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Riqueza del Barrio: Puerto Rican Music in the United States

Once Puerto Ricans became U.S. citizens in 1917, El Barrio sprang up in New York. By the 1930s, they were the dominant Latin group in the city. Tito Puente, born on 110th St. in 1923, was the first important Latin … Read more »

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Tweets »

Blog Afropop Premiere: “Lake Tana” by Hard Proof
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!

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 »

  • Mon Sep 22

    Location: Barbès (Google Maps)

    Time: 9:30 pm to 11:30 pm

  • Tue Sep 23

    Location: Shrine, 2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, New York, NY, United States (Google Maps)

    Time: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

    Duke Mseleku : born in S Africa. Music from my grand parents to my generation. Music was a life style and an important culture in my family. At age ten, when my father was writing music for his projects he decided to teach us to sing in four parts harmony, me and my cousins. I began working as a professional performer, at age 17 in Johannesburg, 1980 joined Sam Williams singers, 82 Dakashi Afro-fusion & jazz, 84 Oneness Afro-reggae, CAW Band Afro-folk & rock, 91 KZN University Big Band Jazz...

  • Tue Sep 23

    Location: Goddard Riverside Community Center, 593 Columbus Ave, New York, NY, United States (Google Maps)

    Time: 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm

    7:30 pm—Kevin Nathaniel, mbira call to peace
    8 pm—Timbila
    TIMBILA - afrodelic xylophone rock

    Nora Balaban - timbila, mbira, vocals
    Banning Eyre - guitar
    Louisa Bradshaw - vocals
    Rima Fand - violin, vocals
    Dirck Westervelt - bass
    Bill Ruyle - drums, percussion

    $5 suggested donation

  • Wed Sep 24

    Location: Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY, United States (Google Maps)

    Time: 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm

    Opening: SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM, And special guests!
    Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

    I’m an artist, a musician, a magician, a writer, a singer; I’m everything. My name is Lee from the African jungle, originally from West Africa. I’m a man from somewhere else, but my origin is from Africa, straight to Jamaica through reincarnation; reborn in Jamaica..." .. .. Lee "Scratch" Perry (born Rainford Hugh Perry, on March 20, 1936, in Kendal, Jamaica) is a Grammy award-winning reggae and dub artist, who has been highly influential in the development and acceptance of reggae and dub music in Jamaica and overseas. He employs numerous pseudonyms, such as "Pipecock Jaxxon" and "The Upsetter". Arguably the first creatively driven, "artist-producer" in modern recorded music, Lee "Scratch" Perry occupies the highest level of music making - standing comfortably next to pioneers like George Martin, Phil Spector, and Brian Wilson.

    NYC’s Subatomic Sound System is a tightrope between the reggae roots of dub and the future of bass music. Subatomic Sound System performs as either a DJ, live electronic act, or complete band and is spearheaded by Emch, founder of Dub Champions Festival and the Subatomic Sound label, producer, DJ, musician, Brooklyn Radio host, label manager for Kingston-based People’s Records JA, Dubspot music instructor, and promoter. After collaborating with Dubblestandart in 2008 to produce Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s first dubstep tracks, numerous projects followed and Subatomic Sound System, with a unique blend of live instruments and electronics, has become Scratch’s go-to band for reinventing the Black Ark vibes on recent tours, including his 2013 Coachella & RBMA appearances.

  • Wed Sep 24

    Location: BAM Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Ave, New York, NY, United States (Google Maps)

    Time: 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm


    Part of 2014 Next Wave Festival and Nonesuch Records at BAM

    Rokia Traoré, singer and multi-instrumentalist
    Toumani Diabaté and Sidiki Diabaté, kora

    Both singer and multi-instrumentalist Rokia Traoré and master kora player Toumani Diabaté with his son Sidiki Diabaté ignite the stage with the sounds of Mali during two separate sets.

    Rokia Traoré has been named “one of Mali’s most revered voices” by NPR. Traoré recently released her second, critically acclaimed Nonesuch recording, Beautiful Africa, produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Eels, Sparklehorse), a follow-up to 2009’s Tchamantché. Traoré’s music draws on her homeland’s traditions as well as the European and American rock and pop she has listened to throughout her life. She collaborated with Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison and acclaimed director Peter Sellars on the theater piece Desdemona, which was staged at Lincoln Center and the Barbican. In 2012, Traoré joined Damon Albarn’s UK tour, “Africa Express,” featuring John Paul Jones, Amadou Bagayoko, Baaba Maal, and Paul McCartney.

    One of Africa’s leading musicians, Toumani Diabaté is responsible for introducing audiences worldwide to the kora, a 21-string harp unique to West Africa and an instrument he plays with exceptional virtuosity. Born into a family of griots—custodians of the ancient oral traditions of West Africa’s Mandé people—Diabaté counts 71 generations in his family line. His musical development in the 60s and 70s was influenced by American soul music and British rock bands. While recording Kaira, his first album in the UK in the mid-80s, he was introduced to Indian classical music, from which he incorporated the jugalbandi method of musical dialogue between two instruments. Diabaté formed the Symmetric Orchestra to explore the balance between tradition and modernity among musicians from numerous African countries; he views musical experimentation as part of the griot’s role in enabling communication between peoples. He has released four albums for Nonesuch—including Ali & Toumani, a Grammy Award-winning recording with guitar virtuoso Ali Farka Touré—as part of the label’s longstanding relationship with the UK-based World Circuit Records.

    Sidiki Diabaté, Toumani’s 23-year-old son, is deeply versed in Mandé culture and kora technique. He runs his own recording and programming studio and, with rapper Iba One, is Mali’s premier hip-hop duo—which sells out the 20,000-seat Modibo Keita stadium. Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté have recorded an album of kora duets, featuring almost-forgotten kora pieces and a new look at some Mandé classics from Mali.