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Putumayo's Latest: Arabic Beat

Thanks to everyone who shared their favorite Arabic musician for a chance to win a CD set of Putumayo's Arabic Beat and Arabic Groove. Congratulations to Andrea Wolf who was our randomly chosen winner!

Read on for a chance to win a CD set of Putumayo’s Arabic-themed titles, available in most Whole Foods Market Stores. Dan Storper is the CEO and founder of Putumayo World Music.

Have you ever wandered the open-air markets in a North African or Middle Eastern city? The music that seems to radiate from the stores and stalls is infectious and prompts a search for the same music to enjoy in your own home.

Memories of a trip abroad can now live on with Putumayo’s newest release, Arabic Beat, a collection that chronicles the musical creativity of Arabic musicians today. The album revels in artists rarely heard in the West: the unsung stars and hit- makers who shape the region’s music.

Inspired by music from across the globe but true to Arabic music’s deep roots, the sounds of raï’s rolling funk and the shimmering pulse of raqs sharki (“belly dance” music) tell the story of a thriving contemporary scene that stretches across the breadth of the Mediterranean.

Wild-eyed bohemians and visionary songwriters, belly dancers and R&B crooners, child stars and Idol-style contest victors, the artists on Arabic Beat each have their own story. But, most have one thing in common: They are household names in certain corners of the Arabic world, but have yet to reach many listeners in the rest of the globe.

The follow up to Arabic Groove, Putumayo’s best-selling album, Arabic Beat features artists that will be new discoveries for even long-time Arabic music fan. These discoveries include the rocking Berber roots of Morocco’s Jalal El Hamdaoui and the funky grooves of Algerian performer Cheb Amar. The collection also reflects how the Arabic beat echoes in major centers of immigration in European cities like Marseilles (home of Watcha Clan) and Barcelona (where Nour is based).

The songs on Arabic Beat are united not only by the mix of Arabic music with Western influence, but also by the spirit of liberation and change that inspired the recent protest movements across the region. Though often singing of love and good times like artists everywhere, many of the musicians on the album also thoughtfully and poetically offer their perspective on everything from the difficulties of immigration to the desire for freedom. These tracks highlight the positive, hopeful side of Arabic culture.

Do you enjoy the music of North Africa and the Middle East? Who is your favorite Arabic musician? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a CD set of Putumayo’s Arabic Beat and Arabic Groove. Comment by August 26 for a chance to win. We’ll choose one comment at random to receive the CDs.

 

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends August 26, 2012, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.

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66 comments

Comments

Joanne Hale says …

i love nawal al-zoghbi ... her song "alf w miye" is a great song! now if only i could speak the language!

JC NAVA says …

FROM THE EVER GREAT KHALED TO MANU CHAU, WHERE HE INCORPORATES ARABIC & NORTH AFRICAN SOUNDS INTO HIS STYLE... SO MYSTICAL!!!! REMEMBER "ALECH TAADI"

Creslan Williams says …

I would love to have this cd in my collection

Melody says …

Haven't really listened to any, but would be interested in hearing some.

Anna says …

I love Arabic music. As a Montessori teacher, I enjoy using the Putumayo series in my classroom to expose children to music of different cultures. This year, I have a student who is Muslim in my class (dad is Jordanian) so this set would be awesome to have :). Thanks, Anna

Anthony says …

Love it

Andrew McGuire says …

Baba Zula is awesome , I randomly saw them preform at a street fest in Barcelona in 2009. They really opened me up to the middle eastern style of music. It was also a very passionate set which engergized the crowd !

Chandra says …

These albums sound very interesting! I listen to a variety of Arabic music, from pop music to chanting and instramental. I have no one favorite artist.

Angela Irving says …

I like Aza. They came through Austin during SXSW. I've loved pretty much all the music I've heard from the Middle East & North Africa, but haven't been fortunate enough to catch the names of all the artists I've heard. I hope these CDs help to bridge the cultural gap between the west & the middle east! Thank you!

Fiona r says …

Would love to have this cd for our preschool co-op; I think the kids would enjoy it!

Joy says …

I have not heard this musician but would like to listen to the music.

Lisa says …

Looking forward to buying this album; I can't get enough of Arabic music!

C. Dolder says …

I love middle eastern music. My favorite artist is Youssou N'Dour.

E. Saldana says …

These are just a few we enjoy: Ilham Al Madfai, Fairuz, Omar Faruk Tekbikek, Rahim Alhaj, Magida El Roumi, Sami Shawa, Wadi Al Safi, Asmahan, Hakki Okadia, Hamza El Din, Yair Dalal, Tio Chemirani, Oum Kalthoum.

Marianne says …

I was introduced to rai by an Algerian cab driver in Paris and have been hooked ever since. So glad to see this follow-up to Arabic Groove, which I loved!

Iain says …

Umm Kulthum.

mirsada bogdanovic says …

my favorite arabic singer is Amr Diab

Dijana Durmic says …

I like to listen to Alabina...she is Muslim/Israeli. Now if that's not multi-culti I don't know what is.

Claudia Schumann says …

I love this music. I would love to hear the cd. I was introduced to Arabic and North African music 40 years ago and have loved to music ever since.

vickie says …

Yes, I am a huge fan for many years of this genre of music...a fave is pretty much anything from Buddha Bar Radio..check it out online...very soul moving, mysterious, and sentual at times too. The music can take you away to a exotic location or make you want to dance. An oldie but still great is Kirpi of Buddha Bar Music (tried to leave a youtube link for you to listen...site wouldnt let me) and I like Nassir and so many others too.

DOREEN says …

I LUV AMR DIAB'S MUSIC WOULD LUV TO TO HEAR THIS CD AND ADD THIS CD TO MY COLLECTION TOO!

Lucy Khatchadourian says …

I love arabic music particularly belly dancing music. It reaches me deep down into my core. Having learned some belly dancing, I enjoy the arabic beat along with the drums they use.

Lucy Khatchadourian says …

I love arabic music particularly belly dancing music. It reaches me deep down into my core. Having learned some belly dancing, I enjoy the arabic beat along with the drums they use.

Shannon says …

Putumayo has style when it comes to choosing music. I find myself trying to sing along with the songs--even though I don't speak the language! Putumayo proves the universal nature of music and how it crosses time, distance, and language.

Denise S. says …

Faudel

DOREEN says …

I LUV AMR DIAB'S MUSIC WOULD LUV TO ADD THIS CD TO MY COLLECTION TOO!

Rissa Grey-Myrie says …

Niyaz and Azam Ali are a few artists I listen to.

Joanna Ruth says …

I haven't listened to much, though I've started with a friend now living in Jordan and a sister studying Arabic. I would really enjoy getting exposed to some great music! Thanks!

Dee Cooper says …

Have not heard much Arab music but what I have heard I enjoyed. Would love to have the CDs in this collection.

Sky Charlesworth says …

I love the music from Mali. I especially like the kora player, Tomani Diabate. His record, Mande Variations, is exquisitely beautiful. Also, Hamza el Din's music is very rich and beautiful.

deanna says …

My favorite middle eastern musician is Farouz. I think she is from Lebanon. I love her music!

Virginia Baysden says …

I enjoy music as I do my food. I like variety, and these CDs will be a welcome addition. Your description assures me of that. Thanks for the opportunity to perhaps win the set!

Karen Howard says …

Sounds interesting, but I have not heard of this group or Album. I'm not familar with this genre. I'd like to hear it because I like all kinds of music.

Dino Montagnani says …

My favorite arabic music artist is Anouar Brahem

linda alyea says …

The Putumayo CD's are my very favorite! I use them daily in my classroom to enhance the current day's lesson. My students are amazed by the different musical sounds and just love the CD's!

Janine Dolley says …

I enjoy this music for it's earthy character and the fabulous beat. Before my breast cancer battle, I was a belly dancer and music like this brought me back to my roots as woman, female, my connection with the fertility of the earth. I lost track of that for a time. Your article reminded me. Perhaps it is time for me to recapture it.

Liana Haig says …

I love Najwa Karam's authentic Lebanese singing style, it's very rare in today's music. I also love Kazem Al Saher, wonderful Iraqi icon. It would be very nice to listen to this album with my daughter because she loves everything ethnic. We're middle eastern but she grew up in the US and doesn't know much about the music so this would be a wonderful opportunity.

Al says …

There is no legitimate excuse for not exploring and enjoying the world's music.

Elizabeth DeLeon Howard says …

I am a Putumayo CD collector, albeit, I have not yet heard this one, I am anxious to hear it. If I were so fortunate to win this CD, I would gift it to my Soul & Grooves instructor named Catherine here in Sugar Land's Life Time Fitness and purchase one for myself. I am sure she would use this music for our class, as she utilizes this time of music for our belly dancing dances. Thank you!

jean says …

If you REALLY want US TO BUY your music you should have samples to play.

Cathy says …

I love world music...from all over the globe. I think it goes a long way in unifying us.

Anne-Marie Dubeau says …

I like the music of Maher Zain, especially his song "Open Your Eyes", which he sings in English. His songs can be heard in a variety of languages, including Arabic and French. There is strong Islamic influence, due to his faith.

Dianne says …

Fares karam

Andrea Wolf says …

I have always loved the music. My favorite group now is Bhangra Folk Fusion.

Stacy says …

Great compilation choice! Would love to add this to my collection of world music, especially as I study Arabic & Persian culture & language.

Yun Ellis says …

Hamza El Din; Maya Nasri; Ke fez; Timber Vella; & Cheb Mami

Michelle says …

I love the complex rhythms of North Africa and the Middle East. Not sure if they exactly count as Arabic musicians (since they are now based out of Orlando), but Mo'Rockin's fusion Western pop/Middle Eastern funk style is great!

Melissa Nicholas says …

I love this beat of music. While I clean and hang around the house it is a fun beat to move and listen to.

Leah says …

Arabandi is a great Israeli-Arabic fusion band.

Stefanie Reed says …

I love the African drums and have many Putumayo CDs. I don't have a favorite Arabic musician but I love World music and like to listen to different styles of music which is not found on the radio.

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