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World Cafe Looks Back: World Music | March 26, 2012

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Throughout the month of October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of World Cafe and revisited some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

On today's World Cafe, we look to Nigeria, Benin and Cuba and highlight some of our favorite conversations with world-music innovators.

King Sunny Ade visited World Cafe in 2005 to talk about Juju music from Nigeria — a lilting style of guitar- and percussion-based dance music — and describe how this almost turned him into the "African Bob Marley."

Iconic and inspiring, Benin-born Angélique Kidjo discusses the impact of the African Diaspora on world music, her trilogy of albums exploring the movement of African musical traditions to the Americas, and her work with Dave Matthews on a track for her 2002 album Black Ivory Soul.

After years of collaborating and touring with his band The Flecktones, banjo guru Bela Fleck sought to explore the roots of his beloved instrument in Africa. He recounts the result of his travels — the album and documentary Throw Down Your Heart — in this excerpt from a 2009 session.

In 1996, Buena Vista Social Club helped expose the golden age of Cuban local music to the world. The album's producer, Ry Cooder, came to World Cafe in 1998 to discuss the role of music as a source of cultural identity in Cuba, and to describe how he navigated this project amid the Cuban recording environment.

This segment originally aired on October 19, 2011. (Show details)


(( )) for interlude music


King Sunny Ade "Sijuade" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Black Beats "Tsatsu Tsosemo" Electric Highlife
King Sunny Ade "Ja Funmi" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
((Extra Golden "Ukimwi" Thank You Very Quickly))
Angelique Kidjo "Iwoya" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
((The Cuban Cowboys "Jinetero" Cuban Candles))
Bela Fleck/Anania Ngoglia "Kabibi" Throw Down Your Heart, Tales From The Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3: Africa Sessions
Bela Fleck "Buribalal" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Bela Fleck/ Haruna Samake Trio "Throw Down Your Heart" Throw Down Your Heart, Tales From The Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3: Africa Sessions
Buena Vista Social Club "Pueblo Nuevo" Buena Vista Social Club


The Postal Service "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" Give Up
Norah Jones "Don't Know Why" First Sessions
Norah Jones "Turn Me On" Come Away With Me
Outkast "Hey Ya" The Love Below
Fountains of Wayne "Hey Julie" Welcome Interstate Managers
((Foxes "Meadowlarks" Fleet Foxes))
Ray LaMontagne "Trouble" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
Ray LaMontagne "Jolene" Recorded Live for the World Cafe
The Jayhawks "Tailspin" Rainy Day Music
Kathleen Edwards "6 O'Clock News" Failer
((Cotton Jones "Gotta Cheer Up" Paranoid Cocoon))
Archie Powell & The Exports "Metronome" Great Ideas in Action
Archie Powell & The Exports "Bend Over Backwards" Great Ideas in Action
Drive by Truckers "Outfit" Decoration Day
Warren Zevon "Keep Me in Your Heart" The Wind
((Chairlift "Garbage" Does You Inspire You))