On Sunday, Jan. 17, globalFEST, one of America's premiere showcases of musical talent from around the world, once again took over the three stages at Manhattan's Webster Hall. The one-evening festival has few American rivals in the way it simultaneously expands and condenses musical perspectives. The performances here move naturally between those that are heady and thought-provoking and those that are rhythmically sumptuous and sweat-inducing. Sometimes the shift from, say, Eastern European folk theater to Afro-Caribbean party music to Parisian electro-swing to Bhangra drums creates deep, wonderful contexts about the world we live in; at others, it is jarring. Which is what makes the whole thing such a hoot.
To discuss the evening's performances and insights, All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen is joined by NPR Music's Piotr Orlov, NPR contributor and Afropop.org senior editor Banning Eyre and Rob Weisberg of WQXR (who also hosts WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise). In this week's podcast, above, they revisit some of the highlights and favorite discoveries from this year's globalFEST.