Institutional Award: Afropop Worldwide
On the radio continuously since 1988, Afropop Worldwide revels in and reveals music that Africa has inspired in its diverse homelands and around the globe. It’s part dance party, part cultural anthropology seminar; it’s both evidence of and a lively participant in the world’s ongoing musical dialogue. Weekly broadcasts not only tantalize listeners with the sounds of Algeria and Madagascar, Kenya and Zimbabwe, Cuba and the USA, but also contextualize the music, grounding it in history, religion, politics, everyday life and commerce. Among the most fascinating broadcasts of the past year was “The Money Show,” a collection of stories exploring local indigenous music “economies” and illuminating different approaches to making a living with music. On Afropop, listeners might get a masterclass in the rhythms of reggae or rumba one week, an introduction to Sierra Leone’s bubu, a trance-inducing music played on bamboo tubes, the next. Producer Sean Barlow and his cohorts are tireless in their search for new variations and fresh connections, annotating their finds with ambient sound and expert soundbites as well as tunes. The infectious enthusiasm of Georges Collinet, the Cameroon native who hosts the Brooklyn-based series, has a musicality of its own. For its pioneering role in the “world music” movement, for illuminating the richness and diversity of African and African diasporic cultures, for archiving and fortifying its work on afropop.org, and simply for being a treat for the ears, Afropop Worldwide receives an Institutional Peabody Award.
Founder and Executive Producer: Sean Barlow. Producers/Writers: Sean Barlow, Banning Eyre, Michael Jones, Sam Backer, Marlon Bishop, Saxon Baird, Wills Glasspiegel, Morgan Greenstreet. Host: Georges Collinet. Engineers: Michael Jones, Stephanie Lebow, Brendan Baker.
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