Musical Treasures of the World

By Elizabeth Doyle

Alan Dawa Dolma: Outside of China and Japan, this is still a very little-known artist. She’s a Tibetan Buddhist who was born and raised in Szechuan, China. She can sing in Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese.

Her career so far has mainly been as a pop star in Japan. But I like her best when she’s singing with simplicity . Because when she sings from her deepest, gentlest heart, she is really an artist – and her voice is a gift that should be given to the world as a showcase for her soul – something that should never be buried under danceable beats. Here she is: Click here.

Loreena McKennitt: I think she could be one of the most important composers of our time. It’s possible that 500 years from now, people will still be discussing her work, in a way they may not even yet be doing. She’s a Canadian, whose music is a tribute to the sounds of the British Isles (particularly Ireland), back where her ancestors probably lived before so many people left for the Americas. And even farther back than that – back to when the Celts ruled the islands.

I think it’s fair to say that she’s a genius. And that her music not only brings ancient Europe back to life, but that its lush layering whispers of western spirituality with a holiness unsurpassed. Here she is: Click here. 

Yaruba Andabo: Once upon a time, a group of dock workers in Cuba got together after work to sing and dance. They were of African descent, and they were so talented, that they one day became Yaruba Andabo, a 17-person ensemble dedicated to keeping the songs and dances of West Africa alive. They knew these songs because the words had come on boats – packed in the memories of the slaves who arrived to Cuba from West Africa for hundreds of years.

Some of the songs have been “Cubanized” a bit over the centuries, but they are an historical treasure – as well as a spiritual one, as you can see in chants like “Yemaya”, dedicated to a gentle West African ocean goddess: Click here.

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