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Our Top Discoveries From globalFEST 2018

Clockwise from upper left: Jupiter & Okwess, Iberi Choir, Mariachi Flor De Toloache, Ava Rocha
Courtesy of the artists
Clockwise from upper left: Jupiter & Okwess, Iberi Choir, Mariachi Flor De Toloache, Ava Rocha

Not matter how much of a music geek you may be, globalFEST is a music festival of discovery for everyone. Now in its 15th year, it's a celebration of music from around the world.

This year's festival featured extraordinary Congolese music from Jupiter & Okwess, Brazilian avant-pop from Ava Rocha, a twist on traditional Irish music from Jarlath Henderson, modern Iranian songs and poetry from Mohsen Namjoo, and so much more.

The gathering happens in just one evening. This year, a dozen bands performed on three stages in midtown Manhattan at B.B. King Blues Club, its smaller sister-venue in the same building called Lucille's and at the Liberty Theater directly across 42nd Street.

I was there globalFEST this past Sunday, along with around 1,500 people, including NPR Music's Anastasia Tsioulcas, Afropop Worldwide's Banning Eyre and WFMU's Rob Weisburg, home of his show "Transpacific Sound Paradise." On this edition of All Songs Considered, we share our favorite discoveries from globalFEST 2018.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.
Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.