Circulation: 100,000
Date of Birth: 1992
Frequency: Monthly
Price: $5.95
Natural Habitat: On the lap of someone on the way to the Desert Festival, the annual music concert in Essakane, Mali

By Issa A. Mansaray


Global Rhythm sells itself as “the destination for world music,” and there is no doubt that it lives up to that billing. In no other magazine can you find such comprehensive coverage of the endless variety of musical sounds that can be heard all around our planet.
Perhaps you can find stories elsewhere about Nigerian king of Afrobeat Fela Kuti,  India’s Susheela Raman, Ireland’s Chieftans, or Corsica’s I Muvrini, but this monthly magazine is the only one that brings them all together in one place. And while you are reading about these musicians, you can listen to them too, because every issue contains a CD with tracks from that month’s featured artists.

The New York–based magazine got its start in the basement of a church in Cambridge, MA, in 1992. It now reaches about 100,000 readers.

An issue might include profiles of musical artists or pieces about struggling musicians; the political messages in the songs of the Refugee All Stars, who fled war-torn Sierra Leone; or the exploitation of African musicians by record company executives. It’s not easy to keep up with the constantly changing world music scene, but that is Global Rhythm’s mission. What’s happening now? Managing editor Phil Freeman says, “European music is making a comeback. Latin music, salsa, and merengue are being pushed aside in favor of Latin rock.”

But Global Rhythm is not just about music. The magazine’s global awareness also encompasses travel, food, books, dance, events, business, and lifestyle. In its fifty-four pages, amid the music coverage, you may find reviews of New York restaurants, advice on travel to La Paz, Bolivia (“a friendly, if manic, city for anyone who likes to try something a little bit off kilter”), information about the African-themed movie Blood Diamond, a look at the Burning Man art festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, or a colorful photo-essay shot in some other part of the globe.

World music can come from anywhere and mean almost anything. “The issue of authenticity is what every editor fights with,” says Tad Hendrickson, Global Rhythm’s editor. Every month he has to decide not only what’s new, but also what’s real, what’s authentic. By enclosing the CD, he gives you the opportunity to judge for yourself.


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