World Cafe

Saturday - Sunday, 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. on KUOW2

Since 1991, World Cafe has emerged as the premiere public radio showcase for contemporary music. World Cafe serves up an eclectic blend that includes indie rock, singer-songwriters, folk, alternative country, blues and world music. The two-hour show is hosted by long-time Philadelphia radio personality, David Dye.

The music of Seu Jorge occupies a singular place in today's Brazil. His songs are widely hailed as a return to the traditional songwriting of Tom Jobim and Caetano Veloso. But his style, and his background, lead many to call Jorge a hero of life on Rio's streets. It was his history in the slums of Rio de Janeiro that led to bigger things for Jorge, including a high-profile appearance in the 2002 film City of God.

Forro in the Dark gets its name from the Forro, a type of dance and music that's been popular in northeastern Brazil for more than 100 years. The style's traditional incarnation involves a three-piece band with a triangle, an accordion and a bass-like drum called a zabumba.

The first stop on World Cafe's trip to Brazil was in Pelourinho, the old part of the city of Salvador on the country's northeast coast. In this installment of Sense of Place: Rio, World Cafe captures a performance from the brother-duo Samba Chula de São Braz, in an effort to learn more about the samba style.

Based in Philadelphia, Alo Brasil synthesizes various types of samba, with the hopes of making it a style accessible to American audiences. Alex Shaw, director of Alo Brasil, recently appeared on World Cafe to discuss the exploration of samba as it became an urbanized form.

Here, Shaw takes us through the evolution of samba since the earliest version represented by Samba Chula de Sao Braz. Hear a few of Shaw's picks, including a carnival performance in Rio from 2011.

Canadian Danny Michel is a veteran songwriter with a lengthy career: The folk-rock musician, whose voice recalls that of Paul Simon, already has nine albums to his name. But his latest record, Blackbirds Are Dancing Over Me, is a little bit different. In 2012, Michel relocated to Belize in order to work with The Garifuna Collective, a group of musicians who carry on soulful traditions surrounding the history of their West African ancestors.

Phoenix On World Cafe

Jul 12, 2013

The French band Phoenix seems to be appearing at the top of music charts all over the world. In 2009, Phoenix's album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix guided them to fame with popular tracks like "1901" and "Lisztomania."

Though Argentina may be known for tango music, there is a strong and thriving rock scene that seems to be taking over. World Cafe recently traveled to Buenos Aires to visit the home-studio of Catupecu Machu, one of Argentina's most popular rock bands.

Singer-songwriter Frank Turner has a fanatically large following in the U.K. Though he might not be filling large halls in the States quite yet, his American fans are just as dedicated and engaged.

Soul man Charles Bradley knew he could sing — former band members and friends always told him that. But he just never got the shot, shuttling from one odd job to another. Into his 50s, Bradley was living with his mother in New York and performing as a James Brown interpreter under the name "Black Velvet." When Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth saw him perform, this soul man finally got his shot at fame.

BRONCHO On World Cafe

Jul 9, 2013

The fun, aggressive pop band BRONCHO is reminiscent of both The Ramones and Weezer. Straddling the line between pop and punk, the band's 2011 debut Can't Get Past The Lips has 10 songs but clocks in at just 20 minutes.

Pennsylvania singer-songwriter Daughn Gibson has a deep baritone voice like Johnny Cash and a country style not unlike Lee Hazlewood. Toss in a few electronic loops and bagpipes, and Gibson's second album, Me Moan, is a spooky production.

Portugal. The Man is a shape-shifting indie-rock band originally from Wasilla, Alaska. Led by vocalist John Gourley, the group just released a new album called Evil Friends, which was produced by Brian Burton, a.k.a Danger Mouse. Burton helped the band capture the potential of each track, while lending a rhythmic feel to its psych-rock style.

In 1971, Duane Allman — one of the greatest slide guitarists of all time — died at age 24. His daughter, Galadrielle Allman, was only 2 at the time. Here, she joins World Cafe to present music from the lovingly curated Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective.

Recorded live at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club recently performed a special stripped-down session for World Cafe. The band appears as a trio, playing songs from its latest album, Specter at the Feast. In 2010, lead singer Robert Been's father Michael died of a heart attack while Black Rebel Motorcycle Club was on tour; this is the group's first release since his death.

Bobby McFerrin has a wide range of musical abilities, from singing multi-octaves to serving as a classical conductor, but he didn't arrive there on his own. Inspired by his father's album Deep River, McFerrin pays tribute to music of the past on his new album, spirityouall.

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