Category Archives: General News

World Music Summit WOMEX 2017 Seeking Showcase and Conference Proposals

The World Music Expo, WOMEX, is seeking conference, music showcase and film proposals for the 2017 edition. The largest gathering of world music professionals will take place October 25–29, 2017, in Katowice, Poland.

This year, the deadline to make a proposal is Friday, 17 March 2017, earlier than usual.

Proposal website:

headline photo: Noura Mint Seymali performing at WOMEX 2016 in Spain – Photo by Jacob Crawfurd


The Best World Music Albums of 2016

World Music Central presents the Best World Music Albums of 2016. First, we begin with our top 20:


Gerardo Nuñez and Ulf Wakenius – Logos


1. Gerardo Núñez & Ulf Wakenius – Logos – ACT Music
2. Roberto Fonseca – ABUC – Impulse!
3. Bickram Ghosh – Maya, Bickram Ghosh’s Dedication to Ravi Shankar – East Meets West Music
4. Karsh Kale – Up – Six Degrees Records
5. Anoushka Shankar – Land of Gold – Deutsche Grammophon
6. Josemi Carmona & Javier Colina – De Cerca – Universal Music Spain
7. La Banda Morisca – Algarabya – Fol Música
8. Dawda Jobarteh – Transitional Times – Sterns Africa
9. Omar Sosa and Paolo Fresu – Eros – Tuk Music/Ota Records, 2016
10. Aziza Brahim – Abbar el Hamada – Glitterbeat Records
11. Jose Antonio Rodriguez – Adios Muchacho – Jose Antonio Rodriguez
12. Maarja Nuut – Une Meeles– Maarja Nuut
13. Las Hermanas Caronni – Navega Mundos – Les Grands Fleuves
14. Noura Mint Seymali – Arbina – Glitterbeat Records
15. Solas – All These Years – THL Records
16. Mor Karbasi – Ojos de Novia – Mintaka Music
17. Ana Alcaide – Leyenda – ARC Music
18. Harold López-Nussa – El Viaje – Mack Avenue Records
19. Lakou Mizik – Wa Di Yo – Cumbancha
20. Richard Bona & Mandekan Cubano – Heritage – Qwest Records

Next, the best 10 from the editor of the Spanish-language Músicas del Mundo online magazine, Rafael Mieses:

Gino Sitson – Body and Voice


1. Gino Sitson – Body and Voice – Buda Musique
2. Yo-Yo Ma & Silk Road Ensemble – Sing Me Home – Sony Masterworks
3. Marquis Hill – The way we play – Concord Jazz
4. Voxtra – Encounter of Vocal Heritage– Muziek publique
5. Roberto Fonseca – ABUC – Impulse!
6. Michel Camilo & Tomatito – Spain Forever – Verve
7. Elza Soares – The Woman at the End of the World / A Mulher do Fim do Mundo – Mais Um Discos
8. Richard Bona & Mandekan Cubano – Heritage – Qwest Records
9. Jack Dejohnette, Ravi Coltrane, Matthew Garrison – In movement – ECM
10. Harold López-Nussa – El Viaje – Mack Avenue Record

Lastly, we include s the Transglobal World Music Chart (TWMC), co-founded by World Music Central’s Angel Romero

TWMC Best Albums of 2016

Refugees for Refugees – Amerli


1. Refugees for Refugees – Amerli – Muziekpublique
2. Bixiga 70 – III – Glitterbeat Records
3. Aziza Brahim – Abbar el Hamada – Glitterbeat Records
4. Noura Mint Seymali – Arbina – Glitterbeat Records
5. Constantinople & Ablaye Cissoko – Jardins Migrateurs – Ma Case
6. Rokia Traoré – Né So – Nonesuch Records
7. Elza Soares – The Woman at the End of the World / A Mulher do Fim do Mundo – Mais Um Discos
8. Yo-Yo Ma & Silk Road Ensemble – Sing Me Home – Sony Masterworks
9. Kayhan Kalhor, Aynur, Cemîl Qoçgirî & Salman Gambarov – Hawniyaz – Harmonia Mundi
10. Bonga – Recados de Fora – Lusafrica
11. Harold López-Nussa – El Viaje – Mack Avenue Records
12. Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Segal – Musique de Nuit – Nø Førmat! / Six Degrees Records
13. Kristi Stassinopoulou & Stathis Kalyviotis – Nyn – Riverboat Records
14. Ana Alcaide – Leyenda – ARC Music
15. Sam Lee & Friends – The Fade in Time – The Nest Collective
16. Richard Bona & Mandekan Cubano – Heritage – Qwest Records
17. Lakou Mizik – Wa Di Yo – Cumbancha
18. Bombino – Azel – Partisan Records
19. The Gloaming – 2 – Real World Records
20. Las Hermanas Caronni – Navega Mundos – Les Grands Fleuves

To see the TWMC Top 50, go to


Skirball Cultural Center to present traveling exhibition Paul Simon: Words & Music

Paul Simon c. 1975 – Photo by Edie Baskin. Courtesy of Paul Simon

The Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles announced the dates of the traveling exhibition Paul Simon: Words & Music. The presentation will be displayed April 27-September 10, 2017.

The Paul Simon: Words & Music show will guide visitors through Simon’s life and music and illustrate his creative process. On view will be instruments, records, sheet music, handwritten lyrics, photography, costumes, and stage models, as well as listening stations and performance footage covering Simon’s six-decade career.

Exclusively for the Los Angeles presentation, Paul Simon: Words & Music will include additional artifacts from Simon’s private archive and a newly created music lab developed by the Skirball in cooperation with Roland Corporation.


ZZK Films, Producer of Latin American Music Documentaries Launches Indiegogo Campaign

ZZK Films is seeking support for its Indiegogo crowd funding campaign. ZZK Films was launched earlier this year with the release of A Musical Journey. Next are three brand new full length documentaries, ranging from lost golden-age Ecuadorian music record labels to the creative energy following the economic crisis in Argentina:

Analog Memories: In an abandoned office in Quito, a grandson finds the master recordings from his grandfather’s lost record label and discovers the history of the golden age of music in Ecuador.


The Sound of Change: The history of ZZK Records and its impact on the digital cumbia and electronic folklore music scenes and Latin American culture as a whole. Put out in celebration of our 10th anniversary!


The Nu LatAm Sound: The explosion of the internet and democratization of technology has fueled a global musical renaissance. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Latin America, where the mashup of European, African, and indigenous cultures has always created a landscape ripe for innovation. Now, classic traditions are returning to the forefront with all of the energy and richness of the countries they represent. Centuries-old music is being transformed by a new generation and reinvented with raw, unbridled energy.

To support the project go to:


Dominican Merengue Inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

merengue musicians - Photo courtesy of Ministerio de Cultura de República Dominicana
merengue musicians – Photo courtesy of Ministerio de Cultura de República Dominicana

Today, November 30, 2016, UNESCO announced that Dominican merengue music and dance was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The merengue is considered part of the national identity of the Dominican Republic. It is present in people’s daily lives – from their education to social gatherings and celebrations, and even political campaigning.

In 2005, merengue was recognized by presidential decree with November 26 declared National Merengue Day. Merengue festivals are held in cities in the Dominican Republic like Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata every year.

Danced in couples, flirtatious gestures are used as participants move in circles to the rhythm of music played on instruments such as the accordion, drum and saxophone. It is a dance that is usually introduced to learners at an early age.

Knowledge and skills on the practice are transmitted through observation, participation and imitation. The merengue attracts people of different social classes, which helps to promote respect and coexistence among individuals, groups and communities.

The north of the country is considered to be the cradle of merengue with the area of influence extending to Puerto Rico, the United States of America and the Caribbean region.

The merengue is also popular in other Latin American countries such as Venezuela and Colombia where variations have emerged, and countries in Central America.


World Music Artists in Support of ‘Kids Against Malaria’ Project

Acclaimed musicians Martín Perna (Antibalas, Ocote Soul Sounds), Gangbe Brass, several members of Antibalas, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo have participated in the recording of a song to support the Kids Against Malaria initiative. The message of the song is pretty basic: sleep under an insecticide treated mosquito net and get to a medical provider as soon as you’re feeling sick.

The Kids Against Malaria effort started with a song written by teacher Sim D’Souza and his students at an arts and music elementary school in Whydah (Oidah), Benin, called CIAMO. The song reached musician and filmmaker Jon Fine, who produced the song by enlisting the support of renowned Afrobeat and world music artists.

The video is available here:


The “Kids Against Malaria” project was launched. It’s a multi-language musical project focusing on malaria treatment and prevention. With the international team, the producers filmed and recorded in New York City and Benin with support from the United States Embassy in Benin, UNICEF, The President’s Malaria Initiative, USAID, Peace Corps, the CDC, The UN Foundation and Harvard University.

Malaria is still widespread in much of the world. About 3.2 billion people – nearly half the planet’s population – are at risk. The disease, spread by the bite of female mosquitoes infected with Plasmodium parasites, is generally deadly for pregnant women and children under the age of five. It’s estimated that 1,200 children a day are dying from malaria around the world. Malaria is both preventable and curable.

All the proceeds from downloads, music videos, ringtones, educational videos, and social media initiatives, earned from the song will benefit CIAMO School of Music (for arts education), The UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign (to purchase nets) and Harvard University’s Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe initiative (for Malaria research).

For more on information about the Kids Against Malaria project, visit


British Publication fRoots Announces The 31st Annual fRoots Critics Poll 2016 Nominees


British magazine fRoots has announced the Album of the Year nominees in the areas of what they describe as folk, roots and world music. The poll participants include hundreds of writers, broadcasters and activists from the UK and abroad.

Nominees for New Album Of 2016 (listed alphabetically)

Aziza Brahim – Abbar El Hamada (Glitterbeat)
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker – Overnight (Rough Trade)
Shirley Collins – Lodestar (Domino)
The Furrow Collective – Wild Hog (Hudson)
The Gloaming – 2 (Real World)
Leyla McCalla – A Day For The Hunter, A Day For The Prey (Jazz Village)
Jim Moray – Upcetera (NIAG)
Maarja Nuut – Une Meeles (Maarja Nuut)
Refugees For Refugees – Amerli (Muziekpublique)
Kristi Stassinopoulou & Stathis Kalyviotis – Nyn (Riverboat)

Nominees for Reissue/Compilation Album Of 2016 (listed alphabetically)

Bitori – Legend Of Funana – The Forbidden Music Of The Cape Verde Islands (Analog Africa)
Sandy Denny – I’ve Always Kept A Unicorn (Island)
Various Artists – Khmer Rouge Survivors – They Will Kill You If You Cry (Glitterbeat)
Various Artists – Music Of Morocco From The Library Of Congress, Recorded By Paul Bowles 1959 (Dust To Digital)
Various Artists – Space Echo – The Mystery Behind The Cosmic Sound Of Cabo Verde Finally Revealed (Analog Africa)
Various Artists – Urgent Jumping! (Stern’s)

This year’s winners, including the winner of Best Packaged Album Of 2016, will be exclusively revealed by BBC Radio 3 during their World On 3 broadcast from 11 pm on Friday, November 25th, presented by Kathryn Tickell, and in the Jan/Feb 2017 double issue of fRoots magazine from December 6th.


Tinariwen Release Advance of ‘Sastanàqqàm’, the first single from forthcoming new album Elwan

Tinariwen - Photo by Thomas Dorn
Tinariwen – Photo by Thomas Dorn

Malian desert blues band Tinariwen has released a video advance of ‘Sastanàqqàm,’ the first single from the band’s upcoming new album, Elwan, scheduled for release released on February 10th 2017 on Wedge.

In 2014, Tinariwen stopped at Rancho de la Luna studios in the desert of California’s Joshua Tree National Park. Guitarist Matt Sweeny, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kurt Vile, musician and vocalist Alan Johannes recorded sessions with the Malian band, engineered by Andrew Schepps, who has worked with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Johnny Cash, and Jay Z.

Two years later in M’Hamid El Ghizlane, an oasis in southern Morocco, near the Algerian frontier, Tinariwen set up their tents to record, accompanied by the local musical youth and a Ganga ensemble of Gnawa musicians.

Buy Elwan


WOMEX 2016 Opened Yesterday in Santiago de Compostela with a Tribute to Spanish Music

Carmen Paris at WOMEX 2016 opening ceremony - Photo by Van Nieuwland
Carmen Paris at WOMEX 2016 opening ceremony – Photo by Van Nieuwland

World music expo, WOMEX, opened yesterday in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The trade fair this year includes 291 booths from companies around the world.

The official opening ceremony took place at the filled-to-capacity Auditorio de Galicia. The concert revolved around the theme of ‘Iberians – Music Tapas Menu’, featuring musical appetizers from around Spain’s regions, including Aragon, Catalonia, the Basque Country and the host region Galicia. The performances were directed by Galician musician and producer Pedro Pascual.

Five acts were featured: Carmen París (Aragon), Cuarteto Caramuxo (Galicia), Kepa Junkera (Basque Country), Maria Arnal & Marcel Bagés (Catalonia), and Talabarte (Galicia).

The recently re-elected President of Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo said: “Hosting WOMEX for the second time in three years is a privilege that only the most distinguished cities can enjoy, another opportunity for them to introduce themselves to Europe and to let Europe and the world likewise introduce themselves in those cities“.

The musical discoveries of the Iberian Peninsula, including Galicia, will continue with the Atlantic Connections stage as a part of the WOMEX Showcase Festival running throughout the next three nights in the ancient town of Santiago de Compostela. Overall, the concert program includes more than 60 acts comprising nearly 300 performing artists on 7 stages from 43 countries, as well as the WOMEX Film Nights and daytime screenings.

The WOMEX Awards will take place on Sunday, with Calypso Rose receiving the Artist Award.

More at


Mundial Montreal Announces 2016 Program

Mundial Montreal world music market, a showcase and conference held in Montreal, revealed the Mundial Montreal “Music Without Borders” 2016 program.

The festival will open with the folk-inspired, contemporary sounds of the South Korean band Coreyah. Other international artists include Trad.Attack!, 9Bach, Frigg, and Ellika, Solo & Rafael.

The Aboriginal Sounds Series will showcase Canadian acts IsKwé, Nick Sherman, Logan Staats, The Jerry Cans, and Moe Clark.

Official Showcase Selection – List of artists

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

April Verch Band
Pembroke, Ontario, Canada

Seoul, Korea

David Greely
Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, USA

Helsinki, Finland

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

La Yegros
Montpellier, France

Las Cafeteras
Los Angeles, California, USA

Lenka Lichtenberg & Fray
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Logan Staats
Brantford Six Nations, Ontario, Canada

Miguel de Armas Quarter
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Moe Clark
Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Moody Amiri
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Nick Sherman
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Paulo Ramos
Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Poirier Migration Soundsystem
Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Proyecto Iré
Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Sonido Pesao
Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Stella Gonis
Fort de France, Martinique

The Jerry Cans
Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada

Tallinn, Estonia

Villalobos Brothers
New York, USA

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Opening Night presented by KAMS 15 Nov – 9:00 p.m. – Cabaret Lion d’Or

Wednesday Night Music Without Borders Showcase 16 Nov – 8:30 p.m. – Café/Petit Campus

Thursday Back And Forth Night 17 Nov – 8:00 p.m. – Divan Orange/Club Balattou

Niyaz – The Fourth Light Project 18 Nov – 8:00 p.m. – Theatre Outremont

La Yegros/Las Cafeteras presented by Nuits d’Afrique 18 Nov – 9 p.m. – Le National

Poirier Migration Sound System 18 Nov – 10:00 p.m. – Club Soda

Free Afternoon Showcases
16 Nov – 3:30 p.m. – Café/Petit Campus
17 Nov – 3:30 p.m. – Divan Orange
18 Nov – 2:30 p.m. – St. John the Evangelist (Red Roof)

After party Sonora Mundial! – 19 Nov – 9:00 p.m. – Groove Nation