Favorites, you ask? Hmmm. I'd have to mention Modibo Traore, a bougaroubou drummer from the Casamance region of southern Senegal, whose energy was truly infectuous.
Doug Bridges' didgeridu workshop was packed with people trying to coax rumbles out of their practice tubes, and I learned some new things about Tuvan throat-singing at the workshop put on by Devan "Tuva Trader" Miller. And the New Life Church Mass Choir nearly blew the house down with their rousing 40+ voice gospel choir.
The quieter sounds of the the koto-shakuhachi duo En and the World Meditation Ensemble provided a calm amid all the great energy. And the finale by the Kane Mathis Trio highlighted the ever-improving chops (and voice) of this great kora player -- and I enjoyed the addition of bass to his music, which I'd heard previously only with kora and djembe.
I've left out several great performances, but there was just so much! For more on the festival, see www.olysacredmusic.org.
[mp3] Derviches Tourneurs: "
from the album La danse cosmique des Derviches Tourneurs: Niyazayin (a recording of Turkish dervishes on the Herisson Vert label -- apparently now out of print)