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Richard Byrne

Editor and writer

Richard Byrne lives in Washington, DC. He is an editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education.

His writing has been published in the The Guardian, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, The American Prospect and on Time magazine’s web site. He was also a contributing writer for New York Press and the Boston Phoenix. He is former executive editor at the Globalist.

In 1999, Byrne was awarded a Pew Fellowship in International Reporting (now known as the International Reporting Project Fellowship) to study media in postwar Bosnia.

Byrne is also an award-winning playwright. His first play, Untangling Ava, won the inaugural A.E. Hotchner Playwriting Festival at Washington University in St. Louis. The play was produced in the Drama Studio at that university in May 1989.

His second play, Burn Your Bookes (sic), won first prize in the 2007 Prague Post Playwriting Festival. It was produced at the Dicadlo Minor in Prague in March, 2007.

As a music critic, his work has appeared as liner notes for albums by R.E.M. and Uncle Tupelo.

Byrne received his B.A. in English from the University of Maryland at Baltimore Country in 1986. He has an M.F.A. in poetry and playwriting from Washington University in St. Louis.

Articles by Richard Byrne

Paris — Capital of the World of World Music

Why does the City of Lights attract — and help spawn — so many sounds?

May 8, 2004

Orchestra Baobab — Senegal’s Resurrection

Has world music finally caught up with Senegal's Orchestra Baobab?

May 1, 2004

Last Balkan Tango

How does a Serbian musician build bridges to his Hungarian neighbors?

April 24, 2004

Japan's Yoshida Brothers

How do two Japanese brothers combine traditional Chinese music with global dance beats?

April 17, 2004

Ghana — Highlife in Low Times

Can the joyous sounds of Ghana's highlife music break free from the shackles of the county's turbulent politics?

April 10, 2004

Warsaw Village Band

How can revved-up Polish folk music play a role in reviving the rich history of Warsaw?

April 3, 2004

Atlas of the World

How does this Belgian singer manage to cover the globe in one single album?

March 27, 2004

Beats, Not Bombs, for Spain

Can music be used to achieve political aspirations — instead of terror and violence?

March 20, 2004

Global Gol!

How are Italian DJ Nicola Conte and Brazilian singer Rosalia de Souza fusing Italian and Brazilian music?

August 30, 2003

Bollywood Beatbox

How did an English-born DJ manage to mix the familiar with the exotic to popularize the music of India's Panjab region?

August 23, 2003

Musical Minarets: The Women of Istanbul

How is Turkey's legacy of women's rights reflected in songs from the time of the country's founding?

August 16, 2003

Unearthing Fela's Roots

How has Fela influenced the new wave of African musicians trying to find their beat?

August 9, 2003

The Gotan Project — Vive le Tango!

What surprises will tango — Argentina's most popular musical genre — have for the 21st century?

August 2, 2003

Cuisine Non-Stop

How does French pop reflect globalization — and France's musical tradition?

July 26, 2003

Sax and Pakistan

What does it take for Norwegian jazz to mix well with traditional Pakistani Qawaali music?

November 9, 2002

Salsa Conquistador

How does the influence of music from around the globe enhance Ruben Blades' album Mundo?

November 2, 2002

Almost Heaven, South of Galway

What common bonds are there between Irish folk traditions and U.S. country music?

October 26, 2002

Perfect Notes from a Lost Book

How does Argentinean composer Osvaldo Golijov blend classical music with other styles?

October 19, 2002

Salif Keita: Blonde Ambition

How did Mali-born Afropop artist Salif Keita go from riches to rags and back again?

October 12, 2002

Kronos Quartet: Vaya Con Brio

How does Mexican music and culture reflect the country's political history?

October 5, 2002

Rock’ N’ Romany

How have conflicts in the former Yugoslavia affected the region's music and culture?

September 28, 2002

Coltrane’s Bombay

Jazz is sometimes called America's "classical music." But how much was John Coltrane's jazz influenced by globalization?

September 21, 2002

Kodo: Head Beats and Heart Beats

How does Japanese music express cultural values that transcend borders?

September 14, 2002

Los Lobos: Livin’ La Vida NAFTA

What product has been freely swapped across the U.S.-Mexico border for decades before NAFTA?

September 7, 2002

Baaba Maal: Out of Africa?

How did this Senegalese musician become a superstar without forsaking his culture?

August 31, 2002

Rachid Taha: Rock ‘n’ Rai

Algerian-born singer Rachid Taha creates a fusion between rai and rock and other world music styles.

August 24, 2002

The United States and the ICC: Courting Disaster?

Does the United States fear a court sanctioned to sentence war criminals more than it fears terrorism?

August 19, 2002

Shifting Fortunes

What does the music of the Gypsy Kings and Taraf de Haidouks say about the life of contemporary Roma?

August 17, 2002

Hollywood Vs. Bollywood

Is the global movie dominance of Hollywood being infiltrated by Indian cinematic style?

July 13, 2002