SXSW 2018: When the Sounds of the World Come to Austin

Liniker e os Caramelows make their debut performance at SXSW in 2017. The band is fronted by Brazilian transgender artist Liniker Barros, who continues to fight for transgender rights through her music and will be back this year. RESHMA KIRPALANI / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

[Shared from Austin 360]

World music can often be overshadowed by the buzz surrounding big-name bands. Many of these artists are playing more under-the-radar shows at this year’s SXSW, so our host of “Horizontes,” Michael Crockett, teamed up with Deborah Sengupta Stith and Nancy Flores from the Austin American Statesman to share some of their favorite world music artists performing at SXSW.

March 12

Amara La Negra (Miami) – Getting her start on “Love and Hip Hop: Miami,” this Domincan American artist is making pop and club bangers and using her platform to call out colorism in the Latin American music industry.  (1 a.m., Empire Garage; also: 1 p.m. March 14, Radio Day Stage, 1 a.m. Half Step)

Van Ness Wu (Taiwan/Los Angeles) – this triple-threat actor, boy band star, and heartthrob is famed for his cinematic pop.(1 a.m., Elysium)

OY (Berlin) This German electro duo’s celestial synths float over the dance floor. (11:30 p.m., Barracuda Backyard; also: 3 p.m. March 14, International Day Stage; midnight March 17, Russian House)

Also recommended:

British Music Embassy at Latitude 30

Manitoba Music/Sask Music/M4Montreal at Bungalow

March 13

Wentru (Antofagasta, Chile) – Wentru takes their name from a Mapuche Indian word and delivers a soothing mix of acoustic and electronic sounds mixed with lovely vocal harmonies evoking the desert-meets-the-sea landscape surrounding the city they are from. (8 p.m., Friends)

World Music Unleashed by SIPM (Austin) – This East-West collaboration by musicians from Austin’s own School of Indian Percussion and Music will be performing among other instrumentalists.  (10 p.m., Russian House)

Black Prophet (Accra, Ghana) – this singer mixes reggae with traditional African music and a bit of hip-hop as well. (Midnight, Flamingo Cantina)

Los Outsaiders (Lima, Peru) – One of Peru’s most prominent indie-rock bands returns to SXSW for the second year with their unique blend of rock-pop. (11 p.m., Maggie Mae’s Rooftop)

Adahzeh (Kingston, Jamaica) – This all-female outfit is breaking barriers and excelling in the male-dominated reggae world. (11 p.m., Flamingo Cantina)



Pussy Riot (Moscow) – After making headlines in 2012, this internationally renowned punk group will be performing some songs in English, including the Trump-taunting track “Make America Great Again.” (7:15 p.m., the Main; also: midnight March 14, the Belmont)

Wunmi (Lagos, Nigeria/Brooklyn) – She plays body-bumping Afro house that combines tribal polyrhythms with British club styles. (Midnight, Parish)

Also recommended:

Estado de Sitio (Lima, Peru) 9 p.m., Maggie Mae’s Rooftop

Lolo Lovina (Sydney) 11:30 p.m., Lucille

British Music Embassy at Latitude 30

Sounds Australia at Lucille

March 14

Filipe Catto (Porto Alegre, Brazil) – This Brazilian singer has been compared to Queen’s Freddie Mercury and Brazilian singer Ney Matogrosso. (7 p.m., Sheraton Backyard)

Christina Rosenvinge (Madrid) – Singer-songwriter Christina Rosenvinge first appeared at SXSW in 2001 introducing the first of three English-language indie rock albums recorded in New York. She has since returned to Spain and is recording in Spanish, including a great Spanish version of Leonard Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat.” (9 p.m., Bungalow)

Mokoomba (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe) – They have two albums that reflect a pan-African electric dance side and a more acoustic side with traditional Zimbabwean music. With a smaller room at the Russian House, a more intimate acoustic set may be in store. (midnight, Russian House)


The Chamanas (Ciudad Juárez/El Paso) – These SXSW alums draw musical influences from 1970s Mexican pop and contemporary indie music. (9 p.m., Speakeasy)

Astrolabio (Bogotá, Colombia) – This group blends Latin rhythms with alternative and pop music and results in fresh, upbeat and danceable grooves. (10 p.m., Stephen F’s Bar)

Centavrvs (Mexico City) – It’s a perfect blend of electro-corridos, which marries Mexican folk ballads with electronic rhythms. (Midnight, Karma Lounge; also: 5:15 p.m. March 15, SXSW Outdoor Stage Presented by MGM Resorts)

Bad Gyal (Barcelona, Spain) – The Washington Post crowned her the “future-present of club music” in a review of her D.C. debut. (11 p.m., Bungalow; also: 6:15 p.m. March 13, the Main)

Soweto Kinch (Birmingham, U.K.) – The alto saxophonist and rapper creates vibrant compositions that layer complex jazz structures over hip-hop backbeats. (Midnight, Waller Ballroom; also: midnight March 15, Elephant Room)

Also recommended:

Punjabtronix (Bristol, U.K.), 8 p.m., Barcelona

Luz Pinos (Guayaquil, Ecuador), midnight, Stephen F’s Bar

Rawayana (Caracas, Venezuela), 1 a.m., Speakeasy

British Music Embassy at Latitude 30

Sounds of Norway at Elysium

Glasgow Buckaroo Part II at Hotel Vegas Annex

Focus Wales at the Townsend

March 15

Alsarah & the Nubatones (Brooklyn/Sudan) – Sudanese singer Alsarah and her sister sing traditional music from their homeland accompanied by the oud, bass, various percussion and electronics of their Brooklyn-based band the Nubatones. Also playing at the Palm Door on Sixth on March 16. (9:30 p.m., Flamingo Cantina)

Yemen Blues (NYC/Israel) – Led by Yemenite Israeli singer/composer Ravid Kahalani, the band has the heavy bass and brass sound of ’70s Ethiopian jazz and the bluesy sound of the Arabic oud mixed with other African and even Latin rhythms. Also playing March 16 at the Palm Door on Sixth Patio. (8:30 p.m., Flamingo Cantina)

La Fragua Band (Medellin, Colombia) – La Fragua Band plays what they call “sicotropico” music — a mix of psychedelic rock over tropical rhythms from Colombia (11 p.m., Speakeasy)

Luna Lee (Seoul, South Korea) –  Luna Lee isn’t just a musician — she’s a pioneer. As the one and only gayageum rocker, she’s managed to bring a traditional Korean zither-like string instrument into the 21st century by redesigning it to fit her love of rock music. (9 p.m., Russian House; also: 1:30 p.m. March 16, Flatstock Stage at Austin Convention Center)

Liniker e os Caramelows (Araraquara, Brazil) – After a successful SXSW debut last year, transgender Brazilian singer Liniker Barros returns to the fest fronting this popular South American soul band. (Midnight at Russian House; also: TBA March 16 at Palm Door on Sixth Patio)

Quique Escamilla (Toronto, Canada) – Originally from Chiapas, Mexico, this multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter blends Mexican folk music such as huapango and rancheras with jazz, pop, rock and ska. His socially conscious music also sheds light on issues ranging from civil rights to immigration reform. (1 a.m., Victorian Room at the Driskill; also: 9 p.m. March 17, Flamingo Cantina)

Yahyel (Tokyo, Japan) – The five-piece indie outfit band lays bluesy vocals over evocative electronics to create chilled-out, downtempo pop songs. (1 am., Maggie Mae’s)

Ace Tee (Hamburg, Germany) – Born in Germany to Ghanaian parents, the rapper also known as Tarin Wilda makes upbeat hip-hop with a ’90s R&B vibe. (10 p.m., Friends; also: 10 p.m. March 12, Barracuda; 10 p.m. March 14, Waller Ballroom)

Also recommended:

Pierre Kwenders (Kinshasa/Quebec), 7:30 p.m., Flamingo Cantina

La Fame (Miami), 8 p.m., Half Step

La Cuneta Son Machin (Managua, Nicaragua), 10:30 p.m., Flamingo Cantina

MTA Festival: China Night at 3Ten

Berlin Beats/Musicboard Berlin at Barcelona

British Music Embassy at Latitude 30

Sounds From Italy at Maggie Mae’s Gibson Room

Bureau Export France at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop

Musicalize presents British Takeover at the Main II

Halifax Pop Explosion at Swan Dive Patio

Music From Ireland at the Velveeta Room

March 16

Sahad & Nataal Patchwork (Dakar, Senegal) – Anchoring a mostly French West African showcase at Malverde, this Senegalese band mixes a bit of Malian blues with a lot of brassy Afrobeat. (11 p.m., Malverde)

Remma Schwarz (Praia, Cape Verde) – His music is an acoustic-electric mix with elements of reggae, hip-hop, pan-African and Cape Verdean styles. (9 p.m., Malverde)

Gepe (Santiago, Chile) – Chilean songwriter and singer Daniel Riveros, who performs as Gepe, has continued to release thoughtful and joyous acoustic pop songs influenced somewhat by Andean folk music. (1 a.m., the Townsend; also: midnight March 17, Javelina)

Andrea Cruz (Cayey, Puerto Rico) – After Hurricane María devastated Puerto Rico, this singer-songwriter had to put all of her concerts and promotional efforts on hold. Instead, she traveled around the island handing out food to affected families and took her folk-pop music with her. (9 p.m., Speakeasy)

Payambó (Bogotá, Colombia) – This six-piece outfit fuses Colombian folk rhythms with rock to make high-energy music that’ll surely be a fun live experience. (Midnight, Russian House; also: 11 p.m. March 16, Flamingo Cantina)

Tita Lima (Los Angeles via Brazil) –  Tita Lima’s avant-garde-tinged vocals may be inspired from her childhood influences. She’s the daughter of Liminha, bass player for Os Mutantes, a popular Brazilian psychedelic rock band. (8 p.m., Russian House)

Mallrat (Brisbane, Australia) – We’re not sure exactly what’s going on with the abundance of unusually astute pop coming from young women of Australia, but 19-year-old Gracie Shaw layers witty lyricism into upbeat electro grooves. (Midnight, Lucille)

Kwesta (Johannesburg, South Africa) – For years, the independent emcee has been tackling weighty topics with his lyrical flow. A star in his home country, he recently collaborated with rapper Wale on the single “Spirit.” (11:45 p.m., Highland Lounge; also: 1:15 a.m. March 14, Mohawk Outdoor)

Also recommended:

Cheryl Rivera (San Juan), 8 p.m., Speakeasy

Silibrina (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1 a.m., Elephant Room

Bohemian Betyars (Miskolc, Hungary), 1 a.m., Palm Door on Sabine

Korea Spotlight at the Belmont

British Music Embassy at Latitude 30

Japan Nite at Elysium

Musicalize presents British Takeover at the Main II

Sounds of Hungary at Palm Door on Sabine

Sounds From Italy at Stephen F Austin

Pop Montreal at Swan Dive / M Is for Montreal at Swan Dive Patio

March 17

La Misa Negra (Oakland, Calif.) – This seven-piece band is a powerhouse of brass and Afro-Latin rhythms from cumbia to salsa with clever and socially conscious lyrics sung by Diana Trujillo. (12:45 a.m., Speakeasy; also: 10 p.m. March 16, Russian House)

Pommez Internacional(Buenos Aires, Argentina) – This Argentine band throws in elements of electronic music, world music and even a bit of Argentine folk rhythms that provide a diversity in their Latin alternative music worth checking out. (11 p.m., Javelina; also: 1:10 a.m. March 14, Speakeasy Kabaret)

Boogat (Montreal, Canada) – This Montreal-based Mexican-Canadian vocalists delivers a great show of cumbia, reggaeton, salsa and hip-hop in Spanish, French and English. (11:20 p.m., Speakeasy; also: 11 p.m. March 16, Russian House)

Lorine Chia (Bamenda, Cameroon) – Her soulful R&B music tells stories of love and empowerment. Her song “Black Girl Magic” is an ode to black women across the globe. (11 p.m., Palm Door on Sixth Patio)

Gato Preto (Düsseldorf, Germany) – Walk into an Afro-futuristic world with this electronic duo that’s known for its high-energy live performances. (Noon, International Day Stage Austin Convention Center; also: 10 p.m. Friday, Palm Door on Sixth)

Deluxe (Aix-en-Provence, France) – With a vintage cabaret aesthetic and ample modern electronics, they play a new-school version of gypsy jazz. (1 a.m., Mohawk indoor; also: 11 p.m. March 14, Sheraton Backyard; 1 a.m. March 15, Maggie Mae’s Rooftop)

Jay Park/Ph-1 (Seattle/Seoul, South Korea) – K-pop has a bigger presence than ever at SXSW, and this showcase demonstrates how quickly the genre is moving toward the American mainstream. (Park hosts all night at the Main)

Also recommended:

Papachina (Armenia, Colombia), 10 p.m., Flamingo Cantina

Lido Pimienta (Toronto/Colombia), 10:40 p.m., Speakeasy

Makana (Honolulu, Hawaii), 10 p.m., CU29

Zona Indie at 720 Club

Sounds from Africa and the Caribbean at 800 Congress

British Music Embassy at Latitude 30

Intl Hip Hop at the Main II

Sounds from the World at Russian House

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