Ever since he started becoming one of the best alto saxophone players in the world, Miguel Zenón has drawn influence from his upbringing in Puerto Rico. Folk melodies, forms and rhythms have inspired many of his technically astounding yet immediately gratifying works. So it makes sense that he's giving back. He's launched an initiative called Caravana Cultural, presenting free jazz concerts and lectures on the island. His latest album Oye!!! was recorded live in San Juan with Puerto Rican musicians.
It's hard to find another band that's stayed as true to its vision as Low. Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker have been making Low records for 20 years now, and just released their 10th full-length album, The Invisible Way.
Senegalese singer Baaba Maal appears in this archival episode of Mountain Stage, recorded in January 1995. Maal is among Senegal's best-known musicians, with a worldwide following and a performance history that spans more than three decades. He studied music, first in Dakar and then in Paris, before returning home to study with his family's griot, a blind guitarist named Mansour Seck.