All posts by World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

Refugees for Refugees Announce Amina Release Tour

Refugees for Refugees

World music ensemble Refugees for Refugees has announced an upcoming European tour to celebrate the release of its new album Amina.

Tour Dates:

16/02/2019 – Ancienne Belgiumlgique (Brussels, Belgium)
17/02/2019 – De Roma (Antwerpen, Belgium)
01/03/2019 – Salle Philharmonique de Liège (Belgium)
02/03/2019 – Maison Culturelle d’Ath (Belgium)
09/03/2019 – HandelsBelgiumurs (Gent, Belgium)
13/03/2019 – C-Mine (Genk, Belgium)
28/03/2019 – CC Brugge (Belgium)
29/03/2019 – Espace Ronny Coutteure (Grenay, France)
03/04/2019 – CC de Comines-Warneton (Belgium)
06/04/2019 – Centre culturel régional Action Sud (Viroinval, Belgium)
10/05/2019 – Ferme du Biéreau (Belgium)
16/05/2019 – Ter Vesten (Belgiumveren, Belgium)
28/05/2019 – Teatro do Trindade (Lisbon, Portugal)
29/05/2019 – Teatro Garcia de Resende (Evora, Portugal)
17/05/2019 – Quintet – Archipel 2019 (Brussels, Belgium)
13/07/2019 – Brosella Festival (Brussels, Belgium)
26/07/2019 – Glatt & Verkehrt Festival (Krems, Austria)


JM International Announces a New Character for Global Folk Music Program

The global youth-music nonprofit, JM International (JMI), has announced a new development to its Ethno program. 2019 will mark the beginning of a 3-year project to strengthen the program’s effect, outreaching more young musicians worldwide, strengthening the program’s organizational capacity and bringing greater attention to the vital work being done through Ethno.

JM International reports that access to music education and opportunities for youth around the globe are currently inadequate and mostly available only to those with the economic resources to access them. These new opportunities will allow young people to develop skills in music, enhance their personal growth, and to expose them to their own and other cultures.

Ethno is JM International’s program for folk, world and traditional music, directed at young musicians (13-30). Founded in 1990 in Falun, Sweden, Ethno’s mission is to revive, invigorate and disseminate our global traditional musical heritage. Today Ethno is present in over 20 countries, running a series of annual international music camps, workshops and concerts that promote peace, tolerance and understanding.

At the core of Ethno lies its democratic peer-to-peer learning approach, where young musicians teach each other the music from their countries and cultures. This non-formal pedagogy provides a unique opportunity for young people from across the globe to come together and engage through music, in a manner characterized by respect, generosity and openness.

Ethno workshop

This project is made possible through a grant from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, and new efforts will focus on five distinct pillars:

Ethno Mobility – An average of 100 young musicians annually will receive a full scholarship to attend various Ethnos around the world, covering their flights, transport, food, accommodation and participation.

Ethno Research – A 3-year Ethno research project will be carried out by the International Centre for Community Music based in York St. John’s University in the UK. The study will focus on the efefct that Ethno has had on the lives of young musicians, personally and professionally, over the past 30 years.

Ethno USA – The establishment of the first-ever Ethno on US soil. Beginning with a stakeholder meeting in 2019, followed by Ethno USA in 2020 and 2021 in the Midwest, bringing the world to the USA and the diversity of the USA to the world.

 Ethno Organisers Annual Training – A peer-2-peer annual training for all organizers of the Ethno program, strengthening and building capacity amongst organizers, sharing best practices and creating a more sustainable program together.    

Ethno Organisational Support – An investment into the human and material resources needed to carry out the Ethno program, ensuring that Ethno’s outreach and effect only continue to grow and reach more and more people worldwide.

Ethno workshop

This new development to the Ethno program is set to broaden the cultural horizons of many young people, and in a time when the world is in increased need of open, respectful dialogue between its peoples and nations through music.

More about Ethno


Leading World Music conference WOMEX 2019 Call for Proposals Now Open

WOMEX, the World Music Expo is welcoming showcase, film and conference proposals from artists, bands, DJs and producers, filmmakers, industry experts and creative thinkers. WOMEX 2019 will take place in Tampere, Finland, October 23 – 27, 2019.

The pool of proposals will be selected by an independent, international and annually changing jury, also known as the Seven Samurai.

Proposals can be made in four categories: Showcase, Club Summit, Film and Conference and can be submitted from the dedicated website:

The deadline for proposals for WOMEX 2019 is Friday, March 22, 2019.

Headline photo: Tampere, Koski panorama – Photo by Juha Suhonen


Celebrated Zimbabwean Musician Oliver Mtukudzi Dies at 66

Oliver Mtukudzi

Oliver Mtukudzi, one of the most important figures in Zimbabwean music in the past decades, died on January 23, 2019 at the Avenues Clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Oliver Mtukudzi, also known as “Tuku,” was born on September 22, 1952 in Harare. He was an acclaimed guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, composer, actor, philanthropist, human rights activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the southern Africa Region.

For more information, read his full biography.


New Orleans to Host 2020 Folk Alliance International Conference

Folk Alliance International announced that its 32nd music conference will head to the effervescent port city of New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, home to Cajun and zydeco, and Mardi Gras. The conference will take place January 22-26, 2020 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel on Canal Street.

The 2020 conference theme is “The Story of People and Place” and will explore ideas of diversity, inclusion, immigration, intersection, and influence.

As a historical center of trade, New Orleans has long been a setting for people to overcome language and cultural barriers by connecting through music and cuisine. With the theme as a guide, the conference will highlight collaboration and how location affects shared identities, art, and forms of expression. Ultimately each person has a story (especially as folk musicians) of who they are, where they are from, and how the places they live in shape them.

More at


Paolo Angeli’s Sardinian Take on Radiohead

Paolo Angeli – 22.22 Free Radiohead

Italian guitarist Paolo Angeli has a new album titled 22.22 Free Radiohead (AnMa RER megacorp, 2019) where he showcases his extraordinary extended Sardinian guitar. The instrument is larger than a standard guitar and augmented with two banks of sympathetic strings, a set of foot operated hammers (each linked to a primary string) and a series of motorized propellers.

22.22 Free Radiohead features Angeli’s recreations of songs by Radiohead as well as traditional Sardinian music.


Tuareg guitar Hero Mdou Moctar to Perform at Gramps in Miami

Mdou Moctar

One of the rising stars of Tuareg desert blues, Mdou Moctar, is set to perform on Friday, January 18, 2019 at Gramps in Miami.

Nigerien Mdou Moctar is in position to become the next big guitar hero in Saharan Tuareg music, following in the footsteps of Tinariwen and Bombino. His discography includes Sousoume Tamachek and Afelan.

This concert is a part of Rhythm Foundation’s Festival in the Desert Caravan concert series.
10:00 pm – 11:59 pm

Doors Open: 9pm, Show Time: 10pm– Free with RSVP


A celebration of the Divine Feminine in Song This Friday in San Francisco

Sixteen of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most captivating voices in early, ethnic, and new music will gather together to celebrate nearly 1000 years of female creativity in San Francisco’s majestic Grace Cathedral. The concert will take place Friday, January 18, 2019 at 7:30 pm, on the Eve of the 2019 Women’s March!


This contemplative, immersive program showcases Vajra Voices and Kitka singing works by the 12th century mystic Hildegard von Bingen, alongside traditional and contemporary settings of melodies in praise of the divine feminine from Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, and Russia. Kitka recently released Evening Star.

Vajra Voices

The show will also unveil new works inspired by the writings of the 12th century Taoist woman poet Sun Bu’er and Hildegard by Bay Area composer-performers Theresa Wong and Shira Kammen.

Tickets at