28 August 2014 – From Jamaica to Cape Verde, from Bob Marley’s ubiquitous Rastafarian tunes to Ibrahim Ferrer’s sometimes soulful, sometimes upbeat style, Small Island Developing States have given us an incredible range of accomplished musical artists and diverse styles.
2014 is the International Year of Small Island Developing States, an event to celebrate the cultures, heritage and remarkable diversity that imbibe these states. In honour of this richness, ITunes and the UN have partnered together to bring the sounds of these islands to you through the initiative Island Voices.
Featuring the works of over fifty artists born and raised on the world’s smallest islands, Island Voices aims to promote the diversity of music from the islands and its contribution to international music, and will feature the best works from the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean islands.
The sounds brought to us from these artists often take us far from our daily lives, to a small Cuban café bustling with dancing couples or a sunny beach lapped by azure waters. Yet in a way these sounds have also brought these islands closer to us. Their influence has permeated music around the world, connecting us to these distant, oft isolated island states.
Identifying and quantifying the impact of island artists on music today is nearly impossible. Vocal styles, instruments, rhythm, and even the messages of island music have entered and melded into the wider world of music, becoming a most effective ambassador. Some artists have grown from beyond musicians to cultural symbols immortalized in a plethora of formats, representatives of small island states to the world.
“Every day, island voices are heard all across the planet through music. They represent the spirit and aspiration of the people,” said Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General. “Music helps connect these beautiful islands to the wilder world, influencing global popular culture”.
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