Africa

YAN KUBA: Kora Music From Gambia
Yan Kuba Saho

The kora is the best known and most beautiful string instrument from West Africa, and dates back many centuries to the royal courts. Its harp-like sound is unique and immediately appealing. On this recording, Yan Kuba Saho plays the 21-stringed kora and sings on several selections. He is accompanied on several tracks by Bintu Suso. (LAT 50611)

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ANCIENT WISDOM: Songs & Fables from ZimbabweAncient Wisdom
Ephat Mujuru

For many centuries, the mbira has been used by the Shona people of Zimbabwe to maintain contact with the spirit world and to recount fables. Ephat Mujuru is one of the world’s most accomplished players of the mbira, or African thumb piano, and this recording presents a beautiful blend of spiritual and contemporary songs. (LAT 50616)

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Ngoma: Music from Uganda
Ndere Troupe & others

Compiled by the acclaimed Ndere Troupe in 1995, the recordings from the Ngoma Project for Cultural Preservation present a wealth of traditional music from Uganda. This is the most comprehensive collection of traditional Ugandan music to date.

Inspired performances by master musicians from the region’s most important ethnic groups utilize a wide range of instruments including harps, mbiras, zithers, xylophones, and a wide array of African percussion. Fourteen tracks of music, digitally recorded and mastered. (MOW 142)

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THE FIRE WITHIN: Gnawa Music of Morocco
Hassan Hakmoun (Morocco)

A sizzling foray into the mysterious world of the Gnawa. The Gnawa people of Morocco serve as intermediaries in the spirit world and also as eThe Fire Withinntertainers. Hassan was raised in Marrakech and began to study the healing rituals of tagnawit, the Gnawa-related arts and lore, at a young age. His travels led him to Europe and the U.S. and eventually to participate in several WOMAD tours, recordings with his fusion group Zahar and work with Peter Gabriel. The Fire Within is Hassan’s first traditional-based musical project, featuring the sintir, a three-stringed bass lute. Clear, balanced melodies and driving, syncopated rhythms make the music appealing to Western listeners. Several of the songs on this recording are taken from different parts of the derdeba, a trance ritual held to placate spirits that inhabit people or places. Deeply entrancing, The Fire Within hit the European world music charts within a week of it’s release and is a CMJ Jackpot pick. (MOW 135)

“The best album of traditional Moroccan music I’ve heard.” University Reporter

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Shona Spirit

SHONA SPIRIT
Dumisani Maraire & Ephat Mujuru
Bringing together two of the world’s most accomplished mbira (thumb piano) players has resulted in a landmark recording of spiritually evocative and culturally rich music. Both Dumisani and Ephat are musical ambassadors from Zimbabwe, home of Shona culture. Three aspects of Shona culture (language, religion and music) remain intact despite an onslaught of modern day influences. The evidence of change in the music on Shona Spirit is not at the expense of, but rather in reverence to traditional Shona music (Paschigare). Inspiring and uplifting, Shona Spirit is an unprecedented release in the tradition of mbira music. (MOW 136)
“One of the finest African music albums of recent years.” World Music Review
TESFAYE: A Future Hope
Seleshe DamessaeSeleshe

Seleshe Damessae, an extraordinary singer and musician from Ethiopia, offers a wonderful selection of compositions rendered in complex vocal stylings, and sung in Amharic, his native language. He accompanies himself on the krar, a 6-string lyre which dates back to the ancient civilizations of the Nile. (MOW 107)

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AFRICA ON THE MOVE
Various Artists

Africa On The Move features a great selection of modern African sounds that are guaranteed to get you moving. The artists are I.K. Dairo and his Blue Spots (Juju music from Nigeria); Obo Addy and Kukrudu (horns, talking drums and electric instruments – Ghana); Suleyman Faye (voice and acoustic guitar – Senegal); and Dumisani Maraire and Minanzi (marimba and percussion ensemble – Zimbabwe (MOW 210)

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WATIK, WATIK: Music from Uganda
James Makubuya

The East African nation of Uganda is inhabited by over twenty different ethnic groups. From such a diverse culture comes a great variety of musical instruments and styles, many of which are featured on this recording. These traditional and contemporary compositions feature harps, fiddles, thumb pianos, drums, log xylophone, lyres, vocals and assorted percussion. The melodies are playful and lively, and descriptive notes are included for each song. Fourteen tracks, excellent sound quality. (LAT 50614)

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CHAMINUKA: Music of Zimbabwe
Dumisani Maraire

This recording is a mixture of contemporary and traditional music from Zimbabwe. In addition to traditional mbira tunes, this album also highlights three marimba pieces performed by Dumisani and Minanzi III. This pulsating music is played on seven sets of wooden marimbas, with shakers, drums and vocals. (MOW 208)

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AFRICAN ODYSSEY
Various Artists

African Odyssey takes an exciting journey through the traditional sounds of East, West and Southern Africa. Artists are Dumisani Maraire (mbira, voice – Zimbabwe); Djimo Kouyate (kora, vocals – Senegal); and Seleshe Damessae (krar, vocals – Ethiopia). The music styles from these areas are distinct, and each has its own special allure. Together they create a blend of music that reflects ancient legacies from across the African continent. (MOW 119)

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TABARA: Gambian Kora Music
Amadu Bansang Jobarteh

Amadu Bansang Jaborteh embodies the wisdom of a grand master, and is one of the oldest and most respected kora players of our time. The kora is a 21-stringed harp from West Africa, and this recording features eight tracks of traditional melodies played on kora, with occasional vocals. (MOW 129)

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I REMEMBER: Juju Music from NigeriaI Remember
I.K. Dairo And His Blue Spots

For many years, I.K. Dairo has been a motivating force in the music of Nigeria and has made a lasting impression on musicians from that country and from other parts of Africa. On this recording “the father of Juju” reunited with the Blue Spots after a 15 year break – the result is an inspired and invigorating set. (MOW 210)

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