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Webster Hall’s world music mash-up
by Sarah Shanok
Legendary landmark Webster Hall continues its long tradition of serving as a multifaceted gathering place for diverging opinions and breeding ground for cultural fusions, hosting globalFEST 2010, showcasing world music talents on the verge of blowing up on the international scene.
Begun in 2004, globalFEST exposed audiences to diverse musical cultures, countering the xenophobic aftermath of 9/11 when many foreign musicians found difficulties breaking into Western markets, or even entering the U.S. And yet demand grows. Originally held at The Public Theater, sold-out crowds required more room. At the better suited Webster Hall, festival directors Isabel Soffer (World Music Institute), Bill Bragin (Acidophilus: Live and Active Culture), and Shanta Thake (Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater) present twelve established and relatively unknown, unique artists on three distinct stages; a large two-level music hall, a smaller cabaret venue, and a standing room only dancehall with bar.
After Obama’s election, the 7th installment of the festival holds even more significance. Says Bragin, “The U.S. is being re-embraced by the world. There is a reinvigorated interest in artists trying to connect with the U.S. market.” Conveniently, fans and industry reps—in town for the simultaneously scheduled Association for Performing Arts Festival—are eager for unadulterated world beats.
globalFEST 2010 features the U.S. debuts of Alif Naaba’s jazz tinged Moaga mixes from his native Burkina Faso, manic flavored manouche or Gypsy jazz from France’s Caravan Palace, an Europop blend of Daft Punk, Taco and Pink, Namgar’s “Siberian shaman rock,” essentially an Eastern folk-fusion of 80s band Men at Work, and saucy, sultry Pan-Asian lounge jazz from Nguyên Lê’s Saiyuki. There’s also Argentine down tempo club beats from Federico Aubele; Seneglese roots reggae from Brooklyn-based Meta and the Cornerstones; and La Ecelencia’s 70s style Nuyorican salsa.
For a full globalFEST 2010 lineup or to purchase tickets, visit www.globalfest-ny.org or call the World Music Institute box office: 212-545-7536. Discover this year’s world music mavens before the masses do.
January 10th; 7pm at Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th Street 01/08/10 >> go there