Bavarian Dancefloor Beats

Stefan Straubinger with SpuimaNovas – Tanzboden Grooves 2016

Stefan Straubinger with SpuimaNovas – Tanzboden Grooves 2016 (Galileo GMV067, 2016)

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Stefan Straubinger supported by the SpuimaNovas group, a collective of musicians led by Eva and Stefan Straubinger. Their new album, Tanzboden Grooves 2016, is a quirky mix of traditional Bavarian music, tango, polka, samba, landler music, Breton folk music, cha cha cha, and much more.
The musical instruments used include familiar elements like saxophone, violin, trumpet, drums and bass, along with unexpected instruments such as bagpipes and hurdy gurdy. The overall result is a selection of folk-rooted pieces and dance or party songs.

The album lineup includes Stefan Straubinger on hurdy gurdy, bandoneon and vocals; Eva Straubinger on dudelsack (bagpipe), recorder, clarinet and vocals; Dominik Straubinger on violin; Fridolin Straubinger on trombone; Markus Heinze on cornet, baritone and alto saxophone; Philip Unterreiner on E-Guitar and vocals; Max Flossmann on acoustic bass; Leonie Sobek on drums; and Ludwig Himpsl on percussion.

Buy the Tanzboden Grooves 2016 CD

Buy the digital download version of Tanzboden Grooves


The Recording Academy Announces 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards nominees for Best Tropical Latin Album

The Recording Academy announced today the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards nominees for Best Tropical Latin Album.

Conexión by Fonseca (Sony Music Entertainment US Latin)

Fonseca – Conexión


La Fantasia Homenaje A Juan Formell by Formell Y Los Van Van (EGREM)

Formell Y Los Van Van – La Fantasia Homenaje A Juan Formell


35 Aniversario by Grupo Niche (Niche Business Enterprises)

Grupo Niche – 35 Aniversario


La Sonora Santanera En Su 60 Aniversario by La Sonora Santanera (Sony Music Entertainment México)

La Sonora Santanera – La Sonora Santanera En Su 60 Aniversario


¿Donde Están? By Jose Lugo & Guasábara Combo (En Grande Music)

Jose Lugo & Guasábara Combo – ¿Donde Están?

Apollo You Sixteen

Karim Baggili - Apollo You Sixteen
Karim Baggili – Apollo You Sixteen

Karim Baggili – Apollo You Sixteen (Take the Bus, 2016)

Apollo You Sixteen is the title of the fifth album by Belgian multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and composer Karim Baggili. His music style is deeply influenced by flamenco and Arabic music. It’s a very vibrant form of world music mixing acoustic instruments with rock style drum set and electric bass as well as dance beats.

Karim Baggili’s main instruments are the flamenco guitar and the Arabic ud. His first instrument was the guitar. He bought his first ud at 20 during a trip to Jordan.

The musical pieces switch back and forth from high energy, high speed flamenco to Arabic rooted sounds plus some delightful laid back pieces with Spanish classical and jazz influences as contrast. There is one song “Exitimuse” that strays away from the rest, venturing into what I would define as Europop. Maybe they had commercial radio in mind.

The lineup on Apollo You Sixteen includes Karim Baggili on guitars, ud, vocals and bass; Youri Nanai on bass; Vivian Ladrière on percussion and drums; and Mohammed Al Mokhlis on violin. Guests featured: Karoline de la Serna on vocals; Silvano Macaluso on piano, keyboards and programming; Houssem Ben El Kadhi on kawala (cane flute); and Ahmed Khaili on darbuka.

Karim Baggili was born in Belgium in 1976 and has Jordanian and Yugoslav ancestry. He’s a self-taught guitarist. He started with the electric guitar at the age of 16. At 20, he learned flamenco guitar techniques and acquired his first ud. In 2000, Karim won the first prize at the “Open String Festival” in Osnabruck, Germany.

Karim works on numerous projects as a composer or arranger for albums, documentaries and short films.

His previous albums include Douar, Cuatro con Cuatro, Lea & Kash, and Kali City.


Buy the digital version of Apollo You Sixteen

Buy the Apollo You Sixteen CD


Ancient Future to Perform at Trinity Chapel

Ancient Future
Ancient Future

Pioneering world fusion act Ancient Future is set to perform on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at Trinity Chapel in Berkeley. The concert will feature guitarist Matthew Montfort, tabla master Vishal Nagar, and Mariah Parker on piano and santur.

Ancient Future combines world music traditions such as flamenco and Indian ragas with modern jazz and rock. The trio will perform new musical pieces along with favorites from the band’s eight recordings. The band’s discography includes Quiet Fire, Asian Fusion, Dreamchaser, Yearning for the Wind, Planet Passion, and World Without Walls.

Trinity Chamber Concerts
Trinity Chapel
2320 Dana Street between Bancroft Way & Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
Information and reservations: 510-778-1719


The Dandadda Releases Heart Attack Culture-clash Music Video

The Dandadda
The Dandadda

Brixton act The Dandadda, created by producer Dan Vinci, has developed a fabulous hybrid sound, mixing electronica, reggae and other genres. The single “Heart Attack” is now available on video. This is the first single in a series of releases The Dandadda is planning to publish in the near future.

“Heart Attack” is motivated by the hyper-gentrification of Brixton. Dan Vinci grew up in this culturally diverse English city. He’s worked with reggae musicians from early in his career. The Dandadda has also involved well-known names in the project, such as Horace Andy (Massive Attack), Earl 16 (UB40), Junior Dan (Gorillaz), John Holt and The Ragga Twins (Skrillex).


Artist Profiles: Dhafer Youssef

Dhafer Youssef
Dhafer Youssef

Dhafer Youssef is a creative ud (Arabic lute) player from Tunisia. He’s also an excellent vocalist and prolific composer. Youssef mixes traditional Sufi music, world music, and jazz influences with Arabic lyricism.

Dhafer Youssef was born November 19th, 1967 in Tebulba. The son of a modest family from this Tunisian fishing village, he comes from a
long line of muezzins. Although he received vocal training as a young boy, Dhafer became interested in the ud. He played it at the youth center in Tebulba, where he also discovered the electric bass and various rhythms.

Seeking new possibilities, Dhafer Youssef moved to Tunisia’s capital, Tunis. He enrolled in the musical conservatory at Nahj Zarkoun. Disappointed with his experience there, he moved to Austria to complete his musical training.

Vienna’s multicultural scene opened the door to new options. Dhafer studied musicology, but soon realized he was more interested in jazz and Indian music. He participated in numerous jam sessions and met Austrian percussionist Gerhard Reiter. The two musicians formed a band called Zeryab.

Dhafer Youssef - Photo by Wolfgang Gonaus
Dhafer Youssef – Photo by Wolfgang Gonaus

In 1996, Dhafer Youssef released his first album “Musafir” (The Traveler, in Arabic). This album was the result of an encounter with Anton Burger, Achim Tang, Jatinder Thakur and Otto Leichner. He presented this project at Porgy & Bess, the renowned Viennese club.

At Porgy & Bess he met Nguyen Lê, the French guitarist of Vietnamese origin and Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu who invites him to several performances throughout Europe.

In 1998, Dhafer released “Malak” (Enja Records). Three years later he recorded “Electric Sufi” (Enja Records), an album that featured Wolfgang Muthspiel on guitar, Markus Stockhausen on trumpet, Deepak Ram on bansuri, Dieter Ilg on bass, Mino Cinelu on percussion, Rodericke Packe on electronics, Will Calhoun on drums and Doug Wimbish on bass.

In 2003, Dhafer Youssef recorded “Digital Prophecy,” a world jazz symbiosis between the ud and electric instruments. This time, the lineup featured Scandinavian musicians: Nils Petter Molvaer on trumpet, Bugge Wesseltoft on piano, Eivind Aarset on guitar, Auden Erlien on electric bass, and Rune Arnesen on drums.
“Divine Shadows” came out in 2005, followed by “Abu Nawas Rhapsody” (2010) where he was accompanied by pianist Tigran Hamasyan, drummer Mark Giuliana and double bass player Chris Jennings.

In 2011, Dhafer invited Turkish clarinetist Hüsnü Senlendirici and kanun player Aytaç Dogan to a performance in Ludwigsburg (Germany). Inspired by this meeting, Dhafer Youssef released “Birds Requiem” (2013).

Dhafer returned to New York City in 2016, a city where he lived for a few years. There, he recorded “Diwan of Beauty and Odd” with New York jazz scene musicians: Aaron Parks on piano, Ben Williams on bass, Mark Guiliana on the drums and Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet.


Musafir (1996)
Malak (Enja, 1999)
Electric Sufi (Enja, 2001)
Digital Prophecy (Justin Time, 2003)
Exile, with Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble (Enja, 2003)
Odem, with Wolfgang Puschnig and Jatinder Thakur) (EmArcy, 2005)
Divine Shadows (Jazzland, 2006)
Homescape, with Nguyên Lê and Paolo Fresu (ACT, 2006)
Glow, with Wolfgang Muthspiel (Material, 2007)
Jo & Co, with Anna Maria Jopek (Universal Music Poland, 2008)
Latitudini – Omaggio Alla World Music, with Paolo Fresu and Eivind Aarset (Casa Del Jazz, 2008)
Abu Nawas Rhapsody (EmArcy, 2010)
Birds Requiem (Okeh, 2013)
Diwan of Beauty and Odd (Okeh, 2016)



Artist Profiles: Shankhachur Lahiri

Shankh Lahiri
Shankh Lahiri

Tabla performer Shankh Lahiri comes from a family with a strong tradition of Indian Classical Music and has fully devoted his life to this music. Son of the sitarist and Guru Shri Rabindranath Lahiri, he grew up in an environment imbued with the fragrance of Hindustani music.

As a child, Shankh Lahiri received intensive training in both vocal and tabla from his father and went on to graduate with a Sangeet Visharad in both subjects. Currently Shankh, as he is known in the fraternity, is the senior disciple of world-renowned tabla maestro Pandit Nayan Ghosh.

He has accompanied and toured with many reputed and leading artists such as Pt. Jasraj, Ustad Shujaat Khan, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Pt. Arati Ankalikar, Nayan Ghosh (sitar), Pt. Mukul Shivputra, Shri Rakesh Chaurasia and many more.

Aside from his own performing career, Shankh teaches students in Florida through his own organization, Shruti School of Music and the non-profit Shruti Foundation in Tampa.

Shankh is a member of world fusion band WAHH.


Artist Profiles: Venupuri Srinivas

Venupuri Srinivas
Venupuri Srinivas

M.R. Venupuri Srinivas started as a child prodigy, playing kanjira when he was only one year and eight months old, in Tirupathi. He gave his first concert in All India Radio when he was merely three years old.

Srinivas learned mridangam under legends Ramanathapuram C.S. Murugaboopathi and Trivandrum Mahadeva Iyer. He studied in Madras Music College under Thanjavur Srinivasan obtaining his master degree with distinction and a gold medal. He is an “A” grade artist from the Indian National Radio (All India Radio). He was honored with the respectable asthana vidwan of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.

Venupuri Srinivas has accompanied renowned artists like M.S. Subbulakshmi, M.L. Vasanthakumari, Madurai Somasundaram, Dr. Balamuralikrishna, Veenai Balachander, T.K. Govinda Rao, Maharajapuram Santhanam, T.N. Seshagopalan, Ravi Kiran, U. Srinivas, Neyveli Santhanagopalan, Hydrabad Brothers, T.N. Krishnan, N. Ramani and many more acclaimed artists.

Srinivas is in a fusion group with Louis Banks, Shankar Mahadevan, and Shiva Mani. In addition to mridangam, he plays other percussion instruments such as kanjira, ghatam, thavil, tabla, dholak and western instruments. He also performs konnakol.

Srinivas lives in Tampa, Florida and directs an institution called Navarasa Academy of Performing Arts


Artist Profiles: Arun Ramamurthy

Arun Ramamurthy
Arun Ramamurthy

Arun Ramamurthy is a multi-talented violinist who is making his mark in Indian Classical and World music. Trained in Carnatic (south Indian classical) music initially by the distinguished violinist Anantha Krishnan, and then later by the celebrated violin brothers, Dr. Mysore Manjunath & Sri Mysore Nagaraj, Arun has become one of the most in-demand violinists in the United States.

Arun performs traditional Carnatic and Hindustani music as well as fusion music.

Arun has performed with leading Indian Classical artists such as Padma Vibushan Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, Padmabushan Sudha Ragunathan, Sri T.N. Seshagopalan, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan, Subhankar Banerjee and more.


Jazz Carnatica (2014)


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