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The Bajo Quinto: The Instrument That Will Not Go Gently

Almost 20 years ago, a young student at the National University of Mexico went in search of a very old instrument in the mountains of the southern state of Oaxaca. Today, Ruben Luengas has become a leading force in the revival of the bajo quinto and the music played on it.

Chris Thile's First Musical Memory

The mandolin virtuoso, best known for his bands Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers, says he was sitting on the floor in a diaper the first time he heard "The Girl from Ipanema."

Third World On World Cafe

The reggae band discusses the various genres that form its sound and plays the songs that define it.
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Folklife Festival Begins On National Mall

The 46th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival kicks off today on the National Mall, featuring delicious food, loads of educational opportunities, and tonight, a performance by George Clinton.


David Lynch On World Cafe

The filmmaker discusses the intersection of images and sounds on his solo album, Crazy Clown Time.

Fiona Apple's 'Wheel' Of Extravagant Emotions

Apple's new album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, is her first in seven years. Rock critic Ken Tucker says the frequently stripped-down sound is a backdrop for her thoughts about the complications of love.