WMI Plus At Home Library

WMI PLUS At Home experiences bring music from around the world into the comfort of your home. Renowned artists share their lives, instruments, and stories from their personal environments, bringing an intimacy and uniqueness to each event. These talks are led by fellow musicians, journalists, and ethnomusicologists.

WMI PLUS At Home events are supported by a grant from Con Edison and by world music lovers like you. We thank you!

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Thandiswa Mazwai is one of the most influential vocalists in South Africa and a self-described “rebel singer”. She began her career in 1996 with music groups Jack Knife and Bongo Maffin, one of the pioneering bands of the dance music genre Kwaito, a musical and cultural movement that originated in Soweto in the late 1980s celebrating the new freedom of post-Apartheid South Africa. She talked with Farima Kone Kito, a Burkinabe writer, researcher, and cultural producer, currently based in New York City, about her latest album “Sankofa” (a Ghanaian word meaning ‘to go back and fetch what has been left behind’). Recorded in Soweto, Dakar, and New York City, the album features samples of field recordings, notable speeches, and indigenous instruments.

Pura Fé, an Indigenous activist, singer-songwriter, and storyteller of Tuscarora/Taino descent, is known for her soulful voice. She founded the Native Women’s a cappella trio, Ulali, empowering Native women’s music. Pura Fé explores Native Blues, where she is known for her lap-steel slide guitar recordings. Her music has been featured in many films including the award-winning documentary “RUMBLE: The Indians that Rocked the World” and she engages in social justice events as a speaker and musician. Gwendolen Cates is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker, photographer, and author. 

Ahead of his performance at the New York Guitar Festival, now in its 25th year, producer, guitarist, and composer Yonatan Gat (Stone Tapes) sat down with the Host of WNYC’s New Sounds, John Schaefer, joined by two artists who will also perform as a part of Night Two of the festival – Daryl Black Eagle Jamieson of the Eastern Medicine Singers and Gnawa master Maalem Hassan Benjaafar. Rounding out the Night Two lineup will be Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Mamady Kouyaté, and Laraaji. John Schaefer will host both nights – June 14 and 15, 2024 at Kaufman Music Center in Manhattan.

Mattias Thedens and Devon Léger

Mattias Thedens is a Norwegian arranger, researcher, bandleader, dancer, and master fiddler. Born into a musical family, Thedens was raised on both American and Norwegian folk-music from an early age. As a fiddler, he’s been performing both old-time American and Norwegian folk music since childhood, and is fluent with both the standard fiddle and Norway’s unique Hardingfele. He was joined in conversation by music journalist and Acadian fiddle player Devon Léger.

Israel Fernández and Ned Sublette

Israel Fernández is one of the most celebrated young flamenco performers in Spain today. He has released five albums including Amor and his most recent project Pura Sangre, both of which were nominated for a Latin Grammy Award (Best Flamenco Album). El País has declared him “the voice that sings the present and the future of flamenco”. He was joined by award-winning music writer and author Ned Sublette (in Spanish and English).

Haleh Liza Gafori and Shahzad Ismaily

Haleh Liza Gafori is a New York City-born translator, vocalist, poet, and composer of Persian descent. Her book, “Gold: Poems by Rumi,” was published in 2022, and she created a cross-media performance piece based on the book. Shahzad Ismaily is a Brooklyn-based musician, composer, and engineer who has worked with many avant-garde artists and composers and collaborated with Arooj Aftab and Vijay Iyer on the Love In Exile project, which WMI presented at Town Hall in 2023.

Mehrnam Rastegari and Niloufar Shiri

Mehrnam Rastegari is an Iranian musician, film score composer, singer, violinist, and master kamanchech player. She is joined in conversation with Niloufar Shiri, fellow kamancheh player, composer, and improviser.

Yasser Tejeda and Ed Morales 

Yasser Tejeda is an award-winning Dominican composer, guitarist, vocalist, and producer. He is joined in conversation with Ed Morales, an author and journalist who writes for The Nation, The New York Times, and CNN Opinions.

Silent Tears with Payadora Tango Ensemble, Lenka Lichtenberg and Dan Rosenberg

Silent Tears is an award-winning program based on poems, testimonies and writings of women who were victims of horrific atrocities during the Holocaust. Music performed by the Payadora Tango Ensemble with moderation from Lenka Lichtenberg and Dan Rosenberg.

Sofía Rei and Julyssa Lopez

Singer/Songwriter Sofía Rei explores folk and futurism through the intersection of the traditions of her native Argentina and the vibrant music scene of her life in NYC. She is joined in conversation by journalist and Senior Music Editor at Rolling Stone Julyssa Lopez.

Brenton Jordan (McIntosh County Shouters) and Historian Joseph Opala

This special WMI Plus At Home celebrating Black History Month focuses on The McIntosh County Shouters – one of the only remaining keepers of “the ring shout”, the oldest African American music and movement tradition with its roots in West Africa that persisted among enslaved people and lived on in African American communities after emancipation. The conversation features “stickman” and storyteller Brenton Jordan and historian and anthropologist Joseph Opala.

Hamid Rahmanian, Creator of ‘Song of the North’ with Score Composer Loga Ramin Torkian

Hamid Rahmanian is a New York–based Iranian multi-disciplinary artist, 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, and creator of ‘Song of the North’, a mesmerizing large-scale, cinematic performance combining shadow puppetry and projected animation, adapted from the Shahnameh (Persian Book of Kings). Joining Hamid in conversation is Loga Ramin Torkian (NIYAZ) who composed the original score for the production. 

Moroccan Gnawa Artist Samir LanGus w/ DJ Omar Aena

This WMI Plus At Home focuses ecstatic music and dance traditions from North Africa, the Middle East, and beyond. Samir LanGus is a Grammy Award-nominated gnawa musician, born and raised in Morocco, who adds his own contemporary spin to the traditional spiritual trance music. Omar Aena is of Iraqi descent and is a DJ, community organizer, and founder of Dance Lab, a Brooklyn-based collective that explores dance as a form of somatic healing. 

Malian Songstress Oumou Sangaré w/ Farima Kone Kito

Ahead of her Apollo Theater debut on October 29, 2022 and following the release of her critically-acclaimed album “Timbuktu”, iconic Malian artist and GRAMMY Award winner Oumou Sangaré sat down with Farima Kone Kito for an At Home conversation where they chatted about the significance of being on the stage of the legendary Apollo Theater for the first time, her impact on fans across multiple generations, and whether Wassoulou is the real Wakanda. (In French and English).

Lollise and Domenica Fossati (Underground System)

This WMI PLUS At Home features two artists from our new live series Let’s Dance: Lollise is a musician, visual artist, and fashion designer from Botswana, currently living in NYC. She will join Ata Kak, the enigmatic West African dance music icon, at Elsewhere in Brooklyn on Sept 30. She is joined by her friend and former band mate Domenica Fossati of Underground System, who will be at Nublu with Locobeach and Cheo Pardo Nov. 10.

Composer, Percussionist, and Author Adam Rudolph with Journalist Piotr Orlov

 Adam and Piotr chatted about Adam’s many collaborations with artists including Don Cherry and Yusuuf Lateef that started with the WMI legacy series of the late 1980s / early 1990s called Improvisations, which Adam will reboot for our 2022-2023 Season launch event that will feature some of the original artists from the series along with next generation improvisational artists.

Garifuna Culture with Aurelio Martinez and Jessica Swanston Baker

Aurelio Martinez is a musical artist, activist, and Cultural Ambassador of the Garifuna nation. The Garifuna are people of Amerindian and West African descent,  living along the coasts of Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Aurelio sat down with  Jessica Swanston Baker, an Associate Professor and ethnomusicologist, to share music and explore Garifuna culture.

Sound Healing with Yungchen Lhamo and Jamshied Sharifi

Award-winning Tibetan singer/songwriter Yungchen Lhamo explores sound healing with her friend and record producer Jamshied Sharifi. Yunchen’s most recent album “Awakening” (Six Degrees Records), delves into the relevance of compassion-based spirituality to our modern-day, interdependent lives.

Changüí The Sound of Guantânamo with Gianluca Tramontana and Arturo O’Farrill

Music producer and  journalist Gianluca Tramontana joins Grammy Award-winning composer, pianist, educator and founder of the Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance Arturo O’Farrill, for an exploration of changüí – a rarely documented folk music from the Guantánamo region of Cuba, where Tramontana spent several months capturing the music of changüiseros. Those recordings have been released on Petaluma Records.

Azam Ali and Derek Beres

Iranian-born composer, vocalist, and musician Azam Ali sits down with author, media expert, and artist Derek Beres to discuss her journey from Iran to India and the US, her musical path and influences including her work with NIYAZ, and her passion for poetry. Azam is also the featured vocalist for Hamid Rahmanian’s ‘Song of the North’.

Merima Ključo and Jelena Milušić 

A special Valentine’s Day WMI PLUS At Home with Bosnian-born duo accordionist Merima Ključo and vocalist Jelena Milušić who joined us from their home in Sarajevo, where they shared romantic music and stories from their collaboration album, Lume – a collection of international love songs, with additional original compositions by Ključo.

Eileen Ivers with Paul Keating

Grammy Award winner Eileen Ivers, called “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin” by The New York Times, shares tunes and chats with Irish Voice columnist Paul Keating about her musical training and upbringing in The Bronx (“the 33rd county of Ireland”), her memories of visiting and playing in Ireland, her experience touring with Riverdance, and the challenges of innovating while honoring musical traditions.

Alsarah (Alsarah and the Nubatones)

A special WMI PLUS At Home with Alsarah – singer/songwriter, founder of Alsarah and the Nubatones, and self-proclaimed practitioner of East African retro-pop, who chats with her sister and fellow band member Nahid as she prepares a Sudanese meal. The conversation is followed by a Q&A with attendees (contains adult language).

Daymé Arocena with Ned Sublette

With her captivating charisma and radiant spirit, Daymé Arocena effortlessly blends traditional Santerían chant, jazz stylings, contemporary R&B influences, and Afro-Cuban rhythmic complexity for audiences worldwide. Her passion for the musical traditions of her homeland is boundless – “reigniting the Cuban soundtrack wherever she plays” (NPR). She sat down with award-winning music writer and artist Ned Sublette for this At Home conversation.

Lokua Kanza with Banning Eyre

Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo and now based in Paris, Lokua Kanza is an exceptionally gifted multi-instrumentalist who sings in several languages. His most recent album released in 2021 entitled Moko, meaning “one” in Lingala, celebrates Lokua’s return to the stage after an 11-year hiatus. He shares music and talks with Banning Eyre (Afropop Worldwide) about his prolific career.

Natu Camara with Darek Mazzone

Multi-lingual Guinean artist Natu Camara shared music and joined Darek Mazzone (host of “Wo’ Pop” on KEXP Radio) for a conversation about using music as a means to build cultural bridges and to promote the empowerment of women and girls.

Leyla McCalla with Mike Block

Haitian-American Grammy Award-winning multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Leyla McCalla (Carolina Chocolate Drops, Our Native Daughters) sits down with Grammy Award-winning cellist Mike Block (Silkroad Ensemble) to share songs and chat about her path from cello to banjo and finding her voice, her musical influences, and the inspiration she derives from her Haitian legacy.

Ballaké Sissoko with Banning Eyre

Malian kora master and Griot Ballaké Sissoko joins WMI from his home studio in France for an At Home conversation in which he shares music and chats with Banning Eyre (Afropop Worldwide) about his many collaborations including his most recent album Djourou, as well as the history and cultural significance of the kora. (In French and English)

Arturo O’Farrill with Philip Klint

Grammy Award-winning pianist, composer and educator Arturo O’Farrill — leader of the “first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz” (The New York Times) and son of the late, great Cuban composer Chico O’Farrill, shares music and talks with Emmy Award-winning journalist Philip Klint (NY1 Noticias) about the evolution of latin jazz, and his travels to Cuba and Mexico.

Dobet Gnahoré with Jacob Edgar (Cumbancha)

Dobet Gnahoré is a Grammy Award-winning songwriter and musician from Côte d’Ivoire, and one of the freshest talents to emerge in African music in the last few decades. She sings in seven languages and embraces many musical styles. Dobet is joined in conversation by Cumbancha label President and ethnomusicologist, Jacob Edgar, as she shares songs from her new album, Couleur, released on Cumbancha. (In French and English)

WMI PLUS At Home with Sonny (Riyaaz Qawwali) and Asad Ali Jafri (South Asia Institute)

Sonny, Artistic Director and singer of the ethnically and spiritually diverse group Riyaaz Qawwali, one of the only musical ensembles of its kind in the United States, is joined in conversation by South Asia Institute Executive Director, Asad Ali Jafri, as they explore the past, present, and future of this devotional music tradition.

WMI PLUS At Home with Las Cafeteras and Juan Díes (Sones de México)

Members of Las Cafeteras, a celebrated Chicano band out of East L.A. known for their joyous, multi-faceted blend of the folkloric Son Jarocho music of Veracruz with hip-hop, zapateado dance, and incisive social consciousness, discuss their music, instruments, and their commitment to social justice in a conversation with Juan Diaz, a fellow musician and educator from the band Sones De México.

WMI PLUS At Home with Simon Shaheen and Wanees Zarour

This At Home session features a conversation between internationally acclaimed musician,  composer, and educator Simon Shaheen with fellow Palestinian musician and educator Wanees Zarour. Shaheen, a virtuoso on both the oud and violin, talks about his extensive musical journey in promoting Arab music in its many forms, and  the joys of bringing down musical walls.

WMI PLUS At Home with Anoushka Shankar and Priya Darshini

Join world-renowned Grammy Award-nominated composer and sitarist Anoushka Shankar in an intimate conversation with her friend and fellow  Grammy Award-nominated musician Priya Darshini. Anoushka shares music and stories about her career and continuing her family’s musical legacy. Anoushka has recorded and released over 15 albums as a solo artist in addition to the collaborations with her late father, sitar master Ravi Shankar. 

WMI PLUS At Home with Foday Musa Suso and Emily Bishton

Longtime World Music Institute friend and internationally renowned Gambian kora player, Foday Musa Suso joins Emily Bishton in a conversation about Suso’s music, his instrument, the 21-stringed kora from West Africa. Suso shares music and talks about his  autobiography, “A Village Griot Boy and the World”, which Bishton co-authored, followed by a Q&A with attendees.

WMI PLUS At Home with Dom La Nena and Catalina Maria Johnson (Beat Latino)

Multi-lingual vocalist and cellist Dom La Nena joined journalist Catalina Maria Johnson (Beat Latino) for a special WMI PLUS At Home conversation from Paris. Dom played music and shared stories about her unique career path that took her from Brazil to Argentina and France.

WMI PLUS At Home – Wu Fei and Abigail Washburn with Jeremy Goldkorn

Merging American and Chinese folk songs, Wu Fei and Abigail Washburn’s eponymous collaborative album, produced by Bela Fleck, features traditional music from the hills of Appalachia to the prairies of the Xinjiang region. The two demonstrate their instruments, perform songs from the album, and chat with journalist Jeremy Goldkorn.

WMI PLUS At Home – Ethiopian Music with Kibrom Birhane, Kaethe Hostetter, and Marié Abe


WMI PLUS At Home with Grupo Rebolu and Michael Birenbaum Quintero


WMI PLUS At Home with Dan and Claudia Zanes and Sonia De Los Santos


WMI PLUS At Home with Seamus Egan and Steve Winick

Join us for an At Home conversation with multi-instrumentalist, composer and co-founder of Irish American super group Sólas, Seamus Egan, who demonstrates traditional Irish instruments and chats with folklorist Steve Winick. We also have a FolkTales podcast episode featuring Seamus and storyteller Bill Gordh – learn more.

WMI PLUS At Home with David Broza and Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary)

Israeli songwriter, guitarist and humanitarian David Broza shares music and talks with his longtime friend and fellow humanitarian Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary) about creating music for social change, and the experience of recording his instrumental album “David Broza en Casa Limón” in Spain with Grammy Award-winning artist and producer, Javier Limón.

WMI PLUS At Home with Carlos Nuñez and Steve Winick

Multi-instrumentalist Carlos Núñez joins us for an exploration of the music of Galicia, Spain’s northwest region, which is rich in vibrant Celtic traditional music. He is joined by folklorist, writer, and educator Stephen Winick.

WMI PLUS At Home with Ehsan Matoori and Max ZT

Acclaimed Iranian musician, composer, and educator Ehsan Matoori shares his mastery of the santur (Persian dulcimer), as we explore the instrument’s history and migration from Iran to cultures around the world. He is joined by national US hammered dulcimer champion Max ZT (House of Waters) as they discuss Ehsan’s latest project and exchange insights into composing music with traditional instruments to fit within a modern context.

WMI PLUS At Home with Zakir Hussain and David Ellenbogen

Grammy Award-winning artist and WMI Honorary Board Member Zakir Hussain shares stories from his life and career; beginning with traditional Indian percussion studies with his father, tabla legend Alla Rakha, to collaborations with music icons including George Harrison, Mickey Hart and the Grateful Dead,  among others. 

WMI PLUS At Home with Armenian Duduk Master Arsen Petrosyan

Arsen Petrosyan, master of the duduk, shares his passion for this ancient Armenian woodwind instrument made from apricot trees. Its mystical sound sets an otherworldly tone in film and TV soundtracks including “Gladiator” and “Game of Thrones”. The session is moderated by Sima Cunningham – a singer/songwriter of Armenian descent who has lived, volunteered and toured extensively in Armenia over the past 10 years.

WMI PLUS At Home with Ladama and Catalina Maria Johnson

LADAMA features four exceptionally talented women from across the Americas who combine traditional and non-traditional instruments and styles into a unique presentation of Latin alternative music. For this event, they share songs and talk with journalist Catalina Maria Johnson (Beat Latino, NPR) about their recent album, ‘Oye Mujer’.

WMI PLUS At Home – the Japanese Koto with Yumi Kurosawa and Ted Wiprud

Yumi Kurosawa shares her mastery of the traditional Japanese instrument, the koto, and talks with fellow composer and arts veteran Theodore Wiprud about some of the inventive collaborations she has engaged in with other artists to create a unique interpretation of this ancient art form.

WMI PLUS At Home – Brazilian Percussion with Cyro Baptista and Billy Martin

Innovative Brazilian percussionist and multi-instrumentalist Cyro Baptista talks with fellow musician and collaborator Billy Martin (Medeski Martin & Wood) about their shared passion for Brazilian drumming, while showcasing various rhythms and instruments from across Brazil. We also have a Folk Tales podcast featuring Cyro and storyteller Bill Gordh – learn more.

WMI PLUS At Home – Arpa Llanera with Edmar Castaneda and Jay Loomis

Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda plays the arpa llanera or plains harp, and talks with ethnomusicologist Jay Loomis about bringing this traditional instrument to the world’s stage with his unique style. We also have a Folk Tales podcast with Edmar and storyeller Bill Gordh – learn more.

WMI PLUS At Home – The Music of Tibet with Techung and Tim McHenry (the Rubin Museum)

Techung is a Tibetan singer, songwriter, and performer who grew up in exile in Dharamsala, India. He showcases traditional Tibetan music and instruments, and discuss the crucial work of preserving and archiving the endangered music of Tibet with the Artistic Director of the Rubin Museum, Tim McHenry. We also have a Folk Tales podcast with Techung and storyteller Bill Gordh – learn more.

WMI PLUS At Home – Kathak Dance with Aditi Mangaldas and Rajika Puri

Award-winning Indian kathak dancer, choreographer, and Principal of the Drishtikon Dance Foundation, Aditi Mangaldas shares video excerpts from her choreographic works, followed by a conversation with Rajika Puri, dancer and co-curator of WMI’s annual Dancing the Gods Indian dance festival.

WMI PLUS At Home with Farah Siraj and Tom Pryor

Jordan’s Musical Ambassadress and WMI Honorary Board Member Farah Siraj in a conversation with noted world music journalist Tom Pryor about the intersection of Arabic and Andalusian sounds in flamenco, Farah’s work as a human rights/refugee advocate, and her musical collaborations.

WMI PLUS At Home with Alam Khan and Saraswathi Ranganathan

Alam Khan and Saraswathi Ranganathan in a conversation about Indian classical music, the sarod and the veena, as well as the Ali Akbar College of Music founded by Alam’s father Ali Akbar Khan, where Alam is currently a senior instructor. Saraswathi Ranganathan is a musician, composer and veena master.

WMI PLUS At Home with Balafon Master Balla Kouyaté and Banning Eyre (Afropop Worldwide)

Balla Kouyaté (Silkroad Ensemble / NEA Heritage Fellow) and Banning Eyre (Afropop Worldwide)  discuss the music of Mali, showcasing the instrument, the balafon, and discuss the West African Griot tradition, to which Balla’s family belongs.

WMI PLUS At Home with Mehmet Ali Sanlikol and Ronnie Malley

Grammy Award-nominated singer, multi-instrumentalist, and composer Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol (Dunya Ensemble / New England Conservatory) and Ronnie Malley (The Band’s Visit / Intercultural Productions) discuss Turkish musical styles and traditional instruments.