Suggested World Musicians-1

MUSICIANS ON THIS PAGE: LILA DOWNS * TOUMANI DIABATE (& BALLAKE SISSOKO) * HABIB KOITE * FATOUMATA DIAWARA * KELETIGUI DIABATE * BALLAKE SISSOKO * KING SUNNY ADE * PUSAKA SUNDA * “JAVA: COURT GAMELAN” * ANA MOURA * CRISTINA BRANCO * MADREDEUS * ADAM BEN EZRA * CARLOS MONTOYA * MANUEL GALBAN (& RY COODER) * EDMAR CASTANEDA * ERNESTO LECUONA * BOB MARLEY * FILM & SOUNDTRACK OF “THE HARDER THEY COME” * TOOTS & THE MAYTALS * ZAP MAMA * MARISA MONTE * OM KALTHUM * LAKSHMI SHANKAR [NEXT PAGE]

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Singer from just south of the border wall:


Harp music from Mali:

Great singer, also from Mali:

Another great singer from Mali:

Another great Malian musician, this time a balaphon (African marimba?) player:

Nigerian juju music.  3 remixed songs from his classic first album, “Juju Music”:

I saw this band live in 1983 in Boston:


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Indonesian gong and flute music performed by Bay Area group Pusaka Sunda:


From the Nonesuch Explorer album “Java: Court Gamelan”, c1971. Recorded live on the island of Java in Indonesia:

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Wonderful Portuguese fado singer Ana Moura covers Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” (in English):


Another great fado singer:


Another Portuguese act, but as much pop as fado:


Amazing flamenco bassist & dancer (video suggested by Gil Levine):

Spanish guitarist was one of the first flamenco players to become widely known:


Cuban guitarist performs with Ry Cooder here:

Colombian harpist:



A piece by Cuban pianist & composer Ernesto Lecuona:



Probably the most famous and beloved world musician:


1972 Jamaican crime film directed by Perry Henzell, co-written by Trevor D. Rhone, and starring Jimmy Cliff. The film is most famous for its reggae soundtrack that is said to have “brought reggae to the world.” The film was a sensation in Jamaica due to its naturalistic portrayal of black Jamaicans in real locations and its use of local Patois (Jamaican Creole). However, the popularity of the movie was limited outside of Jamaica because the local Patois spoken by the characters was so thick that it required subtitles, making it possibly “the first English-language movie in history to require subtitles in the United States.”

Playlist of most songs in film “The Harder They Come”:

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Zap Mama is the musical group of Belgian artist Marie Daulne. Zap Mama sings polyphonic and Afro-Pop music; a harmonic music with a mixture of infused African vocal techniques, Urban, Hip-Hop with emphasis on voice.[1] Sources of Zap Mama’s music include Daulne’s roots in the Democratic Republic of Congo, her upbringing in Belgium, and her return to Africa to rediscover her musical roots. The worldwide success of Zap Mama, and an ensemble of female polyphonic singers, inspired influences in American Hip Hop, Nu-Soul, Jazz and elements of Pop. The evolving musical compositions created a diverse band of singers and musicians for Zap Mama.

“The voice is an instrument itself,” says Daulne. “It’s the original instrument. The primary instrument. The most soulful instrument, the human voice. Singing songs in French and English with African World Music Roots.”–Wikipedia

Lyrics to the above song:

New World

by Zap Mama

I sat in my room
So dismal and blue
Feeling that I can
Communicate with you

So I picked up my thoughts
Picked up paper and pen
I know there are causes to defend

Now everybody stand up
Let's spread these words
Around the neighborhood
Return to the source, all isn't lost

Now the world is changing
Beyond recognition
And it's not too late
Don't seal your fate
With radiation, with pollution
And all that confusion

It's not too late
For making a new world
It's not too late
For making a better world
It's not too late
Ooh ou ooh

Songwriters: Bjork Gudmundsdottir / Lars Von Trier / Sirgurjon Birgir Sigurdsson

New World lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group


Brazilian singer sings in Portuguese and English:


Legendary Egyptian singer Om (or Oum, Omm, Omme, Oom, Um, Umm) Kulthum and her orchestra:

Documentary on Om Kulthum narrated by Omar Shariff:


Indian singer Lakshmi Shankar has hypnotically beautiful voice: