July 31, 2009 The instrumental "Mento in 3" feels as unforced as a backyard jam, yet as carefully textured as a movie soundtrack. The sound of waves crashing opens the piece, with McDonald's voice outlining a tune with a wordless "Ba boom boom, boom boom."
July 29, 2009 Meet Luke Plumb, the mandolin player from Tasmania and West Highland fiddler Angus Grant, both of whom are active on the session scene between recording and touring with the globetrotting band Shooglenifty.
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July 25, 2009 Much of today's best Latin jazz embraces old traditions to create something new. NPR Producer Felix Contreras spotlights five female singers whose sounds borrow equally from Latin music and jazz.
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July 23, 2009 Poetry tells the story this week, with songs and tunes inspired by poets' lives and works.
July 23, 2009 These five songs will work within any summer party mix. All come from the now-vintage repertoire of Afropop legends, and all have stood the test of time and animated countless festive occasions around the world. They're presented here in sequence to match the phases of a good party, from greeting and eating to drinking and dancing.
July 22, 2009 Years ago, at-home service was common. From New York to California there are now repair people who will pull up in their vans, and, in just a few minutes, fix your mp3 player, or your iPhone.
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July 20, 2009 Astatke is a well-born Ethiopian who fell in love with jazz in the early '60s and has been making music ever since. His most impressive effort, critic Robert Christgau says, is his latest album Inspiration Information, which he created in collaboration with the British experimental funk musicians in The Heliocentrics.
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July 17, 2009 Soy Sauce, from the Mexico City-based Mexican Institute of Sound, pushes eclecticism to a new level. It combines mariachi with hip-hop, rock and electronica. Tossed in are elements from political speeches and the barnyard.
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July 16, 2009 With a diverse array of instruments, including big band-style brass sections, we hear ensembles that blend traditional and contemporary melodies to create big cutting-edge grooves.
July 8, 2009 Critic Robert Christgau is impressed by the new album from the Malian vocalist, whom he calls Africa's most important female singer. Seya is her first release after a 12-year absence from recording, spent raising a son and running a hotel, farm and other businesses.
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Mulatu Astatke just released a new album with The Heliocentrics.
July 6, 2009 Jazz music was born in America in the early 20th century, evolving out of a meeting of African and European music traditions. Once the style began to develop around the world, jazz found its way back to Africa. Hear five of Africa's best jazz musicians, including Mulatu Astatke.
July 2, 2009 The Nigerian musician brings his mesmerizing beats and animated performers to Seattle for an exciting show of Nigerian juju music. The seventy-minute set features Yoruban praises and proverbs, backed by an incredible percussion section.
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July 2, 2009 We shift the spotlight away from Scottish and Irish music this week to illuminate the rich traditions of Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Galicia, Asturias, Wales and Brittany.
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July 1, 2009 California is America's main immigrant magnet. As people move to and from — and within — the state and the U.S., the music produced by this shifting population is changing. The stories of musicians living and working in Oakland and Los Angeles give a sense of how the future of Latin music might sound.
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July 1, 2009 Loney Dear favors quiet harmonies, ready percussion, and retrospection. The Swedish songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has released a fourth album, Dear John, a masterpiece of twinkling lo-fi, hand claps, intricate drum beats and his ethereal, yearning vocals.
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