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.

Charles Brown’s A Life in the Blues

Charles Brown - A Life in the Blues
Charles Brown – A Life in the Blues
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA – A Life in the Blues (Rounder Records) is a Charles Brown fan’s dream come true. Charles Brown (1922-1999) is truly one of the greats of rhythm & blues, with 26 Billboard chart hits (“Drifting Blues,” “Merry Christmas Baby,” “Black Night,” “Please Come Home For Christmas,” etc.) multiple Grammy nominations, multiple WC Handy Awards as Best Blues Vocalist and Instrumentalist, a 1997 National Endowment For the Arts National Heritage Award and his 1999 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

A Life in the Blues includes live digital audio and video recordings (both a CD and DVD) of a remarkable 1990 concert performance at New York’s Lone Star Roadhouse, two short films made in 1944 by Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers when Charles was 22 years old (believed to be the only surviving film or video footage of Charles from the 1940s-1960s), the most extensive discography ever compiled of his 50 year recording career (presented both on the DVD and as a printable PDF file on the CD), and numerous historical photos, including a number of never before published photos of Charles’ 1949 marriage to fellow rhythm and blues recording legend Mabel Scott, extended liner notes by Chip Deffaa and an appreciation by Bonnie Raitt. Produced by Howell Begle.

Buy A Life in the Blues


Cuban Singer Pablo Milanes Returns to Colombia after Seven Years

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Bogotá, Clombia – Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo Milanes returns to Colombia after seven years without performing in the Andean nation, where he will perform at concerts in the cities of Bogota, Cartagena and Barranquilla from November 13 to 16. In a lengthy interview, the weekly publication El Espectador classified Milanes as the virtuous musician immortalized with songs such as Yolanda (described as one of the most important romantic songs sung in Spanish), El Breve Espacio en que no Estás and De Qué Callada Manera. The publication stated that after several operations in recent years, the Cuban singer is totally recovered and feels renewed and thankful. In the interview that took place in Madrid, Milanes stated he has a very close relation with Colombia, country included on his new tour, now passing through Spain. Milanes career began 40 years ago and includes 38 albums since he decided to endorse the Cuban revolution with his ideals and heart, El Espectador stated.


Musicology Colloquium and Awards in Cuba

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – Twenty-one works from nine countries, including from Cuba as the host nation, are taking part in the Musicology Colloquium and Awards sponsored by Casa de las Américas, and being held here from October 27 to 31. The seminar, in its third edition, includes more than 40 researchers focused on the research of music archives and heritage, its importance for the preservation of the continent’s music history, and in the folklore of Latin American and Caribbean music identity. The other two topics of the presentations will be related to tradition and current trends in contemporary popular music, and the tendencies and aesthetic projections of academic music creation. The awards will be dedicated in its ninth edition to its founder, Cuban researcher Argeliers León, who died here in 1991, and who also moved in the fields of pedagogy, ethnology and cultural promotion.


European Tour by Brazilian Pandeiro and Percussion Master

Marcos Suzano - Flash
Marcos Suzano – Flash
Brazil – Percussion master Marcos Suzano (Brazil) will initiate his Euro Tour 2003 on October 31st through November 19th.

The Pandeiro wizard will be accompanied by  his quintet to show the best of his 3 albums Sambatown, Flash and his new album, still unnamed.

Marcos Suzano is widely recognized as one of the most creative multi-percussionists in Brazil and as the best “pandeiro” player in the world. He recorded and toured with several top artists in Brazil and abroad like Cesaria Evora, Sting, Gilberto Gil, Marisa Monte, Jorge Ben, Caetano Veloso, Chico Science, Joan Baez, Charles Lloyd.

Tour dates:

31.10 Show New Morning – Paris – F
1.11 Show Nijmegen Music Meeting – NL
2.11 Masterclass Music Meeting – Nijmegen – NL
9.11 Masterclass – Brussels – B
10.11 Show Flagey Studio 4 – Brussels – B
11.11 Masterclass – Orleans – F
12.11 Show Astrolabe – Orleans – F
14,15,16.11 Masterclasses – Toulouse – F
18.11 Masterclass – Music Academy of Copenhagen – DK


Ali Slimani will be touring Canada

Ali Slimani
Ali Slimani
Canada – Ali Slimani will be touring Canada from the 09 November till 15 November 2003.

The details:  

09 Nov : Theatre Capitol, Moncton. Tel: 00 1 506 856 4379
10 Nov : Theatre Petit Champlain, Quebec. Tel : 00 1 418 692 2631
12 Nov : Club Soda, Montreal. Tel : 00 1 514 286 1010
13 Nov : Richard’s on Richard’s, Vancouver. Tel : 00 1 604 736 9806
15 Nov : Lakeside Terrace, Harbourfront, Toronto. Tel : 00 1 416 973 4000.

The tour is sponsored by Coup de Coeur Francophone.Ali Slimani was born and raised in El Anasser, a quiet and neatly respectable suburb of the Algerian capital Algiers which is home to the huge 20 Août football stadium where the young Slimani used to power the chants on the terraces with his darbuka.

Although his parents wanted him to become a doctor or lawyer, Ali Slimani fell developed a passion for music and the sounds of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Alpha Blondy, Boney M and the Bee Gees. He also inherited a deep love for the heroes of the popular traditional music of Algiers, which is called chaabi (also known as shaabi), men like Dahmane El Harrachi and Mohammed El Hadj El Anka. Then of course there was rai. Like every other Algerian teenager Ali fell under the spell of the plain speaking, tough living heroes of rai music from Oran; Cheb Khaled, Cheb Hamid, Cheikha Remitti and Cheb Abdelhak etc. “The words were so important,” Slimani explains. “With rai you
can sing about what you want, problems, women, love, no job. For my family the words were very bad and out of respect I couldn’t listen to rai music at home at that time. We used to go off with my friends to the beach to listen to it instead


Fado, Exquisite Passion

Fado Exquisite Passion
Fado Exquisite Passion
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA – Fado Exquisite Passion is the tile of a new compilation released by Narada World. The recording features four of the genre’s greatest interpreters — Mariza, rising star Cristina Branco, Mafalda Arnauth, and the late legendary Amália Rodrigues.

Fado (from Latin “fatum” meaning fate) is a vocal tradition with roots planted firmly in the 19th century. It is entwined with Portugal’s rich and culturally diverse history, songs delivered from deep in the heart and soul that tell unforgettable stories of love, loss and regret.

Purchase Fado Exquisite Passion


Successful WOMEX debut in Sevilla

womex-250Sevilla, Spain – Sunday, October 26’s ceremony to honor the WOMEX Award 2003 recipients Freemuse – The World Forum on Music and Censorship marked the Grand Finale of this year’s WOMEX 2003 at FIBES and El Palenque in the Andalusian capital of Sevilla.
From Wednesday Oct 22 to Sunday Oct 26 more than 2000 attendees from over 80 countries – amongst them 250 journalists – met 300 exhibitors at 200 stands in FIBES’ WOMEX pavilion, and discussed in 25 conference sessions. For the second time, WOMEX 2003 included a Film- and TV market focusing on world music content. From Thursday to Saturday, professional visitors as well as the Sevilla public
were digging the music WOMEX is all about and partied to 33 concerts at El Palenque. Complementary to the WORLD Flamenco Fair – taking place simultaneously to WOMEX 2003 at FIBES – this year’s WOMEX showcases had a focus on Spanish and Latin music and featured numerous musical highlights from all over the world alike.

Amongst producers, distributors, publishers, record labels, festivals, booking agencies and cultural exchange organisations, the international WOMEX community included more than 400 professionals from Spain and Latin America. According to the quantity of deals and agreements set, WOMEX again proved to be the central marketplace for the international world music community.
Thousands of regional world music fans followed the invitation to visit the public showcases and set a new WOMEX record for public attendance: Together with the official WOMEX delegates they very successfully provided the atmosphere of curiosity and excitement artists as well as producers like to have at their concerts.
WOMEX 2003 showcases offered a diversity of styles from Uru Punk to UK Club Funk, Maghreb Blues to the latest Global Dance News with artists from Uzbekistan and Israel, Mali and the Ivory Coast, Romania and Sweden, Gujarat to Andalusia to Brazil and beyond. Along with international stars like Tunisian singer Amina and Brazilian Mangue innovator Otto, Spanish localistas like Amparanoia and Elbicho
made up for highly excited audiences on the 3 stages of former EXPO venue El Palenque.
To accept the invitation of FIBES, the Bienal de Flamenco and Turismo Andaluz and to move the international WOMEX caravan to Sevilla’s luxurious Conference and Exhibition Centre FIBES proved another successful WOMEX decision altogether: Exhibitors and individual delegate numbers again increased by more than 10 % in relation to last year’s WOMEX in Germany. Moreover, the trade fair/conference and music locations in FIBES and El Palenque were granted an especially warm
embrace by WOMEX delegates and public alike.
After the successful debut at Zeche Zollverein in 2002 WOMEX will return to Essen / Germany for its next edition in 2004.


85-year-old Bebo Valdés Prepares Four New Albums

Bebo Valdés
Bebo Valdés
(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) – Córdoba, Spain – Pianist Bebo Valdés, 85, one of the legends of Cuban music rescued by recording companies, is preparing four new albums. The first CD will be released soon and features the Uruguayan violinist Federico Britos. “I will never be able to retire, I think I’ll die playing the piano,” the Cuban musician said in an interview.

Considered one of the forerunners of Latin jazz, he performed this week at the Gran Teatro of Córdoba, in southern Spain, along with Diego “El Cigala.”Valdés’ piano accompanied the flamenco voice of “El Cigala” in Cuban boleros such as “Veinte años”, “Vete de mí”, a song that another Cuban pianist, Bola de Nieve, made popular in the 1950’s included in the album Lágrimas Negras, recently produced by Spanish moviemaker Fernando Trueba. However, Trueba had already “rescued” Bebo on his film Calle 54 in 2001, after 30 years out of recording studios. Since then, rumors started that the pianist joined a long list of Cuban musicians who return to stage and became famous when they were older than 80, as it happened to Compay Segundo, who rolled cigars for decades at the prestigious Havana cigar factory H. Upmann, until Ry Cooder called him to take part in Buena Vista Social Club.

The list also includes Ibrahim Ferrer, Omara Portuondo, the Vieja Trova Santiaguera, Israel “Cachao” López and now Bebo Valdés, “a peasant,” as he defined himself, who directed the famous
Tropicana cabaret during the 1940’s.


The Largest WOMEX Ever

womex-250Sevilla, Spain – WOMEX 2003 opens its doors in Sevilla October 22 through 26 October. With
over 2000 registrations and more than 300 exhibitors at more than 200 stands, it will be the biggest world music networking session ever.

For a first impression on the WOMEX Showcase Selection click here.

For more information on WOMEX in Spanish you should surf to Portalatino.

WOMEX for the first time officially starts on Wednesday afternoon. From 17:00 – 20:30 all early birds can pick up their registration badge.After the welcoming speech by the mayor of Seville, Alfredo Sánchez Monteseirín, on October 22nd, there will be a concert at 8 p.m. at the Auditorium Al-Andalus in the Palace with pianist Dorantes and the Indian group Musafir. Both artists will perform separataly at the beginning and will later play together.

The Worldwide Music Expo WOMEX is the largest international gathering for world music professionals. It is a great networking point exclusively dedicatedto world, roots, folk, ethnic, traditional and local music of all kinds.


The Putumayo World Music 10th Anniversary Collection

The Putumayo World Music 10th Anniversary Collection
The Putumayo World Music 10th Anniversary Collection
New York, USA – In celebration of 10 years as a pioneer in world music, Putumayo is releasing a numbered, limited-edition 2 CD set on October 21, featuring highlights from its 100 compilations and artist albums. Filled with extraordinary music, extensive liner notes and enhanced features, The Putumayo World Music 10th Anniversary Collection takes listeners on a global journey and demonstrates the universal appeal of Putumayo’s CDs.

The Putumayo World Music 10th Anniversary Collection features a vertical digi-pak, 52 pages of liner notes and 24 of Putumayo’s favorite tracks from the past 10 years. The enhanced CD features music videos by Kotoja and Ricardo Lemvo and a 7-minute video retrospective about Putumayo World Music.

You can listen to two music samples from the set: La Vem A Baiana – Jussara Silveira

and Wassiye -Habib Koité & Bamada.The liner notes are translated into Spanish, French and German and include previously unpublished photographs from the history of the company. Also included is Putumayo’s guide to the best world music festivals, magazines, and
websites, as well as a complete historical discography of every album Putumayo has released.

A portion of the proceeds of the Putumayo World Music 10th Anniversary Collection will be donated to the Putumayo Cross-Cultural Initiative, a non-profit 501(c)(3) project of the Tides Center that uses world music, experiential learning, and the arts to inspire children and families to explore and connect with diverse cultures.