July 24, 2001 Linda Wertheimer is joined in our performance studio by The Slackers, a ska band from New York City. The seven members are all Generation-Xers who are devoted to ska, a precursor to reggae born in 1950s Jamaica. The band gives a demonstration of the unique beat — or "off-beat" — that characterizes ska, and plays songs from the latest Slackers CD, called Wasted Days.
July 8, 2001 Weekend Edition Sunday music director Ned Wharton reviews the latest new releases on CD, including Gonzalo Rubalcaba, a Parasol Records sampler and Slang.
July 6, 2001 Musician Natacha Atlas speaks French, Spanish, Arabic and English. She grew up in a Moroccan suburb of Brussels, and after she moved to England, she became known as Northampton's first Arabic rock singer. Now she has a new album called Ayeshteni. Critic Sarah Bardeen says the music is far less eclectic than you might expect. (4:00) It's on Mantra records.
May 14, 2001 Brazilian singer-songwriter Caetano Veloso is known only to world music fans here, but at home he's part Dylan, part Sondheim, part Borges, part Bowie, and all superstar. His new album, "Noites do Norte," is his first since the Grammy-winning "Livro." The new record examines the cultural legacy of slavery in Brazil. NPR's Rick Karr has a profile. (7:45) Veloso's recent recordings are available in the U.S. on the Nonesuch label.
May 11, 2001 Reggae — with its island rhythms, religious roots, and frequently political messages — has held its place as a popular musical form for more than a quarter century. Today, on the 20th anniversary of Bob Marley's death, NPR's Tom Cole looks back at the history of the genre.
May 4, 2001 Host Madeleine Brand talks with Asian fusion singer, Sheila Chandra, about her latest CD This Sentence is True. Chandra experiments with the voice as an instrument and blends vocal traditions from American gospel and English folk, among other styles.
April 29, 2001 Liane speaks with Weekend Edition Sunday music director Ned Wharton about the latest crop of new releases on CD.
April 11, 2001 Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to boost national pride. But some Russians are already plenty proud-- of their homegrown pop and rock music. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports from Moscow on a radio station called Nasha Radio — "our radio."
April 5, 2001 David D'Arcy profiles Cristina Branco, a young Portuguese singer, who's helping revive the popularity of traditional Fado music. Fado ballads are usually sad, sung in minor keys, and accompanied by guitar. Branco says she became interested in singing Fado after hearing recordings made by Portugal's greatest Fado singer, Amalia Rodrigues. In a documentary film, Rodrigues refers to Fado as an 'eternal lament.'
March 6, 2001 Italian singer and songwriter Paolo Conte is a former lawyer from the small northern Italian town of Asti. He went from being an admirer of music to a musician in 1974 when he recorded his first album. He has since made a total of 11 albums.
March 5, 2001 Robert Siegel talks with Finnish vocalist Wimme Sari about his music, a form of traditional singing called "yoiking". The yoik is used by the Sami reindeer herders of northern Finland to evoke a feeling, or express a desire. A yoik is a chant of sorts; it can have real words, or just sounds, or a combination. Wimme, a musician who goes by his first name only, has developed the yoik into a fascinating modern form. The CD is Cugu by Wimme.
February 12, 2001 NPR's Renee Montagne reports on a group of six Thai elephants that have been honing their musical abilities. They just released their first CD. Hear a song from that CD entitled Temple Music. You can find out more at www.mulatta.org. (6:43-8:20)
February 11, 2001 Liane speaks with Weekend Edition Sunday music director Ned Wharton about the latest crop of new releases on CD.
January 6, 2001 David D'Arcy has a profile of Boubacar Traore, a singer/guitarist from the West African country of Mali.
December 26, 2000 A new CD entitled The Two Tenors and Qantara offers highlights of a five-hour concert of Arabic music that took place last spring in Las Vegas. The "two tenors" are Wadi Al Safi and Sabah Fakhri. Qantara is an instrumental ensemble led by oud player Simon Shaheen. Banning Eyre attended the concert and reviews the recording.
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