Calabash Music

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Calabash Music
Founded 2001
Founder Brad Powell
Status Inactive
Genre World music
Country of origin U.S.
Location Somerville, Massachusetts
Official website Calabash

Calabash Music is an online music company based in Somerville, Massachusetts established in 2001 by Brad Powell. Its goal, as quoted from the website, is to provide the listener access to "talented musicians across the globe," as well as to help "independent artists sell directly to the listener." In 2008 management of the Calabash Music catalogue was taken over by the French company, Mondomix. Mondomix ceased operation of the music service in 2012.


Calabash Music uses a self-described "equal exchange" revenue share.[1] When Calabash sells music licensed directly from an artist, the artist gets 50% of the money from each sale. Artists on Calabash have to manage and pay mechanical rights associated with digital sales. The music in Calabash Music's catalog is primarily licensed from independent artists or small, independent labels.

Currently, Calabash's catalogue contains more than 130 genres, and a similar number of regional breakdowns, from continental (Africa, Europe, etc.), to country specific (Mali, France, India, etc.). The genres range from the well known (R&B, or Salsa) to the obscure (Morna, or Son Jarocho). Some well known independent artists that Calabash currently has direct licenses with include Omar Sosa, Thomas Mapfumo, and Ashley Maher.


Calabash licenses music directly from artists, from labels, and from aggregators. All licenses are non-exclusive. Some artists that Calabash licenses music from do not have the resources or desire to sign with a record label. Calabash also licenses music via small independent labels, and deals with labels based all over the world.

Web Logs[edit]

Calabash also maintains several blogs.

Global Music Videos: The Calabash Global Music Videos blog contains videos from artists around the world. Most videos are from artists that Calabash has a license to sell music for, although a few are not represented on the website.
Global Music News: The Calabash Global Music News Blog contains content on developments in the global world music community.
Free Single Blog: Every week, Calabash offers 10 songs from 10 artists for free promotional download. The Free Single Blog tracks the free songs and gives other information regarding the artist's work.

Tune Your World Campaign[edit]

Calabash has a campaign entitled 'Tune Your World.' The aim of the campaign is to give aid to Africa through the support of African Artists. The campaign works with artists engaged in their community to create change in the domains of health, community, and peace.

Musicians featured in the campaign include Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, Afrobeat Sudan Aid Project, Stop Excision Project, Zola, The Mutubambile Orphan Choir.

Relationship With National Geographic[edit]

National Geographic partnered up with Calabash Music (as well as the Public Radio International show, Afropop Worldwide, the satellite channel LinkTV, and Global Rhythm magazine) to launch its worldmusic store. The partnership uses Calabash's catalogue to populate the site

Like the main site of Calabash Music, the National Geographic World Music allows users to access music by artist, region or genre.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Archived 5 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine