Courtesy of NPR

On this week’s radio program, I’ll feature a set of music that includes three artists who will be performing at this year’s all-online globalFEST: Aditya Prakash Ensemble, Natu Camara, and Vox Sambou. As their website states, “Facing dual challenges of the pandemic, along with hardening of international borders, globalFEST will, for the first time, team with NPR Music’s Tiny Desk concerts to present exclusive video performances by 16 artists via NPR Music’s digital platforms, in a series entitled NPR Music’s Tiny Desk meets globalFEST.”

All of the performances will be presented through NPR Music’s YouTube page – with the premiere taking place on Monday, January 11 at 8 pm (EST U.S.) The series will continue at the same time each night through January 14. Here is the complete lineup:

Courtesy of globalFEST

I’ve never been to globalFEST myself and would love to experience it live some day. It always features a wonderful variety of international artists, many that are new to my ears. I’m glad that fans around the world will have the opportunity to hear and see these artists in performance this year. One the band’s that I’ve played on the show before that I’m most excited to see is Minyo Crusaders – the wild folk-song fusionists from Japan. The whole festival should be highly entertaining!

As the NPR Music press release says, “Over the last two decades, globalFEST has become one of the most dynamic global music platforms in North America, growing from an acclaimed festival/showcase into a catalytic non-profit service organization for curators, artists, and the performing arts field.” You can read the full press release which includes short bios of each performer here: globalFEST Announces 2021 Edition in Collaboration with NPR Music’s Tiny Desk

Here’s a taste of what you might hear from one of the four performers that have played globalFEST in the past, Ukrainian group Dakha Brakha. This is their Tiny Desk performance from 2015.

My friends at OK Roots Music have announced some of the fantastic acts who will be performing at their 7th Annual Global Bash. Headlining the free event on Guthrie Green in downtown Tulsa on Saturday, April 11 is Keb’ Mo’, who recently won the Best Americana Album Grammy for his album ‘Oklahoma.’ Also appearing earlier that same evening is Lakou Mizik, a Haitian roots music group that I’ve played on the radio show many times. Their newest album ‘HaitiaNola’ is fantastic. Head over to the OK Roots Music website for all the details of this always fun festival.

You can read more about the inspiration behind and the making of the ‘Oklahoma’ album on Keb’ Mo’s homepage. (Scroll down to the Bio / About Keb’ Mo’ section.) He mentions how a visit to Oklahoma and later a songwriting session with Tulsa native and now Nashville resident Dara Tucker helped propel the album’s creation. This should be a very special performance! Here’s the video of the title track “Oklahoma.”

And I can’t wait to hear the soulful energy and positive vibrations of Lakou Mizik – a band that was formed in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010. As their website says, “Lakou Mizik is a powerhouse collective of Haitian musicians united in a mission to use the healing spirit of music to communicate a message of pride, strength, and hope for their country.” Their second album – ‘HaitiaNola’ – is a wonderful celebration of the shared cultural roots of Haiti and New Orleans. It was released by Cumbancha in October 2019. Check out this 4-minute video about the making of this album:

It’s going to be a great time at the 7th Annual Global Bash!