Mickey Hart says his travels around the globe with the Grateful Dead have given him the chance to meet several accomplished musicians from non-Western cultures. He's produced several recordings of their performance, many of which have been released on the Rykodisc label.
Percussionist Mickey Hart. He's best known as a member of rock group The Grateful Dead. But Hart is also an avid collector of percussion instruments and recordings in native settings. Hart has spent the last 18 years traveling the world in his search. His collection ranges from the dance music of American Indians to Eskimo throat singers and Solomon Islands water slapping. Highlights of his field recordings have just been released in a series titled "The World." (Rebroadcast. Originally broadcast on Wednesday, May 17, 1989.)
World music commentator Milo Miles reviews David Byrne's "Brazil Classics" series and talks about the recent trend among Western rock stars to borrow rhythms and singers from the musical traditions of Africa, the Near East, and South America. He asks whether this is valuable exposure for little-known musicians or a form of exploitation.
Roberts helped popularize what is now called world music. His interest, particularly in African music, developed while he worked for a news agency in Kenya. Roberts was surprised to discover American influences in some of the songs he recorded, which led him to reject any notion of a pure, national music.