All posts by Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel co-produced "Musica NA", a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. He was also the executive producer of the first Latino feature film made in North Carolina titled "Los sueños de Angélica.".

Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal to perform at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro

Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal

 

Malian kora maestro Ballaké Sissoko and French cello virtuoso Vincent Segal are set to perform on Tuesday February 28 at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina.

The two musicians have developed a distinctive hybrid musical style that mixes traditional West African and European Baroque music.

The duo released a remarkable debut album titled Chamber Music, released in North America in 2011. Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal continued the collaboration in 2015 with Musique du Nuit.

 

 

Tuesday February 28 at 8 PM
The ArtsCenter, 300-G E. Main Street, Carrboro, NC.

Tickets for this show are $22. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit artscenterlive.org or call the Box Office at (919) 929-2787.

Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal will start their North American tour tomorrow. Tour dates:

Feb. 23, Berea College, Berea KY
Feb. 24, University of VT, Burlington VT
Feb. 25, Palais Montcalm, Quebec
Feb. 26, Le Gesu, Montreal
Feb. 28, The Arts Center, Carrboro NC
March 1, The Barns at Wolftrap Vienna
March 3, French Institute Alliance, New York NY
March 4, Villa Victoria, Boston, MA
March 5, North Beach Band Shell, Miami Beach
March 8, Old Town School of Folk, Chicago IL
March 9, Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis MN

Share

The Marley Brothers to Perform Together at Kaya Fest in Miami

Kaya Fest, an all-day musical event, will take place April 22 in Miami at Bayfront Park Amphitheater. The headliners are The Marleys: Ziggy, Damian, Stephen, Ky Mani with special guest Miss Lauryn Hill. Also performing are Sean Paul, Wycleff Jean, Inner Circle, Jo Mersa Marley, Skip Marley, Shacia Payne, and more to be announced.

In addition to great reggae music, Kaya Fest will focus on creating public awareness on the many uses of the cannabis plant. On April 21st the organizers have scheduled a free symposium with a panel of experts in the field of medical and industrial cannabis as well as the regulation aspects of the plant.

Medical Cannabis has recently been legalized in the state of Florida. The many health benefits of the cannabis plant have been reported to include treatment of glaucoma, control epileptic seizures, stop cancer from spreading, slow progression of Alzheimer’s disease, ease pain of multiple sclerosis, discomfort of arthritis, treatment of Lupus and Crohn’s disease.

Bayfront Park Amphitheater
301 North Biscayne Blvd, Downtown, Miami
Gates: Open 1:00pm

More at http://kayafestivals.com

Share

Acclaimed Mauritanian Musician Noura Mint Seymali to Perform in Philadelphia

Noura Mint Seymali

Crossroads Music will present Noura Mint Seymali, one of the leading acts from Mauritania, on Sunday, February 26, 2017.

Noura is a skilled ardin (a 9-string harp reserved only for women) player and vocalist. Her band features the psychedelic guitar lines delivered by her husband Jeiche Ould Chighaly.

The current band features a powerful rhythm section, composed of Ousmane Touré on bass and Matthew Tinari on drums. Noura Mint Seymali released Tzenni, her first full-length album widely available to international audiences in 2014. It was followed by Arbina in 2016.

7:30 pm
801 South 48th Street, Philadelphia

Share

Artist Profiles: Karan Casey

Karan Casey – Photo by Robert Hakalski

As a member of Solas for several years, Karan Casey has been critically acclaimed from Japan to the United States as one of Ireland’s greatest singers.

In 1993 Karan emigrated to New York City and began a jazz degree in Brooklyn’s Long Island University. Making the rounds of the sessions in New York she was asked to join Atlantic Bridge. Later she joined Seamus Egan, Winifred Horan, John Doyle and John Williams to form the group Solas.

The band recorded three albums in just four years, and won NAIRD (former independent record industry association) indie awards for each. They played with Bela Fleck, Iris De Ment, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, The Chieftains, Donal Lunny, Sharon Shannon and Paul Winter while touring extensively in the United States, Europe and Japan.

Karan Casey’s solo career has flourished since her separation from the band Solas. Casey’s voice is among the most beautiful in Irish folk music, and she is a wonderful interpreter of both contemporary and traditional material. Her use of grace notes and vibrato has become remarkably subtle.

Her album Chasing the Sun successfully combines traditional but sharp-tongued songs – such as the epic unaccompanied ballad “Jimmy Whelan” – with contemporary material that reflects Casey’s rising status as one of Ireland’s most politically-charged singers.

Her own compositions reveal increasing confidence and incisive social awareness, not least “When Will We All Be Free”, which attacked Ireland’s policies on immigration.

Karan Casey won awards for ‘Best Folk Album’ and ‘Best Folk Female’ from Irish Music magazine and was nominated for the BBC Folk Awards and the Danish music awards. She has performed on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion on public radio in the United States, and appeared at many prestigious venues and festivals.

Discography

Solas (Shanachie, 1996)

Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers, with Solas (Shanachie, 1997)

Songlines (Shanachie, 1997)

The Words That Remain, with Solas (Shanachie, 1998)

Seal Maiden (Music Little People, 2000)

The Winds Begin to Sing (Shanachie, 2001)

Distant Shore (Shanachie, 2003)

Chasing the Sun (Shanachie, 2005)

Reunion: A Decade of Solas, CD & DVD, with Solas (2006)

Ships in the Forest (Compass Records, 2008)

Two More Hours (2014)

Share

Enthralling Tenbur and Zaza Music

Cemîl Qoçgîrî – Zalâl (Ahenk, 2016)

Zalâl is the fifth album by German multi-instrumentalist and composer Cemîl Qoçgîrî. Cemîl is one of the finest performers of the tenbur (tenbûr), a Kurdish long-necked lute that is related to the saz.

On Zalâl, Cemîl Qoçgîrî combines ancient Anatolian musical influences with western chamber musical forms. He also uses rare Zazaki vocals. Zazaki (also known as Zaza, Kirmanjki and Dimli) is used by the Zaza Kurds in eastern Turkey and is one of the oldest languages in Mesopotamia. The Zazaki language has been classified by UNESCO as a “language threatened with extinction“.

When language, music, art and culture are lost, the understanding and communication between peoples are lost as well,” says Cemîl Qoçgîrî.

The lineup on Zalâl includes Cemîl Qoçgîrî on tenbur, guitar, and percussion; Mikaîl Aslan on qirnata; Susanne Hirsch on cello; Manuel Lohnes on bass; Eser Baki on tenbur; Nure Dovlanî on violin; Ben Neubrech on guitar; Andre Nendza on bass; Kadir Doğan on percussion; Elif Gökdemir on flute; and Tolga Keleşm on zirne.

The CD booklet contains lyrics in Zazaki with English-language translations as well as biographical information about Cemîl Qoçgîrî.

Zalâl is a beautifully-crafted album that contains mesmerizing performances on the tenbur and the warm vocals of Cemîl Qoçgîrî.

Share

Artist Profiles: Cemîl Qoçgîrî

Cemîl Qoçgîrî

Composer and tenbur maestro Cemîl Qoçgîrî was born in 1980 in Duisburg, Germany. He’s part of a Kurdish-Alevi (Qizilbash) family from the region of Qoçgîrî in northern Dersim in eastern Anatolia. Cemîl Qoçgîrî currently lives in Mainz, Germany.

Alevism/Qizilbash is considered to be the continuation of ancient Anatolian-Mesopotamian belief systems, primarily Zoroastrianism. The tenbur (long-necked lute), the principal instrument played by Cemîl Qoçgîrî is fundamental to this musical heritage, not just as a musical instrument, but it is also deemed sacred by the Alevis.

Cemîl Qoçgîrî has incessantly worked on his own music projects and in 2004 published his first solo album “Ask-i Pervaz”.

In 2005, Cemil travelled throughout Dersim to capture on film perhaps the last living authentic dervishes. These travels were portrayed in a musical documentary titled “Sarraf.”

Cemîl Qoçgîrî released his second album “Heya – Songs of the Qizilbash” in 2007.

The third album “Hiva Zeri – Golden Moon” came out in 2012 and the fourth album, Tembur & Harp, was released in 2015 by Sony Music Classical.

Cemîl Qoçgîrî also took part in the acclaimed Hawniyaz project with Aynur, Kayhan Kalhor and Salman Gambarov. This album was released by Harmonia Mundi Latitudes in July 2016 and received the German Record Critics Award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik).

In addition to his solo projects, Cemil Qocgirî also produces and arranges film music as well as audio CD-productions with various renowned artists. He has collaborated with Aynur , Kinan Azmeh, Kayhan Kalhor, NDR Bigband, Morgenland Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Blazers Ensemble, Mikail Aslan, Erkan Ogur, Salman Gambarov, and Tara Jaff.

Cemîl Qoçgîrî’s fifth solo album Zalâl was released in 2016. It features songs in the endangered Zaza language.

Discography

Ask-I Pervaz (Etno Music, 2005)
Heya – Songs of the Qizilbash (Kalan Music, 2007)
Rewend, with Aynur (Sony Music, 2010)
Hiva Zeri -Golden Moon (Ahenk Music, 2012)
Tembur & Harp (Sony Music, 2015)
Hawniyaz with Aynur, Kayhan Kalhor, Salman Gambarov (Harmonia Mundi Latitudes, 2016)
Zalâl (Ahenk, 2016)

Share

Artist Profiles: Justin Adams

Justin Adams – Photography by York Tillyer 2009 Real World Records

Justin Adams is one the UK’s most original and inspirational guitarists, lending his talents to such artists as Jah Wobble, Sinead O’Connor, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, and Robert Plant’s band The Strange Sensations.

Adams spent his youth living and traveling in the Middle East and North Africa. “My original love when I was young was The Clash and dub reggae,” says Justin. “I like to keep things raw and swinging – so it never gets too pristine or too sweet. I love listening to cassettes of Moroccan music and Algerian music. I like trancey, circular rhythms and voices that are in between pleasure and pain, where it’s bittersweet.”

A restless musical traveler, Adams’ solo debut http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006AE2R?ieUTF8&tagmusidelmund-20&linkCodexm2&camp1789&creativeASINB00006AE2R | Desert Road (World Village) created a dub-wise atmospheric soundscape filled with swaying grooves and parched tones that invoke desert landscapes, Arizona or Sahara — an ancient/contemporary Moorish blues with echoes of the call to prayer and African trance.

One of Justin Adam’s most important projects is his collaboration with Gambian musician Juldeh Camara. The connection was sparked by a phone call out of the blue from an excited Camara. “A friend gave me a copy of Justin’s CD and I took it with me in Gambia. When I got there I was playing the riti and trying to follow what he was playing. I was feeling it in my body. When I got to the UK, I got his number and called him. I said, ‘I heard your stuff. This style you play is very, very connected with my spirit.” Then over the phone Camara whipped out a few licks on his riti and the kologo, which he had picked up from Ghanaian musician Atongo Zimba, and Adams “went crazy” on the other end of the line. They were soon jamming and recording together.

Justin and Juldeh have been playing together since 2007, following the release of the critically acclaimed “Soul Science” in 2007 (winner of the BBC Radio 3 World Music Award in the Crossing Continents category), touring at festivals in Siberia, Mexico City, Morocco and the WOMAD festival. The touring experience has clearly brought them closer together as musicians and added to the unique nature of their musical style. “At certain soundchecks I’d start playing something and Juldeh would rush over and say ‘…keep playing that! We’ve got to play that tonight!’ Juldeh would record things on his mobile phone – so that’s they way we came up with a lot of material,” explains Justin.

In 2011, Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara formed a new band called JuJu. The band is characterized by trance-like rhythms from traditional Africa, jazz and the wilder side of rock.

Discography

* Desert Road (World Village, 2002)
* Soul Science (2007)
* Tell No Lies (2009)
* In Trance (Real World Records, 2011)

Share

Artist Profiles: Julio A. Santillan

Julio A. Santillan – Photo by Pablo Leoni

Julio A. Santillán is a composer and guitarist originally from Tucuman, Argentina. His compositions combine elements from his home land folk music, jazz improvisation and classical music.

He has studied classical guitar at Instituto Superior de Musica (Argentina) under the direction of maestro Pablo Gonzalez Jasey. He graduated summa cum laude with a dual major in Classical Composition and Contemporary Writing and Production from Berklee College of Music (Boston, USA). He also studied jazz improvisation with Mick Goodrick.

Santillan received the 2004 Van Lier Fellowship, ASACPlus Award, Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, the Arif Mardin Award and the Contemporary Writing and Production Achievement Award.

As a composer/arranger he has produced music for documentary films, theater, recordings and live performances for artists around the world. Recently, Argentine virtuoso guitarist Victor Villadangos, has included guitar studies from Julio’s Book Cinco Estudios Criollos in his latest CD Guitar Music from Argentina vol. II (Naxos).

Julio also produced Colombian singer Marta Gomez’s Cantos de Agua Dulce, Entre Cada Palabra (Chesky Records) and La Ronda- Women of Latin America, Paula Ausente- Women of the World (Putumayo Records).

He has recorded and performed with many musicians from Argentina, Boston and New York including Oscar Stagnaro (Paquito D’Rivera), Livingston Taylor, Raul Carnota and Sandra Mihanovich.

Santillan has shared the stage with important artists such as Mercedes Sosa, John Mayer, Pablo Ziegler (Astor Piazzolla), Paquito D’Rivera, Bonnie Raitt, Tania Libertad, Diana Krall and Leon Gieco. He has performed and gave workshops in Argentina, Colombia, Finland, Greece, Canada and in more than fifty cities in the U.S. including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, Dallas and Washington D.C.

Julio A. Santillan has recorded over 30 CDs, including a play-along CD for The Latin Bass Book (Sher Music, by Oscar Stagnaro), two albums with the Pablo Ablanedo Octet (Freshsound records), four cds with Marta Gomez (BigSur records /Chesky Records)- one of which was chosen among the best 10 records of 2003 by the Boston Globe- and one by tango diva Katie Viqueira (Freshsound records)- Independent Music Award winner, 2005 best World Music Album.

Santillan led for almost 10 years Los Changos (trio & septet); an ensemble that performed his own compositions. The group has been featured in some of the most prestigious venues in the U.S. such as Blue Note (New York) and Regattabar (Boston).

Los Changos toured South America in four opportunities. At the moment Julio is working with a brand new project: the Julio Santillan Trio. He has released four cds with his compositions: Desde el Norte, Anit Negra, Nann and El Bosque de la Memoria (BigSur Records- CAP Records).

He was a faculty member at Manhattan College 2004-2009. Later he moved to Spain where he worked at a music school until 2012. He’s currently the director of the Orquesta-Escuela de Chascomús in buenos Aires.

Discography

Desde el Norte (Big Sur Records, 2001)
Anit Negra (Big Sur Records, 2003)
Nann (Big Sur Records, 2005)
El Bosque de la Memoria (Big Sur Records, 2008)
Argentinian Jazz in New York (Big Sur Records, 2009)
Un instante (Big Sur Records, 2011)
Meia laranja (Big Sur Records, 2012)
Va place tango? (Big Sur Records, 2015)

Bibliography

Cinco Estudios Criollos, a book with five studies for guitar based on Argentine folk rhythms (chacarera, milonga, cueca, guarania and malambo).

Website: www.juliosantillan.com

Share

Artist Profiles: Julie Fowlis

Julie Fowlis – Photo by Ashley Coombs

Julie Fowlis grew up in North Uist, a small island in the Hebrides, in a Gaelic speaking community, and has been involved in singing, piping and dancing since she was a tot. She is a member of the successful Scottish sextet, Dochas, who were voted winners of Best Newcomer Award at the Scots Trad Music Awards 2004. Having toured extensively, and after releasing two albums, Dochas are widely considered as one of the most exciting and dynamic young bands in Scotland today.

In 2005, Julie released her debut solo album, Mar a Tha Mo Chridhe (As My Heart Is), which immediately launched her music career into an exciting new direction. She was named Gaelic Singer of the Year at the 2005 Scottish Traditional Music awards and was nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Horizon Award.

Her good nature, natural charm and energy on the stage makes her a popular performer, and this is evident in her busy touring schedule, which included a prestigious Showcase concert at the Cambridge Folk Festival in 2005, Julie being the first ever Gaelic artist to perform at a Showcase slot.

Before any of this, Julie was already quietly making a name for herself as soloist. In 2003, she was invited to be part of a special project Gluaiseachd a Chuain Siar which showcased singers such as Maighread and Triona Nic Dhomhnaill, Alyth McCormack, Mary Jane Lamond, Mary Smith and Julie Murphy.

She was also selected as part of the Celtic Connections ‘Master and Apprentice’ series, where she performed with Arthur Cormack. Julie’s reputation as a singer was confirmed when she was named Winner of the prestigious Pan-Celtic Sean-Nos singing competition in 2004, which took place in Tralee, Ireland.

As well as appearing on numerous Gaelic Television Programs such as Tacsi, Failte, An t-Urlar Ur, Air an Urlar, Ceol, Ceilraidh and D? a-nis, Julie has also been involved in numerous musical commissions – three by Mark Sheridan, The Curve of the Earth (performed at Celtic Connections 2002 and the Festival Interceltique de Lorient 2002), The Evangelists, which has been performed three times since 2002 and When They Lay Bare, an Opera Ballad which was performed over three nights in the Tramway Theatre at Celtic Connections 2003.

She was also involved in Maggie’s MacInnes’ Commission, A Woman’s Song in 2004 and in the musical settings of Sunset Song and Cloud Howe by Wendy Wetherby in 2004 and 2005.

Discography

* Dòchas, with Dòchas (2002)
* An Darna Umhail, with Dòchas (2005)
* Mar a Tha Mo Chridhe (Spit & Polish, 2005)
* Cuilidh (Spit & Polish, 2007)
* Dual, with Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh (Machair Records, 2008)
* Uam (Spit & Polish, 2010)
* Live at Perthshire Amber (2011)
* Gach sgeul – Every story (2014)

Share

Artist Profiles: Juan José Mosalini

Juan José Mosalini

Bandoneonist and master of the complex Argentine tango, maestro Juan José Mosalini was born in 1943 into a craftsman’s family who were passionate about music.

Juan Jose Mosalini started playing the bandoneon at the age of eight. Through his father’s influence, he absorbed the popular, traditional music of Argentina.
The young Mosalini was a professional musician by the time he was 17, after winning first prize in a competition “Nace una estrella” (A star is born) organized by Buenos Aires Television in 1961.

From 1962 to 1976, he composed, arranged, played and accompanied, working with the greatest orchestras and soloists in Argentina, including Astor Piazzolla, with whom he became close friend. During this period he founded the Guardia Nueva Quintet, which was to be one of the richest and must original experiences of the avant-garde tango phenomenon.

In 1977 he chose France as his new musical home, where he started to work with other Argentinean musicians. He formed the group Tiempo Argentino, which was received enthusiastically by the press. They completed several European tours and appeared at major Parisian venues, including the Palais des Arts and l’Olympia.

In 1978, in an innovative and experimental mode, Juan Jose Mosalini made a recording of solo bandoneon music. The recording (prefaced by Julio Codézar) revealed a musician in true dialogue with his instrument, delivering a blend of poetry and virtuosity. It was unanimously well reviewed and established Mosalini as a major artist.

In 1980, he founded a new ensemble, Canyengue, and then in 1982 the celebrated Mosalini-Beytelmann-Caratini Trio (bandoneon/piano/double bass), who went on to tour every continent, becoming particularly popular in the United States.

In 1983 Juan Jose Mosalini made a CD “Bordona” with the Trio, and in the following year he took part in the World Music Meeting in Baden-Baden as representative of Argentina, which also resulted in the recording of a CD.

Juan Jose Mosalini subsequently composed the music for a number of films, including “Double Face” and “Le Quatrième Pouvoir” by Serge Leroy, and two by director Stéphane Kurc: “Le Génie du faux” and “Un Coeur de marbre”, a four-part film for French television. At this time he also began to write a bandoneon method, commissioned by the French Minister of Culture.

1987 saw the release of “Imagenes” Trio’s second CD, on the “Label Bleu”, and in 1988 Juan Jose Mosalini started working on a Bandoneon Collection for music publishers Henry Lemoine. In 1989, he inaugurated the first European bandoneon course at the Gennevilliers Conservatory in Paris, where he has been teaching ever since.

With the flautist Enzo Gieco, and guitarist Atahualpa Yupanqui writing the libretto, he composed the cantata ‘La Parole Sacrée’, which had its first performance on June 21, 1989 at the Palais des Congrès in Nanterre, as part of the celebrations on the Bicentenary of the French Revolution.

In 1992 Juan Jose Mosalini started his Grand Orchestre de Tango, which has since appeared all over the world : Japan, USA (February 98, July 99 at the Hollywood Bowl), Sicily, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway ( several times from 1994 to 2000), Belgium, Canada (Montreal, Toronto), Greece (at the Megaron, Athens), Switzerland, Tunisia, and in France. He also released his second solo album, “Che Bandoneon”, and composed “Casi un Tango” (state commissioned).

In 1993 he toured Germany with the guitarist Roberto Aussel, and wrote compositions for tango orchestra and children’s choir with Enzo Gieco. In 1994 the Grand Orchestre de Tango released the CD ‘Bordoneo y 900″. Mosalini formed a quintet in the same year with the violinist Antonio Agri, and after Agri’s death, with his son Pablo Agri. The quintet appeared with great success in Japan, England and France.

His 1999 composition “Paris-Tango”, a choral poem on the words of Horacio Ferrer, in an arrangement by guitarist Leonardo Sénchez, had its debut with the Victoria Regional Choir under the baton of Michel Piquemal.

His passion for music in all its forms has brought him to work closely with classical musicians, leading to the discovery of a vast and perfectly adapted repertoire, particularly with string orchestra and symphony orchestra. Juan Jose Mosalini has played as soloist with the Enesco Quarter, the Orchestra de Picardie, the Orchestra National de Lille, the Orchestra National Bordeaux-Aquitaine, the Orchestra of Hong Kong, Spring Festival), the Bourgogne Camerata, the Orchestre de Radio-France, the Symphony Orchestra of Munich.

He recorded with Bass Normandie’s orchestra and the guitarist Leonardo Sanchez his own creation named “Outdoor and Urban Fantasies”.

At the ‘Buenos Aires Tango” Festival, Juan Jose Mosalini was awarded the Buenos Aires City Medal, in recognition of his work in the dissemination of Argentinean music throughout the world.

He recorded an album for the label Mañana, with the Strings Quartet Benaim named “Classic and Modern”, with Gustavo Beytelmann’s original compositions.

Discography

* Violento (Label Bleu Indigo, 1990)
* Che bandoneón (Label Bleu Indigo, 1992)
* Bordoneo y 900 (Label Bleu Indigo, 1994)
* One Man’s Tango: Best of Mosalini (Shanachie, 1998)
* Tango (Label Bleu Indigo, 2001)
* Imagenes (Acqua, 2008)
* Live Tango (Phantom Sound & Vision, 2008)
* Ciudad Triste (2009)

Share