2022 GF Artists
Al Bilali Soudan
Al Bilali Soudan

Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST

The family members of Al Bilali Soudan from Timbuktu, Mali are sought after musicians and griots. Led by Abellou Yattara, the band is a torch-bearer of quintessentially Tamasheq (or Tuareg) music shaped by a continuous exchange between the tehardent (lute), vocals, and hand percussion.

This genre of music has been performed from at least the 16th century by Tuareg griots to celebrate the end of harvest and the changing seasons, heroic warriors and noble families. In contrast to Tuareg contemporaries like Tinariwen and Bombino, Al Bilali Soudan take an acoustic approach to Tamasheq folk music traditions.

Bedouin Burger
Bedouin Burger

Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST

Lebanese indie stalwart, Zeid Hamdan, and celestially voiced Syrian singer, Lynn Adib are Bedouin Burger.

Zeid Hamdan is a Lebanese music producer who was named one of the eight leaders of Lebanese culture by CNN. He has worked with many prominent artists including Soap Kills, The New Government, Katibe5, Shiftz, Hiba Mansouri, and his own project Zeid and the Wings (and recently Marie Abou Khaled, Tanjaret Daghet, and others. In 2019, Hamdan produced the score for the Oscar nominated film Caparnaum by Nadine Labaki. In July 2011, Hamdan was arrested for a song “General Go Home” deemed insulting to then-president Michel Suleiman, a former army chief.

Lynn Adib is a Syrian singer born in Damascus, where she was initiated at a very young age into Byzantine singing as part of the “Choir of Joy” of the Church of Our Lady of Damascus. While studying flute at the National Conservatory of Damascus, she discovered jazz and was seduced by its freedom and complexity, thus embarking on a musical adventure bringing traditional Arabic music (maqam), religious songs of ancient Syria, and jazz together.

Kiran Ahluwalia
Kiran Ahluwalia

Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST

Kiran Ahluwalia is a modern exponent of the great vocal traditions of India and Pakistan which she honors intensely yet departs from in masterful, personal ways. Her original compositions embody the essence of Indian music while embracing influences from Mali and Western blues, rock, R & B and nuances of jazz. With her 6-piece group of electric guitar, accordion, organ, tabla, bass and drum kit, Ahluwalia creates boundary-breaking songs that invite us to explore the human condition, transcending the self by losing ourselves in a trance of groove and melody.

From the time she was seven, Kiran immersed herself in Indian music. When the family immigrated to Canada she continued her musical training alongside her regular school. After graduating from the University of Toronto, she returned to India where she spent years of intense deep study in music. Back in Canada in the late 90s she followed more mundane pursuits – she got an MBA in Finance and started working as a Trader. And there it might have ended if Kiran had not had recurring visions of being on her deathbed not having lived out her passion. So she left the world of business and threw herself totally into a life devoted to the making of her own music.

The two-time JUNO and Songlines Award winner’s open-hearted vocals have positioned her as one of global music’s most compelling cross-pollinators bringing together the disparate traditions of Indian music, West African Blues, and Jazz.

Kombilesa Mi
Kombilesa Mi

Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST

Kombilesa Mí is born from the rich musical and historical heritage of San Basilio de Palenque,  the first free black town in the Americas, fuses the traditional sounds of the community with urban music.  Members of Kombilesa Mi like Afroneto, KRMP, Mc Pm, and others, experiment with the possibilities of the instruments introduced to them when they were young, the very ones created by their ancestors and layer them with new sounds.

The instrumentation includes traditional drums, their own creations of metal handmade drums, the marímbula and they rhyme and rap in Spanish and the traditional Palenquera language, a fusion with African Bantu, Portuguese, French, and English. The new genre is called RFP, which stands for Rap Folklorico Palenquero and includes cumbia, son de negro, mápale and son palenquero. Kombilesa Mí's work has been recognized with nominations for best newcomer artist in 2018, and they made their first international tour, “Ri palengue pa to enú”, debuting in Chicago, Washington, New York, Maryland and Austin.

Northern Cree
Northern Cree

Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST

Northern Cree is a powwow and Round Dance drum and singing group, based in Maskwacis, Alberta, Canada.  Formed in 1982 by the Wood brothers; Steve, Randy, Charlie and Earl Wood of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, most members originate from the Treaty 6 and are members of the Cree Nation. 2022 marks Northern Cree’s 40th anniversary.


Son Rompe Pera
Son Rompe Pera

Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST

Born and raised in the deep outskirts of Mexico City, the three punky Gama brothers are keeping alive the rich legacy of marimba music running through their family with their latest project, Son Rompe Pera. Originally performing alongside their father at local events since they were kids, they now find themselves at the forefront of the contemporary international cumbia scene with their sonic explorations of the classic marimba.

Rethinking the folkloric music for a modern audience, this quintet from the outskirts of Mexico City makes audiences dance with their unique style of garage-marimba-cumbia rock, played on the historic marimba like no one has ever seen before. While firmly rooted in the tradition of this historic instrument, their fresh take on the folk icon challenges its limits, moving it into the garage/punk world of urban misfits and firmly planting it in the 21st century.

Suistamon Sähkö
Suistamon Sähkö

Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST

Suistamon Sähkö cheerfully moves through ethno techno and smoke shack sounds to the world of hip hop like the genre hybrid they are. The group favors a boisterous rave atmosphere, synthesizer buzz, rap declarations and a Soviet-made accordion and makes the audience jiggle and the cottage floor shake. The Suistamon Sähkö rhythm universe is a rambunctious mix of primitive primordial force and experimental dance music.
 
The group’s third album, the well-received ”Varokaa! Hengenvaara” (2021), is both the most pop and the wildest material that the group has thus far published. The album has been described as an energizing explosion of bold hip hop and ethno techno.


ADG7 (Alum)
ADG7 (Alum)

Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST

With one foot in the world of tradition and another in glitzy upbeat pop, Ak Dan Gwang Chil (ADG7) is a multi-award winning group featuring three powerhouse female folk singers and a rich repertoire inspired by Korea's sacred, shamanic ritual music (gut) and beloved folk songs (minyo) of Hwanghae Province in the northern reaches of the Peninsula. Their powerful performances engage and immerse like no other, presenting the spiritual blessings and positive energy of traditional music in a thoroughly modern and often comical style.

ADG7 was organized in 2015, the year Korea commemorated its 70th anniversary of national liberation and first performed at globalFEST in January 2020.

Tufan Derince (Alum)
Tufan Derince (Alum)

Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST

Tufan Derince is a young Kurdish musician from Diyarbakir in Southeast Turkey. He is a master of the elektrobağlama and specializes in Kurdish folk music. Over the years, in addition to constant live performances, he has played on and released numerous widely circulated songs and albums. He is especially popular among young Kurdish listeners. Now based in Rotterdam, he is in high demand as a performer at events integral to the cultural lives of Kurdish communities throughout Europe and across Turkey.  

Tufan Derince made his US debut at globalFEST in New York in 2020, where he received glowing coverage by the New York Times, NPR, and Songlines, and has since been invited to other international festivals such as Dubai Expo 2020 and SXSW.

Angélique Kidjo
Angélique Kidjo

Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST Host

Four-time Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo is one of the greatest artists in international music today, a creative force with sixteen albums to her name. Time Magazine has called her "Africa's premier diva", and named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world for 2021. The BBC has included her in its list of the continent's 50 most iconic figures, and in 2011 The Guardian listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World. Forbes Magazine has ranked Angelique as the first woman in their list of the Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa. She is the recent recipient of the prestigious 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the 2016 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award, and the 2018 German Sustainability Award.

As a performer, her striking voice, stage presence and fluency in multiple cultures and languages have won respect from her peers and expanded her following across national borders.  Kidjo has cross-pollinated the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America.

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