Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté from Mali.
Youri Lenquette/Courtesy of the artists
May 29, 2014 From feel-good anthems to the late Maya Angelou singing calypso (really!), here are five must-hear songs of the moment.
Yasmine Hamdan performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in April 2014.
May 24, 2014 The Lebanese singer-songwriter, one of the most groundbreaking musicians in the Middle East, plays stripped-down versions of three songs from her current album, Ya Nass.
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Sunny Jain at the Brooklyn Public Library.
May 22, 2014 Join NPR Music in Brooklyn on June 21 to play in a world premiere of a new song we commissioned from Sunny Jain, the founder of Red Baraat. Here's the music and information to get you practicing.
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Seun Kuti & Egypt 80's new album, A Long Way to the Beginning, comes out May 27.
Johann Sauty/Courtesy of the artist
May 18, 2014 Fela Kuti's youngest son brings the fury, funk and sweat of Afrobeat to bear down on financial corruption and other issues. Along the way, he finds grace, humor and plenty of good beats.
Composer and drummer Sunny Jain, the founder of Red Baraat, is writing 100 BPM as a commission from NPR Music.
Wills Glasspiegal/Courtesy of the artist
May 15, 2014 We're inviting brass players, percussionists and the public to come play in a world premiere written by Red Baraat's Sunny Jain at the Brooklyn Public Library, as part of Make Music New York 2014.
Juan Formell, director of Cuban band Los Van Van, died May 1.
Enrique De La Osa/Reuters/Corbis
May 7, 2014 Under Formell's direction, the beloved dance band Los Van Van chronicled realities of Cuban life. Hear five songs that function as both a tribute and, to some, an introduction.
Carnival season is already over in Trinidad and Tobago, but we're sure we're going to be seeing some wining to Machel Montano's "Ministry of Road" come Labor Day in New York.
Getty Images Latin America
April 30, 2014 From a carnival hit about infrastructure to a North African legend with a pop kingmaker at his side, these five essential global tracks are joyful, energetic and the perfect soundtrack to spring.
Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
April 28, 2014 The Benin-born artist has been called "the undisputed queen of African music." In this performance, she pays homage to the great Miriam Makeba and performs songs from her latest album, Eve.
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Courtesy of the artist.
April 23, 2014 The inspirational singer's new album is dedicated to the women of Africa. In addition to her performance, she talks about her work with UNICEF and the problems facing African women today.
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The faithful follow penitentes — lay members of a Catholic brotherhood — to Mass at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Santa Cruz, N.M., on Holy Thursday in 2013.
April 18, 2014 Life, death and piety are the recurring themes in hauntingly beautiful alabados preserved by lay brothers called penitentes. "You have to feel them," one says. "You have to feel them in your soul."
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Cheo Feliciano at the opening of The Fania All Stars 2013 world tour in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
David F. Gasser/LatinContent/Getty Images
April 18, 2014 One of the most respected figures in Latin music, the salsa singer had deep roots in both Puerto Rico and New York, where he influenced a younger generation of musicians.
Rodrigo y Gabriela in a scene from their new video for the song "The Russian Messenger."
Courtesy of the artist
April 16, 2014 Few artists thrill and captivate live as much as Rodrigo y Gabriela. So it's fitting that the duo's new video, for "The Russian Messenger," is a no-frills performance highlighting their guitar work.
Rupa and the April Fishes' latest release, Live at the Independent, was recorded in concert at a San Francisco Walk Against Rape fundraiser.
Denis Beaumont/Courtesy of the artist
April 13, 2014 When she's not touring the world with her band or playing impromptu sets on public transit, Rupa Marya is an internist at a San Francisco hospital.
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Haiti Direct: Big Band, Mini Jazz & Twoubadou Sounds, 1960-1978
Courtesy of the artist
April 5, 2014 The sound of the island nation underwent dramatic changes in the 1960s and '70s, taking on aspects of psychedelia and jazz fusion. A trove of lost music from that era is now available.
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Marie Planeille/Courtesy of the artist
April 2, 2014 The Grammy-winning band from Northern Mali performs two sparse songs from its new album, Emmaar.
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