October 22, 2002 Anouar Brahem, the Tunisian master of the Oud, the predecessor of the lute and guitar, took a break recently from his beloved instrument ... to play the piano. When he returned to the Oud, he created a new role for its ancient voice. Michelle Mercer has a review of Brahem's latest CD Le Pas Du Chat Noir, (The Black Cat's Footsteps) on ECM Records.
October 17, 2002 Four of the great masters of Persian music are touring the United States. Among them will be Iran's legendary vocalist Mohammed Reza Shajarian, tar (lute) player Hossein Alizadeh and kamancheh (spike fiddle) player Kayhan Kalhor. Host Jacki Lyden talks with Kayhan Kalhor about the evolution of Persian classical music and about the poetry. The four have a CD as well, from a recent tour. It is called Without You, by the Masters of Persian Music on the World Village label. (8:00)
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October 9, 2002 Charles de Ledesma has this review of the CD Bahamouk, by the French band Les Yeux Noirs — who blend Gypsy and Klezmer music. They were inspired by the Yiddish songs from the grandparents' homeland — Poland — and set out to preserve that sound, and create something modern on top of it.
October 8, 2002 Dr. Hukwe Zawose is well known in his native Tanzania as a respected traditional musician. He and his son recently collaborated with Canadian guitarist and producer Michael Brook, who is best known for creating electronica and ethnic "trance-pop." Banning Eyre, senior editor at Afropop.org, has a review of Assembly.
October 8, 2002 NPR's Elizabeth Blair profiles Malian musician Salif Keita, one of the master's of the "world music" movement. Keita moved back to Mali recently after living and working in France for 16 years. His new album is a return to the more traditional sounding music and features several rising musicians from Mali. Keita was shunned as a child because he is albino. He's trying to help remove the stigma that many Africans attach to the genetic condition.
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July 28, 2002 Guitarist Justin Adams has been called "Britain's answer to Ry Cooder." He played on Robert Plant's new album, and is now touring with the former Led Zeppelin frontman, lending touches of his Middle Eastern and North African influences to Plant's bluesy sound.
July 13, 2002 Songs of longing and despair are a national tradition in Portugal — a music called fado. And a singer named Misia is the reigning queen of the mournful, melancholy musical genre. Misia talks with guest host Jacki Lyden about fado and Portugal's emotional inner life.
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June 27, 2002 Mondo Head is the latest release from the Japanese Taiko drumming ensemble Kodo. The CD was produced by Grammy-award winning musician and Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart. Reviewer Banning Eyre says the release is a much more spontaneous recording than Kodo's previous releases, and it features a much denser array of sounds. Mondo Head is published by Red Ink. ASIN: B0000641BD
June 21, 2002 Host John Ydstie talks with violinist David Harrington and producer Gustavo Santaolalla about a new CD by the Kronos Quartet called Nuevo. The CD is a musical portrayal of life in Mexico. Members of the Kronos Quartet use their instruments to mimic the sounds of accordions, guitars and even brass with the help of Santaolalla. They play Mexican music that is both traditional and contemporary.
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May 30, 2002 Liane Hansen talks to Eliza Gilkyson about her new CD, Lost and Found. Gilkyson has spent 30 years in the music business, and the CD reflects her long experience as a songwriter. There is a song written for her father, who was also a songwriter, and the album closes with a hymn-like piece, "Riverside," that reflects the turn of the millennium and Sept. 11. (7:30) The CD is on Red House Records. Catalog # RHR CD 162. See http://www.elizagilkyson.com/.
May 19, 2002 For his feature Director's Cuts, NPR's Ned Wharton looks at two CDs that highlight the role of producer as auteur: a tribute to the late Serbian-born Suba, who produced Bebel Gilberto's Tanto Tempo; and a disc called Assembly — a collaboration between guitarist/producer Michael Brook and Tanzanian musician Hukwe Zawose. On Weekend Edition Sunday.
April 17, 2002 West African singer Angelique Kidjo has been gaining fans on the international music scene for more than 10 years. Banning Eyre reviews her latest CD, Black Ivory Soul.
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April 3, 2002 A CD from Mali's Issa Bagayogo attempts to combine traditional African roots music and modern pop sounds into songs that don't sound like throbbing dance-club tunes. Reviewer Banning Eyre says Timbuktu strikes a magical balance between roots authenticity and 21st century hip.
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March 24, 2002 Weekend Edition Sunday's Ned Wharton is back with his latest samplings of cutting edge music. This time around, hear the music of Neil Finn, John McLaughlin's Remember Shakti and Monty Alexander.
March 15, 2002 Known as a traditional Irish band, Solas decided to try something new on its latest CD: blending traditional Celtic music with more contemporary songs from Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and others. They recently visited NPR to perform songs from their new CD, The Edge of Silence. (Shanachie Re
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