Bomba Estereo performs at KEXP.
Dave Lichterman/See More Photos
February 23, 2010 At KEXP, there was no point in resisting Bomba Estereo's infectious groove. Colombian cumbia and champeta rhythms are at the root of the band's sound, while vocalist Liliana Saumet brings wild movement and color to the forefront in this session.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/124010655/124009945" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
February 23, 2010 Get the insider's perspective on the music business from the co-founders of an independent record label and hear how banjo player Alison Brown has pushed her instrument into new musical territory to secure an international following from fans of jazz, bluegrass, and new acoustic music.
Singer Manno Charlemagne once served as mayor of Port-au-Prince.
February 22, 2010 In Haiti, the musician's politically charged lyrics helped elect a president and nearly got him killed. But now, after a term as mayor of Port-au-Prince, Charlemagne lives in Miami. The earthquake last month has devastated the singer, who used to be described as the Bob Marley of Haiti.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/123784163/123979660" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan helped spread Qawwali, a form of Sufi devotional music, around the world.
Courtesy of the artist
February 22, 2010 With his intense stage presence and relentless drive to improve, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan single-handedly brought Qawwali, a form of Sufi devotional music, to the West and the non-Muslim world. In the process, he influenced an unlikely array of music around the world.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/123973589/123979330" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
February 22, 2010 On this edition of All Songs Considered, we hear a cut from Fela Kuti's stunning 1972 album Shakara, plus Malian guitarist Ali Farka Toure and kora player Toumani Diabate, Shearwater's dramatic new concept record, electronic musician Eluvium, Laura Gibson and Ethan Rose, the haunting sounds of Richard Skelton, and some incredible new guitar-rock from The Archie Bronson Outfit.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/123970523/123969619" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Conguero Poncho Sanchez gave Frank Foster's swing classic, "Shiny Stockings," a new identity as a mambo.
Charley Gallay/Getty Images Entertainment
February 22, 2010 Jazz musicians have long mined Broadway, the Great American Songbook, and even pop music for material. Here are five Latin interpretations of songs written by jazz musicians, a process that isn't as easy as playing the chords of a jazz composition over a mambo rhythm.
On the compilation Black Man's Cry: The Inspiration of Fela Kuti, Cumbia Moderna de Soledad covers Fela's "Shakara," and shares with it a common bloodline.
courtesy of Stone's Throw Records
February 18, 2010 With its sparse but powerful percussive push and chanting chorus, "Shacalao" strips Fela Kuti's more groove-laden song "Shakara" down to rhythmic studs, pushing it forward with the two-step beat that lies at the heart of cumbia. Yet, while Cumbia Moderna de Soledad remakes Fela, it also gestures to the deep tradition that bonds eastern Colombia with western Africa.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/123851336/123847640" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Cameroonian saxophonist and vibraphone player Manu Dibango performs the title track of Africa Boogaloo.
Michael Ochs Archives/Stringer/Getty Images
February 17, 2010 The compilation provides an impressive and compelling introduction to Africa's embrace of Latin music. Its songs are simultaneously global and local, offering up a twist on "world fusion" without the associations with toothless tropical music.
February 17, 2010 The new releases come thick and fast to our radio show mailboxes in the U.S. and Scotland. This week we catch up on the latest music from your favorites and discover the new artists to win deserved airtime with their debut releases.
February 15, 2010 With a trove of instruments, languages and good humor, Abaji demonstrates his passion for music that reflects his numerous family roots, including Armenia, Turkey, Greece and France. Watch him perform a short concert at the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen.
February 12, 2010 Congolese guitarist Franco is not well-known in America, despite being one of Africa's greatest pop artists. That might change, now that the the African guitarist and band leader's tracks have been released on two albums, Francophonic Vol. 1 and 2.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/123609938/123646562" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
February 9, 2010 Join us in marking the annual celebration of the birth of the Scotland's National Bard with an hour of musical innovation and tradition inspired by Robert Burns' legacy.
February 8, 2010 Castaneda is the sort of musician who isn't afraid to challenge the established order. He's carving out a place for himself in Latin jazz on an instrument you don't often hear in his style of music: the Colombian harp. Castaneda recently parked himself behind Bob Boilen's desk and crafted a transporting mix of tradition and improvisation.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/123403785/128366155" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Bassekou Kouyate demonstrates his prowess on the ngoni, an African lute.
courtesy of the artist
February 2, 2010 Mali's Bassekou Kouyate, currently touring with banjo king Bela Fleck, demonstrates his prowess on the ngoni — an African lute — on his latest release. Recorded with his band Ngoni Ba, it's titled I Speak Fula.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/123275857/123299040" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
The title of Lionel Loueke's new album, Mwaliko, is Swahili for "invitation."
February 1, 2010 Loueke is a jazz guitarist and vocalist. But if you've never heard him, his music sounds nothing like the work of the crooning strummer that description conjures. Hear his new album of spare yet intimate duos and trios, Mwaliko, in its entirety prior to its commercial release on Feb. 9.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor