The term irks me like a pebble in the shoe. If it’s in the world and it’s music, literally all music is world music. Or, maybe the term applies to anything non-Western. As David Byrne says, “Western pop is the fast food of music,” so perhaps if music is complicated or has substance it’s “world.” But what about vapid French pop? World. If it comes from somewhere you’ve never been, or it’s in a language you don’t understand, world.
If you’re putting together a world music festival, fiddler/accordionist/singer/songwriter Cedric Watson gives you a head start. The Creole music that the four-time Grammy nominee produces captures the contributions of at least three continents—North America, Europe and Africa—to the steamy cultural crossbreeding of Louisiana.
Performers are listed here roughly in order of appearance, starting at 6 p.m. Go to globalquerque.com for detailed information.
The festival is called ¡Globalquerque!, but it has a little addendum to its name that’s worth noting: “New Mexico’s Annual Celebration of World Music and Culture.” Yes, there are great musicians from such exotic locales as Finland, Burkina Faso and the South Valley playing their hearts out for two nights, but there are also a number of other attractions that are well worth your attention.
At the beginning of my love affair with Bollywood films, I made every single person I knew repeatedly watch the “Chaiyya Chaiyya” scene in Dil Se—a dance sequence that takes place on top of a moving train. While friends looked on with amusement, I would jump up and down, squealing and pointing at the screen. Something about the traditional Indian music and dance blended with club beats and ’90s hip-hop moves filled me with glee. “And they’re on top of a moving train!”
Oud player Rahim AlHaj will take the stage Saturday night at the ¡Globalquerque! world music festival to premiere works from his new album, Little Earth. When he does, don’t be surprised to see tears in his eyes.
Even after five successful years with ¡Globalquerque!, festival co-founders Neal Copperman and Tom Frouge are still hearing the same thing from attendees: “It’s so much more than I thought.”