From Chanteuse to First Lady
It's amazing how some people's careers are so extraordiary that to see them written down, you almost don't want to believe it. Such is the case with one of the focuses on this week's World Music Show (1/21). Like a two-drink minimum, we'll take a two-song look from the amazing woman that is Carla Bruni.
Born Carla Gilberta Bruni Tedeschi into a wealthy Italian family (she is heiress to the fortune created by the Italian tire manufacturing company CEAT, founded in the 1920s by her grandfather Virginio Bruni Tedeschi). With that, Bruni could have had the sweet life already mapped out for her. In 1975, her family moved to France, reportedly to escape the threat of kidnapping by the Red Brigades, a Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary group active in Italy in the 1970s. Bruni grew up in France from age seven and attended boarding school in Switzerland. She went to Paris to study art and architecture, but left school at 19 to become a model.
However, she didn't let that define herself. In 1997, she devoted herself to pursuing a career in music. After writing lyrics for a other artists, Bruni was able to release her debut abum in 2000, which helped her carve out a nice musical niche for herself. Her style, in both playing guitar and singing, is in the Chantuese style (popular and classic French tunes). A couple of highlights of her musical career include singing to Nelson Mandela on his 91st Birthday, and singing at Radio City Musical Hall. And through all this, she has also managed to appear in a few films, too, including a brief part in the Woody Allen Film, "Midnight in Paris." Oh, and you probably already know that she's also the First Lady of France.
But, this week's show isn't all about Bruni. There's other great tunes to explore on this week's show, too. We'll hear some cool Brazilian music from Banda Uniao Black, who came back a few years ago after a 25-year haitus. They play in a genre of Brazilian music called Black Rio Movement or Rio De Janeiro's Black Power Movement, which was took place in the late 70s. Their style is funk but also includes samba, jazz and Brazilian rhythms. In that chunk, too, will songs by Sergio Mendes, BossaCucaNova, Carlinhos Brown and the band Zuco 103.
To close out the first hour, we'll also have a small dedication to the late Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora, who was also known as the Barefoot Diva (she often performed onstage barefoot). She died this past December.
In hour two, we'll kick it off with some new music from Ziggy Marley. We'll hear a couple of tracks off his latest CD, called "Wild and Free," which features a couple of guest appearances by the late Heavy D and a song with some additional lyrics by the actor Woody Harrelson. There is a certian theme on his latest CD, which forced me to include a companion song by Peter Tosh---you'll have to tune in to get the gist.
And to add to the new music phenomenon, I'll also play a song by a young Tuareg guitarist and songwriter from Agadez, Niger. Omara Moctar, otherwise known as Bombino, is being compared to some other legendary, world-renown guitarists, including Ali Farka Toure, Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Page, as well the African band Tinariwen. In that set, I'll also feature a song by a legendary Senegalese musician, actor and now presidential candidate Youssou N'Dour.
Hopefully, the two-hour-filled World Music Show will leave your ears and mind happy. The show aires Saturday nights at 10:00 p.m. on WCVE Public Radio. You can follow my World Music updates or comments on Twitter. Just look me up, @wcveworldmusic.