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Bachata Takeover: From the Bronx to the World

While bachata may have originated in the Dominican Republic, its growth in popularity over the past 10 years is not rooted within the shores of the small Caribbean nation but in the outer boroughs of New York City. It was … Read more »

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Tweets »

Blog Guest Mix: For the Love of Djazaïr!
Blog 50 Years of Nonesuch: Five Essential Albums
Blog Meet the Africa Center this Saturday!
Blog Primer: Urban Bachata
Blog Toumani Diabaté Returns to NYC to Wish Nonesuch Records a Happy 50!
video “Now Having Money Is More Important…”: Malian Traditions on Video

Reviews »

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    Mean Love

    The music that Ahmed Gallab makes under the moniker Sinkane has always been deceptively pleasant. Hiding layers of complexity beneath its often-gorgeous exteriors, it’s a moving target that escapes definition through its sheer likability. The latest Sinkane album, the brilliant Mean Love … Read more »

  • Ambassadeurs_600
    Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako

    The central irony of Salif Keita’s early career is how a noble—a descendant of the Mande Empire’s founder Sunjata Keita, yet—could assume the profile of a griot, a musical orator of a distinctly lower social status. When Keita arrived on … Read more »

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    Jaiyede Afro ,

    Jaiyede Afro, the new album from Nigerian Afro-soul legend Orlando Julius and U.K. groove outfit the Heliocentrics, out now on Strut Records, has an intentionally retro sound. From simple, hard-hitting arrangements and musical performances that channel the loose, flowing grooves of OJ’s Afro … Read more »

  • WFS_Mozambique
    Wired For Sound: Mozambique

    We don’t hear a lot of music from Mozambique. There have been some fine releases of classic marrabenta dance music, and a few roots-pop bands like Ghorwane, Eyuphuro and Mabulu all produced memorable CDs in their times. There’s a Rough … Read more »

Mean Love

The music that Ahmed Gallab makes under the moniker Sinkane has always been deceptively pleasant. Hiding layers of complexity beneath its often-gorgeous exteriors, it’s a moving target that escapes definition through its sheer likability. The latest Sinkane album, the brilliant Mean Love … Read more »

NYC Events »

  • Thu Sep 18

    Location: Zinc Bar, West 3rd Street, New York, NY, United States (Google Maps)

    Time: 11:59 pm to 2:00 am

    The essence of AfroCuban music is expressed in the Rumba: intoxicating polyrhythmic percussion, played on multiple drums, accompanied by call and response singing. Master percussionist Roman Diaz, the leader of the Abakuá society brought to Cuba from Calabar, West Africa, is regarded as a “living repository” of Cuba's folkoric music. As a member of the seminal Cuban rumba ensemble Yoruba Andabo, he continued the work of the legendary percussionist Pancho Quinto in creating a new definition of traditional Cuban rumba.

    Román Díaz left Cuba in 1999 to come to New York City. Since then he has been featured alongside Orlando “Puntilla” Rios in the critically acclaimed documentary Calle 54, and in ‘Dame La Mano’ the film that documents the life and times of Union City’s Esquina Habanera, the Grammy-nominated rumba ensemble Raíces Habanera and their followers.

    His mastery of the batá drum is present on countless recordings along with his rock solid groove on congas. He has always been sought after for his artistic sensibility, charisma and signature sound. As a producer, he has brought together some of the finest interpreters of Rumba from the island as documented on the CD, Wemilere. In the U.S., Diaz has collaborated with many musicians including the New Orleans jazz great Donald Harrison, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Paquito D’Rivera, Juan-Carlos Formell, Oriando “Puntilla” Rios and AfroHORN.

  • Fri Sep 19

    Location: Zinc Bar, West 3rd Street, New York, NY, United States (Google Maps)

    Time: 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm

    “The Afro-Peruvian Sextet is writing a new chapter in the history of Latin Jazz” --Rifftides
    “Trumpeter Gabriel Alegria stands poised to introduce Afro-Peruvian Jazz to the world.” –All About Jazz
    “deeply funky 12/8 rhythm!” –Hartford Advocate

  • Fri Sep 19

    Location: DROM, 85 Avenue A, New York, NY, United States (Google Maps)

    Time: 9:00 pm to 12:00 am

    In 2009, Big Mean Sound Machine formed in Ithaca, New York with one goal: to create music that stimulates both the Body AND Mind. The result has become a fiery exhibition of artfully conceived dance music that truly is Big and Mean. Today, BMSM comprises a collective of over 15 analog artists spread out over the Northeastern United States, who strive day in and day out to reanimate and reinterpret a fusion of Afrobeat, Funk, Jazz, Latin and many other styles, all through a postmodern lens. Anyone who has witnessed The Machine live in action knows that their performances are among the heaviest and the sweatiest. Anyone who has heard their studio releases also knows that they can REFINE this complex sonic force with maturity and clarity that allows each composition to blossom to its fullest. As of January 2013, their performative efforts have extended to the big screen as well. With the release of DR. IGUANA: LIVE IN THE STUDIO, a live DVD shot at Grammy Award-winning studio Electric Wilburland, the Big Mean Sound Machine adds more critical acclaim to that received from their CD releases Marauders (2012), and Ouroboros (2011). In addition, in 2012 Big Mean released Warrior, a joint effort with vocalist Jay Spaker a.k.a. J-SAN (John Brown's Body, JATAS), and in 2013, BMSM released an album with Ghana's Yao Foli "CHA CHA" Augustine (Mosaic Foundation, The Ndor Band) supporting the Ndor Eco Village project in Foli's home village. BMSM's next studio album is due to be released in the spring of 2014. The Big Mean Sound Machine maintains a busy performance schedule, captivating cities all over the Northeast United States and beyond spreading further each day. For those like us who are tired of the status quo, there is good news: THE BIG MEAN SOUND MACHINE HAS OFFICIALLY ARRIVED.

  • Fri Sep 19

    Location: Zinc Bar, West 3rd Street, New York, NY, United States (Google Maps)

    Time: 9:30 pm to 1:00 am

    Sets at 9:30, 11:00 and Midnight

    Every Friday night is African Jazz Night. Experience some of the greatest artists of this captivating genre! Depending on the weekend, you might find Source with Abdoulaye Diabaté, an interracial New York-based African group, or the African jazz and funk of the African Blue Notes, led by the Cameroonian singer and guitarist Martino Atagana. This is a night not to be missed!

  • Sat Sep 20

    Location: SOB's, 204 Varick St, New York, NY, United States (Google Maps)

    Time: 8:30 pm to 12:00 am

    6:30PM doors / 8:30PM & 10:00PM show
    $10.00 in advance - $15.00 day of show (age 21+)

    Marcos Lessa is a semifinalist of The Voice Brazil 2013. This 22 year old from Ceará had Carlinhos Brown as his coach throughout the season. Marcos began his trajectory in music playing tribute shows in his native Fortaleza. “I started my career honoring the music of Ceará, singing Belchior, Fagner, Ednardo. Now, I want to the representative of Brazilian music everywhere around the globe.” Marcos Lessa’s passion for Brazilian music, especially Samba, is evident in his performances; “Practicing my profession brings me extreme joy. Music is what I love most in my life. I live to sing and I sing for a living.”

    Marcos Lessa performs his debut NYC show at SOB’s on Saturday August 30th 2014. He will be joined on stage by a group of first call New York based Brazilian music session players: Marcos Vigio, Itaiguara Brandão, Eliano Braz and guests. Not to be missed.