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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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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…
 
As in so many African countries, Malawian hip-hop evolved from a marginalized and often disparaged form of music, to an underground sensation, to a mainstream phenomenon. In Malawi, it has also come to play a role in the nation’s quickly evolving politics, serving as the voice of a burgeoning youth population. Ethnomusicologist Kenneth Lipanga unpa…
 
Toronto is Canada’s most cosmopolitan city--“like New York but mellower” in the words of Kofi Akah, son of the Ghanaian highlife legend Jewel Akah. Kofi is one of many superb African artists who have made Toronto their home over the years. That list is long, and it has included highlife star Pat Thomas, South Sudanese rapper Emanuel Jal, rising Con…
 
"Dakar Muse" takes us to one of the most exciting musical cities in Africa. We'll meet young stars on the Mbalax scene, Senegal's national music, including Tarba Mbaye, Sidy Diop, Sidy Samb and Pape Diouf. And we'll hear rappers making their mark in the huge Hip Hop scene including Dip Doundou Guiss and Ngaaka Blinde. Finally, we pay tribute to the…
 
"The New York Sound of Latin Music" demonstrates how the metropolis transformed the music. Guest Ben Lapidus, author of New York and the International Sound of Latin Music 1940-1990, talks to Georges Collinet and Ned Sublette about how innovations in rhythm and instrument design joined with folklore, jazz, New York's education system, and urban mul…
 
Botswana is a large, landlocked country in Southern Africa, a vast stretch of desert and savannah between South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia with a population of only 2.2 million. While widely overlooked internationally for their music, over the past 20 years Batswana have steadily built a diverse and fruitful local scene that includes traditional …
 
In 2018, the renowned music journal Fact boldly claimed that “the world’s best electronic music festival is in Uganda.” In only a few years, Nyege Nyege has indeed become one of the hottest artistic hubs in East Africa, birthing two music labels that propelled local scenes, such as Ugandan acholitronix or Tanzanian singeli, across the globe. At the…
 
Calypso and reggae have been mainstays of Grenada’s musical culture, until the emergence of the distinctive Carnival-based offshoot known as jab-jab soca, and more recent hybrid forms embraced by a younger generation of musical practitioners. On this program, we explore how the island’s tempestuous history has influenced its dynamic music scene, wi…
 
Known as Australia’s music and cultural capital, Melbourne is a hub of creativity boasting a diverse arts scene. The African community in Melbourne has been growing with Africans from all parts of the continent bringing their fashion, food and music to the city. In this episode we’ll explore African musicians and music curators who are making their…
 
The Afro-Roots Fest is Florida’s state-wide celebration of Africa’s global musical heritage. The 2022 edition featured a diva of Afro-Cuban jazz, Daymé Arocena, Sudanese American indie rock band Sinkane, Miami’s own Latin music champions Cortadito celebrating their tenth anniversary, and more. We’ll hear live highlights and interviews with the prin…
 
On this program, we look at Puerto Rican protest songs over the past two centuries, including Paracumbé's subversive bomba dances from the time of slavery, Las Barrileras 8M, an all-women drumming group demanding an end to violence against women and a new plena from Hector Tito Matos about the death of George Floyd.The past three years have been in…
 
When it comes to popular music, it's hard to top Brazil for variety, excellence and sheer volume. On this program, Georges Collinet welcomes co-host Béco Dranoff in Brazil. Béco is a producer, broadcaster and lifelong connoisseur of Brazilian music. He recently returned to Sao Paulo after some three decades in New York City. He takes us on a whirlw…
 
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