Global Postmodernity, World Music and the Discourse of Authenticity: Insights from the Buena Vista Social Club


  • Anandam Kavoori The University of Georgia



In this essay,[i] I engage with the complex set of sonic connections that goes by the label, “World Music.” The next section on “Framing World Music/The Global Postmodern/Authenticity” outlines some key elements in how World Music can be theoretically framed—as a specific kind of text, anchored in conditions of global postmodernity and characterized by a defining discourse—that of “authenticity.” This is followed by a biographical/textual accounting of an iconic World Music text, the Buena Vista Social Club (the music and documentary) and its leading star, Ibrahim Ferrer,with a focus on examining how his biographical/textual imprint illustrates the different ways in which the discourse of “authenticity” is mobilized in World Music/the global postmodern. Finally, the concluding section offers some broad reearch questions about the global postmodern/ authenticity to be examined in future studies. 


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