A couple cool new spins you might not have heard of/yet.
Real Life Slumdogs, if not yet Millionaires: Project Ahimsa's Global Lingo puts all kinda reggae, hiphop, world and fusion artists together with very young artists to benefit Project Ahimsa, a global effort to to empower youth through music. Founded in 2001 in response to attacks on Sikhs and South Asians after 9/11, Project Ahimsa - a word for the principal of non-violence - operates under the Tampa-based Patel Foundation for Global Understanding. Money raised through concerts by the likes of the Black-Eyed Peas goes to pay music teachers and buy instruments in poor neighborhoods in countries ranging from India to Thailand to Tanzania.
One of those kids, Ganesh Barriya, above, is featured on the tracks Liberation 3000 and He Manov Visvaas. A former rag-picker who began singing via an Ahimsa music program in Ahmedebad, India, Ganesh is now making some money for his family with his music.
Other faves - Michael Franti and Spearhead with Sly & Robbie on the funky roots rocker pean to the universal power of the beat Hello Bonjour, and the acoustic sweetness of Erica Nalani's Much to Do - Back to Guahan. Oh - and children's choruses from India and Nicaragua. Good groove for a good cause.
Love the loping cumbia funk of Bomba Estereo's Blow Up, even if I missed their recent gig at Transit Lounge. And the relaxed electro dub and the confident attitude, singer Li Samet's smooth bilingual girlish ease and the fact that she doesn't sound like every other nasaly alt Latin female singer out there. Yummy groove, excellent for sweat-greased summer booty grind down. And did anyone, anyone ever think cumbia would become so cool?