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Stories about Music

Forty years on, a locked-down El Salvador remembers the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero online

The archbishop was shot by a death squad at the start of El Salvador's civil war, becoming an iconic figure in the struggle against human rights violations in Latin America.

Tunes in the time of corona: A playlist from Trinidad & Tobago hits all the right notes

Two Trinidadian podcasters seek to virtually unite people amidst the COVID-19 outbreak by asking listeners to pick their favourite tunes — and explain why the songs are meaningful to them.

‘The bars will spill over to songs of you': A Caribbean farewell to Kenny Rogers

"Depend on it, Kenny Rogers, when coronavirus leaves the long gambling-table of life, having taken too many of us with it, the bars will spill over to songs of you."

Mitrovica Rock School unites young Albanians and Serbs in a segregated Kosovo city

In a segregated Kosovo city, where residents rarely talk to people of different ethnicity, a school restoring the rock music tradition of former Yugoslavia builds friendship between Albanians and Serbs.

Nigeria’s Victor Olaiya: Trumpeter and ‘evil genius’ of highlife music (1931-2020) 

"They thought I moved highlife music out of the ordinary. My highlife was a little bit out of this world, beyond explanation..." — Victor Olaiya

Trinidad & Tobago Carnival's steel pan competition in photos

There's only one place you can hear the best steelbands in the world compete against one another: the annual Panorama competition during Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival.

Bengali, Pakistani, and Amazon indigenous women perform ‘The rapist is you’ song

The flashmob by Chilean collective Las Tesis is still making waves around the world.

Africa's creative industries get a half-billion-dollar boost by big banks

“Because of underinvestment in the creative and cultural industries, Africa is largely absent in the global market of ideas, values and aesthetics," said Benedict Oramah, president of Afreximbank.

Baul singer Shariat Sarkar arrested in Bangladesh for ‘insulting’ Islam

Baul singer Shariat Sarkar is accused of making comments which hurt the “religious sentiment” of Muslims. He says that there is no evidence forbidding music in Islam.

Zanzibar says goodbye to legendary ‘king of kidumbak,’ musician Makame Faki

Legendary Zanzibari musician Makame Faki Makame has died at the age of 77. He was hailed as the king of kidumbak and a master of taarab, Zanzibar's "national sound."

From Indonesian exile to Czechoslovakian pop star: An interview with Rony Marton

Jaroni Surjomartono, an Indonesian scholar, arrived in Prague in 1963. He and hundreds of scholars were later banned from returning home after General Suharto rose to power.

Cultures clash after release of Trinidadian soca music video featuring cricketer Ali Khan

“In ‘Me Gusta’, Destra is trying to represent something global, and other cultures are reading it in different ways.”

2019: A year of flipping scripts and changing narratives in Africa

2019, a year of changing narratives in Africa: Revolutions. Internet shutdowns. Tree-planting. Migration. Feminist songs. Media crackdowns. Cyclones and climate change. Opposition rising. Cultural icons dying. Illness, cures, and healing.

‘Jump high and shake your manifesto': The rhythms of Trinidad & Tobago elections

For Trinidad and Tobago's politicians, the way to voters' hearts is often through song. A look back at some notable guest appearances by calypso and soca on the campaign trail.

Tanzanian rapper scolded for lyrics about nation's cashew crisis

Roma Mkatoliki's hit song criticizes the government's 2018 decision to deploy the military to purchase cashew nuts from farmers in an attempt to force an increase in market price.

Kanye West's use of Jamaican symbols sparks national dialogue on ‘branding’

"Successive political administrations have never fully appreciated the economic value of the brand ‘Jamaica’ nor the symbols that [represent] that brand including its flag and its coat of arms..."

Is Rihanna Barbadian or Jamaican? Jamaican Twitter claims the superstar as their own

Barbadian Twitter users poked fun at the Jamaican Dollar exchange rate, so Jamaicans did the next best thing — they claimed Rihanna.

Zanzibar's one and only music academy on the brink of closure

For the 1,800 talented students who have trained at the DCMA, this is the only musical home they know, where they can learn and grow as professional musicians and artists.

‘Glory to Hong Kong': The anthem of a protest movement

Tens of thousands of Hongkongers are participating in flash mob performances of the new protest song “Glory to Hong Kong” in the streets and in shopping malls across the city.

Rendition of Trinidad & Tobago's national anthem strikes wrong note with the country's president

The performance of the anthem may have been different, but was it inappropriate, or as the president suggested, disrespectful?

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