From the globalFEST press release:

Malian roots rap and sensually fresh samba. Eerily avant jaw harps and 21st-century tarantella. Heritage never sounded so cool.

Whether continuing famous musical lineages or pushing forward on new paths, the artists of the 9th annual globalFEST  show how world music has matured from a quaint, catch-all niche to a meaningful, deeply rooted challenge to the musical status quo. Artists are crafting history into new sounds.

This year’s edition of the annual world music showcase and all-night party includes three U.S. debuts, as well as several fresh programs and approaches from a bevy of respected global performers.

It’s a really diverse lineup (courtesy of co-curators Bill Bragin, Isabel Soffer and Shante Thake), but I’m especially looking forward to checking out these three:

BélO: Haiti’s acoustic innovator and social activist channels his home’s deep and diverse Afro-Caribbean roots with catchy, reggae-inflected songs.

Mayra Andrade: Golden-voiced Cape Verde-born singer brings a Parisian and Brazilian flair to her island roots with a new acoustic trio.  (I can’t help but feeling this performance might be all the more poignant in the wake of the Cesaria Evora’s recent passing.)

SMOD (U.S. Debut): Malian folk rappers, featuring the son of Amadou and Mariam, work serious lyrical flow to create Afro-Rap, wrapped in Manu Chao’s signature globe-trotting production.

The rest of the line up includes:

Canzionere Grecanino Salentino: Southern Italy’s hottest band revitalizes the ancient ritual pizzica tarantata, said to cure the deadly pider’s bite with frenzied trance dances.

Debo Band: Boston-based crew reinvents the Golden Age of Ethiopian and East African funk and jazz.

Diogo Nogueira: Brazil’s red-hot samba (and television) star adds a contemporary twist to the beloved rhythms of Rio.

M.A.K.U. Sound System: Queens, NY-based Afro-Colombian underground band’s roaring guitars, bold brass, and hard-hitting Latin beats and vocals bring down the house.

Silk Road Project Ensemble: An international collective of virtuoso musicians from Japan to the Mediterranean and in between continue founder Yo-Yo Ma’s musical legacy on their own, exploring the world’s oldest trade routes in unexpected ways.

The Gloaming (U.S. Debut): Irish and American roots supergroup (Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Iarla Ó Lionaird, and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh with NY’s indie pianist Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), marries edgy but harmonious, sparse yet beautiful elements to age-old and new tunes.

Wang Li (U.S. Debut): France-based Chinese jaw harp master-improviser creates wildly unexpected and deeply meditative melodies, discovering the infinite nuances that breath, tongue, and throat can make.

: Featuring Turkish virtuosi of the Taksim Trio (Hüsnü Senlendirici: clarinet, Ismail Tunçbilek: baglama, and Aytaç Dogan: kanun) and East Village nu-jazz-world-dub club Nublu’s mover-and-shaker, multi-instrumentalist Ilhan Ersahin, Wonderland’s global music artfully unites Turkish, Kurdish, Gypsy and Armenian grooves into soulful delights.

Yemen Blues: Yemeni-Israeli electrifying singer and his global band make Mediterranean sounds rock and soar.

globalFEST 2012 takes place on Sunday, January 8.  Tickets are $40 and gives you access to all 12 shows on 3 stages throughout Webster Hall.  Get your tickets early.

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