Xmas tunes that Sizzle from the Caribbean to the Vaticizzle

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Pope Francis needs a beat when he’s blessin’ on the street

This year’s Unorthodox Xmas special is a truly unique sonic feast!  For the first hour, we substitute snow and chestnuts for sand and coconuts. Behold a tropical holiday fiesta of classics and obscurities:

And for the second hour, a trip to the hotbed of Holy: Vatican City! It’s not all choirs and crosses, there are forays into Pope-approved hip hop and prog rock along the way. I couldn’t possibly make that up.

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Mountain Dwellers of the North Caucasus

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Strummin’ on the Kumuz

Where the Caspian sea meets the Caucasus mountains lives the Republic of Dagestan.  The most ethnically diverse corner of Russia, Dagestan is a place rarely explored by outsiders and only minimally administered by the national government.  As ethnic Russians make up less than 4% of the population, Dagestan is a mix of dozens of different cultures and languages singing and fighting for respect.

The rocky terrain impedes modernization and helps preserve these traditions, but also provides shelter for guerrilla groups, whose drawn-out battles for independence have haunted the region for decades.  Here we explore the many colours of Dagestani music, incorporating Central Asian and Middle Eastern melodies with a view to the north and the west.  May these myriad rhythms help bring the people together, and make it known to the government that diversity should be celebrated.

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Lezgians have learned to levitate in the thin mountain air

Breaking Sound Barriers: Persian Flamenco!

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Just when you think there ain’t nothing new..  Presenting Farnaz Ohadi, whose sublime new spin on Flamenco is a world of its own.  Farnaz sings in Farsi and incorporates Persian instrumentation, yet her music still remains faithful to the Spanish roots of Flamenco.  Hear an exclusive interview with Farnaz, as she shares brand new music from her debut Bird Dance LP, out October 1st (along with an album release show):

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Matato’a band of Rapa Nui flyin’ high

Also on the program – a tropical trip to Rapa Nui aka Easter Island!

Interview with Trad.Attack!

Vancouver’s Folk Music Festival is an amazingly eclectic showcase of bands from around the world – the perfect place to discover young bands before they blow up on the international scene.  On their first Canadian tour, Trad.Attack! were hands-down one of the standout acts at this year’s festival. Mixing ancient Estonian folk music with punk rock virility, they have transformed the Baltic scene and are ready to take over the world – one country at a time.  They also happen to be hilarious and very skilled in the Canadian language.  Hear an exclusive Wandering Rhythms interview with Trad.Attack! right here:

Impromptu background music provided by another Folk Fest delight, Betsayda Machado y la Parranda el Clavo, on their first tour to el norte: