International Beat: Ziggy Marley, Ricky Martin, Isaac Delgado ...

Marley cancels Austrian performance; Martin to team with Santana.

Reggae star Ziggy Marley has canceled a performance at Austria's upcoming Spring Vibration Festival to show his opposition to the inclusion of the far-right Freedom Party in Austria's government. Festival spokesman Alexander Swoboda read a statement in which Marley said he "does not want to play in a country with a Nazi in the government" — a reference to Jorg Haider, who recently stepped down as leader of the Freedom Party. Haider had made comments praising the Nazi era, which elicited condemnation and sanctions against Austria from 14 European Union countries. ... Latin-pop idol Ricky Martin will team up with comeback star Carlos Santana, soul legend Chaka Khan and R&B singer Montell Jordan to record an album promoting racial harmony for the Oneness Project. ...

The ninth annual Zimbabwean Music Festival, complete with concerts and workshops, takes place Aug. 18–20 at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Visiting musicians include mbira player Musekiwa Chingodza, singer Julia (Tsitsi) Chigamba and the group Savannah Jammin'/Decent Gang from Harare. Zimbabwean chimurenga star Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited will perform the day before the festival at Eugene's WOW Hall. ...

Senegalese star Baaba Maal will appear at the United Nations in New York on World Environmental Day on June 4 to support the organization Children Uniting Nations. He's part of a lineup that includes Stevie Wonder, Latin crooner Jose Carreras, opera singer Francisco Casanova and Dionne Warwick. ... David Lou Bega, the German-born singer whose hit "Mambo No. 5" helped kick-start the Latin-pop explosion, wants to popularize the music of India, where he is touring. "Indian music is still not a big thing in European countries, but I hope to collaborate with Indian artists and make Indian sounds famous," he told a news conference. ...

Maverick Recording Co., co-owned by Madonna, has launched a Latin division to be headquartered in Miami. "The first thing that impressed me when I met Madonna last year was her extensive knowledge of the Latin marketplace," new division President Bruno Del Granado said in a press release. ... Paquito D'Rivera, the Cuban jazz saxophonist who fled his homeland in 1981 and now makes his home in New Jersey, has published his memoirs, Mi Vida Saxual (Seix Barral), in Spain. His most recent album, Live at the Blue Note (Half Note), was released last month. ...

Spragga Benz will make a cameo appearance in the upcoming film "Brooklyn Babylon." The movie marks the feature debut of director Marc Levin, and stars Black Thought of the Roots. Lord Jamar of Brand Nubians and reggae dancehall artists Bounty Killer, Frisco Kid and Mad Cobra also have roles in the film. ...

Young Shetland Isles fiddler Catriona MacDonald has completed work on the soundtrack to the film Road to Glory (starring Robert Duvall), which is set for release this month. MacDonald collaborated on the score with her musical partner, Ian Lowthian, and Dire Straits leader Mark Knopfler. ...

Seif Salim Saleh, the Zanzibar taarab musician recently featured on Taarab 1: The Music of Zanzibar (Globestyle), has died. He was one of the country's leading performers of the Islamic Swahihi musical style.

Aziz Ibrahim, the Anglo-Pakistani guitarist who played with Simply Red, the Stone Roses and Ian Brown, is working on a solo album with Talvin Singh, Paul Weller and former Jimi Hendrix bassist Noel Redding. The album, Lahore Longshot, will be released this year and preceded by a single, "Feeling Better," in August. ...

British-based bhangra (Punjabi disco) band Achanak, who won several awards for Nachurally in the early '90s, have released Code Red, their first new album in five years. ...

— sonicnet.com staff report