r.i.p. – charlie gillett

Late this afternoon the news broke: Charlie Gillett had died.

On the mainstream level, he’s known as the guy who ‘discovered’ Dire Straits.

You could also think of him as one of the world’s first world music djs.

For me, Charlie Gillett is the first introduction I ever got to artists like Congolese guitarist Franco, Colombian singing legend Toto la Mompasina, and Serbian vocalist Šaban Bajramović. His unpredictable but consistently enlightening show was a regular feature on the BBC World Service and the archived programs made for great repeated listening to refresh the memory of “what did Charlie think?” with every new global musical encounter.

Very sad this evening to learn that Charlie has passed away. His legacy will surely be (at least) two-fold; living on through the many artists whose music he championed and with all of the listeners – like me – who learned from him and love the music like he did.

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