List Photo: user uploaded image

bands/musicians The Best World Music Artists  

1.9k votes 324 voters 38k views 351 items Follow Embed
World music is an easy way for people to describe the melding traditional and nontraditional music from foreign countries. Generally, world music refers to sounds from the non-Western part of the world. Known for its fusion, world music was term coined in the 1960s and also includes the incorporation of traditional instruments from other parts of the world that haven't been used primarily by Western artists. The beauty of World music artists is that their sound, while entrenched and grounded in Eastern music, it can mean any type of traditional sound as long as it's from there.

So, what are the best World music artists? Any list needs to have Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Jonathan Scales, Trilok Gurtu and Loreena McKennitt on any world music artists list. These are among the most well known artists in the genre and their music is as unique as any. They incorporate new age and foreign sounds that is not only unique, but allows for them to stand out from many of their contemporaries.

That said, it's up to you to decide what are the best World music artists. It's not an easy question, but ultimately it's your job to decide. If you notice someone is missing from the list, feel free to add them. 
This list answers the questions "who are the best world music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest world music musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular world music bands that you might've heard of. (351 items)

1
+ - 122 14
Ranker Video v
Ashwin Batish Worldbeat, North Indian classical Sitar music, Raga Jazz - Legendary sitar maestro has just released his third World music album called “Sitar Power III.” Standout songs are 'Sitar Trek,' a raga rock out excursion and 'East Indian Meets West Indian,' an amazing calypso-n-raga fusion where ...

The All Time Greatest Muses in the Music World The (Male) Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

2
+ - 44 17
Jonathan Scales is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Jonathan Scales World music, Jazz fusion, Jazz

3
+ - 30 9
Loreena McKennitt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Loreena McKennitt New Age music, World music, Celtic music

4
+ - 33 12
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Qawwali, Ghazal, Fusion

5
+ - 27 9
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best World Music Artists
John McLaughlin Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

6
+ - 15 4
Ofra Haza is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Ofra Haza Ethnic electronica, Synthpop, Pop music

7
+ - 16 5
L. Subramaniam is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best World Music Artists
L. Subramaniam Fusion, Carnatic music, World music

8
+ - 14 4
Joe Zawinul is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Joe Zawinul Romantic music, World music, Jazz fusion

9
+ - 11 2
Ali Farka Touré is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Ali Farka Touré Folk music, World music, Blues

10
+ - 16 7
Ladysmith Black Mambazo is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Ladysmith Black Mambazo Mbube, World music, Isicathamiya

11
+ - 10 2
Inti-Illimani is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Inti-Illimani Andean music, Folk music, Latin American music

12
+ - 11 3
Garaj Mahal is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Garaj Mahal Fusion, Rock music, World music

13
+ - 12 4
Trilok Gurtu is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Trilok Gurtu World music, Jazz fusion, Jazz

14
+ - 9 2
Dhafer Youssef is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Dhafer Youssef Qawwali, New Age music, World music

15
+ - 9 2
Azam Ali is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Azam Ali New Age music, Rock music, World music

The Best Taylor Swift Songs The Greatest Songs by One-Hit Wonders

16
+ - 10 3
Demis Roussos is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Demis Roussos Pop-folk, Pop music, Folk music

17
+ - 12 5
Edgar Meyer is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Edgar Meyer World music, Classical music, Progressive bluegrass

18
+ - 12 5
Ron Korb is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Ron Korb New Age, World music, Jazz

19
+ - 7 1
Clifford Borg is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Clifford Borg New Age music, World music

20
+ - 7 1
Dead Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Dead Can Dance Neoclassical Dark Wave, Gothic rock, New Age music

21
+ - 7 1
Niyaz is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Niyaz Folk music, World music, Electronic dance music

22
+ - 8 2
Fun-Da-Mental is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Fun-Da-Mental Hip hop music, Ethnic electronica, Fusion

23
+ - 8 2
Banzumana Sissoko is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Banzumana Sissoko World music

24
+ - 8 2
Alejandra Robles is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Alejandra Robles World music

25
+ - 11 5
Sultans of String is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Sultans of String World music, Instrumental

26
+ - 6 1
Edward II is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Edward II Traditional music, Folk music, Electric folk

27
+ - 5 0
Donald Knaack is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Donald Knaack World fusion music, World music, Dance music

28
+ - 6 1
Jay Vaquer is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Jay Vaquer Pop music, World music, Pop rock

29
+ - 6 1
Darya Dadvar is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Darya Dadvar World music, Classical music, Persian traditional music

Rock Stars Who Died at Age 30 The Worst Things About Going to Bars in Your 30s

30
+ - 7 2
Jaffa Road is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Jaffa Road World music

31
+ - 7 2
Dana International is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Dana International Pop music, World music, Electronic dance music

32
+ - 5 0
Gouri Choudhury is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Gouri Choudhury Indian pop, World music

33
+ - 5 0
Idan Raichel is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Idan Raichel Pop music, Folk music, World music

34
+ - 6 1
DJ Desi is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best World Music Artists
DJ Desi World music, Bhangra, Techno

35
+ - 5 0
Jon Hassell is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Jon Hassell Kozmigroov, World music, Fourth World

36
+ - 6 1
Enter the Haggis is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Enter the Haggis World fusion music, World music

37
+ - 6 1
Enya is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Enya New Age music, Folk music of Ireland, World music

38
+ - 7 2
Jah Wobble is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Jah Wobble Experimental rock, World music, Dub

39
+ - 5 0
Dembo Konte and Kausu Kuyateh is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Dembo Konte and Kausu Kuyateh Folk music, World music

40
+ - 5 0
Heather Maxwell is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Heather Maxwell Music of Africa, World music, Rhythm and blues

41
+ - 5 0
Hidayat Khan is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Hidayat Khan Bollywood, World music, Jazz fusion

42
+ - 5 0
Ismaël Lô is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Ismaël Lô Mbalax, Worldbeat, World music

43
+ - 6 1
David Lindley is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best World Music Artists
David Lindley Rock music, World music, Country

The Coolest Musical Instruments from Around the World The Best Organic Coffee Brands

44
+ - 7 2
17 Hippies is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best World Music Artists
17 Hippies Pop music, Folk music, World music

45
+ - 5 0
Banda Ionica is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Banda Ionica Folk music, World music, Italian folk music

46
+ - 7 2
Afro Celt Sound System is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Afro Celt Sound System Ethnic electronica, Celtic fusion, Worldbeat

47
+ - 7 2
Hindi Zahra is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Hindi Zahra Folk music, World music, Jazz

48
+ - 6 1
Julean and the Rai is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Julean and the Rai Rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

49
+ - 7 2
Bobby McFerrin is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Bobby McFerrin Pop music, World music, Classical music

50
+ - 7 2
Bil Aka Kora is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Bil Aka Kora World music