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Archive for the ‘world beat’ Category

Dhafer Youssef“The kind of gig you watched and prayed would never end, charged with such magic that you knew you would be telling people about it in years to come.”

—Straight No Chaser

Tunisian-born singer and oud player, Dhafer Youssef, will be making his Minnesota debut and kicking off the Walker Art Center‘s New World Jazz Series on Thursday, September 27th at 8:00 pm.

Dhafer Youssef’s hypnotic, Sufi-inspired music connects the ancient with the modern, the East with the West in an enticing coalescence of culture. Youssef draws on the evocative sound of his Islamic heritage, combining it with new directions in European jazz and “a voice that could stop wars” (Songlines) to create timeless atmospheres of sound.

Youssef will be joined in the Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater by a very accomplished string quartet—Todd Reynolds, violin; Daisy Jopling, violin; Caleb Burhans, viola; Mark Helias, bass; and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi.

Dhafer Youssef tickets are $22 ($18 Walker members).


Dhafer Youssef Quartet performing at the ‘Jazz Onze Plus’ festival in Lausanne on October 28, 2006. The quartet performs the song ‘Odd Poetry’ from Dhafer’s 2006 Jazzland release ‘Divine Shadows’.

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It’s not often when I’m surfing iTunes or looking through CD’s that I wonder, gosh, what would Antibalas listen to? But then I stumbled onto a post from Spinner that answered just that question. They asked Martin Perna, barry sax player for Antibalas, to run down his five favorite albums that fall under the vague label of World Beat:

1. ‘Os Afro Sambas,’ Baden Powell: Baden Powell is one of my favorite Brazilian guitarists. This project was from the ’60s, I think … really lushly orchestrated music of the Afro-Brazilian orixas.

2. ‘Cymande,’ Cymande: One of my all-time favorite bands — Caribbean expats in London in the late ’60s making West Indian hippie music. Find dozens of famous hip-hop samples on this album.

3. ‘Best of …,’ Victor Jara: Jara is the Bob Dylan of Chile, except that he was kidnapped by the army, tortured, dismembered and killed in front of thousands of other political prisoners during the CIA-funded Dirty War.

4. ‘Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense,’ Fela and Egypt 80: One of my favorite Fela tunes — full of subtlety and sophistication. At this point, he had stopped calling his music “Afrobeat” and referred to it as “African Classical Music.” This album will show you why.

5. ‘Concepts in Unity,’ Grupo Folklorico y Experimental Nuevayorquino: An incredible summit of legendary Afro- and Afro-Caribbean musicians throwing down on the ultimate diasporic fusion record that doesn’t sound like fusion at all. ‘Chocolate’s Guajira’ is one of my all-time favorites.


Antibalas live in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 2004.

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