There's no need to suffer the indignities of airport security with these artists who can take you around the world in 18 tracks. And if you're in New York, you can see all of them live this summer at Lincoln Center.
Keep scrolling to get to the full playlist.
“Impromptu No. 1—for Gershwin”
Friends from their music student days in Havana, saxophonist/composer Yosvany Terry and pianist Orlando Alonso join with French-American (and part Trinidadian) cellist Yves Dharamraj to kick off our playlist with composer Manuel Valera’s chamber jazz homage to their current hometown of New York City and one of its most iconic composers: George Gershwin.
Lincoln Center Festival, July 26
“Qué He Sacado Con Quererte”
The Mexican indie pop star enlists Los Macorinos on this cover of Chilean folk singer and songwriter Violeta Parra’s poetic lament from 1964. The track is from Lafourcade’s latest album Musas, a reverent and personal reflection on the Latin American songbook.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors, August 11
“Cuarto de Colores”
From his self-released debut album, this is one of the tracks that transformed the Colombian harpist into a jazz star and altered our vision of what the harp could do forever.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors, August 9
“Yo de Ti Me Enamoré”
Singer and tambolero Emilsen Pacheco is considered one of the leading exponents of Colombian bullerengue. Sourced from an ancestral musical tradition full of emotion, sorrow, and joy, this track is decidedly on the joyful end of the spectrum. You'll most likely fall in love with the chorus.
Atrium 360°, August 24
And now to a classic reggae anthem from the legendary Sister Nancy, who is widely regarded as the first woman dancehall MC. It’s been endlessly remixed and sampled, including by Kanye (“Famous”), Jay-Z (“Bam”), and Lauryn Hill (“Lost Ones”). Again, you’ll likely be singing along after 30 seconds.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors, August 10
Because two Brazilian superstars are better than one! Carlinhos Brown and Sérgio Mendes collaborate on this early ‘90s hit—and the crowd goes wild!
Lincoln Center Festival, July 15
“Ai Ai Como Eu Me Iludo”
If Os Mutantes ever cut a record at Stax it would probably sound a lot like this track from São Paolo-based indie band O Terno.
Atrium 360°, August 10
“The Talking Fish”
Just try not to dance to this perfect fusion of funk, disco, and Afrobeat, with killer vocals from English-Nigerian frontwoman Eno Williams, plenty of horns, and a whimsical infusion of synths.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors, August 2
This song won the Benin-born Kidjo her first Grammy nomination and launched her into the realm of Afropop royalty. It’s from her 1994 album Ayé, which was produced in part at Prince’s Paisley Park Studio in Minneapolis.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors, August 2
The Rimtobaye brothers and their childhood friend Dono Bei Ledjebgue show off the distinctive a cappella style of singing of their homeland with a few new world accents picked up in their adopted country of Canada.
Lincoln Center Festival, July 28
“Djan Kre Bejabu”
Repressed under Portuguese colonial rule, Cape Verdean batuku music has been experiencing a revival. Hailing the small island of Santiago, located midway between Brazil, Portugal, and Angola, Tcheka’s music is both hyper-local and wholly universal.
Lincoln Center Festival, July 27
“Old Reinlander from Sonndala”
One of the hottest classical string quartets on the planet, known for superlative interpretations of Brahms and Beethoven, the four charismatic members of the Danish String Quartet sound just as good playing the note-bending, rustic dances of their Scandinavian ancestors.
Mostly Mozart Festival, August 10
A Polish musician and scholar that has studied string music traditions across the world, Maria Pomianowska's newest project revolves around the Biłgoraj suka. Using old field manuals and a painting, she painstakingly reconstructed the medieval predecessor to the violin.and is now creating a new repertoire for it.
Lincoln Center Festival, July 25
They’re the only resident big band of a techno club in the world (Munich’s Harry Klein) and here they pay tribute to another city—Prague—with house music of the highest order, but no electronics in sight (and an insane drum solo at the end).
Atrium 360°, August 31
“Every Time I Thought About It I'd Burst Into Tears”
Sampling classic Syrian pop of the ‘60s and ‘70s, composer and visual artist Samer Saed Eldahr experiments with transforming traditional Arabic musical forms into club-friendly EDM. We can look forward to hearing a lot more from him now that he’s an American resident.
Lincoln Center Festival, July 19–22
These three Palestinian brothers are considered the “three kings of the oud,” a type of lute played across the Middle East. This track from their album AsFâr (a play on words denoting “voyage” in Arabic and “as far” in English) shows off the deep psychic connection that forms the basis of their mesmerizing improvised structures.
Lincoln Center Festival, July 29
“Jam Une 18 Je Ti Cun I Vogel”
She’s been called the Albanian Madonna (Ciccone), but when she emigrated to New Jersey after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and subsequent collapse of the Albanian economy in 1991, she had to start all over again. In this track from her 2013 album titled simply Merita, she shows off the voice and energy that made her famous.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors, August 6
For the end of our world tour, we take it easy with a Bollywood legend: composer (and vocalist here) A.R. Rahman. This track is from the 1994 romantic comedy thriller Hum Se Hai Muqabala (Kadalan in the original Tamil). Twenty years after the film was released, will.i.am and Cody Wise had a hit with “It’s My Birthday,” an English remake of “Urvashi Urvashi.”
Lincoln Center Out of Doors, August 3
Listen to the full playlist.
To listen to the full songs on this playlist, you’ll need a Spotify account. Sign up here. It’s free.
Amanda MacBlane is a Senior Writer/Editor for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
Nicole Howell is the House Programs Intern for the 2017 Lincoln Center Festival.