World Music Institute Launches AROUND THE WORLD, AROUND THE CITY Series with Christine Salem Tonight

World Music Institute Launches AROUND THE WORLD, AROUND THE CITY Series with Christine Salem Tonight

The World Music Institute launches its 2013-14 season with the New York concert debut of CHRISTINE SALEM tonight, October 4 at 8:00pm at Peter Norton Symphony Space.

Salem, who hails from Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean, is the greatest living champion of maloya, a nearly-extinct musical tradition rooted in the work songs and chants of the island's African slaves. The hypnotic, percussion-driven music is based on rhythms played during ceremonies dedicated to ancestors and is layered with rousing call-and-response vocals.

A force of nature on stage, Salem delivers socially-conscious lyrics in Creole, Malagasy, Comorian and Swahili, while shaking out the tempo on a traditional rectangular reed rattle, the kayamn. A channel to another time and place, she seems to fall into a trance while inducing the audience to do the same.

NEW ALBUM WITH U.S. TOUR: The concert accompanies the recent 2013 release of Salem's fifth album Salem Tradition on Cobalt (Listen) and is part of a limited four week U.S. tour, including dates in Minneapolis, MN; Washington, DC; Richmond, VA; and Madison, WI. John Schaefer of WNYC highlighted the album among top new releases for August 2013 on New Sounds. For more information about the album and tour, click here.

"AROUND THE WORLD, AROUND THE CITY": This performance marks the launch of WMI's three-part Around the World, Around the City concert series, which continues four days later with beloved Latin American singer/songwriter Jorge Drexler (October 8) and then Africa's "premiere diva" (Time Magazine) Angélique Kidjo (February 15). The series offers a venue for some of the world music scene's most visionary voices; Salem, Drexler and Kidjo each possess a highly artistic way of looking at tradition, while moving their tradition into the future with sensitivity and innovation.

CHRISTINE SALEM ( Christine Salem is one of the rare feminine voices of maloya with a strong and charismatic personality. Accompanied on a kayanm (her favourite instrument) Christine's voice seems to float as she sings in Creole, Malagasy, Comoran or Swahili, mixing with subtlety music from the Indian Ocean with African rhythms.

In 1997, after starting out with the band Kan Bourbon, Christine Salem formed Salem Tradition. From kabars- traditional celebrations-to talent shows and other local events, the band enjoyed almost immediate success, which materialized with the recording of a first promotional album, in Mauritius in 1998. An invitation to play at the festival Kabaréunion will follow as well as several collaborations with leading groups of Reunion Island such as Ziskakan.

In 2000, Christine and her musicians took a big plunge by touring in Metropolitan France. Patrice Bulting programmed the band into his festival "Les escales de Saint-Nazaire". This live session gave birth to "Waliwa", the first official album of Salem Tradition.

In 2002, it was Philippe Conrath's turn to be won over by the band. He arranged for them to perform at his festival Africolor. Gigs followed for Christine and her musicians and one of them, a show-case at Womex in Essen (Germany) became a turning point in the band's career. Shortly after, the band recorded a second album: "Krié" is classified as Choc de la Musique. Something that confirmed Salem Tradition's position on the international world music scene! Ever since, invitations pour in, festivals and tours follow on at a frantic pace. The third album ("Fanm" 2006) confirms their success. This is an album in which Christine continues exploring the paths of tradition while adding a touch of modernity.

In 2008, after almost 10 uninterrupted years on tour, Christine Salem feels like she needs to rest and to look into her roots. She undertakes a work of a new vein, writing music based on the rhythms played during ceremonies dedicated to ancestors in Madagascar, in Comoros and in Reunion Island. Called "Rasinaz" this project becomes reality through several initiatory journeys to the original lands and gave birth to "Lanbousir" in 2010, an album displaying the unusual maturity of this extraordinary singer. And now, she is proud to present her new disc called "Salem Tradition" (2013 : Cobalt / L'Autre Distribution).


Tickets for all World Music Institute events are available for purchase online, by calling (212) 545-7536, or in person at the WMI Box Office at 101 Lafayette Street, #801.

15% subscription discount tickets are available when purchasing for 4 or more concerts, before October 4th. Student and group discounts are available, as are VIP tickets for select events.

Discounts are also available for WMI Friends with memberships starting at $70. WMI Friends enjoy priority seating throughout the season.

Visit for more information.


"a widely copied and influential force in New York cultural circles."
- The New York Times
World Music Institute is a not-for-profit concert presenting organization founded in 1985 by Robert and Helene Browning and dedicated to the presentation of the finest in traditional and contemporary music and dance from around the world.

WMI encourages cultural exchange between nations and ethnic groups and collaborates with community organizations and academic institutions in fostering greater understanding of the world's cultural traditions. WMI works extensively with community groups and organizations including Indian, Iranian, Chinese, Korean, Middle Eastern, Latin American, Hungarian, Irish, and Central Asian. This has enabled it to be at the forefront of planning and presenting the finest ensembles from these countries.

WMI presents a full season of concerts each year in New York City, and arranges national tours by visiting musicians from abroad, as well as US-based artists. WMI's accomplishments and expertise in its field are recognized by major institutions throughout the US and internationally.

WMI has brought many musical, dance and ritual traditions to the New York stage for the first time, including Laotian sung poetry, folk music of Khorason and Bushehr (Iran), songs of the Yemenite Jews, Bardic divas of Central Asia, trance ceremonies from Morocco, music from Madagascar, and Theyyams (masked dances) of Kerala, South India. Many artists have been given their U.S. or New York debuts by WMI.