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World Music Features

Martirio
Martirio is in many ways the living martyr of Spanish song. As is implied by her stage name, the alter ego has allowed Maribel Quiñones to defend what she believes in artistically and to unsettle deeply held notions of music in Spain.
By Lissette Corsa

Lionel Loueke
Born in West Africa, Lionel Loueke effortlessly shifts among multiple styles and techniques in his songs, but the consistent hallmark of his playing is a uniquely African sound of sharp and vibrant plucked strings, reminiscent of a thumb piano or a kora.

By John Seroff

Ras Myrhdak
Hailing from the blessed region of St. Ann Parish, Jamaica, the fertile ground that gave birth to famous islanders like Bob Marley, Marcus Garvey, Burning Spear and Barrington Levy, Ras Myrhdak comes off more like a spiritual warrior than a malicious fighter.
By Matt Scheiner

Mariza
Mariza grew up, finished school, left home and lived on her own, but she kept singing, always performing. “I had a band in Lisbon doing covers of American music—jazz, funk, soul and standards. We worked professionally, in clubs and casinos, doing weddings on weekends."
By J. Poet

Cornelius
There aren’t many pop musicians who can make a record company wait over half a decade for a proper new album. But for iconoclastic Japanese artist Keigo Oyamada, who calls himself Cornelius after the lovable scientist in the Planet Of The Apes films, it’s standard practice.
By Dan Grunebaum

Spanish Harlem Orchestra
In 2000, salsa music reclaimed New York. Its conquistador was the Spanish Harlem Orchestra. Although there were plenty of salsa artists around in the ’80s and ’90s in the city that never stops dancing, the music seemed to lack the authenticity of the ’60s and ’70s—considered the genre’s golden era.
By Mario Oña

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