Finally today, in less than a week the country will celebrate President Obama's second term with a slew of inaugural events. There is a swearing in, a parade, breakfasts, lunches, and of course the balls. And there are many of them, but we want to tell you about one of them. It is the Native Nations Inaugural Ball. Native Americans from around the country will be coming in to participate.
Starting a small business hasn't been easy lately. People are now turning to their peers for funding after being denied credit from big banks. But that has its own set of risks and rewards. Host Michel Martin explores the future of small business in 2013.
Lawmakers in New York are getting tough on guns. They passed a new law expanding the state's ban on assault weapons. It's also meant to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Host Michel Martin speaks to Thomas Kaplan of The New York Times about the legislation.
Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama are touting new proposals aimed at curbing gun violence. Host Michel Martin learns more from Paul Barrett, author of 'Glock: The Rise of America's Gun' and Craig Whitney, author of 'Living With Guns, A Liberal's Case for the 2nd Amendment.'
The Stooges Brass Band Live From Webster Hall (full concert audio)
Though it's the year's premier "world music" event, GlobalFEST embraces many homegrown sounds — and the 2013 roster was full of North American artists. A case in point: The Stooges Brass Band, a New Orleans brass band for the 21st century. It's got that unmistakeable sound of its hometown, but hip-hop, funk, R&B and soul are all in the group's DNA.
Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 2:09 pm
At a White House event with children who wrote him letters after the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., President Obama today said the nation cannot wait any longer to do what can be done to reduce gun violence.
GlobalFEST showcases a fusion of international traditions, modern instrumentation and high energy performances. The Canadian, Polaris Prize-nominated electronic trio A Tribe Called Red showcased a mixture of pop music samples and traditional Indian ceremonial songs. Their set came to a close with a "Mother Earth" figure twirling eight hoops harmoniously to the beat.
Mucca Pazza, a marching band with a punch of circus punk hailing from Chicago, attacked the stage with their bright uniforms and an accompanying set of cheerleaders. The headlining band's sound and size (they are composed of thirty members!) could barely be contained by the Ballroom stage.
While Mucca Pazza are an American band, their sound is a madcap journey across the globe. The group's setlist was as colorful as its uniforms, varying from traditional Balkan Brass selections to covers of television show theme songs.
Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, globalFEST has continued to feature artists from the Gulf Coast region. This year, The Stooges Brass Band represented the city of New Orleans with the group's second-line-meets-hip-hop sound.
GlobalFEST concertgoers get rare glimpses into musical styles that are otherwise almost impossible to see live. Christine Salem, who hails from the tiny French island of Réunion, made her New York City debut this year at the festival. Her performance showcased the traditonal style of maloya.
The Los Angeles-based trio La Santa Cecilia showed off its soulful mix of Mexican and South American-influenced dance pop to the globalFEST crowds. The band also did its own take of U2's hit song "One."
Lo'Jo, comprised of keyboardist-singer Denis Péan and violinist Richard Bourreau, performed tracks filled with both North African and French folk influences. The combination of pounding keyboards and sleek violin created a rich and unique sound that filled the Marlin Room stage.
GlobalFEST not only showcases new international artists, but also brings back to the forefront well known talents. Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi, an icon for nearly 40 years, delivered a beautiful and memorable look into the traditional Zimbabwean sound.
Acclaimed French-born guitarist and composer Stephane Wrembel has appeared on the soundtracks of Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Midnight In Paris. He dazzled the globalFEST crowds with his "Gypsy Jazz" guitar rhythms.
Persian virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor and Turkish master artist Erdal Erzincan teamed up for a beautiful performance on the Marlin Room stage. While it wasn't the first time they played together, their unique melding of talents led to a mesmerizing performance filled with flowing improvisations.
Kayhan Kalhor showed off his talents with his kemancheh, a traditional Persian bowed string instrument. Along with his collaboration with Erdal Erzincan, he has also collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project Ensemble and the Kronos Quartet.
This year marked the 10th anniversary of globalFEST, which features musicians on three stages in New York City's Webster Hall. The festival has become renowned for featuring a diverse lineup of up and coming musicians, including Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara.
Every January for the past decade a dozen or more bands from around the world have gathered in New York City for globalFEST - one long, frenzied night of live music showcasing the diverse cultures, histories and numerous sonic branches of "World Music." This year's lineup included Zimbabwe legend Oliver Mtukudzi and his band The Black Spirits, Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara, Chicago's wildly exuberant marching band Mucca Pazza, and much, much more.
Martha Redbone's music chronicles the crossroads of the American experience. Born in Kentucky and of Cherokee, Choctaw and African-American descent, Redbone combines folk, Appalachian, soul and Native tradition in a group of settings of poetry by William Blake — a startling idea, perhaps, but one that brims with potency and freshness.
Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 7:36 pm
Based in Los Angeles and fronted by the smoky-voiced Marisol Hernandez, the fast-rising band La Santa Cecilia splices and dices an array of Mexican and South American sounds in its songs, from Mexican norteño and ranchera to Colombian cumbia. Here, its members perform smart originals and covers of U2's "One" and Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" — all with a wry, old-soul knowingness. La Santa Cecilia has already received a Latin Grammy nomination in 2011, but with this GlobalFEST appearance, it's poised to break out to a broader audience.