Oliver Mtukudzi Live From Webster Hall (full concert audio)
GlobalFEST is a great place to discover young new talent, but occasionally the producers welcome familiar friends to their party. This year, it was Zimbabwe's Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi, who has been an African musical icon since the late 1970s and brought that sense of homecoming to GlobalFEST with his band The Black Spirits. With his sweet acoustic guitar and husky voice, Mtukudzi gave a lilting and gorgeous performance that evoked traditional Zimbabwean sounds like those of an mbira thumb piano, but filtered them through an accessible, guitar-centered aesthetic.
One of the breakout stars from this year's edition of New York City's globalFEST, Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara had the Webster Hall crowd wrapped around her finger. Gifted with enormous stage presence and great looks, Diawara — who was a dancer and actor before she joined iconic Malian vocalist Oumou Sangare's band as a backup singer — put on a tightly choreographed set that screamed with energy and edged toward rock and funk.
Mucca Pazza Live From Webster Hall (full concert audio)
The circus came to GlobalFEST in the form of Chicago's Mucca Pazza, a group of 30 clowns who could barely be contained in the cavernous ballroom at New York City's Webster Hall. Wearing mismatched, thrift-shop marching-band getups and sporting a full range of brass, drums, violin, accordion and electric guitar — plus a gaggle of nerdy cheerleaders ("I Heart A Scientist," proclaimed one's T-shirt) — Mucca Pazza wreaks visual havoc onstage.