June 22, 2024


It's time to think about Travel.

10 music that convey back reminiscences of my travels: Jo Frost’s playlist

a person standing on a stage holding a guitar: Photograph: Alamy

© Offered by The Guardian
Photograph: Alamy

Zorba’s Dance by Mikis Theodorakis

a person sitting on a stage: Cape Verde accordionist Victor Tavares, known as Bitori, on stage with bass player Danilo Tavares.

© Photograph: Alamy
Cape Verde accordionist Victor Tavares, identified as Bitori, on phase with bass player Danilo Tavares.

Some of my fondest childhood recollections are of family holidays to Greece. These times Zorba’s Dance is undeniably a bit of a cliche, but when I listen to that gradual bouzouki intro, I’m reminded of my father, who would set this LP on just after drunken dinners and get started dancing the sirtaki. I watched Zorba the Greek for the first time for the duration of lockdown last yr when I came across it in my dad’s DVD assortment. I was astonished by how substantially it affected me, building me pine for Greece – and for my father, who I realise looked remarkably like Zorba (played by Anthony Quinn).

Vuoi Vuoi Me by Mari Boine

Mari Boine holding a microphone: Sami musician Mari Boine on stage in Norway. Photograph: Gonzales Photo/Alamy

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Sami musician Mari Boine on phase in Norway. Photograph: Gonzales Picture/Alamy

Womad has been the resource of so numerous of my musical introductions: it was there, in 2007, that I initial noticed Mari Boine – the unofficial ambassador of Sámi tunes – carry out dwell. It commenced a fascination with Sámi society and joik, the exclusive guttural tune design and style of the indigenous men and women of northern Scandinavia. Various decades afterwards I was invited to Kautokeino, way up previous the Arctic Circle near Boine’s house of Karasjok, for the Sámi Easter pageant. It felt like a crash class in all points to do with joik and reindeer, but it also gave me an invaluable perception into Sámi background and the people’s connection with all those who colonised their land. These days the Sámi have their very own parliament, flag and national working day (6 February).

That’s It! by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band

a group of people sitting in front of a crowd: Jazz at Preservation Hall, New Orleans. Photograph: Alamy

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Jazz at Preservation Hall, New Orleans. Photograph: Alamy

Like several many others, I observed most of my journey options scuppered last yr, like a street journey from Nashville to New Orleans to coincide with the New Orleans jazz fest. The impetus for the journey had mostly occur about although binge-viewing the HBO sequence Treme. We’d compiled a playlist for our journey by means of Tennessee and Louisiana, but when it grew to become distinct that our aspiration of checking out venues this sort of as Preservation Hall in New Orleans wasn’t heading to materialize, we’d play it at home. This keep track of by the Preservation Corridor Jazz Band often lifts my spirits, gets me dancing and makes me dead set on rebooking our excursion as before long as it’s safe to do so.

Bitori Nha Bibinha by Bitori

The most internationally celebrated artist from Cape Verde is the late Cesária Évora, the doyenne of morna tunes, steeped in saudade (nostalgia or longing). I could have picked any variety of Cesária music, but when I frequented Santiago – major of the Cape Verde islands – it was funaná that became the soundtrack of my excursion, blaring out of the packed alugueres (minibus taxis), market place stalls and bars. Funaná was banned by the Portuguese up until finally 1975 as they feared the songs in Creole had been subversive and its frenetic dance rhythms immoral. Septuagenarian accordion participant Victor Tavares, AKA Bitori, is the genre’s unlikely star, largely many thanks to singer Chando Graciosa who persuaded him to file this in 1997, and to Samy Ben Redjeb of Analog Africa, who rereleased it in 2016.

Educate Music by Sakar Khan

1 of the most atmospheric festival locations I have frequented is the Mehrangarh Fort, dwelling of Riff – the Rajasthan Intercontinental Folk Competition, held just about every October for the duration of the harvest moon in Jodhpur. This colossal purple sandstone edifice reverberates with the audio of Rajasthani folk musicians these as Manganiyar legends Lakha Khan and the late Sakar Khan, masters of standard bowed, stringed devices the sindhi sarangi and the kamayacha. Riff is a entire-on immersive experience and to do it justice, a specific level of endurance is necessary as concert events start out at dawn, carry on by means of the heat of the working day, then carry on very long into the night time. Any time I hear the rasping appears of these ancient devices, I’m promptly transported again to Jodhpur.

St Thomas by Sonny Rollins

a large city landscape: The Jazz a Vienne festival, France. Photograph: Alamy

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The Jazz a Vienne competition, France. Photograph: Alamy

One of the gains of researching French and German (in all those content EU times) was becoming ready to invest a year as an English language assistant in a faculty in Vienne, just south of Lyon. After my stint teaching, I volunteered at Jazz à Vienne, a great two-week jazz pageant held in the town’s Roman amphitheatre. I returned every summer through the early 1990s, generating lifelong pals and acquiring a crash study course in jazz in the system. About the yrs I noticed extraordinary artists, which include Ray Charles, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, and Sonny Rollins, who continues to be 1 of my favorite sax gamers. The encounter turned the foundation for my enjoy of music from around the globe and my do the job currently.

The Plateau by Jenny Sturgeon

I’ve often observed convenience in going for walks, and very last 12 months it took on even increased worth. So among lockdowns, my partner and I headed up to the Cairngorms to do some mountaineering. Just ahead of our journey I obtained Jenny Sturgeon’s musical tribute to Nan Shepherd’s book about the Cairngorms, The Dwelling Mountain. Just about every hike we embarked on would expose distinct landscapes – and each sort of climate imaginable. Back in London, listening to Jenny’s album delivers back reminiscences of those people mountains, specially hearing the fowl song on this opening keep track of, as Jenny sings: “Step on action, foot by foot, we wander that’s how we know, via the heather and the mud, the plateau ringing via our blood.

Rely Your Blessings by the Como Mamas

a rocky beach next to the ocean: Porto Covo beach, Alentejo. Photograph: Alamy

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Porto Covo seaside, Alentejo. Photograph: Alamy

One of my European competition highlights in modern decades was FMM Sines, held on Portugal’s wild and fairly untouristy Alentejo coast, in the towns of Porto Covo and Sines. A really relaxed, helpful vibe permeated the opening weekend in the seaside vacation resort of Porto Covo, in which a mixture viewers of locals and travellers congregated in the principal sq.. The Como Mamas, from Mississippi, were being unidentified to me, but turned out to be a revelation. As the 3 singers took to the stage, the environment transformed into a little something resembling a devoted congregation at a gospel gathering. Due to the fact then, Rely Your Blessings has become a mantra, particularly final year.

Pothole in the Sky by Lisa O’Neill

a group of people sitting at a table in a restaurant: Irish musicians at O’Donoghue’s pub, Dublin. Photograph: Hugh Reynolds/Alamy

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Irish musicians at O’Donoghue’s pub, Dublin. Photograph: Hugh Reynolds/Alamy

One particular of the matters I sorely miss out on all through these socially distanced situations is those random conversations you strike up with entire strangers more than a pint. There’s nowhere better to do this than in Dublin, in particular in one particular of the city’s quite a few new music pubs, these kinds of as The Cobblestone or O’Donoghue’s. I haven’t been fortunate adequate to see the Irish singer Lisa O’Neill at a session, even though she was apparently a typical in pre-Covid periods. The mix of chat, beer and music is perfect and I cannot wait around to revisit.

La Grande Folie by San Salvador

Most of the travelling I do as editor of Songlines is to festivals all-around the world, and one particular of the things I most take pleasure in about them is the communal listening practical experience. There’s something visceral about hearing audio staying performed dwell with other men and women all around you. For me, San Salvador flawlessly encapsulate this sensation. A sextet from Saint-Salvadour in south-west France, they sing in Occitan. There is a authentic physicality to their music and something very strong about the mix of voice and percussion. They normally finish their sets with La Grande Folie – a song that resonates with these outrageous instances.

San Salvador are thanks to carry out at Songlines Encounters Festival at Kings Put in Might (Covid allowing)