Malian guitar maestro Vieux Farka Touré is set to perform Saturday, October 1, 2016 at (Le) Poisson Rouge. This concert will mark the beginning of the World Music Institute’s Desert Blues concert series.
Vieux Farka Touré is the son of legendary Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré, the artist mainly responsible for introducing Africa’s desert blues tradition to audiences around the world.
Guitarist and singer Abdoulaye Diabaté (also known as Abdoulaye “Djoss” Diabaté and Djoss Diabaté) was born in Kela, Mali, to the Diabaté family. A clan renowned as battlefield jelis (griots); they would accompany the warriors in battle to recount what took place. They are reputed as powerful vocalists.
Raised in the heart of the Mande tradition, Abdoulaye spent two decades performing contemporary and traditional music. His career led him to a fusion of these styles. In 1973 he joined the Tenetemba Jazz in Bamako, Mali. Later still, he was noted as the lead singer of the Koule Star Band of Kuchala.
In 1975 he moved to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where he formed his group: Super Mande in which some of the greatest luminaries of West African music circulated as band members: Salif Keita, Mory Kante, Kante Manfila, Ousmane Kouyate and many more. In 1978, Super Mande released its first recording: Wahabia-Ke Daschi. The album was banned from airplay because the title song criticized some “marabout” religious leaders.
In 1992, he joined the famous Ballets Koteba as a singer and guitarist and toured the world playing guitar with Les Go de Koteba.
In New York since 1996, he was noted in 2002 as one of the stars of the Smithsonian Folkways compilation: Badenya, Manden Jaliya in New York City, he was featured on the cover of the album.
Since then, he has made collaborations with jazzmen Don Byron and Peter Apfelbaum and with guitarist-journalist Banning Eyre.
In 2005, under the name Djoss Diabate, he released his first American album: Haklima.
Abdoulaye Diabaté is a member of several New York City world music and African jazz collectives and bands, including Fula Flute and Source.
We reviewed the first edition of Fela – Kalakuta Notes in 2009. A second expanded edition was published in 2015 by Wesleyan University Press.
In this second edition, British-Ghanaian musician and author Collins has extended the original introduction by providing crucial context for popular music in Africa in the 1960s and the influences on Fela Kuti’s music and politics. The 1960s was a time of independence and change for many African nations, including Nigeria.
Another addition to the original book is a new closing chapter, where Collins discusses the legacy of Fela: the international spread of Afrobeat; Fela’s musical children, Femi and Seun Kuti; the Kalakuta Museum; and the annual Felabrations held in Nigeria, North America and Europe.
The discography has been updated by Ronnie Graham. Also, there’s a timeline; and historical photographs.
Lastly, the new edition includes a foreword by Banning Eyre, senior editor of American syndicated radio show Afropop Worldwide.
As indicated in our previous review of the book, Fela: Kalakuta Notes is an essential read. Fela Kuti was a highly influential musician who developed a new musical genre, Afrobeat that has spread throughout the world. His music and political activism have influenced numerous individuals throughout the world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.