Sudanese-American artist who blends traditional Arabic, East African, and 1970s African popular music in what she calls "East African retro pop."
More info at her Official Web Site
A Colombian singer and songwriter, he has sung in a variety of genres, from cumbia to Latin pop. He has won many awards at both the Grammy Awards in the United States and the Latin Grammy Awards.
Check out his Official Website
Dubbed the "Queen of Salsa," Cuban-born singer Celia Cruz was one of the most popular Latin artists in the 20th century.
For more information, check out her Official Site.
The late Chiwoniso Maraire was a Zimbabwean singer and one of the few women to play the mbira.
A virtuosic kamancheh player, Kayhan Kalhor is considered to be a master of classical Kurdish and Iranian music, and is a member of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project ensemble.
Sang for Somalia's national band in the post-independence era, now residing in Denmark.
Mdou Moctar is a well-known Tuareg guitar artist in Northwest Africa, his mixture of Afro, Arabian, and westernized influence makes him the perfect lens in which to view the globalization of music.
Check out his Facebook page.
You can also check out his Artist Page.
Known as "Mama Africa," Miriam Makeba was a world-renown singer and anti-Apartheid and Civil Rights activist from South Africa.
A South-African singer, songwriter, novelist and actor, Nakhane broke away from a conservative Christian group and proudly talks and sings about his identity as a gay man. He was named to the New York Times’ 10 Artists to Watch in 2019 list.
Check out his Official Site.
The Nile Project
A collective of musicians from African countries in the Nile basin who come together to emphasize cultural commonalities across national borders and raise awareness of environmental and policy issues surrounding the Nile River.
Afro-Caribbean, socially-activist Muslim hip-hop duo based in the United Kingdom.
Malian singer known as "The Golden Voice of Africa."
London-based, Iranian-born singer/songwriter of Azeri heritage who specializes in Islamic popular music. Also involved in humanitarian work and is currently the UN Global Ambassador for the World Food Programme.
One of Kenya's most popular bands right now, Sauti Sol has received multiple awards and international acclaim.
Check out their Official Site.
Perhaps Egypt's most famous vocalist, Umm Kulthum is still beloved across the Arab world decades after her death in 1975.
Virginia Danielson's 1997 biography, The Voice of Egypt, is the most comprehensive source of her life and music. Abundant information can also be found online. Her Encyclopaedia Britannica entry and documentary film, A Voice Like Egypt (streaming free on YouTube), can also get you started.
One of Senegal's most famous musicians, from a family of griots and highly influential in shaping the mbalax genre, which fuses Wolof sabar drumming with international music styles.
Asni: The Life of Asnaketch Worku - Courage, Passion & Glamor in Ethiopia
Biographical documentary on Ethiopian actress, singer, and krar player from the mid-20th century.
Netflix's Explained: K-Pop
Brief 20 minute documentary from Netflix's Explained web series. Available streaming on Netflix.
Biographical documentary about Fela Kuti, Nigeria's iconic Afrobeat innovator.
The Resurrection fo Victor Jara
Follows the legacy and continued relevance of Chilean musician and political activist, Victor Jara.
Searching for Sugar Man
Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man is a music documentary about the mystery of Rodriguez, a Detroit-based folk-soul singer-songwriter who couldn’t crack many radio playlists back in the 1970s, but inexplicably became a hero to anti-apartheid activists in South Africa — even though he’d never toured there. Bendjelloul collects the fan rumors about who Rodriguez was and what happened to him, and then he and his collaborators go looking for the truth.
Available streaming on Amazon Prime, Vudu, iTunes, YouTube
Under African Skies
Explores the making and consequences of Paul Simon's Graceland, featuring South African activists and musicians (including Miriam Makeba and Ladysmith Black Mambazo).
A series of radio programs and online articles with excellent, in-depth information on music in Africa and in the diaspora.
Awesome Tapes from Africa
A crowd-sourced web page where people upload old tapes and records from (drumroll please!) Africa (in case you couldn't guess from the title.)