Blades Takes World Sounds On The Road

Panamanian music great Ruben Blades will take to the road this fall on a U.S. tour in support of his latest album, "Mundo" (Sony Discos). Kicking off Oct. 12 in Miami Beach, Fla., the tour currently h

Panamanian music great Ruben Blades will take to the road this fall on a U.S. tour in support of his latest album, "Mundo" (Sony Discos). Kicking off Oct. 12 in Miami Beach, Fla., the tour currently has dates set through a Nov. 19 stop in Washington, D.C., with more East Coast gigs expected.

Released on Tuesday, "Mundo" (world) is the follow up to 1999's Sony set "Tiempos," which won a Grammy for best Latin pop performance. What started out as a plan to marry Irish and Latin rhythms, "Mundo" became a collection of musical styles that reflects sounds from around the globe.

"I made a kind of map, where I began in the Northeast part of Africa, from Ethiopia, and I took that path to Asia Minor," Blades recently told Billboard. "I crossed part of Turkey, what today are independent Russian republics. I crossed toward Europe and then I jumped to America. During that voyage, I integrated these sounds."

The album features two new original songs written by Blades, as well as the Pat Metheny/Lyle Mays song "First Circle," a Spanish-language version of Gilberto Gil's "Oriente" that is dubbed "Consideracion" on "Mundo," as well as Irish mainstay "Danny Boy," which blends Afro-Caribbean rhythms and bagpipes.

In addition to the stage, Blades will be seen on the silver screen in several forthcoming films. He will appear in "Imagining Argentina," which also stars Antonio Banderas and Emma Thompson; "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," which stars fellow Latin artist Enrique Iglesias, as well as Johnny Depp and Willem Dafoe; and "Assassination Tango," which is being produced and directed by Robert Duvall. Blades also composed the score for the John Leguizamo film "Empire," which will be released in February in the U.S.

Here are Ruben Blades' upcoming tour dates:

Oct. 12: Miami Beach, Fla. (Jackie Gleason Theater)
Oct. 13: Tampa, Fla. (Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center)
Oct. 15: New Orleans (House of Blues)
Oct. 16: Houston (Verizon Wireless Theater)
Oct. 17: Austin, Texas (La Zona Rosa)
Oct. 20: El Paso, Texas (University of Texas)
Oct. 21: Sante Fe, N.M. (Lensic Theatre)
Oct. 24: Los Angeles (Mayan Theatre)
Oct. 25: San Francisco (SF Jazz Festival)
Nov. 16: New London, Conn. (Garde Arts Center)
Nov. 17: Boston (Berklee Performance Center)
Nov. 19: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)