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World Cafe is a two-hour long, nationally syndicated music radio program that originates from WXPN, a non-commercial station licensed to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The program began in 1991 and was originally distributed by Public Radio International. Since 2005, the show has been distributed by NPR. Hosted by David Dye, World Cafe features live performances and interviews with established and emerging artists. The program's format covers a wide spectrum of musical genres, including indie rock, folk, hard rock, singer-songwriter, alt-country, and world music. The program produces two weekly podcasts containing interviews and information about musical performers: "World Cafe Words and Music," which features more established singers and bands, and "World Cafe Next," which highlights emerging artists.

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World Cafe
3:03 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Steve Martin and Edie Brickell On World Cafe

Steve Martin & Edie Brickell
Mark Seliger Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:14 pm

Steve Martin is a true Renaissance man, having run the gamut of accomplishments from acting to writing to art collecting. He's also an award-winning banjo player, offering easy, lilting banjo melodies alongside former New Bohemian Edie Brickell's lyrics on the duo's latest album, Love Has Come For You.

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World Cafe
3:23 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Latin Roots: Argentine Reggae Legend Fidel Nadal

Fidel Nadal.
Courtesy of Florencia Rodriguez Cheula

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:50 pm

In this installment of Latin Roots, the World Cafe team travels to Fidel Nadal's home studio in Buenos Aires for a session with a reggae performer who truly owns his genre. Nadal has 15 solo records to his name, and his album Forever Together was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2011.

Before fully going solo, Nadal spent a lot of time as a member of the punk-reggae band Todos Tus Muertos, which made six albums between 1988 and 2010. Hear three songs in this World Cafe session, recorded live in Buenos Aires.

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World Cafe
1:45 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

ELO's Jeff Lynne Describes His Work In The Studio

Jeff Lynne.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:52 pm

Jeff Lynne isn't quite at the forefront of '70s and '80s classic rock, but he was responsible for some formidable records with Electric Light Orchestra and Traveling Wilburys; later, he produced releases for Wilbury collaborators Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and George Harrison.

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World Cafe
12:38 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Bombino On World Cafe

Bombino.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:12 pm

  • Listen To Bombino On World Cafe

Nomad is an appropriate title for Bombino's new album; a member of the Tuareg tribe in Saharan Africa, the guitar was first relocated to a refugee camp in Algeria, where he learned to play his instrument. In 2011, he went into exile in Burkina Faso, which led to the making of his first album, Agadez.

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World Cafe
12:49 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

The Handsome Family On World Cafe

The Handsome Family.
Jason Creps Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:53 pm

Brett and Rennie Sparks have inhabited a unique musical world together since the '90s. As The Handsome Family, husband Brett sings and writes the melodies while wife Rennie focuses on the lyrics; the resulting ghost stories and murder ballads have won the band an intense cult following. After years spent in Chicago, where Wilco helped boost its profile, The Handsome Family now resides in Albuquerque, N.M.

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World Cafe
2:30 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

World Cafe Next: Aisha Burns

Aisha Burns.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:53 pm

  • Hear Two New Songs By Aisha Burns

Aisha Burns is best known as the violinist in the chamber-folk band Balmorhea. But in the last few years, Burns has left her comfort zone to write her own songs and play them on guitar. On her debut album, Life in the Midwater, there's a delicate intimacy to her approach. Hear two songs from the new album, which is due out in September.

World Cafe
3:55 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Kassin On World Cafe

Kassin performs on World Cafe.
WXPN

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:54 pm

Kassin is an artist as well as an in-demand producer who works out of his own studio in Brazil with people like Marisa Monte and Arto Lindsay.

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World Cafe
3:40 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Bebel Gilberto On World Cafe

Bebel Gilberto.
The Windish Agency

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:54 pm

  • Listen To Bebel Gilberto On World Cafe

Bebel Gilberto may be the daughter of Joao Gilberto, one of the first bossa nova composers, but that's hardly her only claim to fame. Her album Tanto Tempo, produced by the electronic artist Suba, was a best-seller in Brazil throughout the 2000s.

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World Cafe
3:27 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Vinicius Cantuária On World Cafe

Vinicius Cantuária.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:59 pm

As part of this week's Sense of Place: Rio series, World Cafe revisits a 2004 session with Brazilian singer Vinicius Cantuária. At the time, he was in the midst of a string of highly praised albums, beginning with 1996's Sol Na Cara.

In this interview, Cantuária discusses his love of Tom Jobim, moving to New York City in 1994 and how he feels somehow "more Brazilian" here in the U.S.

World Cafe
3:28 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Do Amor: A Rock Band In Rio

Do Amor perform for World Cafe.
WXPN

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:57 pm

The four members of Do Amor have been playing together since they were 15, when they first bonded over their love of cheap vinyl records. They recently released their second album, Piracema, even though they haven't had much time to play together; the band shares a rhythm section with Brazilian superstar Caetano Veloso.

Listen to Do Amor's special performance for World Cafe, recorded live in Rio de Janeiro.

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World Cafe
3:28 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Os Mutantes On World Cafe

Os Mutantes.
Courtesy of the artist.

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:58 pm

One of the most influential Brazilian psychedelic rock bands of the Tropicália movement, Os Mutantes released its first album in 35 years, Haih or Amortecedor, in 2009. Formed by brothers Sergio and Arnaldo Dias, the group initially drew inspiration from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, English rock and traditional Brazilian music.

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World Cafe
3:42 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Beautiful Bossa Nova From Rio's Seu Jorge

Seu Jorge performs on stage during a 2005 festival in Rio.
Lionel Bonaventure Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:41 am

The music of Seu Jorge occupies a singular place in today's Brazil. His songs are widely hailed as a return to the traditional songwriting of Tom Jobim and Caetano Veloso. But his style, and his background, lead many to call Jorge a hero of life on Rio's streets. It was his history in the slums of Rio de Janeiro that led to bigger things for Jorge, including a high-profile appearance in the 2002 film City of God.

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World Cafe
3:39 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Sylvio Fraga: Rio De Janeiro, By Way Of New York City

Sylvia Fraga Trio.
WXPN

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 4:59 pm

In this installment of Sense of Place: Rio, songwriter Sylvio Fraga performs two songs with his trio. There are underlying hints of samba in his performance, as well as a hefty dose of American songwriting. It makes sense that he would combine the two styles, given that he grew up in both Rio de Janeiro and New York City.

Fraga recently released his debut album Rosto, which he's made available for free download on his website.

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World Cafe
2:26 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Roots Of Samba: Exploring Historic Pelourinho In Salvador, Brazil

Randy Roberts discusses samba at his record store in Pelourinho, the historic center of Salvador, Brazil.
Bob Giardini Productions and WXPN's Kim Junod

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:42 am

The first stop on World Cafe's trip to Brazil was in Pelourinho, the old part of the city of Salvador on the country's northeast coast. In this installment of Sense of Place: Rio, World Cafe captures a performance from the brother-duo Samba Chula de São Braz, in an effort to learn more about the samba style.

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World Cafe
1:36 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Alo Brasil's Alex Shaw On The Urbanization Of Samba

Alo Brasil.
Abi Reimold WXPN

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 9:42 am

Based in Philadelphia, Alo Brasil synthesizes various types of samba, with the hopes of making it a style accessible to American audiences. Alex Shaw, director of Alo Brasil, recently appeared on World Cafe to discuss the exploration of samba as it became an urbanized form.

Here, Shaw takes us through the evolution of samba since the earliest version represented by Samba Chula de Sao Braz. Hear a few of Shaw's picks, including a carnival performance in Rio from 2011.

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