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World Music

February 25, 1990
Congratulations to Tom Schnabel on his article on World Music, "International Bandstand" (Jan. 7). It does my heart good to know that this music that I have listened to and shared on my radio program, "The Nixon Tapes," at KPFK for many years is finally getting the exposure it deserves. However, Uday Shankar made recordings of Indian music in the '40s that far from swarmed with insects and birds. Tom, you should have gone to Vogue Books and Records in Westwood in addition to the UCLA Ethnomusicology Library.
March 13, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Music Critic
When the chamber music revival of the 1960s and early 1970s - a kind of classical music response to the folk music revival a few years earlier - had passed its peak, the string quartet as a medium was still strong. But the progressive musical world had moved on to electronics, the new Minimalism and radical experimentalism. The string quartet stood for stuffy, old-fashioned efforts.  No one could have imagined that two ensembles could change all that, renewing the repertory with well over a 1000 new pieces over the past four decades.
December 17, 2009 | By Margaret Wappler
In April, Fool's Gold, the Afropop-influenced outfit led by singer/bassist Luke Top and guitarist Lewis Pesacov, played a monthlong residency at the Echo that burns bright in their memories. "Those were our best shows ever," Top said on the phone from Eugene, Ore., a stop on the band's current North American tour with fellow buzz act Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. "We got to design our own bills, our own lighting and DJs. Every week we packed it with our people. It was an amazing awesome dance party."
November 12, 2013 | By Randy Lewis
The thought of home movies of a trip abroad can elicit groans, unless they happen to be taken by somebody like Robert Plant. Using footage from a 2003 trip to Mali to take part in the Festival of the Desert, Plant  assembled an eight-episode documentary called "Zirka," which boasts a soundtrack that features Ali Farka Touré, Tinariwen and many others. Plant's images -- yes, he did the bulk of the filming himself -- capture the people and landscape of the African nation during a trip he describes in a statement as "a journey of revelation ... one of the most illuminating and humbling experiences of my life.
January 19, 2012
MUSIC The seven-woman-strong percussion ensemble Adaawe blends African beats and gospel harmonies with pop and R&B for a new musical twist on an ancient Ghanaian tradition. Expect an energetic fusion of voice and drum. The group's soon-to-be released album is "Passages. " Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. 8 p.m. Fri. $20. (310) 440-4500.
August 8, 2002
We asked Tom Schnabel, host of "Cafe LA" on KCRW-FM (88.9), to create a guide for the novice looking to sample and explore the world music landscape. Here are Schnabel's top 10: 1. Caetano Veloso, "Livro" (Nonesuch) This is one of the most elegant albums I know of, combining European chamberistic finesse, a la Ravel and Debussy, with subtle but insistent African rhythms, all anchored by Brazilian Caetano's ultra-suave voice. 2.
September 11, 2013
Walt Disney Concert Hall's 10th-anniversary season is fast approaching. The hall's resident orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, begins a season of celebrating with four free community concerts later this month and a red-carpet gala on Sept. 30. The commemorations continue all season, highlighted on Oct. 23 -- the actual anniversary of Disney's opening night -- with the world premiere of Frank Zappa's "200 Motels. " For music lovers, Disney Hall is a place to hear the L.A. Phil, led by Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen or one of countless guest conductors.
August 11, 2013 | By Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT - With his pouty lips and soulful eyes, he was a stylish figure known as the King of Romance, a crooner of amorous ballads often seen cavorting with would-be starlets in MTV-style videos filmed on yachts, in upscale cafes and in swank homes. But Fadel Shaker's latest video - without a note uttered - may become his swan song, portraying the balladeer in a new and disturbing incarnation: hunkered down defiantly with a militant sheik and his armed followers, holding out against Lebanese soldiers he derided as dogs and pigs.
June 6, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Music Critic
Lou Harrison, the quintessential California composer -- vastly eclectic, Pacific-Rim-prescient, prolific maverick, visionary, seeker or pleasure and profundity -- liked to describe his musical interests by saying he spread his toys over a wide acreage. The 67th annual Ojai Festival, which runs Thursday through Sunday, focuses on Harrison (who died in 2003) and his world thanks to the efforts of choreographer Mark Morris, long a Harrison champion and this year's unusual choice for music director.
April 12, 2013 | By Nardine Saad
Justin Bieber has released his latest music video, "All Around the World," and is giving fans and critics a glimpse of his life during his "Believe" tour. The video plays out as a mash-up of footage from the 19-year-old's world tour and his performances of the song at various venues. It also shows the tour from his point of view. So it's fitting and fairly clever that his team approached the song in this manner. The YouTube sensation-turned-global pop star teased to the video on Twitter Thursday and finally made the big reveal on Friday.
February 10, 2013 | By Adam Tschorn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
As the high-profile worlds of fashion and music collide at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, one need only consider David Bowie to see why the two will be forever intertwined. Five decades after he introduced the first of his myriad manifestations, Bowie and his stylistic influences still reverberate from Hollywood red carpets to glossy magazine covers to the runway shows going on now at New York Fashion Week. And, if the first month and a half of 2013 is any indication, there's every reason to believe that the Thin White Duke will cast a long shadow across popular culture this year.
January 29, 2013 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
For many native Angelenos like Gail Samuel, summertime concerts at the Hollywood Bowl are a Southern California ritual as eagerly anticipated as the opening-day bite of a Dodger Dog. This year Samuel will be taking her lifelong Bowl-going habit to a new level in her recently appointed role as chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which spends its summers at the Bowl. Her programming prescription for the venue, Samuel said, will hew closely to the Bowl's decades-old philosophy.
January 15, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
New music in Manila is a too-little-looked-at phenomenon. We've been missing something. For a Monday Evening Concerts program, built around the U.S. premieres of works by two Philippine composers, Zipper Concert Hall became, in Jonas Baes' "Patangis-Buwaya," a rain forest. The sounds made by a quartet of low winds and whistles and stones handed out to the audience were so uncannily authentic that all that was said to be missing were the mosquitoes. But the big piece of the night, José Maceda's "Strata," proved an even more peculiar sonic and spiritual wonder.
September 20, 2012
MUSIC. Lila Downs is an artist who always seems to have her act together. The Mexican American singer has a stunning voice, a confident multicultural vision grounded in her Mixtec Indian roots and a successful career in world music circles, finding a natural fusion of disparate strains of music and different sides of herself. Luckman Fine Arts Complex, 5151 State University Drive, L.A. 8 p.m. Sat. $25-$
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