Bab L’ Bluz (gate to the blues) is a Moroccan-French quartet created by lead vocalist and guembri player Yousra Mansour and French guitarist/producer Brice Bottin. The group fully embodies an explosive fusion of psychedelic Moroccan Gnawa music with blues, rock, funk, and dub. Breaking from the male-dominated tradition, Mansour sings, ululates, and fires riffs from her guembri, powerfully denouncing corruption and celebrating the transcendental nature of love.
“…Fearlessly rebellious music, an electrifyingly modern take on a traditional style.” -Asher Breuer-Weil
Bia Ferreira is a Brazilian singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and activist. Her music, which she defines as "MMP — Música de Mulher Preta, (Black Women’s Music)" discusses topics such as feminism, anti-racism and homophobia. She makes music that harnesses a combination of funky beats, reggae, and soulful ballad grooves while lyrically pushing her listeners toward the discomfort that generates "movemente,” or action. Her lyrics have been described as "escrevivência,” a term Conceição Evaristo uses to “tell our stories from our perspectives” which represents the subjectivity of a Black woman in Brazilian society.
"Karsh Kale mixes eclectic beats with the sounds of his heritage to make a sound that is distinctly his own.” – Former President Barack Obama
Described by Billboard Magazine as a "visionary composer and producer", Karsh Kale today is known as a pioneer in the world of global fusion. His career has gone through many avatars over the past 20 years as he jumps between the various roles of being a world renowned tabla player, drummer, DJ/ remix artist, vocalist, multi instrumentalist, film composer, as well as a band leader and curator all with equal ease. Karsh Kale has also developed a reputation as a genre bending collaborator which has led him to work with some of the most renowned artists from around the globe
Be it with his live ensembles, or as a world-renowned producer, Karsh Kale continues to push the boundaries of music to places it hasn’t been as well as continues to be one the most sought after collaborators of his generation.
El Laberinto del Coco is a captivating Puerto Rican Bomba contemporary band that effortlessly blends the rich traditions of Bomba music with contemporary influences, creating a unique and vibrant musical experience. Their performances are a mesmerizing journey through the rhythmic heart of Puerto Rico, fusing the ancestral beats of Bomba with elements of jazz, funk, and world music. With their infectious energy and innovative sound, El Laberinto del Coco has carved a distinct niche in the music scene, captivating audiences worldwide and preserving the island's cultural heritage while pushing its boundaries.
Lonnie Holley is a visual artist and musician whose art is in the permanent collections of numerous museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Art and the Metropolitan Museum. He has released six critically acclaimed albums, including 2023’s “Oh Me, Oh My.” “MITH,” his release from 2018, was named one of the 10 best records of the decade by the New Yorker. “I Snuck Off the Slave Ship,” Holley’s directorial debut, premiered at 2019’s Sundance Film Festival. Each of Holley’s live performances contains new material, created spontaneously.
Tarta Relena was born in 2016 as a project of two singers to explore a cappella and the sonorities of different styles of vocal music. Far from wanting to create a stamp of the traditional and to define the Mediterranean, Tarta Relena wants to make its own repertoire that goes from music of oral tradition to songs of authors that in one way or another are related to the geographical area of the Mediterranean.
Tarta Relena sings from the perspective that what we call folklore is a living and moving repertoire. Therefore, this reality is moldable and can be reinterpreted with the instruments and sounds that we now have within our reach. A key tool is the electronics with which they re-signify the melodies without leaving aside their origins. The study and knowledge of the path and the contexts that have given rise to these musics opens the doors of experimentation towards new meanings. In Tarta Relena's work there is also a desire to blur the concept of authorship, bringing together anonymous traditional melodies and newly created songs under the same umbrella, treating them in the same way and placing oral transmission, the central element of tradition, at the center.
Thandiswa Mazwai is one of South Africa’s most influential contemporary musicians. She began her career in 1995 with Bongo Maffin, one of the pioneering bands of the Kwaito era. After 6 award-winning albums with Bongo Maffin she ventured onto a solo career. Her first project Zabalaza (2004), reached double platinum status and won numerous awards, including a Kora award for Best African Female and four South African Music Awards. Her sophomoric release Ibokwe (2009) and third album Belede (2016) reached gold status within a few weeks of release. Thandiswa has performed all over the world at venues including: the FIFA 2010 World Cup Opening Ceremony, the Apollo Theatre, Radio City Hall, The Cannes Film Festival, Africa Express, BBC World Music Awards, TED, Afropunk, Carnegie Hall Citywide Festival, among others. She has shared the stage with artists like Hugh Masekela, Busi Mhlongo, Paul Simon, Meshell Ndegeocello, DJ Black Coffee and many others.
The Villalobos Brothers are an award-winning family band, acclaimed as one of today’s leading Contemporary Mexican ensembles. Their original compositions and arrangements fuse and celebrate the richness of Mexican folk with jazz and classical music.
The ensemble has delighted audiences in over 30 states across the USA, Mexico, India, Russia, and Canada. They have performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Latin Grammy Awards, Davies Symphony Hall, Montreal Jazz Festival, the Ford Theatre in Hollywood, the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations, the New Victory Theatre on Broadway, San Jose Jazz Fest, Celebrate Brooklyn, the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City, the Blue Note Jazz Festival, the Apollo Theatre, among others.
Yasser Tejeda is an award-winning Dominican composer, guitarist, vocalist, and producer. According to Billboard, Yasser is giving traditional folkloric music a new spin with jazz, rock, and Caribbean rhythms in "a frenzied celebration of ancestral union." At the same time, Juan Luis Guerra, the most influential Dominican artist in the world, praised his mission, calling it a "marvelous example of what's happening with Dominican music.”
Of his albums, Mezclansa was dubbed one of the “100 essential recordings of Dominican music” by the Dominican National Association of Art Writers (Acroarte), and his second album, Kijombo, received six awards from the Dominican Republic's Premios Indie, including Best Album. La Madrugá, which is Tejeda’s latest offering, features his latest collaboration with Vicente García, “En El Naranjo,” as well as the singles “Tu Ere’ Bonita” and “Todo Va a Marchar.”
Balaklava Blues are folk-noir trench-fighters on the cultural front of Ukraine's battle for democracy and freedom. They mix thousand year-old polyphonic traditions with personal stories and sounds of revolution and war and stunning visuals that blend folk motifs with contemporary expressions of power, vulnerability and trauma. Think Dakha Brakha remixed by A Tribe Called Red and then played live by Thom Yorke fronting Portishead.
Timely and emotional, their multimedia live show builds empathy and understanding when we need it most and speaks to universal themes of identity crisis, displacement and oppression through deeply personal and specific Ukrainian experiences and music.