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Afropop Worldwide is an internationally syndicated weekly radio series, online guide to African and world music, and an international music archive, that has introduced American listeners to the music cultures of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean since 1988. Our radio program is hosted by Georges Collinet from Cameroon, the radio series is distributed by Public Radio International to 110 stations in the U.S., via XM satellite radio, in Africa via and Europe via Radio Multikulti.
 
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The 2022 global music exposition, WOMEX, went down in Lisbon, Portugal. For the second year running, most of the African-related showcases featured bands led by women. In this episode we meet Selma Uamusse from Mozambique and Portugal, Djazia Satour from Algeria and France, Pilani Bubu from South Africa, and hear 78-year-old Lia de Itamaracá, Brazi…
 
Traditional Manding (Mande) griots living in France sit at the crossroads between Africa and Europe. Historically, their role has been to weave traditional, oral histories, often within music, to promote a united, peaceful society. As they have become part of the modern global community, each griot has their own way of staying true to these histori…
 
Ladama is a collective of four female musicians and activists from Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and the U.S. Drawing on traditions from all these countries and beyond, they create original music with the zest of soul, r&b and pop. In this podcast, the group visits the Afropop studio to perform and deconstruct key songs in their repertoire. Narrated …
 
Fifty-two years ago, the president of Senegal’s nephew was putting together a band for his new, upscale Dakar nightclub, and he recruited a handful of musicians who are still together today. Bringing together elements from their homes across West Africa to the Afro-Cuban style of the time, the Orchestra Baobab became one of Dakar’s top bands. From …
 
Nigeria is today the undisputed powerhouse of African pop music. Call it Naija Pop, Afrobeats, Afropop or what have you. The likes of Burna Boy, Wizkid, Yemi Alade and Tiwa Savage are giants on the scene. In this program we hear the latest from these and others, and sample action on the Afrobeat and Alté scene. We also speak with key artists in Nig…
 
Currulao is the traditional music of Colombia’s majority-Black, southern Pacific coastal region. In this episode, professor Michael Birenbaum Quintero describes how this performative practice has been used to grapple with modernization, dramatize Black politics, demonstrate national heritage and generate economic development. Currulao connects the …
 
Papa Wemba, one of the greatest singers of the past African century, died on stage at age 66 in 2016. But his body of work, both in advancing Congolese rumba and innovating new African pop sounds, as well as influencing style, fashion and music production throughout Africa, is immense. In this episode we look back on an iconic career, drawing on so…
 
In 1809, the population of New Orleans doubled almost overnight because of French-speaking refugees from Cuba. You read that right-- French-speaking refugees from Cuba -- part of a wave of music and culture that emigrated from east to west in the wake of the Haitian Revolution. We'll look at the distinct African roots of these three regions, and co…
 
The golden age of vinyl records is long past in Africa, but the market for rare and reissued African vinyl outside the continent has been growing steadily since the early 2000s. DJs and collectors have turned an obsession with rare records and forgotten gems from Cape Town to Tangiers into an international reissue and compilation industry, led by r…
 
Toots Hibbert was a titan of Jamaican popular music. With his harmony group the Maytals he indelibly changed the island’s music scene in the early 1960s by infusing ska with gospel and went on to captivate overseas audiences by blending blues and funk with reggae, becoming one of Jamaica’s best-known performers. Never Grow Old: A Salute To Toots An…
 
Yes, it’s the age of South African House, Afrobeats, Afro R&B and the likes, but roots music lives on in South Africa. This show updates the Zulu pop music known as maskanda, with a look back at its history and a survey of the current scene--rich musically, but troubled by fan rivalry that can lead to violence and even deaths. We’ll hear nimble uka…
 
The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is perhaps best known for sandy beaches and, recently, a catastrophic oil spill. It is also home to a unique folkloric pop music called sega. Sega is a product of an unusual history on an island that has been populated by humans for less than five centuries. In this episode we meet three musicians traveling the …
 
On a visit to the U.S. Virgin Islands in winter 2018, we took the pulse of the national music of St. Croix – quelbe. Rarely recorded, rarely exported, quelbe is an energetic form, led by sax or flute with percussion and banjo, and it fuels the traditional dance style, quadrille. St Croix is the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and sits alone 42 …
 
The latest music craze to hit South African dance floors is a dark, pulsating and energetic sound called gqom. For the past seven years, a young and technologically skilled generation in Durban, KwaZulu Natal, has created and finessed a sound that has the world hooked and wanting more. It is an entire cultural movement complete with distinctive dan…
 
The square gumbe frame drum was created centuries ago by enslaved Africans in Jamaica. It traveled to Sierra Leone with freed Maroons from Jamaica’s highlands in 1800. From there, the drum and its evolving, pan-ethnic music spread to 17 African nations. In this program we trace the history and legacy of this joyous and surprising music with field w…
 
When Ugandan American writer and producer Jessica Kariisa moved to the San Francisco Bay Area early in 2022, she did not expect to find a thriving African music club scene where DJs spin the latest hits, be they Afrobeats from Nigeria or Amapiano from South Africa. In this episode, she goes deep to tell the story of how this scene emerged. Narrated…
 
In its 36th year, the Nuits d’Afrique festival in Montreal pulled out all the stops to meet the expectations of an audience that was hungry to see and hear some of the world’s biggest stars. The Afropop team was there recording two nights of kora mastery, plus Gnawa roost from Moktar Gania, Haitian pop from Wesli, Femi Kuti & The Positive Force and…
 
When Siama Matazungidi first heard soukous music on the radio in Kinshasa, Congo, it was as if the keys to a technicolor world of sound had landed in his lap. Though Siama’s father wanted him to pursue the pious (and stable) life of priesthood, it was the guitar that became his place of prayer, and the dream of soukous stardom his calling. Of cours…
 
Changüí is a little understood, loose and lively, community-based music of eastern Cuba. In this program we sample recordings from the 2021 box set Changüí: The Sound of Guantánamo, and hear from Gianluca Tramontana, the man who made the recordings. Rooted in Afro-Haitian music, pan-Caribbean styles, Spanish poetic traditions and more, Changüí emer…
 
Inspired by Jamaica’s dancehall music from the 90s and early 2000s, Zimbabwean dancehall music (Zimdancehall) started out as an underground subculture in the ghettos of Zimbabwe and is now the country’s most popular genre. In this episode we’ll trace the subgenre’s rocky rise to the top and meet some of its founding pioneers: the likes of producer,…
 
In the age of slick, international Afrobeats music, and especially its epicenter, Lagos, Nigeria, one would not expect to find a group of 20-somethings composing and performing classic highlife music. But that is exactly what the two brothers known as The Cavemen do. And they’re finding success with the formula as well. Produced and narrated by Fay…
 
Sometimes music can take you to places you've never imagined! That’s what Afrofuturism does.… Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic that explores the intersection of African culture with science fiction, technology and the future, fusing magical realism with the beauty of Africa, beyond the clichés. The term was originally coined by Mark Dery (an Am…
 
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