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 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.

Noche Flamenca in the San Francisco Bay Area

Noche Flamenca
Noche Flamenca

Berkeley, California, USA – One of the world’s foremost flamenco companies and a sensation in its 2000 Bay Area debut, Noche Flamenca takes the stage at Cal Performances’ Zellerbach Playhouse for a two-week run of eleven performances beginning at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 24 and running through Sunday, July 6, 2003. Noche Flamenca’s appearance is part of Celebración de las Culturas de Iberoamérica, Cal Performances’ programming initiative to bring the performing arts of Spanish and Portuguese America, Spain and the Caribbean to San Francisco Bay Area audiences. Noche Flamenca captures the essence, the purity of form and emotional fire that has made the company one of Spain’s most successful ensembles. Founded by Artistic Director Martin Santangelo and leading dancer Soledad Barrio in 1993, the Madrid-based ensemble has quickly become one of the most sought after dance companies in the world.

The uniqueness of Noche Flamenca emanates from the combination of extraordinary guitarists, singers and dancers who perform together with a communal spirit and a profound understanding of flamenco. Their talents are interwoven and given equal weight, in an artistic vision developed by the founders. The performers offer dance works of deep dramatic substance and top-rank virtuosity that reveal the true heart and soul of flamenco. In its international touring, the ensemble has visited Egypt, Australia the United States and Canada, with followers who described the company as “brilliant” and “the real thing.” These performances are part of a summer tour that also includes dates at the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in Los Angeles, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Florida International Festival, An Appalachian Summer Festival, and a two-week debut tour of Argentina.

Performances in Berkeley will feature dancers Soledad Barrio, Isabel Bayón and Antonio Jiménez “El Chupete;” guitarists Jesús Torres and Paco Cruz; and singers Manuel Gago and Antonio Vizarraga. The Berkeley performances are presented by Cal Performances in association with Aaron Concert Artists of New York.

Martin Santangelo, co-founder of Noche Flamenca, is a resident of Madrid. A student of Ciro, Paco Romero, el Guito, Manolete and Alejandro Granados, he has performed throughout Spain and the U.S. with Maria Benítez’s Teatro Flamenco, at the Lincoln Center Festival of the Arts and with Paco Romero’s Ballet Español. He also appeared in and choreographed a solo for Julie Taymor’s Juan Darien at Lincoln Center. Santangelo choreographed Romeo and Juliette at the Denver Theater Center and co-directed and choreographed Bodas de Sangre with Larry Kornfield at SUNY Purchase. Santangelo, who was born and raised in New York’s Greenwich Village, was exposed to dance by his Argentine mother, a dancer with Alwin Nikolais. As a young man, he studied acting at New York University and moved to San Francisco, joining El Teatro Campesino. While with the theater company he happened to fill in for an actor in a flamenco performance and was transfixed. He soon left the U.S. for Madrid, to pursue flamenco studies there.

The co-founder of Noche Flamenca, Soledad Barrio was born in Madrid and trained in flamenco and Clásico Español. Barrio has appeared as soloist with the Ballet Español of Paco Romero, Manuela Vargas, Blanca del Rey, Luisillo, El Guito, Manolete, Cristobal Reyes, and Toleo. In 2001 Barrio was named the winner of a New York Dance & Performance Award (a.k.a. the “BESSIES”) for Outstanding Creative Achievement. She is married to Artistic Director Martin Santangelo, and they have two daughters, Gabriela and Stella.

Tickets for Noche Flamenca June 24 – July 6 in Zellerbach Playhouse are priced at $42.00, with a limited number of $30.00 obstructed view seats available as well. Tickets are available through the Cal Performances Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988 to charge by phone; at www.calperfs.berkeley.edu; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for purchase by UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens and other students receive a $2 discount. The Ticket Office will be closed weekends beginning June through August 2003. For more information, call Cal Performances at (510) 642-9988, or visit the Cal Performances web site at www.calperfs.berkeley.edu.

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Cartagena Caribe: Major Caribbean Festival in Colombia

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia – Cartagena de Indias, the Colombian city located in the South American country’s Caribbean coast, will host a new festival called Cartagena Caribe.

It’s a large even featuring top Latin, Caribbean and African musicians from Jamaica, Congo, Colombia, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic: Diblo, Shaggy, Champeta All Stars, Latin Fresh, Latin Dreams, Toto La Momposina, Calamari Big Band, Alfredo De La Fe, Eddy Herrera, Diblo Dibala, Jorge Oñate, Tabú Latino.The concerts will take during the day, late evening and throughout the night, June 28-29, at the Plaza de toros de Cartagena de Indias (bullfighting ring).

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New Album by Tibetan Nawang Khechog

Nawang Kechog - Universal Love
Nawang Kechog – Universal Love
Boulder, Colorado, USA – Universal Love (Sounds True) is the title of Nawang Khechog’s new recording. This is his first major recording project in five years.

A former Tibetan monk, Nawang Khechog takes listeners on a musical pilgrimage into the experience of compassion through music. Nine original compositions meld the ancient ritual sounds of Nawang’s Tibetan homeland with traditions from across the globe. the album features Tibetan flute on all songs; Tibetan long horn (doongchen) and overtone chanting; universal horn (invented by Nawang Khechog); Aboriginal didjeridu; African drums and kalimba; Mayan ocarinas; Native American drum; and chants of universal love by the Dalai Lama and others.Born in Tibet, Nawang Khechog spent his earliest years as the child of nomads.

In his boyhood he first learned to play the bamboo flute, an ancient instrument popular in rural villages throughout Tibet. After the brutal subjugation of Tibet by Chinese Communists in 1949, Nawang and his family escaped to India. There he studied meditation and Buddhist philosophy, a path he followed as a monk for eleven years – four of them as a hermit.

In 1986, he emigrated to Australia where he first performed, and his recordings achieved bestseller status. Nawang is best known for his collaborations with Kitaro, including a world tour and performances on Kitaro’s Grammy-nominated Enchanted Evening and Mandala albums.

His live performances with Philip Glass, Paul Winter, Laurie Anderson, Paul Simon, Natalie Merchant, and Baba Olatunji have received international acclaim.

Buy Universal Love

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Guinean Sax Master Momo “Wandel” Soumah Died June 15

Momo “Wandel” Soumah
Momo “Wandel” Soumah
Guinea – Sunday, June 15, Momo “Wandel” Soumah, musical director of the troupe Circus Baobab, died. The Guinean singer, composer, and alto saxophonist was considered one of the greatest saxophonists in Africa.

Momo Wandel was very influenced by jazz luminaries such as Coltrane, Parker and Coleman. He mixed jazz and traditional music from the lower coast of Guinea (the Soussou and the Baga). Endowed with has superb voice Wandel surrounded himself with a highly talented group of traditional musicians. His band’s line-up included bala player Khali Camara, the flutist Mamady Mansare, Sékou “Kora” Kouyaté (former director of Myriam Makeba’s band), and master drummers Aboubacar Camara and Aly Sylla (soloists of the National Percussion of Guinea).

In 2002 Momo Wandel Soumah was nominated for the BBC World Music Listeners Award.

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The Rustavi Choir on Tour in Greece

The Rustavi Choir
The Rustavi Choir
Tbilisi, Georgia – The Rustavi Choir, one of the finest folk choirs in the world will be touring Greece in the next weeks.

The Rustavi Company was founded in 1968. Art of Rustavi has roots in the past of Georgia’s folk music and folk performing arts. It is the product of Georgia’s musical Rustavi incorporates representatives from different parts of Georgia; the timbre of each singer’s voice bears a specific national coloring. The members of the company infuse its repertory the unique vocal traditions of their native parts as well as with their songs and the deep knowledge of their performing style.

Tour dates: July 4 – Katerini / July 6 – Thessaloniki /
July 8 – Athens / July 13 – Olympia/

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CaféTacuba: New Album, Video and Tour

Café Tacuba - Cuatro Caminos
Café Tacuba – Cuatro Caminos
Los Angeles, USA – Mexico’s preeminent alt-rockers Café Tacuba have completed studio work for their next full-length album, titled Cuatro Caminos.

The band’s first full-length release since its 1999 Grammy-winning 2-CD set, Reves/Yo Soy, is a collaborative work, with its 14 tracks co-produced by the band, with Gustavo Santaolalla (all previous Café Tacuba albums, Juanes, Molotov, Puya), Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev), and Andrew Weiss (Ween). After performing at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival last month, Café Tacuba completed work on the new music video for the album’s lead single, “Eo (el Sonidero),” shot in the band’s hometown of Mexico City with acclaimed Icelandic directors Arni & Kinski (Sigur Ros “Svefn g englar”) and producer Natasha Alexsa.

Café Tacuba’s 1992 critically acclaimed self-titled debut album, Café Tacuba, was followed by 1994’s groundbreaking Re, leading to international critical praise and White Album comparisons in terms of the album and the band’s importance.

Avalancha de Éxitos, a collection of cover songs, spawned several hits and a 13-country / 59-date megatour. In 1999, the band released the Grammy-winning 2-CD set, Revés/Yo Soy. In addition, Café Tacuba has toured with Beck (Midnight Vultures tour) and David Byrne, collaborated with the Kronos Quartet on last year’s Grammy-nominated album, Nuevo, and
contributed new songs to the soundtracks of the acclaimed Mexican films Amores Perros and Y Tu Mama Tambien. “Vale Callampa,” Cafe Tacuba’s 4-song EP tribute to the disbanded Chilean group Los Tres, was released by MCA Records last fall.

Café Tacuba is: Elfego Buendía – lead vocals, guitar; Emmanuel Del Real – keyboards, vocals, programming; Enrique Rangel – bass, vocals; and Joselo Rangel – guitars, vocals.

Confirmed U.S. tour dates:

August 2: Chicago, IL / Aragon Ballroom

August 6: New York, NY / Webster Hall

August 9: Brooklyn, NY / Celebrate Brooklyn! (Prospect Park)

September 7: Los Angeles, CA / Latin Roots & Rock (Hollywood Bowl

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WOMEX Discount Rate Ends June 27

womex-250Berlin, Germany – The deadline for the WOMEX discounted registration rate ends June 27. The largest international world music trade show and conference will take place in Seville, Spain, this year, 22 – 26 October 2003. To register online go to: Registration.

World Music Central has created a world music guide for Seville. It includes record stores, venues, flamenco clubs, guitar shops and much more. To read the guide go to: World Music in Seville.
The Worldwide Music Expo WOMEX is a great networking point exclusively dedicated to world, roots, folk, ethnic, traditional and local music of all kinds.

Address: WOMEX c/o Piranha Kultur, Carmerstr.11, 10623 Berlin, Germany. Phone: +49 (30) 318 614 0, Fax +49 (30) 318 614 10. E-mail: womex@womex.com

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Salif Keita Hits the Road this Summer for a North American Tour

Salif Keita
Salif Keita
New York, USA – Legendary Malian singer Salif Keita will be touring the United States and Canada this summer.

A master of West African rhythms and credited as one of the founders of the Afro-pop genre, Salif Keita is world renowned for his unforgettable live performances, soaring vocals and his emotionally-fueled songs.

Tour dates:
July 26 Brooklyn, NY Prospect Park Bandshell
July 27 New York, NY Irving Plaza
July 28 Albany, NY The Washington Park Amp.
July 29 Montreal, QU, CANADA Le Spectrum
July 31 Santa Monica, CA Santa Monica Pier
August 1 Los Angeles, CA Conga Room
August 2 San Francisco, CA Fillmore Theatre

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World Music Takes Over Madrid this Summer

Caetano Veloso
Caetano Veloso
Madrid, Spain – The 2003 edition of the annual festival Los Veranos de la Villa in Madrid (Spain) is going to feature an impressive line-up of world music and Flamenco acts: Milton Nascimento, Niña Pastori, Caetano Veloso, Rodrigo Leao, José Mercé, Ibrahim Ferrer, El Tiempo De Los Gitanos (Time of the Gypsies), Enrique Morente, Cesaria Evora, Carlinhos Brown, Youssou N’dour, Femi Kuti, Ivan Lins, Nitin Sawhney and Los Tigres Del Norte.

The concerts will take place July 1 through July 30 in the Patio Central at the historical Cuartel del Conde Duque palace.

The complete program, including dates, schedules and ticket prices can be seen at: Conde Duque.

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Nearly 40 Acts to Perform at Boleros de Oro Festival 2003

[image1_left](Prensa Latina – Cumbancha)
Havana, Cuba – Nearly 40 acts from Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela will participate in the 17th Boleros de Oro Festival, to take place June 22-29 in Havana, Camagüey and Santiago de Cuba, reported Radio Rebelde. Organizing Committee President José Loyola announced that the romantic music Festival will be dedicated to the late singer Elena Burke, known as “Señora Sentimiento” in Latin America and the Caribbean. The also Vice-President of the Cuban Union of Writers and Artists (UNEAC) mentioned that Puerto Rican Danny Rivera will perform in a recital Saturday June 28, at the Karl Marx Theater, the largest in Cuba with 5.000 seats. Composers Harold Gramatges and Rosendo Ruiz, on the occasion of his 85th birthday, and singers Esther Borja and Adriano Rodríguez, for their 90th and 80th anniversaries, respectively, will also be paid homage during the Festival. The 17th edition of Boleros de Oro will welcome lectures by Cuban composers Cesar Portillo de la Luz and Marta Valdes, while topics such as “Music and Poetry in Bolero” and “Bolero and Rumba” will be analyzed in colloquiums.

Documentaries dedicated to recently deceased singer and composer Polo Montañez and to Elena Burke will also be screened.

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