David Rogers Quintet / Bernard Woma Podcast – 12

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A live set from the David Rogers and Kairos, an all-star band featuring Kenny Wessel, guitar; Sylvain Leroux, flutes, Matt Pavolka, Bass and Rob Garcia on Drums recorded a couple months ago at WKCR.   Also a live recording from the Bernard Woma Ensemble on Jumbie Records.  David Rogers is an artist who lived and studied in West Africa for many years and his music is deeply informed by those grooves and his jazz roots.   Bernard Woma is a master of the gyil, the wooden xylophone of northern Ghana.  He is the master drummer of the Ghana Dance Ensemble, Ghana’s National Dance Company and keeps a busy schedule on 3 continents.

Arun Ramamurthy Quartet – Podcast 11

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This week on WKCR we had an exciting live performance from the Arun Ramamurthy Quartet who combine traditional Carnatic (South Indian) music with some Western instruments like the drum kit and the double bass.

Arun Ramamurthy, violin; Perry Wortman, bass; Akshay Anantapadmanabhan, mridangam; Sameer Gupta, drums

Arun performs Carnatic music at the Cornelia Street Cafe on the fourth Sunday of every month and there will be a festival of Carnatic music there from Aug 15-17.

You can hear Sameer Gupta playing tabla with Srinivas Reddy on Sitar on podcast 3.

Thomas Mapfumo – The Lion of Zimbabwe – Podcast 10

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Thomas Mapfumo - Photo by George Estreich

Thomas Mapfumo, of Zimbabwe, is a revolutionary musician in every sense of the word.  Musically, his band was one of the first to experiment with combining the mbira (thumb piano) and electric guitars and he was the first to put his own lyrics to traditional Shona melodies.  Politically,  these songs became the anthems of the freedom fighters during White minority rule.

When the revolution succeeded and Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, he continued to be a gadfly.  He questioned the integrity of Robert Mugabe and the current government.  He now lives in exile and while immensely popular his music is banned in the country where he is most beloved.