Category Archives: General News

Andrea Parodi World Music Award Call for Submissions

The “Andrea Parodi Award”, the only Italian world music competition, organized by the Andrea Parodi Foundation, is seeking international submissions for its twelfth edition. Registration is free. Submissions must be sent no later than May 31, 2019, using the format on www.fondazioneandreaparodi.it

Submissions must contain:

  • 2 tracks (2 mp3 files, specimens or live recordings or final realizations; indicate with which of the two tracks you intend to compete);
  • lyrics and any translations into Italian of the two passages;
  • artist biography of the competitor (solo or group)

There are many prizes for the winner, including a series of concerts and participations in some of the most important Italian festivals in 2020, such as “European jazz expo” in Sardinia, Folkest in Friuli, Negro Festival in Pertosa (SA), Mei of Faenza, the Parodi Prize ceremony, and other events that will be announced. In addition to this, the winner will receive a grant of 2,500 euros. The winner of the Critics Award will receive a professional-quality music video of the competing piece, funded the Andrea Parodi Foundation.

The finals will take place in Cagliari October 10-12, 2019.

The Award intends to enhance the new trends in world music, artists who mix the so-called folk or ethnic music with sounds and stylistic models of different origins.

From all the entries, the Artistic Commission established by the Foundation will select, anonymously, eight to twelve finalists. The finalists will perform in Cagliari at the “Premio Andrea Parodi” 2018 festival, before a Technical Jury (experts, authors, musicians, poets, writers and songwriters) and a Critical Jury (journalists). Both juries, as in previous years, will be composed of authoritative exponents of the sector.

The event was born to pay tribute to the late Andrea Parodi, an acclaimed Italian musician in the field of world music.

headline photo: Andrea Parodi

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2019 Unsigned Only Music Competition Adds World Music Category

Unsigned Only Music Competition has announced the addition of World Music to its line-up of eligible categories. Unsigned Only Music Competition is designed for all independent artists (including solo artists, groups, and vocalists) who are unsigned to a major label record deal. Unsigned Only’s goal is to give artists exposure, recognition, and validation for their artistry and is the premier music competition in the world for indie and unsigned artists.

“”We are very pleased that World Music artists will now be able to enter the competition and have their music heard by such an esteemed panel of judges,”” said Candace Avery and Jim Morgan, Co-Founders of Unsigned Only. ““We are strongly committed to providing exposure to the different music traditions of the world, and we look forward to providing World Music artists the opportunity to showcase their music on a global platform.””

Oumou Sangare, one of the judges

Judges Include Toots Hibbert (Toots & The Maytals), Mariza, Oumou Sangaré, Tinariwen, and Angel Romero (Founder and Sr. Editor, World Music Central)

Unsigned Only awards more than $150,000 in cash and prizes split among 38 winners, including a $20,000 cash prize to the overall Grand Prize winner. The Grand Prize winner is also awarded one-on-one mentoring by an elite group of record company executives. This is a unique opportunity for an artist to directly network with the highest level of record company professionals and get guidance, advice, and feedback. First Place and Second Place winners will also be selected in each category and awarded prizes.

Since its inception in 2002, Unsigned Only has become an important source for discovering new talent, with five Grand Prize winners having been signed to record deals. Additionally, winners have seen major benefits including securing licensing and publishing deals, getting better gigs, increasing their media coverage, and expanding their fan base.

Categories include: AAA (Adult Album Alternative), AC (Adult Contemporary), Americana, Blues, Christian, Country, EDM, Folk/Singer-Songwriter, Instrumental, Jazz, Latin, Pop/Top 40, R&B/Hip-Hop, Rock, Screen Shot (songs suitable for placement in film/TV/advertising/gaming), Teen (artists 18 years old or younger), Vocal Performance, and World Music.

Entry information is available at www.unsignedonly.com.

Unsigned Only is sponsored by Berklee College of Music; Eventric; Hybrid Studios; Lurssen Mastering; Merch Cat; Musicians Institute; Musician Wellness; Pro Tour Nutrition; Radio Airplay; Shubb Capos; Symphonic Distribution; The Music Business Registry; and Vocal Eze.

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Grants to Perform Abroad Available to American Musicians Through USArtists International

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s USArtists International (USAI) has grants available that support performances by U.S. dance, music, and theater ensembles and solo artists invited to perform at important cultural festivals and performing arts marketplaces anywhere in the world, outside the United States and its territories.

Grants of up to $15,000 are available. The next deadline is April 3, 2019 for engagements between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

Since the program’s creation, USArtists International grantees have showcased the vibrant diversity of U.S. artists and creative expression in the performing arts.

Rivers of Sound Orchestra performed at the November Music Festival in The Netherlands with support from the 2019 USAI program. Credit: Tom Beetz.

To learn more about the program or access the online application, visit the website: www.midatlanticarts.org/grants-programs

USAI is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding and is the only program of its size and scope in the United States.

headline photo: 2019 USAI grantee Ledoh & Salt Farm in HEARTLAND at the International Butoh Festival Thailand. Credit: Terry Hatfield.

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WOMEX 2019 Announces Showcase and Conference Jury and Club Summit Curator

WOMEX 2019 Jury

World Music Expo, WOMEX, has announced the members of the jury that will review showcase and conference proposals for the 2109 edition. WOMEX 2019 will take place in Tampere, Finland.

The Program consists of proposals coming from all over the globe and applications are divided into four categories: ‘Showcase’, ‘Club Summit’, ‘Conference’ and ‘Film’.

The seven curators, four women and three men, are active members of the world music community.

The Showcase Jury:

Alejandra Gómez (Colombia), director, Biche
Amandine Saumonneau (France), coordinator, Zone Franche
Divya Bhatia (India), artist director and producer, Jodhpur RIFF
Tapio Korjus (Finland), managing director, Rockadillo Production OY
Zlata Holušová (Czech Republic), festival director, Colours of Ostrava

The Conference Jury:

Hinurewa te Hau (New Zealand), director, Tamaki Makaurau Matariki Festival Trust
Virgo Sillamaa (Estonia), director, Music Estonia

Club Summit Curator

Emily Dust, renowned DJ, promoter and broadcaster, will be curating the WOMEX Club Summit, a series of customized club nights that feature a line-up of DJs and producers, highlighting the trends, sounds and beats featured on dancefloors across the world.

To apply, visit the dedicated proposal website — www.womex-apply.com

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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

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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: www.womex-apply.com

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

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

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Tanya Tagaq, Keynote Speaker at Folk Alliance International 2019 Conference

Tanya Tagaq

Folk Alliance International has announced Tanya Tagaq as its 2019 keynote speaker. The conference will take place February 13-17 in Montreal, Canada.

She is an acclaimed Inuk throat singer from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic who uses delightful, surprising vocal improvisations that connect traditional roots with contemporary culture.

Tanya is a 2014 Polaris Prize-winning recording artist (Animism), author of a 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlisted novel (Split Tooth), an actress, a painter, and has collaborated extensively with Bjork, Kronos Quartet, Shooglenifty, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

The recipient of multiple Juno Awards (Canada’s top music award) and a Canadian Folk Music Award, her work concentrates on topics ranging from food sovereignty and environmental issues to the plight of women and indigenous peoples.

Tagaq is a mother of two and a Member of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest honors.

For more information about Tanya Yagaq, read her biography.

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The Best World Music Albums of 2018

World Music Central has compiled the list of best world music albums of 2018 selected by our editors and contributors as well as our partners at the Transglobal World Music Chart and our colleagues at the European World Music Chart.

Tom Orr (USA), World Music Central


Moira Smiley – Unzip the Horizon

Moira Smiley – Unzip the Horizon (Moira Smiley Music)
Various Artists – Ska Around the World (Putumayo)
Opium Moon – Opium Moon (Be Why Music)
The Temple Rockers – Festival of Lights (Fresh Roots Records)
Nancy Vieira – Manha Florida (Lusafrica)
Appalatin – Vida (Appalatin)
Ram – August 1791 (Willibelle)
Bombay Rickey – Electric Bhairavi (Cowboys & Indian)
Black Masala – Trains and Moonlight Destinies (Black Masala Music)
Bokante & Metropole Orkest – What Heat (Real World)

Runner Up: Razia – The Road (Razia Said)

The best live event of the year was, without doubt, Moira Smiley’s one-of-a-kind CD release concert, an intimate and truly magical performance in the City of Angels.

Daryana Antipova (Russia), World Music Central and Transglobal World Music Chart


Kalascima – K

1) Kalascima – K (Ponderosa Music & Art)
2) Monsieur Doumani – Angathin (Monsieur Doumani )
3) Solju – Odda Áigodat (Bafe’s Factory)
4) Brigan – Rua San Giacomo (Marocco Music)
5) 47Soul – Balfron Promise (Cooking Vinyl)
6) Eva Salina & Peter Stan – Sudbina: A Portrait of Vida Pavlovic (Vogiton)
7) Yiddish Glory – The Lost Songs of World War II (Six Degrees)
8) Auli & Tautumeitas – Lai Masina Rotajas! (CPL-Music)
9) Gili Yalo – Gili Yalo (Dead Sea)
10) WoWaKin – Kraj za Miastem (WoWaKin)

Dorothy Johnson-Laird (USA), World Music Central


Jupiter & Okwess – Kin Sonic

Jupiter & Okwess – Kin Sonic
Bombino – Deran
Manou Gallou – Afro Groove Queen
Fatoumara Diawara – Fenfo (Something to Say)
Imarhan – Temet
Samite – Resilience
Ebo Taylor – Yen Ara
Orquesta Akokán – Orquesta Akokán
Anandi Bhattacharya – Joys Abound
Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita – Soar

Madanmohan Rao (India), World Music Central and Transglobal World Music Chart


Angelique Kidjo – Remain in Light

Angelique Kidjo – Remain in Light
Barcelona Gipsy balKan Orchestra – Avo Kanto
Baul Meets Saz – Namaz
Cimbalom Brothers – Testvériség / Brotherhood
Hugh Masekela – Masekela 66-76
Indialucia – Acatao
Jivan Gasparyan Duduk Ensemble – Yeraz
Kora Jazz Trio – Part IV
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – Black Times
Stella Chiweshe – Kasahwa: Early Singles

Rafael Mieses (Dominican Republic/USA), Músicas del Mundo and and Transglobal World Music Chart

Chabuco – Encuentro

1- Chabuco – “Encuentro” (Sony Music)
2- Gabacho Maroc – Tawassol (10h10 / Cristal)
3- Malagasy Guitar Masters – Volo Hazo ( Buda Musique)
4- Marta Gómez – La Alegría y el Canto (Aluna)
5- El Naán – La Danza de las Semillas ( El Naán)
6- Ammar 808 – Maghreb United (Glitterbeat)
7- Samba Touré – Wande (Glitterbeat)
8- Ruben Blades & Winton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center “Una noche con Ruben Blades” (Blue Engine Records)
9 – Koum Tara – Koum Tara (Odradek)
10- Toko Telo – Diavola (Anio)

Arthur Shuey (USA), World Music Central


Koum Tara

Koum Tara by Karim Maurice & Sid-Ahmed Belksier
El Berencesa by Hossam Ramzy
Daa Dee by Minyeshu
Battle of Kings by Saor Patrol
Soar by Catrin Finch/Seckou Keita
A Cry For Revolution by Los Rupay
Yiddish Glory – Various Artists
Melodic Circles by Rostami

Angel Romero Ruiz (USA), World Music Central, Músicas del Mundo and Transglobal World Music Chart

Opium Moon – Opium Moon

Opium Moon – Opium Moon – Be Why Music
The Gloaming – Live at the NCH – Real World Records
The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices – Boocheemish – Prophecy
Bokanté + Metropole Orkest – What Heat – Real World Records
Shooglenifty and Dhun Dhora – Written in Water – Shoogle Records
Shadi Fathi, Bijan Chemirani – Delâshena – Buda Musique
Dayramir Gonzalez – The Grand Concourse – Machat Records
Kittel & Co. – Whorls – Compass Records
El Naan – La Danza de las Semillas – El Naan
SANS – Kulku – Cloud Valley

Runner ups:

Plena Libre – Amores en el camino – Plena Libre
Afro Celt Sound System – Flight – ECC Records

Transglobal World Music Chart, Best Albums of 2018

Monsieur Doumani – Angathin

Best Album of 2018
Monsieur Doumani – Angathin – Monsieur Doumani

Best of North Africa & Middle East 2018
Monsieur Doumani – Angathin – Monsieur Doumani

Best Transregional Album 2018
Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita – Soar – Bendigedig

Best of Subsaharan Africa 2018
Fatoumata Diawara – Fenfo – Montuno / Shanachie / Wagram

Best of Europe 2018
El Naán – La Danza de las Semillas – El Naán

Best of Asia (Central & East) & Pacific 2018
Anandi Bhattacharya – Joys Abound – Riverboat / World Music Network

Best of North & Central America 2018
Grupo Mono Blanco – ¡Fandango! Sones Jarochos de Veracruz – Smithsonian Folkways

Best of South America 2018
Son Palenque – Kutu Prieta pa Saranguiá – Palenque

Best Compilation 2018
V.A. – Chikhates & Chioukhs de l’Aïta: Anthologie – Atlas Azawan

World Music Charts Europe – The top 10 in 2018

Fatoumata Diawara – Fenfo

1 – Fatoumata Diawara – Fenfo – 3eme Bureau / Wagram
2 – 3MA / Rajery, Driss El Maloumi, Ballake Sissoko – Anarouz – Mad Minute Music
3 – Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita – Soar – Bendigedig
4 – Marta Gomez – La Alegria y El Canto – Aluna
5 – Dirtmusic – Bu Bir Ruya – Glitterbeat
6 – Samba Toure – Wande – Glitterbeat
7 – Djeneba & Fousco – Kayeba Khasso – Lusafrica
8 – Dur-Dur Band – Dur Dur of Somalia Vol 1 & 2 – Analog Africa
9 – Monsieur Doumani – Angathin – Monsieur Doumani
10 – Calypso Rose – So Calypso! – Because Music

Selected Videos

headline photo: Fatoumata Diawara at Shakori Hills – Photo by Angel Romero

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Jamaican Reggae, Inscribed on Intangible Heritage of Humanity Representative List

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, meeting in Mauritius until 1 December, inscribed reggae on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Representative List seeks to enhance visibility for the traditions and know-how of communities without recognizing standards of excellence or exclusivity.

Originating within the cultural space of marginalized groups, mainly in Western Kingston, the Reggae Music of Jamaica combines musical influences from earlier Jamaican forms as well as Caribbean, North American and Latin strains. Its basic functions as a vehicle of social commentary, as a cathartic experience, and means of praising God remain unchanged, and the music continues to provide a voice for all.

Students are taught how to play it from an early age, and festivals and concerts are central to ensuring its viability.

headline photo: Ky-Mani Marley in performance at the One Love Reggae concert celebrating legend and father Bob Marley – Photo by Steve James, © Semiyah Photography, 2016

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WOMEX 2018 Grand Opening Last Night with Tránsitos Atlánticos

The grand opening of the 24th edition of the World Music Expo, WOMEX took place yesterday evening, October 24th, at Auditorio Alfredo Kraus in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain. The event demonstrated the historical and strategic position of the Canary Islands as a hub for the exchange of cultures.

Aurora at WOMEX 2018 opening – Photo by Yannis Psathas

With more than 1,200 guests in attendance, and four outstanding performances by AKA Trio (Senegal, Italy & Brazil), new wave flamenco project Aurora, Brazilian alt-indie songwriter LaBaq and acclaimed mestizo group from the island of Tenerife, Caracoles, the evening ended on high note with all the artists coming together on stage for one final performance.

Tránsitos Atlánticos was curated by Germán López, the timple (small Canary Islands guitar) star of the Canary Islands, who was the artistic director for this year.

Germán López – Photo by Jacob Crawfurd

On bringing WOMEX to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria this year, Alex Walter, director of WOMEX expressed: “It truly is a unique destination when looking at the travel history of WOMEX, as we’ve never been so far in the European south and at the same time so close to Africa. The aim of WOMEX always was and is to offer a platform where cultural operators can meet and promote their working fields and present inspiring ideas.”

The Canary Islands – with their particular geographical position on the Atlantic Ocean route from Europe to the New World, and just a few kilometers away from the African continent – have a long story in the exchange of cultures.

Antonio Morales, president of the Cabildo of Gran Canaria (island government), was greeted with applause. He communicated: “In these serious times, where different governments and world organizations are proposing to close borders, reduce rights, treat people like goods, here in Gran Canaria, we must send a clear message of respect for human rights and solidarity with those who suffer war or poverty. We must raise our voices against racist, xenophobic or class-based discrimination that forgets the supreme value of life and equality among all people.”

Also present among the dignitaries were, Mr. Isaac Castellano, Regional Minister of Tourism and Culture of the Canarias Government. He stated: “WOMEX brings together the most influential opinion writers on roots music. WOMEX brings together all aspects of the music industry, from management and bookings to the release of recordings and publishing. But the most important thing is that WOMEX is an international meeting woven from the materials of cultural diversity.”

Mr. Augusto Hidalgo, mayor of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria said: “For a few days, and thanks to WOMEX, we, the people of the Canary Islands, will be happy, feeling among each other that broad embrace of solidarity between very distant and different people united by the universal language that is music. With the celebration of WOMEX, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is renewing its commitment to culture.”

headline photo: WOMEX 2018 – Photo by Yannis Psathas

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