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New York City: Global Beat of the Boroughs

New York City: Global Beat of the Boroughs

There's no single city in the world like New York, because no other city has so many worlds within it. The Big Apple in all its kaleidoscopic variety is yours for the tasting on this fascinating collection of music from dozens of different ethnic groups who've made New York home. An information-crammed 40-page booklet is your guide, detailing the performers, their


There's no single city in the world like New York, because no other city has so many worlds within it. The Big Apple in all its kaleidoscopic variety is yours for the tasting on this fascinating collection of music from dozens of different ethnic groups who've made New York home. An information-crammed 40-page booklet is your guide, detailing the performers, their cultures, and their neighborhoods, but all that's really needed are open ears. Beginning with the Latin sounds of New York, circa 2001 -- Puerto Rican plena and bomba from estimable locals Viento de Agua and Los Pleneros de la 21 -- the collection leaves virtually no region of the world untouched. Albanian folk tunes, Korean classical music, Indo-Caribbean drum jams, salsa, calypso, Irish reels, klezmer, Ukrainian dances, and contemporary Arabic music make for a engaging parade of sounds. The recordings are uniformly excellent and feature some of the top artists in their fields: Hassidic jazz visionary Andy Statman, Palestinian oud star Simon Shaheen, Irish fiddlers Cherish the Ladies, and timbales legend Manny Oquendo are just some of the international stars who just happen to call New York home. Like any real New Yorker, you'll have your own favorites, but some outstanding cuts include Dickson Guillaume's Haitian gospel choir, straight out of East Flatbush and praising Jesus in Kreyol; Yuri Yunakov's dizzying "Cocek Manhattan" celebrating Balkans-style in 9/8 time; and the Neopolitan song "O Giglio e Paradiso," which commemorates a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, festival involving a two-ton aluminum tower, a statue of Saint Paulinus, 125 Italian guys, and pile of brass bands. All in all, this collection is a must for any New York-ophile.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
This double-CD collection (for the price of a single disc) is a wonder of modern music from around the globe, all centered -- deeply -- in the international communities residing in New York City's boroughs from Brooklyn and Queens to Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx. The Smithsonian Folkways project has assembled, from the heart of the ethnic communities themselves, a transnational montage of such beauty, power, and passion, it is almost impossible to take both CDs in at one listen. While some of the performers here are well known, such as Manny Oquendo's y Libre and Simon Shaheen, Eileen Ivers, the Klezmatics, Cherish the Ladies, and Andy Statman (all of whom have deep roots in the communities as cultural workers), the rest are virtually unknown outside their neighborhoods. There is the deep Columbian charanga blues of Los Macondos juxtaposed with the Jewish mountain music of El Tereza; the listener will find the radical swinging gospel of Rev. Timothy White and the Grace Tabernacle Choir near the traditional Puerto Rican bomba preached by the "Singing Newspaper" Los Pleneros de la 21. And while diversity in an of itself is no guarantee of quality in a series of proceedings like these, the production care and attention to detail in the sequencing -- let alone the phenomenal liner notes -- create a world that is united not only in song, but in the proximity of their region, as separate cultures thriving and succeeding in carrying on as traditional cultures in a single territory. And as the traditions take on new shades of meaning and expression from their new homeland -- Dominican singer Luis Dias' "Los Vecinos Oyen," which carries its traditional melody into the den of rock & roll dynamics and viscera, or Yuri Yukanov's melding of free jazz with Bulgarian and Ukranian wedding music -- a transcultural extension of music itself occurs. There are 31 selections here, from many nations, from Greece to Russia, to Latin America, the Middle East, and Southern Africa. All of them reflect the determination of preserving their heritages in a foreign land, while widening this new terrain with those traditions, cultural mannerisms, and artifacts, in this case the wealth and breadth of music. This was the finest collection of world music to come out on any American label in five years. That all of these musicians were residing in the city of New York makes it the most important cultural document since Harry Smith's original Anthology of American Folk Music.

Product Details

Release Date:
Smithsonian Folkways


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Simon Shaheen   Violin
Mike Richmond   Double Bass
Willie Rodriguez   Piano,Choir, Chorus
Andy Statman   Clarinet
Klezmatics   Track Performer
Aoife Clancy   Guitar,Bodhran
Eileen Ivers   Violin
Frisner Augustin   Drums,Vocals
Anthony Carrillo   Bata
Mary Coogan   Guitar,Mandolin
Matt Darriau   Alto Saxophone
John Doyle   Guitar
Larry Eagle   Percussion
Catherine Foster   Clarinet
Charlie Giordano   Accordion
Gene Golden   Conga,Shekere
Andy González   Bass Guitar,Choir, Chorus
Jamey Haddad   Percussion
Tom Hayes   Bodhran
David Krakauer   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet
John La Barbera   Guitar
Tang Liangxing   Zhonghu
David Licht   Drums
Frank London   Trumpet,Cornet,Alto Horn
Donna Long   Fiddle,Piano
Joanie Madden   Flute,tin whistle
Wu Man   Pipa
Olufemi Claudette Mitchell   Choir, Chorus
Paul Morrissett   Bass Guitar
Manny Oquendo   Timbales
Mary Rafferty   Accordion,tin whistle
Dan Reagan   Trombone,Choir, Chorus
Najib Shaheen   Ud
Lorin Sklamberg   Accordion
Wayne Wallace   Trombone
Jim Whitney   Double Bass
Siobhan Egan   Fiddle,Bodhran
Seido Salifoski   Drums
Abdoulaye Diabate   Vocals
Angel Vazquez   Trombone
Eddie Rodrigues   Percussion,Vocals
Yuri Yunakov   Saxophone
Jose Rivera   Choir, Chorus
Miguel "Menique" Barcasnegras   Choir, Chorus
Alberto "Tito" Cepeda   Maracas
Waldo Chavez   Bass
Frankie Vazquez   Vocals
Natasha Hassam Youssef   Track Performer
Sam Charles Tanco   Choir, Chorus
Nathaniel Townsley   Drums
Robert Montoro Ortiz   Drums
Nellie Tanco   Choir, Chorus
Hector "Tito" Matos   Conga,Vocals
Herman Olivera   Vocals
Juan Gutiérrez   Choir, Chorus
Abraham Rodríguez   Percussion,Vocals
Abou Sylla   Balan
Arcel Vickers   Organ
Desmar Guevara   Piano
Richard Nant   Trumpet
Joe Fiedler   Trombone
Tim Newman   Trombone
Christian Davis   Vocals
Alberto Toro   Flute
Cheresque   Track Performer
Mamadou Diabate   Kora
Brad Schoeppach   Guitar
Ricardo S. Pons   Saxophone
Bassam Saba   Flute,Nay
Merita Halili   Vocals
Lefteris Bournias   Clarinet

Technical Credits

Cherish the Ladies   Arranger
Andy Statman   Arranger
Eileen Ivers   Arranger
Frisner Augustin   Arranger,Contributor
John Doyle   Arranger
Edward Haber   Engineer
Joanie Madden   Arranger
Jeff Peters   Engineer
John A. Schaefer   Producer
Michael DeMark   Engineer
Siobhan Egan   Arranger
Ethel Raim   Executive Producer
Stephen Shultis   Engineer
Ricardo S. Pons   Arranger,Musical Director

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