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.".

Flamenco Singer Argentina Brought by the Wind

Argentina

Flamenco rising star Argentina is set to perform her new show, The Winds That Bring Me Here, on Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 at Teatro Central in Seville, Spain.

In past years, Argentina has demonstrated that she is one of the finest new flamenco vocalists. Her discography includes her self-titled solo album Argentina, Las minas de Egipto, Un viaje por el cante, and Sinergia.

The concert lineup includes Argentina on vocals; José Quevedo Bolita and Eugenio Iglesias on guitars; and Torombo and Los Mellis on palmas (handclap percussion) and jaleos (shouts of encouragement).

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Niche-Focused Festival Boomtown Announces Ambitious 2017 Jazz and World Music Program

Boomtown will be showcasing some of the finest jazz and world music crossover acts from the UK. The festival takes place August 10th – 13th, 2017 at Matterley Estate – Winchester. Boomtown offers festivalgoers a fully immersive, theatrically-led experience with hundreds of actors who bring the nine uniquely themed musical districts to life.

The Windmill stage, which is part of the Whistlers Green district, will feature on Thursday one of the most prominent British DJ’s, BBC6 Music’s Gilles Peterson. He will showcase his extensive record collection in a set with selections varying from jazz to world music, afrobeat and beyond.

Remarkable loop pedal act Dub FX will be taking live improvisation to new strengths with a beatboxing, horn layering, vocal enhancing journey to entertain the eyes and ears.

Groundbreaking dub poet, writer, social commentator and music maker Benjamin Zephaniah will be serving a unique blend of truth music along with his Revolutionary Minds band.

Portico Quartet, who have released albums on Real World Records and Ninja Tune, return with their own variety of atmospheric music and experimental sounds as a four string ensemble.

Manchester group GoGo Penguin interconnects minimalist jazz piano riffs with breakbeat basslines.

Soweto Kinch’s carefully arranged horns bridge the gap between jazz and hip hop while The Comet Is Coming incorporate psychedelic rock with infectious jazz riffs and electronica.

All female septet Nérija draws influence from South Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean and UK resulting in a sound that reflects the rich cultural backgrounds on London jazz.

Brazilian Nomad Orchestra brings ten of the country’s most daring musicians to share their aspect of Ethio-groove, afrobeat with hip hop infused dub undertones.

Cuban/Iranian quartet Ariwo create a soundscape of hypnotic polyrhythms crisscrossed with live instrumentation capturing traditional Tehran/Cuban sounds in modern jazz.

Jesse Royal’s authentic sounds of Jamaican folk represent the many strands of reggae revival artists through the festival.

Other stages in the Whistlers Green area include Floating Lotus and Sandcastle Stage. Floating Lotus represents the up and coming talent in R&B, soul and funk. This intimate venue gives artists a space to be known. Artist scheduled include Cardiff harmonisers, Baby Queens; acoustic Bristol trip hop triad Elder Island; and the smooth vocals of Anjelo Disons.

More information and tickets at www.boomtownfair.co.uk.

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Artist Profiles: Namgar

Namgar

Singer Namgar Ayushievna Lhasaranova is the leader of the band and her name was used to call the entire group. She grew up in a Buryat family in the tiny village of Kunkur near the border crossing of Russia, Mongolia, and China. She comes from a long family line of shamans. The other original members of the Moscow-based band are Jipo (Eugene Zolotaryov), Namgar’s husband, who comes from Ulan-Ude, Buryatia, and plays the chanza lute; Altay (Altangerel Khishigtogtokh), a young Mongolian musician who plays the morin huur (horse-head fiddle); and Urna (Urantugs Jamiyan), a Mongolian woman from Uliastai, Mongolia, who plays yataga, an ancient zither

In the heart of Siberia, under bottomless blue sky, Namgar’s songs were born. She mastered the mysteries of the great wide open and the voices of spirits of mountains and forests. She loves the melodies sung by her grandmother and her father and desires to maintain the tradition that is becoming extinct. Namgar sings long songs and yokhor dance tunes, uliger legends of mighty champions, precise arrows, and swift horses, just as they were sung ages ago, with arrangements that make her music appealing to world music fans.

The Hori Buryat tribes to which Namgar belongs, historically were supporters of Genghis Khan and important commanders of the Mongol Invasion. Their songs and dances date back to the glorious times of the Mongolian Empire, preserving many genres and songs that became extinct in the other parts of Mongolian world.

Buryats live in the Russian Federation, where it borders with Mongolia and Manchuria. Buddhism, Shamanism, and the natural beauty of South Siberia contributed to their tradition. They share a lot of musical themes with their relatives, the Mongolians, with a special attention to dance tunes that became extinct in Mongolia.

The group made their first appearance on the international stage at Riddu Riddu Festival in Norway in 2002, along with Mari Boine and a bunch of other world music celebrities.

In October 2003, Namgar released their first official CD, titled “Hatar” (round dance). It features first ever collection of Buryat all-time favorites that are quite distinct and neatly arranged. It was a group of enthusiastic young people from Moscow who started a label called Sketis Music, specializing in world music, who gave the opportunity to the group to record their album, because they were sure this music was fantastic. The album cover was designed by Dashi Namdakov, the most prominent young artist among the Buryats.

In June 2006, the arranger and producer Leonid Vorobyev joined the group and added to authentic sound of the group a modern electronic, rock and jazz elements.

Discography

Hatar (Sketis Music, 2003)
Nomad (2008)

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Artist Profiles: La Excelencia

La Excelencia – Photo by Paul Nart

La Excelencia was founded by Julian Silva and Jose Vazquez-Cofresi who in 2005 formed the orchestra in New York City. The orchestra was created with the intention to bring a new outlook to salsa music by being hip, young, writing about social issues, and breaking the mold yet not losing the true roots of salsa.

The hard life of the barrio is reflected in La Excelencia’s music through their hardcore salsa sounds known as “salsa dura”. The music of La Excelencia has been referred to as fresh, original, danceable, contagious, and bringing social awareness to all.

In 2006 La Excelencia released their primary project ‘Salsa Con Conciencia’ to critical acclaim.

Discography

* Salsa con Conciencia (Handle with Care Productions, 2006)
* Mi Tumbao Social (2009)
* Ecos Del Barrio (2012)

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Artist Profiles: La cumbiamba eNeYé

La cumbiamba eNeYé

La cumbiamba eNeYé is an ensemble that performs concerts and workshops with traditional instruments from the African Diaspora in Colombia, as well as indigenous and European instruments and influences. All these are mixed together in the traditional musical styles that developed throughout the colonial era, and continue to evolve. “eNeYé” has the range of versatility to perform from a quintet format, for reduced space events; up to a 10-piece band format for large events.

La cumbiamba eNeYé was created in the summer of 2000 with a group of skilled musicians who share an enthusiasm for investigating, performing and advancing musical expressions emanating from the combination of African, Indigenous, and European cultural contributions in the Americas.

Initially, La cumbiamba eNeYé began performing a repertoire of cumbia related rhythms outdoors in different public areas of New York City. Given these circumstances, “Eneyé” adopted its denomination of ‘cumbiamba’ from the cultural vocabulary of the northwestern Caribbean coast in South America. In Colombia, ‘cumbiamba’ is a familiar word, which carries the meaning of an outdoors celebration with live cumbia music, or the bands that perform in such events. La cumbiamba eNeYé evokes this lively atmosphere with every performance, and has also extended them into different cultural venues throughout the city and beyond.

La cumbiamba eNeYé’s musical work and development is shaped by traditional styles that emanate from the popular coastal traditions in which music is just one of the various artistic manifestations. The group takes coastal music as a departing point and source of material not only because of the musical background of some of the members, but because coastal traditions in Colombia, as in other regions of the Caribbean are inexhaustible fountains of artistic traditions. In Colombia having two different coastal regions, Atlantic and Pacific, which have led to distinct cultural traditions, doubles this situation.

La cumbiamba eNeYé’s approach to music is investigative. However, from the styles, genres, rhythms, and melodies explored, the group is inspired to create new arrangements and even entirely new compositions, which although traditional influenced, may have eclectic characteristics in texture, harmony or rhythm. This aspect of La cumbiamba eNeYé can be seen as the result of being a New York born and based group, where interactions and continuous contact with musicians from different places around the world generates new possibilities.

Since its beginnings, La cumbiamba eNeYé has been working from a handful of traditional kinds styles present in Colombia. Some of these musical styles are:
Gaitas y Tambores, Banda Pelayera, Terapia or Champeta, Conjunto de marimba, and Chirimía.

Discography

Marioneta (Chonta Records, 2006)

Web sites: http://www.lacumbiambaeneye.com

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Sarod Virtuoso Alam Khan to Perform in New York

Alam Khan

Sarod master Alam Khan is set to perform on Friday, April 7, 2017, 8:00 p.m. in Manhattan, New York. Alam Khan will celebrate his father, the acclaimed sarod player and teacher Ali Akbar Khan, on what would have been his 95th Birthday. Om Gam Ensemble will be the opening act.
Alam Khan will be joined by Nitin Mitta on tabla. Alam has toured internationally and established himself as Ali Akbar Khan’s genuine heir and the face of a new cohort of sarod players.

Alam Khan is the torch bearer of a very distinguished and important Indian music tradition,” says WMI Artistic Director Par Neiburger. “His father and teacher Ali Akbar Khan was widely regarded as one of the most important and influential Indian musicians of all time. His work popularized the music of India in the West, and the Ali Akbar College—which Alam is now the head teacher of—has had countless students spreading this important tradition around the world.”

Masters of Indian Music
Friday, April 7, 2017, 8:00 p.m.
(Le) Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street, Manhattan
Tickets: $25-$35
www.worldmusicinstitute.org

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Artist Profiles: La Chicana

La Chicana in 2004

La Chicana was formed in the first months of 1996 by Dolores Solá, Acho Estol and Juan Valverde with the clear intention of producing tango music with a rougher edge. They favor the ‘canyengue’ or orillero street rhythms and humorous melodrama of early tango as opposed to more solemn later flavors. They truly believe that the essence of tango lies in its 1920s spirit of rebellion and spontaneity witch puts it ideologically closer to rock music than to the orchestral forms that popularized it in the world since the 1940s.

La Chicana has performed at numerous festivals and special events throughout the world. In 1997 they performed routinely in Buenos Aires while working on their first CD, Ayer hoy era mañana, out in early 1998, combining revisited classics: tango, milonga, candombe- with their own unreleased songs.

They were given the UNESCO International Merit Award atn the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. During the first half of the year 2000 La Chicana performed extensively in Buenos Aires, recorded their second album and did a tour of Spain that included six cities. Because of the success they were invited to present their second CD with a similar tour in February 2001. Back in Buenos Aires they performed many shows promoting the album with many of the guests that appear in it, and TV and radio appearances.

During 2001 La Chicana had numerous engagements in Buenos Aires – Notorious, Ghandi, Tobago, T. Tasso – and they began recording their third CD. In December their second CD “Un giro extraño” was voted by Leon Gieco as album of the year in the music section of newspaper “Pagina 12”. They started recording sessions for their third CD.

In early 2003 La Chicana produced their third album Tango agazapado and they finished shooting for the documentary feature: “Tango: Un giro extraño” directed by Mercedes Garcia Guevara.

La Chicana

The short subject film “El Elegante” was finished in Los Angeles. Produced by Kalmia Pictures and 20th Century Fox it is totally scored by Acho Estol with music performed by La Chicana.

On August 29th La Chicana presented Tango agazapado at ND Ateneo, a theater in Buenos Aires. During the rest of 2003 they received excellent press reviews for this record.

In early 2004 they received the prestigious “Carlos Gardel Award” for Tango agazapado in the “Best New Tango” category.

Although the lineup has changed several times, the group is led by vocalist Dolores Solá and guitarist and composer Acho Estol.

 

Discography

* Ayer Hoy Era Mañana (1997)
* Un Giro Extraño (2000)
* Tango agazapado (2006)
* Revolución o picnic (2011)
* Antihéroes y tumbas (2015)
* La Pampa Grande (2016)

Website: www.lachicanatango.com

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The Second Edition of ‘Flamenco Eñe’ Showcase to Take Place in Malaga

Ultra High Flamenco, one the acts that showcased at Flamenco Eñe in 2016

The Flamenco Eñe Showcase will take place May 18 through May 21 at the Picasso Museum in Malaga. This showcase, presented by The SGAE Foundation, in collaboration with the Picasso Museum of Malaga and the Regional Ministry of Culture of Andalusia, through the Andalusian Institute of Flamenco, was launched in 2016. Flamenco Eñe has the mission of promoting flamenco internationally.

During four days in May, the selected flamenco artists will present showcases. In addition, meetings will be organized between festival directors, European flamenco programmers and managers of flamenco acts to encourage new forms of collaboration and exchange of experiences among professionals from Spain and the rest of Europe.

In 2016, the musicians selected for Flamenco Eñe were: José Antonio Rodríguez, Babel, Ultra High Flamenco (+ Rosario Toledo), Pedro el Granaíno, Alfonso Aroca Quinteto, Josemi Carmona & Javier Colina, Esperanza Fernández, Dos Cabezas … Pa un Sombrero Dorantes / Pele), Antonio Reyes, Flamencas, Rafael Riqueni and Manuel Valencia.

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Artist Profiles: Namgar Ayushievna Lhasaranova

Namgar Ayushievna Lhasaranova

Namgar Ayushievna Lhasaranova grew up in a Buryat family in the tiny village of Kunkur near the border crossing of Russia, Mongolia, and China. She comes from a long family line of shamans that preserved the Buryat musical tradition. She started performing traditional Buryat music on stage in mid-1980s. Since that time, Namgar has performed solo in France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and the USA, singing traditional songs and playing the zither yataga.

Namgar sings long songs and yokhor dance tunes, uliger legends of mighty champions, precise arrows, and swift horses, just as they were sung ages ago, with arrangements that make her music appealing to world music fans.

The Hori Buryat tribes to which Namgar belongs, historically were supporters of Genghis Khan and important commanders of the Mongol Invasion. Their songs and dances date back to the glorious times of the Mongolian Empire, preserving many genres and songs that became extinct in the other parts of Mongolian world.

In 1999, 2000, and 2001 she took part in the Norwegian world music festival Riddu-Riddu where she shared the stage with Jerry Alfred, Bolot Bairyshev, Mari Boine, Chirgilchin, Anneli Drecker, Lucie Idlout, Derek Miller, Sabjilar, Pamyua and other prominent native and world music artists.

She leads her own band called Namgar.

Discography

Hatar (Sketis Music, 2003)
Nomad (2008)

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Artist Profiles: Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters – Got My Mojo Working

Born in Issaquena County, Mississippi as McKinley Morganfield in 1913,Artist Profiles: Muddy Waters was deeply rooted in the Mississippi Delta blues. He got his nickname as a result of a childhood predilection for ‘playing in the muddy waters.’

He started playing harmonica at nine, but later switched over to the guitar. The teenaged, tractor driver Muddy Waters spent his free time absorbing the music scene of Clarksdale, Mississippi. There, he learned from two of Mississippi’s iconic bluesmen, Son House and Robert Johnson.

Muddy soon joined up with Silas Green and his traveling show, before plying his guitar in St. Louis and finally returning home. It was back in Mississippi that Muddy met with John and Alan Lomax, where he performed songs for the pair and their folk recordings for the Library of Congress recordings.

Muddy made two extraordinary decisions at that point; he joined many making the great migration north to Chicago in search for factory work and he plugged his guitar. Muddy plugged his guitar into an amplifier to be heard over the clattering masses of the Chicago club scene and it’s that sound that changed blues music forever.

Electrified blues soon spread to the streets of Chicago and Muddy found club work and started recording for Columbia and Aristocrat (later to become Chess Records).

Muddy Waters inspired numerous blues and rock musicians, including Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray, Peter Green, and the Rolling Stones.

Muddy Waters discography is quite extensive. The following boxed sets include some of his most iconic recordings: Original Album Classics: Hard Again / I’m Ready / King Bee; The Chess Box: Muddy Waters; Chess Singles Collection – Muddy Waters; and King of Chicago Blues; and Got My Mojo Working.

Muddy Waters died April 30, 1983.

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