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Africana Studies: Music (West African, Spirituals, Blues, Jazz, Gospel, R&B, Rock, World/Global, Urban Contemporary)

Music (West African, Spirituals, Blues, Jazz, Gospel, R&B, Rock, World/Global, Urban Contemporary)

Video introductions to various genres pertaining to Africana Studies.


West African

A Performance of Kpegisu by the Wodome-Akatsi Kpegisu Habobo produced by David Locke
TV 419  Check Availability
Image:Kpegisu.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"Kpegisu is a type of traditional music and dance of the Ewe people of Ghana and Togo (West Africa). At least several hundred years old, this heritage is vibrantly maintained by a performing group in Wodome, a village near the town of Akatsi in Southeastern Ghana."--Film credits.
Africa Come Back: The Popular Music of West Africa produced by Penny Corke
DVD 2256  Check Availability
Image:Africa_Come_Back.jpg‎ From Films Media Group:
"Just as Africa has impacted the music of the Caribbean and the Americas, so has the New World reciprocated, strongly influencing the music of Africa. This program documents the history of the musical genre known as hi-life, from the sweet and melancholy sounds of palm wine guitar, to the plangent harmonies of nnwonkoro and the fierce polyrhythms of kpanlogo, to hi-life’s contemporary place in world music."
Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness directed and produced by Llewellyn M. Smith
Reserve DVD 4052  Check Availability
Image:Herskovits_Heart_of_Blackness.jpg‎ From
"Herskovits’s academic work advanced the cause of ethnic equality in the United States, while also setting off a whirlwind of debate about race and identity. Some black leaders worried that Herskovits’s work might be a kind of intellectual colonialism, and that if African-Americans allowed a white man to define and record their identity, it would lead to further exploitation. Could, or should, a white man have the last word on the origins of a culture to which he didn’t even belong?"
West African Djembe Drumming: with Paulo Mattioli by African Percussion
LV 296  Check Availability
Image:African_Percussion_Djembe_Drumming.jpg‎ From
"Djembe Drumming with Paulo Mattioli is the first video on African drumming to use unique 'players eye view' camera shots to present: Rhythm Building, exercises that tap into your "internal clock". Hand Drum Strokes, to produce 'musical' drum tonality. Technique building exercises for a fluid style. Instrumentation includes parts for Djembe, Kenkeni, Sanba, Djun Djun, Shekare and Bell. Repertoire covering the seven principal and most [popular] Djembe rhythms part by part. Play anong segments in ensemble formats with West African Artists."
Born Musicians: Traditional Music from the Gambia produced by Penny Corke
Reserve DVD 2250  Check Availability
Image:Born_Musicians.jpg‎ From Films Media Group:
"Traveling from the remote villages of the Upper River Division to the nation’s capital, Banjul, this program focuses on the music of the Mandinkas and their jalis, the society’s hereditary professional musicians. Displaying the delicate beauty of such instruments as the 21-string harp-lute and the xylophone and the powerfully expressive singing of the instrumentalists’ wives, Gambian music is presented as an essential part of ceremonial occasions."
The JVC Video Anthology of World Music and Dance 
DVD 2261-2290  Check Availability
Image:JVC_Video_Anthology.jpg‎ From Multicultural Media:
"Produced by JVC in collaboration with a Smithsonian/Folkways Recordings editorial board of scholars and Multicultural Media, The JVC Video Anthology of World Music and Dance is a thirty (30) videotape, nine book collection containing over 500 performances from 100 countries."


Light of Change: A Concert with Carrie Newcomer, Bernice Johnson Reagon and Holly Near produced and directed by Robert Chase
DVD 3492  Check Availability
Image:Light_of_Change.jpg‎ From Golden Rod Music:
"This live performance by three remarkable singers and songwriters, Holly Near, Carrie Newcomer and Bernice Johnson Reagon, documents and unique and powerful collaboration of music and message. Recorded live at the 'Mix in '06,' a gathering of 4,000 women from the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church, the concert features signature songs from each artist as well as collaborative pieces. Interwoven with the 19 songs performed during the show are conversations with the artists, recorded six months later, reflecting on their creative process and the power of music to bring people together."
Marian Anderson produced by Dante J. James
TV 1652  Check Availability
Image:Marian_Anderson.jpg‎ From
"This video offers viewers the chance to get to know Marian Anderson, the fine and gifted African-American singer who left audiences in awe during the early decades of the 20th century. She was a woman who won the hearts of many, including the influential First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Find out about the troublesome racial discrimination that she had to face and the extraordinary free concert she gave on the steps of the Lincoln Center. Isaac Stern and Jessye Norman, who were friends and professional associates of Anderson's, provide their reflections about this woman. Conductor Toscanini stated that her voice was one that is only heard 'once in a hundred years.' - Elizabeth Smith, All Movie Guide"
On the Battlefield: Gospel Quartets in Jefferson County, Alabama produced by Penny Corke
DVD 2252  Check Availability
Image:On_the_Battlefield.jpg‎ From the DVD jacket:
"Spirituals have been described as both the literature of American slavery and as the jewels that the slaves brought out of bondage. Today, the harmony, percussive precision, and evangelical fervor of gospel music have made it a hit all around the world. This program spotlights two venerable groups--The Sterling Jubilee Singers and The Four Eagle Gospel Singers--and climaxes with a Sunday gospel quartet celebration. Additional performers include the all-woman Harps of Melody, The Birmingham Sunlites, and The Pattersonaires."
Say Amen, Somebody produced and directed by George T. Nierenberg
DVD 306  Check Availability
Image:Say_Amen_Somebody.jpg‎ From
"This 1982 documentary by director George T. Nierenberg breaks it all down beautifully as he examines the lives and careers of a handful of since-departed gospel stars, who helped create the genre from which so many other forms of music flowed... Live performances are mixed with telling, sometimes touching reminiscences by these pioneers of a musical style, all leading to several striking points: principally, that this energetic music took time to be accepted by the conservatives in the church, and that the music itself has a surprising power to raise spirits and confirm faith. Yet it's all done in a way that is spiritual without being preachy. A truly joyful film." - Marshall Fine
Spirituals in Concert 
TV 418  Check Availability
Image:Spirituals_in_Concert.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"Spirituals for 1 or 2 voices, originally produced for television."
Too Close to Heaven. Part 1: The Story of Gospel Music produced by Leo St. Clair
TV 1259  Check Availability
Image:Too_Close_to_Heaven.jpg‎ From Films Media Group:
"Deeply rooted in African rhythms, the first gospel music, as sung on southern plantations, expressed the collective sorrow of American slaves, and the history of their diaspora. Using narration and thrilling performance footage, these programs trace the 200-year history of gospel music from black churches, to the civil rights movement, to its influence on modern jazz, blues, and rock and roll. Its revolutionary sounds and joyful vocal styles are featured in several live performances by noted singers. Interviews with key figures provide insights into the cultural and artistic importance of this uniquely American art form."
Too Close to Heaven. Part 2: The Story of Gospel Music produced by Leo St. Clair
TV 1260  Check Availability
Image:Too_Close_to_Heaven.jpg‎ From Films Media Group:
"Deeply rooted in African rhythms, the first gospel music, as sung on southern plantations, expressed the collective sorrow of American slaves, and the history of their diaspora. Using narration and thrilling performance footage, these programs trace the 200-year history of gospel music from black churches, to the civil rights movement, to its influence on modern jazz, blues, and rock and roll. Its revolutionary sounds and joyful vocal styles are featured in several live performances by noted singers. Interviews with key figures provide insights into the cultural and artistic importance of this uniquely American art form."
Too Close to Heaven. Part 3: The Story of Gospel Music produced by Leo St. Clair
TV 1261  Check Availability
Image:Too_Close_to_Heaven.jpg‎ From Films Media Group:
"Deeply rooted in African rhythms, the first gospel music, as sung on southern plantations, expressed the collective sorrow of American slaves, and the history of their diaspora. Using narration and thrilling performance footage, these programs trace the 200-year history of gospel music from black churches, to the civil rights movement, to its influence on modern jazz, blues, and rock and roll. Its revolutionary sounds and joyful vocal styles are featured in several live performances by noted singers. Interviews with key figures provide insights into the cultural and artistic importance of this uniquely American art form."
Mahalia Jackson: Give God the Glory produced by Richard St. John
DVD 1163  Check Availability
Image:Mahalia_Jackson.jpg‎ From
"Shortly before her death, Mahalia Jackson embarked on a triumphant European tour. This film is not only a record of that historic tour, but also a captivating portrait of a gifted artist and warm, sincere woman. Includes performance footage of many of Mahalia’s greatest songs including Come On Children, Didn’t It Rain, We Shall Overcome, He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands, Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho, Just a Closer Walk with Me, and many others."

Black Rock

Voodoo Chile: The Music of Jimi Hendrix directed by Julian Benedikt
LD 180  Check Availability
Image:Jimi_Hendrix_Voodoo_Chile.jpg‎ From
"...this double-disc set is another gratifying result and a great introduction to one of rock's most legendary, if oft-misunderstood, figures. Disc one compiles the guitarist's best-known tracks, often substituting revealing alternate versions or outtakes... to give listeners fresh insight into his restless creativity. The second CD offers up a rich slate of live Hendrix, the context where he truly made his legend, with recordings that stretch from his legendary performance at Monterey in '67 to an Isle of Wight show recorded shortly before his death..." - Jerry McCulley
Primer by Living Colour
TV 311  Check Availability
Image:Primer_Living_Colour.jpg‎ From
"Living Colour is a unique U.S. band that blends the elements of rock, jazz, blues, and soul. They were discovered by Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger and soon found themselves in the studio with a record contract and on tour opening for the Stones....This tape contains a number of clips from their Primer album, including 'Middle Man,' 'Cult of Personality,' 'Open Letter to the Landlord,' a live version of 'Broken Hearts,' plus an interview segment with the band members." - Forrest Spencer, Rovi
Jimi Hendrix 
DVD 196  Check Availability
Image:Jimi_Hendrix.jpg From
"If any artist deserved a hagiography it was Jimi Hendrix, and Joe Boyd's 1973 'authorized' tribute adequately sanctifies the legend. Perversely for a documentary, it achieves this simply through well-chosen concert footage rather than through the insights of the various talking heads. Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, and Germaine Greer are all wheeled out to wax lyrical about their days with Jimi, but nothing is more eloquent than watching and listening to him play." - Mark Walker,
Picture of a Thousand Faces by The Eric Gales Band
CD 15275  Check Availability
Image:Picture_Thousand_Faces.jpg‎ From
"Like many a young hot-shot guitarist, Gales tends to overplay - it's all very fine wanting to be Hendrix, but maturity teaches that the notes you don't play can be equally important. Still, Gales' power trio has the talent and the chops to pull off the melodic Fender-on-hyperdrive approach, and it doesn't hurt that solid songs and vocal harmonies underpin the wailing.

Guitar solo fanatics will especially want to check out the powerhouse closing to 'God Only Knows,' and the 8-minute, blues-injected cover of The Beatles' 'I Want You (She's So Heavy).'" - Roch Parisien

Avoid the Funk: A Defunky Anthology all songs written by Joe Bowie/Janos Gat
CD 10854  Check Availability
Image:Avoid_the_Funk.jpg‎ From the catalog:
Contents: "For the love of money / Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, A. Jackson. Big bird / Booker T. Jones and Eddie Floyd. Make them dance. Strangling me with your love (revisited). Defunkt. The razor's edge / Joe Bowie, Janos Gat. Avoid the funk. In the good times."
America, Do You Remember the Love? by James Blood Ulmer
CD 16752  Check Availability
Image:America_Do_You_Remember.jpg‎ From the catalog:
Contents: "I belong in the U.S.A.; Lady blue; After dark; Show me your love (America); Black sheep; Wings"
Playboy Jazz Festival. Volume 2 
TV 152  Check Availability
Image:Playboy_Jazz_Festival.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"Jazz artists perform in concert at the Hollywood Bowl." Performers include: "

The Dave Brubeck Quintet; Ornette Coleman & Prime Time; Wild Bil Davison; Maynard Ferguson; Free Flight; Dexter Gordon; O.C. Smith; Sarah Vaughan; Weather Report; The Manhattan Transfer. Bill Cosby."

Stoosh by Skunk Anansie
CD 23233  Check Availability
Image:Stoosh_Skunk_Anansie.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"Following the success of their debut album, Paranoid and Sunburnt released in 1995, Skunk Anansie wasted no time in getting their second album Stoosh, recorded and released a year later in 1996. Produced by Garth Richardson,...the results were startling. Featuring new drummer Mark Richardson (ex-little Angels) it contained a harder-edged collection of songs, characterized by metal-edged guitar and [Skin] in spitting out her lyrics. In most cases controversial lyrics end up sounding contrived, but on this collection Skin sounded as though she really meant it..."
The Mothership Connection by George Clinton
DVD 45  Check Availability
Image:Mothership_Connection.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"A live performance by George Clinton and P-Funk cited as 'the turning point' of the band's career."
Sign o the Times by Prince
DVD 724  Check Availability
Image:Sign_o_the_Times.jpg‎ From the catalog:

"Sign "o" the times. Play in the sunshine / Prince. Little red corvette / Prince. Housequake / Prince. Slow love / Prince. I could never take the place of your man / Prince. Hot thing / Prince. Now's the time / Charlie Parker. U got the look / Prince. If I was your girlfriend / Prince. Forever in my life / Prince. It's gonna be a beautiful night / Prince. The cross / Prince."

Queen: Magic Years 
TV 306  Check Availability
Image:Queen_Magic_Years.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"v. 1. The Foundations. -- v. 2. Live killers in the making. -- v. 3. Crowded in glory.

Musical concert & rock videos featuring Queen, Elton John, Roger Daltry, Little Richard, Phil Collins, Keith Richards, Jeff beck, Rod Stewart, David Bowie, & Ringo Starr."

Does Humor Belong in Music? 
DVD 2136  Check Availability
Image:Does_Humor_Belong_in_Music.jpg‎ From
"[T]his hour-long, digitally remastered 14-song set (culled from FZ's performance at the Pier in New York City on August 26, 1984) is 95% music, punctuated with brief interview clips (including the inane titular question, and Frank's expectedly affirmative response), and featuring one of the tightest bands that Zappa ever assembled... Each song is performed to perfection while espousing FZ's impassioned philosophy of taking nothing seriously except the music. In that regard, this Zappa Live DVD represents pure genius at work, having fun and taking no prisoners." - Jeff Shannon
Sweet Toronto by D.A. Pennebaker
DVD 38  Check Availability
Image:Sweet_Toronto.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band played their first and last performance at the Sweet Toronto Peace Festival in 1969 that featured Yoko Ono, famed guitarist Eric Clapton, and renowned musicians Klaus Voorman (bass) and Alan White (drums). This classic film captures John Lennon in the only performance with the Plastic Ono Band. The Plastic Ono Band is introduced by footage of individual performances including Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard."
Rock & Roll produced by Robert S. Block
TV 1108-1109  Check Availability
Image:Rock_&_Roll.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"Hosted by: Fabian; produced by Sandra Turbow and Herb Silvers.

Starring: Chubby Checker, Bo Diddley; with appearances by: Fabian, The Coasters, Lou Christie, Leslie Gore, The Crystals, Diamonds, Little Anthony."

The Best of Gary U.S. Bonds 
CD 12914  Check Availability
Image:Best_of_US_Gary_Bonds.jpg‎ From
"While most early '60s pop music sought to tone down the rough edges that had made rock & roll such a fear-inspiring beast to '50s Middle America, Gary 'U.S.' Bonds's party-down music helped keep the flame alive until the British Invasion bands started a new bonfire. While crudely produced (by Legrand Records owner Frank Guida), Bonds's records had a sound all their own, and the pounding, overmiced drums and heavily echoed vocals influenced everyone from Phil Spector to Bruce Springsteen..." - Billy Altman
Ready Steady Go! Volume Two by Dave Clark
LD 192  Check Availability
Image:Ready_Steady_Go.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"Videodisc release of original performances from British TV show in the 1960's."

Contents: "Twist and shout -- She loves you -- I get around -- When I grow up -- Can I get a witness -- Losing you -- Dancing in the street -- I'm going to be strong -- I love you Baby -- Baby, I need your lovin' -- Walkin' the dog --Stagger Lee -- Whole lot of shakin' -- I got you Babe -- Shout and shimmy --Bits and pieces -- Can't you see that she's mine?"



A Voice from Heaven: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the Most Beautiful Voice in the World 
DVD 2954  Check Availability
Image:Voice_from_Heaven.jpg‎ From
"Filmed in Pakistan, India, Canada and United States, A Voice From Heaven is a tribute to one of the most beautiful voices in the century: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the king of Qawwali. The story interweaves excellent Nusrat performance footage and a rare behind the scene glimpse into Nusrat's life. Interviews conducted with the many friends, artists and producers with whom Nusrat has collaborated with, including Rick Rubin, Michael Brook, Bally Sagoo and the Asian Dub Foundation, tell the story of a man and his music of peace and spiritual love."
Ravi Shankar in Portrait 
DVD 2436-2437  Check Availability
Image:Ravi_Shankar.jpg‎ From
"The first DVD of this set, called 'Ravi Shankar -- Between Two Worlds,' is the definitive account of India's most celebrated musician and follows two years of Ravi Shankar's life - filmed in India and America - against the backdrop of seven decades of innovative collaboration with Western musicians. Archive footage shows concerts with Zakir Hussain and other key performances filmed from the 1930s to the present day.

The second DVD shows Ravi Shankar live in concert as he performs two ragas (Raga Anandi Kalyan and Raga Rangeela Piloo) in the atmospheric Union Chapel in London, summer 2002, with his daughter Anoushka and tabla virtuosi Bikram Ghosh and Tanmoy Bose."

There'll Always Be Stars in the Sky: The Indian Film Music Phenomenon 
Reserve DVD 1192  Check Availability
Image:There'll_always_be_stars_in_the_Sky.jpg‎ From
"Imagine films with the scale of classic Hollywood Busby Berkeley musicals, the action of James Bond thrillers, and the epic style of spaghetti Westerns. Indian filmi are this and more; the Indian film industry is the new Hollywood... There Will Always Be Stars in the Sky takes you behind the scenes of India's Hollywood to meet star actors (Raj Kapoor), star singers (Lata Mangeshkar), top musical directors (Kalyanji Anandji), and others in recording sessions, on shooting sets, in posh residences, and in the teeming streets."


Fela in Concert 
DVD 992  Check Availability
Image:Fela_in_Concert.jpg‎ From
"Nigerian superstar Fela, who sings, plays tenor sax, and fuses funk & jazz with traditional African music, was inspired by Bird, Marley and Miles. New York Times critic Jon Pareles described his 1981 Paris concert video, featuring exotic West African dances performed by 15 of his wives, as hypnotic, cutting and defiant ... one of the ten greatest videos ever."
Live in London by Youssou N'Dour
DVD 1269  Check Availability
Image:Live_in_London_Youssour.jpg‎ From the catalog:
Contents: "Tan bi (Heat, breeze, tenderness) -- Moor ndaje (Mr. Everywhere) -- Bitim rew (Immigrés) -- Mame bamba -- Benn la (The same) -- Liggééy -- Sagal ko (Honor her) -- Mbëggéél noonu la (Because love's like that) -- Elan de sabar -- No more -- Same (Without a smile) -- Yaakaar (Hope) -- Shakin' the tree -- So many men -- Li ma weesu (As in a mirror) -- Set -- L'appel a la xawaare (Griot's gaze) -- Birima -- C'est l'amour (It's love) -- La Femme est l'avenir de l'amour (Women are the future of love) -- New Africa."
A Visit to Ali Farka Touré a film by Marc Huraux
DVD 2937  Check Availability
Image:Visit_Ali_Farka_Toure.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"Documentary on Malian singer/guitarist Ali Farka Touré, filmed in Niafunké, Mali. Features Touré as he goes about his daily business, fulfilling his role as mayor of an area encompassing 58 villages. Though he now declines most offers of interanational tours and recording sessions, music is still an integral part of this encounter, and the film includes several performances."
African Underground: Democracy in Dakar 
DVD 4046  Check Availability
Image:Democracy_in_Dakar.jpg‎ From
"African Underground: Democracy in Dakar is a groundbreaking documentary film about hip-hop youth and politics in Dakar Senegal. The film follows rappers, DJs, journalists, professors and people on the street at the time before during and after the controversial 2007 presidential election in Senegal and examines hip-hop’s role on the political process. Originally shot as a seven part documentary mini-series released via the internet – the documentary bridges the gap between hip-hop activism, video journalism and documentary film and explores the role of youth and musical activism on the political process."


Umm Kulthum: A Voice Like Egypt produced, written and directed by Michal Goldman
Reserve DVD 3236  Check Availability
Image:Umm_Kulthum.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"She had the musicality of Ella Fitzgerald, the public presence of Eleanor Roosevelt, and the audience of Elvis Presley. Her name was Umm Kulthum, and she became a powerful symbol, first of the aspirations of her country, Egypt, and then of the entire Arab World. Narrated by Omar Sherif, Umm Kulthum, A Voice Like Egypt is the first documentary to bring the celebrated diva of the Arab world to an American audience. The film puts her life in the context of the epic story of 20th century Egypt as it shook off colonialism and confronted modernity."
Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam a film by Omar Majeed
DVD 4036  Check Availability
Image:Taqwacore.jpg‎ From
"Three years in the making, this feature documentary follows the progression of the Muslim Punk scene: from its imaginary inception in a novel written by a white-convert named Michael Muhammad Knight to a full-blown, real-life scene of Muslim punk bands and their fans."
Afghan Star produced and directed by Havana Marking
DVD 4035  Check Availability
Image:Afghan_Star.jpg‎ From
"After 30 years of war and Taliban-rule, pop culture has returned to Afghanistan. Afghan Star - a Pop Idol-style TV series – is searching the country for the next generation of music stars. Over 2000 people are auditioning and even three women have come forward to try their luck. The organizers, Tolo TV, believe with this programme they can ‘move people from guns to music’.

But in a troubled country like Afghanistan, even music is controversial. Considered sacrilegious by the Mujahiddeen and outright banned by the Taliban (1996-2001), music has come to symbolize freedom for the youth. While the conflict still rages many of those taking part are literally risking their lives."

Cheb Mami: le Môme written by Eric Sandrin and Rabah Mézouane
DVD 3191  Check Availability
Image:Cheb_Mami.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"Follows Cheb Mami, a popular Rai singer, born in Algeria and living in France. Contains interviews with Cheb as well as footage of performances, recording sessions, and interactions with the local Algerian community."


Number 17 Cotton Mill Shanghai Blues: Music in China produced and directed by Jeremy Marre
DVD 1045  Check Availability
Image:No_17_Cotton_Mill_Shanghai_Blues.jpg‎ From
"The video series Beats of the Heart examines the music scene from the hills of Appalachia to the core of Latin America. No. 17 Cotton Mill [Shanghai] Blues: Music in China documents a dormant, ancient musical culture that re-emerged following China's Cultural Revolution. Director Jeremy Marre journeyed to China in the 1980s to record the music traditions then surfacing. Marre's musical quest took him to Shanghai, Beijing, and to the Islamic, far northwestern region of Xinjian, where he filmed performances by modern Chinese musicians..." - Sally Barber, All Movie Guide
Music of Bunraku written by William P. Malm, Sidney D. Brown, and Eugene Enrico
Reserve TV 2033  Check Availability
Image:No_cover_image_available-DVD.jpg From the catalog:
"Shows the exotic drama of Bunraku, the puppet theater of Japan, and is intended to enable the viewer to understand its music as well. The musical styles, notation and performers of Bunraku are introduced by Prof. William P. Malm of the University of Michigan, while the historic roots of Bunraku, as illustrated in antique paintings and prints, are explained by Prof. Sidney D. Brown of the University of Oklahoma. Artists from the National Bunraku Theater of Japan demonstrate the musical styles of Bunraku, and perform Ise ondo koi no netaba (The massacre of a geisha house in Ise)."
Kodō: Heartbeat Drummers of Japan produced and directed by Jacques Holender
TV 421  Check Availability
Image:Kodo_Heartbeat_Drummers_of_Japan.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"The documentary was filmed in the summer of 1983 on Sado Island, and at Tokyo's National Theater. Showcases Kodō's music and explores their commitment to a unique aesthetic and collective ideal."
Gagaku: The Court Music of Japan written by William P. Malm, Sidney D. Brown, and Eugene Enrico
Reserve TV 2031  Check Availability
Image:Gagaku.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"The Imperial Court Orchestra of Tokyo illustrates the contrasting styles of gagaku through music, costume and court dances (Nasori, Genjoraku). Host, William P. Malm. Sidney D. Brown discusses gagaku's historic roots in Mongolia and Korea." 


Salsa: Latin Pop Music in the Cities 
DVD 805  Check Availability
Image:Salsa_Latin_Pop_Music_in_the_Cities.jpg‎ From
"The highpoint of this documentary is the rare rehearsal footage of señora Celia Cruz, 'the Queen of Salsa,' whose elegant choreography, elliptical phrasing, and piercing vocals set the standard for all salsa singers. Along with the poignant footage from Puerto Rico and along with the folkloric beauty of the African-derived Santeria religious ceremonies, Salsa: Latin Pop Music in the Cities shows that salsa is the sonic sauce of the Americas, delivered from the Big Apple." - Eugene Holley Jr.
La Llave de Mí Corazon by Juan Luis Guerra
CD 29796; DVD 3046  Check Availability
Image:La_Llave_de_mi_Corazón.jpg‎ ‎ From
"La Llave De Mi Corazon centers on romance and love, themes that better suit Guerra's blend of salsa, merengue and other assorted tropical rhythms. The cutesy title track is featured in English and in Spanish, though it's doubtful Guerra will engage in any serious crossover work anytime soon." - Joey Guerra
Celia Cruz Azucar! 
DVD 4122-4123  Check Availability
Image:Celia_Cruz_Azucar.jpg‎ From
"Hosted by pop and Latin singing sensations Gloria Estefan and Marc Anthony, this all-star tribute honors the undisputed Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz, an artist of immeasurable standing whose career has spanned more than five decades. Her music and incomparable charisma have touched the hearts and souls of millions of people from every race, nationality, and culture throughout the world."
Buena Vista Social Club a film by Wim Wenders
DVD 286  Check Availability
Image:Buena_Vista_Social_Club.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"In 1996, Ry Cooder went to Cuba, rediscovering talents of Cuba's foremost folk musicians, and then making a recording selling millions and earning a Grammy Award. Cooder now returns to Cuba with film maker Wim Wenders to reveal the stories, personalities, and music of the performers who collaborated on that recording. Includes live performances in Amsterdam and at Carnegie Hall."


DVD 2456  Check Availability
Image:Saravah.jpg‎ From the catalog:
"Combines footage from Carnival in Rio in the 1960s with performances and interviews by important popular musicians of the time."
The Black Music of Brazil produced and directed by Jeremy Marre
Reserve DVD 649  Check Availability
Image:Black_Music_Brazil.jpg‎ From CD Universe:
"A documentary on Brazilian samba music and its effects on Brazilian culture, THE SPIRIT OF SAMBA is a rousing film that features a number of exuberant performances from some of Brazil's greatest samba artists. Though many outside of Brazil know samba and bossa nova through the works of crossover artists such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, the music has deep roots in Brazilian culture and history, which are detailed here. From the hilltop ghettos of Rio to the African rooted region of Bahia, THE SPIRIT OF SAMBA makes a complete survey of one of Brazil's national treasures."
Antonio Carlos Jobim directed by Louis J. Horvitz
DVD 2949  Check Availability
Image:Antonio_Carlos_Jobim.jpg‎ From
"Direct from Brazil comes this deeply appreciative musical tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim (1927-94), co-founder and leading composer of the Bossa Nova...

V.I.E.W. Video presents an extraordinary gathering of jazz giants in this enhanced DVD presentation with many bonus features. Along with Jobim himself (in his last recorded concert appearance), these superstars recreate Jobim's classic melodies in a beautiful concert-length 'Thank You.'"



The JVC Video Anthology of World Music and Dance 
DVD 2261-2290  Check Availability
Image:JVC_Anthology_World_Music_Dance.jpg‎ From
"Produced in collaboration with a Smithsonian Folkways Recordings editorial board of scholars, this thirty DVD, nine book collection contains over 500 performances and 1200 pages of text from 100 countries.

The books contain full glossaries, detailed descriptions, and individual essays on the social, cultural, and historical background of the music, dance, instruments, costumes and rituals."

The JVC/Smithsonian Folkways Video Anthology of Music and Dance of Europe 
DVD 2300-2301  Check Availability
Image:JVC_Music_Dance_Europe.jpg‎ From
"59 traditional music and dance performances of Europe packaged in a two DVD/two booklet collection.

Featured countries include Iceland, The Faroe Islands, Denmark, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Serbia."

The JVC/Smithsonian Folkways Video Anthology of Music and Dance of the Americas directed by Hiroaki Ohta
DVD 2291-2296  Check Availability
Image:JVC_music_Dance_Americas.jpg‎ From
"Part of six [DVDs] and six books with 152 performances from throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Includes secular and sacred music and dance performances."
The JVC/Smithsonian Folkways Video Anthology of Music and Dance of Africa directed by Hiroshi Yamamoto
DVD 2297-2299  Check Availability
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"This is part of the three volume, three book collection and does not duplicate any of the performances from the original JVC Video Anthology volumes on Africa. It comes complete with detailed notes regarding the regions, performers and performances and provides an introduction to the vastness of traditional musical forms in Africa."

Urban Contemporary

Always and Forever: An Evening of Songs at Royal Albert Hall by Luther Vandross
DVD 958  Check Availability
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"In this concert recorded live at London's Royal Albert Hall, Luther Vandross treats his audience to a selection of the songs that have made him one of the most popular R&B artists in the world. Among his own hits, such as 'Always and Forever,' 'Stop to Love' and 'Here and Now,' Vandross performs some surprises such as 'Love the One You're With' and 'Killing Me Softly.'"
Divas Live/99 produced by Sean Murphy
DVD 1214  Check Availability
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"Aretha Franklin was clearly the queen of 'em all, y'all, at VH1's first Divas Live concert. So much so that even with her absence from the second, the finest musical moment comes on one of her classics. Mary J. Blige teams with a surprisingly gritty Whitney Houston to deliver a more than respectable take on 'Ain't No Way.' Many of the remaining performances on Divas Live/99 are perfectly competent, but inevitably uninspiring except for the biggest fans of the artists..." - Rickey Wright
Def Poetry. Season 6 produced by Kamilah Forbes
DVD 4064-4065  Check Availability
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"Experience the passion and fire of [tomorrow's] hottest poets! This acclaimed series showcases practitioners of one of the [country's] fastest-rising performing-art forms def poetry in an intimate, uncensored format. Taped as always before a live audience at The Supper Club in NYC, each installment of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry is hosted by popular rap artist/actor Mos Def, and spotlights original material performed by contemporary poets and well-known music/comedy artists."
Jazz Central featuring Freddie Jackson
DVD 3243  Check Availability
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"One of the premiere R&B balladeers of the past 20 years, Grammy-nominated Freddie Jackson rocks the night away on Jazz Central. This rousing concert is jam-packed with wild surprises and romance as Jackson performs before a live audience at BET's Studio II in Washington, D.C. Songs: Nice 'n' Slow, Have You Ever Loved Somebody/Tasty Love, Jam Tonight, Love Me Down, Don't Let Love Slip Away, You Are My Lady, Rock Me Tonight (For Old Times Sake)."
Jennifer Lopez: Feelin' So Good 
DVD 335  Check Availability
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"Jennifer Lopez has managed to elude the traps that other 'movie stars who want to be pop stars' have gotten caught in. The charismatic and multitalented Lopez makes catchy, danceable pop music that has caught the ears of millions and elevated her into international superstardom. FEELIN' SO GOOD, her first music video release, is a chance to delve deeper into Lopez's life and background. A combination of interviews, live footage, and her music videos, this release cuts through Jennifer's superstar persona and reveals a Bronx-reared, down-to-earth woman. It also features a previously unreleased video--the extremely sexy 'Baila.'"
Destiny's Child Live in Atlanta show conceived and created by Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Kim Burse, and Frank Gatson Jr.
DVD 2164  Check Availability
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"Though officially disbanded, Destiny's Child proves in this concert video why they're one of the most successful soul/R&B groups of all time. Filmed at Atlanta's Phillips Arena during their Destiny Fulfilled farewell tour, the trio pulled all the stops--short of flying over the audience--to put on a spectacular show for their fans. Opening the show with their Grammy-winning 'Say My Name,' the group--who famously sang while running around a track as girls to build their lung strength--belted their harmonies and runs while dancing through a medley of hits..." - Ellen A. Kim
Beyonce. Live at Wembley 
CD 23558; DVD 1119  Check Availability
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"Beyonce's London fans go crazy when the Destiny's Child beauty, on her first solo international tour, descends to a massive stage while suspended, upside down, from a wire. After a delicate landing, the star embarks on a set of recent hits immersed in complicated arrangements, including the Arabic sound of 'Baby Boy' and 'Naughty Girl,' the chunky, hypnotic funk of 'Hip Hop Star,' and Beyonce: Live at Wembley's best performance, the powerful 'Work It Out,' in which the diva is at her clearest, jazziest, and most soulful. Not everything works. The bottom falls out of 'Gift from Virgo,' 'Be with You' is forgettable, and Beyonce's stage patter needs polish." - Tom Keogh
MTV Unplugged: NYC 1997 by Babyface
DVD 440  Check Availability
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"Most of the free world now knows that Babyface writes the songs the whole world sings, but many may not be aware that he also sings them as well. This 'unplugged' performance, which is decidedly anything but, gives a high five to Babyface's often overlooked vocal skills and triumphantly allows him to reclaim some of the hits he gave to others. It's cool to hear 'face and his stellar group (along with guests Eric Clapton, Milestone and Shanice Wilson) rework 'Breathe Again' or 'Take a Bow.' And the duet with Stevie Wonder, 'How Come How Long,' may be high drama, but like the rest of this CD, it warms the soul." - Amy Linden
Michael McDonald: A Gathering of Friends 
DVD 791  Check Availability
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"Michael McDonald's career was littered with late-'70s and early-'80s hit singles, many of which are heard in this 2000 tribute show. Hosted by actor Jeff Bridges (who also, believe it or not, sings a duet with McDonald, 'She Lay Her Whip Down'), the concert features singers whose biggest chart moments were courtesy of McDonald's melodic composing style or distinctively raspy backing vocals, including Christopher Cross ('Ride Like the Wind'), Patti LaBelle ('On My Own'), Kenny Loggins ('This Is It'), and James Ingram ('Yah Mo B There')..." - Kevin Filipski
Marvin Gaye: The Real Thing: In Performance 1964-1981 
DVD 2138  Check Availability
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"The scarcity of any Marvin Gaye on DVD is reason enough to welcome The Real Thing: In Performance 1964-1981, but the fact that this 16-track compilation is superb in nearly every respect is cause for genuine celebration. What we get is not just a collection of songs but a career trajectory, tracing Gaye's evolution from a cog in the wheel that was Berry Gordy's Motown into a mature artist with his own matchless vision." - Sam Graham
Lovers Live directed by Sophie Muller
DVD 613  Check Availability
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"Sade fans may experience a range of emotions while watching the first-rate Lovers Live, but one thing they won't feel is shortchanged--not with nearly two hours of concert footage, 22 songs (including almost all of her Lovers Rock album), and DVD bonus features galore. That sultry, soulful Sade sound is in full effect throughout the concert (filmed at two Southern California locations in 2001), brought to life by a capable band, some superbly evocative visuals and sound effects, and, of course, the singer herself..." - Sam Graham