Are there really rock groups in Tehran? Can a Soviet-era band still tear things apart in Putin’s Russia? What’s new in Brazilian music? And can there really be full music sets available free on the Web? The World’s Marco Werman, co-creator and host of the All Music Is World Music showcase at the Austin, TX, South by Southwest Music Conference, asks and answers those questions in this special program offered by The World. Six concert sets, recorded live, are downloadable as www.theworld.org/globalhits/sxsw2006.shtml from the PBS/WGBH podcast section of iTunes.
These culturally diverse artists occasionally sing in English, but as Werman says, “Once they cop a groove, it doesn’t matter what language they perform in.” Their creativity and high-energy performances prove that the category “world music” is too small to capture the similar motivations, inspirations, and outcomes of pop musicians whatever their roots.
The line-up includes performances by: 127 from Iran, Gecko Turner from Spain,
Refugee All Stars from Sierra Leone, Auktyon from Russia, Lenine from Brazil, and Dengue Fever, whose members are from Cambodia and the U.S.Tehran’s 127 rocks despite ’underground’ status in Iran where their indie-rock, informed by jazz influences and traditional Iranian melodies, only receives a semi-legal status.
Spanish musician, producer and composer Gecko Turner uses music to build bridges
between the cultures of southwest Spain, North African and the Americas. His
afromeño style, combining jazz, reggae, afrobeat and bossa nova, is Spain’s
freshest new sound. Turner was the featured artist on The World’s audio.theworld.org/mp3/glohit/03012006.mp3, Global Hit feature on March 12, 2006.
The Refugee All-Stars lived for nearly a decade in refugee camps in West Africa.
Through music, The Refugee All Stars of Sierra Leone have found purpose and a
source of power by giving a voice to the experiences of those struggling to
Auktyon are a Russian rock band with a totally original sound. For more than 20
years they have made singular rock music with unusual time signatures and
previously unheard musical phrasings. They are revered in a manner similar to
the Grateful Dead by their Russian and Central European fans. Auktyon was the
featured artist on audio.theworld.org/mp3/glohit/03142006.mp3″, The World’s Global Hit feature on March 14, 2006.
A rocker with a post-tropicalia sensibility, the Brazilian songwriter and guitarist Lenine is a multi-Latin Grammy winner and composer of over 500 recorded songs. This Brazilian singer-songwriter combines rock and the traditional sounds of his native Recife. He’s been called Brazil’s answer to Prince.
The 60s-infused Long Beach, California pop group Dengue Fever plays psychedelic
rock with a jazz-funk sensibility. Made up of American rockers fronted by renowned Cambodian vocalist Chhom Nimal, Dengue Fever was also the featured artist on audio.theworld.org/mp3/glohit/01062006.mp3″, The World’s Global Hit feature on January 6, 2006.
The “All Music is World Music” showcase was staged and recorded in Austin, Texas
on March 16, 2006. The bands all graciously agreed to allow their sets to be
recorded for free distribution.
Listener-supported WGBH 89.7 is Boston’s NPR arts and culture station, bringing classical music, NPR news, jazz, blues, folk, and spoken-word programs. The station is an active participant in New England’s vibrant music community, presenting more than 300 performances every year, including live broadcasts and remote recordings from such diverse venues as Tanglewood, the Lowell Folk Festival, the Newport Jazz Festival, and WGBH’s own studios. WGBH 89.7 can be heard online anywhere in the world at www.wgbh.org, and can be heard on Nantucket at WNCK 89.5.
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