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Arts and Culture News

Zap Mama: New World Soul

The music of Zap Mama was once known for bringing pure, a capella sounds from Africa. But its latest CD, Ancestry in Progress, continues a move toward a global vision of soul.

That evolution was marked by the move of Marie Daulne, the project's Zairian mastermind, from Europe to Philadelphia. She's been busy ever since, working with a variety of musicians, from hip-hop diva Erykah Badu to rappers Common and Talib Kweli.

Ancestry in Progress, Zap Mama's first album in five years, features those artists, along with members of Philadelphia's acclaimed band The Roots. Daulne says her new songs weave vocal styles from Africa and the East with sounds of the West.

NPR's Renee Montagne talks with Daulne about Zap Mama's fifth album.

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