World Circuit Records

When World Circuit was established in London in the mid-1980s little did they know that it would go on to become one of the most admired and successful ‘world music’ record labels. Anne Hunt and Mary Farquharson were running a touring organisation called Arts Worldwide which brought musicians to the U.K. who were popular locally but little known to a wider public. Many concert goers would ask for records at the shows and at that time there were none available. So they decided to set up a record company to bring this music from a local circuit to the world circuit. The one pre-requisite for a World Circuit artist was musical excellence.
World Circuit Records have established their reputation by producing some of the finest world music albums of the past two decades, specialising in music from Cuba and West Africa.  The label is best known for the GRAMMY winning Buena Vista Social Club album, which is the biggest selling world music album of all time, and led to the phenomenal rise in popularity of Cuban music. The Buena Vista series continues with solo albums from the GRAMMY winning Ibrahim Ferrer, Omara Portuondo, Rubén González, Guajiro Mirabal, and the innovative albums from Cachaíto López and Angá Díaz, which take Cuban music into the new millennium and beyond.  Ten years after the legendary New York concert World Circuit release Buena Vista Social Club At Carnegie Hall in October 2008.

World Circuit’s African artists enjoy equal prestige, with Malian bluesman Ali Farka Touré’s GRAMMY winning Talking Timbuktu album recorded with Ry Cooder being the album that brought the label international acclaim.  Malian diva Oumou Sangare, the legendary Orchestra Baobab and musical maverick Cheikh Lô from Senegal have emerged as major stars at home in Africa and around the globe.  World Circuit’s acclaimed Hotel Mandé Sessions has generated incredible critical praise, the trilogy comprises of the GRAMMY winning duets album from Ali Farka Touré and kora virtuoso Toumani Diabaté, Toumani’s pan-African Symmetric Orchestra, and Ali’s final posthumous solo recording ‘Savane’.  With these albums World Circuit continue to set the standard with their beautifully produced and packaged albums of the highest quality.

By Dave McGuire

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