Riyaaz Qawwali is set to perform on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at Zankel Hall in New York City. Riyaaz performs the ecstatic improvisational Sufi vocal tradition made famous in the West by the late Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, enthralling listeners with its lively rhythms, joyous melodies and inspirational poetry.
In addition to celebrating the traditional qawwali that has been in existence for over 700 years, the ensemble also weaves various songs and poetry of South Asia into the qawwali framework, using qawwali as a universal message of oneness that transcends religious boundaries.
Most qawwali troupes are composed of Muslim family members, but Riyaaz Qawwali, which is based in Texas, is composed of musicians who represent the diversity of South and Central Asia; they are of Indian, Pakistani, Afghani, and Bangladeshi descent, and come from various spiritual backgrounds, including Islam, Hinduism, and Sikhism. The ensemble last appeared in New York at globalFEST 2015 and has an album titled Kashti.
Esperanza Fernández (Spain) and Gonzalo Rubalcaba (Cuba) are set to perform on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at Roulette in New York City.
Esperanza Fernández, one of the flamenco world’s leading singers, and Havana-born pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, come together for Oh Vida!, a performance dedicated to two legendary figures: Cuban singer-bandleader Beny Moré, known as El Bárbaro del Ritmo, and the Gypsy flamenco singer Manolo Caracol, known for his passionate voice.
Fernández, born in Seville into an important Gypsy family of artists, is deeply rooted in the singing traditions of Lebrija and Triana. She worked with such luminaries as Mario Maya, Camarón de la Isla, and Enrique Morente.
Piano maestro Gonzalo Rubalcaba, acclaimed for his solid technique and originality, has developed his own distinctive voice and challenged the traditional musical classifications of the day.
Country and American folk singer-songwriter John Prine is set to perform MerleFest 2016. This will be his first appearance in a decade at the festival. Prine wrote classics like “Angel from Montgomery,” “Sam Stone,” “Paradise” and “Hello in There.” His music speaks to the everyday experience of ordinary people with a simply honesty.
Performers who have recorded from Prine’s extensive catalog include Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, the Everly Brothers, John Denver, Kris Kristofferson, Carly Simon, Ben Harper, Joan Baez, George Strait, Old Crow Medicine Show, Norah Jones, Bette Midler, Miranda Lambert and many others.
Mathias Duplessy and Mukhtiyar Ali will present a fusion of Sufi and French music at Udaipur World Music Festival. The festival takes place February 13 & 14, 2016 in India.
French musician Mathias Duplessy started working with the Sufi Indian singer Mir Mukhtiyar Ali six years ago and soon realized they had a common language in music. They evolved a style of their own that was inspired by Rajasthani folk, flamenco, blues, reggae, African, Japanese and Mongolian music. In 2011, they recorded an album in Paris called “Jeena Jeena” and are performing since with the great sarangi player Sabir Khan as special guest.
Mathias Duplessy plays dozens of instruments. His type of world music crosses numerous musical boundaries. His influences include flamenco, Middle Eastern, classical music and gypsy jazz. Mathias has a lot of projects following his music encounters and composes music for films in France, Morocco and India (Peepli Live, Finding Fanny).
Mir Mukhtiyar Ali comes from the semi-nomadic community called Mirasi from the Thar desert. He lives in Pugal, in a village at the border with Pakistan and Rajasthan. He belongs to the 26th generation of this community which has successfully kept alive the oral tradition Sufiana Qalam.
Mukhtiyar Ali has a captivating voice. He has preserved the ideology of Sufiana music which impels divine communion with an ecstasy created in total detachment. He pervades this very essence of Sufiana Qalam with his involvement not just in the music but also in its poetry.
Today, while singing Sufi poetry all over India with his original compositions, he’s also regularly called in Bombay to work on film background scores and touring abroad with his Jeena Jeena team.
Celtic rock band Scythian is set to perform at MerleFest 2016. Based in Washington, D.C., Scythian merges classical ability with thunderous energy to give crowds an exuberant barn-dance rock concert experience.
Band members include Alexander Fedoryka on fiddle, mandolin, bass and vocals; Celtic fiddler Josef Crosby on fiddle, bass and vocals; Danylo Fedoryka on rhythm guitar, accordion and vocals; Tim Hepburn on drums and percussion; and Larissa Fedoryka on cello.
Fado star Maria do Carmo Carvalho Rebelo de Andrade, better known as Carminho, is set to perform at the Udaipur World Music Festival. The event takes place Saturday and Sunday, February 13 & 14, 2016.
Her debut album “Fado” (EMI) was one of the most acclaimed albums in Portugal in 2009; it went Platinum. Fado was followed by Alma (EMI,2012) and Canto (Warner Music, 2014).
Carminho’s success led to a showcase at WOMEX 2011 and in the UNESCO headquarters, in Paris, within the scope of Fado as World Heritage candidate. Then came the invitation to participate in Pablo Alborán’s “Pablo Alboran” album, which became a phenomenon of popularity in both Portugal and Spain.
Garifuna guitarist and singer-songwriter Aurelio Martinez is set to perform on February 2 – 3, 2016 at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle. The lineup for the concert includes Aurelio Martinez on lead vocals and guitar, Benigno Guerrero on bass and vocals, Denton Figueroa on shaker and vocals, Charles Garcia on Garifuna drum and Philip Garcia on Garifuna drum.
Aurelio Martinez is one of Central America’s most talented performers. Born in Honduras, Aurelio is a leading tradition-bearer of the Garifuna culture that draws from its African and Caribbean Indian roots. The original home of the Garifuna people is St. Vincent in the West Indies, from which they were deported in 1796 by the British government. They landed on Roatán Island, located in the Bay of Honduras and later migrated to the neighboring main lands of Central America.
In 2004, Aurelio released his first solo album called Garifuna Soul backed by some of Belize and Honduras’ finest studio musicians.
Two years later, in 2006, Aurelio took on a new role as a politician in the Honduran National Congress, and became the first Garifuna deputy of his region as well as the first black congressman in the country’s national history. As a politician, Aurelio’s main goal was to represent and support the Garifuna people through concrete manifestation that would protect their integrity as a whole.
In 2011Aurelio released his second album, Laru Beya a compilation of soulful songs linking back to African roots. After his debut in the African scene, Aurelio made a return to his musical roots with his third album Lándini featuring as its main theme, a traditional Garifuna community way of life.
Show times Tues. and Weds. at 7:30 p.m. Doors at 6:00 p.m.
The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley
2033 6th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98121
Aleksandar Simic (Serbia), Saskia Rao de Haas (The Netherlands) & Shubhendra Rao (India) are set to perform on February 13th, 2016 at Udaipur World Music Festival in India.
Aleksandar Simic has established a reputation as one of the leading classical composers of his generation. His most acclaimed works include “Under One Roof” (An Anthropological Journey for the Symphony Orchestra): Commissioned by the United Nations in 2011, celebrating the goals and ideas of the UN Alliance of Civilizations Initiative; “Zodiac – 12 Character Pieces for Piano & Orchestra: sponsored by NASA and the US State Department, with a set of remarkable video installations made from the materials captured by Hubble ST and Voyager ISM, that have been especially designed to follow the music; Missa Solemnior: Marking the Year of Reconciliation following 950 years of the Great Schism between eastern and western Christianity – a Vatican commission; and “Zhukov – A Portrait”, commissioned by the Russian Federation to mark the 50th anniversary of victory in WWII. Live experience of the cycle’s performances.
Saskia Rao de Haass is an outstanding cellist and composer from the Netherlands. She has introduced her innovative new instrument, the Indian cello, to North Indian classical music and created a unique playing style to perform Indian music on the cello. Saskia, although born in Holland, performs at the most prominent music festivals and concert halls the world over as a virtuoso of Indian Classical music.
Saskia has created music for different music productions, dance, film and theatre. She is the founder of the Raga Mala String Quartet and co-founder of East Marries West with Shubhendra Rao. Her varied experiences include collaborations with artists of South Indian music, Jazz, Indian film music, Western classical, Klezmer, Flamenco and contemporary. Saskia has recorded with International record labels and has recently recorded her new album.
Pandit Shubhendra Rao is a composer and sitar soloist, a protégé of world renowned Sitar maestro, Pandit Ravi Shankar, he has established himself not only as a master of his instrument but also as a thinking musician, constantly endeavoring to carry his instrument beyond conventional boundaries.
Shubhendra ji has performed at major music festivals and concert halls like Broadway and Carnegie Hall in New York, WOMAD festival in Guernsey, UK, Sydney Opera House in Australia, National Arts Festival in South Africa, Theatre de le Ville in Paris, Edinburgh festival and Doverlane Music Conference in India.
Towersey Festival revealed today the 2016 lineup. The 52nd Towersey Festival will take place August 26-29, 2016 in Thame, Oxfordshire (UK). The program features headliners Billy Bragg, The Wonder Stuff, Kate Rusby and Midge Ure. Other artists include the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Tom Robinson Band, Edward II, 9Bach, The Young’uns, Nizlopi and Nell Bryden, plus long-term Towersey favorites Roy Bailey, Rusty Shackle and Nancy Kerr and James Fagan.
Outstanding acoustic roots singer-songwriter Kate Rusby, from Yorkshire’s, was recipient of the prestigious British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors’ Gold Badge Award in 2014. Throughout her career she has collaborated with artists as diverse as Ronan Keating, Paul Weller, Richard Thompson, Blur’s Graham Coxon and Radiohead’s Philip Selway.
Influenced by Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and the Do It Yourself punk scene, Billy Bragg is one of the UK’s most esteemed songwriters, capable of writing both biting social commentary and tender love songs. Bragg last topped the Towersey bill in 2011.
The Wonder Stuff will perform at Towersey Festival as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations. The band from the West Midlands scored a run of big-selling Top 40 hits in the early 1990s including “The Size Of A Cow”, “Circlesquare” and the number one “Dizzy”. Fronted by Miles Hunt, ‘The Stuffies’ continue to release high-spirited new music.
As a solo artist and band member, Midge Ure has contributed to an astounding number of hits. His career spans teen sensations Silk, Irish rockers Thin Lizzy, Sex Pistol’s spin-off The Rich Kids, new romantics Visage, and electronic pioneers Ultravox. He also co-wrote and produced Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Ure’s most recent album, Breathe Again, saw the musician revisit his Celtic roots, while the accompanying tour featured such ‘greatest hits’ as “If I Was”, “Vienna”, “No Regrets”, “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes” and “Fade To Grey”.
BBC Radio 2 Folk Music Awards 2015 winners are also part of the festival line-up, including The Young’uns (Best Group), Welsh act 9Bach (Best Album for Tincian), Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker (Best Duo), and Nancy Kerr ( Best Singer).
“We’ve got a great mix of acts this year performing across six stages including at least four chart-toppers in Billy Bragg, The Wonder Stuff, Midge Ure and Nizlopi,” said Towersey Festival Director Joe Heap. “There’s also some of the biggest names in acoustic and roots music, from the exceptional Kate Rusby to crowd-pleasing Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.”
Tickets to the festival are on sale now with Adult Day tickets from £40, Youth £28, Child £18 and under 5s free. Full festival tickets are £115-£57 (Tier 2). Camping available from £10. For further information and to book tickets, see: www.towerseyfestival.com
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