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"Elijah Wald's book, a collection of vignettes and interviews with some
of World Music's greatest stars, is an absolute page-turner."
"Perhaps the most significant contribution of Global Minstrels is the way it helps to rehumanize the discussion of world music by allowing the voices of the artists themselves...to be heard above the din of academic debate."
"Former Boston Globe world music critic Elijah Wald’s
new book covers the key artists and performers from five continents,
while also offering the complete novice a thorough introduction to
international sounds and letting the musicians themselves explain what
they’re doing through a series of interviews. Whether explaining the differences between
Southern and Central African sounds, taking readers through the network
of Latin American genres, examining Europe and Arabic styles or
exploring in Hawaiian and Native American music its links to other
cultures, Wald does an admirable and commendable job of explanation
A collection of conversations with some of the foremost musicians and singers on the "world music" scene, this book is an attempt to both provide a survey of that scene and explore the similarities and differences of musical experiences around the globe. In the last twenty years, the United States has seen an explosion of international recordings and concerts, fueled both by a growing interest among mainstream listeners and by the huge influx of new immigrants.
Global Minstrels includes interviews with many of the most popular international concert artists--Paco de Lucia, Ravi Shankar, King Sunny Ade--as well as performers who are little known outside their own communities, be they Caribbean, African, or Native American. Some are studious classicists, some good-time dance bands, and some deeply rooted folk artists.
The book is divided into geographical regions, each introduced with a few paragraphs about its special characteristics and concerns, and some exploration of how it has been treated in the world music boom. The idea is to give a broad picture of the world music scene, largely from the perspective of the artists themselves. It shows the links between musicians in many different cultures, their shared concerns and challenges, and the differences and similarities in their lives.
"Elijah Wald is a strong, knowledgeable
writer with a real gift for synthesis and a diversity of experience
that makes him capable of looking at the big picture."
"I found this book a fascinating exploration.
I have often wondered about this term 'world music' and frankly what
it means and what its relevance is. This book helped me get closer to
an answer while bringing so many artists from around the world to me--
who they are, where they come from and what their lives are like, politically,
culturally and artistically, that makes them so powerful. This book
will help all those interested to explore the artists, their homelands
and their traditions."
Table of Contents:
North Africa and the Arab World
and Central Asia
The United States