World Music with Deirdre Saravia | Texas Public Radio

World Music with Deirdre Saravia

Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

World Music with Deirdre Saravia takes you on a musical journey to some of the world’s most fascinating places.   From China to Brazil and the Balkans to Indonesia, World Music will introduce you to sounds from a world far from your own.  A world traveler herself, the Belfast, Northern Ireland native introduces each piece with details about the music, the musicians and the culture that produced them.

Saravia credits the work of performers like Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon for bringing world music to the attention of American audiences, but she has also seen a change in attitude in America towards foreigners.

Today foreigners feel more comfortable in celebrating their uniqueness, and as a result, there is a burgeoning interest in world music. "Not understanding the language is no longer a problem," says Saravia. "People enjoy the music for the beat, the instrumentation."

Though each World Music show is built around a central theme, it will rarely center on one type of music. Saravia strives for variety, though there will always be a connection between the songs she plays; music from as many as 15 countries can be represented in the same show.

"You come to learn that people are basically the same throughout the world," she says. "They sing about the same things."

Ways to Connect

Amidst the constant drumbeat of 2019's political talk, of raising walls and shutting out opposition — this year's globalFEST artists and organizers articulated a very clear vision, one that makes room for bracingly new voices. The one-night festival of global music, held each January in Manhattan, featured a remarkable lineup of musicians from around the world, including India, Cuba, Ukraine, Mozambique, and even New York City itself. Now in its sixteenth year, globalFEST was founded in a post-Sept.

In making a cover album of Talking Heads' Remain in Light, people kept telling Angélique Kidjo that the absurd songs had no meaning. But it didn't seem that way to her. She connected the music with folk songs from her home country of Benin and interpreted them through the same cultural lens that the band did.

The Arabic word habibi means "my love," an apt descriptor for Rahill Jamalifard's feelings about her Iranian upbringing and the music she creates. Jamalifard is the frontwoman for Habibi, the Brooklyn-based band that mixes Detroit garage rock with girl group harmonies and surf guitar. The band's newest EP, Cardamom Garden, houses lyrics that move seamlessly between English and Farsi.

The tarantella is a lively folk dance and musical style originating in southern Italy's Apulia region, the heel of the Italian geographic boot.

Its name derives from the poisonous bite of a local spider and is rooted in pagan tradition.

Today, it's the theme of one of Europe's biggest annual folk music concerts, now in its 20th year. It's called Night of the Taranta, and it attracts top international stars. This year, it drew some 200,000 tarantella aficionados for 4 1/2 hours of uninterrupted music and dance.

The time was right to revisit the Buena Vista Social Club. The blockbuster 1997 album and 1999 documentary, chronicling the recording sessions of an ad-hoc group of remarkable Cuban musicians, set off a global wave of appreciation for Son cubano music in the late '90s. The principal players, many of whom had begun their musical careers before the Communist revolution and had been retired for years before making the album, became overnight celebrities.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Since 1981, Naoko Yamano has been the lead singer and driving force behind the pioneering Japanese pop-punk band Shonen Knife. She's still based in the band's hometown of Osaka, and after 35 years in the biz, she's about as plugged into the music scene in her home country as it gets.

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