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.

Pianist Hernán López-Nussa Prepares Album in Dominican Republic

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – Cuban pianist Hernán López-Nussa disclosed here that he is currently working in Dominican Republic, in the preparation of an album of songs with local author José Antonio Rodríguez. López Nussa, famous jazz musician, stated he will go into the popular song genre for the first time, along with various Dominican musicians, including the possible participation of merengue musician Juan Luis Guerra.

The Cuban musician stated he is currently working with Rodríguez in the compilation of the forthcoming album’s repertoire, planned to be recorded and sold in Dominican Republic.Asked about this proposal, atypical on his jazz career, López Nussa highlighted that the idea came during one of his presentations some time ago at the Santo Domingo’s Casa de Teatro, where along with other Cuban musicians he recorded some song written by José Antonio Rodríguez.


Extraordinary Scottish Music

Shooglenifty - The Arms Dealer's Daughter</a Shooglenifty – The Arms Dealer’s DaughterThe Arms Dealer’s Daughter (Compass Records 74362 2, 2003)

Shooglenifty is an instrumental band that is creating new ways of expression for Scottish music. Unlike many other contemporary bands in the so-called Celtic genre, Shooglenifty did not find a need to use vocalists and, frankly, they don’t need singers as the band members are a phenomenal group of
instrumentalists. The groundbreaking sound of the band is based in the combination of traditional Scottish melodies and rhythms with other cultures such as their Celtic cousins in Spain, as well as African guitar, Asian impressions, rumba beats and Afro-American jazz.

But this not your typical acoustic band reworking traditional songs. Shooglenifty creates an imaginative amalgamation of acoustic and electric sounds. Fiddle, banjo, mandolin and Galician pandeiro (frame drum) are mixed with electric guitars and bass, trap drums, samples and effects. The US release is out on Compass Records, a label that has managed to license some of the finest contemporary Irish and British folk music.


Strictly Mundial Istanbul 2004

Istanbul, Turkey – Istanbul will host the 4th edition of the World Music Fiesta, Conference & Fair known as Strictly Mundial. The event will take place April 21-24, 2004

Strictly Mundial is a touring and showcasing event supervised by the European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals (EFWMF). Previous editions have taken place in Zaragoza/Spain (2000), Salvador de Bahia/Brazil (2001), and Marseilles/France (2003). Strictly Mundial Istanbul 2004 is produced by Istanbul-based company artmaxx.

All events will take place in the heart of Istanbul, in the area around the city’s busiest area, Taksim. For centuries, Taksim has been the settlement of citizens from different origins. Nowadays, it has turned into a compact and famous cultural hotspot where day and night you can find any kind of event and entertainment. In addition, you have a breathtaking view from the festival venue over the beautiful Bosporus connecting Europe and Asia.

This city is a perfect place for bringing together the musics of the world at the crossroads of the cultures.


The San Francisco Jazz Festival Features World Music

omara_portuondo_9San Francisco, USA (PRWEB) — SFJAZZ is proud to announce the line-up for the 21st Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival presented by Target Stores, a two-and-a-half-week extravaganza featuring the best in jazz today, from October 23 through November 9, 2003.  The Festival presents a phenomenal array of concerts: legendary masters alongside groundbreaking newcomers, time-honored traditions mixed with bold exploration, and players and sounds from around the globe as well as from our own Bay Area backyard.

Featuring concert hall shows at Masonic Auditorium and Oakland’s Calvin Simmons Theatre, intimate performances at Herbst Theatre and Florence Gould Theatre at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, a swinging Bay cruise, and a rousing tribute at Grace Cathedral, the 2003 Festival continues its tradition. As always, proceeds from the festival will benefit SFJAZZ’s music education programs in Bay Area schools.This year, the Festival kicks off with a very special evening with McCoy Tyner, a member of John Coltrane’s “classic quartet” of the 1960’s, in a rare solo piano engagement at the Herbst. Also at the Herbst, hot young piano star Peter Cincotti makes his Festival debut and soul-stirring singer Mavis Staples presents a tribute to gospel great Mahalia Jackson at the Festival’s annual Sacred Space concert at Grace Cathedral.       

Other Festival highlights include world music singing sensations Omara Portuondo (Cuba) and Virginia Rodrigues (Brazil) at the Masonic; “A Taste of Umbria”: a series of intimate concerts with some of the brightest new talents and forward-looking figures in Italian jazz; the long-awaited return of R&B great Ruth Brown; an evening with jazz great Dave Holland and his Quintet at the Palace of Fine Arts; legendary piano master Cecil Taylor in a solo performance, also at the Palace of Fine Arts; powerhouse singer Etta James and her Roots Band at the Masonic Auditorium; local legends Maria Muldaur and Dan Hicks share a double-bill at the Palace of Fine Arts; and the Bay Area jazz scene comes together to celebrate the life and work of esteemed jazz critic Phil Elwood in the annual SFJAZZ Beacon Award celebration.

The Festival’s extraordinary lineup continues with Spanish flamenco piano phenomenon Chano Dominguez; the “Rematch” of Hammond B-3 icons Jimmy Smith and Joey DeFrancesco at Bimbo’s 365 Club; guitar master Bill Frisell and his Intercontinentals, sharing a bill with innovator Marc Ribot; a members-only
concert with Marian McPartland; an elegant evening with Nancy Wilson and Ramsey Lewis at the Masonic; the 20th anniversary celebration of the Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette trio; the ever-popular Bay Cruise, and much more.


October 23 – November 9, 2003
Thursday, October 23, noon
Union Square
Youth in Jazz
SFJAZZ All-Star High School Ensemble

Thursday, October 23, 7:30pm
Herbst Theatre, Van Ness & McAllister Streets, SF
Solo Piano: McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner

Friday, October 24, 8pm
Herbst Theatre, Van Ness & McAllister Streets, SF
New Sensation: Peter Cincotti
Peter Cincotti;
Julian Lage

Friday, October 24, 8pm
Grace Cathedral, California & Taylor Streets, SF
Sacred Space
Mavis Staples Sings Mahalia Jackson

Friday & Saturday, October 24 & 25, 8pm
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, Lyon & Bay Streets, SF
Sun Rings
Kronos Quartet

Saturday October 25, 2pm
Florence Gould Theatre, Palace of the Legion of Honor, SF
Best of Italy I
Gabriele Mirabassi/Luciano Biondini Duo;
Gianluigi Trovesi/Gianni Coscia Duo

Saturday, October 25, 8pm
Masonic Auditorium, California & Taylor Streets, SF
Buena Vista Social Club presents
Omara Portuondo;
Virginia Rodrigues

Saturday, October 25, 8pm
Herbst Theatre, Van Ness & McAllister Streets, SF
From Broadway to the Bay
Ann Hampton Callaway

Sunday, October 26, 7pm
Herbst Theatre, Van Ness & McAllister Streets, SF
Miss Brown Comes to Town
Ruth Brown
Joe Louis Walker

Sunday, October 26, 7pm & Family Matinee 3pm
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, Lyon & Bay Streets, SF
An Evening with
Dave Holland Quintet

Thursday, October 30, 7:30pm
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, Lyon & Bay Streets, SF
Solo Piano II
Cecil Taylor, solo

Friday, October 31, 8pm
Herbst Theatre, Van Ness & McAllister Streets, SF
Best of Italy II
Enrico Rava & Paolo Fresu “Play Miles Davis”;
Doctor 3

Saturday, November 1, 2pm
Florence Gould Theatre, Palace of the Legion of Honor, SF
Best of Italy III
Enrico Rava/Stefano Bollani Duo;
Danilo Rea/Stefano Di Battista Duo

Saturday, November 1, 8pm
Masonic Auditorium, California & Taylor Streets, SF
Let’s Roll
Etta James & the Roots Band

Sunday, November 2, 2pm
Florence Gould Theatre, Palace of the Legion of Honor, SF
Singing On Sunday I
René Marie

Sunday, November 2, 7pm
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, Lyon & Bay Streets, SF
Local Legends Sing All-Time Favorite Classics
Maria Muldaur “Remembering Peggy Lee”;
Dan Hicks & Jazztet Noir

Monday, November 3, 7:30pm
Herbst Theatre, Van Ness & McAllister Streets, SF
SFJAZZ Beacon Award: A Salute to Phil Elwood   
Mel Martin’s Bebop & Beyond Quartet; Kim Nalley; Leon Oakley’s Friends of Jazz;
Denise Perrier; Larry Vuckovich’s Young at Heart Band; Denny Zeitlin Trio with
Mel Graves & George Marsh; (more TBA)

Wednesday, November 5, 7:30pm
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, Lyon & Bay Streets, SF
Flamenco Jazz
Chano Domínguez
With special guest Jerry Gonzales

Thursday, November 6, 7:30 & 10pm
Bimbo’s 365 Club, 1025 Columbus Ave., SF
B-3 Summit: The Rematch
The Jimmy Smith Group
The Joey DeFrancesco Trio

Friday, November 7, 8pm
Calvin Simmons Theatre, Ten 10th St., Oakland
Intercontinental Guitar
Bill Frisell & The Intercontinentals
Marc Ribot y los Cubanos Postizos

Friday, November 7, 8pm
Herbst Theatre, Van Ness & McAllister
SFJAZZ Members Only Concert: Piano Jazz…Live!
Marian McPartland

Saturday, November 8, 8pm
Masonic Auditorium, California & Taylor Streets, SF
Simple Pleasures
Nancy Wilson & Ramsey Lewis

Sunday, November 9, 11am
Signature Yacht Events’ San Francisco Spirit; Pier 9
Swingin’ on the Bay
Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers
Swing Fever featuring Denise Perrier

Sunday, November 9, 2pm
Florence Gould Theatre, Palace of the Legion of Honor, SF
Singing on Sunday II
Kitty Margolis

Sunday, November 9, 7pm
Masonic Auditorium, California & Taylor Streets, SF
The Trio at 20
Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette

TICKETS:    (FREE to $75) On sale now to SFJAZZ members, on sale to the public August 3, 2003; available in person (without service charge) at the SFJAZZ Box Office, 3 Embarcadero Center, Lobby Level, SF; on SFJAZZ’s web site, (service charge applied); and via (service charge applied) by phone at 415/776-1999 [outside CA
800/225-2277]. Tickets for Herbst Theatre concerts are only available by calling City Box Office at 415/392-4400

INFO:    415/788-SFJF (7353) [outside CA 800/850-SFJF (7353)] or


Rumbón Tropical, New Cuban Video

Rumbón Tropical
Rumbón Tropical
San Francisco, USA – Boogalu Productions has announced the release of a new film  of Cuban rumba  called Rumbón Tropical  featuring the Cuban music and dance group “Rumberos De Cuba” in an intimate party-performance.  The setting is a lush outdoor patio garden near the river Almendares in
Havana, Cuba.  Available on video and DVD. To check out Rumbón Tropical go
to this link:

Rumberos De Cuba is a newly formed group of some of the best and most engaging musicians and dancers from the barrios of Havana. The group was created not only to preserve the profound and always relevant Cuban rumba and folkloric traditions but also to invent forms which add live elements from contemporary music and dance.Featured at the Rumbón Tropical party are nine sections:

1 – the dance of Ellegua, Orisha of the crossroads
2 – Rumba Yambú
3 – Rumba Guaguancó
4 – Rumba Columbia
5 – Abakuá music and dance
6 – Interview with Maximino
7 – Rumba Guaguancó with cajón drums
8 – Rap Bata-Songo (Orisha music with Rap Hip-Hop vocals and dance)
9 – “La Negra Pancha” (Rumba Drama)

The video is filled with energy and spontaneous dramatic scenes that reflect the diverse and charismatic personalities of the artists who range from 20 to 60 years old. Length: 63 minutes.

Other Cuban music and dance videos available on the Boogalu website:

Casino Cubano, with Lázaro Noriega  – learn to dance Cuban style salsa
Rueda de Buen Ache,  rueda de casino from Santiago
Tremendo Vacilón,  an eclectic panorama of  music and dance in Cuba today.
Rueda Fresca,   fresh rueda de casino from Santiago


Brazilian Classics and the Post-Bossa Generation

Nova Bossa Nova
Nova Bossa Nova
London, England – This compilation brings together the singers, songwriters and musicians from all over Brazil who grew up listening to bossa nova, even played it themselves, but who had an agenda of their own – a desire to speak for the ordinary people.

By the mid-1960’s the elegant cool of bossa-nova was beginning to seem out of touch with the realities of a country where a military junta had taken control of the government. And so to the backlash: a more politically aware music with a desire to speak for the ordinary people. The artists here were at least as conscious of what had gone before, as to what was to come. They include Elis Regina, Jorge Ben, Caetano Veloso and Chico Buarque.

All sound as fresh and as relevant today as when they first stepped into a studio. Nova Bossa Nova is a perfect snapshot of the past, the present and the future of popular Brazilian music.


US Debut for one of Ireland’s Hottest New Groups

Téada - Téada
Téada – Téada
Danbury, Connecticut, USA – Today is the US release date for Téada, the debut album by Irish band Téada. Their debut CD features the unique fiddle-playing and vocals of Sligo musician, Oisín Mac Diarmada, the flute and harmonic guitar playing of London-born John Blake, rhythmic bouzouki and banjo-playing from Seán McElwain of Monaghan, and Tristan Rosenstock on bodhrán. Téada (tay-da): means ‘strings’ in the Irish language. The group was recently voted “Best Traditional Newcomers” of 2003 in the Irish Music Magazine Readers’ Poll. Teada embarked on a major American tour recently.


Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – a sufi supreme

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - A Sufi Supreme
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – A Sufi Supreme
London, England – British label Manteca has added a new title to the growing collection of
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan recordings. A Sufi Supreme (MANTCD046) is sensitively selected and sequenced to show the breadth and passion of his work.

I ate my heart out. I felt a rush of adrenaline in my chest, like I was on the edge of a cliff, wondering when I would jump.” So wrote the late Jeff Buckley about hearing Nusrat for the first time.“ During his comparatively short life Nusrat was not short of famous fans and his was the voice that helped elevate a centuries old Islamic Sufi tradition of ecstatic Qawwal (lit: utterance) singing, to a popular art.  It includes key lyric translations and an informed introduction to the music.

Notes by Bhagwant Sagoo and Compilation by Iain Scott.

Bhagwant is a Broadcaster and Producer of the Asian Network at BBC Three Counties Radio (UK) and also writer and visiting lecturer on the origins and development of Hindi Film Music.

Iain first stumbled on Qawwali by accident. Probably in a field somewhere, or maybe at a late-night concert in an obscure town hall. He can’t remember. What he can remember is his utter disbelief at the skill and artistry involved. Transfixed.

1. Pyar Ka Diya Jalta Rahe
2. Meri Bukkal Wich Chor Chor
3. Ag Ishq Di (Bossa Mix)
4. Alif Allah Chambe Dee Booti (edit)
5. Sanware Tore Bin Jiya (from ‘Bandit Queen’)
6. Bari Bari Iman
7. Jhoole Jhoole Lal (Tabla Mix)
8. Mere Nabi Pyare Nabi
9. Funeral Pyres (from ‘Bandit Queen’)


Grey Larsen and Paddy League: the Essence of Irish Flute

Grey Larsen and Paddy League - The Dark of the Moon
Grey Larsen and Paddy League – The Dark of the Moon
Bloomington, Indiana, USA – Irish Flutist Grey Larsen has teamed with Paddy League to record a new CD titled. The Dark of the Moon.

Any bird expert will tell you, there is no such thing as a cuckoo’s nest. The cuckoo is one of the few birds that lays its eggs in another bird’s nest and leaves its young to be raised by someone else. Grey Larsen learned the old traditional Irish tune called “The Cuckoo’s Nest” when he himself had fallen into a surrogate nest rich in Irish tradition. Larsen learned the tune in Ohio and transcribed it for his unprecedented 450-plus-page tome The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle to be released on November 3, 2003 by Mel Bay Publications.

Beginning in the ’50s, a dozen blue-collar immigrants met weekly in Cleveland to play Irish music. Once farmers or coalminers, they came to America for a better life. The Cleveland Irish Musicians’ Club was not a public affair, so it was a bit of a surprise in 1974 when a few longhaired Oberlin students appeared.

When we walked in, there was this stone cold silence,” remembers Larsen. “Politically we were miles apart, but once we started playing together, we became great friends.” The weekly 40-mile trip to Cleveland was when Larsen—whose CD with Paddy League, Dark of the Moon, will be released on Sleepy Creek Music on November 3, 2003—first began his musical migration to the Irish
flute. The cuckoo’s nest is like a metaphor for Larsen’s own musical rearing, as if dropped into a nest of Irish immigrants and given the task of preserving old melodies and playing techniques.

Larsen learned one tune on Dark of the Moon in 1979 at the home of County Sligo flute player Josie McDermott. “That was my first trip to Ireland and I wanted to learn everything the same way traditional musicians had in the old days,” recalls Larsen. “So I didn’t bring a tape recorder. I thought I could be so focused I would remember it all. Josie McDermott played me these great tunes. But, in the end, I only remembered one. I hummed it to myself over and over as I got a lift on the back of a tractor.” For years Larsen called the tune “Ride on the Tractor.” On the new CD, it is listed as “Josie McDermott’s Reel.”

Larsen learned other tunes on the new CD from melodeon player Michael J. Kennedy (1900-1978), a former Irish farmer who settled in Larsen’s hometown of Cincinnati. He gave Larsen his first taste of “crooked tunes” or melodies with extra beats added to their structure. “Crooked tunes are very uncommon in Ireland today,” Larsen explains. “Some of the older players had a lot of tunes like that. I think there was a lot more crooked Irish music 100 years ago. Somehow the music got kind of tamed.”

A highlight of Larsen’s new book is the final chapter of 27 transcriptions from some of the most important flute and tin whistle players. Interestingly, both the earliest and latest transcriptions are crooked. The first one, “The Corry Boys” (also on Dark of the Moon), was transcribed from John McKenna’s 78-rpm record issued in 1925. “Fire Patrolman McKenna”—as he’s listed on the first of 30 recordings he made in his adopted home of New York City—established the flute as a prominent instrument in Irish music. The last transcription is of Grey Larsen’s own playing of “The Cuckoo’s Nest”—which he learned from Michael Kennedy.

Larsen’s book covers everything from history to playing techniques. But the bulk of it is dedicated to ornamentation, a major element of Irish music critical to the flute player’s unique expression. These embellishments descend from the Irish bagpipes. Since a bellows powered these pipes, the only way to initiate a repeated note was with a special finger articulation. This led Irish pipers to evolve an elaborate vocabulary of fingered embellishments. This language was inherited by the Irish flute and whistle, and never before Larsen has anyone so thoroughly explained on paper the complete range of these ornaments and how to play them. One chapter is dedicated to the artistry of knowing when to take a breath, since, as the only human-blown Irish instruments, the flute and whistle must create breathing places by thoughtfully omit notes. Larsen combines the highly technical and his spiritual tie to the instrument.

The flute is really magical,” Larsen exclaims. “Your breath is producing the sound. Not wood. Not a metal string. You can’t see what is making the sound. It is very ethereal. It’s such a direct route into your soul.”


Javier Ruibal’s Sahara, Andalusian Music and Poetry

Javier Ruibal - Sahara
Javier Ruibal – Sahara
San Francisco, USA – Riverboat/World Music Network will release Javier Ruibal’s latest CD, Sahara, on October 21st.

Javier Ruibal is an exceptional singer-songwriter from Cádiz, Spain, who forges a new sound out of Flamenco and North African influences. A modern-day, quintessentially Spanish troubadour, Ruibal’s songs of love and women are poetry, his vibrant music honoring centuries-old traditions as he breaks new ground with his own vision. A slice of inspired life from southern Spain that can see Morocco on a clear day.

Sahara comprises material from his first two releases, Contrabando (1997) and Las Damas Primero (2001), together with a new recording especially for this release, Ruibal’s international debut.

Buy Sahara