Peace, Love & World Music
Anniversaries are great, aren’t they? You get to reflect back on something special or unique. Unless it’s not a good memory, then most anniversaries can be a fun way to look back and celebrate all over again.
On this week’s World Music Show we’ll celebrate a big anniversary. Fifty years ago this weekend, the festival of all festivals took place on Yasger’s farm in upstate New York. Yep, it’s Woodstock. A new massive 50th Anniversary CD collection was just released for this celebration. It features all the music that was played--not just the highlights.
But what does this festival have to do with World Music? Well, quite a bit actually. Many of the musicians brought their own world beats to the gigantic event. I’ll highlight just two of them: Brooklyn native Richie Havens, who’s amazing guitar work and percussion definitely brought some World Groove to the concert. And Carlos Santana also brought his Latin-tinged Rock n’ Roll. There were others of course, but these are the two I choose.
Besides this trip in the way-back machine, we’ll stay in the here and now to check out a bunch of new music.
Kicking off the show will be two tracks from the forthcoming CD by Alex Cuba called “Sublime.” I recently got a copy of it and it’s fantastic. However, it won’t be released until the end of September, so I can only play a few of the songs that he released. But that’s ok, since he’s already put out five to choose from. I’ve been playing a few of these over the past few months but on the show this week, I’ll feature two new ones that I haven’t. Alex told me he’s really proud of the fact that he played all of the instruments on his new album.
When I say I’ve got a ton of new music to play, I’m not kidding. We’ll check out new songs from the Villalobos Brothers, Sergio de Jesus, Lakou Mizik and Sephardic musician Aviva Chernick.
Plus, we’ll hear from a band out of Kinshasa called Kokoko!, who play some amazing upbeat and political music. And we’ll also hear a new song from our friend Femi Koya, who’s new album “Orimi,” is so, so good.
In an interesting twist or maybe this falls under my “Hmm, I never thought I’d play him on the show,” we’ll hear a new song from Philip Bailey. Bailey, who you may know, is one of the two singers from Earth, Wind & Fire and who’s also put out quite a bit of solo music. You may also remember his duet with Phil Collins. On his new CD “Love Will Find a Way,” finds him mixing in some Kalimba beats and other World Music grooves. And he also does some cool covers, including one of the Curtis Mayfield song “Billy Jack.”
Rounding out some of the newness will be a really beautiful collaboration between the Malian duo Amadou & Miriam and the Blind Boys of Alabama.
In another live recording session, I was lucky enough to get a copy of Angelique Kidjo’s recent show at the BBC Proms from last week in which she celebrated Cecila Cruz, the Talking Heads and her own vast canon of work.
Do you think that’s all I’ve got lined up? Nope! I’ll play a trifecta of tunes all about America but with a World Music perspective, from Beboluz, David Byrne and The Blue Dahlia. And, we’ll have ourselves a little sitar-fest with another 50th Anniversary release. This one is from The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper” album.
Other tracks not to miss will be from The Skints, Trio da Kali & the Kronos Quartet, Joe Strummer, Afro Cuban Allstars and Shabba Ranks.
The good thing about this week’s many 50th Anniversary celebrations is that you won’t have to dress up for a party.
The World Music Show airs on VPM Music, 93.1 & 107.3FM and can be streamed online via this site. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @VPM_IanStewart.