The awards are preceeded by the Kora Festival Dec. 1 & 2 and a Dec. 3 fashion show showcasing "Africa’s glamour through haute couture." The Kora Awards ceremony will take place on December 4th, and will be broadcast worldwide.
If you want to participate, you can vote via SMS for these categories (voting info):
1) Artiste of the Decade
2) Best West African Male Artiste
3) Best West African Female Artiste
4) Best East African Female Artiste
5) Best East African Male Artiste
6) Best Southern African Female Artiste
7) Best Southern African Male Artiste
8) Best Central African Male Artiste
9) Best Central African Female Artiste
And of course, my skepticism about commercialized world music awards doesn't discourage me in the least from working on my own "Best of 2005" World Music listing - watch this space for details. If you want to nominate your own favorite "world music" artist, song, or album of 2005, post a comment or email me.
Speaking of African music, I was a little saddened but not surprised to read of the decision by Miriam Makeba to stop touring after one last world tour. I was fortunate enough to be front-row to see her at the now-defunct WOMAD USA, and her energy electrified the place. Last month she performed a couple shows in Havana, and said of "world music":
I don’t believe that there would be rhythm without Africa. Now we are called World music, and I ask myself, where are the rest from then? We are all of the world. In real terms they want to say Third World music. It’s the same as when they called us underdeveloped countries and now courteously we are in development. That’s how it is.In honor of Mama Africa's long (and continuing - she says she'll keep recording as long as she can sing) musical career, here's a track she recorded while in exile from South Africa, just after returning to Africa in 1968.
Miriam Makeba: "
from the CD The Guinea Years