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Women Who Rock This World

Ecuadorian/New Yorker Eljuri sings with passion about everything from gun violence to discrimination (Photo courtesy of the artist)

When I was first plotting out this week’s show (11/9), which I usually do by looking at the calendar or most importantly by gut instinct, I didn’t realize that I culled together a ton of amazing female musicians. But when I did finally take a step back to see the two hours, I thought, what a great line up.

Starting that line up is a “new to me” musician by the name of Morgane Ji. She’s from the island of Reunion, which is in the Indian Ocean just off the coast of Madagascar. Ji plays an electrified banjo and mixes together folk, pop and a strong female perspective about the rights all women should have. Her latest album is called “Women Soldier” and it’s just an amazing tour de force of sound. I’ve been playing tracks from her release since the CD arrived and with each one, I’m just amazed at how fun, deep and moving her songs are. 

Morgane Ji
Morgane Ji is from the island of Reunion

Joining Ji in the first set of music will be another incredible musician and guitarist, Eljuri. This Ecuadorian born musician (who now calls New York home) shreds on the guitar and speaks out about the inequities faced by females all over the world and also raises her voice about many of society’s ills such as gun violence. Her songs are powerful testaments to how music can move people to action. 

Ladama tours the world and puts on workshops to help women-owned businesses. 

Also featured in the first hour in this same vein of women who rock will be the Lebanese singer and actress Yasmine Hamdan. Hamdan started out in the electronic/loungy band Soap Kills, which was one of the first electronic bands in the Middle East. She is considered an icon of underground music across the Arab world. We’ll also hear from the folk singer Moira Smiley, who is from Vermont. She sings a beautiful song called “Refugee.”

Continuing with this theme, in hour two, we’ll hear a trifecta of great female artists, including the all-female band Ladama, the Brazilian musician Ceu and the Tijuana born Ceci Bastida. All of the women do amazing work to get the voices of women and underrepresented heard. 

Ceci Bastida
Ceci Bastida also plays in the Morrissey cover band Mexrissey 

Mixed throughout the entire show will be some wonderful guitar sounds and voices out of a few different African countries featuring Youssou N’Dour, the late Oliver Mtukudzi and Vieux Farka Toure

For cool Latin music (sorry for the big umbrella), we’ll hear from the Ex-Pats out of Brazil, Forro in the Dark, the Colombian band Bomba Estereo and Monetara and from Detroit Diego Garcia. Also in the category, I don’t want you to miss the song from the soundtrack to the film "Roma," from the band Ciudad Perdida

Portuguese musician Marinho is based in Portugal 

Lastly and in no particular order, we’ll hear some groovy lounge music out of Germany from 2raumwohnung (which translates to two-room apartment), the band Fiamma Fumana from Italy and from England Chumbawamba, with their song “Jacob’s Ladder". Plus, thrown in for good measure, we’ll hear from Paul Simon and the Talking Heads.

The World Music Show airs Saturdays from 8-10pm on VPM Music, 93.1 & 107.3FM and can be streamed right here. Follow me on Twitter @VPM_IanStewart and on Facebook at the World Music Show on VPM.