Caroline Phillips' rich, soprano voice conjures up the far-and-wide cultures of the world, especially the sound and language of the Basque Country.

Why you should listen

Californian-born, French-resident entrepreneur and musician Caroline Phillips is one half of Basque music duo Bidaia, alongside Mixel Ducau. Her searching, Moroccan- and East Indian-inflected vocals are accompanied by the distinctive, folky sounds of the hurdy-gurdy, an unfamiliar and unusual string instrument operated with a crank-turned wheel.

Throughout her years as a professional musician, Phillips has regularly performed in jazz clubs and toured with her one-woman show in the Caribbean and North Africa.

What others say

“The roots are deep and the instruments acoustic, but make no mistake: this is a contemporary band with energy, drive and wide-ranging curiosity. Bidaia translates as 'voyage' and it definitely offers a unique travel experience.” — Dirty Linen

Caroline Phillips’ TED talk

Caroline Phillips on the TED Blog

Live from TEDGlobal

Hurdy-gurdy for beginners: Caroline Phillips on

September 17, 2010

Caroline Phillips cranks out tunes on a seldom-heard folk instrument: the hurdy-gurdy, a.k.a. the wheel fiddle. A searching, Basque melody follows her fun lesson on its unique anatomy and 1,000-year history. (Recorded at TEDGlobal, July 2010 in Oxford, England. Duration: 5:41) Watch Caroline Phillips’ talk on where you can download it, rate it, comment […]

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