World Music Central presents the Top 20 World Music Albums of 2019 selected by our staff. Our favorites include the best 20 overall and best regional albums.
Silkroad has announced the dates of its renowned Global Musician Workshop (GMW). The classes will take place at the New England Conservatory in Boston, (Massachusetts, USA), during June 8-14, 2020.
Silkroad’s GMW is a musician training program modeled after the creation of the Silkroad Ensemble and directed by Silkroad cellist Mike Block. By making music together, GMW nurtures a community of globally minded musicians by providing an opportunity for participants to build unanticipated connections, exchange ideas, and learn from musical genres, styles, and traditions from around the world.
GMW is a open to musicians and educators 18 years of age or older from any musical background—university and conservatory students, professional and amateur performers, teachers and teaching artists, with backgrounds in Western classical, jazz, world music, or folk styles.
GMW 2020 Faculty:
Mike Block: Multi-style cello
Maeve Gilchrist: Celtic harp and voice
Sierra Hull: American bluegrass
Balla Kouyaté: Malian balafon
Hankus Netsky: Klezmer multi-instrumentalist
Edward Perez: Afro-Latin bass
Kala Ramnath: Indian Carnatic violin
Bassam Saba: Arabic oud/flute/violin
Shane Shanahan: World percussion
Wu Man: Chinese pipa
More details at silkroad.org/gmw.
Gnawa culture has been inscribed this month in UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Gnawa refers to a series of musical events, performances, communal practices and healing rituals that combine secular and sacred elements, including all-night therapeutic possession rituals.
Originally practiced by groups and individuals transported by the slave trade dating back to the 16th century, Gnawa now forms part of Morocco’s multidimensional culture and identity.
The number of groups and master musicians is steadily growing in Morocco’s villages and major cities and Gnawa groups organize festivals all year round.
More about Gnawa music.
The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage meeting inscribed Mauritius’ Sega Tambour Chagos on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.
Sega tambour Chagos is one of the genres of sega music of Mauritius, created in the Chagos Archipelago. Like other forms of sega, it was born of slavery and is sung in Chagossian Creole.
Sega Tambour Chagos includesthe rhythmic performance of music, song and dance based on the ‘tambour’, a large, round musical instrument that is heated and then played to produce pulsating beats. The lyrics refer to everyday experiences.
Even though Chagossians have endeavored to safeguard Sega Tambour Chagos, there are numerous threats to its sustainability, including the passing away of elders, young people turning to other music genres, and dislocation leading to a loss of memory.
Norway’s practice of traditional music and dance in Setesdal (stev/stevjing has been added to UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
In Setesdal, dance and music go together. The melodies are named after the ‘gangar’ dance and the ‘stev’ songs, habitually performed in intermissions between dancing and music-making, either solo or by two or more singers in dialog with each other.
The dance is performed by couples in a circular motion and the music is played on the Hardanger fiddle and the jaw harp. This tradition has been transmitted uninterruptedly since the 18th century, and continues to progress, with the consistent composition of new songs and tunes.
Irish harping has been added to UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The harp is Ireland’s national symbol and has been played for over 1,000 years. Its captivating bell-like sound celebrates Irish mythology, folklore and literature.
Contemporary gut-strung harpers have maintained the ancient repertoire and safeguarded its continuity while responding to evolving styles.
There has been a major resurgence of interest in harp playing over the past 60 years thanks to a growing appreciation of the harp’s role in Irish culture, language and identity.
Some of the best known harpers in Ireland include Cormac de Barra, Moya Brennan (Máire Brennan), Janet Harbison, Mary O’Hara and Gráinne Hambly.
The traditional skills of crafting and playing the dotar, an Iranian two-string plucked folk instrument is one of the most relevant social and cultural components of the folk music of the ethnic groups and communities of the Dotar regions.
Musicians play the dotar during significant social and cultural occasions such as weddings and ritual ceremonies, as well as in festivals.
The dotar is played together with epic, historical, lyric and gnostic texts that are fundamental to the ethnic history and identity of the performers’ communities.
The music and dance of Dominican Bachata was inscribed on Thursday, December 12th, 2019 in UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Bachata, a genre born in the Dominican Republic, intertwines rhythmic bolero music with Afro-Antillean styles. Overall, the lyrics communicate heartfelt love, passion and nostalgia. Bachata is conventionally performed by a small group of musicians with the guitar as lead instrument, along with percussion accompanied by a bass instrument.
The dance is fervent, including sensual hip movements by couples who perform it at all traditional celebrations in the Dominican Republic. Bachata is learned freely from a young age.
One of the most famous modern bachata stars is Juan Luis Guerra (Grandes Exitos de Juan Luis Guerra y 4.40, greatest hits).
The Transglobal World Music Chart has revealed the list of Best World Music Albums of 2019. Malian musician. Malian act Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba tops the list with the album Miri.
Best Album Of 2019
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba – Miri – Outhere Records
Best Of Subsaharan Africa 2019
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba – Miri – Outhere Records
Best Of North Africa & Middle East 2019
Le Trio Joubran – The Long March – Cooking Vinyl
Best Transregional Album 2019
Kronos Quartet, Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat – Placeless – Kirkelig Kulturverksted
Best Of Asia (Central & East) & Pacific 2019
Minyo Crusaders – Echoes of Japan – Mais Um Records
Best Of Europe 2019
Mara Aranda – Sefarad en el Corazón de Turquía – Mara Aranda
Best Of South America 2019
Cimarrón – Orinoco – Cimarrón Music
Best Of North & Central America 2019
Leyla McCalla – The Capitalist Blues – Jazz Village / PIAS
Best Compilation 2019
Various Artists – Nostalgique Porto Rico: Plenas, guarachas, boleros et chansons jíbaras, 1940-1960 – Buda Musique
TWMC 2019 Top 100
- Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba · Miri · Outhere
- Kronos Quartet, Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat · Placeless · Kirkelig Kulturverksted
- Refugees for Refugees · Amina · Muziekpublique
- Minyo Crusaders · Echoes of Japan · Mais Um
- Mara Aranda · Sefarad en el Corazón de Turquía · Mara Aranda
- Le Trio Joubran · The Long March · Cooking Vinyl
- Urna Chahar-Tugchi featuring Kroke · Ser · Urna Chahar-Tugchi / UCT
- AKA Trio · Joy · Bendigedig
- Vardan Hovanissian & Emre Gültekin · Karin · Muziekpublique
- Dhafer Youssef · Sounds of Mirrors · Anteprima
- Angelique Kidjo · Celia · Verve / Universal Music France
- Cimarrón · Orinoco · Cimarrón Music
- Oratnitza · Alter Ethno · Fusion Embassy
- The Gloaming · 3 · Real World
- Janusz Prusinowski Kompania · Po śladach / In the footsteps · Słuchaj Uchem / Buda Musique
- Salif Keita · Un Autre Blanc · Naïve
- Alim Qasimov and Michel Godard · Awakening · Buda Musique
- Altın Gün · Gece · Glitterbeat
- Tartit · Amankor / The Exile · Riverboat / World Music Network
- Kel Assouf · Black Tenere · Glitterbeat
- Rodopi Ensemble · Thraki: Thrace, the Paths of Dionysus · ARC Music
- Dona Onete · Rebujo · AmpliDiversão / Mais Um
- Waed Bouhassoun · Safar: Les Âmes Retrouvées · Buda Musique
- Belonoga · Through the Eyes of the Earth · NarRator
- Ukandanz · Yeketelale · Buda Musique
- Leyla McCalla · The Capitalist Blues · Jazz Village / PIAS
- Las Hermanas Caronni · Santa Plástica · Les Grands Fleuves
- Mísia · Pura Vida (Banda Sonora) · Galileo Music Communication
- Söndörgö · Nyolc 8 Nyolc · SNDRG Music
- Our Native Daughters · Songs of Our Native Daughters · Smithsonian Folkways
- Afro Celt Sound System · Flight · ECC
- Aziz Sahmaoui & University of Gnawa · Poetic Trance · PIAS
- Oumar Konate · I Love You Inna · Clermont
- Boban Marković Orkestar · Mrak · Fonó
- Moonlight Benjamin · Siltane · Ma Case
- Gaye Su Akyol · İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir · Glitterbeat
- Black Flower · Future Flora · Sdban Ultra
- Dizzy Mandjeku & Alé Kumá · De Palenque à Matongé · Zephyrus
- Alfredo Rodríguez & Pedrito Martínez · Duologue · Mack Avenue
- Lajkó Félix & Vołosi · Lajkó Félix & Vołosi · Fonó
- Debashish Bhattacharya, Hubert Zemler & Wojtek Traczyk · Joy!Guru · Unzipped Fly
- Kanazoé Orkestra · Tolonso · Buda Musique
- Gaiteiros de Lisboa · Bestiário · Uguru
- Park Jiha · Philos · Tak:Til / Glitterbeat
- Dobranotch · Merčedes Kolo · CPL-Music
- Shooglenifty & Dhun Dhora · Written in Water · Shoogle
- Ali Hassan Kuban · From Nubia to Cairo · Piranha
- Hama Sankare · Niafunke · Clermont Music
- Xiomara Fortuna · Son Verdad · Ileakwa Producciones
- Ifriqiyya Électrique · Laylat el Booree · Glitterbeat
- Manou Gallo · Afro Groove Queen · Contre-Jour
- Tuuletar · Rajatila / Borderline · Bafe’s Factory
- Bokanté + Metropole Orkest · What Heat · Real World
- Zulya · Six Days Loving / Alty Tön Yaratu · Zulya Kamalova
- Africa Express · Egoli · Africa Express
- Olcay Bayır · Rüya: Dream for Anatolia · ARC Music
- SANS · Kulku · Cloud Valley
- Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi · There Is No Other · Nonesuch
- Damily · Valimbilo · Les Disques Bongo Joe
- Equus · Tailwind Home · Equus
- Coşkun Karademir Quartet · Öz / Essence · Kalan
- Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan · Times of Maharajas · ARC Music
- Kitka · Evening Star · Diaphonica
- Yapunto · Yapunto · Yapunto
- Santana · Africa Speaks · Concord
- Kelly Thoma · Ama Kopasoun oi Kairoi (As the Winds Die Down) · Kelly Thoma
- Adir Jan · Layla · Trikont / BGST
- The Garifuna Collective · Aban · Stonetree
- Constantinople & Ablaye Cissoko · Traversées · Ma Case
- Le Vent du Nord · Territoires · Borealis
- Vigüela · A Tiempo Real · ARC Music
- Idan Raichel · And if You Will Come to Me · Cumbancha
- Tinariwen · Amadjar · Anti- / Wedge / PIAS
- Danças Ocultas · Dentro desse Mar · Danças Ocultas
- Áššu · Áššu · Bafe’s Factory
- V.A. · Nostalgique Porto Rico: Plenas, guarachas, boléros et chansons jíbaras, 1940-1960 · Buda Musique
- Yolla Khalife · On the Road · Nagam
- Yann Fañch Kemener · Roudennoù / Traces · Buda Musique
- Voces del Bullerengue · Anónimas & Resilientes · Chaco World Music
- Oum · Daba · Lof Music / MDC
- Rachele Andrioli e Rocco Nigro · Maletiempu · Dodicilune
- Arifa · Secret Poetry · Mundus Productions
- Umut Adan · Bahar · Riverboat / World Music Network
- Mimmo Epifani · Putiferio · Finisterre
- Vassvik · Gákti · Heilo / Grappa Musikkforlag
- Moulay Ahmed El Hassani · Atlas Electric · Hive Mind
- Abdesselam Damoussi and Nour Eddine · Jedba: Spiritual Music from Morocco · ARC Music
- Parno Graszt · Már Nem Szédülök / Rolling Back · Fonó
- Massa Dembele · Alumaye · Izniz
- Kayhan Kalhor, Rembrandt Frerichs, Tony Overwater, Vinsent Planjer · It’s Still Autumn · Kepera
- Amira Kheir · Mystic Dance · Sterns Music
- Tautumeitas · Tautumeitas · CPL-Music
- Lemma · Lemma · Buda Musique
- Hope Masike · The Exorcism of a Spinster · Riverboat / World Music Network
- Tristan Driessens · A Folk Dancer’s Journey · Seyir Muzik
- Mary Ann Kennedy · Glaschu: Hometown Love Song · ARC Music
- Duo Bottasso & Simon Sims Longo · Biserta e Altre Storie · Visage Music
- Kaumaakonga · Taoba · Wantok Music
- Bixiga 70 · Quebra Cabeça · Glitterbeat
- Kongo Dia Ntotila · 360° · Pussyfoot
Morna, a musical genre from Cape Verde was added this week to UNESCO’S Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Morna is a traditional style that incorporates vocals, music, poetry and dance. Morna can be either sung or played only with instruments, primarily string instruments such as the guitar, violin, and cavaquinho.
The lyric poetry can be improvised, with topics including love, departure, separation, reunion, longing and the motherland. It is currently mainly performed in Cape Verdean Creole.
Practitioners include instrumentalists, singers, poets and composers, and morna is performed at significant life events such as weddings, christenings, and family reunions.
The most famous morna singer for many years was the late Cesaria Evora.