Top Gifts for World Music Fans
Do you have someone on your list this holiday season who loves World Music but you don't know your Afrobeat from your K-pop? Well, fear not, for I have come up with a list of some of the best gift choices to get that World Music lover on your list. Think of this as my gift to you--and if you end up purchasing any of the music I've listed below through our website, then WCVE will get a small gift as well. It's a holiday win-win, so let's get started.
The best type of CDs or MP3's to purchase for any World Music fan is a compilation CD. Why? Well, you get to experience all sorts of different artists all in one package. Some of the best are:
- Playing for Change (both 1 & 2) * : These two collections do something incredible. Each song on these CD's features musicians from all over the globe playing together through the magic of a stellar production team. The producers travel the globe and record musicians playing a particular song, say for instance "Stand by Me." Then, they combine all these artists into one great song. Incredible, right? The bonus of getting these two CD's is that part of the cost goes back to the Playing for Change people and they use it to build music schools in areas around the globe that need it. Playing For Change Records
- Red Hot + Rio (1 + 2) *: This collection is for the Brazilian music lover. These feature many of Brazil's most famous musicians, like Caetano Veloso, Seu Jorge, and Bebel Gilberto. Plus, these artists usually do duets with major U.S. musicians like David Byrne, Beck and John Legend. And, both collections are two-CD sets. And, like the Playing for Change CDs, when you purchase either of these, a portion of the proceeds goes to fight the AIDS crisis. Entertainment One Music
- A New Groove *: If you wanted a one-stop shop for a great selection of World Music, then Putumayo compilations should be your go to source. Each compilation CD is usually built around a theme or a region, like Brazilian Lounge, Cafe Cubano, Afro-Latino or Italian Cafe, to name a few. The great thing about this is that you can really explore a region all in one CD. However, Putumayo also puts together other themes, like A New Groove, Women of the World (Acoustic), Cover the World, or Gardens of Eden, in which all selections are from around the globe, but they revolve around the stated theme of the CD (I like these the best). Putumayo
- Twenty First Century/Twenty First Year *: Luaka Bop is another great World Music Record Label to look for when getting a good dose of World Music. Started by former Talking Heads musician David Byrne, Luaka Bop features music from all over the planet, too. However, unlike Putumayo, Luaka Bop's selections are little more edgy. Plus, they'll pull together music from different era's too. The CD's will feature such artistst as: Jorge Ben, Shuggie Otis, Nouvelle Vague, Zap Mama, and Tom Ze. I've discovered a ton of great music through many a Luaka Bop CD. Luaka Bop
- Six Degrees 100 *: Another great record label that features some really cool music. The music these folks seem to like the most has a more electronic, technical edge to it. Artists, such as: Wally Brill, Dj Cheb i Sabbah, Michael Franti and Karsh Kale are regular artists on these CDs. Six Degrees
And, if you're looking for World Music with a local angle, then I have a few choices to choose from:
- Bio Ritmo's "Bionico" *: This local Richmond band is known worldwide for their electic mix of hard driving salsa music. Their sound combines African Caribbean rhythms from son, bomba, plena, and samba with electronica and big band brass sounds. These guys are great to see live. Electric Cowbell
- Rattlemouth's "5": This 5-piece band plays Ethio Jazz and World Groove tunes all around Richmond. For more than 20 years, these guys have been putting out some great music. Rattlemouth Guild
- Laura Ann and Quatro Na Bossa *: Laura Ann and her band have appeared live on Jazz with Peter Solomon a few times and each time, they have a great performance. Her voice is smooth, rich and inviting. If you closed your eyes, you'd swear you were on the beaches of Ipanema. PID
I hope this holiday guide will help you fill that niche you may for the World Music lover on your list. If you have other suggestions or questions, please leave them below.
The World Music Show aires every Saturday Night at 10: p.m. on WCVE Public Radio. You can follow Ian Stewart on Twitter to get daily updates of happenings in World Music by following him, at: @wcveworldmusic
* Click on the album covers to purchase on amazon.com. If you use our link to purchase the albums (or even to start your shopping journey on amazon for *any* item) the station receives a small financial benefit. Your cost is the same.
If you want more gift ideas, try:
- Gifts for the Garden Lover in Your Life, Part I
- Out of the box gift ideas from our own Master Gardener Richard Nunnally
- Classic Gift Ideas from Our Music Director Bobbie Barajas
- Go Local for the Holidays! Charlottesville Shopping Ideas
- Puzzled for Presents? Here's George Maida's Gift Giving Smorgasbord
- Gift Ideas for Someone Who Has Everything