On this week’s World Music Show (9/23), I have three major reasons that are membership worthy. However, there are a few things that need to be said.
It’s an age-old Public Radio adage. You pay for the things you value—such as magazines, cable connections and coffee. But when it comes to Public Radio, which is available in many distribution outlets, it seems to be a freebie. I mean, you turn it on, or hit the streaming button and there it is—day and day out, whenever you need it.
But as you most likely know—especially if you’ve been a listener to Richmond Public Radio or any Public Radio for years, the shows and the things you value, do come with a price. It’s just that there is no log-on button to listen. However, this is we rely on your smarts to support the programs you have grown to love over the years; or to support the efforts to make these programs possible.
That being sad, I want to ask you what value you place on all the local programs 88.9 WCVE offer. We have quite a bit of local content that airs or streams 24-hours a day. From all the classical music, to Jazz and Swing to the more eclectic shows like Time for the Blues, The Electric Croude or my particular favorite—the World Music Show. But these just scratch the surface as to what Richmond Public Radio offers. When you’re done hearing about this week’s show (9/23), take a gander around the website to see all the other things Radio brings you. If you list all the shows you tune into regularly, then perhaps we can are indeed Membership Worthy.
Just look for the donate button on this site when you’re ready to become a member.
And now, on with the show.
I’ve lined up some really great interviews for this week, in honor of our Fall Membership campaign. All three range in style and are unique in their take of what they offer under the umbrella of World Music. I was lucky enough to interview Ceci Bastida, Alex Cuba and Piers Faccini recently and I decided to put them all together for a special show, highlighting their uniqueness voices and music.
Plus, with all three musicians I asked each of them 5-questions:
- What book is on your nightstand (or Kindle)?
- What CD is in your car (or what's on your IPod)?
- What was your first album/music purchase (and do you still have it)?
- What was your first instrument?
- Where is your perfet place to play or a place you'd like to play in?
Ceci Bastida: Ceci Bastida started her music career at a young age, around 15, by playing in Ska/Punk band known as Tijuana No! Their music had beats of Ska, Reggae and course Punk. Her musician instrument of choice was the keyboard, having learned piano by watching her mother. Some of her favorite bands were The Specials, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley and The Smiths, which figures out prominently later in her musical career. Whenever she could, she’d come across the border to see live shows. Besides playing keyboards in Tijuana No!, she also worked with band member Julieta Venegas and is currently a key member of Mexrrissey, Mexican tribute band to The Smiths.
In 2010 she released her first album, Veo La Marea. Veo La Marea was nominated for a Latin Grammy. Her second album La Edad de La Violencía was released June 24, 2014. And her third solo effort, Sueno came out in 2016.
Watch: “Un Sueno”
Ceci is also a politically active in both her music and in her artistic style. She spoke over the phone from her home in Los Angeles, where she’s lived for more than 10 years. We talked about her early career in Tijuana No!, and how she came to love Ska, Reggae and Punk music and how Morrissey influenced her style. Plus, we got into detail about her solo career and how it differs from being part of a band.
Alex Cuba: On his drive back to his home near Vancouver from a gig and a family visit, Alex Cuba took a brief stop alongside the road to talk with me about his career. We spoke about his early influences, his first instrument and his transition from the warmer climates of Cuba to the chilly winters of Canada.
And yes, it’s ironic that he was born in Cuba and has the name Alex Cuba—but it’s a stage name. Alex is a Cuban-Canadian singer-songwriter who sings in Spanish and English. He has won two Juno Awards for World Music Album of the Year: in 2006 for Humo De Tabaco, and in 2008 for his second album, Agua Del Pozo. In 2010 he won the Latin Grammy for Best New Artist. His 2015 album, Healer, earned him a Latin Grammy Award for Best Singer-Songwriter Album and a Grammy Award nomination for Best Latin Pop Album.
He started playing guitar at age six, then as an adult, he shifted into jazz fusion styles. He immigrated to Canada in 1999 after marrying a Canadian in Cuba. In 2003, Cuba moved to Smithers, British Columbia, the hometown of his wife, Sarah, whose father is politician Bill Goodacre. They have three children.
He’s collaborated with many musicians, from his debut CD, Humo De Tabaco, which included Ron Sexsmith and Corinne Bailey Rae; to "Lo Mismo Que Yo," in which he did another duet with Sexsmith, (that became a hit in the UK Singles Chart, reaching #52).
In 2009, he co-wrote and recorded a duet with fellow Canadian Nelly Furtado. "Mi Plan" turned out to be the title track for her fourth studio album of the same name. Cuba co-wrote more than half of the songs on Furtado's album.
Piers Faccini: I called Piers just before dinner time at his home outside of France. I first asked about his garden and to describe what he was looking at as we talked—since, from his Instagram account, he lives in a very beautiful place. We talked about how gardening and sustainable farming, as well as painting and art (he’s studied art in College) influence his music. This background has influenced his videos too.
Watch: “Cloak of Blue”
One of Faccini’s unique talents is discovering other talents, such as Dom La Nena, who played cello in his band before embarking on a solo career of her own. His approach to music is very calculated but effortless. And like Alex Cuba, Piers has also partnered with some very talented musicians, including Rokia Traore, Busi Mhlongo, Ben Harper, Ballake Sissoko, Vincent Segal, and Camill.
And, like his farming efforts, in which he likes to cultivate his own sources of food and nutrition, so to is his approach to music, having started his own, small independent label called Beating Drum. We also spoke about some of the beautiful places he’s performed, most notably in acoustic-worthy churches.
These three interviews were such a thrill for me to do. Getting to speak to three very different musicians from different parts of the globe is always a great way to get connected to music and region.
The World Music Show airs Saturday night from 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. on 88.9 WCVE Richmond Public Radio. You can stream the show via this website and you can also follow the show on Twitter @wcveworldmusic or on Facebook at The World Music Show on WCVE. Be sure to think about becoming a member if you enjoy local programming such as this.