It's time to get your dancing shoes dusted off for this week's World Music Show (3/19). I'll layout some revved up Rumba, Mambo & Cha-Cha-Cha tunes as well as some Flamenco tracks that will be sure to get your feet moving. Plus, we'll take a spin around the new CD from the Ugandan artist Kinobe and the live CD from the Brazilian singer Ceu. And to get your feet grooving in a different way, we'll go back in time a few decades to hear some Reggae and Ska music. The World Music Show is all about the razzmatazz this week.
Alright get those shoes laced up because the first couple of sets are the ones that will get you groovin'. Since the show airs on Saturday nights, it's the perfect time to throw a dance party. And what better style of music is there than Latin dance music? Off a Putumayo compilation called Rumba, Mambo, Cha-Cha-Cha, we'll start off with the band Tradicuba doing the song "Potpourri de Cha Cha Cha," and it really is a Potpourri of Cha-Cha-Cha songs. I'll follow that with the song "Mambo #5" by Fruko y Sus Tesos, who's leader is Ernesto "Fruko" Estrada. Estrada is no stranger to the Salsa/Mambo scene. Plus, this song, is an update of a song that's been done since 1949.
Taking the role of dancing partner in this first set will be the multitalented David Byrne. In case you don't know is discography, he put out a CD entirely made up of Latin dance music years ago called Rei Momo. Byrne culled together styles such as Cumbia, Orisa, Merengue, Salsa and Cha Cha Cha, just to name a few. Off of that, we'll hear the songs "The Dream Police," which is a Cha Cha Cha style and we'll check out the song "Make Believe Mambo," which was not exactly Mambo style, but an Orisa style of music. And attached to the backend of those tracks will be the song "E.L.S." By the band Internationals, who actually are a Belgian band that somehow manages to find the common thread between Jamaican Ska, Nigerian Afrobeat and Latin Mambo styles.
In another revved up set, we'll switch from those dance styles and move into some Flamenco styles..wait, I know that's also dance, but who among us can Flamenco dance? In any event, we'll hear the Gipsy Kings with the songs "Mi Fandango," and a really great cover of the Sinatra classic "My Way," which would be a great slow dance. Partnering with them will be a band out of New Jersey who are no stranger to Latin music, although their sound isn't really "dance" music or traditional Latin music. Instead their sound is more eclectic. From the band Yo La Tengo, we'll hear the song "Moonrock Mambo."
In one of the last chunks of music for the first hour, we'll go live with some Brazilian music from the singer Ceu. She recently put out a CD of music she recorded at the Cultural Arts Center in Rio Grande São Paulo. The CD is filled with some of her classics as well as some of her newer stuff. Off of her CD, which is simply called Live, we'll hear the song "Mil E Uma Noites de Amor." In the same set we'll also check out some Bunzo sounds. What? You don't know what that is? Well, it's actually a band called Bunzo Sounds--they'll do the song "Zinabu." And mixed in too will be the song "Aya Benzar" by Mustafa Sandal and the song "Allah Wawi" by the great guitarist Vieux Farka Toure.
Closing out this first hour of this most fantastic World Music Show, will be a throwback to when Paul Simon introduced much of the world to South African music. Off Graceland, we'll hear the songs "I Know what I Know" and "African Skies."
For hour two, I've got some Dub music from a band called Tour de Force and Gov't. Mule and some classic Reggae from UB40 and Ziggy Marley. Plus, I'll even throw in some new music from the Ugandan artist Kinobe. He has a new CD out called Rafiki, which means Friend. On it, he partners with guitarist Jaja. Kinobe is a multi-instrumentalist, playing things like the Kalimba, the Kora, Endongo, Tama, and Balafon.
Kinobe was born in Uganda while Jaja was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, both having different musical childhood backgrounds. At the fall of president Mobutu dictatorship, Congo went through a series of wars and turmoil which forced Jaja to seek refuge in Uganda and while there, he met Kinobe. The two musicians got together and created a powerful CD, writing music with many global influences and using their instruments and voices as a musical meditation on peace and justice on our global generation. Off his latest CD, we'll check out the songs "Rafiki" or "Friend" and the song "Kobota" or "The Joy of Giving Birth."
And if you miss the dance beats of the first hour, don't worry. I'll throw in some very upbeat Afrobeat music, with the song "Ibajekbe" or "What If' by the female artist Femm Nameless. This song is very frenetic and perfect for any style of dancing. Also in this first set and also a danceable song will be the track "Crazy Afrobeat" by a man who, along with Fela Kuti, invented the term. I'm talking about drummer Tony Allen, who is still playing today after 40 years.
So perhaps you enjoy a different style of dance. And if you can dance to this style, then you can dance to any style. I'll turn the tables now and play some new Dub style of music. The band Tour de Force hails from Brooklyn, New York. And they're two guys known as Double Tiger and DJ Q-Mastah. TDF is rooted in the tradition of Jamaican Sound Systems while keeping an eye to the future. Inspired by their iconic 15,000 Wall of Sound, which are huge speakers, these guys make some fun dub. Off their CD called Battle Cry, we'll hear a Remix of the title song and it's the Double Tiger Remix.
They'll be lots of Dub in that set, except for one track, which will be more Afrobeat. We'll trip on the song "Ifa" by Tunji Oyelana & the Blenders. And mixed with them, we'll hear more live music and more danceable (sort of) tunes from a collaboration between the jam band, Gov't Mule and Toots and the Maytels. They'll do the songs "Pressure Drop," and the song "54-46 Was my Number."
And hearing those dub tracks always leads me to want to hear some Reggae. So how about some classic, we'll not "true" classic, but 80s Classic Reggae music? This band was all over the radio when I was growing up and in fact, they led me to discover actual classic Reggae beyond Bob Marley. We'll hear the British band UB40 with the songs "Come out to Play," and "You're Always Pulling me Down." And mixed into these chunks o' sound will be more "classic" Reggae music. Now, maybe you won't consider Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers classic, but know that he's be playing music since the early 1980s. Off their One Bright Day CD, we'll hear the songs "Looks Who's Dancing," and the track "When the Light's Go Out." If you ever get the chance to see Ziggy, go for it. He's really great in concert.
Well, I can't believe it but it's actually time to turn down the lights and have one more song to end the night. How about a slow song? And how about I stick with the Reggae theme? Since I mentioned the giant, we'll hear the king, the master of Reggae, Bob Marley, with one of my favorites-- "Stir it Up."
The World Music Show airs every Saturday night from 8:00-10:00 p.m. on Richmond Public Radio, 88.9 WCVE and is streamed online via this website. Follow the show on Twitter @wcveworldmusic and on Facebook at The World Music Show on WCVE.