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World Music: "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking"

I've always thought of Walt Whitman's poem title above as especially appropriate to Africa & African music; "out of the cradle" referring to Africa as the mother of human civilization and "endlessly rocking" referring to the endlessly rocking wave of that is the soukous beat--that primal African sound.

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Gypsy ensemble
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Malagasy musicians
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Gypsy Dancers
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Seattle WOMAD Festival Closing Jam

I've loved American folk music since my early teenage years (I attended my first Pete Seeger concert around 1966; it was held in a Spring Valley, NY junior high school auditorium).  In college, I remember the first song that I liked that was not American was Planxty's Si Bheag, Si Mor, which was the theme for a WBAI-Radio show.
 
In 1984, my grad school roomate, Michael Furmanovsky, introduced me to Africa Beat, C.C. Smith's wonderful (& dearly departed) radio program on KCRW.  Another great L.A. dj who did a great program was Chuck Taggart, whose Global Gumbo show was an encylopedic & awe inspiring musical journey around the world's cultures.  He's now on KCSN (http://www.kcsn.org); he also has a wonderful home page/weblog called Gumbopages that is heavily focused on New Orleans.
 
When I moved back to New York in 1996 (after living 21 years in California), I started attending shows hosted by the World Music Institute (http://worldmusicinstitute.org/), an extraordinary organiztion presenting concerts of headline musicians from many of the world's musical cultures.  My goal is to try to establish such an organization here in Seattle which, in my opinion, does not have enough of such concerts here considering the size of the city & its international cultural & business aspirations.
 
I contributed articles on Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Lucinda Williams and John Martyn to Folk and Blues: An Encyclopedia (St. Martin's Press, 2001).  It's a comprehensive and in depth look at the the great figures of American Roots music.  I recommend it (though I have no financial interest in its success).

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Gypsy tambourine player
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Arab musicians