World Music

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What exactly is "world music"? Does it include songs that are sung in different languages ... or even bluegrass? As the Folk Alliance International conference gets underway in Kansas City, we explore what this nebulous term means to an ethnomusicology professor and two local musicians.


Miguel DeLeon is a man of many aliases. To some, he's El Mambo. To others, El Pionero. After nearly three decades leading Latin bands and teaching music in Kansas City, he moved to Phoenix, but he's back for a visit, playing gigs and teaching an Afrocuban drumming workshop. 

The University of Kansas is hosting the Africa World Documentary Film Festival this Thursday, April 10 through Saturday, April 12.

The convener of that festival, Daniel Atkinson, visited the KCUR studios to talk about the films he chose to show and the ideas he hoped to convey through the wide range of stories these documentaries tell.