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A Bag Full of New World Beats

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra
The Japanese band Toyko Ska Paradise Orchestra know how to party (Photo courtesy of record label) 

There’s nothing like kicking off the new year with a slew of new music to share. Things have been piling up at the World Music headquarters on Sesame Street, so it’s with great fanfare that I’ll be sharing as much of what’s come in as I can for this week's World Music Show (1/11/20)

Speaking of sharing, some fans of the show were kind enough to send me music! How nice is that? Talk about sharing is caring. With that in mind, and from them, you’ll near new music from a pumped up Afro-Cuban musician called Cimafunk

Afro-Cuban musician Cimafunk
Afro-Cuban Musician Cimafunk

This band was named one of “10 Latin Artists to watch in 2019” by Billboard. And upon hearing them, friend of the show Brant sent me their music while traveling somewhere around the world (he also says he tunes into the show no matter where he is the world--so cool!) Though his music is Afro-Cuban Funk, he doesn’t really like labels. Hearing his infectious music you wouldn’t guess that he also plays the harp but he does. 

Another special treat from a friend of the show and in the mail bag was a collection of songs from Erin who sent me by Linos Wengara Magaya & Zimbaremabwe Mbira Vibes. This is authentic Zimbabwean Mbira Guitar music, as well as Roots and Dancehall style Mbira Reggae. Sometimes, as a small acoustic ensemble, they also play traditional Mbira, drumming and percussion. Like the all-female band Ladama, the ensemble also hold workshops on Ngoma drumming and Zimbabwean dance whenever they tour. 

Danish Musician Agnes Obel
Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel

If you like ethereal, wordly music then you’ll enjoy the song “Broken Sleep” (check out the video!) by the Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel. Her fourth album, called Myopia, is about to “drop” as the kids say, and I’m liking what I’m hearing so far. Her music is moody but not depressing or overbearing. She pulls you in and wraps you up like a burrito of warm music. 

Other new music to tune in for will be from the British/Nigerian musician Ola Onabule’, who’s got a smooth, baritone voice. His latest album is called Point Less and like many of his other releases, it mixes Jazz, Soul and Pop. 

On the Latin side, we’ll check out some new music from guitarist Kika Valera. The Cuban musician plays some incredibly beautiful guitar. On his latest release, called Vivencias En Clave Cubana, he partners with the vocalist Coco Freeman. Both of them lift the Cuban style of Son Cubano up and to skies. 

Quebec band Melisande

From up Canada way, we’ll hear the group Melisande (electrotrad). The band consists of a husband and wife team (the band is named after the wife, Melisande), as well as rotating cast of musicians and dancers. They mix traditional music from Quebec with electro-pop essences. 

Rounding out the newness will be fresh cuts from the Spanish band Polock (named after the famed painter) and some new Ska music from Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra (which will lead us into a big Ska dance party to cap off the show!) 

Mixed throughout the rest of the show will be tracks from Ali & Vieux Farka Toure, Rio Mira, Santingonora, Bomba Estereo, Thomas Mapfumo and Issa Bagayogo, to name just a few. Oh, wait, I can also name Special AKA and Toots and the Maytals, too. 

The World Music Show magically appears weekly every Saturday night on VPM Music, 93.1 and 107.3FM and can also be streamed via this website. Come back here too to see live, streaming track listings. Follow the fun on Twitter @VPM_IanStewart or on Facebook at The World Music Show on VPM.