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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.