Navidad de los Andes
Summing up a year in the fields of Latin and world music is more difficult than any other genre. Still, there is a quality that unites most of the best music created during 2011: it's the continuing urge by the globe's best musicians to break down the barriers that separate nationality and musical style. That doesn't mean that an artist chooses to evoke the sound of a different land by simply listening to its music or traveling there to soak up its sounds or even getting trained in its practice; it means, increasingly, that the artist chooses collaborators from around the world and thereby creates new forms of music -- a process that better fits the term international than any other. Examples are all over, but where these results were most glowing are exemplified below: Hossam Ramzy's Rock the Tabla, which found space for drummer Billy Cobham, Bollywood composer A.R. Rahman, and Turkey's Omar Tekbilek; the collaboration between Brazilian guitarist and songwriter Vinicius Cantuária with American guitarist Bill Frisell for Lágrimas Mexicanas; the Argentinean bandoneón player Dino Saluzzi, who collaborated with German cellist Anja Lechner (along with his younger brother, saxophonist Felix Saluzzi) for the album titled Navidad de los Andes; or even Susana Baca drafting a brass band to remake the Meters' "Hey Pocky Way" for her Afrodiaspora album. This is beyond worldbeat. This is a new world music for a new (and better communicating) world.

Amina Alaoui - Arco Iris
Aurelio - Laru Beya
Babasónicos - A Propósito
Susana Baca - Afrodiaspora
Poncho Sanchez/Terence Blanchard - Chano y Dizzy!
Bombino - Agadez
Custódio Castelo - The Art of the Portuguese Fado Guitar
Vinicius Cantuária & Bill Frisell - Lágrimas Mexicanas
Femi Kuti - Africa for Africa
Dino Saluzzi/Anja Lechner/Felix Saluzzi - Navidad de los Andes
Hossam Ramzy - Rock the Tabla
The Rhythmagic Orchestra - The Rhythmagic Orchestra
Basya Schechter - Songs of Wonder
Omar Souleyman - Haflat Gharbia: The Western Concerts
Los Tigres del Norte And Friends - MTV Unplugged: Los Tigres del Norte and Friends
Tinariwen - Tassili
Sidi Toure & Friends - Sahel Folk
Vieux Farka Touré - The Secret
La Vida Boheme - Nuestra
Various Artists - Red Hot + Rio 2