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World music news from the editors at World Music Central

David Broza & Friends Announce 2019/2020 Tour, From Haifa to Havana

David Broza and Trio Havana

Singer-songwriter David Broza, one of Israel’s most important recording artists, will embark on a coast-to-coast tour of the United States from September 2019 through March 2020. Broza will present an alternate side of his hit songs with a new Cuban twist.

Performing with Broza on stage is the New York-based Trio Havana, including: Manuel Alejandro Carro, also known as Mannya – Cuban-born singer-songwriter and master percussionist with a style firmly rooted in Latin pop; Yuniel Jiménez “El Guajiro” – master tres guitar player from Santa Clara, Cuba; and Jorge Bringas –celebrated from Havana, Cuba, who played previously with Albita Rodriguez and the late Celia Cruz.

Joining Trio Havana is Itai Kriss, one of the most exciting flute players in the Cuban music scene, with an eclectic style infused with jazz, Latin and middle eastern sounds. Special guests on select tour dates include flamenco singer and flute player, Alfonso Cid from Seville, Spain; and flamenco dancer Xianix Barrera.

David Broza brings together fingerpicking guitar, flamenco rhythms, global sounds and rock. Raised in Israel, Spain and England, Broza has performed worldwide since 1977, when his song “Yihye Tov” appeared on radio, promoting a message of peace.

David Broza is known for his commitment and dedication to several humanitarian projects, especially a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through dialogue, culture, music and tolerance.

Tour Dates 2019/2020:

September 6, 2019 New York, NY Naked Soul, The Rubin Museum
September 28, 2019 Mamaroneck, NY Emelin Theater
November 17, 2019 Philadelphia, PA City Winery
December 14, 2019 Brookline, MA Temple Ohabel Shalom
December 19, 2019 New York, NY The Streicker Center
December 21, 2019 Tucson, AZ Fox Theater
December 22, 2019 Santa Monica, CA The Broad Stage
January 12, 2020 Aventura, FL Aventura Arts & Cultural Center
January 13, 2020 Atlanta, GA City Winery
January 25, 2020 Richmond Hill, ON Centre for the Performing Arts
March 20, 2020 Port Washington, NY Landmark on Main Street
March 21, 2020 South Orange, NJ South Orange Performing Arts Center

More about David Broza


Boston University Announces Second Annual Bu Global Music Festival

Boston University has announced the second annual BU Global Music Festival to be held October 4th and 5th, 2019 on the Boston University Charles River Campus. The festival will be free, open to the public and is intended for all ages.

The festival will include traditional and contemporary international musicians, as well as local world music artists.

Les Filles de Illighadad

The lineup includes Les Filles de Illighadad (Niger) who will bring to the festival the music of rural Niger called “tende” featuring compositions built from vocals, handclaps, and percussion; 47Soul (Palestine/UK) celebrated for inventing their own genre Shamstep, which fuses dub synth sounds with rock elements, hip-hop and pop lyrics in English and Arabic.

Also featured: Gamelan Cudamani (Bali, Indonesia) known for their outstanding creativity; Frontera Bugalú (Mexico/Texas) who perform a combination of high-energy “cumbia” mixed with other traditional Mexican and Latin American rhythms.

Saraswathi Ranganathan (India/US) will treat festival goers to a diverse presentation of the ancient veena; and Congolese band KOKOKO! (Democratic Republic of Congo), known for building their own instruments and blending Congolese and modern music.

Local artists Grooversity (Boston/Brazil) and Eastern Medicine Singers (Algonquin, Rhode Island) will also perform.

The festival is produced by the BU Arts Initiative – Office of the Provost and the College of Fine Arts Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology through the Karbank Fund for Global Music. Musician and BU ethnomusicologist Marié Abe continues to serve as artistic director. Additional support comes from BU Global Programs, BU College of Fine Arts, and BU Dean of Students’ Office, the New England and American Studies Program. WBUR will serve as a media sponsor.

Saraswathi Ranganathan

“BU is very proud to host this festival and to welcome so many talented artists from around the world. Such events have transformative power. They expose us to different experiences, perspectives, and artistic expressions, while helping to break down barriers and bring us closer together,” said Jean Morrison, Provost and Chief Academic Officer of the University.

 “The BU Global Music Festival creates community and inspires greater understanding and respect through our shared passion for music and the performing arts,” expressed Harvey Young, Dean of the College of Fine Arts.

In addition to workshops and demonstrations offered to the public during the festival, this year, the BU Global Music Festival and BU Music Education Department have developed a new opportunity with the Boston Public Schools Office of the Arts, which will connect Boston’s music educators with visiting international musicians for a professional development credit in global music.

“The Boston University Music Education Department and students are excited to partner with Boston Public School music educators for a collaborative professional development opportunity centered around the world music traditions represented at this year’s Global Music Festival,” said Tawnya Smith, BU Assistant Professor in Music Education and member of the BU Provost’s Arts Council.

In addition to music, the Global Bazaar featuring artisan goods for purchase from international and immigrant communities continues this year. On Saturday afternoon guests can also take part in a Cultural Vendor Fair where they can peruse more than a dozen regional cultural and ethnic organizations that offer arts related programming throughout the year.

More information at and


Áššu Wins the German Record Critics’ Award

Áššu – Áššu

Áššu’s album Áššu has won The German Record Critics’ Award (Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik), Longlist 3/2019, Weltmusik (world music).


Áššu includes Ulla Pirttijarvi (Finland) on vocals, joiks; Harald Skullerud (Norway) on percussion, calimba, calabas, harmonium; and Olav Torget (Norway) on baritone guitar, konting, oilcan guitar.

Áššu – Ulla Pirttijärvi

On behalf of the jury, Johannes Kneihs stated “Rough and with electrifying energy, singer Ulla Pirttijärvi from the Finnish part of Lapland “joiks” about people and others bring West African elements into the game – which fits surprisingly well and clearly convincing better than other pop-joik adaptations from Finland or Norway in past years. A rousing debut album, it makes you curious and wants more.”

Áššu – Harald Skullerud
Áššu – Olav Torget

Áššu recently performed at Etno-Espa in Helsinki 9th of August, 2019.


Carnegie Hall Announces World Music Highlights for 2019—2020 Season

New York City’s iconic venue, Carnegie Hall, has announced the world music (including American folk music) concerts for the upcoming 2019-2020 season.

Fall 2019 Highlights: October—December

Benin International Musical

Celebrated Beninese singer Angélique Kidjo will map the voyage of African music and culture around the world throughout her Perspectives series. The series will begin with a program on October 19 in Zankel Hall that features Benin International Musical, a fast-rising ensemble that fuses rock, hip-hop and electronica with traditional music of Benin.

Her series continues with Diaspora Songs, on December 6 observing the effect that African music has had on the international music scene, led by musical director Terence Blanchard featuring The E-Collective and special guests to be announced.

Lionel Loueke

On December 13, Ms. Kidjo will be honored by longtime friend and guitarist Lionel Loueke and his trio in a concert that both celebrates and reinvents many of her beloved songs.

Ms. Kidjo’s Perspectives concludes on March 14, 2020 with Daughter of Independence, a special celebration of her 60th birthday that also honors the anniversary of independence of her native Benin and other West African nations. She will be joined by a cast of stellar guests.

The Milk Carton Kids

The Milk Carton Kids will present their harmonized vocals reminiscent of the Everly Brothers and Simon & Garfunkel to Zankel Hall on November 1 as part of Rosanne Cash’s annual series, American Byways. The folk duo will play songs from their fourth album, All the Things That I Did and All the Things That I Didn’t Do, which earned them a wave of critical praise and a 2018 Grammy nomination.

Rosanne Cash photo by Michael Lavine, Ry Cooder photo by Joachim Cooder

Rosanne Cash and Ry Cooder will come together for a rare joint performance of songs from Johnny Cash’s beloved songbook on November 2. After immediately selling out four dates at the SFJAZZ Center and presenting two additional performances at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House in 2018, the duo brings this highly anticipated concert to New York City for the first time.

Winter / Spring 2020 Highlights: January—May

Two broadly popular groups from Quebec, Le Vent du Nord & De Temps Antan, will come together on January 24 in Zankel Hall in a high-spirited celebration of traditional and contemporary dance tunes and ballads of French-Canadian culture.

The second installment of Rosanne Cash’s American Byways series on April 24 in Zankel Hall features the unadulterated Mississippi Hill Country Blues of multi-instrumentalist Cedric Burnside (grandson of legendary bluesman R. L. Burnside) and guitarist-vocalist Molly Tuttle (daughter of bluegrass star Jack Tuttle). They each celebrate their incredible musical lineage in performances seeped in the southern American roots tradition.

All performances take place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage unless otherwise noted. For ticket information call 212-247-7800 or go to

headline photo: Angelique Kidjo by Danny Clinch


World Music Institute Unveils Fall/Winter 2019-2020 Season

The World Music Institute (WMI) has announced the set of global artists set to perform in New York City during the Fall/Winter 2019-2020 Season. Selected by new Artistic Director Brian Keigher, WMI’s 2019-2020 Season includes world music artists from 15 cultures including five New York City debuts: Finland’s Kardemimmit, Ethiopia’s Girma Bèyènè with French band Akalé Wubé, Cape Verde’s Lucibela, Madagascar’s Toko Telo, and France’s The Bongo Hop.

New venue partnerships include Chelsea Music Hall, Mercury Lounge, and The Sultan Room, with established venues such as Symphony Space, (le) poisson rouge, Littlefield, Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center, and Storm King Art Center remaining as program partners.

Clockwise from left: Lucibela (photo: Alex Tome), Saraswati Ranganathan, Gamelan Çudamani (photo: Jorge Viscera), Kardemimmit (photo: Timmy Träskelin), Väsen, KOKOKO!

WMI 2019-20 Fall/Winter Concert Details

Saraswathi Ranganathan
Sunday, August 25, 2019, 2:00 pm
Storm King Art Center
1 Museum Rd, New Windsor, NY

Presented in Collaboration with Storm King Art Center
Free event with museum admission / Limited unreserved seating

Season Launch Party with Mames Babegenush & Slavic Soul Party
Tuesday, August 27, 2019, Doors: 6:30 pm | Show: 7:00 pm
Mercury Lounge
217 East Houston St, Manhattan

Presented in collaboration with Mercury Lounge

Tickets: $20 Advance | $25 Day of Show
Standing room with limited unreserved seating

Girma Beyene & Akalé Wubé
Ethiopian New Year Celebration
Thursday, September 12, 2019, Doors: 6:30 pm | Show: 7:30 pm
(le) poisson rouge
158 Bleecker St, Manhattan

Tickets: $25 First 100 tickets | $30 Advance | $35
Day of Show | $40 VIP seating
Standing room with reserved VIP seating and limited unreserved seating

Tuesday, September 17, 2019, Doors: 7:30 pm | Show: 8:00 pm
Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
129 W 67th St, Manhattan

Presented with Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
Tickets: $25 | $35

Toko Telo
Friday, September 20, 2019, Doors: 7:00 pm | Show: 8:00 pm
Chelsea Music Hall
407 W 15th St, Manhattan

Tickets: $35. Advance | $40 Day of Show
Standing room with limited reserved seating

Purbayan Chatterjee & Ojas Adhiya
Sunday, September 22, 2019, Doors: 7:30 pm | Show: 8:00 pm
Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
129 W 67th St, Manhattan

Presented with Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
Tickets: $25 | $35

Väsen & Kardemimmit
Thursday, September 26, 2019, Doors: 6:30 pm | Show: 7:30 pm
635 Sackett St, Brooklyn

Standing room with reserved VIP seating and limited unreserved seating
Tickets: $35 Advance | $40 Day of Show | $45 VIP Front Row Seats

Friday, October 4, 2019, Doors: 6:30 pm | Show: 7:30 pm
(le) poisson rouge
158 Bleecker St, Manhattan

Presented in collaboration with (le) poisson rouge

Standing room with limited unreserved seating
Tickets: $20 Advance | $25 Day of Show

Gamelan Çudamani
Sunday, October 6, 2019, Doors: 7:00 pm | Show: 7:30 pm
Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th St, Manhattan

Tickets: $30 | $40 | $45

Julie Fowlis
Thursday, October 10, 2019, Doors: 7:30 pm | Show: 8:00 pm
Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
129 W 67th St, Manhattan

Presented with Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
Tickets: $30 | $40

Flamenco Legends by Javier Limón: The Paco de Lucía Project
Sunday, October 13, 2019, Doors: 7:30 pm | Show: 8:00 pm
Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th St, Manhattan

Tickets: $35 | $45 | $55 | $75 VIP – VIP ticket includes post-concert meet and greet with the performers (limited availability)

Sunday, October 20, 2019, Doors: 7:00 pm | Show: 8:00 pm
(le) poisson rouge
158 Bleecker St, Manhattan

Tickets: $25 First 100 tickets | $30 Advance | $35 Day of Show
Standing room with limited unreserved seating

The Bongo Hop
Friday, November 1, 2019. Doors: 7:00 pm | Show: 8:00 pm
Chelsea Music Hall
407 W 15th St., Manhattan

Tickets: $20 Advance | $25 Day of Show
Standing room with limited unreserved seating

Ani Cordero
Friday, December 6, 2019, Doors: 7:00 pm | Show: 8:00 pm
The Sultan Room
234 Starr Street, Brooklyn

Tickets: $20 Advance. $25 Day of Show

More information at

headline photo: Toko Telo by Studio Smilebox


offWOMEX 2019 Lineup Announced

Eme Alfonso

The World Music Expo (WOMEX) revealed today the artists set to perform as part of the offWOMEX 2019 programing.

offWOMEX provides an additional integrated platform for bands and artists to present themselves and their music to the world music professionals attending WOMEX from around the globe. WOMEX will take place October 23-27, 2019 in Tampere, Finland.

This year’s offWOMEX stage includes a wide range of artists from Spain, Latvia, Canada, Hungary, Cuba and Russia, and are presented and funded by ICEX/Sounds from Spain, Sierra, Basque Music, Eesti Kultuurkapital, Mundial Montréal, Folquébec, Musicaction, FACTOR, Canada Council for the Arts, SODEC, National Cultural Fund of Hungary and the Halmos Bela Program.

The confirmed artists for offWOMEX 19 are:

Digging Roots (Canada)

Eme Alfonso (Cuba)

Leela Gilday (Canada)

Les Grands Hurleurs (Canada)

Oyme (Russia)

Romano Drom (Hungary)

Saucējas (Latvia)

TOPA-K (Korrontzi & DJ Makala) (Spain)

Zagala (Spain)


Iranian Musician Kayhan Kalhor Wins WOMEX Artist Award 2019

Kayhan Kalhor – Photo by Todd Rosenberg

The World Music Expo (WOMEX) announced today that Iranian kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor (Iran/USA) is the winner of the WOMEX Artist Award 2019.

Kalhor is set to receive the prominent award at the 25th anniversary edition of WOMEX in Tampere, Finland, on Sunday, October 27, 2019. Kayhan Kalhor will perform as a duo together with Erdal Erzincan on bağlama in what will be the final concert of WOMEX 2019.

Kayhan Kalhor stated: “Receiving the WOMEX Artist Award means so much to me. The award is recognition of the rich culture of my homeland Iran and an ageless Persian art that thrives and is beloved throughout the world. As forces arise across the globe and push for divisiveness, borders and intolerance, music brings us together and reminds us of our common humanity. As a citizen of the world, I am humbled by this recognition and stand with artists whose music fosters unity.”

The WOMEX 2019 closing ceremony will also include the Award for Professional Excellence and the annual Label Award, both of which are yet to be announced.


Old Town School of Folk Music Announces World Music Wednesday & Global Dance Party Series

Subrata Bhattacharya & Abhisek Lahiri / Lucio Feuillet Quinteto

Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music has announced the new season of its World Music Wednesday & Global Dance Party series. The weekly events provide a showcase of world music and dance featuring some of the finest local and touring talent. Most World Music Wednesday concerts are free with a $10 suggested donation. Global Dance Party ticket prices vary.

Event Schedule:

September 4, 8:30 PM – Mames Babegenush – World Music Wednesday

September 11, 8:30 PM – Subrata Bhattacharya & Abhisek Lahiri / Lucio Feuillet Quinteto – World Music Wednesday

September 18, 7:00 PM – Jeremy Dutcher / The Englewood/Soweto Exchange – World Music Wednesday – World Music Festival Chicago

September 18, 8:30 PM – Beppe Gambetta – World Music Wednesday – Rescheduled from January 30

September 25, 7:00 PM – The Gurdjieff Ensemble / HaitiDansCo – World Music Wednesday – World Music Festival Chicago

September 28, 8:30 PM – Jimmy Träskelin and Tallari – Global Dance Party

October 2, 8:30 PM – Emel Mathlouthi – World Music Wednesday

October 9, 8:30 PM – Sammy Figueroa & His Latin Jazz Explosion – World Music Wednesday

October 16, 8:00 PM – Indigenous Peoples Day Concert Chicago – featuring Frank Waln, Nufolk Rebel Alliance, and OPLIAM – World Music Wednesday

October 23, 8:30 PM – Isabelle Olivier Trio – The O.A.S.I.S. Project – World Music Wednesday

October 30, 8:30 PM – Giovanni Seneca & Andreas Kapsalis – World Music Wednesday

November 1, 8:30 PM – Iré Elese Abure with Orisha Dance Chicago – Global Dance Party

November 6, 8:30 PM – The Bongo Hop – World Music Wednesday

November 13, 8:30 PM – René Izquierdo – New Latin American Music for the Guitar · World Music Wednesday

November 20, 8:30 PM – Nella – World Music Wednesday

November 27, 8:30 PM – Old Town School of Folk Music and Cenzontles present – The Cenzontles Indigenous Celebration · World Music Wednesday

Old Town School of Folk Music
4544 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625


Joseph Tawadros Releases Betrayal of a Sacred Sunflower

Joseph Tawadros -d Betrayal of a Sacred Sunflower

Cairo-born Australian ud virtuoso Joseph Tawadros has a new album titled Betrayal of a Sacred Sunflower.

On this recording, Joseph Tawadros shifted from his customary high energy compositions. Betrayal of Sacred Sunflower is a more thoughtful and contemplative.

The majority of the musical pieces are minimalist and expansive, with long lasting notes giving the listener space to dream and to create their own images.

The album features ud, violin, piano, electric guitar, trombone and percussion.


Rainforest World Music Festival 2020 To Be Held July 10-12

The 23rd edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival will be held on July 10-12 in 2019 in Kuching, Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo).

Irish band Kila at Rainforest World Music Festival – Photo courtesy of Sarawak Tourism Board

As one of Sarawak’s leading tourism attractions, the festival has proven itself to be more than just a music festival but a weekend fiesta celebrated by both locals and tourists.

Festivalgoers at Rainforest World Music Festival – Photo courtesy of Sarawak Tourism Board

The recently held Rainforest World Music Festival 2019, had a capacity crowd of 23,650, with the largest turn out to be on Saturday night.

More about the Rainforest World Music Festival