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National Geographic Music Initiative Launches With World Music Broadband Channel To Bridge Culture


World Music Celebrates Traditional and Non-Traditional Music from Around the Globe

WASHINGTON (July 17, 2006)--National Geographic has announced the creation of a music initiative that offers consumers the soundtrack to the world, from traditional roots music to unexpected hybrids from the furthest reaches of the globe. National Geographic World Music ( showcases international artists and musical performances in an interactive and immersive online environment. In supporting National Geographic’s core aim of inspiring people to care about the planet, the National Geographic World Music site uses the language of music as a medium to tell the stories of the world.

From Morocco to Indonesia, New Zealand to Sweden, Cuba to United States and Senegal, National Geographic World Music offers a chance to discover music by different artists, regions and genres. The site also provides rich context for music through National Geographic’s unique assets that include videos, maps, photos and features from its magazines, and other editorial platforms. Searches are enabled via artist, genre, country and region.

Featured artists at launch include:

- Tinariwen: These Malian guitar-slingers are former Tuareg rebels who put down their guns, picked up guitars and changed the face of African rock ’n’ roll.

- Sidestepper: This Anglo-Colombian collaboration is a mash-up of 21st-century salsa, cumbia, vallenato and drum ’n’ bass, direct from the developing world.

- Seu Jorge: This Brazilian crooner made waves when he gave David Bowie classics a smooth, samba makeover.

“People come to National Geographic to read books and magazines, to watch films and television, to shop and to explore, but they’ve never truly had a pure listening experience, until now,” said David Beal, internationally known musician, composer and former executive at Palm Pictures, who has been working on the launch of National Geographic World Music for the past year. “By exposing these incredible artists to the National Geographic audience, they’ll hopefully begin to find a larger audience and receive the recognition they deserve.”

National Geographic World Music is programmed by recognized music experts under the supervision of Tom Pryor, former editor of Global Rhythm magazine. The Web site will feature the best artists, innovative music and emerging trends worldwide, allowing users a comprehensive experience. It will also feature guest DJs and their recommended play lists. With partner Calabash, National Geographic World Music makes thousands of tracks available for discovery as well as for purchase at 99 cents per MP3 download. Other strategic partners include LinkTV for video, and Afropop Worldwide and Global Rhythm for editorial and curatorial content.

“World music is a natural extension of’s rich multimedia experience that entertains, informs and engages consumers who are as passionate about the world’s cultures and the environment as we are,” said Betsy Scolnik, vice president, content development and operations, National Geographic Digital Media. “World music fans around the world will be able to listen and learn in one digital experience.”

About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society today works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 350 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and four other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; radio programs; films; books; videos and DVDs; maps; and interactive media. National Geographic has funded more than 8,000 scientific research projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information, visit

About Afropop Worldwide

Afropop Worldwide is a radio program, web site, searchable database, international musical archive, team of researchers, and podcast. Afropop Worldwide is currently distributed by PRI Public Radio International to over 100 stations in the United States. Afropop’s vision is to increase the profile of African and African Diaspora music worldwide, and to see that benefits go back to artists, music industry professionals, and the countries that produce the music.

About Calabash

Calabash Music™ is the world’s first Fair Trade Music Company: the leading international music download service and a community hub for independent artists & fans of the burgeoning global music scene. Calabash Music’s fair trade business model and focus on international artists is revitalizing the music industry in developing nations around the globe by providing the most unique and broadest based international catalog with a social conscience -- served the way consumers like it, via the internet.

About Global Rhythm

Global Rhythm is the leading music and lifestyle magazine featuring coverage of international sounds, foreign film, exotic cuisine and adventure travel. Published monthly and circulated across North America, Europe and hundreds of other locations worldwide, New York-based Global Rhythm is a vital source of music and arts news and reviews for a worldly and sophisticated consumer niche. A typical issue may feature articles on subjects as varied and fascinating as Hassidic Reggae Superstar Matisyahu, Mayan cuisine, Scandinavia’s blossoming music scene and Bollywood’s latest filmic masterpiece.

About Link TV

Link TV is a non-commercial, independent television network available in more than 27 million U.S. homes on DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410. The 24-hour programming is a mix of documentaries, international news, foreign films and the best of World Music. The network recently received the first satellite-only Peabody Award for MOSAIC: World News from the Middle East, a daily news show featuring English translations of national television reports from more than 30 countries in the Middle East. Select Link TV programs are streamed on the Internet at Link TV is operated by Link Media, Inc., a California non-profit organization, with production studios in San Francisco, New York and Washington, DC.


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