January 30, 2003 Rolando Arrieta profiles the French musical group Les Yeux Noirs, which performs Gypsy and Jewish music on acoustic and electric instruments. Singer and violinist Erik Slabiak and his brother, Olivier, grew up in Paris in the 1970s, the sons of Jewish immigrants from Poland.
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January 27, 2003 In 1997, Ry Cooder sparked an international interest in Cuban music as producer and guitarist on the hit CD Buena Vista Social Club. He recently returned to the same studio where that album was recorded, this time to collaborate with legendary Cuban guitarist Manuel Galban.
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January 19, 2003 Weekend Edition Sunday music director Ned Wharton reviews discs by Radio Zumbido and illy B Eats, better known as Billy Martin, the drummer from Medeski Martin & Wood.
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January 8, 2003 Yusa is a 20-something singer-songwriter from Havana with a brand new CD. Her music blends Cuba's past, present and future, and while the music draws on traditions, it's also influenced by trends in America, Brazil and other Latin American countries. The CD is titled Yusa on TUMI records. Felix Contreras has our review.
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December 31, 2002 An icon in the world music scene reunites and releases the first new recording in over a decade. Senegal's Orchestra Baobab had been on a 15-year hiatus, and now they're making a splash with their first tour of the United States. Banning Eyre reports. Orchestra Baobob, Specialist in All Styles Nonesuch ASIN: B00006JIAP Orchestra Baobob, Pirates Choice Nonesuch ASIN: B00005UPF7
December 10, 2002 He is a national icon in Brazil. Along with Gilberto Gil, Veloso created the provocative "Tropicalismo" movement which combined the richness of Brazil's musical past with 1960s rock 'n' roll, surrealism, and dada -– in reaction to the military junta in 1964. Veloso and Gil were jailed and exiled for their efforts. Veloso's memoir Tropical Truth a Story of Music & Revolution in Brazil (first published in 1997) is now translated and published in the United States (Knopf).
December 8, 2002 NPR's Fred Child profiles Brazilian singer, songwriter and legendary political activist Caetano Veloso. His autobiography Tropical Truth has just been released, as has a new 2-CD set, Live in Bahia.
November 24, 2002 In his special year-end installment of Director's Cuts, Ned Wharton, music director of Weekend Edition Sunday, offers musical gift suggestions, including albums by Tim Sparks, Joni Mitchell and Rachel Z.
November 17, 2002 In Anouar Brahem's native Tunisia, the oud is known today mainly in the context of loud and large ensembles that leave it all but buried in a dervish of sound. But Brahem highlights the stringed instrument in a delicate, often introspective context. On his new CD, Le pas du chat noir, the oud is part of an unlikely trio including piano and accordion. He talks with Liane Hansen on Weekend Edition Sunday.
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.
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