About 20 years ago, World Circuit Records launched Buena Vista Social Club – probably the biggest phenomenon ever in world music. At the time, I was fortunate enough to work at Atlantic/Nonesuch Records and attended the group’s historic 1998 concert at Carnegie Hall. It was a thrilling performance and the beginning of a fascinating trend in musical history.
Like immigration in the United States, world music would also take some twists and turns in its evolution. While that first generation laid down the tracks, the next generation fused it with the sounds and challenges of the new homeland, creating something concurrently exotic, familiar and wholly unique. In this issue, we explore this evolution as Phil Gallo fast-forwards us to where we are in the genre today, and Mark Rabideau introduces us to the next generation of world artists through the Global Musician Workshop. Rounding out the issue, (Le) Poisson Rouge’s Justin Kantor serves as POP curator this month.
Next month, we devote an entire issue to 21CM’s first ever “boots on the ground” project⎯the 21CMposium. We’ll give you a front-row seat Sept. 9–11 as we report live from DePauw University in Greeencastle, Ind. Stay tuned!