Press Clipping
Top 5 Sizzling Hot Winter Music Festivals in Frigid New York City

••• Four Snowballs: globalFEST, January 8, Webster Hall

Granted it’s only a one-night shot (scaled down from what it used to be), but globalFEST ( is a multifarious extravaganza of world music from around the planet that takes place in the multiple performance spaces in Webster Hall). “This year’s edition brings us full circle to why we started globalFEST in 2003 following 9/11 and the country’s closing of borders,” noted globalFEST co-founder Isabel Soffer. “We wanted to encourage our colleagues in the performing arts field to take artistic risks, and put international perspectives centerstage.”

With “building bridges” culturally by music as its theme, this year’s edition features tradion and experimentalists including old-school Congo rumba by L’Orchestre Afrisa International), Africa-rooted Latin by Betsayda Machado, socio-political Cuban club music by Batida, shaman-rooted glam rock of Korea’s SsingSsing, African nu-soul singer Jojo Abot, and digital-looping Estonian folk violinist/singer Maarja Nuut. Also on the program are the global facets of very regional American styles: D.C.’s Rare Essence’s funk-fired go-go and Ranky Tanky’s take on the Gullah Sea Island traditions in South Carolina.

Added tastemaker and festival co-founder Bill Bragin: “globalFEST strongly believes that these unique cultural and personal expressions are what bring us closer together as a society. Diversity is a force that unites, not divides.” Indeed this is the world in all its diverse beauty.

There is no place to better dive into the wealth of the world’s music on the same evening as globalFEST. It’s a unique event—only in New York—put together by the wise and wily expertise of the show’s founders and programmers. Support it!

Lineup of artists for this year’s globalFEST:

* AlSarah and the Nubatones (Sudan/Brooklyn): East African Retro-Pop
* Batida (Portugal/Angola): Afro electronic dance party
* Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo (Venezuela): Powerhouse Afro-Venezuelan vocalist (U.S. debut)
* Jojo Abot (Ghana/Denmark/USA): Experimental Afropolitan pop-soul
* Hoba Hoba Spirit (Morocco): Casablanca’s irreverent rock stars.
* L’Orchestre Afrisa International et M’bilia Bel (DRC/USA): Tabu Ley Rochereau’s Congolese rumba legends return
* Maarja Nuut featuring Hendrik Kaljujärv (Estonia): Digital Estonian folk soundscapes
* Ranky Tanky (USA): Funky Gullah songs of the South Carolina Sea Islands
* Rare Essence (USA): D.C.’s pioneering polyrhythmic Go-Go superstars
* Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition (USA): Indo-jazz
* Septeto Santiaguero (Cuba): Grammy-winning son cubano stars
* SsingSsing (Korea): Shamanistic Korean folk songs meet rock