All posts by World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

Tchorba, New album by Les Yeux Noirs

Les Yeux Noirs - Tchorba
Les Yeux Noirs – Tchorba
Paris, France – Tchorba, Yiddish for soup, is Les Yeux Noirs’ new album recorded, co-produced and mixed by famous producer Stuart Bruce (Paco de Lucia, Al Di Meola, Susheela Raman, Amadou & Mariam, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan…).

Influenced by far away musical traditions that they reinterpret in a modern and vibrant way, the Slabiak brothers have for the first time produced their new release with some songs in French and infectious rhythms. Sharing not only a musical heritage, but also a dynamic stage presence that is carried over into their album, these artists are creating great arrangements between the Gypsy influence and electric sounds. This lively album (Recall) will be released in France on October 18, in Australia in February 2005, and in the United States in April 2005.

Buy the group’s earlier CDs, Band of Gypsies, Balamouk and Live.


Pasajero: A Journey of Time and Memory

Pasajero, A Journey of Time and Memory
Pasajero, A Journey of Time and Memory
KVPT-TV PBS Fresno presents the premiere broadcast of Pasajero, A Journey of Time and Memory on Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 8 PM Pacific Time on Valley Public Television, KVPT-TV 18 PBS.

Pasajero, A Journey of Time and Memory, a feature length documentary by Ricardo Braojos and Eugene Rodriguez, is the uplifting story of a group of young Mexican-American musicians, Los Cenzontles, who accompany their mariachi maestro Julian Gonzalez on his homecoming to Mexico. Together they perform a forgotten style of roots mariachi music and dance and meet people who embody the spirit of old Mexico. Los Cenzontles performs traditional mariachi throughout Jalisco Mexico and California’s Central Valley. Also featured in Pasajero are mariachis from Bakersfield Benjamin Torres, Baldemar Hernández, Juan Morales and Nati Cano as well as students of the Kern County Mariachi Youth Foundation, Mariachi Juvenil Azteca and Mariachi Mestizo.

Pasajero, A Journey of Time and Memory was funded by the James Irvine Foundation and Cultural Contact with additional support provided by the
California Arts Council, Radio Bilingue, the Lef Foundation and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts.

Pasajero was produced by Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center, an award-winning non-profit organization located in San Pablo, California. LCMAC, founded in
1994, provides traditional arts training to youth as a means to strengthening individuals, families and community.


Cristina Branco Releases Sensus

Cristina Branco - Sensus
Portuguese fado singer extraordinaire Cristina Branco comes out in full bloom with her new release, Sensus. With her sixth release Branco delves deep into her soul to pull out what is indeed one of her most personal and creative albums to date. Be sure to catch Cristina Branco as she performs on a few select dates across the country.

10/01/04 New York Symphony Space

10/02/04 Boston Berklee Performance Center

10/05/04 Washington IDB Cultural Center

10/07/04 Minneapolis Cedar Cultural Center

10/08/04 Milwaukee Pabst Theater

10/09/04 Chicago Old Town School of Folk Music


Various Artists -Paris City Coffee

Paris City Coffee
Paris City Coffee perfectly encapsulates France’s cultural diversity. It gives you access to the creme de la creme of French music over the past 35 years to the present day. The collection provides a sophisticated, cosmopolitan and aromatic flavour of the French music scene – the majestic eclecticism that comes from a Parisian cafe, brassiere or a club is captured and distilled onto this compilation.

It is full of famous artists as Modjo, Cerrone & Kojak, remixes by Air, Thievery Corporation, Francois K and King Britt and new talents such as Emilie Simon, Simon Says, in addition to with contributions from legends like Brigitte Bardot & Elli Medeiros.


Brenda Fassie: 1964-2004

Johannesburg, South Africa – South African diva Brenda Fassie died at Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg on the afternoon of May 9. She had been in a coma for some two weeks after suffering an asthma attack on April 26. The attack led to a cardiac arrest, and family members confirmed that Fassie had suffered brain damage afterward. While in a coma, many noteable well-wishers paid visits to Fassie, including South African President Thabo Mbeki and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela among others.

Brenda Fassie’s singing career began in 1979, when Fassie was just 16 years old. South African record producer Koloi Lebona heard her sing, and took her to Johannesburg to continue her schooling and pursue a musical career. In 1983 Brenda had a massive hit record with “Weekend Special” with her band Brenda and the Big Dudes. The song is still regarded as a very important song in South African music history.Her career continued to gain momentum in the 80s and 90s, and she toured extensively throughout the world. The 90s, however, also brought some rough times to Fassie. She was divorced from her husband of 2 years in 1991 amid rumors of physical abuse; she was in and out of drug rehab clinics; in 1995 she awoke from a drug binge next to the body of her lesbian lover who had died of an overdose.

She rededicated herself to her music, and scored a big hit in a collaboration with Papa Wemba. In a 2001 article that coincided with a US tour, Time magazine called Fassie “The Madonna of the Townships.” Her new CDs have sold very well, and are selling out in record numbers since the news of her death.

Fassie’s funeral service will be held at the Langa Stadium in Cape Town on May 16.


Greatest Hits



Remix Collection

Mina Nawe


, and



Brazilian Daniela Mercury Will Perform at Rock in Rio Lisbon

Daniela Mercury – Carnaval Eletronico

Portugal – Brazilian Superstar Daniela Mercury will be one of the stars featured on the World Stage in Rock in Rio Lisbon on June 5th. Daniela Mercury’s fame has extended beyond Brazil to Europe as well. The singer will perform the same night as Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears, Sugababes, Nuno Norte and Joao Pedro Pais during the large musical event.

The latest release from Daniela Mercury is titled Carnaval Eletronico, a fusion of Drum’n’bass, House, Techno, Lounge, Dub with typical Brazilian rhythms. One of the singles included is “Amor de Carnaval” (Carnival Love). Daniela started her career at the early age of 15, performing in bars in Salvador, Brazil. In 1988 she was background vocals in Gilberto Gil’s band. In 1992 she performed in front of a crowd of 20 thousand in Sao Paulo, one of the historic moments in her career. The songwriter was appointed by UNESCO as an “Artist in favor of Human Rights”.

The organization Rock in Rio Lisbon presented this week the whole infrastructure built at the Bela Vista Park in Lisbon, Portugal. The space designed for enjoyment and entertainment features more than 200 thousand square meters and will host the biggest musical event in the world, along six days divided in two consecutive weekends, from May 28th to May 30th and from June 4th to 6th.

World Stage confirmed bands:

– Paul McCartney – May 28

– Peter Gabriel, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Jet, Gilberto Gil and Rui Veloso – May 29

– Foo Fighters, Evanescence, Kings of Leon, Charlie Brown Jr e Xutos and Pontapés – May 30

– Metallica, Slipknot, Incubus, Sepultura and Moonspell – June 4

– Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears, Sugababes, Daniela Mercury, Nuno Norte and João Pedro Pais – June 5

– Sting, Alicia Keys, Alejandro Sanz, Ivete Sangalo and Luis Represas – June 6

The Roots Tent will showcase 20 bands and artists representing world music:

– May 28: Daby Toure (Senegal), Ensemble Kabul (Afghanistan), Rão Kyao (Portugal);

– May 29: At-Tambur (Portugal), Havana Abierta (Cuba), Thierry Robin (France ), Manu Dibango & Ray Lema (Cameroon – Congo);

– May 30: Manecas Costa (Guiné-Bissau), Terrakota (Portugal), The Klezmatics (USA), Angelique Kidjo (Benin);

– June 4: Faltriqueira (Spain), Trio Madeira Brasil (Brazil), Javier Ruibal (Spain), Souad Massi (Argelia);

– June 5: Regis Gizavo (Madagascar), Gaiteiros de Lisboa (Portugal), Joyce & Quarteto (Brazil), Nguyên Lê (Vietnam-France);

– June 6: Tucanas (Portugal), Amparanóia (Spain), Trio Curupira & Hamilton de Holanda (Brazil), Mariza (Portugal).

On the Electronic Tent by Smirnoff Experience, 72,000 watts of energy and 15 of the best DJ”s in the world will scratch and make people party all night long.

– May 28: Projecto D.O.J. (Portugal); Gilles Peterson (Switzerland) and David Mancuso (USA);

– May 29 – “House is a Feeling”: Felipe Venâncio (Brazil), José Luís Magoya (Spain), To Ricciardi (Portugal), Miss Barbara Tucker (USA) and Tedd Patterson

– May 30 –“Techno World”: A Paul (Portugal), Angel Molina (Spain), DJ Anderson Noise (Brazil), Jim Masters (UK) and Jeff Mills (USA);

– June 4 – “Electro N’ Bass”: DJ’s Zig Zag Warriors (Portugal), Dj Kitten (Portugal), Adam Freeland (UK) and Dj Patife & Mc Cleveland Watkiss (Brazil/UK);

– June 5 – Carl Cox will play for 3 hours;

– June 6 – “Progressive House”: Felix daCat (Portugal), Desyn Masiello (UK), John Digweed (UK) and Dj Vibe (Portugal)

The Rock in Rio project goes beyond the concept of a music festival. The visitors will not only have the World Stage, the Electronic Tent by Smirnoff Experience and the Roots Tent, but also 14 daily hours of enjoyment, with an area denominated “Radical” , dedicated to sports; debates on the Better World Tent; and other attractions such as a food court and a mini shopping center.

The Social Project

The main focus of Rock in Rio Lisbon’s social project is centered on programs destined to improve the lives of children and youngsters. The Plan Childreach International with over 60 years of existence in 43 countries around the world, will be the benefited organization. With the objective of sponsoring the education and life quality of less fortunate children and their communities, the organization Rock in Rio already donated 250 thousand euros to this institution
and hopes to reach a million euros from ticketing. The SIC Esperanca also compromises to take part of the ticketing proceeds to different initiatives sponsored by the organizers of Rock in Rio Lisbon for benefit institutions recognized by their projects in favor of Portuguese children and youngsters.


The Divas of New Fado

Lisbon, Portugal – Portuguese label Difference has released Divas Do Fado Novo, a compilation of female fado singers. It includes famous voices that coexist with others that practically make their debut in this recording: Ana Laíns, Liana and Raquel Peters. Each of the ten singers is represented by two songs. The booklet includes a short biographical summary and a photograph of each artist. Divas Do Fado Novo focuses on the contemporary side of Fado.

José Régio, famous Portuguese poet, once wrote “Fado was born one bad day. (…) as the sad sailor sang.” Those were the 1940s but, as Fado enters the 21st Century, it is not only about sadness, suffering, heartache and homesickness (or saudade, the Portuguese word with no proper translation to any other language). Fado has been absorbing the influences of the world that encircles it. While still paying respect to the tradition of the Portuguese national song, new instruments brought fresh air to its soul. A movement was born, and it became recognized as “Novo Fado.”

Track list:

01. Cristina Branco O Meu Amo”
02. Cristina Branco Assim Que Te Despes
03. Ana Sofia Varela Porque Voltas De Que Lei
04. Ana Sofia Varela Lágrima
05. Mísia Dança De Mágoas
06. Mísia Garras Dos Sentidos
07. Ana Moura Sou Do Fado, Sou Fadista
08. Ana Moura Guarda-me A Vida Na Mão
09. Liana Ternura
10. Liana Partindo-se
11. Ana Maria Sôdade
12. Ana Maria Beijo Da Saudade
13. Margarida Guerreiro Minha Terra É Linda
14. Margarida Guerreiro Irmã Sombra
15. Katia Guerreiro Asas
16. Katia Guerreiro É Noite Na Mouraria
17. Raquel Peters Ó Alma
18. Raquel Peters Lisboa De Encanto
19. Ana Laíns Fado Meu
20. Ana Laíns Gaivota (acapela)


Sounding Out . . . The San Francisco Bay Area

Written by Jeff Kaliss

Lovely, charming, and irrepressible, San Francisco has long extended an enticing embrace to creative wanderers from other parts of the United States, as well as the wider world. The city helped spawn the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the Hippies of the 1960s and ‘70s, along with the jazz and rock with which these seekers celebrated themselves. Some sought roots in their new soil in the form of American
traditional music, and formed bands and venues to explore those roots; German expatriate Chris Strachwitz took that process further by setting up a label, Arhoolie, to preserve roots music, and a store, Down Home Music, across the Bay Bridge in El Cerrito, to sell his and others’ recordings. The spirit and setting of the late ‘60s also attracted international musicians such as Ali Akbar Khan of India, Hamza El Din of the Sudan, and Seiichi Tanaka of Japan, all of who moved here and began teaching students of all ethnicities. Crossover between world, jazz, and rock sounds was inevitable. Since then, the Beats and Hippies have aged, and there’s been no definable generation to take their place. But many of them have retained their region of residence and their musical preferences. And they’ve been supported in these preferences by an influx of new fans, festivals, venues, record labels, and resident world music artists who keep the sound of the San Francisco Bay Area eclectic and exciting.


Alternative weeklies
sprouted in the Flower Power days and have bolstered their ad revenue and
respectability since then, but they remain a good source of information on cool
stuff. Check the music listings in the San Francisco Bay Guardian (online as, San Francisco Weekly, East Bay Express, and the various regional editions of the Metro, including coverage of San Jose, Santa Cruz, and the North Bay. Listings and dollops of world music are heard on KPFA-FM (94.1 MHz), KUSF-FM (90.3MHz),
KALW-FM (91.7MHz), and KPOO-FM (89.5 MHz).


The largest festival of Jewish music in Northern California is
presented in early Spring by the Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center, with
which you can connect at
and by phone at +1 510 848-0237. This Jewish Music Festival makes use of a
number of indoor venues around the Bay to showcase Yiddish, Sephardic, klezmer,
and other forms of world and classical music. In April, the Cherry Blossom US
Japan Taiko Festival, for which Seiichi Tanaka serves as Grand Master (see his
school’s site at
), sets its big drums up in the Kabuki Theater, 1881 Post Street in San Francisco’s Japantown neighborhood.

Outdoor events must deal with San Francisco’s unique climate.
Audiences in early May, aboard the venerable sailing ships docked at the
Hyde Street Pier for the Sea Music Festival, (+1 415 561-7100), may find themselves warmer than attendees at the summertime
Stern Grove Festival (19th Avenue & Sloat Boulevard, +1 415 252 6252), who must fortify themselves against possible seasonal fog with sweaters and blankets as well as picnic baskets. And the riotous annual Carnaval {sic} Parade through San Francisco’s Mission District had to be shifted from the days before Lent, when much of the tropical Christian-influenced world celebrates, to the warmer Memorial Day weekend at the end of May, for the comfort of participants scantily clad in the tropical fashions of South America and the Caribbean. For more about Carnaval, which this year reached its 25th anniversary go to, Even more eclectic is the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, which occupies the historic Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon Street, for three
weekends in June. Locally-based world music ensembles accompany the dancers, and
the array of sounds is as dazzling as the costumes. Several of the dance
programs are presented in partnership with Door Dog Music, which has also put
together the San Francisco World Music Festival at a variety of venues, with a special interest in Middle Eastern musics. In 2003, the Festival is set for the month of September in Yerba Buena Gardens, with entrances near Mission and Third Streets in downtown San Francisco.


A pair of places in Berkeley, in the East Bay, stand as survivors of
the halcyon ‘60s and ‘70s. The Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse (1111 Addison
Street, +1 510 548-1761,
) hosts traditional and new-crafted American folk music with a bit of ethnic
stuff from elsewhere. The latter is better represented at Ashkenaz (1317 San
Pablo Avenue, +1 510 525-5054,
), where you can not only hear live African, American roots, Balkan, Caribbean,
Celtic, Cajun/Zydeco, and Middle Eastern bands but also learn how to dance to
them before the sets begin. La Pena Cultural Center, also in Berkeley (3105
Shattuck Avenue, (+1 510 849 2568,
), favors Caribbean, Latin American, and politically progressive acts.

The University of California’s Berkeley campus is the location of
the headquarters and halls where Cal Performances (+1 510 642-9988,
) includes such world artists as Ravi Shankar, Cesaria Evora, Paco de Lucia, and
Baaba Maal in its 2003/2004 season. A more specialized learning institution, the
Ali Akbar College of Music ( )
, is located north of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Rafael, not far from the San
Anselmo offices of Moment Records (
), founded by the College’s former head of percussion, Zakir Hussain. Both Hussain and College founder and sarodist Ali Akbar Khan were early pioneers in the sort of fusion of world music with jazz and rock which is still active in the Bay Area, but the College also produces concerts of North Indian classical music at various local venues.

For fans who don’t mind staying up late in a party setting, there are several smaller San Francisco clubs, including the Elbo Room (salsa, samba, reggae, newgrass, and world groove, 647 Valencia Street, +1 415 552-7788, ). Earlier in the evening, and at Sunday brunches, you can drink and dine on South American specialities at Peña PachaMama (1630 Powell Street, near the historic North Beach center of the Beat culture, +1 415 646-0018. Sukay, the Andean recording artists who established this combined eatery and performance space, perform during and after meals, as do other Andean and world musicians.


The unassuming building at 10341 San Pablo Avenue, in El Cerrito,
north of Berkeley, is something of a world music factory. Upstairs are the
offices of Flower Films, from which Les Blank has produced a bouquet of
documentaries showcasing Cajun, Zydeco, Tex-Mex, and blues artists and their
lifestyles. Out back is Chris Strachwitz’s Arhoolie, which continues to issue
valuable recordings of these and other genres. And for fans eager to peruse and
purchase Strachwitz’s and Blank’s output and other albums, books, and
hard-to-find magazines, there’s Down Home Music (+1 510 525-2129,

), the retail spin-off store front opened by Strachwitz in 1976. Savvy staff
will guide you though new and used cd’s and vinyl, and give you time in the
listening booths.

Right near the heart of the hamlet of Mill Valley in the North Bay,
Village Music (9 East Blithedale Avenue, +1 415 388-7400) offers customers a
similarly knowledgeable approach to reggae, Cuban, and Hawaiian music and
collector-quality European lp’s, as well as the rhythm-and-blues for which the
store is best known. Look for seasonal discounts and displays of music

Much Middle Eastern music on cd and cassette is sold alongside
exotic videos, publications, spices, and foodstuffs at Semiramis (2990 Mission
Street, +1 415 824-6555) in San Francisco’s Mission District. San Francisco
stores with a wider selection of world music range from the neighborhoody
Streetlight (3979 24th Street, +1 415 282-3550,

) in Noe Valley and the Record Finder (258 Noe Street, +1 415 431-4443,
) in the Castro to the spacious Amoeba Records (1855 Haight Street, +1 415

) in the Haight-Ashbury, where wizened and would-be Hippies are still in
evidence. All these shops sell used as well as new recordings, as does the
well-stocked Rasputin (2401 Telegraph Avenue, +1 510 848-9004,

) in Berkeley.

For a deeper and geographically broader look at the fertile world
music scene in Northern California, e-mail the writer, Jeff Kaliss, at


World Music Grammy Nominees Announced

The World Music Grammy nominees for have been announced. The award ceremony is 8 February. For more information, see the Grammy Web site.

Best Traditional World Music Album:

  • Kassi Kasse – Kasse Mady Diabate
  • Jibaro Hasta El Hueso: Mountain Music Of Puerto Rico
    – Ecos De Borinquen
  • The Rain – Ghazal
  • Capoeira Angola 2 – Brincando Na Roda – Grupo de Capoeira Angola Pelourinho
  • Without You – Masters of Persian Music
  • Sacred Tibetan Chant – The Monks of Sherab Ling Monastery

Best Contemporary World Music Album:

  • Voz D’ Amor – Cesaria Evora
  • The Intercontinentals – Bill Frisell
  • Nothing’s In Vain – Youssou N’Dour
  • Specialist In All Styles – Orchestra Baobab
  • Live In Bahia – Caetano Veloso


Yusef Lateef & Adam Rudolph Continue their 15-Year Collaboration with release of "In the Garden"

Yusef Lateef and Adam Rudolph - In the Garden
Yusef Lateef and Adam Rudolph – In the Garden
New Jersey, USA – Artistic director Adam Rudolph reunites with his longtime collaborator and mentor Yusef Lateef in the live 2-cd concert recording In the Garden, performed by the Go: Organic Orchestra, jointly released on the artists’ own Meta and Yal labels (distribution by City Hall & North Country). Since 1988, hand percussion innovator Adam Rudolph and the legendary multi reed master Dr. Yusef Lateef (ex-Dizzy Gillespie/ Charles Mingus/ Cannonball Adderly) have developed a process of composing collaboratively, and have recorded 12 albums together.

Their long history of exploring and creating innovative means of composing together fully ripens in In the Garden, the third concert recording of Adam Rudolph’s Go: Organic Orchestra.In the Garden was recorded live in concert on March 1 & 2 of 2003 at the Electric Lodge in Venice, California. Rudolph improvisationally conducts the 22-member Go: Organic Orchestra, utilizing themes and cues which he and Lateef composed. This large woodwind and percussion ensemble includes elder master artists Bennie Maupin, Alex Cline, Munyungo Jackson and Ralph Jones, as well as musicians from classical, improvising and world music backgrounds. Percussion and woodwind instruments from around the world are orchestrated with Western clarinets, flutes and saxophones. In the Garden was created using unique compositional approaches including Rudolph’s concept of “Cyclic Verticalism,” and Lateef’s concepts of “Clustonics” and triple diminished and hexatonic scales. The pieces were composed with traditional Western notation as well as graphic scores and grids, and conducted with a series of hand signals developed by Rudolph.

“Nanna” is an improvised duet with Rudolph on handrumset and Lateef on tenor sax. “Morphic Resonance” features a viola/ flute/ percussion quartet composed by Lateef, alongside a flute quintet and a viola solo composed by Rudolph, which contextualize improvisational solos by Yusef Lateef on flute and Bennie Maupin on bass clarinet. The theme to “Lobelia, Euphorbia, Rock” was composed by Rudolph; it has a melody for three clarinets and a flute composed by Lateef; and it features solos by Bennie Maupin (bass clarinet), David Philipson (North Indian bansuri flute) and Pablo Calogero (bass flute). The eleven minute “Amanita,” composed and performed by Rudolph in a 63 beat rhythm cycle, features solos by Lateef on flutes & tenor sax.

Unprecedented and uncategorizable, the music on In the Garden draws from sophisticated 20th century European compositional techniques, as well as African and Asian scales and instruments. These enchanting sonic environments are rooted in the creative American improvisational tradition, which Dr. Lateef has termed “autophysiopsychic,” meaning music which derives from the physical, spiritual and mental self. This ambitious and powerful project achieves an extraordinary freedom and unity, brought about through discipline and diversity.

Collaborations of Yusef Lateef & Adam Rudolph have fascinated and delighted audiences throughout North America and Europe with performances at the Northsea, San Francisco and Montreal Jazz Festivals. “Double Concerto” premiered at Symphony Space in New York City in 1988 with the Eternal Wind ensemble. “Double Concerto #2,” for 20 musicians, was performed at the California Institute of the Arts in 1989. “The World at Peace,” for 12 musicians, was commissioned in 1995 with a grant from the Meet the Composer/ Rockefeller Foundation/ AT&T Program in partnership with the National Endowment of the Arts. “Beyond the Sky,” for 8 musicians, premiered in 2000 at Lincoln Center in New York in honor of Dr. Lateef’s 60 years of performing.