For her fourth studio album, Silk & Stone, the Sarajevo siren Amira Medunjanin beguiles us with another selection of traditional sevdah songs from the Balkan region, interpretations that reveal an unbridled emotional intensity. Her 2010 World Village release with Merima Kljuco, Zumra, was a Best World Music Album of The Year at PopMatters and earned 4 Stars from Songlines, The London Telegraph, The Independent and more.
"A classic vocalist, Amira Medunjanin's melodic vocal poetry is filled with passion, emotion, and life."
- Inside World Music
" the goddess-like voice of Bosnian singer Amira Medunjanin"
- Sing Out!
"Amira has an angelic voice – rich, soaring, and passionate."
- KZSU Stanford, CA
An appealing ambiance with woody hints emanates from Rua da Emenda (available in January), the title of which brings to mind historic Lisbon. These derive from António Zambujo's velvety voice and the guitars and clarinet adorning his songs, which are like nostalgic illustrations shining with an intense inner light and secreting a mellow kind of sensuality. With Rua da Emenda, this Portuguese national leaves the well-beaten track of traditional fado behind him and turns it into his very own musical genre, a new, very elegant, vocal art which mixes saudade and ardent choruses.
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The enigmatic Lo'Jo returned in October with a new double-disc release, 310 Lunes, in celebration of their 32nd anniversary as a band. The first disc features new instrumental versions of some of the group’s most memorable tracks, arranged by Renaud-Gabriel Pion in the spirit of modern chamber music. The second is a re-release of their very first album, The International Courabou, unobtainable since its début in 1990.
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Lo'Jo performed three dates in the U.S. in September, including at Globalquerque in New Mexico, where they "kicked off the festival with world-inspired music from the West of France. Using a variety of instruments, sonic textures, and infectious grooves, Lo'Jo was the perfect start to what the two-day festival would represent-great music" (Crossmaps).
Listen to a World Cafe interview and concert broadcast from CJ Chenier on NPR Music!
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"When the "King Of Zydeco" Clifton Chenier died in 1989, his son CJ Chenier, already part of the famous Red Hot Louisiana Band, shouldered the accordion and followed in his father's footsteps. This past July, World Cafe talked with the younger Chenier — who was performing at the XPoNential Music Festival in Philadelphia — about growing up with zydeco and what it was like to take over his father's band."