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Unwrapping Gifts of World Music

world music show
I'm bringing the world a little bit closer on this week's World Music Show

Let’s face it. One of the great things about celebrating birthdays are the gifts. Sure, having some cake and seeing friends and family is good too. But the gifts bring out the kid in all of us. However, as you age, it’s actually much more fun to give than to receive (well, sometimes).

It’s with that in mind that I’ll be playing some of my favorite World Music tracks on this week’s show (8/10) as a way to give thanks to all of you (though, it’s actually a gift to me too, since I love all of these songs).

Local band Miramar
Local band Miramar features musicians who also play in other local bands.

The show will kick off with some fantastic local world music. In case you don’t know, Richmond has some very talented musicians. And these musicians often traverse between many bands (since being a working musician is probably a tough gig to make ends meet). 

A trifecta of bands will start us off who do just that--play in multiple bands. The long running Salsa band Bio Ritmo has a bunch of amazing folks. So amazing that a few of them have started playing solo or have shot off into other bands. For instance, Ritmo members Marylesse Simmons and Rei Alverez formed the Puerto Rican Bolero band Miramar with the help of Quatro Na Bossa lead singer Laura Ann Singh. And Bio Ritmo percussionist Hector ‘Coco’ Barez (who often plays with Miramar) put out a stellar solo album not to long ago. 

Afro Zen Allstars
Local band Afro Zen Allstars play Afrobeat Music.

In another chunk of music, we’ll switch from Latin to Afrobeat with the help of another big band, Afro Zen Allstars. Then we’ll hear some Caribbean music from the long running band Ban Caribe. Capping it all off will be a track from the outstanding Angelica Garcia (who just released a new song that I’ve been playing quite a bit and who is also off to London to play some gigs!)

Plus, since all these folks are local, you get many chances to see them. For instance, Afro Zen Allstars often play at Garden Grove Brewery. Quatro Na Bossa often plays at the Broadberry. And Hector ‘Coco’ Barez will be playing at Hofgarden's Dark Room on Aug 28th. Go support local World Music. 

For the rest of the show, we’ll hear tracks from some good friends, such as Complicated Animals and Dan Zanes (who if you don’t know, does much more than kids music and was also a member of the great 80s band The Del Fuegos!). Both of these bands/musicians I’ve been lucky enough to interview for the show. And, Complicated Animals actually played at my BirthdayBash a few years ago. 

Desert Blues guitarist Bombino will be playing at this year's Richmond Folk Festival

The genres and musical styles will be all over the map, or globe, really too. We’ll hear some great desert blues guitar from Agadez, Niger from Bombino (who will be playing at this year’s Richmond Folk Festival and who I’m also working on landing an interview with). 

We’ll head over to Latin America to hear from the Mexican band Cafe Tacvba, then to Brazil to hear from Fantomaticos, then to Spain to hear from the remarkable Bebe. Plus, from all over South America, we’ll hear from the all-female band Ladama. And, I’m not sure where the Brazilian Girls fit into this, since they’re not really from Brazil, but you’ll hear them too.

Under my ever present World Music Covers section, we’ll check out Angelique Kidjo’s version of the Talking Heads “Crosseyed & Painless,” and from the French band out of L.A., we’ll hear Nouvelle Vague cover the 80s New Wave band Altered Images

Speaking of the 80s, I’ll be playing some tracks from The Police, Peter Gabriel and XTC--all of who infused World Beats into their music. 

David Byrne

And since it is my Birthday show, I can’t not play songs from David Byrne and Paul Simon--it’s just what I do. 

The World Music Show airs Saturday nights on VPM Music (93.1 & 107.3FM) or can be streamed via this website. Also on this website will be live-streaming track listings of what I’m playing. Follow me on Twitter @VPM_IanStewart and on Facebook at The World Music Show on VPM.