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Third Annual ¡Globalquerque! Discovers the Wide World
Koko Taylor and Planet Drum headline stunning round-the-world lineup
By Mel Minter
Exploring used to be such a bother. Years of raising cash, months sailing across uncharted seas, only to find something other than what you were looking for.
With the legendary blues singer Koko Taylor and the pioneering World Music group Global Drum Project headlining the two-day festival of world music and culture, you’re all but guaranteed to enjoy the hell out of yourself even if you wouldn’t know a sintir (a three-stringed lute) from a yelli (a predawn song by women of the Baka tribe).
Chances are, though, that you’ll hear something of them, too, and like it.
“The best festivals are about discovery. That’s what makes festivals like ours exciting,” says Tom Frouge, who, along with Neal Copperman, founded ¡Globalquerque! two years ago.
“People who are coming out to hear Koko are going to get what they expect—a kick-ass blues show by a legend,” says Copperman. “So they’re going to go, ‘Man, Koko was great, but we also saw this Italian hip-hop electronica traditional band that was like nothing we had ever seen before.’ That’s where you get the excitement.”
The official New Mexican event marking the 25th anniversary of the NEA National Heritage Fellowships, ¡Globalquerque! offers two nights of music, dance and puppetry, featuring 15 to 20 different artists on three stages with very distinct ambiences.
Plus, on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., ¡Globalquerque! Community Day offers free activities and workshops created in collaboration with the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Education Department. Geared to both adults and children, activities include dance workshops, a drumming circle, instrument making, a Q&A on Tibetan culture, a demonstration of traditional Dominican music, Chinese puppet performances, a workshop and discussion on New Mexican traditional music, a Kulintang performance, and Renaissance street performers.
Also on site is the Global Village, where 25 to 30 vendors offer food and crafts from New Mexico and around the world.
An extraordinarily charismatic dancer and singer, the Senegalese griot Assane Kouyate heads a band that fans a white-hot groove with traditional and modern instrumentation.
This Colombian native, whose sweet expressive voice bypasses language, creates a beguiling pan-American sound.
Anjani Ambegaokar tells traditional and sometimes very modern stories with this 4,000-year-old Indian dance form.
At 83, guitarist Puerto Plata carries an infectious rhythmic message from the Dominican son tradition.
Chamamé, Argentina’s soulful convergence of musical influences, swings irresistibly in this accordion master’s hands.
Tolerance, respect and love are the message from this Native American songstress, who seamlessly combines rock and native elements.
This Moroccan master of Gnawan trance music and dance mesmerizes with a blend of ancient and modern.
Fleeing on foot from Tibet in 1989, Lhamo brings an angelic, unaccompanied voice, a devotional tradition and a powerfully peaceful presence to the stage.
Celtic and African musicians weave their traditions together, drawing heavily on the music of the Baka, for whom even the river is an instrument.
Straddling six centuries of Latvian music, Ilgi brings a rock ’n’ roll touch to Baltic traditions while preserving folkloric sensibilities.
Using his Lakota traditions as a foundation, hoop dancer, story teller and Northern Plains flutist Kevin Locke celebrates a sensibility that embraces all cultures.
Building on 1,000 years of tradition, America’s only professional Chinese puppet theater tells ancient and modern stories.
This trio covers a territory as big as its native New Mexico, from traditional Spanish colonial folk songs to originals in the Nueva Canción style.
This djele, a blood member of the Mande musician caste, plays the kora as only a descendant of its inventor could.
The new wave of norteño, a hybrid sound that mixes German accordion music and Mexican ranchera, this sextet is based in the most exotic place of all: Albuquerque.
This mostly female Italian group plays hip-hop electronica built on traditional songs—like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
The Queen of the Blues. ’Nuff said.
¡Globalquerque! takes place at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 Fourth Street SW.
Gates open for the evening performances at 4 p.m. on Friday, 5 p.m. on Saturday. Evening performances run from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Gates are open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for free ¡Globalquerque! Community Day activities.
Advance tickets at discounted prices are available through Sept. 20 at the NHCC box office (1701 Fourth Street SW; 724-4771) and TicketMaster outlets (883-7800 and all Smith’s stores). Full-price tickets are available on-site Friday and Saturday.
Visit www.globalquerque.com for remarkably complete festival information, including performance/activity schedules, ticket prices, detailed artist bios and links, and information about off-site events.
Carl Silva • singer-songwriter at Lounge 54 @ Santa Ana Star
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