Bands & Artists A-Z
Ali Farka Toure - African Guitar Legend
Ali Farka Toure is one of the best-known and most beloved African musicians of all time. Though he has passed away, Ali Farka Toure will be remembered for his rich, bluesy guitar playing, which many ethnomusicologists referred to as "the roots of the American blues."
Amadou & Mariam
Amadou & Mariam are one of the most remarkable bands in the world music scene today. They met at a school for the blind in Mali, fell in love and have been making music as a couple for over 25 years.
Angelique Kidjo is a Benin-born singer whose amazing voice and remarkable stage presence have made her one of the most popular musicians in the world. Angelique Kidjo is also well-known for her work as a humanitarian, speaking out against the conflict in Darfur and the ravages of AIDS in Africa.
Meet Aurelio Martinez, the remarkable musician from the Garifuna people of Central America. He combines the traditional music of his people with a global sensibility and is most definitely worth a listen.
Baaba Maal, from Senegal, is one of Africa's best known musicians. Baaba Maal regularly tours throughout the world. His music is at times both deeply traditional and fully contemporary, and Maal often collaborates with other musicians from around the world, and he is an advocate for the cultural traditions of his people, Pulaar-speakers from the banks of the Senegal river.
Balkan Beat Box
Balkan Beat Box are currently one of the hottest world fusion bands around. They call their unique sound New Mediterraneo. Balkan Beat Box was founded by Ori Kaplan (formerly of Gogol Bordello) and Tamir Muskat.
Bob Marley was undoubtedly the most influential Jamaican musician of all time. Bob Marley's popularity was widespread, and continues to be so, 25 years after his death. Bob Marley's real name was Robert Nesta Marley.
Bombino - Profile and Biography of Tuareg Blues Guitarist Bombino
For fans of Calypso music, Calypso Rose is a household name and certainly the best-known woman of the genre. Learn more about this fantastic singer!
Canray Fontenot was one of Louisiana's greatest musicians of all time. He was a Creole fiddle player who played traditional Cajun and Creole folksongs, predating zydeco music. Canray Fontenot is, even posthumously, a major influence on the music of Cajun and Creole Louisiana.
Celtic Woman is an Irish musical group that gained popularity worldwide when their television special, also entitled Celtic Woman, was first broadcast in 2005. Celtic Woman's program includes traditional Irish music, as well as Celtic interpretations of modern songs.
Cesaria Evora, Cape Verdean Singer
Cesaria Evora is a singer from the Cape Verde islands known for her soulful interpretation of morna songs.
Cheb Mami is known as the "Prince of Rai," and is one of the most popular musicians in Northern Africa. Cheb Mami had worldwide success with his duet with rock musician Sting on the song "Desert Rose," but faced serious scandal when he was imprisoned for kidnapping, beating, and attempting to perform an abortion on a former lover.
Cherish The Ladies
Cherish The Ladies were the first internationally-recognized all-female Irish music group. Formed in 1985 and led by flutist/whistler Joanie Madden, they remain one of the best-known traditional Irish groups in the world, and continue to tour regularly both in the United States and abroad.
The Chieftains - Traditional Irish Music for 50 Years and Counting!
The Chieftains have been one of the best-known traditional Irish music groups in the world for fifty years and counting! Read this quick biography to learn a bit about the band members and their music, and catch up on some of their greatest releases of all time.
Clifton Chenier - King of Zydeco
Clifton Chenier was known as the King of Zydeco. Clifton Chenier's explorations of the blues and R&B forms on the keyboard accordion actually led to the creation of zydeco as a distinct genre, and Clifton Chenier has remained a major influence on every zydeco artist playing today.
A short biography of Daniel Ho, the award-winning Hawaiian slack-key guitar, ukulele, and piano master who has produced and performed music throughout the world.
Dengue Fever is a vibrant young world music group who combine American surf-rock and psychedelic rock with Cambodian pop music. Addictive and thought-provoking, Dengue Fever have been making waves throughout the world music community since 2001.
Django Reinhardt was the godfather of gypsy jazz (or "manouche") music, a style which blended traditional Gypsy (Rom) music with American big band and swing music. Django Reinhardt is considered by many to be the best guitarist of all time, despite the fact that his left hand was badly mangled in a fire and he had use of only two fingers.
Dobet Gnahore is an African musician from the Ivory Coast, in West Africa. Known for both her deep, rich vocals and thrilling dance moves, Dobet Gnahore has become a worldwide favorite for both live and recorded African music.
Edith Piaf - The Little Sparrow
Edith Piaf is considered by many to be the greatest French singer of all time. Edith Piaf's tragic life is shrouded in mystery and legend.
Eileen Ivers is a popular Irish-American fiddler player who has toured both solo and as a member of such prestigious groups as the musical cast of 'Riverdance' and the all-female Irish music ensemble Cherish the Ladies.
Enya is perhaps one of the best-known world musicians, gaining popularity with her Celtic family band, Clannad, in the 1980s, and later going on to great success as a solo artist. Enya is the best-selling artist from the Republic of Ireland.
Fela Kuti - Afrobeat Pioneer
Fela Kuti was a pioneering world musician who played Afrobeat music, a blend of American jazz, funk and pop with West African Highlife Music. Fela Kuti was also a major political activist who became a hero of the Black Power movement. Fela Kuti died of AIDS in 1997.
Glenmor - A Breton Folk Legend
See pictures and learn the story of Glenmor, the "Bard of Brittany."
Habib Koite - A Modern Griot
Habib Koite is an accomplished guitar player from Mali. With his band Bamada, Koite explores the boundaries of West African music, from the traditional to the modern. Habib Koite has found international acclaim, and frequently tours both the United States and Europe.
Huun Huur Tu
Huun Huur Tu is perhaps the most famous Tuvan throat singing group ever to emerge from the small Republic of Tuva. Blending xoomei (what Tuvans call Tuvan throat singing) with traditional instrumentation, Huun Huur Tu are ambassadors for Tuvan music and culture, but also aren't afraid to trace new musical routes by performing and recording collaboratively with other artists from around the globe…
The Idan Raichel Project
The Idan Raichel Project is, perhaps obviously, the brainchild of musician Idan Raichel, an Israeli keyboard player. The Idan Raichel Project brings together musicians from multiple countries and genres, adding their unique voices to an underpinning of Israeli pop music.
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole was a Hawaiian ukulele player who burst onto the international world music scene with his beautiful medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"/"What A Wonderful World". Israel Kamakawiwo'ole died in 1997 at age 38.
Jimmy Cliff is a legend of Jamaican reggae music and is, after Bob Marley, probably the best-known Jamaican musician of all time. Jimmy Cliff's hit songs include "You Can Get it if you Really Want," "I Can see Clearly Now," and "Many Rivers to Cross." Also known for his film work, Jimmy Cliff starred in the classic reggae movie "The Harder...
Ladysmith Black Mambazo Artist Profile
LadySmith Black Mambazo are one of the best-known world music groups today. Much of their fame stems from being featured on Paul Simon's "Graceland" album, as well as being featured at Nelson Mandela's Inauguration.
Lee "Scratch" Perry
Lee "Scratch" Perry was one of the most influential producers and musicians in the history of reggae and ska music. He produced albums by Bob Marley and the Wailers, among others, and is credited with essentially inventing the rhythms that became known as reggae and dub.
Loreena McKennitt is a popular musician who composes rich, multilayered Celtic-inspired New Age music. She is a multi-instrumentalist who plays keyboards, accordion, harp and more. Loreena McKennitt is also a gifted singer. Her albums "The Mask and the Mirror" and "Parallel Dreams" have become popular among fans of Celtic music and New Age...
Los Pleneros de la 21
Los Pleneros de la 21 is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to keeping the traditional music of Puerto Rico alive among the Puerto Rican community in New York.
Lucky Dube was a pioneer of reggae music in his native South Africa. Lucky Dube followed in the footsteps of Jamaican legends like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, with direct influences from his African roots.
Mamadou Diabate is a Malian kora player, and a member of the Mandinka West African Jeli family. He generally plays traditional songs and tradition-based originals, but he has found ways to bring the kora to new audiences by occasionally performing with jazz and rock musicians as well.
Manu Chao is one of the world's hippest and most popular musicians. His experimentation with world music, combined with rock and electronica, has made the genre cool again.
Michel Martelly - Sweet Micky
Michel Martelly is a Haitian compas musician who is known by the stage persona Sweet Micky. Michel Martelly was elected to be President of Haiti in a landslide victory in April of 2011. Learn about Michel Martelly's life, Sweet Micky's music, and the Haitian presidential election.
Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi
Oliver Mtukudzi, known as Tuku, is one of Africa's best-loved musicians. Hailing from Zimbabwe, Oliver Mtukudzi's inspired songwriting, brilliant guitar-playing, and lovable stage persona have made him Zimbabwe's most famous artist and a household name throughout Africa.
Orchestra Baobab is a seminal Senegalese Afro-Cuban band who were initially popular in the 1970s and who experienced a resurgence in popularity leading to a re-formation in the 2000s.
Oumou Sangare is an African musician of Wassoulou descent. Born in the southern region of Mali, Oumou Sangare has become one of the best-known Wassoulou musicians in the world, and one of Mali's favorite daughters.
Peter Tosh was one of the original members of legendary reggae band The Wailers, along with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer. Though a Rastafarian like Marley, Peter Tosh became known for the militant nature of his reggae songs, which were in clear contrast to Marley's peace and love message. Peter Tosh was tragically killed by a gang of gunmen...
R. Carlos Nakai
Get to know the trailblazing Native American flute player R. Carlos Nakai with this brief biography, including his publications, awards, honors, and recommended starter CDs.
Rupa and the April Fishes
Rupa and the April Fishes are a San Francisco-based world music band. Blending French cafe music, Latin rhythms, and a vintage cabaret vibe with various world influences, Rupa and the April Fishes are a favorite up-and-coming band on the world music scene.
Salif Keita - The Golden Voice of Africa
Salif Keita is a contemporary African musician from the country of Mali, West Africa. Salif Keita is an albino who is known as the Golden Voice of Africa.
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
Read a quick profile and mini-biography of Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, torchbearers of Fela Kuti's Afrobeat tradition.
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars is a band of musicians who formed in a refugee camp in Guinea after fleeing Freetown, Sierra Leone, during the Sierra Leone Civil War in the 1990s. A widely acclaimed documentary film was made about Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, and the group has released two CDs and a collection of early recordings, and have also toured extensively.
Ska Cubano is a band whose members are spread around the globe and who play a combination of ska music, Cuban son and Colombian cumbia.
Slavic Soul Party!
Slavic Soul Party! is a New York City-based brass band that combines Balkan brass melodies with modern funk and various elements of world fusion. Wildly popular on the indie world music scene in New York, they're also favorites on the festival circuit
SMOD is a music group from Mali (in West Africa) who blend traditional African sounds with hip-hop, folk-rock, and other influences. With a Manu Chao-produced album under their belt and performances at several major international festivals, SMOD is well on their way to becoming a big player on the international music scene.
Solas is one of the most popular current Irish music groups. The members of Solas come from both the United States and Ireland, and the band tours internationally.
Sugar Minott was a legend of Jamaican music, recording hit reggae, lover's rock, and dancehall songs for the legendary Studio One as well as his own label. Known for his good sense of humor and fun personality, Sugar Minott was often a voice of joy in what can be some very harsh genres of music.
A short profile of Tanya Tagaq, an Inuit artist who infuses the traditional throat-singing of her people with modern rock, orchestral arrangements, and a punk edge.
Thomas Mapfumo, known as the Lion of Zimbabwe, is one of Africa's most beloved musical performers. He invented a genre of music called "chimurenga", which blended traditional shona music with Western rock and pop. Thomas Mapfumo's outspoken lyrics resulted in his political exile from Zimbabwe.
Tinariwen - Tuareg Desert Blues Band
Tinariwen is the premier Tuareg musical group in the world. The band formed in Muammar al-Qaddafi's rebel camps in 1982, and have since switched from guns to guitars, bringing their music around the world.
Toubab Krewe have been catching the ears of many world music fans since they hit the scene in 2005. Effortlessly blending African music, which they've studied extensively, with American surf-rock, Toubab Krewe are breaking down world music boundaries in every direction.
Toumani Diabate is one of Mali's most important and celebrated musicians. As a kora player, Toumani Diabate keeps alive a centuries-old griot tradition. Toumani Diabate both performs traditional Mande kora music, but also collaborates with modern musicians, both at home and abroad, to carry the kora tradition into the future.
Vieux Farka Toure
Vieux Farka Toure is the son of legendary African musician Ali Farka Toure, and a wonderful guitar player, singer, and songwriter in his own right. Vieux Farka Toure has released two records, 2007's self-titled Vieux Farka Toure and 2009's Fondo.
Yasmin Levy is a Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) singer-songwriter who has released four albums since 2000 and who has established herself as one of the finest singer-songwriters on the world music scene, as well as one of the most adept and diplomatic musical border-crossers.
Youssou N'Dour is one of the best-known African musicians in the world. Born in Senegal, Youssou N'Dour has been instrumental in developing Senegalese popular music, known as mbalax.
Ziggy Marley is Bob Marley's oldest son. Ziggy Marley was born to Bob and Rita Marley in 1968, and grew up to become a successful reggae musician in his own right. With his band, the Melody Makers, Ziggy Marley has recorded over 15 records.