Saturday, March 8, 2014
The New Medellin
Despite its notoriety as the home of drug baron Pablo Escobar, Medellin is a modern, thriving city nestled in a scenic mountain valley. Host Jacob Edgar tours a local hip-hop school and community center in the Aranjuez neighborhood that provides a positive outlet for inner city youth. He also enjoys a virtuoso freestyle display by local hip-hop collective Crew Peligrosos, a private performance by reggaeton superstar J-Balvin in his luxurious penthouse apartment and a visit to El Cielo, one of Colombia's most inventive restaurants. After a visit to the headquarters and archives of Discos Fuentes, Colombia's pioneering record label founded in 1934, Edgar and the crew pull off a skin-of-our-teeth nighttime street performance with Puerto Candelaria, a quirky band fusing creative jazz arrangements with retro-Colombian cumbia.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Tokyo: A Feast for the Senses
The massive metropolis of Tokyo offers a feast for the senses: blinding neon, the bleeps and blips of Pachinko parlors, adventurous cuisine, and experimental, animated and sometimes unusual music. In this episode, host Jacob Edgar gets a taste of Tokyo's cultural umami - a voyage of discovery filled with unforgettable surprises. From the outlandish fashion of J-Pop, the surprising pastime of a Japanese jazz giant, Tokyo's rock guitar superstar and a humorous hip-hop freestyler, Jacob meets the colorful characters of Tokyo. His journey is powered by ample bowls of ramen noodles, first-class shots of sake, and the occasional octopus ball.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
At the crossroads of the Bosphorous strait sits the sprawling metropolis of Istanbul, which has nurtured a variety of religions, cultures, languages, cuisines and, of course, music. In this episode, host Jacob Edgar checks out some of the sights and sounds found in "The City of the World's Desire." Turkish op star Nil Karaibrahimgil takes Jacob to her favorite trendy boutique, treats him to unplugged performances of some her best-known songs and provides an exclusive look at her private residence. He goes backstage with rock legend Sebnem Ferah, who shows off her shredding skills in front of 20,000 screaming fans. And famed clarinetist Husnu Senlendirici invites Jacob to picturesque Maiden's Island for a jam session by the sea. The episode concludes as Jacob toasts Istanbul's past and future with a hearty glass of raki, the famed Turkish liqueur, while serenaded by street musicians at a traditional Istanbul cafe.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Colombia's Electro Tropical Beats
One of the latest and most exciting trends in Colombian music fuses the traditional rhythms and melodies with electronic beats and modern influences. Host Jacob Edgar explores this cutting-edge Bogota scene, starting with an electrifying live performance in the streets with La Mojarra Electrica. Then, he meets British DJ and producer Richard Blaire, whose Sidestepper project pioneered the electrotropical trend. Systema Solar provides a sample of their funky and eclectic sound at the equally colorful restaurant and nightclub, Andres Carne de Res. Finally, one of the most popular electrotropical bands, Bomba Estereo, treat viewers to a stripped-down performance of one of the group's new songs at Gaira, a popular Bogot?? restaurant that doubles as a Colombian music museum.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Host Jacob Edgar explores Turkey's mystical side, from trance-inducing whirling dervishes and surreal landscapes to trippy Turkish psychedelic rock. Murat Ertel of the electric folk band Baba Zula takes Jacob on a road trip along the Bosporus Strait and back to the group's colorful studio in a quirky artists' community. Later in the episode, he visits a hookah bar, meets innovative clarinet player Serkan ??agri, experiences a sensual belly dance demonstration and dines on delicious local cuisine. Jacob ends his mind-altering journey in Cappadocia, soaring above its legendary "fairy chimney" rock formations in a hot-air balloon.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Heartbeat of Vallenato
Host Jacob Edgar's journeys through Colombia reveal the country's amazing geographical, cultural and musical diversity. This time, his travels take him from the ranches and farmlands of Valledupar through the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range and on to the Caribbean coast. The small city of Valledupar is the cradle of vallenato, a rustic, folksy and distinctly Colombian music style. There, Edgar meets Fonseca, one of Colombia's biggest stars, who has incorporated the vallenato style into the tropipop sound he made famous. He meets with the Rey de Reyes (King of Kings) of the accordion, attends a wild street party, visits a restaurant that serves unusual wildlife and joins the adorable Los Ninos de Vallenato for a performance in the city's main square. Next, he travels to a small coastal village to meet with a former paramilitary soldier-turned-vallenato-singer, who serenades from a fishing boat in the picturesque harbor. Finally, Edgar ends up in the port city of Barranquilla, where steamy, tropical Afro-Colombian beats dominate the music scene. At a rehearsal for Barranquilla's famous carnival, singer Erika Munoz gives an impromptu performance of her African-influenced sound. Colombian legend Joe Arroyo performs with his full 14-piece band in a commandeered library.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
From Cartagena's gorgeous old city to the rough and tumble streets and beaches of La Boquilla, this episode of Music Voyager provides entree into the beauty, rhythms and culture of this colorful city. Colombia's beautiful Caribbean coast gave rise to cumbia, the iconic Colombian rhythm now popular in nearly every corner of Latin America. Host Jacob Edgar discovers sights of Cartagena da Indias alongside Toto la Momposina, one of the most respected figures in Colombian music, who performs with her band on the beach as local children dance along. Cartagena also bounces to the hot sound of champeta, a blending of contemporary African styles like Congolese soukouss, Nigerian Afrobeat and South African mbaqanga with Latin and Caribbean grooves. Champeta star Louis Towers performs in the bustling Basurto market, and producer Lucas Silva guides Edgar on a tour of Cartagena's famous nightlife. Later, Charles King takes Edgar to hear the popular and extremely loud Rey de Rochas sound system.