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globalFEST Lineup Highlights

Now that the lineup has been officially posted (check it all out here), it’s time to take a look at what’s happening at 2014’s globalFEST. There is a whole lot to look forward to at the annual world music festival, which brings 12 performers to 3 different stages at Webster Hall on January 12. Here are a few artists that we are especially excited for:

Brushy One-String’s career seems designed to defy all expectations. Though Jamaican and the son of 60s reggae singer Freddie McKay, he eschews Jamaica’s more well established styles for a mixture of country and soul with a little hip-hop thrown in. And Brushy is a guitar player unlike any other. As he announces in the video for “Chicken in The Corn,” he is the world’s only one-string guitar player. Brushy got the idea in a dream and has since mastered the unique style, getting a full sound from what most players would see as an impossible limitation. Check it out below!

Hassan Hakmoun is a master gnawa player of the sintir (three string lute). Born in Marrakech, he has been living in the United States since the 80s and has been on the forefront of gnawa experimentation, mixing the genre with jazz and rock. For a gnawa refresher, check out our feature from the Hip Deep program “African Slaves in Islamic Lands.” The traditional Sufi musical genre was brought to Morocco by slaves, who first came over from West Africa in the 11th century. Get a taste of his globalFEST performance to come with this video of gnawa footdancing.

Noura Mint Seymali is one of Mauritania’s leading performers. She is a singer and ardine (Mauritanian harp) performer, and has innovated upon the griot tradition of her father, Seymali Ould Mouhamed Val. Seymali performed at 2012’s Festival in the Desert, the last to actually take place. Without a 2014 Festival to look forward to (it’s the second straight to be sadly cancelled), we can get some solace in Noura’s performance at globalFEST.

Baloji is a Congolese born, Belgian raised rapper, whose name means “sorcerer” in Swahili. On his last album, 2011’s Kinshasa Succursale, Baloji returned to his native Congo to collaborate with some of the top bands in Kinshasa, including Konono No1 and Zaïko Langa Langa. Baloji’s style mixes soulful hip-hop with his Congolese musical heritage. Check out his black magic-themed video for the Congotronics/rap of “Karibu Ya Bintou,” a collaboration with Konono No1.

Now that we’ve whetted your appetite a little bit, stay tuned for a big ticket giveaway announcement in the days to come!

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