Best of 2023 – Steve Kindig (World)

Steve Kindig alternates on Beyond Borders Wednesday afternoon from 12-2 (eastern).


Kimi Djabate/Dindin/Cumbancha

Born in Guinea-Bissau, Kimi Djabate comes from a family of griots and is a master of the balafon (wooden xylophone). His music blends West African beats and melodies with Caribbean lilt and Afro-Cuban grooves..

Ana Carla Maza/Caribe/Persona Editorial Ltd.

Cellist-singer-composer Ana Carla Maza leads us on a tour of pan-Latin musical styles including those from her native Cuba, as well as Argentina and Brazil. She’s backed by a Latin jazz ensemble that delivers this music in all its vibrant colors.

Leon Keita/Leon Keita/Analog Africa

This remastered collection of tracks originally released in the late ’70s shines a spotlight on little-known Guinean guitarist Leon Keita. His songs blend Manding traditions with funk, jazz, Afrobeat and Afro-Cuban flavors. Another terrific release from Analog Africa.


This duo’s debut album bursts with energy and fun. She’s Armenian, he’s French, and their music blends Balkan folk with hints of hip hop, reggae, and other international influences too numerous to list.


Sahel is the first new album in 5 years from Nigerien guitar hero Bombino. It’s also his most musically diverse, scaling back a bit on the electric guitar pyrotechnics in order to reflect more of the complex tapestry of cultures and people that inhabit the Sahel region.

Sissoko, Parisien, Peirani, Segal/Les Egares/No Format

This all-star quartet features Malian kora master Ballake Sissoko and a trio of Frenchmen: saxophonist Emile Parisien, cellist Vincent Segal, and jazz accordionist Vincent Peirani. The mix of tones and textures keeps things interesting all the way through this beautiful all- instrumental recording.

Dengue Fever/Ting Mong/Tuk Tuk

The newest album from this Los Angeles-based Cambodian rock band — their first in 8 years — may be their strongest yet. Lead singer Chhom Nimol sings in Khmer, Cambodia’s native language, but you don’t need to be fluent to get the message. The band’s often dreamy sound has punk, surf, funk, and Afrobeat influences.

Guts/Estrellas/Heavenly Sweetness

French hip-hop producer Guts rounded up 25 like-minded musicians from Cuba, Europe, and Africa, and the result is this 2-CD set of simmering, horn-driven Afro-Latin dance music. 

Altin Gün/Aşk/ATO

Although based in Amsterdam, Altin Gün is known for their psychedelic spins on classic Turkish folk songs. After dabbling in synth pop on recent recordings, Aşk finds the band making a refreshing return to their Turkish roots.

Santrofi/Deep Into Highlife/OutHere

A couple years back, Santrofi’s debut album offered a fresh take on Ghanaian highlife. Deep Into Highlife captures the electrifying live performance of this 7-piece band, joined by Berlin’s premier 14-piece brass ensemble, the Omniversal Earkestra.


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