January 24, 2007 The album combines Cuban sounds with well-known musicians to create a unique fusion of pop and world music. For the series' first release, the Cuban band Buena Vista Social Club laid down new instrumental tracks that blend and engage with popular songs from Sting, Coldplay, Radiohead, Jack Johnson and more.
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January 17, 2007 The Refugee All-Stars formed after civil war forced a collective of Sierra Leone musicians into refuge in the Republic of Guinea. The 11 performers, led by vocalist and songwriter Reuben Komora, were discovered in a documentary film by Zach Niles and Banker White.
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January 15, 2007 In the '70s, Ethopia's capital, Addis Ababa, was awash in a hypnotic blend of Ethiopian rhythms, American jazz and European pop. When the ruler Haile Selassie died, so did the music scene. Now the Ethiopian sound is re-emerging — in New York.
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January 12, 2007 Born in Sao Paulo in 1971, Mônica Salmaso has surfaced as one of the best young voices in Brazil. At the Disney Concert Hall, she gives a dazzling performance of sensual, rhythmically-inflected Brazilian popular songs, including a Beatles favorite and an "Ave Maria" with a Brazilian twist.
January 9, 2007 Where the song was once built around trippy beats and Sinead O'Connor's husky tones, Badi Assad's voice takes on the semblance of a cry, signifying both pain and a call for attention. The agitated strings and percussive guitars signify a sense of disquiet, pulling in and out of the dominant Brazilian groove.
January 1, 2007 Three musicians from the Washington, D.C.-area celebrate the new year with a performance of traditional Nordic music on violin and string bass. The latest CD from Andrea Hoag, Loretta Kelley and Charlie Pilzer is Hambo in the Snow, which has been nominated for a Grammy.
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December 29, 2006 Irish singer/songwriter Damien Rice won fans around the globe with his debut CD, simply titled O. In the four years since then, Rice has teased his adoring fans with a few small releases. But he has finally released a second studio album, 9.
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December 23, 2006 The ancient stringed instrument has taken the Iraqi musician from Baghdad to New Mexico. He talks about his journey and his new CD, When the Soul Is Settled: Music of Iraq.
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December 22, 2006 NPR and select stations hosted dozens of live concerts in 2006, with stunning performances by some of the hottest acts on tour. Hear a mix of the most memorable shows, including the U.S. premiere of Paul McCartney's new choral work Ecce Cor Meum.
December 20, 2006 Given the proliferation of year-end Top 10 lists, it seems natural that Shadow Classics — which gives shelter to under-appreciated music — would feature its own list of 2006 recordings likely to become Shadow Classics down the line. Don't let these gems go unnoticed.
December 11, 2006 Forro In The Dark gets its name from a type of dance and music that has been popular in northeastern Brazil for more than 100 years. The band doesn't conform to traditional limitations, but instead takes the lively and emotional genre to new heights by drawing on influences ranging from Enrique Iglesias to Beck.
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December 11, 2006 The music of Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero attempts to reconcile their love of heavy metal music with their traditional style of Mexican guitar playing. Their self-titled debut combines Sanchez's intricate fingerpicking with Quintero's smooth melodic style — and works wonderfully.
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December 7, 2006 Find out the number one album of the year as selected by NPR listeners. Count down the top ten CDs with All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen as he chats with reviewers Robert Christgau, Will Hermes, Meredith Ochs and John Richards.
December 6, 2006 A beguiling and visionary blend of reggae, soul and pop, Jackie Mittoo's Wishbone didn't connect commercially upon its release. Now, more than 30 years and countless stylistic hybrids later, the disc sounds like pure genius — one of the boldest and most cohesive expansions of Jamaican pop ever recorded.
December 6, 2006 The Israeli group, the Idan Raichel Project, blends the music of the country's rich immigrant community with the traditional sounds of the nation. The unique mixture of Ethiopian, Arab and native Israeli music has made them stars in Israel, and paved the way for their American debut.
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