Los Angeles Changüí

Changüí Majadero - Changüí Majadero
Changüí Majadero – Changüí Majadero

Changüí Majadero – Changüí Majadero (Changüí Majadero Music, 2016)

Cuban changüí from an unexpected place, East Los Angeles in California. The five-piece band Changüí Majadero fell in love with this rural form of Cuban music that mixes the Spanish poetic and guitar traditions with African-rooted light percussion and call and response vocals.

The band is led by Mexican American guitarist and tresero Gabriel Garcia. Garcia fell in love with the music of Grupo Changüí Guantanamo, Cuba’s leading changüí ensemble. Gabriel Garcia eventually traveled to Guantánamo Cuba where he met one of the founding members of Grupo Changüí Guantanamo. “I fell in love with the culture, the people, the music,” says Garcia.

Most of the tracks on the self-titled album, Changüí Majadero , are traditional songs from the Guantanamo area although one composition, “Changüí Pa Ayotzinapa,” is an original song with the spirit of a Mexican corrido in a changüí form, appealing for justice for the 43 murdered Mexican students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College who “disappeared” in Iguala, Guerrero.

The lineup on Changüí Majadero includes Gabriel Garcia on tres and vocals; Alfred Ortiz on vocals and maracas; Norrell Thompson (from Puerto Rico) on vocals and guayo; George Ortiz on bongo del monte; and Yosmel Montejo on bass. Guests: Eddy Ortiz on guayo; Martha Gonzalez on vocals; Feliciano Arango on bass; Carlos Sanchez on vocals and trumpet; Calixto Oviedo on drums; Roberto Lopez on bass; and Joey de Le.

Changüí Majadero is a stirring album by a band passionate about changüí, a style that deserves wider recognition.

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Louisiana Soul Revival’s Persuasive Grooves

Louisiana Soul Revival featuring Doug Duffey - Louisiana Soul Revival
Louisiana Soul Revival featuring Doug Duffey – Louisiana Soul Revival

Louisiana Soul Revival featuring Doug Duffey – Louisiana Soul Revival (2016)

Composer and keyboardist Doug Duffey takes you back to the classic sound of 1970s soul and funk on Louisiana Soul Revival’s debut album. The self-titled release features funk beats, a splendid brass section, wah wah guitar and some northern Louisiana spice.

The band features up to 11 musicians on stage, representing several generations, from twenties to sixties. The lineup includes Doug Duffey on vocals, piano and keyboards; Daniel Sumner on guitar; Ben Ford on bass; Adam Ryland on drums, percussion; Cody Holder on baritone saxophone; Jonathan Patterson on trombone; Mason Howard on alto saxophone; Bert Windham on trumpet; Betsy Lowe on backing vocals; Naomi Holder on backing vocals; and Alex Noppe on trumpet.

Louisiana Soul Revival delivers a tight set of persuasive soul and funk songs.

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Artist Profiles: Eneida Marta

Eneida Marta
Eneida Marta

Captivating vocalist Eneida Marta was born in Guinea Bissau. Descending from a family of artists, especially her father, who came from Cape Verde, she started singing as a little child, working on her voice and participating in some children’s music contests.

Some years later, after moving to Portugal, she met Juca Delgado, one of the most important African music producers, and started working together, which gave her the chance of taking part in the work of some of the most important African musicians in Portugal, such as Don Kikas, Rui Sangaras, Fernando Santos (Aiaia), Aliu Bari, Punga, Iva and Ichi.

Coinciding with the release of her first album, Nestoria (Maxi Music, 2001), produced by Juca Delgado, Eneida toured Cape Verde, France, Holland, Germany, Guinea Bissau and Portugal.

As the second album became a reality, it revealed a remarkable interest by some international record companies such as Putumayo, Club Star and JPS Production. Finally with Putumayo, and with her track Na Bu Mons, Eneida took part in a compilation dedicated to the music in the former Portuguese African countries, An Afro-Portuguese Odyssey (2002). In 200,2 Eneida Marta released a second album, a maxi-single, where she pays tribute to Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde African sounds and where she also sings in Arabic, showing her multifaceted artistic side.

Eneida Marta participated in other compilations and also appeared in the albums of renowned African artists. artists.

Eneida and Juca explore a great variety of styles, gumbe, morna, singa, with some flamenco, Gospel and jazz nuances.

Discography:

Nestoria (Maxi Music, 2001)
Lopekai (Iris Music, 2006)

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Kevin Bowers’ Nova

 Kevin Bowers - Nova

Kevin Bowers – Nova

Kevin Bowers – Nova (Machinery Music, 2016)

After a trip to Spain, American drummer Kevin Bowers composed his new album Nova. Even though he was heavily deeply inspired by the music, people, art, and food of Spain, he’s always had a passion for Brazilian percussion so Nova showcases his Brazilian rhythmic influences.

Nova features loungy bossa nova, Latin jazz and pop songs with English vocals (although he also includes a French-language version of one of the songs) along with highly percussive tracks where he develops the sound of a large batucada ensemble. On the instrumental “Imagination Voodoo” he ventures a little deeper into world music with a mixture of Arabic, Spanish and Latin American influences delivered in a spaghetti westerns style.

On Nova Bowers uses a wide range of Brazilian musical instruments, including surdo, repinique, tamborim, chocalhos (Brazilian shakers), as well as other percussion instruments from the Cuban tradition like timbales, bongos, and congas.

The musicians on Nova include Kevin Bowers on drums, percussion, and acoustic guitar; Michael Aguirre on vocals; Kevin Bachmann on electric bass; Zebadiah Briskovich on upright and electric bass; Paige Brubeck on vocals; Erminie Cannon on vocals; Aaron Chandler on trombone; Andy Coco on vocals; Dave Grelle on piano, electric piano, keyboards, vocals; Jimmy Griffin on vocals, electric and acoustic guitar, 12-string electric guitar; Jordan Heimburger on nylon-string guitar, electric and acoustic guitar; Nathan Hershey on vocals; Adam Hucke on trumpet, piccolo trumpet, French Horn; Ben Reece, flute, tenor sax, clarinet, baritone sax, recorder; and Andy Shadburne on vocals.

Nova is an easy to listen to collection of lounge and romantic songs with a Brazilian and Latin flavor.

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Jitka Šuranská Trio Releases Video Teaser

Jitka Šuranská
Jitka Šuranská

Jitka Šuranská Trio has released a music video to promote its upcoming album Divé husy. The new recording is scheduled for release September 16th, 2016

Jitka Šuranska has won the Anděl Award twice for Best album of the year in World Music category. The first time it was with Písňobraní in 2008 and then in 2013 with Nezachoď slunéčko.

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Middle Eastern and Pop Intersections

Brothers of the Baladi - Gravity of Love
Brothers of the Baladi – Gravity of Love

Brothers of the Baladi – Gravity of Love (Baladi Productions BLD12, 2016)

World music with a Middle Eastern edge, rock and pop intersect in the new album by American band Brothers of the Baladi. The group is celebrating its 40th anniversary with this new recording featuring rock instrumentation such as electric guitar, bass and drum kit along with a wide-range of world music instruments from the Middle East, South America, and Europe.

While many world fusion ensembles lean towards instrumental music, the Oregon-based Brothers of the Baladi features English-language vocals that bring the songs closer to a pop and rock audience. One of the songs has a Spanish language title, ¿Dónde están ahora? (where are they now?) and the group is known for also using other languages like Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, French, and Armenian.

Gravity of Love is the first album where Brothers of the Baladi has used electronic sounds and programming. The intention this time is to appeal to a pop audience, adding pop hooks and rhythms.

The lineup includes Michael Beach on lead vocals, dumbek, zarb, Eddie Kirkjan dumbeg, mizmar, zurna, midjwiz, nay, riq, tar, davul, and percussion; J. Michael Kearsey on vocals, Fender Jazz bass, percussion, and islik sesi; Clark Salisbury on vocals, oud, saz, guitar, dobro, charango, fretless bass, electronics and programming; Charles Pike on vocals, percussion, and drum kit. The guests are: Daniel Eshoo on kanoon (qanun) and Paul Beck on cymbalon.

Gravity of Love contains well-crafted instrumental performances within songs that will appeal to the mainstream.

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Guillermo Velázquez y Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú Release Serrano de Corazón

Guillermo Velázquez y Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú Serrano de Corazón
Guillermo Velázquez y Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú Serrano de Corazón

Smithsonian Folkways Tradiciones/Traditions has released a new album Guillermo Velázquez y Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú. The title of the recording is Serrano de Corazón (Highlander at Heart).

Huapango arribeño is a distinct regional tradition of Mexican music with colonial roots, long-lasting but sheltered in its mountainous homeland in the central states of Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, and Querétaro.

Remarkable folk poet Guillermo Velázquez and his Leones de la Sierra de Xichú deliver the songs with their violins, guitarra quinta huapanguera, jarana, and percussive dancing. Serrano de Corazón (Highlander at Heart) evokes the spirit of all-night topadas, competitive duels between poets and their musicians for the delight of all. The album includes a 40-page bilingual booklet with photos.

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Israeli Electronic Folk Trio A-Wa to Perform in Los Angeles Skirball Cultural Center

A-Wa
A-Wa

Israeli electronic folk band A-Wa is set to perform Sunday, September 25, 2016. The group includes sisters Tair, Liron, and Tagel Haim who mix their voices and timeless Yemenite folk songs with modern electronic rhythms.

A-Wa was formed by the Haim sisters who grew up in the small desert village of Shaharut in the southern Israeli Arava Valley. After years of experimenting and recording new musical works in English, Hebrew, and Yemeni-Arabic for YouTube, the Haim sisters recruited Balkan Beat Box producer Tomer Yosef. Wearing signature fashion that combines urban aesthetics and traditional Middle Eastern garb, A-Wa’s 2015 music video for “Habib Galbi” (“Love Of My Heart”) went viral in the Middle East and has since attracted more than four million views on YouTube.

A-Wa’s debut album, A-Wa, is inspired by traditional love and protest songs of Yemenite women. A-Wa’s music also explores commonalities with their Arab neighbors, including language (the band usually sings in Yemeni-Arabic).

Sunday, September 25, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Tickets available on site, online at skirball.org, or by phone at (877) SCC-4TIX.

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Earls of Leicester Release “The Train That Carried My Girl From Town” Music Video

Earls of Leicester
Earls of Leicester

Bluegrass band Earls of Leicester has released a new music video featuring Release “The Train That Carried My Girl from Town”, one of the singles from its new album Rattle & Roar.

The lineup includes Jerry Douglas on dobro, Shawn Camp on lead vocals and guitar; multi-instrumentalist Jeff White on high harmony and mandolin; Charlie Cushman on banjo and guitars; Johnny Warren on fiddle; and Barry Bales on vocals and bass.

To capture the atmosphere of a live show, Rattle & Roar was recorded in one room, with all of the band members around microphones, with no separation between them.

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Artist Profiles: Foday Musa Suso

Foday Musa Suso
Foday Musa Suso

Foday Musa Suso is an internationally recognized musician and a Manding griot from the West African nation of Gambia. Griots are the oral historians and musicians of the Manding people, who live in several West African nations.

Griots are a living library for the community, providing history, entertainment, and wisdom while playing and singing their songs. The history of empires and kingdoms, tribal conflicts, cultural heroes, and family lineage are all part of a griot’s traditional repertoire.

Foday is a direct descendant of Jali Madi Wlen Suso, the griot who invented the kora over four centuries ago. In 1977, he moved to Chicago and became the first kora player to establish himself in the United States. He formed The Mandingo Griot Society with 3 American musicians, playing a fusion of traditional and jazz that is now known as “world music”. Since 1977, he has performed as a soloist and with other musicians throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America.

Interested in both traditional and cutting-edge music, he has also written many original compositions, toured and recorded with many prominent musicians. Foday Musa Suso’s collaboration with Herbie Hancock began in 1984, when Bill Laswell introduced them and they co-wrote a composition for the Los Angeles Olympics entitled ‘Junku’ (‘Let’s Do It’). This song was included on the official Olympic album and on Herbie’s ‘Sound System‘ album. Herbie then invited Foday to join his band for a tour of the United States and Japan, where they co-wrote and recorded a duet album entitled ‘Village Life’.

In 1987, both Herbie’s and Foday’s bands joined forces to record ‘Jazz Africa’, a live concert which was released as a CD and video.

Foday also has a long history of collaboration and performance with renowned composer Philip Glass. In 1985 they co-wrote the soundtrack for the movie ‘Powaqqatsi’, and in 1990 co-wrote the music for a revival of the Jean Genet play ‘The Screens’.

In 2004 they collaborated on the music for ‘Orion’, a concert work commissioned by the Cultural Oympiad which premiered in Athens Greece preceding the Olympic Games. Since the early 1990’s, Foday and Philip have performed in concerts together at venues all over the world, including Carnegie Hall, and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Barbican Center in London, and the Melbourne Arts Centre.

In addition, Foday has worked closely with the Kronos Quartet, an ensemble who commissioned him to compose five works. ‘Tillyboyo’ (Sunset) was released on their 1992 CD ‘Pieces of Africa‘. Foday and Kronos have performed together at venues such as Lincoln Center in New York, Staatsoper Opera House in Vienna, and the Royal Festival Hall in London.

From 2003-2005, Foday and Jack De Johnette toured extensively together and recorded 2 CDs, ‘Music from the Heart of the Masters‘ and ‘Ripple Effect’.

In 2008, Paul Simon invited Foday to perform with him in ‘American Songs’, a weeklong musical retrospective at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Also in 2008, Foday composed music for the acclaimed Susan Cohn Rockefeller documentary about Dr. Rick Hodes work in Ethiopia, titled ‘Making the Crooked Straight’, due to be released on HBO in 2010.

Discography:

Kora Music from Gambia (Folkways, 1970)
Mandingo Griot Society (Flying Fish, 1979)
Mighty Rhythm (Flying Fish, 1982)
Hand Power (Flying Fish, 1984)
Mandingo Featuring Foday Musa Suso – Watto Sitta (Celluloid, 1984)
Sound-System, with Herbie Hancock (Columbia, 1984)
Village Life, with Herbie Hancock (Columbia, 1985)
Mansa Bendung (Flying Fish, 1986)
The Dreamtime (CMP, 1988)
Jazz Africa, with Herbie Hancock (Verve, 1985)
Music from “The Screens”, with Philip Glass (Point Music, 1992)
Off World One, with Possession & African Dub (Sub Meta, 1995)
Jali Kunda: Griots of West Africa & Beyond (Ellipsis Arts, 1996)
Music from the Hearts of the Masters, with Jack DeJohnette (Golden Beams, 2005)
Hybrids, with Jack DeJohnette’s The Ripple Effect (Golden Beams, 2005)
The Two Worlds (Orange Mountain Music, 2008)
Koralations: Heart to Heart, with Gretchen Rowe (2012)

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