The Rhythm Atlas, hosted by world music enthusiast Denis McGilvray, explores the vast array of folk, roots, and fusion musical styles that can be heard all over the globe, from Afrobeat to Zouk. During the program, you’ll hear new releases as well as influential classics. The playlist might go from the African juju music of King Sunny Ade to cumbia dance music from Colombia; from Spanish flamenco guitar to a Celtic fiddle tune; from the dynamic Afro-Pop of Angélique Kidjo to the sitar sounds of Anoushka Shankar; a Balkan Beat band might follow some Scandinavian bluegrass. It’s a global gumbo, a funky fusion of international styles – you get the idea. In short, it’s a musical adventure that will take you all around the world. And fair warning: you’ll most likely find yourself dancing at some point. It is The Rhythm Atlas, after all.
This website is the home for news about The Rhythm Atlas radio program as well as a hub of news and resources for world music in general.
THE HOST AND PRODUCER
I’m not an ethnomusicologist, but I play one on the radio. I started hosting and producing The Rhythm Atlas world music program in the studios of Public Radio Tulsa at the University of Tulsa in September 2017.
I’ve lived in Oklahoma since marrying my wife, Sarah (a native Tulsan) in 1992. After being a teacher for a short time and then a librarian, I have mostly been a stay-at-home parent to our three children since 1999. But I have a lifelong passion for music and my experience in the music business and public radio goes back to the early 1980s.
I grew up in the San Fernando Valley in southern California, and in my teens I started listening to the many eclectic radio stations that could be heard in the Los Angeles area. I also began collecting records (many of which are still in my music library to this day.) After moving to the Monterey Bay area on California’s central coast in 1982, I worked as a jazz buyer in record stores, hosted late night rock and jazz programs on public radio stations KAZU in Pacific Grove and KUSP in Santa Cruz, and earned a degree in English and American Literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
From 2001 to 2013, I helped produce the not-for-profit All Soul Acoustic Coffeehouse, a monthly Folk/Americana concert series in Tulsa. The volunteer-operated series presented around 100 concerts during its tenure. I also wrote about Tulsa music events for The Current monthly magazine for a while, and write (very sporadically) about music on my blog, Jukebox Delirium.
I’ve been intrigued by music from many cultures since my youth, when I first heard the Argentinian-Uruguayan band Los Incas perform on the song “El Cóndor Pasa” on Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ album. My Irish and Scottish roots also led me to an exploration of Celtic traditional music – which you’ll hear on the show regularly. I have actively built a library of recordings of musical styles from all over the world, and I love sharing this wide variety of fantastic music with listeners.
Thanks for tuning in…