recess radio program

9/29/04
Caribbean Playground
    by John Cech

 

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We're in the Caribbean today, listening to Marlene Dorcena, the Haitian-born singer, with a traditional folksong about a Panama hat that keeps falling off a man's head. This delightful tune is on a new CD compilation from Putumayo Kids called Caribbean Playground.The journey begins with the well-known folksinger Taj Mahal taking a cruise through the Caribbean in a song called "The Great Big Boat." And the voyage continues -- with music from the Spanish, French, and English - speaking countries of this vibrant region -- with stops in Martinique, Jamaica, Guadaloupe, Trinidad, and Puerto Rico, where Josi Gonzalez and the Banda Criolla are dancing to rhythms that made their way from Africa to the rainforests of that island.

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It's a joyful, up-tempo trip, around a part of the world that is both old and new, traditional and freshly inventive, and that proposes, with Luc Leandrey, that life would be superb if we could just set aside all our differences and dance to some good Zouk music together. It's a message that speaks to both children and adults.

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Copyright 2004 John Cech

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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."