Posts Tagged ‘Music’


I had the good fortune to have the ever sunny Brazilian singer/songwriter Jair Oliveira in the studio last September. Oliveira is the son of Jair Rodriguez, one of Brazil’s most beloved musical stars, and famous for his hit “Deixa Isso Pra La” which is arguably the first Brazilian hip hop song.

Oliveira sang a song about soccer, and suggested that I hold it in reserve for the upcoming World Cup in South Africa. Which I did. It’s a damned good song too.

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Now that Spring has sprung, here’s a dose of soulful fiddle music from two masters: David Greely, founding fiddler of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, and Joel Savoy of The Savoy Family Band and the Red Stick Ramblers. The duo was in town for GlobalFEST, at an “offsite event” at the Highline Ballroom. This performance (no interview — it doesn’t need it!) is a happy reminder that there are still places in the USA that treasure their ethnic heritage and play homemade music to enrich life. It’s easy to imagine these two making music on the front porch in the midst of a warm Louisiana Spring day. So relax and bask in the sounds of some sweet strings.

Keep in mind that a lot of this is music for dancing off the work and cares of the day. In Cajun country there are still plenty of places to hear live, authentic music, be it Cajun, Creole or Zydeco. You go there to dance till you are ready to drop, till your endorphins kick in and do what they are supposed to.  For my money, that’s a fun evening.

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This is the last installment on Taiwanese music, and it seems very fitting. On a chilly and rainy day I visited the mountaintop home of the Guqin Society, where after a bit of a steep climb, Yuan Jung-ping was waiting for me with hot tea and sweets. He proceeded to play a calming and lovely song about bidding goodbye at a station. The guqin (pronounced “chin”– I HATE the Pinyin spellings!) is an instrument that may date to 4000 years ago. Playing it is as much about meditation as music. The song is from the 12th century, with Jung-ping’s arrangement, and it is spare but beautiful. Like my first posting of Nanguan music, it rewards the person who really listens to it, bringing them into a still place.

The music was punctuated with the now light, now heavy sound of rain falling on the roof. Farewell, Taiwan.
Farewell to the hospitality, cold rainy season, warm people, amazing food and wonderful music.

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Here’s where you’ll find my weekly original world music video blogs that appear on Huffington Post, as well as an archive starting in April of 2009.

This is also the place where you will find video that is exclusive to my site. I’ve traveled to places like Uzbekistan, Morocco, and Taiwan and no matter where I go I have found amazingly talented and creative people working in every genre from the deepest traditions to the cutting edge.

It’s been incredibly rewarding to interview them and to capture some of what they do on video. Enjoy what you see and hear, and let me know what you think. I welcome your feedback.