Front Row

Christine Salem: globalFEST 2013

As the globalFEST evening wound down, much of the buzz about the biggest finds of the year centered on a seemingly unlikely figure: the vocalist Christine Salem, who made her New York City debut in this performance. Often, it's the artists who make 21st-century, Internet-ready musical hybrids that become the most talked-about GlobalFEST artists, but Salem presents the exact opposite model.

She comes from a far-flung spot — the tiny Indian Ocean island of Reunion, an overseas department of France — and sings socially conscious music in four languages (Creole, Malagasy, Comorian and Swahili), rooted in the traditional and nearly extinct style called maloya. Salem often accompanies herself with a kayanm, a box-shaped percussion instrument made from the flowers, stems and seeds of sugar cane.

Salem's exceptionally rich voice and fiery stage presence easily transcends any and all cultural barriers, with her hypnotic and powerful voice underscored by dense layers of percussion in her mesmerizing set at New York City's Webster Hall.

Credits

Producers: Mito Habe-Evans, Bob Boilen; Videographers: Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Mito Habe-Evans; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Video Editor: Denise DeBelius Assistant Producer: Denise DeBelius; Special Thanks to: Webster Hall, globalFEST 2013; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins.

[+] read more[-] less

More From World

Tinariwen performs live at Pickathon. Alicia J Rose/opbmusic.org hide caption

toggle caption Alicia J Rose/opbmusic.org

Favorite Sessions

Tinariwen, 'Tin Ihlan' (Live)

opbmusic.org

Watch the groundbreaking Tuareg band perform a nighttime set in the Oregon woods.

Rodrigo Amarante performs live at Pickathon for OPB. Kristina Moravec/OPB hide caption

toggle caption Kristina Moravec/OPB

Favorite Sessions

Rodrigo Amarante, 'Maná' (Live)

opbmusic.org

The Brazilian singer performs an upbeat song on a stage made of branches at Pickathon in Oregon.

Tiny Desk Concert with Sam Lee Lydia Thompson /NPR hide caption

toggle caption Lydia Thompson /NPR

Tiny Desk

Sam Lee

The singer found his voice by finding and preserving old British, Irish and Scottish folk songs.

Maggie Starbard/NPR

Tiny Desk

Camané

A star in his native Portugal, Camané evokes melancholy with a silky baritone and elegant phrasing.

Colin Marshall /NPR

Tiny Desk

DakhaBrakha

The Ukrainian acoustic quartet's music encompasses sounds and rhythms from around the world.

Stromae proved to the audience at Stubb's in Austin why he's a major star just about everywhere but the U.S. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

SXSW Music Festival

Stromae, Live In Concert: SXSW 2015

Watch the international superstar perform for a legion of rhapsodic fans at our SXSW showcase.

Colin Marshall/NPR

Tiny Desk

Bio Ritmo

The 10-piece salsa band built its career on dance floors, where it never fails to make people move.

Back To Top