Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

North Fayette Man Founded New World Buzz

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

North Fayette Man Founded New World Buzz

Article excerpt

Martin Curti wasn't expecting to interview a Latin Grammy Award winner in a parking lot in September, but that's where Cuban- Canadian musician Alex Cuba was ready to talk.

With traffic whizzing by in the background, Mr. Curti stood outside posing questions to Mr. Cuba, who discussed his music and career before hitting the stage at Chatham University in Pittsburgh.

The public can listen to that conversation - along with dozens of interviews with other artists and hundreds of songs from around the globe - on New World Buzz, a free, online radio station for contemporary and traditional world music.

Mr. Curti, 39, is celebrating 20 years since he founded the station from his home in North Fayette.

"It gives me a good feeling of accomplishment that it has come this far," Mr. Curti said. "Time does fly when you are having fun."

Listeners from more than 70 countries visit for on-demand interviews and live, around-the-clock music.

Mr. Curti features world music, or international music, by established and emerging artists from nearly every continent, especially Africa and South America.

The occasional modern take on a classic song encourages listeners to make connections with sounds they hear in pop tunes. For example, the station might play "Oye Como Va" by the original artist, Tito Puente, an American with Puerto Rican roots, and then play the widely known version by Mexican-American Carlos Santana.

"When you think about it, everything is world music," Mr. Curti said. "It's a world of music."

Mr. Curti grew up in a household full of music, from jazz to rock to rhythm and blues.

His father, Bob Curti, a disc jockey on WISH 99.7 FM, has been a radio announcer and record collector for more than 50 years.

His mother, Antonia, was born in Spain, and she introduced her son to that country's flamenco music. She also taught him how to speak Spanish, a skill that has helped Mr. Curti meet and interview musicians while visiting family in Spain.

New World Buzz grew from Mr. Curti's interest in English musician Peter Gabriel, the ex-Genesis singer who later founded the Real World record label to promote world music.

As a music lover and class clown at West Allegheny High School, Mr. Curti was drawn to Mr. Gabriel.

"He was strange and unique as an artist," Mr. Curti said.

In September 1993 - the year after Mr. Curti graduated from high school - Mr. Gabriel held his three-day World of Music, Arts and Dance festival in the U.S. for the first time, at the Western Pennsylvania amphitheater then called Star Lake.

Mr. Curti encountered people of different nationalities, cultures, religions and politics. …

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