You favourite

I am becoming increasingly interested in music from different parts of the world. I listened to 'Baro' by Habib Koite from Mali on the Putumayo Label. The music is described as ambient, gentle, soothing, rhythmical, acoustic, and soulful and I couldnt agree more. Unique vocals too. I have quite a few albums from Putumayo, and enjoy them greatly.

What artists do you enjoy, and where are they from? What would you recommend trying?
There's a ton of stuff out there, but starting with Mali there is:

Toumani Diabate is a kora player, absolutely beautiful music. His Djelika album is a great starting point. Also one of the biggest selling CDs and most famous groups from Mali was from Amadou and Miriam's Dimanche a Bamako, they're a blind couple that make the most infectous music. They won a British World music award in 2006. These two are a great starting point and no brainers.
Geoffrey Oryema. Ugandan music although he now lives in France (in exile). Incredible voice. Started with Real World Records and now with Sony International
One favorite? My favorites change all the time...

Currently, I'm enjoying a CD by a Japanese musician improvising on a 17-string bass Koto. It's called Seventeen, by Michiyo Yagi, The tunes are accessible, involving, and resonate unusual frequencies and timbres on my system. Tough to find, but a gem for the ears!

Michiyo Yagi
(Zipangu Products, ZIP-0019) (Japan) (CD)

Further review here:
I like to listen to Cesaria Evora. She is from Republic of Cape Verde. Great singer. I recommend her greatest hits if you want to have an idea of her style. I also enjoy Ibrahim Ferrer's recordings. He's from Cuba.
Yo Mike: Since you like the ambient, ethnic stuff, i think you would love Gigi. She's from Africa ( I forget which country), and is very rich and sounds great, too.
As far as I know, she only has 2 CDs out, so she should be easy to find on the web. I found her at my long lost love: Tower Records, at one their listening stations.
I hope you find her. Amazing.