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Worldly Women

On the charts for this week’s World Music Show (9/10) I’ll be weaving the wonderful sounds of women who are strong forces in the world of World Music.

And if you’re short on time, here’s a quick rundown of the whole shebang: We’ll hear new music from the Ecuadorian/New Yorker guitarist Eljuri, as well as some new music inspired by Dakar from Leni Stern. Plus, we’ll hear more newness from the local band Miramar, who have a tribute CD filled with Puerto Rican Boleros and we’ll check out some steely beats from Bacao Rhythm Steel Band. And if that weren’t enough, we’ll hear something uniquely different from a musician who’s known more for acoustic songs and surfing than for this Brazilian number.

Now, for those who have a bit of time, here’s the blog.

 I always love getting to play new music, especially when it’s by some artists who have a knack for putting out some really great music. The Ecuadorian/New Yorker Eljuri is no expectation. She’s known as being a really talented guitarist (often being compared to Carlos Santana, BB King and Jimmy Page), and on her latest CD, called La Lucha, she’s keeps that talent going. Eljuri likes to fuses genres—she often spends days losing herself in arrangements, saying “No one could find me. I would spend hours adding horns or strings. I was trying to push myself, to add texture and to my sound bigger and more cinematic.” As on her past CDs, she gets some help from the famed musicians/producers Sly & Robbie. Off of La Lucha, we’ll hear the songs “La Lucha,” and “Bang Bang.” 

Mixed into this first set of music will be some classic Bachata and Son style music from the Dominican Republic. Off a Putumayo CD called. Republica Dominicana, we’ll check out the songs “Mi Nina,” by Cheche Abreu, who has won numerous awards for his music; and we’ll also hear the song “ Pegao de Que,” by Juan Bautista, whose nickname is known as “The Heartbreaker,” since he’s apparently known for breaking a lot hearts as well as for bragging.

 We’ll continue our new music theme by checking out two tracks off a CD by the sort of local band Miramar. I say “sort of” because two members of Miramar, Marlylesse Simmons and Rei Alvarez, are from the local big salsa band Bio Ritmo, while the third member, Laura Ann Sing, is from the once local band Quarto Na Bossa—however, she recently left RVA to live in the glorious city of San Francisco. But let’s not concentrate on that. Instead, let’s talk about their collaboration. The CD is a Dedication to Sylvia Rexach, who was a famed composer of Bolero’s in Puerto Rico back in the 40s and 50s. Miramar is trying—and succeeding—in spreading Rexach’s reach beyond Puerto Rico. Here are the songs “Sin Ti,” and “Y Entonces.”

Partnering with them will be some classic Cumbia, and Vallenato music from Columbia. And, like those tracks from the Dominican Republic, these cuts are also off a Putumayo CD, simply called Columbia. From that, we’ll hear the songs “Soy Como Soy,” or “I am what I am,” by the band Fruko y Sus Tesos, which is led by famed composer Ernesto “Fruko” Estrada, who started in the business at the age of 15; and we’ll hear the song “El Temporal,” or “the Storm,” by Tulio Zuloaga, who is not only a musician, but also acts and DJs in Columbia.

Well, it seems that at the start of each set, I’ve tried to treat you to some new music. This chunk of music is no different. Inspired by the country of Dakar, the multi-instrumentalist Leni Stern, who plays guitar, piano and the Ngoni (which is an African drum), created a musical landscape. Stern, who is from Munich, plays a fusion of Jazz and World Music. Off her new CD called Dakar Suite, we’ll hear the songs “Once Upon a Time (Lebone).” Then, I’ll throw a curveball of sorts by playing some “sort of” new music to end these chunk of tunes. From the Electronica musician Ireesh Lal, we’ll hear the song “Liftoff,” which can be found on his CD called Ethnotronica—that came out last year. He’s based in LA, by the way, in case you’re taking notes. Also in this set we’ll hear some new music from the band Bacao Rhythm Steel Band. Off their CD called 55, it’ll be the song “Bacao Sauve.”

 Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I have no more new music—at least for the rest of hour one. You’ll have to wait until the second hour for more. However, I do have something unique. What can you make of an artist who is known more his acoustic tracks and surfing than for Brazilian music? Well, I’m not sure, but I do know that you’ll like this song by the musician Jack Johnson—yes the musician who’s known as a really mellow music maker—and an all around great guy. Off his CD called In Between Dreams, he put this little nugget of Brazilian music out called “Belle.”

I’ll end the hour with some music from the Brazilian singer Ceu. She recorded her version of Bob Marley’s song “Concrete Jungle,” when she appeared at the Cultural Center in São Paulo. If you want to hear her do that version not live, go check out her first self-titled CD. Both versions are great, I think.

Are you still with me? Short of time? If you are, then here’s a primer for hour two, just in case. Coming up in this hour, I’ll play more new music (and some “new-to-me” music) as well some film music from India and we’ll celebrate the letter B!

Let’s start off again with the “new.” Kicking off the hour is Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, who is a multi-instrumentalist, bandleader and composer who writes in both contemporary classical and Jazz, but draws heavily from Turkish influences. His band is called Whatsnext? Off their latest CD called Resolution, we’ll check out the song “The Turkish 2nd Line,” which besides the obvious reference to Turkish beats, also has some New Orleans brass band beats mixed in, too.

Piggybacking in this set of new music will be some of that “new-to-me” music. From a CD given to me by the great John Porter, one of the hosts of WCVE’s Time for the Blues show, which follows the Electric Croude on Saturdays, we’ll was the song “Jive Motella,” by the band Mahlatini and the Mahotella Queens. That band is from South Africa and play a style of music known as “Mbaqanga,” which was also the name of one of the songs.

 Next up, we’ll travel from the sounds of South Africa to the sounds of India. Off the film soundtrack to the Wes Anderson movie The Darjeeling Limited, we’ll hear the title music from the Merchant-Ivory film The Householder—yes, Anderson used music from other films in his film. Also off this CD will be the song “Typewriter Tip, Tip, Tip,” which is from the Merchant-Ivory film Bombay Talkie and features the singers Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle. Then off yet another Putumayo CD called World of India, we’ll check out the songs “Punjabi Lullaby” by Shawn Lee and the song “Mother India,” by the band Fun da Mental.

Alright, as eluded to in the opening for this hour, we’re going to be celebrating the letter B. Why? Because the studios at WCVE are located at 23 Sesame Street, that’s why. And for some reason I thought it’d be appropriate and just fun to jump around the world a bit with this letter. First up, will be the Brazilian band BossaCucaNova with the song “Adeus America,” which is off their CD called Our Kind of Bossa. They have a new CD out too—a greatest hits one—just FYI.

I know we’ll only get to the tip of the iceberg with the letter B, in terms of bands—and I know that a few of these may or may be technically “World Music” bands, but they did have styles of World Beats in them. For instance, one song, “Don’t Play no Game that I can’t Win,” by The Beastie Boys and featuring Sanitgold, has a ton of Dub music mixed in. And another song by Beck, called “Que Onda Guero,” has some great Latin music throughout. And as for the Bjork tune, called “Army of Me,” I’ll play…well, it’s Bjork.

 Let’s close out this week’s show with some song from around the world—literally. Off the Playing for Change 3 CD, in which a bunch of musicians from around the world are edited all together playing songs, we’ll check out a cover of “La Bamba,” which features a couple members of Los Lobos, who of course remade the Richie Valens song, but it also features the singer La Marisoul, who recently did a nice duet with Elvis Costello and the Roots.

Also off that PFC 3 CD, we’ll hear the song “A Better Place,” which was created through a partnership between PFC and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund and featured 30 musicians from around the world on it.

Alrighty! If you stuck with me this far, then kudos to you and thanks! The World Music Show airs Saturday nights from 8:00-10:00 p.m. on Richmond Public Radio, 88.9 WCVE. Follow the show on Facebook at The World Music Show on WCVE and on Twitter @wcveworldmusic.