All posts by World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

Mundial Montreal 2018 Announces Closing Night show

Canadian world music showcase Mundial Montreal has announced the artists scheduled to perform on November 16. Mundial Montreal’s closing party, presented in collaboration with la Coop Les Faux-Monnayeurs, 1 2 3 GO Productions, and ICI Musique, will brings together 3 leading local acts:

8:00 PM – Nomad’Stones are the 2018-19 Révélations Radio-Canada in World Music.
8:40 PM – Daby Touré presents the world premiere of his new show
9:40 PM – Ayrad is launching their new album, Zoubida. Each ticket comes with a download of the album.

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globalFEST 2019 Announces Partial Artist Lineup

American world music showcase globalFEST has announced the names of seven of the artists scheduled to perform in 2019. The concerts will take place on January 6, 2019 at the famed Copacabana vanue.

The seven artists announced so far include:

Debashish Bhattacharya (India):
Calcutta’s innovative slide guitar master

Cha Wa (New Orleans/USA):
New Orleans brass driving Mardi Gras Indian funk

Amythyst Kiah (Tennessee/USA):
Southern gothic, alt-country blues

Magos Herrera & Brooklyn Rider: “Dreamers” (Mexico/USA):
Innovative string quartet and lush vocals

Jeremy Dutcher (Tobique/Canada):
Reinvented indigenous Wolastoqiyik songs

B.C.U.C. – Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness (South Africa):
Defiant and hypnotic Soweto sounds

Orquesta Akokán (Cuba/USA):
Powerhouse Cuban son supergroup

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headline photo: Orquesta Akokán


Winners of the 2018 Native American Music Awards Announced

The winners of the 2018 Native American Music Awards were announced on Friday, October 12th, 2918. The 18th Annual Native American Music Awards (NAMA) was held in the Events Center at the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls, New York.

Event highlights included elder, actor Saginaw Grant, winner of Record of the Year for his spoken word contribution to “Don’t Let The Drums Go Silent;” Annie Humphrey who paid tribute to her late brother; and John Trudell, winner of the highly-coveted Artist of the Year; and pianist Connor Chee who performed with his 95 year-old grandfather Keith Chee and won Best New Age Instrumental Song their song, “Beginnings.”

One of the evening’s more touching moments was when The Pine Ridge Flute Society, a ten member group of High School students from the Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation, won for Flutist of the Year. Jaydin Peters, grandson of the group’s teacher Will Peters, gave one of the evening’s more emotional acceptances saying, “Where we come from, a lot of people are struggling, and when we created the Flute Society, we were dealing with suicide ideations in our schools across the reservation. So playing the flute brought us all together as a community and an extended family to create this music so that people can have something to escape to and our homeland can be proud.”

The Native American Music Awards was originally formed in 1998 to provide greater inspiration to Native Youth living on reservations and to offer a national platform to showcase American Indian talent.

Among the evenings performers were Seneca Nation’s traditional female vocal group, Newtown Women Singers Society who appeared with red ribbons on their shirts in honor of #MMIW (Missing Murdered Indigenous Women). Many other artists also wore red ribbons as provided by performer Tracy Lee Nelson and his wife, along with spoken word artist Thana Redhawk. Lee, dedicated one of his songs to raise awareness on the issue with “Every Lady Has A Right”.

Hall of Famer, Mickie James presented this year’s Hall of Fame induction for the late Jesse Ed Davis. Jesse was one of the most highly regarded guitarists and session guitarists of the 1960s and 1970s. He appeared on over 100 albums and recordings and recorded and toured with Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart and the Faces. He also played country with Willie Nelson, soul with Marvin Gaye, blues with B.B. King, pop with Neil Diamond, and folk with Arlo Guthrie. Jesse’s first cousins Richenda Davis Bates and Constance Davis Carter accepted the induction.

Over 16,500 individual voters participated in the Award’s national voting campaign.

2018 Winners:

Artist Of The Year
Annie Humphrey
The Beast and The Garden

Annie Humphrey


Debut Artist Of The Year
Calvin Standing Bear
Fly Eagle Fly

Calvin Standing Bear – Fly Eagle Fly


Debut Group Of The Year
Dreamwalker Suite
People of the Star Orchestra

People of the Star Orchestra


Best Female Artist
Kelly Derrickson
I Am

Kelly Derrickson


Kelly Derrickson – I Am


Flutist Of The Year
Pine Ridge Flute Society
Waziahanhan Siyotanka Okolakiciye


Pine Ridge Flute Society


Pine Ridge Flute Society – Waziahanhan Siyotanka Okolakiciye


Group Of The Year
Twin Flames
Signal Fire


Twin Flames


Twin Flames – Signal Fire


Best Male Artist
Randy Wood

Randy Wood – Family


Best Americana Recording
Cluster Stars
Sandra Sutter

Sandra Sutter – Cluster Stars


Best Blues Recording
Blues Loving Man
Tracy Lee Nelson

Tracy Lee Nelson


Tracy Lee Nelson – Blues Loving Man


Best Country Recording
Never Let Me Go
Desja Eagle Tail

Desja Eagle Tail


Best Folk Recording
Signal Fire
Twin Flames

Best Native American Church Recording
Songs of the Native American Church from Oklahoma Vol 5
Oliver Littlecook, O.J. Littlecook, Kyle Robedeaux

Best Historical Linguistic Recording
Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa
Jeremy Dutcher

Best Spoken Word Recording
Fires of Thunder
Thana Redhawk

Thana Redhawk


Best Instrumental Recording
Steven Rushingwind

Steven Rushingwind


Best Pop Recording
Safe in the Arms of Time
Rita Coolidge

Best Pow Wow Recording
The Journey
Stoney Park

Best Rap Hip Hop Recording
Brave Star



Best Rock Recording
Something Inside Is Broken
Native American Rock Opera by Various Artists

Native American Rock Opera


Best Traditional Recording
Sweat Lodge Songs
Craig Elkshoulder

Best Waila Recording
All For You
O’odham Nights

Record Of The Year
Don’t Let The Drums Go Silent
Saginaw Grant

Saginaw Grant


Song Of The Year
Women and Water
Paco Fralick and Michael Bucher

Paco Fralick & Michael Bucher – Song of the Year


Best Single Recording
Left Right Left
Mickie James

Mickie James


Best Dance Song
Going Back To My Roots
Felipe Rose

Felipe Rose


Best New Age Instrumental Song
Connor Chee

Connor Chee


Best Music Video Concept
Sky World
Supaman, Bear Fox, Teio Swathe

Supaman, Bear Fox, Teio Swathe


Best Music Video Narrative
Lakota Will Live
Terrance. Jade


Best Music Video Performance
Through the Flood
Indian City

Indian City – Best Music Video Performance


Native Heart
Alexander Van Bubenheim
Don’t Let The Drums Go Silent

Best National Radio Program
Pow Wow Radio

Best Indie Artist
P.J. Vegas

Patrick Vegas


Comedian Of The Year
Tonia Jo Hall

Hall Of Fame
Jesse Ed Davis

Richenda Davis Bates and Constance Davis Carter

Zanzibar African Music Festival Sauti za Busara Announces First Set of Artists for 2019


The highly influential African music festival Sauti za Busara has announced the first names of artists set to perform in 2019. The next edition will take place in Old Fort in Stone Town, Zanzibar (Tanzania) during February 7–10, 2019, with 44 performances on three stages.

The artists include Afrigo Band (Uganda); Mokoomba (Zimbabwe); Fid Q (Tanzania); Mkubwa na Wanawe Crew (Tanzania); Ifrikya Spirit (Algeria); Ithrene (Algeria); Fadhilee Itulya (Kenya); Tausi Women’s Taarab (Zanzibar / Tanzania); Rajab Suleiman & Kithara (Zanzibar / Tanzania); Hoba Hoba Spirit (Morocco); M’Toro Chamou (Mayotte / Reunion); Sofaz (Reunion); Tune Recreation Committee (South Africa); Jackie Akello (Uganda); Shamsi Music (Kenya); Dago Roots (Reunion); Trio Kazanchis +2 (Ethiopia / Switzerland); Damian Soul (Tanzania); S Kide & Wakupeti Band (Tanzania); Faith Mussa (Malawi); Lydol (Cameroon); Stone Town Rockerz (Zanzibar / Tanzania); Man Sulei Tara Jazz (Zanzibar / Tanzania); Wamwiduka Band (Tanzania); and Eli Maliki (Uganda).

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Gambian Kora Pioneer and Griot Sona Jobarteh to Perform at The ArtsCenter

Sona Jobarteh, the first female kora virtuosa from a legendary jali (griot) family is set to perform at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, North Caroilina. Sona is the granddaughter of influential Gambian kora master Amadu Bansang Jobarteh.

Born in London and classically trained at the Royal College of Music and the Purcell School, Sona Jobarteh is a member of the Jobartehs (also kown as Diabates in other countries), one of the five major kora-playing jali families from West Africa and the first female member of such a family to rise to fame on this instrument. The kora is a 21-stringed African harp and is one of the most important instruments belonging to the Manding peoples of West Africa (Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau). The kora is traditionally a hereditary musical instrument performed by griot families.


Sona Jobarteh


The kora was solely passed down from father to son. Sona Jobarteh has become the first woman to take up this instrument professionally in a male tradition that dates back over seven centuries.
Sona is a skilled multi-instrumentalist, with an idiosyncratic vocal style and charismatic on stage.

She has quickly risen to international fame in the world music scene after the release of her much-admired album Fasiya (Heritage), released in 2011. In recent years, Sona has headlined major festivals around the world in Brazil, India, South Korea, Ghana, Mexico, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Lithuania, Poland and Malaysia, including a recent performance at the North Carolina Folk Festival in Greensboro.

In addition to her work as performing artists, Sona composed the music for the documentary film Motherland in 2009, constructing a unique mix of European and African sounds, and even going so far as to invent a new instrument, the nkoni (a cross between the kora and the donso ngoni). She teaches the kora in London, and worked with her father, Sanjally Jobarteh, in building a formal music school in the Gambia named after her famous grandfather Amadu Bansang Jobarteh.

The ArtsCenter is located at 300-G E. Main Street in Carrboro. For more information go to


South American Afro-Pacific Band Rio Mira to Perform at The ArtsCenter

Much-admired South American ensemble Rio Mira is set to perform at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina. The concert is part of an American tour that includes music venues and world music festivals.

Rio Mira is a marimba and vocals led ensemble formed by top musicians from Ecuador and Colombia to draw attention to the music of the El Pacífico region along the Pacific coasts of the two countries. Taking its name from the river which runs from Ecuador into Colombia, Rio Mira’s music pays tribute to the coastal city of Esmeraldas and its role in the Afro-Pacific diaspora.

El Pacífico was a refuge for cimarrones, enslaved persons who escaped shipwrecked ships or plantations. Over time, the region’s unique marimba music incorporated the cimarrones’ Afro-Pacific identity as well as West African traditions they had preserved. Today, UNESCO recognizes the music (along with associated chants and dances) as Intangible Cultural Heritage.

At the center of this music, and of Rio Mira’s sound, is the marimba, made of chonta palm wood. The marimba performs both melodic and rhythmic roles in the music and tells the story of its own Bantu roots.

Renowned percussionists Esteban Copete, who is Afro-Colombian, and Larri Preciado, who is Afro-Ecuadorian, bring to their performances a deep knowledge of this folkloric tradition as well as a willingness to engage with new directions and soundscapes to expand the sonic palette of the group. The group also includes Ecuadorian vocalist Karla Kanora and a group of superb percussionists.

Rio Mira – Marimba Del Pacifico

Rio Mira has an album titled Marimba Del Pacifico (Aya Records).

The ArtsCenter is located at 300-G E. Main Street in Carrboro. Box Office at (919) 929-2787.


Darbar Indian Classical Arts Festival 2018

Part of the Darbar Festival 2018 will take place in London during October 25-28. The event promotes Indian classical arts and showcases some of the best current improvised music. The festival is dedicated to Bhai Gurmit Singh Ji Virdee (1937-2005), an inspirational teacher of the tabla. Darbar Festival was first established in 2006 in his memory.

This autumn Darbar Festival will take place at London music venue Barbican for the first time, featuring remarkable world-class musicians:

Thu October 25, 2018

Milton Court, 6.30 p.m.
Rupak Kulkarni + Meeta Pandit

Friday, October 26, 2018

Milton Court, 6.30 p.m.
Soumik Datta + Malladi Brothers

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Milton Court, 10:00 a.m.
Ustad Wasifuddin Dagar

Milton Court, 2:00 p.m.
Sanju Sahai

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Milton Court, 6:30 p.m.
Lalgudi GJR Krishnan & Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi + Omar Dadarkar

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Barbican Hall, 5:30 p.m.
Ustad Shahid Parvez + Parveen Sultana

headline photo: Meeta Pandit


Mundial Montreal Unveils 2018 Music Program

World music showcase Mundial Montreal revealed the full program of the 2018 edition. The event will take place November 13-16, 2018 in Montreal, Canada.

This year’s theme is Mosaic Music. “In Canada there is a mosaic of immigrant influences, where retaining heritage is encouraged, and identity is meant to be expressed, from all corners of the world. We distinguish ourselves with an emerging awareness of the land we have colonized. Everyone but the Indigenous people are immigrants! It is a slow and sometimes painful process, but as we learn more from Indigenous people, we are creating a society that is a model for the world. Harmony, respect, awareness, sensitivity, these are the touch stone words swirling around Mundial Montreal, Canada’s Music Mosaic, in motion,” said Derek Andrews, Artistic Director, Mundial Montreal.

The opening night will feature a mosaic of female-fronted groups artists from different backgrounds, starting with Polish chant group Blisk (Toronto), followed by Haitian-Canadian singer Mélissa Laveaux (France/Canada), janggu percussion master Kim So Ra (Korea), Eastern European electro-folk experimentalists DoVira (Toronto), and finally rumba-flamenco party-starter Marinah (Spain).

Mundial Montreal is also collaborating with KAMS (Korea Arts Management Service)/PAMS (Performing Arts Market Seoul) for the third year in a row to co-present opening night’s music and mingling.
Canada’s diversity will be represented this year with 20+ artists from a large array of backgrounds, including Montrealers Ramon Chicharron (Colombia) and Waahli (Haiti), Torontonians Okan (Cuba), BC-based Farnaz Ohadi & Mashregh Ensemble (Iran) and Itamar Erez (Israel), Gordie Mackeeman and his Rhythm Boys from PEI, and many more.

Adding to international diversity in the program, Mundial will present Fränder (Sweden), Miroca Paris (Cape Verde), and funk-inspired Mardi Gras Indians Cha Wa (USA).

The week will end with a closing party featuring Montrealers Nomad’Stones (2018-19 Révélations ICI Musique), Ayrad (launching their new album!), and Daby Touré (pre-premiering his new show!).

The lineup includes Atlantic String Machine, Aurora, Ayrad, Blisk, Cha Wa, Clarinet Factory, Daby Touré, DoVira, Elle Márjá Eira, Emily Wurramara, Farnaz Ohadi & Mashregh Ensemble, Fränder, Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Itamar Erez, Jeremy Dutcher, Kim So Ra, Kolonien, Marinah, Mélissa Laveaux, Miroca Paris, Nomad’Stones, OKAN, OktoEcho, Perséides, Ramon Chicharron, Riit, Sina Bathaie, Silla and Rise, Socalled, Tamar Ilana & Ventanas, Urban Science Brass Band and Waahli.


The 2018 ACCES Conferences, Showcases and Exhibitions to be Held in Kenya

The Music in Africa Conference for Collaborations, Exchange and Showcases will be held November 15 – 17, 2018 at the Kenya National Theatre in Nairobi.

The Music in Africa Foundation (MIAF) has revealed the artists who will showcase at the pan-African event in Kenya. Eleven acts selected from across the genre spectrum to highlight the different sounds that define contemporary and traditional music in sub-Saharan Africa.

Seun Olota

The acts include Eric Wainaina (Kenya), Makadem (Kenya), Seun Olota (Nigeria), Sahad and The Nataal Patchwork (Senegal), Maia and the Big Sky (Kenya), Siti & The Band (Tanzania), Kidum and the Bodaboda Band (Burundi/Kenya), Djénéba & Fousco (Mali), Suzan Kerunen (Uganda), Winyo (Kenya) and Johnstone Mukabi and Omutibo Stars Band (Kenya).

Organized by the MIAF in a different country every year, ACCES is a pan-African event for music industry professionals to exchange ideas, discover new talent and create business linkages. ACCES 2018 will offer keynote speakers, panel discussions, presentations, networking sessions, exhibitions, showcases, training workshops, and visits to key music industry hubs in Nairobi.

More information at


Anna Hildur to Receive the Tampere Music Award 2018

Anna Hildur

The recipient of this year’s Tampere Music Award is Anna Hildur. She worked over 20 years in the music industry initially as an artist manager and later as Managing Director of Icelandic Music Export and Program Director of the Nordic Music Export program NOMEX, founded in 2009.

Anna Hildur established groundbreaking projects such as the Nordic playlist and the Ja Ja Ja club night and festival, producing over 130 pieces of digital content and live broadcast from performances with Nordic bands. She was also the first chairperson of the European Music Export Exchange.

Anna Hildur’s role in establishing joint operations in Nordic and European music exports has been extraordinary. Nordic co-operation in music export continues to be strong and many of Anna Hildur’s decade-long cooperation models are still in active use.

Anna Hildur is the co-founder and producer of the newly-established, Reykjavik and London based film and TV company Tattarrattat. Anna initially began her career in media as a London-based radio and TV correspondent for Icelandic broadcasting and worked as a researcher and assistant producer on documentaries for NHK and BBC.

Anna is a prominent figure in the global music industry and a true flagbearer of Nordic music. I’ve had the privilege to work with Anna for several years, and she’s one of the most dedicated and sincere people I know in this business. I truly admire the passion and drive she has for her work,” said Tuomo Tähtinen, Managing Director of Fullsteam Agency, who has a long history of work with Anna Hildur on the NOMEX network.

The Tampere Music Award is awarded annually to acknowledge a person, organization or movement that has contributed extraordinarily to the development of the music industry. Award winner Anna Hildur tells about her career and her views on the industry’s development in a keynote interview at Music & Media on Friday, October 5th at 11:45-12:30.
Presented by Music & Media Finland and The City of Tampere, Tampere Music Award will be handed out at the Music & Media Industry Awards.