World Music Resources

Updated December 9, 2016

Watch here for shared ideas, updates and conversation on selected publications, video, recordings, pictures, articles and periodicals on various aspects of world music…


Here’s what the label Universal Music, 2008, has to say about the release of the CD “The Sound Of The World” CD compiled by Charlie Gillett:  “It is the consummate collection of what is happening now in World Music and what is about to happen, compiled by the most respected World Music DJ, Charlie Gillett. As such it is regarded as “The World Music Compilation of the year” Most of these 33 songs from 28 different countries defy categorization – they don’t belong in a particular genre, as each track starts, you can’t immediately guess what will happen next. Contributing to that sense of unpredictability are the arrangements – the way the instruments and voices relate to each other, enabling the singers to jump the language fence that so often forms an invisible barrier to music not sung in English. Compared to musicians who sing to an audience that speaks the same language, the artists here face a bigger challenge, needing to beguile us with irresistible and unforgettable melodies, and to present them in arresting frameworks. And so we have the finest artists with their finest new songs including Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate, Mariza, Seu Jorge, Camille, Lhasa, Yasmin Levy, Youssou N’Dour, Amadou and Miriam, Oliver Mtukudzi, Chango Spasiuk, Think Of One to give the perfect overview. If you only stock one World Music Collection then this is it.”  

To be sure this is indeed a very fine collection of diverse styles of music, though I take exception to the notion that it’s the most or best representative compilation recording to add to your personal collection.  There are without argument, many, many others within the genre of world music.  That said, do indeed get this one for  your library.  Now, if I can only find my copy, I’d air more tracks from it on Higher Ground.  It probably sits on my study desk along with a number of other celebrated recordings.  I’ll do some digging.  Here’s a list of the ordered tracks and artists on this 2 CD collection.    –Jonathan

  • CD1: 1. Daby BaldeSora
  • CD1: 2. Sissy AtanassovaChaje Shukarije
  • CD1: 3. Ivan Kupala – Geo
  • CD1: 4  Amadou & MariamCoulibaly
  • CD1: 5. Camille – Au Port
  • CD1: 6. Mei Tei Sho – Lambi Golo Part 1
  • CD1: 7. Lhasa – La Frontera
  • CD1: 8. Chango SpasiukTarefero de Mis Pagos
  • CD1: 9. Darko Rundek & Cargo Orkestar IstaSlika
  • CD1: 10. Oliver MtukudziVanereva Nepasipo
  • CD1: 11  The Chehade Brothers – Niyal Albou
  • CD1: 12. Volga – Verejushki
  • CD1: 13. Nairobi YetuNijenge
  • CD1: 14. State of Bengal vs Paban Das BaulPadma Nodi
  • CD1: 15. Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate
  • CD1: 16. DJ Fitchie & Joe Dukie – Midnight Marauders
  • CD2: 1. Issa Bagayogo – Dya Bana
  • CD2: 2. Shiyani NgcobouDadewetha
  • CD2: 3. Seu Jorge Mania de Peitao
  • CD2: 4. Shukar Collective – Calling Tamango
  • CD2: 5. Yasmin Levy – Naci en Alamo
  • CD2: 6  Okna tsahan Zam – Edjin Duun
  • CD2: 7. Laye Sow – Boonoo
  • CD2: 8. marizatransparente
  • CD2: 9. Julia Vorontsova – Older
  • CD2: 10. Youssou N’DourTijaniyya
  • CD2: 11. Ana Salazar – El Accordeonista
  • CD2: 12. MaloumaTuyur El Wad
  • CD2: 13. Dead Combo – Rumbero
  • CD2: 14  Julien Jacob feat. Rachid Taha – Jacob
  • CD2: 15. Clotaire K – Beyrouth Ecoeuree
  • CD2: 16. Tokyo-chutei-ikiOtome Sankanbi
  • CD2: 17. Think of One – Moana


You may find this site of interest:

An Essential Guide to Diverse Styles of Music From Around the World

This publication is a cornerstone to the music aired on Higher Ground on Wisconsin Public Radio.  It is published 10 times a year.  The Songlines publishers are right to claim their periodical is the definitive magazine for world music – music that has its roots in all parts of the globe, from Mali to Mexico, India to Iraq. Whether the music is defined as traditional, contemporary, folk or fusion, their claim to be the only magazine to truly represent and embrace world music in a broad framework is a stretch.

Songlines is packed full of the latest CD reviews, artist interviews, guides to burgeoning scenes and up-and-coming stars, travel adventures, frontline reports and live music listings. Every issue comes with a free Top of the World CD, featuring tracks from the best new album releases, as well as a guest playlist.


Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo Paperback– February 1, 2007
-Ned Sublette

This entertaining history of Cuba and its music begins with the collision of Spain and Africa and continues through the era of Miguelito Valdés, Arsenio Rodríguez, Benny Moré, and Pérez Prado. It offers a behind-the-scenes examination of music from a Cuban point of view, unearthing surprising, provocative connections and making the case that Cuba was fundamental to the evolution of music in the New World.

The book also addresses the ways in which the music of (enslaved Blacks) transformed 16th-century Europe, how the claves appeared, and how Cuban music influenced ragtime, jazz, and rhythm and blues are revealed. Music lovers will follow this journey from Andalucía, the Congo, the Calabar, Dahomey, and Yorubaland via Cuba to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Saint-Domingue, New Orleans, New York, and Miami.

The music is placed in a historical context that considers the complexities of the slave trade; Cuba’s relationship to the United States; its revolutionary political traditions; the music of Santería, Palo, Abakuá, and Vodú; and much more.

This book is a heavy, cordial read and well worth it.  Sublette, a highly credentialed scholar on Cuban music sustains a cordial manner stylistic with each topic discussed.  In many ways, I found the text transformational.  There are a number of other well-written sources to consider, however, Sublette’s is clearly the richest.


Combine Sublette’s text with the concise and friendly read by author Julia E. Sweig, titled “Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know”, and you have two solid sources in preparing to travel to Cuba.  Both, along with other reference materials are available on

51FctchD3FL._AC_UL320_SR208,320_.jpgPromoted by Oxford as following: Ever since Fidel Castro assumed power in Cuba in 1959, Americans have obsessed about the nation ninety miles south of the Florida Keys. America’s fixation on the tropical socialist republic has only grown over the years, fueled in part by successive waves of Cuban immigration and Castro’s larger-than-life persona. Cubans are now a major ethnic group in Florida, and the exile community is so powerful that every American president has curried favor with it. But what do most Americans really know about Cuba itself?

In this second edition of the widely hailed Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Julia Sweig updates her concise and remarkably accessible portrait of the small island nation–and now includes material from her 2010 interview with Fidel Castro. The new edition covers the key events of the last few years: Raul Castro’s assumption of power from his brother Fidel, economic and political reforms since Raul came to power, and the changes in US-Cuba relations following the election of Barack Obama.

Expansive in coverage and authoritative in scope, the book looks back over Cuba’s history since the Spanish American War before shifting to recent times. Focusing equally on Cuba’s role in world affairs and its own social and political transformations, Sweig divides the book chronologically into the pre-Fidel era, the period between the 1959 revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union, the post-Cold War era, and — finally — the post-Fidel era.

Informative, pithy, and lucidly written, it is the best compact reference on Cuba’s internal politics, its often fraught relationship with the United States, and its shifting relationship with the global community.  What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.


The Rough Guide to World Music
Europe, Asia & Pacific. This edition: Revised & Updated. Book; Reference Textbooks; Textbook – General. Rough Guide. World. Published by Alfred Music (AP.74-1843538660). Item Number: AP.74-1843538660 ISBN 1843538660. World.
The Rough Guide to World Music: Europe, Asia & Pacific is the unchallenged work on sounds from those regions. This third edition is even more comprehensive than ever—updated, expanded, and now including new chapters on Bangladesh, Burma, Corsica, French chanson, Malta, Slovenia, and New Zealand. This second volume covers all the genres from those regions, from Balkan brass and Bollywood song to fado, flamenco, and Filipino fusion. The expert contributors will help shine a light on popular and roots music spanning more than 60 countries.