World Music

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Femi Kuti carries on

Funky, jazzy, infectious beats fill Femi Kuti's new album, No Place for My Dream , just as they did his 2010 Grammy-winning Africa for Africa — and have on every release since he began recording in 1987.
By VALERIE GLADSTONE  |  January 18, 2013
Album:The Very Best - MTMTMK

The Very Best | MTMTMK

"World music" is an archaic label, but there's no better way to describe the Very Best's MTMTMK .
Moshi Moshi/Cooperative Music (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  July 20, 2012

Two and fro

It can be easy to get wrapped up in Portland’s pop and rock scene, the singalong stuff you hear in the clubs and on the radio.
Kolosko and Dimow’s Border Crossings
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  March 26, 2010

Singer/songwriter Graeme Kennedy is back in town

... and he’s got ambitious plans for his McKeenstreet Music.

Alejandro Franov | Digitaria

Alejandro Franov is an Argentine multi-instrumentalist who's been involved in the more serious, and often experimental, side of the Buenos Aires music scene since he was a teen in the late 1980s.
Nature Bliss (2010)
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  March 05, 2010

Netsky notes

Hankus Netsky founded the Klezmer Conservatory Band 30 years ago at New England Conservatory and sparked an American klezmer revival that continues to this day.
The KCB's main man talks Klezmer
By JON GARELICK  |  February 26, 2010


Review: El Perro Del Mar at the Brattle

Sharing a bill, a backing band, and the cramped stage of the Brattle Theatre last Friday, two Swedish singer-songwriters turned it up to the world-music equivalent of 11 for an audience that, for the most part, refused to dance.
El Perro Del Mar and Taken by Trees, live at the Brattle Theatre, February 19, 2010
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  February 26, 2010

Turkish troubadours

I owe just about all my Turkish music knowledge to Okbari.
Okbari get all lovey-dovey
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  February 26, 2010

Jew note

Defining "Jewish" music is pretty much a fool's task — not much easier than defining jazz.
First Annual Boston Jewish Music Festival, plus the Klezmatics
By JON GARELICK  |  February 26, 2010

Choir power

The Romantic notion of artistic merit is that one must plumb the depths of despair to emerge with great work — and that the finest triumphs are often born of the direst misery.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo raise their voices
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  February 05, 2010


Last spring, Danny Mekonnen and Jonah Rapino led Boston's fledgling Ethiopian pop group Debo Band straight to Addis Ababa. They played a local festival, made friends with nightclub owners, and found an Ethiopian Airlines deal for a free trip down the c
Debo Band go from the Western Front to East Africa
By MATT PARISH  |  January 29, 2010



Nobody likes labels — except maybe critics. And we all want to live by Duke Ellington's measure of quality: beyond category. Beyond names and borders, that is, in a post-racial society. And yet, the word "fusion" — at least in music — has a pejorative c
Natraj and friends expand their neighborhoods
By JON GARELICK  |  January 15, 2010

Good Fela! beats Nigerian drum

Riddle this: what's more unlikely than the fact that the current toast of Broadway is a musical about a Nigerian agitprop pop singer, or that it owes its existence to a Caucasian commodities trader from New England?
Boston and Broadway
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  December 11, 2009

Rhythm queens

It’s a chilly Monday afternoon, and at the head of the lawn in front of the Christian Science Center, Zili Misik are starting soundcheck, bear-hugging their instruments to keep them warm.
The educational ecstasy of Zili Misik
By MATT PARISH  |  October 23, 2009

No new age

Yes, this Boston jazz trio incorporates the sounds of seals, tree frogs, and crickets. Yes, one of them is a working ecologist. Here's why you shouldn't hold that against them.
Earthsound is for real
By JON GARELICK  |  September 25, 2009

No new age

Yes, this Boston jazz trio incorporates the sounds of seals, tree frogs, and crickets. Yes, one of them is a working ecologist. Here's why you shouldn't hold that against them.
Earthsound is for real
By JON GARELICK  |  September 25, 2009


Various Artists | Comfusões

The Portuguese pun on this compilation's title suggests both "confusions" and "with fusions."
Out/Here (2009)
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  July 31, 2009

Music Seen: Femi Kuti, the Loblolly Boy

On record, Femi Kuti can't help but come off as a slightly vanilla version of his mad genius father Fela (popularizer of Afrobeat music, also known for having 12 wives at once, among other things).
And Luke Kalloch
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  July 17, 2009

Pleasure principles

King Sunny Adé's music is bubbly as a tonic — a percolating, pop-infused update of the traditional Yoruba sound. "My songs are made to lift worries, so people can be happy and dance their troubles away," declares the 62-year-old Nigerian world-music sta
King Sunny Adé still brings the beats
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  July 10, 2009

Various artists | Open Strings: 1920s Middle Eastern Recordings

Over the past year, Honest Jon's has released three compilations culled from more than 150,000 78s of early music from the EMI Hayes Archive: music from 1930s Baghdad, early West African music recorded in Britain, and a more general compilation that mo
Honest Jon's (2009)
By DEVIN KING  |  May 08, 2009


Isabel Bayón played an eternal feminine archetype, surrounding herself with proud, seductive gestures.
Female dancers  Isabel Bayón, Soledad Barrios featured in Flamenco festival
By MARCIA B. SIEGEL  |  February 17, 2009


The Year of the Nerd

Barack Obama is many things. Dedicated senator. Devoted husband and father. Adept orator. President-elect. Nerd.
Screw the jocks and prom queens — in 2008, geeks took control of entertainment, pro sports . . . even the White House
By RYAN STEWART  |  December 23, 2008

Soweto Gospel Choir

Last Sunday afternoon, the Soweto Gospel Choir made Symphony Hall history — surely this is the first time that august venue has seen anyone perform a percussion arrangement on a dinner table with plates, knives, and forks.
Hymns from the 26th parallel
By SHAULA CLARK  |  December 02, 2008

Kasai Allstars | Congotronics III: In The 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into A Swimming Fish And Ate The Head Of His Enemy By Magic

The Congotronics franchise has succeeded in making the rawest of African traditional music hip.
Crammed Discs (2008)
By BANNING EYRE  |  November 11, 2008

Basic elements

Boston was a world-music stronghold even before the “world music” genre existed.
The international and roots-music scene heats up
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  September 08, 2008

Festival casualties ’08!

A young man died of meningitis, which doctors believe he contracted by sharing joints with contagious hippies at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival.
A grim reminder that rock can still maim you
By DAVID THORPE  |  July 21, 2008


Hybrid rhythmic engine

Fusions are the lifeblood of music, but too often they come with a whiff of high-concept gimmickry.
Nation Beat is a gas
By JON GARELICK  |  July 15, 2008

Highland Kitchen

It's a restaurant with a menu that goes from diner to bistro without missing a world beat. There’s some pretty good American roots music on the jukebox, too.
Won’t you be our neighbor?
By ROBERT NADEAU  |  June 18, 2008

Arts slashed at the University of Rhode Island

On Tuesday, the University of Rhode Island informed Judith Tolnick Champa, who runs the URI Fine Arts Center Galleries, and Roxana Tourigny, who runs the school’s “Great Performances” program, that they will be laid off, effective July 4, and that the ga
Shockwaves hit the arts community
By GREG COOK  |  June 06, 2008