09 May 2007

Somalia in need, and in music

The International Committee of the Red Cross has issued a plea for donors to contribute $15 million for Somalia to help the beleaguered nation recover from years of war and continuing violence. Since March, an estimated 1,500 people have been killed in the capital Mogadishu, and another 300,000 people displaced. We urge you to read more about the ICRC's programs in Somalia, and of course to donate.

Somalia's not just a desperate nation, of course. It's also got culture and music, including musicians Seynab Cige (video), Maryam Mursal, (video), and Waaberi. More recently, rapper K'naan has exploded onto the world music scene, performing with Canadian group DobaCaracol at the Live 8 festival and releasing his solo album The Dusty Foot Philosopher in 2005 (the album includes contributions from Mos Def and Damian Marley). Earlier this year he received the BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music in the newcomer category.

[mp3] K'naan: Soobax (live edit)

[mp3] K'naan: In the Beginning (live)

Check out K’naan’s video, "Soobax" -- reportedly "the first North American produced hip-hop video shot on African soil."

K’naan is currently touring with Stephen Marley, and you can catch the show across North America this month:

5/09 Boston, MA @ Avalon Ballroom
5/11 New York, NY @ Nokiaa Theatre Times Square
5/12 Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of the Living Arts
5/13 Baltimore, MD @ Ram’s Head Live
5/15 Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
5/17 Windsor, ON @ Chrysler Theater
5/18 Atlanta, GA @ The Roxy
5/19 Saint Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Landing
5/20 Orlando, FL @ House of Blues


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