Category World/International


Kayhan Kalhor, Aynur, Cemîl Qoçgirî, and Salman Gambarov – Hawniyaz (Harmonia Mundi)

What beautiful music! Kalhor draws so much drama out of every note from his kamancheh (an Iranian string instrument played with a bow). The plaintive vocals of Aynur accent this drama with rich emotional tones. Notes from Gambarov’s piano fall into place quietly, brilliantly, & so meaningfully! The same can be said for the subtle […]

Melodic Intersect

Melodic Intersect – Looking Back (Aimrec)

Firmly rooted in Northern Indian classical music played by accomplished Indian musicians with traditional instruments (tabla, sitar, sarangi, plus violin), but infused with elements of western jazz & rock music played on keyboards, sax, & cajón. Initial tracks are somewhat more traditional, followed by others that venture further afield to good effect.


A lovely mix of Arab and classical/folk traditions ranging from strongly Arabic to remarkably minimalist, quiet to staccato. Play!

Richard Crandell–Mbira Magic

Re-release. Gorgeous pieces for altered Zimbabwean instrument. Suitable for world programming. Play!


Various Artists – Tanbou Toujou Lou (Ostinato)

Fascinating collection of Meringue, Kompa Kreyol (Creole beat), Vodou Jazz, & Electric Folklore from Haiti, 1960-1981. Vik Sohonie, fan of Afro-Atlantic sounds and founder of Ostinato Records, scoured Haitian radio stations and ran newspaper ads to find vinyl from this golden era in Haitian music. Here are his favorites. Explore! Read more about the project […]


Afro-Hatian Experimental Orchestra – A.H.E.O. (Glitterbeat)

An experiment in every sense! Afro-beat drummer Tony Allen was asked to come to Haiti and play with an assortment of leading Haitian musicians recruited by the Haitian National Bureau of Ethnology. Out of the chaos, Allen stepped up as music director, laying down beats to which were added super bass lines, voodoo rhythms, chants, […]


Sandaraa – Sandaraa (self-released)

Exotic and evocative collaboration between Pakistani composer/vocalist Zeb Bangash (trained in khayal classical singing) and Brooklyn clarinetist Michael Winograd (with a background in Jewish music), featuring music inspired by and respectfully reinvented from South Asian musical forms (e.g., Dari, Pashto, & Baluchi). Great percussion, bass, oud, accordion, violin, & guitar as well. Tunes reveal surprising […]

MAKU Soundsystem

MAKU Soundsystem – Mezcla (Glitterbeat)

High-energy Afro-Colombian vibes with a dash of Afro-beat provide a foundation for this 8-piece NYC band. Most band members are Colombian immigrants, and the lyrics focus on their experiences as such. Easy to dance to, with strong percussion and a smokin’ brass section.

Journey Home-Raphael Groten

  As Raphael suggests,” close your eyes and journey within.” original music with acoustic guitar to open your heart and be calm.  A local Vermont artist Raphael is a UVM graduate and plays fantastic guitar.  Play all and check out the website at

Dream Weaver- Harmonic Earth (Matthew Thoma)

In this CD (Dream Weaver) with composer and arrangement/producer Matthew Thoma of Harmonic Earth we are gifted with gentle flute music with background ambiance of Nature and the most wonderful blend of sitar, percussion and guitar.  Each track is part of a series of three, with title track Dream Weaver tracks 7,8,9.  Other Worldly may […]


Imarhan – Imarhan (City Slang)

The Tuareg people of Northern Mali and Southern Algeria have become legendary for their brand of desert blues, but these guys are building on the legend with a little less “round the campfire” rustic and a little more polish. The music features quite thoughtful arrangements, tight instrumentation, & gorgeous production. If you like Tinariwen, Tamakrest, […]

Buyepongo Todo Mundo

Buyepongo – Todo Mundo (self-released)

Debut album from a young L.A. band that came to embrace diverse Latin & Afro-Caribbean sounds after their percussionist traveled in Central & South America. Great dance music that also retains elements of the band’s West Coast rocker roots. Fine tunes!

Debo Band Ere Gobez

Debo Band – Ere Gobez (FPE)

Energetic 2nd CD from this 12 member Boston based ensemble (& guests) dedicated to Ethiopian-inspired music. Distinctive vocals are framed with rockin’ guitars, finely arranged contributions by the brass section, fascinating violins, percussion fit for a rave, & more. Fun! Note: Ere Gobez is also a great Ethiopian wedding song. Listen here!

Konono No1 Meets Batida

Konono No1 – Konono No1 Meets Batida (Crammed Discs)

Mixes the trademark sounds of the Congolese band Konono No1 (including lots of distorted finger piano) with the heavy percussion & electronic sounds of Batida, who hails from neighboring Angola but has long been based in Portugal. Mostly long, primitive, trancey tracks, with great rhythms & some fun vocals. Great for dancing!

Sing Me Home

Silk Road Ensemble – Sing Me Home (Sony)

With founding member Yo-Yo Ma (cello), members & guests by turn lead the ensemble in new, & heartfelt directions reflecting their diverse cultural heritages (hence the title). The music abounds with passion, delightful surprises, & of course, musical virtuosity.

Dos Amigos

Caetano Veloso & Gilberto Gil – Dos Amigos (Nonesuch)

These two singer-songwriters, undisputed legends of Brazilian music, got together for a live performance celebrating 50 years of friendship during their careers. This two CD set contains an entire concert by just these two; nearly all original compositions, all acoustic.


Kaoru Watanabe – Neo (self-released)

Music from a former member of the Kodo touring ensemble, rooted in Japanese traditions but informed by jazz, Indian, & classical forms. All original compositions except #10 (a new arrangement of a traditional song). Fascinating percussion complemented by beautiful flute, voices, & more. Official website:

Song of Lahore

The Sachal Ensemble – Song of Lahore (Universal)

Music from the Pakistani ensemble that did the soundtrack to the award-winning documentary Song of Lahore, highlighting the current plight of Pakistani musicians in that troubled country. This follow-up features covers of mostly very well-known songs, rearranged to varying degrees to feature Pakistani musical forms & instruments (sometimes just the addition of tabla, other times […]


QVLN – Paleta EP (Belu)

Band name pronounced “Q-Violin.” Features violinist Quetzal Guerrero, & percussion that sometimes drifts between Latin (cumbia/Cuban/Mexican) & Native American, reflecting his multicultural heritage. Includes one original (title) track (my favorite) & four nicely arranged covers.


Ana Moura – Moura (Universal)

Classic smoky Fado vocals set in arrangements that are not so traditional, by a fabulously popular & award-winning Portuguese vocalist. To a fan of classic Fado, the arrangements on some of these tracks seem a bit smooth, others a bit pop, but the vocals are super & her record sales suggest this is what people […]


Zmei3 – Rough Romanian Soul (Six Degrees)

A Kickstarter project recorded in Transylvania by Romanian emigrants, singing soulful, heartfelt ballads about the harshness of post-communist Romania. The vocals are gorgeous, sometimes reminiscent of the Fado style, other times Edith Piaf. Fine work on the vibes also stands out. Recorded live. Every track a delight!


Victor Prieto – The Three Voices (self-released)

From the Galicia region of Spain where the accordion is cherished, to years in Venezuela as a boy with an Italian accordion teacher, & now living in NYC, this accordionist & composer masterfully incorporates multiple genres & styles into mostly jazz-inflected tunes, often taking parts one might associate with saxophone, lead guitar, or a string […]

Koola Lobitos

Fela Ransome Kuti & His Koola Lobitos – Highlife: Jazz & Afro-Soul 1963-1969 (KFR)

A must have for collectors featuring many tunes previously available only on Japanese releases from a decade ago (or in Nigeria in the 1960s). An extensive collection of early recordings by Fela’s 1st post-London band, Koola Lobitos, including many quite rare tracks, and with frequent hints of the Afrobeat revolution to come. The CDs are […]

Manhattan Camerata

Manhattan Camerata – Tango-Fado Project (Sorel Classics)

A wonderful mix of Argentinian & Portuguese musical traditions (Tango & Fado), pairing a highly-talented 19 member ensemble directed by musicians from each of these two countries (Lucia Caruso & Pedro da Silva), together with guests that include an amazing Fado vocalist (Nathalie Pires), a true master of the bandoneon (Daniel Binelli), expert work on […]


Tales Of Future Past- Matthew Thoma

World Beat featuring the Native American flute played by Matthew Thoma.  All music is played by Matthew with guests vocals on tracks 5 and 7 (Zefora)  basically an instrumental CD.  Summer Rain has a beautiful piano intro (track 4) Harmonic Earth is the musical project of Matthew Thoma who is from Ohio and of Seneca […]


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