World Music Festival

Each November, musicians and music fans from around the Bay Area, the U.S. and the world converge on the city for the San Francisco World Music Festival. Since the Festival began in 1995, it has become one of the premier world music events in the country, if not the planet, showcasing musical talent and styles not often or easily found outside the musicians’ native countries or regions. Michael Santoro, musical director and founder of the event, succinctly stated the mission of this festival when he said:

“Music is shifting ground, and context is changing for all music around the world. Part of the shift has to do with globalization. People are demanding invention and creativity in ways that these set regional forms around the world do not have. If we don’t come up with strategies to help these forms evolve — for taking the essence of a tradition or form and merging it with new influences — then [they] will die out, and whatever is coming in the future will not have it as part of its foundation. As audiences gray and interest in old traditions lessens, if there’s not a strategy to help develop a new audience, the old forms will be completely gone in the same way that unprotected species in threatened rainforests become extinct.”

The Festival provides a wealth of performances, workshops, seminars, youth education programs and other presentations and attendees get a rare chance to see and hear musical instruments they are unlikely to find anywhere else. The locations of the performances are constantly evolving just like the music. For the dates, performance locations, workshops schedules, list of performers and other information for this year’s San Francisco World Music Festival, visit the website at

There is never a shortage of cool things to see, hear and do in the Bay Area, but if you’re a music fan looking for exotic ear candy from all over the world, then definitely set aside some time this November to check out this music festival.