Our pilot episode -- presented by Oregon Public Broadcasting -- takes you to Russia to investigate a pop propaganda song about Putin; to Nigeria to learn about the legendary Fela; and to Kazakhstan (with a Hollywood sidetrip) to see how the controversial movie Borat led to a beautiful symphony. The show closes with a soulful song by the Portuguese diva, Mariza, who may be the biggest star you've never heard of. This episode aired on PBS in January 2010.
STORIES FROM THIS EPISODE
A catchy pop song tops the Russian charts. The subject? Vladimir Putin, that sexy beast. Explore the making of a post-Soviet propaganda tune.
"As far as Africa is concerned, music has to be for revolution," said Fela Kuti, the father of Afrobeat. Watch his son Seun keep Fela's flame alive.
The movie Borat was a comedy sensation, but the government of Kazakhstan was not amused. So why did a Kazakh conductor ask Borat's brother to write a symphony?
Sometimes music embodies the soul of a nation. Listen to Mariza, the queen of fado, Portugal's "blues."