National Geographic’s World Music Initiative Brings Geography to Life

Washington (DC), USA – National Geographic announced the launch
of a music initiative that offers consumers the soundtrack of the world, from
traditional roots music to unexpected hybrids from the furthest reaches of the
globe. A groundbreaking, comprehensive world music Web site at

worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com
brings media-rich features, breaking music
news and celebrity DJ playlists to the broadest audience possible.

National Geographic now offers free music video streams, interactive maps, an
online library of resources about the world’s music, 99-cent MP3 downloads and
more at
worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com
, an extension of National Geographic’s
mandate for great storytelling that entertains, engages and informs through
film, print, television and digital media. The Web site is a friendly interface,
giving browsers a chance to discover music by different artists, regions and
over 100 genres. While visitors to the new site will recognize National Geographic’s trademark
approach to the highest quality in visual imagery and editorial content, they
will also find audio content bound to resonate with new audiences. Whether it is
through the electrified Asian Massive tabla beats of
Karsh
Kale
, the bluesy rock riffs of Mali’s

Tinariwen
or the subsonic bass of Colombia’s Sidestepper, National
Geographic’s music offerings marry culture and geography in compelling ways.

Tuareg rebels in the Sahara trade in guns for electric guitars. In the Congo,
trance musicians build wooden microphones with magnets from used car parts. On
the Cook Islands, even the Ministry of Health has a string band, a tradition
that calls for up to 20 ukulele and banjo players. Regardless of individual
tastes, the diverse music from hundreds of countries will bring geography to
life for each listener.

National Geographic has served as a doorway to the world, introducing the
explorer in all of us to exciting new experiences, discoveries and cultures, and
helping us understand the relevance of global events
,” said David Beal,
internationally known musician, composer and former executive at Palm Pictures,
who has been working on the launch of National Geographic’s music initiative for
the past year. “Music brings geography to life. It creates an emotional
connection, builds a sense of community and is the most palpable connection that
most Americans have with other countries and cultures
.”

The Web site was created under the supervision of Beal and Betsy Scolnik, vice
president, content development and operations, National Geographic Digital
Media. “World music is a natural extension of
nationalgeographic.com’s rich
multimedia experience that entertains, informs and engages consumers who are as
passionate about the world’s cultures and the environment as we are
,” said
Scolnik. “World music fans around the world will be able to listen and learn
in one digital experience
.”

National Geographic’s world music content is programmed under the supervision of
Tom Pryor, former editor of Global Rhythm magazine. Together with
CalabashMusic.com, National
Geographic’s site allows listeners to preview and purchase thousands of tracks.
Strategic partners also include LinkTV for video, and Afropop Worldwide and
Global Rhythm for editorial and curatorial content.

About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit
scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and
diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society today works to inspire people to care
about the planet. It reaches more than 350 million people worldwide each month
through its official journal, National Geographic, and four other magazines;
National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; radio programs; films;
books; videos and DVDs; maps; and interactive media. National Geographic has
funded more than 8,000 scientific research projects and supports an education
program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information, visit
nationalgeographic.com.

[Photo: Tinariwen by Eric Mullet].

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