International Beat: Enrique Iglesias, Ziggy Marley, Buju Banton ...

Houses of Parliament to discuss dismissal of BBC disc jockey Andy Kershaw.

The dismissal of BBC disc jockey Andy Kershaw will be the subject of a discussion in Britain's Houses of Parliament. Lembit Opik, a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament, will raise the issue on June 20. "The Andy Kershaw Show," Radio 1's only world-and-roots music show, was dropped by the national network last month. Folk Roots magazine Editor Ian Anderson is spearheading a campaign to have the show reinstated on the more adult-friendly Radio 2. ... Enrique Iglesias was named Male International Artist of the Year at the Chinese Music Honors, hosted by MTV-China. He was one of only two non-Chinese acts to be honored — the other being Denmark's Aqua, who were named Band of the Year. Female International Artist of the Year was China's Coco Lee. (sonicnet.com's parent company, Viacom, also owns MTV.) ...

Reggae star Ziggy Marley has denied a report that he and his band, the Melody Makers, pulled out of an Austrian festival to protest the government's links to Joerg Haider, leader of the far-right Freedom Party. Last month festival organizers issued a statement giving that as the reason for Marley's withdrawal. Marley told the Associated Press, however, that "I had already told my management that we just wanted a small tour. I had heard something about Haider and some Nazi connection, but that's not the main reason" for the cancellation, which Marley said was due to an overloaded tour schedule. Marley and the Melody Makers begin their European tour June 20 in Germany. ...

Veteran reggae artist Buju Banton has inked a deal with Anti Inc., a subsidiary of the punk label Epitaph, which will release his new album Unchained Spirit on July 25. Guests on the disc include Rancid's Tim Armstrong, Stephen Marley, Luciano and Gramps of Morgan Heritage. A U.S. tour is scheduled to begin in mid-August. ...

World music will invade British cricket pitches this summer. During intermissions and after play during international matches in England, entertainment will be provided by a variety of artists. Los Van Van, Jazz Jamaica and reggae artists Dillinger, Trinity, U-Brown and the Blood and Fire Sound System are set to perform August 3–6 at Manchester's Old Trafford ground. The Wailers and Beenie Man will play London's Oval ground Aug. 31–Sept. 3. ...

Malian guitarist Ali Farka Toure will tour the United States in July and August. Toure, who won a Grammy Award in 1995 for his Talking Timbuktu collaboration with American guitarist Ry Cooder, is set to play 12 dates, beginning July 21 in Washington, D.C., and ending Aug. 10 in Columbus, Ohio. He will be accompanied by his protégé, Afel Bocoum. Toure's most recent album is Niafunke (World Circuit/Nonesuch), and Bocoum has released Alkibar on the same label. ...

Indian sitar star Anoushka Shankar will tour the United States later this year in support of her as-yet-untitled new release on the Angel label. The tour, which begins Aug. 19 in San Diego and ends Nov. 4 in Tucson, Ariz., may feature appearances by her father, sitar master Ravi Shankar. ... Rockers, one of the more influential reggae films of all time, will be re-released to a new generation of reggae lovers. ...

Senegalese star Baaba Maal, who played at the United Nations earlier this month, is touring West Africa. Playing concerts in cities and rural areas, Maal plans to meet with village youths and elders to increase understanding of AIDS and HIV via screenings of the video Staying Alive, an Emmy- winning documentary produced by MTV, UNAIDS and the World Bank. The tour wraps in Farafenni, Gambia, on June 24. ...

Eccentric Argentine pop star Charly Garcia, jailed over the weekend for skipping a court hearing, is in good spirits and has even performed for some of his fellow inmates, his assistant said on Monday, as reported by Reuters. Garcia was arrested on Saturday after failing to show up in court to answer charges that he and a bodyguard beat up a newspaper photographer outside a bar last month. ...

Ricky Martin finished production of a Pepsi commercial for Latin America. In the ad, Martin serenades an old woman who steals his bottle of the soft drink. A Pepsi spokesperson told the World Entertainment News Network that Martin "sings a cappella on the park bench so everybody can see he really does have a great voice," a possible allusion to the controversy surrounding Enrique Iglesias for his alleged vocal failings. ...

— sonicnet.com staff report