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 and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and 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. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.

Walter Grealis

Walter Grealis, longtime
supporter of the Canadian music industry, founder of the trade publication RPM
and one of the inspirations behind the Juno Awards, died Tuesday, January 21, in
Toronto. He was 74.

A Torontonian from birth,
Grealis had a career as a policeman before he entered the recording industry in
1960. He soon became the Ontario promotion manager for London Records and went
on to establish RPM magazine, a weekly music trade publication promoting
Canadian singers and musicians.In 1970, RPM
initiated the Gold Leaf Awards to honor exceptional Canadian artists and
contributors. The award was renamed the Juno the following year. RPM also
established the Big Country Awards along with the Canadian Academy for Country
Music Advancement in 1975. Grealis received a People’s Award at the 1976 Junos
and had a Juno for industry figures named after him. In 1993 he was made an
Officer of the Order of Canada and he was inducted into the Canadian Country
Music Hall of Fame in 1999.

[Courtesy of the

Folk Alliance


Putumayo Releases Sahara Lounge

Putumayo presents... Sahara Lounge
Putumayo presents… Sahara Lounge
New York, NY – Putumayo released today Sahara Lounge, an album of
laid-back fusions of traditional Middle Eastern melodies, rhythms and
instrumentation with cutting edge electronica, hip-hop beats and remixes.

Algerian rai, Berber music, Sufi chants, and Egyptian al-jeel meet dub, trip
hop, break beats and funk resulting in a hypnotic and captivating vibe. Sahara Lounge is the latest in a caravan of Putumayo releases focusing on exciting new directions in world music, including Sahara Lounge, Euro Lounge and Arabic Groove. Sahara Lounge includes 6 rare and previously unreleased tracks. The work of the innovative Lebanese electronica duo Soap Kills has been available almost exclusively on their self-produced, unreleased demo recordings. Ramin Sakurai’s collaboration with Iranian artist Shiraz has never before been widely released.

Nabiha Yazbeck’s “Astahel” has never been available outside of the Middle East
until now. The Jasmon and Mohammed Mounir track “Hanina (Jasmon Mix)” is hot off
the presses in Germany. Bahia El Idrissi’s “Arhil” has been heard only by the
lucky few who managed to get a hold of the his rare Dutch release. Sahara Lounge
also features a previously unreleased remix of the Nickodemus and Carol C.
favorite “Cleopatra in New York.”


Toumani Diabate Recording For World Circuit

London, UK – World Circuit announced recently that it is working with Malian kora virtuoso Toumani Diabate. Widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest kora player, Toumani has been responsible for bringing the instrument to audiences around the globe. Through his work with celebrated African artists such as Salif Keita, Ali Farka Toure and Oumou Sangare; combined with high profile collaborations like the album Kulanjan with blues legend Taj Mahal, Toumani richly deserves his status as a world class artist. Asked on his thoughts of Toumani, World Circuit’s Nick Gold recently said: “Toumani Diabate is the holder of the torch for one of the world’s most breathtakingly beautiful art forms. This is a music that has been nurtured and revered for centuries, and Toumani, a true virtuoso and master of his art, produces a music in which this noble history is both reaffirmed and enabled to connect with a contemporary audience with heart-stopping and uplifting spirituality.”


Tom Rowe

Thomas J. Rowe, a founding
member of Schooner Fare and Turkey Hollow and a Folk Alliance member died
Saturday, January 17, at Maine Medical Center, from cancer. He was 53.

After receiving a clarinet
at the age of six, he set out on a life-long path of performing that brought him
from the grange halls of rural Maine to major concert halls across the country,
including Lincoln Center, Town Hall, and Wolf Trap. His folk career started with
the gift of a banjo at age thirteen when he formed a high school folk group with
some friends and toured extensively throughout Maine.

After Tom attended the
University of Southern Maine as a Music Education major, he held several
positions in public education, including a year as music director in his former
high school.

In 1975, Tom was invited to
join the popular Maine folk/rock group Devonsquare, in which he met brothers
Chuck and Steve Romanoff. Later that year, the three left Devonsquare to form
the folk trio, Schooner Fare, with which Tom sang, played bass guitar and tin
whistle, and wrote many well-known songs.

He left teaching in 1982 to
devote himself fully to his family and his performing career. In 1992, Tom began
touring and recording with his son Dave as the duo, Rowe by Rowe. In 1998, Rowe
by Rowe added a third member, Denny Breau, and the group was renamed Turkey

Tom was a member and choir director for the First Universalist Church,
Unitarian-Universalist, in Auburn, ME, and was also a bass clarinetist with the
Auburn Community Band. He leaves behind an incredible legacy of music, much of
which was recorded in his own home recording studio.

[Courtesy of the

Folk Alliance


Fred Holstein

Chicago folk music stalwart Fred Holstein, 61, died on January 12.

Raised on Chicago’s South Side, Holstein got hooked on music after attending
a Pete Seeger concert at Orchestra Hall. He taught himself to play on a $15.00
guitar and started playing the folk clubs in the Old Town neighborhood. Fred was
on the bill at the Earl of Old Town when it opened in1966, and became, along
with John Prine, Steve Goodman, Bonnie Koloc, and others, a familiar presence at
the club during the 1960’s and early 1970’s.

While Fred never quite gained the fame of some of his
contemporaries, those performers and thousands of fans would have told you that
no performer symbolized the heart of folk music more soulfully than Fred
Holstein. He regarded himself as “an interpreter. What I do is about the songs,
about the art, about the work.” He developed a reputation for being a serious
folklorist. “He knew the music – the background and the folk roots,” said Frank
Hamilton, one of the founders of the Old Town School.

Holstein and his brother
Ed, also a folk singer, co-owned and performed in two classic Lincoln Avenue
clubs, Somebody Else’s Troubles, in the early 1970s, and, starting in 1981,
Holstein’s. Holsteins had a good long run, closing its doors on New Year’s Day
in 1988, with the crowd accompanying Fred and his brothers in a rousing
rendition of “For All the Good People,” Fred’s signature tune.

At the time of his death,
he was tending bar – and occasionally singing – at yet another Lincoln Avenue
bar, Sterch’s. He was genuinely surprised by the interest and enthusiasm
generated by the 2001 release of a two-CD release, Fred Holstein: A
. It was his first CD, combining remastered tunes from his only two
LPs, songs from the archives of WFMT-FM, and snippets of interviews.

Of Fred Holstein, “Midnight Special” host Rich Warren said, “Fred Holstein
was Chicago’s troubadour. He never sought fortune or fame, because his great joy
in life was introducing people to the best singer-songwriters of our time along
with traditional music. Fred was the mainstay of the Chicago folk scene for 30
years and his ability to get inside a song and make it real for the audience was

[Photo courtesy of Vancouver folk Festival. Obituary courtesy of the

Folk Alliance


Huun Huur Tu\’s North American Tour

San Francisco, USA – Tuvan throat singer group
Huur Tu
will be touring North America in January:

Tour schedule.

9 Fri Satalla New York NY
11 Sun APAP    
12 Mon APAP    
13 Tue Ray Elementary Hanover NH
13 Tue Dartmouth Hanover VT
14 Wed Westminster Elementary Westminster NH
14 Wed Dartmouth Hanover VT
15 Thu Fredericton Playhouse Fredericton NB
16 Fri St. Mathew’s Church Halifax NS
17 Sat Capitol Theatre Moncton NB
20 Tue Black Sheep Inn Wakefield QC
22 Thu Kola Note Montreal QC
23 Fri Lula Lounge Toronto ON
25 Sun Sunfest London ON
28 Wed Ark Ann Arbor MI
29 Thu Cedar Culture Center Minneapolis MN
30 Fri OTSFM Chicago IL
4 Wed Prov Museum of Alberta Edmonton AB
5 Thu Port Theatre Nanaimo BC
6 Fri Alix Goolden Victoria BC
7 Sat Chan Center Vancouver BC
9 Mon Century Ballroom Seattle WA
12 Thu University of Hawaii Manoa Hi
13 Fri University of Hawaii Manoa HI
14 Sat University of Hawaii Hilo HI
15 Sun Kahilu Theatre Kahilu HI
16 Mon Kahilu Theatre Kahilu HI
19 Thu Great American Music Hall San Francisco CA
20 Fri Napa Valley Opera House Napa CA
21 Sat McCabe’s Santa Mónica CA
24 Tue Carlsbad High School Carlsbad CA

Zezo Ribeiro and Chico César

Madrid, Spain – Last spring Elba Ramalho suggested a meeting between
Madrid-based Brazilian guitarist and composer
and Brazilian singer-songwriter
, which became a prolific adventure. The first fruit of this artistic
gathering was “Brincadeira” (fun). This song gave the name to a new CD, a result
of several months of intensive collaboration between these two Brazilian

Seven songs that feature north-eastern rhythms, with lyrics by Chico César
and the music by Zezo Ribeiro, are the essence of Brincadeira. This CD is
completed with a guitar piece of each of them and two more songs of Zezo with
the backing vocals of Chico.The lyrics of “Brincadeira” became a premonition:

Nossa brincadeira é a aliança

canta, dança e deixa o coraçâo mandar.

The CD will be released by Nubenegra in February. A European tour of Zezo
Ribeiro and Chico César is scheduled for May/June 2004.


Transonic 2004: Experimental Music between the Cultures

Berlin, Germany – The House of World Cultures in
Berlin will be the venue for new intercultural sound experiences January 20-28.
This year, following the successful prelude in 2003, the music series
transonic – New Sound Experience
will again serve as a forum for the
international experimental music scene and introduce audiences to the latest
developments. It will also show how the highly sensitive debate between
historically evolved forms of composition and improvisation on the one hand, and
highly individual contemporary approaches on the other, can contribute to a
redefinition of musical modernity: Centuries-old compositions by the Japanese
Zen monks sound surprisingly modern, and there are fascinating similarities
between Arab musical traditions and the improvised music of the young
experimental scene in Beirut. Moreover, the unexpected affinity between a Korean
komungo virtuoso and the Kairos Quartet, or between Indonesian composers and the
avant-garde ensemble zeitkratzer, is giving birth to new tonal fields. Within the framework of transonic, Western and extra-European musicians and
composers will be presenting joint projects and commissioned works. Proceeding
from their respective backgrounds of traditional or experimental music, these
artists will be presenting new musical languages that transcend categories such
as New Music, jazz or world music. In 2004, curator Gene Coleman from Chicago,
who also curated the 2003 festival, is focusing on two dichotomies that are
deeply rooted in many cultures: composition and improvisation versus solo and
ensemble music.

In contrast to last year, when transonic concentrated exclusively on Asian and
Western music, this year’s series will be featuring musicians and composers from
the Arab countries and an Argentinean composer. The following performances are
planned: a solo concert by shakuhachi virtuoso Akikazu Nakamura; a project by
Viennese trumpeter Franz Hautzinger with the Lebanese experimental musicians
Mazen Kerbaj and Sharif Sehnaoui; a performance of works by Guillermo Gregorios
and Mauricio Kagel with Paulo Alvares (among others); an evening with the
experimental musicians Toshimaru Nakamura, Taku Sugimonto and Kazuhisa Uchihashi
from Tokyo; an encounter between Korean komungo player Jin Hi Kim and the Kairos
Quartet; a concert presenting the Indonesian musicians Ayo Sutarma and Dedy
Hernawan with the zeitkratzer ensemble; solo and ensemble pieces for the Sho and
Sheng by and with Wu Wei, Kô Ishikawa, Gene Coleman and the N_ER ensemble.


Tuesday Jan. 20th I 15:00–22:00
“How Many Forms of Modernity does New Music Know?”

Wednesday Jan. 21 I 20:00
“The Old Ways are Still New” (Part I)
Shakuhachi virtuoso Akikazu Nakamura plays compositions from Japanese Zen monks,
dating from circa 1730.

Thursday Jan. 22 I 20:00
“From Lebanon and Vienna”
Improvisation with Franz Hautzinger, Mazen Karbaj, Sharif Sehnaoui, Helge

Friday Jan. 23 I 20:00
“From Argentina”
Ensemble compositions by Guillermo Gregorio and works for piano from Mauricio
Kagel – with Guillermo Gregorio, Paulo Alvares, and the Ensemble N_ER: Krassimir
Sterev, Michael Moser, Werner Dafeldecker, Gene Coleman, Matthias Kaul, Marc
Unternaehrer, Special Guest: Akikazu Nakamura.

Saturday Jan. 24 I 20:00
“From Tokyo, in Silence… ”
Part I: Solo pieces presented by Taku Sugimoto, Toshimaru Nakamura, Kazuhisa
Part II: The Japanese musicians play a composition from Toshimaru Nakamura, as
well as improvisations, with Werner Dafeldecker, Christof Kurzmann, Michael

Sunday Jan. 25 I 20:00
“Compositions by Jin Hi Kim and Giacinto Scelsi”
The Korean komungo virtuoso Jin Hi Kim meets the Kairos Quartet – Works by Jin
Hi Kim and Giacinto Scelsi for strings.

Tuesday Jan. 27 I 20:00
“The Old Ways are Still New” (part II)
Works from Balinese composers and musicians Ayo Sutarma and Dedy Hernanwa with
Dedy Hernanwa, Ayo Sutarma, Ensemble Zeitkratzer and school children from Berlin.

Wednesday Jan. 28 I 20:00
“Path of the Phoenix: Compositions for Shô
und Sheng”
Solo and ensemble compositions, as well as improvisational music by and with Wu
Wei, Kô Ishikawa (Japan | composition and shô) and the Ensemble N_ER.

Dec. 4, 2003 – Jan. 29, 2004
New Music and Globalization
In cooperation with the Society for New Music, the House of World Cultures is
launching a moderated Internet forum. It will explore the relationship between
New Music and traditional non-European music.


Adora Dupree-Awoyomi

Storyteller and poet Adora Dupree-Awoyomi died on January 8, 2004. An actress, director, writer, ordained minister, and storyteller, Adora came to storytelling from her family’s spoken-word traditions.She was a well-known
teacher and performer throughout the South, a member of the Network of Cultural
Centers of Color, and on the Alternate Roots touring roster. Adora attended the
Folk Alliance conference in Nashville where she led a workshop on storytelling.

[Courtesy of the

Folk Alliance


Cuba’s Sexto Sentido Quartet a Hit in Moscow

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Moscow, Russia – Sexto Sentido female vocal quartet
and the band accompanying them, brought Cuban musical flavor to the group’s
first promotional tour of Russia, well received by audiences and critics.
Producer and musical promoter Vartan Tonoian invited the young singers who won
first prize in Havana’s Jojazz festival in 2001.

In Moscow, they presented their latest album Bossa Cubana recorded at
Abdala studios in Havana by Elephant Records, and which includes versions of
major world hits such as "The Girl from Ipanema" and the Beatles’ Michelle. ts distinctive feature is a mix of rhythms from Cuba and Brazil. The title
song was presented along with a video clip and shown on M-1 television station.
Arlety Valdes, Yudelkis Lafuente, Melvis Estevez, and Eliene Borrero graduated
from the Amadeo Roldan Institute, and have maintained their same musical format
since 1997. Piano player and composer Rolando Luna, bassist Rafael Paceiro, and
Russian guitar player Roman Miroshnichenko were among the young musicians that
accompanied them.

Sexto Sentido delighted audiences at the El Pajaro Azul and Le Club jazz
clubs. According to the vocal group’s manager Cesar Gomez, Sexto Sentido will
continue its performances here in the spring season, as part of a tour that will
include other European nations.