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Best Of 2020, World Piano, Roland Alfonso, Balkan Brass, Allen Toussaint & South Africa

Monday, January 11

It’s world pianos this time in the Global Village, as we highlight keyboard players in different styles and from different parts of the world. Among the artists featured: Brazilian pianist and composer Antonio Adolfo, new tango master Pablo Ziegler, South African jazz star and 2020 NEA Jazz master Abdullah Ibrahim, space age musical scientist Esquivel, Latin jazz artists Michel Camilo and Omar Sosa, and pianist Chick Corea with flamenco guitar legend Paco de Lucia.

Tuesday, January 12

Global Village marks the birthday of tenor saxophonist and ska pioneer Roland Alphonso with music he did with the Skatalites, Bob Marley & the Wailers, the Heptones, Tommy McCook, Jump with Joey, and the Soul Brothers. And as the January Best of the Year feature continues, Global Village remembers Toots Hibbert of Toots & the Maytals who passed away in 2020, salutes Grammy Lifetime Achievement recipients the Talking Heads, and highlights past year releases from Italian reggae artist Gaudi (with theremin!), Belgian reggae and afrofunk band Kosmo Sound, and French afrofuturist afrobeat group Supergombo.

Wednesday, January 13

This time in the Global Village we highlight some great Roma brass bands. We’ll hear Romania’s Fanfare Cioc?rlia, the popular Serbian band the Boban Markovic Orkestra, from Macedonia the Ko?ani Orkestar, and some Balkan Brass by way of NYC from the Raya Brass Band. Also on tap: Italy’s Bandadriatica, the Cypriot band Monsieur Doumani, Turkish psychedelic rocker Umut Adan, and the Roma-influenced Hungarian group Söndörg?.

Thursday, January 14

Global Village pays tribute to one of the giants of Crescent City music, Allen Toussaint, on his birthday. The program highlights music from his rare albums in the ‘70s to later projects including the Grammy-nominated release The River in Reverse, which he did with Elvis Costello. Plus New Orleans R&B classics he wrote and produced for Irma Thomas, Ernie K-Doe, Lee Dorsey and others, and covers of his songs from Robert Palmer, the Band, the Pointer Sisters, and more.

Friday, January 15

Global Village highlights a variety of styles and artists from South Africa this time. We’ll hear legendary vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo (in tribute to Joseph Shabalala, who passed away last year), a 2020 show favorite from Vusi Mahlasela recreating the vibrant sound of township jive, township classics from the Dark City Sisters, Mahlathini and West Nkosi, the long-delayed project from South African great Hugh Masekela with afrobeat master Tony Allen (who passed away last year), and South African reggae from Lucky Dube and O’Yaba.

Chris Heim produces and hosts Global Village, a nationally and internationally distributed world music show; the nightly jazz show Night Train, and Crossroads, KMUW’s twice-weekly blues and R&B show. Chris is also a critic and freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Utne, Global Rhythm, Dirty Linen, and Option, among others.