Cross-Cultural Collaboration: 2015 Nominees

Baka Beyond
After the Tempest on March Hare Music

Baka Beyond Baka Beyond Amazon

Martin Craddock and Su Hart first visited the Cameroonian rain forest in 1992 and have been fusing Celtic and Baka pygmy music ever since. The 11th album from their Baka Beyond ensemble takes its title from tracks they created for a production of Shakespeare's The Tempest and offers a dazzling hybrid of traditional African forms, gentle Celtic melodies and dynamic folk reels.

Kronos Quartet
A Thousand Thoughts on Nonesuch

Kronos Quartet Kronos Quartet Amazon

David Harrington's string quartet marked their 40th anniversary with a scintillating collection of compositions drawing on musical forms from 14 different countries spread across five continents. Two-thirds of the pieces had never been released before, creating far more than just a Best Of compilation, as collaborators such as Asha Bhosle, Wu Man and even a Texan yodeler join Kronos' cross-cultural celebration.

Robert Plant
Lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar
on Nonesuch

Robert Plant Robert Plant Amazon

Refusing to be defined by his rock past, the former Led Zep singer continues to explore fresh territory in an endlessly restless and creative solo career. Backed by his eclectic live band, the Sensational Space Shifters, which includes the JuJu duo of Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara, his latest album thrillingly fuses sinuous African blues and Middle Eastern beats with gritty R&B and psych guitars.

Salsa Celtica
The Tall Islands on Discos Leon

Salsa Celtica Salsa Celtica Amazon

Scotland's only roots band to include musicians from Cuba and Argentina have been thrilling audiences from Caithness to Colombia for almost two decades with their vivacious fusion of Afro-Latin salsa and Celtic tradition. Their fifth studio album boasts a cast of 17 musicians and the arrangements sparkle with an effervescent energy. It's testimony to their skill that the collective bustle never sounds overcrowded.