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Ahmet Kaya

Artist Pages

...As an artist of Kurdish descent performing in Turkey, Ahmet Kaya’s folk material wrestled with issues of peace and social justice. Born in 1957 in Turkey, Kaya was the last of five children and became interested in music at age six. Prior...

Salif Keita

Artist Pages

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...One of the major voices in Mali’s music culture, Salif Keita is known as the “golden voice of Africa.” Born in Djoliba, Mali in 1949, Keita is a prince of the Keita royal family. He was born with albinism and subsequently ostracized by his...

Umm Kulthūm

Artist Pages

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...A national icon of Egypt, Umm Kulthum had a singing career that made her one of the most important stars in the Arabic-speaking world. Born in Egypt in 1898, Kulthum was taught to sing and recite the Koran by her father, an imam. By the age...
...The Congolese bandleader Joseph Kabasele, known popularly as Le Grande Kallé, helped to establish and modernize African jazz during the age of decolonization. Born in the former Belgian Congo in 1930, Kabasele came from a prominent family...

Koji Kondo

Artist Pages

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...In his myriad compositions for Nintendo video games, Koji Kondo created some of the medium’s most memorable music. Born in Nagoya in 1961, Kondo began studying the organ at age five. Prior to studying at the Osaka University of the Arts...
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...Considered the “brightest star in qawwali,” a genre of Sufi devotional music, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan continued his family’s multi-century tradition of singing. Born in Punjab, Pakistan in 1948, Khan had his first public performance at age...

Mory Kanté

Artist Pages

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...The career of kora harpist Mory Kanté saw the artist achieve international fame and return home to his native Guinea to help the nation develop economically and culturally. Born in 1950 in Guinea, Kanté’s family was one of the most famous...

B.B. King

Artist Pages

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...As a figure commonly recognized as “the King of the Blues,” B.B. King’s almost seventy-year career saw seventy-four entries on the Billboard R & B charts and the evolution of his form into various idioms of popular music. Born in 1925...
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...Few artists have had as measurable an impact on the landscape of millennial popular music and culture as Beyoncé. Born in Houston in 1981, Beyoncé’s musical talent was noticed by an early dance instructor. At seven, she won against older...

Stan Kenton

Artist Pages

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...As a pioneer of progressive jazz, the work of Stan Kenton transformed the fundamental trajectory of jazz through the 1970s and in the process he became one of the form’s pivotal cult figures. He was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1911...