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It's Simple: Just Listen

I get it. I understand. Sometimes you just need a little nudge. Perhaps you're just checking out what The World Music Show is all about. Perhaps you were intrigued by the pointing finger of the legendary Brazilian musician Tom Ze. Or maybe that digit extending from Ze's hand has put you off from maybe reading more. Whatever the reason is, I get it. Just know this: Don't fear music.

And don't let Ze's finger wagging stop you from reading on, or even tuning in. Becuase with each two-hour show, there are dozens of nuggets of goodness for your ears, surprises of sound for your soul and twists and turns of rhythms for your body to groove on. Really. 

Becuase when you give in to sounds and rhythms that perhaps you don't know, or are unfamilar with (especially when it comes to not understanding the language), and when you invest just a bit of your time to exploring the music that the world has to offer, then hopefully, you will come away with a better understanding of the world as a whole. We are connected by sound. 

So, if you're new to this locally produced series, then I want you to come away with this one word: Chunks. 

Ok, let me expand on this word just a bit. You see, within these two hour blocks of time, the music is broken down into segments or "chunks" as I like to think of them. And within those chunks are usually themes or genres of sounds. Sometimes, even entire shows are dedicated to one genre or country. Be that as it may, on this week's show (2/22/14), there will be chunks of sounds from all over the place.

Orchestra BaobabFor starters, in the first chunks of music, we'll hear tracks from Peru's Susana Baca, Mexico's Lhasa, and Columbia's Claudia Gomez (you can call this a trifecta of Latina sound). Plus, we'll hear from Brazil's Caetano Veloso (covering Joni Mitchell's song "Dreamland"), Brazil's Tom Ze (who has been compared to Tom Waits for both his creativity and style; and Carlinhos Brown (who is also from Brazil), who mastered the sound known as Timbalada, which is heavily dipped in percussion. 

In a few of the other chunks of music, we'll hear from Cameroon's Manu Dibango (with a world hit called "Soul Makossa"), Brazil's Seu Jorge and the band Almaz (covering Michael Jackson's song "Rock with you"), Dakar's Orchestra Baobab (named after a hotel in Dakar), and Mexico's Cafe Tacuba (whose lead singer should duet with Tom Ze becuase their voices are so cool). 

And to close out the first hour, we'll hear a father and son pairing--sort of. From the Broadway show "Fela," we'll check out the song BID or Breaking it down. And we'll hear from one of Fela Kuti's sons, Seun, with the song "African Problems." Kuti, by the way, gets to work with his father's band Egypt 80.

Ziggy MarleyLook at that! All those songs just in the first hour. In hour two, we'll change the tempo a bit by starting off with a mini-tribute to Ziggy Marley. In many World Music Shows we'll dedicate a chunk of music to just one artist. And with Ziggy Marley, whose long career is worthy of a mini-tribute, it's a great way to start off the second hour. We'll hear a couple of songs off his CD "Wild and Free," which feature him dueting with actor Woody Harrelson and the late rapper Heavy D. And we'll hear a couple of songs off his CD Family Time, one that includes a song with Jack Johnson and Paula Fuga

For the rest of the show, we'll dance around the globe with the help of multiple record label compilations (which are a great source of music). Off one Luaka Bop record, we'll hear two tracks from the band Cornershop (remixes actually), and then from a Six Degrees CD, we'll hear the Iranian/Los Angeles band Niyaz cover the song "Love Song," originally done by The Cure. Then, rounding out the show will be tracks from Midival Punditz and Latin Playboys--which feature members of East L.A's Los Lobos.

After this week's show, you'll have a better grasp on what World Music is all about. And think, this is just one show out of many. The World Music Show aires on Saturday nights from 8:00-10:00 p.m. on 88.9 WCVE Richmond Public Radio or online via this website. You can also follow the show on Twitter, @wcveworldmusic