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By Chris Nickson

World Music Legends Thomas Mapfumo
Thomas Mapfumo has not only combined music and politics throughout his career, he’s lived music and politics. He’s still Zimbabwe’s biggest-selling musician.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

World Music Features Ladysmith Black Mambazo
With their newest release, No Boundaries, leader Joseph Shabalala and the renowned South African acappella group that has thrilled millions collaborate with the English Chamber Orchestra.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

World Music Legends Rubén Blades
Rubén Blades has expanded a musical genre, acted, gained an advanced degree in international law, and run for the presidency of his homeland.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

World Music Features Kultur Shock
Based in Seattle, Kultur Shock first came to international attention a couple of years ago with the majestically-titled FUCC The INS, which sounded as if the Clash had parachuted into the Balkans and emerged leading a village brass band.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

Reggae Legends Desmond Dekker
Bob Marley might have been reggae’s international icon, taking the music to an entirely new level. But long before he made an impact abroad, Desmond Dekker was the man who helped make reggae (and rocksteady and ska) into a global sound.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

World Music Features Manu Dibango
With his bald head and dark glasses, Manu Dibango is the epitome of cool. And for over 30 years he’s been one of the giants of world music, this Cameroonian whose music sounds as powerful and appealing in America as it does in Europe or Africa.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

Eliza Carthy

World Music Features English Folk Gets Cool Again
A strange thing happened to English traditional music about a decade ago. People began to look at it anew, reassessing and reevaluating it for signs of life and possibilities.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

World Music Legends Franco
The nickname “Sorcerer of the Guitar” fits Franco like a glove. His imaginative, lightning-fast fretwork helped shape Congolese rumba into its recognizable form.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

World Music Features Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Think of world music, and a handful of names spring automatically to mind. Among them, without a doubt, is South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo, with their immediately recognizable Zulu harmonies.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

World Music Legends Lord Kitchener
Some people think of calypso as a light musical form. In Trinidad, however, it’s serious business, especially at Carnival time. It’s a musical style that boasts its own great names, and they don’t come any bigger than Lord Kitchener.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

World Music Legends Umm Kulthum
When she died in 1975, four million people lined the streets of Cairo for her funeral. Her name was Umm Kulthum, and she was the greatest Arabic singer of the 20th Century.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

World Music Features Desmond Dekker
Bob Marley might have been reggae’s international icon, taking the music to an entirely new level. But long before he made an impact abroad, Desmond Dekker was the man who helped make reggae into a global sound.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

World Music Legends Steel Pulse
Few and far between are the bands named for race horses, especially bands that have won Grammy awards and created political stirs with their music. But Steel Pulse has never run with the pack.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

African Legends King Sunny Adé 
Adé started off playing percussion in church, then dropped out of school and made his way to Lagos, where he began playing guitar in highlife bands, soon becoming the king of highlife music.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

African Legends Hugh Masekela
This South African trumpeter scored a massive worldwide hit with "Grazin' In The Grass," becoming one of the biggest names in African music in the process.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

African Legends Thomas Mapfumo
Mapfumo has endured the wrath of colonial powers and his country's current leader, Robert Mugabe. His music supported the revolutionaries who brought independence, and challenges its present despot.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

African Legends Ladysmith Black Mambazo
By the time this Zulu a cappella group first went international, appearing on Paul Simon’s Graceland album and tour in 1986, they were already veteran hitmakers at home.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

African Legends Manu Dibango
For over 30 years Manu Dibango’s music has sounded as powerful and appealing to Americans as it does in Europe or Africa.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

African Legends Miriam Makeba
In 1967, Miriam Makeba became the first African to have a U.S. hit single, when “Pata Pata” (which she’d recorded in 1959) shot up the charts.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

African Legends Umm Kulthum
When Umm Kulthum (also sometimes spelled Oum, Um or any of a number of other variations) died, four million people lined the streets of Cairo for her funeral. She was the greatest Arabic singer of the 20th century.
By Chris Nickson

[ read more ]

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