Life at Sea – A Dispatch from the National Geographic Explorer

April 15, 2012

One of the interesting parts of this journey has been learning about the traditions and customs of life at sea. Most of the crew on the National Geographic Explorer spend much of the year on board, and often come from parts of the world where the seafaring lifestyle is a part of their heritage. The […]

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What’s the Pointe?

April 8, 2012

Pointe-Noire is a port city of over a million people and the Republic of the Congo’s main link to goods and cargo transported to and from there by sea. While large transport ships and oil tankers dock there all the time, it is rare for a passenger ship, certainly one the size of the National […]

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Luanda, Angola – Not Quite the Monaco of Africa…Yet

April 7, 2012

Angola is filthy rich…or at least that’s what people keep telling me. During my brief visit to Luanda, Angola’s traffic-clogged, madhouse of a city, it was easy to see evidence of both filthy and rich, but not usually together, in fact often quite far apart. As we drove up the main hill overlooking the city […]

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Top 10 Afro-Lusophone Albums (A Subjective Selection) PART 2

April 3, 2012

I just left Luanda, Angola where I picked up about 50 new CDs, so once I listen to these this list may be amended, but here are some more of my personal favorite Lusophone albums. Most can be found through a Google search, at least you should be able to find a YouTube clip to […]

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A Day in Lobito, Angola

April 1, 2012

After two full days at sea the National Geographic Explorer docked at the port of Lobito, Angola today. While Lobito has been the terminus for the Benguela Railway since the late 1920s and thus the port where much of Angola’s copper and other minerals were loaded onto ships for foreign lands, its not very common […]

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Top 10 Afro-Lusophone Albums (A Subjective Selection) PART 1

March 30, 2012

Yesterday I left Johannesburg, South Africa and flew to Walvis Bay, Namibia to meet up with the National Geographic Explorer ship. I will be traveling with the cruise for the next 24 days as it winds its way up the coast of West Africa, stopping in 14 countries along the way. As a guest speaker, […]

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The Tel Aviv Session May Be One of the Greatest Albums Ever!

March 28, 2012

My record label, Cumbancha, formally released the album The Tel Aviv Session by The Touré-Raichel Collective on Tuesday. The Touré-Raichel Collective is the musical collaboration between Idan Raichel, a massive Israeli star, and Vieux Farka Touré, son of the legendary Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré and a star himself. While I am proud of every […]

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A Day in Cape Town

March 27, 2012
Cape Town

I have been to some beautiful cities in my time. I was born in San Francisco, and anyone who has stood on the Marin Hills overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge with the rolling streets of the San Francisco Peninsula and the expanse of the Bay stretched out before them will surely agree that it is […]

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Hot Water & Freshlyground

March 26, 2012

While the title of the this post might lead you to think this is a blog about coffee, it actually refers to two South African artists that I connected with in Cape Town today. Hot Water is a band led by Donovan Copley, a curly-haired songwriter from the Eastern Cape who channels Johnny Clegg and Paul […]

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New CDs I Picked Up at the Airport in Johannesburg

March 24, 2012

Its very difficult for me to walk by a record store in a new country, or anywhere for that matter, without checking it out and, almost inevitably, buying a stack of stuff. So, even though I didn’t have much time between landing in Johannesburg and connecting to my flight to Cape Town, I couldn’t resist […]

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