All posts by World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

Crashfest, Boston’s World Music Festival Announces 2020 Lineup

Crashfest, an annual world music festival held in Boston (Massachusetts, USA) is set to take place February 22, 2020 at the House of Blues Boston.

The global music artists scheduled to perform include Fela! The Concert, a 10-piece band from the hit Broadway show about Fela Kuti, the creator of Afrobeat; renowned Malian vocalist and guitarist Fatoumata Diawara; Bokanté, a world music project featuring members of Snarky Puppy; New Orleans outfit Cha Wa; Venezuela’s Betsayda Machado; Mozambican guitarist Albino Mbie; the Colombian sounds of multinational band Los Cumpleaños; the Assam beats of Immi & The Mahoots; klezmer from Ezekiel’s Wheels; dancers Wondertwins; the tap, flamenco and Kathak of female trio Soles of Duende; and South African rapper Sho Madjozi.

More at


Flamenco Jazz Masters Benavent, Di Geraldo and Pardo Release “Flamenco Leaks”

Benavent, Di Geraldo and Pardo – Flamenco Leaks

Flamenco Leaks is the new musical project of three great Spanish flamenco jazz musicians: Carles Benavent (electric bass), Tino di Geraldo (drums) and Jorge Pardo (saxophone and flute). Flamenco Leaks is their third album overall and second studio recording.

Back in 2000, the trio released their now legendary El Concierto en Sevilla (Concert in Seville).


First Artists for Knockengorroch Festival 2020 Announced

Afro Celt Sound System

The first acts set to perform at Knockengorroch Festival 2020 have been revealed. The lineup includes a thrilling roster of traditional, electronic and world music acts. Knockengorroch will be held from Thursday, May 21 to Sunday, May 24, 2020 in Carsphairn, Scotland.

Much-admired European and African collective Afro Celt Sound System is among the first acts announced. The Afro Celts play a unique mix of Irish traditional music, African roots and transfixing electronic rhythms and bass lines.

Kel Assouf in 2018 – Photo by Cayo Scheyven

Other highlights unveiled include Tuareg desert blues band Kel Assouf, the excellent Scottish contemporary folk band Shooglenifty, folk pop crossover band The Poozies, and the klezmer and world music band Moishe’s Bagel (Scotland).


Knockengorroch Festival organizer, Liz Holmes, stated: “The lineup for our 34th festival reflects the mix of traditional and electronic music from home and abroad which makes this festival so special and we’re very excited to unveil the first names on our bill for next year. We can’t wait to welcome familiar and new faces back to the event in May to experience the diversity, inclusiveness, liberating atmosphere and musical celebration of Knockengorroch.”

The festival will also feature environment and heritage workshops and activities, dancing, comedy, theater shows, arts and crafts and lots for the kids.

More at Knockengorroch Festival.


Saharawi Artist Aziza Brahim Tops the December 2019 Transglobal World Music Chart

The album Sahari by Saharawi vocalist Aziza Brahim is the top album in the December 2019 Transglobal World Music Chart. Aziza worked with the renowned Spanish world music artist Amparo Sánchez of the band Amparanoia on the album’s pre-production, and the focus of Sahari’s sound, although rooted in Saharawi tradition, is broader, with programming and keyboards a vital part of the new style.

Aziza Brahim – Sahari

Aziza grew up in a refugee camp in the Algerian desert, together with thousands of other Saharawi who were removed from their homes in the Western Sahara. She currently lives in Spain.

  1. Aziza Brahim – Sahari – Glitterbeat
  2. Lakou Mizik – HaitiaNola – Cumbancha
  3. Asmâa Hamzaoui & Bnat Timbouktou – Oulad Lghaba – Ajabu!
  4. Tinariwen – Amadjar – Anti- / Wedge / PIAS
  5. The Garifuna Collective – Aban – Stonetree
  6. Ballaké Sissoko & Baba Sissoko – Sissoko & Sissoko –
  7. Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal, Jesse Paris Smith – Songs from the Bardo – Smithsonian Folkways
  8. Petroloukas Halkias & Vasilis Kostas – The Soul of Epirus – Artway-Technotropon
  9. Habib Koité – Kharifa – Contre-Jour
  10. Kayhan Kalhor, Rembrandt Frerichs, Tony Overwater, Vinsent Planjer – It’s Still Autumn – Kepera
  11. Otava Yo – Do You Love – ARC Music
  12. Mah Damba – Hakili Kélé – Buda Musique
  13. Rachid Taha – Je Suis Africain – Naïve
  14. The Yandong Grand Singers – Everyone Listen Close / Wanp-Wanp Jangl Kap – Pan
  15. Acid Arab – Jdid – Crammed Discs
  16. Lamia Bèdioui & Solis Barki – Fin’Amor- LBedioui Music Production
  17. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Party – Live at WOMAD 1985 – Real World
  18. The Good Ones – Rwanda, You Should Be Loved – Anti
  19. Lajkó Félix & Vołosi – Lajkó Félix & Vołosi – Fonó
  20. Blato Zlato – In the Wake – Blato Zlato

More at


Lakou Mizik and Preservation Hall Jazz Band Double Bill at The Fillmore in San Francisco

Lakou Mizik

The iconic Fillmore club in San Francisco, California has announced a Lakou Mizik and Preservation Hall Jazz Band double bill this New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2019. The event will bring together the music of Haiti and New Orleans as represented on the new Lakou Mizik album HaitiaNola.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Preservation Hall Jazz Band released So It Is in 2017, an album that incorporates Cuban, Afrobeat and other influences.


Mamadou Diabaté, Diabel Cissokho and Sourakata Koité to Perform at Jazz Café in London

Three leading instrumentalists from West Africa are set to perform at the Jazz Café in London, UK on Wednesday, December 4, 2019.  The show will feature Mamadou Diabaté (Burkina Faso), Diabel Cissokho (Senegal) and Sourakata Koité (Senegal).

Mamadou Diabate (not to be confused with the kora player with the same name) is a balafon maestro and composer born in Burkina Faso with an impressive technique.

Diabel Cissokho was Baaba Maal’s kora player. He has toured internationally with his family’s band Bannaya, as well as with renowned musicians like Cheikh Lo, Ernest Ranglin and Youssou N’Dour.

Mamadou Diabaté, Diabel Cissokho and Sourakata Koité

Sourakata Koite is a Paris-based kora master from Senegal. His 1984 debut album En Hollande was reissued by Awesome Tapes From Africa.

Jazz Café, 5 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7PG, UK


The 22nd National Flamenco Art Contest Of Córdoba Announces 2019 Winners

The National Flamenco Art Contest of Córdoba (Concurso Nacional de Arte Flamenco de Córdoba) has announced the 2019 winners. The contest took place at the Gran Teatro in Cordoba (Spain) on November 17 to 20, 2019.

The jury selected the following winners and finalists:

Baile (Dance)

Florencia Oz

Unanimously grant the Dance Prize (11,000 euros and diploma) to Florencia O’Ryan Zúñiga, artistically known as Florencia Oz. Florencia is originally from Chile and currently resides in Seville, Spain.

Recognize as Dance Finalists (2,500 euros and diploma): Águeda García de Saavedra Jiménez (artistically known as Águeda Saavedra); Hugo López Luque; and Isabel Rodríguez Jiménez.


José Fermín Fernández

Unanimously grant the Guitar Prize (11,000 euros and diploma) to José Fermín Fernández Fernández from Badajoz, Spain.

Recognize as Guitar Finalists (2,500 euros and diploma): Agustín Carbonell Serrano (aka Agustín Carbonell “Ball”); Alberto López Martínez; and Álvaro Pérez Álvarez (aka Álvaro Martinete).

Cante (Song)

El Perrete

Unanimously grant the Cante Prize (Song Prize) (11,000 euros and diploma) to Francisco Escudero Marques (artistically known as El Perrete), from Granada, Spain.

Recognize as Cante Finalists (2,500 euros and diploma): Enrique Ángel García (artistically known as Enrique Afanador); Rocío Belén Cuesta; and Maria Ángeles Martínez Toledano (artistically known as Ángeles Toledano).

The contestants who have won the Cante, Dance and Guitar prizes will perform at a gala that will take place at the Grand Theater of Cordoba on Saturday, November 23, at 8:30 p.m., during which time the awards ceremony will take place.

headline photo: Florencia Oz


The Recording Academy Announces World Music Nominees For The 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards

Bokanté – Photo by York Tillyer

The Recording Academy unveiled today the nominees for the 62nd GRAMMY Awards. The Nominees in the Best World Music Album category are:

Gece by Altin Gün

What Heat by Bokanté & Metropole Orkest conducted by Jules Buckley

African Giant by Burna Boy

Fanm D’ayiti by Nathalie Joachim with Spektral Quartet

Celia by Angelique Kidjo

For a complete nominations list, go to


Jamaican Reggae singer Jah9 Releases Ma’at Single

Jah9 – Photo by Wade Rhoden

Jamaican vocalist and yogi Jah9 has released her new single “Ma’at (Each Man),” accompanied by a scenic visual directed by Samo Kush I. Jah9’s new track is the follow-up to her hit “Heaven (Ready Fi Di Feeling).”

“Ma’at (Each Man)” combines spoken word and melodies over a pulsating dub bassline.

The title “Ma’at” is derived from the ancient Kemetic (African) system of spiritual cultivation. The principles of truth, justice, balance, order and harmony govern all aspects of life and when these divine laws are put into practice it culminates in man’s evolution towards divinity. The chorus itself invites the listeners to “keep it light as a feather,” inspired by an analogy on how the dead would be judged based on how they live. Their hearts would be weighed against a feather on a scale to determine their ultimate resting place. These principles are a key part of Jah9’s life and yoga practice, which heavily feature Egyptian kemetic sequences.

I speak about the karmic cycle and its real implications for the individual relative to their actions. No actions go unnoticed, and I am ever reminded that what we pay, will be weighed, when we meet our judgement day. For I, it represents a coming of age, an initiation into the real meaning of social & personal responsibility, an understanding that fosters self-discipline and strength of will; the key tools for rising above karmic forces,” Jah9 explains.

Buy Ma’at