Afropop Worldwide

Afropop Worldwide Where Music Tells the Story of the World
Afropop is an internationally syndicated weekly radio series, online guide to African and world music, and an international music archive, that has introduced American listeners to the music cultures of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean since 1988. Hosted by Georges Collinet from Cameroon, the radio series is distributed by Public Radio International to 110 stations in the U.S., via XM satellite radio, in Africa via and Europe via Radio Multikulti.

Almost 30 years of connecting you to music of Africa and the World!

Mission: Afropop Worldwide promotes greater understanding of the contemporary musical cultures of Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, thus building a larger, better informed audience and a more culturally educated and tolerant world. Afropop Worldwide believes that music provides a singularly productive entree for listeners and web users to learn more about history, geography, societies, and the movement of ideas and culture in our world.

Sterns Music
05/04/2019

Sterns Music

Very very sad news that our old friend Mose Fanfan has died of a suspected heart attack in Nairobi on Thursday.

Though he lived in London he had been in Kenya since April touring and recording.

After coming to prominence as a key guitarist in Franco's OK Jazz in the late 1960s Mose first headed to Zambia for a time before joining the wave of Congolese musicians who spearheaded the East African rumba revolution in the 1970s. It was in the early 1980s that Mose moved to London and his solo recording career began.

RIP Mose 'Fan Fan' Se Sengo

South African Roots in the 21st Century: http://afropop.org/audio-programs/south-african-roots-in-the-21st-centuryYes, i...
05/02/2019
Afropop Worldwide | South African Roots in the 21st Century

South African Roots in the 21st Century
: http://afropop.org/audio-programs/south-african-roots-in-the-21st-century

Yes, it’s the age of South African House, Afrobeats, Afro R&B and the likes, but roots music lives on in South Africa. This show updates the Zulu pop music known as maskanda, with a look back at its history and a survey of the current scene--rich musically, but troubled by fan rivalry that can lead to violence and even deaths. We’ll hear nimble ukapika guitar playing, heavy Zulu beats and bracing vocal harmonies. We’ll meet maskanda legend Phuzukhemisi and veteran South African radio broadcaster Bhodloza “Welcome” Nzimande, long a champion of maskanda music and a would-be peacekeeper in the fractious current scene. We’ll also hear from Zulu guitar legend Madala Kunene, and check out some of the recent gqom music that has largely replaced maskanda and other roots styles in the lives of young South Africans. Produced by Banning Eyre.

Banning Eyre surveys the 21st century world of South African Zulu music styles, maskanda and isakathamiya.

ON AIR THIS WEEK: Zimbabwe After Mugabe: http://bit.ly/2KowgfqA lot has happened since Afropop last visited Zimbabwe. Th...
04/26/2019
Afropop Worldwide | Zimbabwe After Mugabe

ON AIR THIS WEEK: Zimbabwe After Mugabe: http://bit.ly/2Kowgfq

A lot has happened since Afropop last visited Zimbabwe. The 37-year regime of Robert Mugabe has ended, and Thomas Mapfumo, the Lion of Zimbabwe, has staged a triumphant return concert after a 14-year absence. Meanwhile, the country’s youth now moves to the groove of Zim-Dancehall from the likes of reigning star Winky D, and gospel-trad roots music from Jah Prayzah. On this program, we catch up with all these new sounds, hear the latest from Oliver Mtukudzi, and meet one of the most creative singer/songwriters on the scene these days, Victor Kunonga.

Produced by Banning Eyre.

Originally broadcast June 2018.

Hear the sound of Zimbabwe--Zim-dancehall, gospel trad and lots of mbira--as the country moves out of the 37-year shadow cast by Robert Mugabe.

ON AIR THIS WEEK: Abidjan: A New Musical El Doradohttp://bit.ly/2UHaby3In the 70s and 80s Ivory Coast’s capital Abidjan ...
04/11/2019
Afropop Worldwide | Abidjan: A New Musical El Dorado

ON AIR THIS WEEK: Abidjan: A New Musical El Dorado
http://bit.ly/2UHaby3

In the 70s and 80s Ivory Coast’s capital Abidjan was a major musical hub in West Africa. After a series of political crises, Abidjan is back. The Zouglou sound of the 1990s and the coupé decalé rage that followed are being reinvented in the era of Afrobeats and African hip-hop. The group Magic System is now invited to play major events in France—including President Macron’s election victory party! The group’s front man Asalfo has launched an annual music festival in Abidjan, FEMUA. On this program, we attend the festival and hear the sounds and stories of Abidjan’s cultural and commercial renaissance.

Produced by Elodie Maillot and Alejandro Van Zandt-Escobar.

In the 70s and 80s Ivory Coast’s capital Abidjan was a major musical hub in West Africa. After a series of political crises, Abidjan is back. The Zouglou sound of the 1990s and the coupé decalé rage that followed are being reinvented in the era of Afrobeats and African hip-hop. The group Magic S...

ON AIR THIS WEEK: Live at WOMEX Radio Studio http://bit.ly/2EuN1TJThe 2018 edition of the world music exposition WOMEX w...
04/05/2019
Afropop Worldwide | Live from the WOMEX Radio Studio

ON AIR THIS WEEK: Live at WOMEX Radio Studio http://bit.ly/2EuN1TJ

The 2018 edition of the world music exposition WOMEX went down in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands with 300 artists and 2700 delegates from 92 countries. There was a lot to chew on. But one of the hidden wonders of WOMEX is the intimate European Broadcast Union radio studio. That’s where Afropop Worldwide and KEXP, Seattle, hosted four of the showcase acts up close and personal. On this program we hear radio sessions with Bakolo Music International, the oldest Congolese Rumba band alive; the Garifuna Collective, the band created by Garifuna music legend Andy Palacio; and Harouna Samake with Kamele Blues, a brand new band from a veteran Malian instrumentalist. Plus one or two surprises. This is the first of Afropop’s two-part coverage of the musical extravaganza that is WOMEX. Produced by Banning Eyre.

Radio sessions from WOMEX 2018 with Bakolo Music International, Garifuna Collective and Harouna Samake.

04/02/2019
T.P. O.K. Jazz - Testament Ya Bowule (1986) repost

Read Ken Braun's eloquent tribute to Simaro Lutumba, who died on Saturday at the age of 81. He was a key member of Franco’s Tout Puissant Orchestre Kinois Jazz from 1963 until Franco’s death in 1989, after which he led the band for another four years.

As a guitarist in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), a country famous for its guitarists, Simaro was not exceptional but, as Franco was perhaps the first to recognize, he was a brilliant songwriter. He composed some of the finest pieces in the great TPOK Jazz repertoire (“Minuit Eleki Lezi”, “Mabélé” and “Mandola”, for example), songs that set narratives, allegories and stream-of-consciousness musings to beguiling melodies, earning him the epithet “Le Poète”.

When you have 12 minutes that you can surrender to wonderment, play this video clip of a Zairean TV show in December 1986 (as the Christmas decorations and poster welcoming 1987 indicate). While Franco is in Europe, Simaro has brought a few members of TPOK Jazz to a Kinshasa studio for a rare “unplugged” set, but the song he has chosen, “Testament ya Bowulé”, is no Christmas carol. It’s an account of the unexpected death of a young woman named Bowulé, told by her grief-stricken sister, who has come to the stunning realization that Bowulé knew she was gravely ill and soon to die but told no one. Now she understands Bowulé’s enigmatic remarks, her extraordinary gentleness lately, her sad expression when she thought no one was looking at her, and why, on what was supposed to be an ordinary day, she dressed in her prettiest clothes and prepared a feast for her family.

Simaro’s words and melody, as the young tenor Malage de Lugendo sings them, come tumbling out, seemingly inchoate and unbidden, verging on sobs. The song is one verse after another without a chorus or modulation, but after 7½ minutes of almost continuous singing, Malage rests while the guitarists (Simaro sitting in front beside the singer, Gerry Dialungana and Dizzy Mandjeku behind him) play the sort of trio cadenza that Congolese musicians call a “sebene”. The song draws to an end with Malage beseeching saints in heaven to welcome Sister Bowulé, followed by an incantation of the names of real people who have died recently – friends and relatives of Simaro and Malage, two late members of TPOK Jazz, and two great stars of Congolese music, Kallé Kabasele and Nico Kasanda – as Malage repeats “Bowulé, give my greetings to –. Bowulé, give my greetings to –.”

Bowulé, give my greetings to Simaro Lutumba.

Repost! Acoustic version -without Franco- of this T.P. O.K. Jazz classic, composed by Lutumba Simaro, and sung by a young Malage De Lugendo. Originally from ...

ON AIR THIS WEEK: Afropop Worldwide at South By Southwest: http://bit.ly/2OyA9OrIn 2019, for the first time, Afropop Wor...
03/29/2019
Afropop Worldwide | Afropop at South by Southwest

ON AIR THIS WEEK: Afropop Worldwide at South By Southwest: http://bit.ly/2OyA9Or

In 2019, for the first time, Afropop Worldwide hosted a stage at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Our lineup features innovative new sounds out of Africa, including Jojo Abot from Ghana, Adekunle Gold and Aramide from Nigeria, groundbreaking deejay AfrotroniX, Nsimbi from Uganda. We’ll meet the artists, sample their sets, and take in the growing presence of African music at America’s most essential pop music expo. Produced by Banning Eyre.

Adekunle Gold, Shirazee, Jojo Abot, Aramide, Nsimbi and Afrotronx perform live at the Afropop Worldwide showcase at SXSW, 2019.

ON AIR THIS WEEK: The Gqom Generation of Durban: http://bit.ly/2LBEZrYThe latest music craze to hit South African dance ...
03/21/2019
Afropop Worldwide | The Gqom Generation of Durban, South Africa

ON AIR THIS WEEK: The Gqom Generation of Durban: http://bit.ly/2LBEZrY

The latest music craze to hit South African dance floors is a dark, pulsating and energetic sound called gqom. For the past seven years, a young and technologically skilled generation in Durban, KwaZulu Natal, has created and finessed a sound that has the world hooked and wanting more. It is an entire cultural movement complete with distinctive dance moves and styles. We talk to some of the deejays and young producers of this genre, like DJ Lag, Citizen Boy and Distruction Boyz, as well as Gqom Oh record label owner Francesco Nan Kolé to understand where gqom originated, how it’s made and where it’s going. We also look at how this rough and raw party music has evolved to accommodate a more commercial market.

Learn about the evolution of gqom music from Durban, South Africa in this program, featuring the young artists like Distruction Boyz, Citizen Boy and DJ Lag. Produced by Akornefa Akyea.

03/15/2019

ON AIR THIS WEEK: Quelbe: Hidden Treasure of the Caribbean http://bit.ly/2tLaFn1

On a visit to the U.S. Virgin Islands in winter 2018, we took the pulse of the national music of St Croix – QUELBE. Rarely recorded, rarely exported, quelbe is an energetic form, led by sax or flute with percussion and banjo, and it fuels the traditional dance style QUADRILLE. St Croix is the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and sits alone 42 miles south St Thomas and St John. That’s part of why traditional music and dance forms have remained strong on St Croix. Meet bandleaders Stanley Jacobs of Stanley and the 10 Sleepless Knights, and Dmitri Copemann of the Renaissance Band, who are cultivating a vibrant next generation.

Produced by Marika Partridge and Banning Eyre.

ON AIR THIS WEEK: Plenty Bacchanal: Carnival in Flux: http://bit.ly/2FFe7aJTrinidadians call their annual Carnival "the ...
02/28/2019
Afropop Worldwide | Plenty Bacchanal: Carnival in Flux

ON AIR THIS WEEK: Plenty Bacchanal: Carnival in Flux: http://bit.ly/2FFe7aJ

Trinidadians call their annual Carnival "the greatest show on earth," and with good reason. The Carnival season brims over with art and music: steelpan, calypso, soca and extravagant masquerade costumes. In this program, we take a look at how these Carnival arts are kept alive in today's Trinidad. At this moment in time, Carnival is in flux. Commercialism is in tension with creativity; global outlooks conflict with local identity. But, through it all, life goes on and excellent music flows. Open your ears to some life-giving music and conversations about Trinidad and its brilliant bacchanal.

Produced by Sebastian Bouknight

Trinidadians call their annual Carnival "the greatest show on earth," and with good reason. The Carnival season brims over with art and music: steelpan, calypso, soca and extravagant masquerade costumes. In this program, we take a look at how these Carnival arts are kept alive in today's Trinidad. A...

From the archives of The Beat magazine: At the very dawn of Zimbabwean independence: Bob Marley appeared: http://afropop...
02/27/2019
Afropop Worldwide | Best of The Beat on Afropop: Bob Marley at Zimbabwe Independence Celebration, 1980

From the archives of The Beat magazine: At the very dawn of Zimbabwean independence: Bob Marley appeared: http://afropop.org/articles/best-of-the-beat-on-afropop-bob-marley-at-zimbabwe-independence-celebration-1980

In 1998, The Beat published Roger Steffens’s extensive interview with Dera Tompkins, who was present in Harare—then colonial Salisbury, Rhodesia—when the British flag was lowered, and the flag of the newly free black-led African nation, Zimbabwe, was raised.

ON AIR THIS WEEK: globalFEST 2019 at the Copacabana: http://bit.ly/2GDrQ2TWith Mardi Gras Indians straight out of New Or...
02/21/2019
Afropop Worldwide | globalFEST 2019 at the Copacabana

ON AIR THIS WEEK: globalFEST 2019 at the Copacabana: http://bit.ly/2GDrQ2T

With Mardi Gras Indians straight out of New Orleans, Afro-futurism coming from Mozambique via Dusseldorf, dub-inflected Colombian cumbia, gritty psychedelic South African punk and a grand Cuban mambo band, New York’s annual celebration of cultural music was back with a vengeance at the legendary Copacabana. Sit down with Gato Preto, Orquesta Akokan and BCUC and stand up to dance with the rest. Produced by Ben Richmond.

With Mardi Gras Indians straight out of New Orleans, Afro-futurism coming from Mozambique via Dusseldorf, dub-inflected Colombian cumbia, gritty psychedelic South African punk and a grand Cuban mambo band, New York’s annual celebration of cultural music was back with a vengeance at the legendary C...

We're proud to announce that we'll be doing a showcase at South By Southwest at the Palm Door in Austin, Texas on March ...
02/15/2019
Afropop Worldwide | Afropop’s SXSW Showcase: Jojo Abot, Adekunle Gold & More

We're proud to announce that we'll be doing a showcase at South By Southwest at the Palm Door in Austin, Texas on March 15: http://afropop.org/articles/jojo-abot-adekunle-gold-and-more-at-afropops-sxsw-showcase

Featuring: Adekunle Gold, Jojo Abot, Sauti Sol, The Muffinz, AfrotroniX and Shirazee

Afropop is excited and honored to finally jump into the South by Southwest fray in the form of a showcase. Our first ever showcase will be at the Palm Door on Sixth in Austin, TX on March 15. We’re still banging out an order for the show, so more details are still to come, but we’ve got the line...

ON AIR THIS WEEK: An Island Divided. http://bit.ly/2GKcfOkNational neighbors, divided by language and, if some have thei...
02/15/2019
Afropop Worldwide | An Island, Divided

ON AIR THIS WEEK: An Island Divided. http://bit.ly/2GKcfOk

National neighbors, divided by language and, if some have their way, a wall. Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

In this episode of Afropop Worldwide, we tell the story of the relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic through music, from the Haitian Revolution to the 1937 massacre perpetrated by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo.

ON AIR THIS WEEK: Mbalax Meets Mande in Dakar http://bit.ly/2GhIGUKAfropop returns to Dakar, Senegal to catch up with th...
02/08/2019
Afropop Worldwide | Mbalax Meets Mande in Dakar

ON AIR THIS WEEK: Mbalax Meets Mande in Dakar

http://bit.ly/2GhIGUK
Afropop returns to Dakar, Senegal to catch up with the latest in that country's dominant music style, the bracing, dynamic genre known as mbalax. We'll hear the latest from Youssou N'Dour, Baaba Maal, Pape Diouf and others, and meet lesser known artists working the Dakar scene. We'll also meet a remarkable artist from Senegal's southern Cassamance region, where Mande culture akin to that in Gambia, Mali and Guinea prevails. Noumoucounda Cissoko is a brilliant kora player and singer who now makes his home in Dakar, fusing his Mande roots with sabar drumming, mbalax energy and other influences. We'll speak with him, sample his diverse work and hear him rocking a Dakar street wedding. The thrilling ambiance of this most creative musical city comes alive in this program. Produced by Banning Eyre.

Mbalax music from Dakar and Mande music from Cassamance on a program about new sounds from Senegal.

ON AIR THIS WEEK: DJ Duo Zona Libre present Cuts from the Crypt IV: http://bit.ly/2DNeApU
01/31/2019
Afropop Worldwide | Cuts from the Crypt IV: Zona Libre

ON AIR THIS WEEK: DJ Duo Zona Libre present Cuts from the Crypt IV: http://bit.ly/2DNeApU

DJ Crew Zona Libre take a break from throwing genre-defying parties and producing their own live events and podcasts to team up with Afropop for another edition of Cuts from the Crypt. Frequent Afropop producer Morgan Greenstreet (modrums) and Brooklyn-based Puerto Rican DJ Ricardo Luiggi (tres ...

Sad news about another crucial world music pioneer gone too soon: Phil Stanton.
01/31/2019

Sad news about another crucial world music pioneer gone too soon: Phil Stanton.

World Music Network is deeply saddened to announce that company founder Phil Stanton passed away on Saturday 26th January, after a long battle with illness. A true visionary, Phil was hugely influential in creating awareness of world music for over 30 years and making it available to a larger audience through the creation of the Rough Guide series of albums in 1994, and has also brought to the fore many wonderful artists from around the world on the Riverboat Records label. He will be dearly missed by everyone whose lives he touched, and leaves behind a wonderful musical legacy.

A 2003 feature on Oliver Mtukudzi from #TheBeat magazine: http://afropop.org/articles/best-of-the-beat-on-afropop-oliver...
01/25/2019
Afropop Worldwide | Best of The Beat on Afropop: Oliver Mtukudzi--Key to the Promised Land

A 2003 feature on Oliver Mtukudzi from #TheBeat magazine: http://afropop.org/articles/best-of-the-beat-on-afropop-oliver-mtukudzi

Word has just come of the death of one of Zimbabwe’s greatest stars, Oliver Mtukudzi, on Jan. 23 in Harare, Zimbabwe. In 2003 The Beat published a comprehensive feature on the life and music of Tuku, as he is affectionately known, written by Beat correspondent Sid Whelan, which we here reprint as ...

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