Native American Musician and Colville Tribal Chairman, Jim Boyd Dies at 60

Jim Boyd
Jim Boyd

American Indian musician, songwriter, producer and Colville Tribal Chairman in Washington State, Jim Boyd passed away on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016. He was a member of the Arrow Lakes tribe, which is one of the twelve tribes of the Colville Confederacy.

As one of the most active Native American recording artists, Jim Boyd’s music career spanned over four decades. He worked on projects for Miramax, Warner Brothers, Mega International Records, Dixie Frog Records, Sound of America Records, as well as audio-visual projects for businesses and colleges.

Jim Boyd released 15 records; Reservation Bound, Unity, Reservation Blues, First Come Last Served, AlterNatives, Jim Boyd w/ Alfonso Kolb Live At The Met, Kyo-t Live, Going To The Stick Games, Them Old Guitars, Live At Two Rivers, Blues To Bluegrass, Voices From The Lakes, Harley High, Living For The Sunny Days, and most recently Bridge Creek Road. Jim also managed his own career and operated his label, Thunderwolf Records.

At the Second Annual Native American Music Awards, Boyd received the award for Best Compilation Recording for the Smoke Signals soundtrack. At the Fifth Annual Awards, he won Record of the Year for his recording, AlterNatives. The next year he took Best Pop/Rock Recording for Live at the Met.

At the Seventh Annual Awards he received Record of the Year for Going to the Stick Games. He received Songwriter of the Year at the Eighth Annual Native American Music Awards for Them Old Guitars. He won Best Short Form Music Video for Inchelium at the Ninth Annual Awards; and he received the prestigious Artist of the Year Award at the Tenth Annual Native American Music Awards.



On November 14, 2014, Jim Boyd was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions in the field of Native American music at the 15th Annual commemoration held at the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca, New York.


Jim Boyd
Jim Boyd


In addition to his wife Shelly, Jim Boyd is survived by his wife Shelly, his mother, Violet Boyd; brothers Lanny and Michael; sisters Pam, Luana and LaDonna; sons Joel, Dakota, Brian and Michael Carson, and daughter Stevey Seymour; nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.


Melange’s Vision of World Jazz

Melange - Via Maris
Melange – Via Maris

Melange – Via Maris (Two Rivers Records)

Melange is a British multi-ethnic ensemble that combines jazz improvisation with the evocative sounds of North Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Their latest album Via Maris reflects this fascinating melting pot of musical influences with a fabulous mix of original pieces and recreations of traditional tunes and dances from Turkey, Greece and Iraq.

Cellist Shirley Smart founded Melange after spending 10 years in Jerusalem studying and playing the musics of the region. The ensemble includes musicians from Greece, Spain, Morocco, Iraq, Italy and the UK.

Album lineup: Shirley Smart on cello, Stefanos Tsourelis on oud, Peter Michaels on guitar, Maurizio Minardi on accordion, Joe Browne on saxophones, Jake Painter on trumpet, Michele Montolli on bass, and Demi Garcia Sabat on drums and percussion.

Via Maris is a splendid album where the cello and various other instruments explore the captivating worlds of jazz and global sounds.

Buy the Via Maris digital version

Buy the Via Maris CD


Bluegrass Maestro Ralph Stanley Dies at 89

Ralph Stanley - National Heritage Fellow Portrait by Tom Pich
Ralph Stanley – National Heritage Fellow Portrait by Tom Pich


Acclaimed bluegrass banjo player and vocalist Ralph Stanley, “Dr. Ralph,” passed away at his home in the mountains of southwestern Virginia.

Ralph Edmund Stanley was born February 25, 1927 in Big Spraddle, Virginia. He learned ballads and how to play banjo from his mother. Her repertory included traditional narrative songs and 19th-century hymns sung a cappella.

After graduating high school and serving in the United States Army, he joined older brother Carter to form the Clinch Mountain Boys. They started performing on local radio stations and at regional venues.

After Columbia Records signed them, they become known as The Stanley Brothers and went on to record such classics as “Angel Band,” “Little Maggie” and their highly popular song, “Man of Constant Sorrow.” Ralph Stanley developed a unique style of playing the banjo that became known as “Stanley style.” The Stanley Brothers became one of the most popular brother acts in country music history.



In 1976, Stanley received an honorary doctorate from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee and became known as “Dr. Ralph Stanley.”

In 1984, Ralph Stanley was the recipient of the “National Heritage Award.” In 1992 Ralph Stanley was inducted into the” International Bluegrass Music Hall Of Honor”. In 2000 he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

Ralph Stanley was introduced to a new generation of fans thanks to his stirring a cappella hymn “O Death” from the hit Coen Brothers’ “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” movie soundtrack. The album was a bestselling hit. In 2002 Ralph Stanley received his first ever Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance of the haunting rendition of “Oh Death.”

The following year Ralph Stanley and Jim Lauderdale won a Grammy for best bluegrass album for “Lost in the Lonesome Pines.”

In 2006 He received the Living Legend award from the Library of Congress and National medal of arts given by President George W. Bush.


Ralph Stanley
Ralph Stanley


Ralph Stanley’s continuation of a cappella singing led to its revival in contemporary bluegrass bands. Some of country and bluegrass music’s biggest stars came from Ralph Stanley’s band, including Ricky Skaggs, Larry Sparks and the late Keith Whitley.


Ralph Stanley: A Mother’s Prayer Video Preview

Ralph Stanley is survived by his wife Jimmie Stanley; his children Lisa Stanley Marshall, Tonya Armes Stanley and Ralph Stanley II; his grandchildren Nathan Stanley, Amber Meade Stanley, Evan Stout, Ashley Marshall, Alexis Marshall, Taylor Stanley, and Ralph Stanley III; and great grandchild Mckenzie Stanley.


Celebrated Qawwali Singer Amjad Sabri Assassinated in Pakistan

Cover of Amjad Sabri's solo album titled Ecstasy of the Soul
Cover of Amjad Sabri’s solo album titled Ecstasy of the Soul

News reports from Pakistan indicate that renowned Qawwali musician Amjad Sabri, one of Pakistan’s most well-known Sufi musicians, was shot and killed on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 in the southern city of Karachi.

Amjad Farid Sabri was born on December 23, 1976 and was a member of one of the most famous Qawwali music ensembles in Pakistan, the Sabri Brothers.

The Sabri Brothers is Pakistan’s best known, extraordinarily successful family of devotional Sufi singers, from Kalyana in the East Punjab and with over 30 years of sung religious poetry behind them.

In 2012, Amjad Sabri released a solo album titled Ecstasy of the Soul.


WOMEX 2016 Announces First Set of Showcases

Maia Barouh - Photo by Audric Larose
Maia Barouh – Photo by Audric Larose

World Music Expo, WOMEX, announced this morning the first set of artists that will showcase at WOMEX 2016 October in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The high profile gathering of world music industry professionals will take place October 19 – 23, 2016.

The 23 acts announced features musicians from 28 countries, starting with the musical researchers of Radio Cos from the host region Galicia (Spain), expand to global music talent from five continents who will make WOMEX the platform for their international breakthrough. The line-up also includes some well-known artists such as Brazilian Bixiga 70 or Noura Mint Seymali from Mauritania who will be presenting their latest setup to the expected 2,500 delegates.

The 23 WOMEX Showcase acts announced so far are:

Bargou 08 (Tunisia/Belgium)
Bixiga 70 (Brazil)
Black String (South Korea)
C4 Trio (Venezuela)
Delgres (Guadeloupe/France)
Dudu Tassa & The Kuwaitis (Israel)
Gisela João (Portugal)
Gulzoda (Uzbekistan)
Maïa Barouh (Japan/UK)
New York Gypsy All Stars (Macedonia/Turkey/Greece/USA)
Noura Mint Seymali (Mauritania)
Okra Playground (Finland)
Oligarkh (Russia)
Ponk (Czech Republic)
Puerto Candelaria (Colombia)
Radio Cos (Spain)
The East Pointers (Canada)
Throes + The Shine (Angola/Portugal)
Trad.Attack! (Estonia)
Trio Da Kali (Mali)
Tulegur (China)
United Vibrations (UK)
Vassvik (Norway)

More showcase artists, as well as additional film and conference program will be announced in the following weeks.

more at


Entrancing Georgian Polyphony

Ensemble Marani - Polyphonies de Géorgie
Ensemble Marani – Polyphonies de Géorgie

Ensemble Marani – Polyphonies de Géorgie (Buda Musique, 2016)

Polyphonies de Géorgie is the new album by the Franco-Georgian men’s choir The Marani Ensemble. The choir, based in Paris is dedicated to Georgian polyphony, one of the most fascinating vocal traditions in the world.

Georgian music has fascinated travelers for centuries. The style features high, middle and bass voices with melodies that provide captivating interplay.
The Marani Ensemble includes vocalists from the nation of Georgia as well as French singers. The ensemble was founded in 1993 and the repertoire include traditional folk songs as well as sacred chants.

The ensemble’s current artistic director is Tariel Vatchadzé, who plays panduri (three-string plucked lute) and chuniri (bowed instrument). The vocalists are: Boris Herzbojn, Davit Kveselava, Sergi Kveselava, Bertrand Lambolez, Nicolas Leguet, Bernard Odot, Craig Schaffer, Laurent Stephan, Irakli Sulukhia, and Pierluigi Tomasi. Giorgi Davitashvili plays doli (drum).

The CD booklet comes with liner notes in English, French and Georgian.

Buy the digital version of Polyphonies de Géorgie

Buy the Polyphonies de Géorgie CD.


Artist Profiles: Adama Yalomba

Adama Yalomba
Adama Yalomba

Malian musician Adama Yalomba was born in Bamako in 1970. He plays guitar, n’goni and dan. He became known to western audiences in 2003 thanks to the CD Buy Festival in the Desert 2003.

His album Kassa, the first one distributed outside Africa, was recorded in Bogolan Studio in Bamako in 2007. Bogolan is the most famous studio in western Africa where the late Ali Farka Toure, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bjork as well as Tinariwen have recorded.

Yalomba’s reputation earned him the respect of well-known fellow musicians, several of whom appeared on the CD: Toumani Diabate, Cheick-Tidiane Seck, Rokia Traore and n’goni virtuoso Bassekou Kouyate.


Enchanting Love Songs from Sicily

Gera Bertolone - La Sicilienne
Gera Bertolone – La Sicilienne

Gera Bertolone – La Sicilienne (Sonora Recordings SRC001, 2015)

La Sicilienne celebrates the traditional music of Sicily. Vocalist Gera Bertolone grew up in a medieval town in the center of Sicily and has been researching traditional vocal music from her region for many years. La Sicilienne keeps arrangements down-to-earth, with Gera on vocals and clarinet and her colleague Rares Morarescu on guitar, violin and mandolin.

Gera Bertolone began studying music and playing the clarinet at the age of 7. It was after adolescence when became interested in traditional music. While studying musicology and Ethnomusicology at the University of Palermo, she started singing in one of the college labs, called “Aglaia.”

In 2009, Gera moved to Paris where she is studying ethnomusicology at the University of Paris. There, she continues her research on vocal traditional music, especially from Sicily.

La Sicilienne (The Sicilian Girl) is dedicated entirely to Sicilian love songs. It’s a noteworthy album featuring the striking, expressive vocals of Gera Bertolone.

Buy the digital version of La Sicilienne


Suma Flamenca Festival 2016 Announces Second Week Schedule

Pedro el Granaino  - Photo by Leo Sánchez
Pedro el Granaino – Photo by Leo Sánchez

One of the most important events of the flamenco summit festival will take place during the second week of Suma Flamenca 2016. The festival, organized by the Madrid Regional government, will celebrate the Night of San Juan on June 24 with concerts in three spectacular gardens: Lazaro Galdiano Museum, Museum of Costumes and the Museo Casa de Lope de Vega in Madrid. the audiences will be able to enjoy performances in an itimate ssetting in these iconic locations.

Suma Flamenca 2016 includes workshops and music and dance lessons with the dancer Farruquito, at the Royal Theatre; saxophonist Jorge Pardo, guitarist El Entri, the cajoneros Lucky Losada and Piraña, at the Canal Dance Center. These activities are free to the public, prior registration online. In addition, there will be a conference on guitar given by José Manuel Gamboa in the Canal Theatre of Madrid.

‘La Noche Canalla’ (The Scoundrel Night) continues at Cafe Berlin with artists like Los Rubios and Jorge Pardo. In this series both locals and visitors can continue to enjoy “Flamenco Jam Sessions” one of the most innovative proposals for this edition.

Fiddler Paco Montalvo, singer Saúl Quirós, musicians Josemi Carmona and Javier Colina, Rancapino Chico and La Macanita Jesus Mendez, singer David Lagos and flutist Juan Parrilla complete the lineup for the second week of the festival.

The XI edition of Suma Flamenca festival started on June 15 and will end on July 3.

Farruquito, Master class
Monday, June 20, 17:00 h.
Teatro Real, rehearsal room (Madrid)
Free admission, pre-registration online

Josemi Carmona & Javier Colina, Close Up
Thursday, June 23, 20:00.
Sala Berlanga (Madrid)
Price: 8 €

Pedro El Granaino, Earth
Friday, June 24, 22:30 h.
Costume Museum (Madrid)
Free admission until seats are full

Saúl Quirós, Flamenco concert
Friday, June 24, 22:00 h.
Casa Museo Lope de Vega (Madrid)
Free admission prior advance booking (limited 30 seats)

Rancapino Chico & The Macanita, Flamenco concert
Friday, June 24, 21:00 h.
Lazaro Galdiano Museum (Madrid)
Free admission until seats are full

Jesus Mendez, Flamenco concert
Friday, June 24, 20:00.
Sala Berlanga (Madrid)
Price: 8 €

Los Rubios, Familia “Los Rubios de Madrid”
Friday, June 24, 23:00 h.
Café Berlin (Madrid)
Price: 12 €

José Manuel Gamboa, guitar Conference
Saturday, June 25, 10:00.
Teatros del Canal, Canal Dance Center (Madrid)
Free admission, pre-registration online

Juan Parrilla, Presentation album Taxdirt
Saturday, June 25, 20:00.
Sala Berlanga (Madrid)
Price: 8 €

Jorge Pardo, Djinn Metaflamenco
Saturday, June 25, 23:00 h.
Café Berlin (Madrid)
Price: 12 €

Jorge Pardo, Master class
Saturday, June 25, 14:00.
Teatros del Canal, Canal Dance Center (Madrid)
Free admission, pre-registration online

The Entri, Master class
Saturday, June 25, 13:00.
Teatros del Canal, Canal Dance Center (Madrid)
Free admission, pre-registration online

Lucky Losada, Master class
Saturday, June 25, 12:00.
Teatros del Canal, Canal Dance Center (Madrid)
Free admission, pre-registration online

Piranha, Master class
Saturday, June 25, 11:00 am.
Teatros del Canal, Canal Dance Center (Madrid)
Free admission, pre-registration online

Paco Montalvo, Alma flamenco violin
Saturday, June 25, 20:00.
Real Coliseum Carlos III (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid)
Price: 11-16 €

David Lagos, flamenco concert
Sunday, June 26, 20:00.
Real Coliseum Carlos III (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid)
Price: 11-16 €


Formidable A Cappella Songs from South Africa

Various Artists - Best of African Mbube
Various Artists – Best of African Mbube

Insingizi, Black Umfolosi, Iyasa, Afrika Mamas, Amadaduzo and Blessings Nqo – Best of African Mbube (Arc Music EUCD 2643, 2016)

In the seminal text, “Tristes Tropiques,” Claude Lévi-Strauss argued that the “savage” mind has the same structures as the “civilized” mind and that human characteristics are the same everywhere. His thoughts have proven useful to anthropologists and sociologists for several decades now in dividing societies and communities into perspective-based subgroups for analysis. He is also a good ally for world music listeners, who require some interpretational basis that transcends unique cultures and different languages.

“Mbube” means “lion,” in Zulu. Zulu culture venerates hunting and fighting prowess, as opposed to agricultural skills. When 20th Century realities forced the sons and grandsons of revered warriors to seek livelihood in coal mines and industrial settings, they became strongly interested in retaining the core of their culture in song.

Poor men living in camps or semi-permanent hostels had few instrumental resources, but had one another’s voices, and so a musical form built on loud and powerful a cappella four part harmony, accompanied by dancing, evolved. When Solomon Linda improvised the first 15 notes of a song called “Mbube” during a 1939 recording session with the Evening Birds, the subgenre’s formal framework was defined.

Most listeners will not know exactly what the artists on “Best of African Mbube” are singing about on most of the release’s 20 selections, but will recognize that they are celebrating heroes and celebrating as heroes.

That upbeat attitude is something to seek, enjoy and share. This record and releases by the artists represented on it are very much worth adding to one’s music collection.

Buy Best of African Mbube


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