A few minutes from Sunset Park, Sixth Avenue is dotted with signs for panaderías and mercados, Cantonese sweet shops and Malaysian grocery stores. Women with toddlers sit on the steps of their brownstones, exchanging gossip loudly in Spanish. Across the street, old couples file arm-in-arm out of Grace Chinese Baptist Church. Reggaeton blares from a passing car. And around the corner, Jace Clayton sits near the window of his studio on a quiet tree-lined side street, sips from a cup of South American mate, and talks about music.
“What is world music, anyways?” he asks. With black-rimmed glasses and a calm, cool voice, he has the unmistakable air of the old-school hipster intellectual. The floor of his studio is cluttered with stacks of books and crates of records, cassettes, and CDs in old plastic or tattered paper covers. Rummaging through a pile behind him, Clayton pulls out a disk marked with Arabic letters: “Here, this one. You’ve gotta listen. It blows me away.”
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