful. --NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas

    Hear Hassan Hakmoun Perform At globalFEST 2014


  • Noura Mint Seymali

    Noura Mint Seymali
    Ebru Yidiz/for NPR

    With her smoky-rich voice, this Mauritanian griot artist tips toward reggae, flamenco and rock along with traditional Sahelian tonalities and rhythms in a band that includes her husband, guitarist (and fellow griot) Jeich Ould Chighaly. --NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas

    Hear Noura Mint Seymali Perform At globalFEST 2014

  • Baloji

    Baloji
    Ebru Yidiz/for NPR

    A Congolese-Belgian hip-hop artist pairs lilting African soukous with the swagger of American soul. With his electrifying stage presence and style to spare, Baloji had the globalFEST crowd wrapped around his finger. --NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas

    Hear Baloji Perform At globalFEST 2014

  • KiT (Kuenta i Tambu)

    KiT
    Ebru Yidiz/for NPR

    KiT, or Kuenta i Tambu — "Stories and Drums" — takes music from the Caribbean island of Curaçao, merges it with European dance-floor music and kicks it all into high, sweaty gear. --NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas

    Hear KiT Perform At globalFEST 2014

  • Yasmine Hamdan

    Yasmine Hamdan
    Ebru Yidiz/for NPR

    A solo artist based in Europe after a childhood split between Lebanon, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Greece, the co-founder of the groundbreaking duo Soapkills blends new material with reworked traditional songs in a smoky-cool electro-pop setting. --NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas

    Hear Yasmine Hamdan Perform At globalFEST 2014

  • Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta

    Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta
    Ebru Yidiz/for NPR

    Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta is a band from Arizona that splices together mambo — by way of Mexico — with psychedelic cumbia and other Latin styles. The result sounds like Perez Prado reconfigured for the 21st century. --NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas

    Hear Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta Perform At globalFEST 2014

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