Paula's World Music MP3 Picks

Find MP3 files for all kinds of World Music here.

Even More Past Featured MP3 Picks:

Even More Previous Picks:

"Belle" (excerpt - fourth song on list) from the musical Notre-Dame de Paris
Format: RealAudio

Even before the play based on Victor Hugo's novel debuted on the Paris stage, the concept album of the same name raced up the French charts based on the strength of this song, which won the 1998 Victoire (French equivalent of a Grammy) as Song of the Year. "Belle" is performed by the three male leads of the play: Quebec's Garou (Quasimodo), Montreal via Winnipeg's Daniel Lavoie (Frollo) and Paris' Patrick Fiori (Phoebus). Excerpts from all the songs on the soundtrack album can be found at the link above.

"My Heart, My Life" (second song on list) by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Format: RealAudio

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was born into a family that performed Qawwali, the devotional music of Pakistan, for six generations. Nusrat took this musical form and gave it a contemporary flair, bringing Qawwali to Western audiences until he passed away in 1997 at the age of 49. Until the end, Nusrat remained passionate about his faith and his music, a passion which comes through very strongly in this selection.

"Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" (excerpt) by Buffy Sainte-Marie
Format: RealAudio

Folk singer/songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie is of Cree heritage and has always drawn upon her Native roots in her songs since her career began in the 1960's. "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" is one of Sainte-Marie's most hard-hitting protest songs about the treatment of Natives by the government throughout history. Her voice quivers with anger and emotion, combined with her trademark vibrato, and is a very memorable listen.

"Green Suede Shoes" by Black 47
Download Size: 3.61 MB

Recorded live in New York City, Black 47 gave it their all with swaggering Irish rock accented by elements of rap and punk. Green Suede Shoes is the name of the band's latest album, and this title track shows the band returning to its uilleann pipe-filled roots.

"Suzanne" as performed by Francis Cabrel
Format: RealAudio

This small file is a real gem - a one-minute excerpt from a French television program where singer/songwriter Francis Cabrel, known for his poetic lyrics and folk/pop arrangements, discusses some of the music he enjoys, then breaks into a rendition of Canadian singer/songwriter/poet Leonard Cohen's classic "Suzanne." This excerpt is rare not only because it exists only on the Internet, but also because this is the only known recording (at least that I am aware of) where Cabrel sings in English.

"Santiano" by Hugues Aufray
Download Size: 2.0 MB

"Santiano" is a French sea shanty performed by Hugues Aufray (pronounced ooog oh-FRAY), a singer/songwriter best known for his translations into French of Bob Dylan songs. However, "Santiano," with it's flowing, Celtic overtones is Aufray's signature song. On this particular version, Aufray is joined by Renaud (pronounced ren-OH), his rough-voiced protégé, in front of a live audience. The steel guitars featured in the musical breaks add a sort of country feel to an otherwise fairly straightforward folk song.

"Capricho Arabe" (first track on list) by Michael Lorimar
Download Size: 4.2 MB

Michael Lorimar marries Flamenco with classical music. A protégé of the late Andrés Segovia, Lorimar uses complex fingerpicking guitar techniques to create a musical atmosphere that draws in the listener. In 1975 he was the first guitarist invited to perform in cities in the USSR, and has appeared in Israel, throughout Europe, on most major North American recital series, and with the orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Louisville, New Orleans and San Francisco.

This Mediterranean-influenced tune demonstrates the virtuosity of Lorimar's guitar stylings, as well as his classical influences.

"A Wish" by Hamza El Din
Download Size: 8.0 MB

The title track from his album on the Sounds True label, Hamza El Din was raised in Egypt but now resides in California. Considered by many as the father of Nubian music, El Din is a virtuoso of the oud, an stringed instrument related to the lute. In fact, most of his music features only his voice, the oud, and a frame drum, providing the backbeat to his gentle yet noble approach.

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