Category Archives: Events

Europe In Union: European Roots Musicians

Ojos de Brujo
Ojos de Brujo
London, England – Europe In Union is a new co-operation between some of the UK’s best known world music activists. It’s a groundbreaking series of monthly concerts at the Union Chapel in Islington, showcasing innovative European roots musicians. Supporting them will be some of  the best UK-based artists from the different cultural communities, as highlighted by Radio 3’s online
World On Your Street
project. All the concerts will be recorded by BBC Radio 3 for later broadcast in World Routes, Late Junction or the Andy Kershaw program. The artists will be the guests of Charlie Gillett on BBC London 94.9 the night before their gig.

The organizing team are fRoots Magazine in association with BBC Radio 3, Charlie Gillett, promoters Serious, KAPA Productions, the Union Chapel, World On Your Street, Banners On The Hill and
others. Europe in Union is grant funded by the Arts Council England.

Doors open at 7.30 p.m. All concerts commence at 8.00 p.m.
Tickets are available from
or 020 8340 9651. £12 per concert or first 3 concerts for £30.

In a press release one of the organizers said about the series: “There’s no doubt that Europe has become the hot new focus in world music, a particularly fertile breeding ground for contemporary roots musicians developing new approaches to traditions. Strangely though, many of these artists have had
little opportunity for live exposure in the UK compared to African, Latin or Asian names. Although their CDs get aired by the BBC’s world music programs and enthusiastically featured and reviewed in the pages of fRoots magazine, they tend to play here rarely outside of festivals. But things are about to change

Concert schedule:

Sunday, September 21st:

World 2003, compiled by Charlie Gillett
World 2003, compiled by Charlie Gillett

EUGENIO BENNATO & TARANTA POWER From southern Italy, mixing the wild sound of the traditional tarantella with modern pan-Mediterranean influences. Hear the title track of their latest album Che Il Mediterraneo Sia on Charlie Gillett’s new World 2003 compilation. Interview at + MODESTE HUGUES
Masterful guitarist/ singer from southern Madagascar
Sunday, October 19th

KRISTI STASSINOPOULOU From Greece, Kristi and her musicians produce a totally mesmerising blend of Greek traditional music with rock and electronica. Her latest album The Secrets Of The Rocks topped the European World Music charts for several months this year, and has just been released in the UK by Wrasse Records + LITTLE GEORGE SUEREF
Gripping 1950s-style blues, great voice, harmonica, guitar. And Greek parents!

Sunday, November 16th

OJOS DE BRUJO From Spain, putting a hip-hop spin on flamenco. One of the hottest new bands on the European circuit, their sensational spot at last year’s Womex gained them a nomination in the Radio 3 Awards for World Music. Their latest album is Bari. They also have a track on Charlie Gillett’s World 2003 and they were one of the biggest hits of this year’s WOMAD festival.

Syrian virtuoso of the qanun zither, with his innovative group. (This concert will be part of the London Jazz Festival)


Havana, to the Rhythm of Hip-Hop

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – Hip-hop or rap, born in the 70’s in the black and Latin neighborhoods of New York, was reaffirmed as a strong music movement in Cuba where it coexists with the most popular genres such as salsa and son.

A representation of Cuban rappers of the more than 1,000 groups throughout the Island, are heard in several spots in Havana this week during the ninth edition of the Havana Hip-Hop Festival, where 73 bands, 53 local and 20 foreign are taking part.

The Hermanos Saíz Association (AHS) organized this international festival with groups, DJs, break-dance dancers and graffiti artists -expression always linked to rap from its early stages- coming from the US, Canada, Great Britain, Colombia, Mexico, Switzerland and Brazil. AHS President Alpidio Alonso recently stated that Cuban rap “has more to do with our reality and has won identity in the lyrics as well as the music.”

They have a face -he stated -, their own profile, and, consequently, they reflect the problems of our youth, their dreams and concerns.


Floydfest World Music Festival Begins this Week

Floydfest_logoFloyd, Virginia, USA – The second annual Floydfest … Outta This World Music Festival, is set for Aug. 15-17 at a magnificent 80-acre site off the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd County.

This year the African Showboyz will join the Kusun, straight from the bush of Accra, Ghana, and take the stage alongside such greats as The David Grisman Quintet, Peter Rowan, Tony Rice, Nickel Creek, and many more, as well as a host of local talent. The event also celebrates the wealth of indigenous artisanship in the area, including demo workshops, and dedicates a large space to showcasing the healing arts, with daily yoga and tai chi classes, as well as a variety of massage and body work.

This year’s Flodfest also will be remembering its friend Babatunde Olatunji, who recently passed away not long after taking an active role in helping bring African Showboyz from the northern bush of Ghana to the festival for their first visit to United States.When Babatunde Olatunji mailed a handwritten letter to musician and promoter Kris Hodges, little did he know that the music from his homeland of Africa, a music he was working to preserve by showcasing unknown African bands to a US audience, would be making a debut performance in the US in the rural Virginia mountain town of Floyd.

The Kusun Ensemble, a troupe of musicians from Accra, Ghana led by Nii Tettey Tetteh, is slated for an opening performance Friday morning. But the Kusun has already found a second home in Floyd, Virginia, USA. In the two months prior to the festival, Hodges has scheduled the group to lead drum and dance workshops in the area and perform at universities and local venues. On a warm July evening they give an impromptu performance at a community potluck, singing and drumming on a makeshift stage and taking turns leading the audience in the provocative movements of African dance. They’re lodging a few miles out of the one-stoplight town of Floyd, a left off of Route 8 and another onto ‘Milky
Way’, and into High Flowing, one of Floyd’s many alternative communities.

When Hodges when to Africa to study African drumming, he and Tettey made a spiritual connection. The two deplored the plight of Africa, a continent wasting for lack of an economy and the knowledge necessary to create a viable infrastructure. They discussed global politics, and how fear and greed create the illusion of separateness. They spent their time playing music, reaffirming the idea that music and culture are unifying forces, which transcend social boundaries. Hodges invited Tettey to come to America, to Floyd, to experience his community and to play at a festival he was planning; the Floyd World Music Festival.

Stop by on any given weekday during the summer and you’re likely to hear the unlikely sound of an accordion, played by German-born hostess and bohemian artist Starroot, behind the complex beat of traditional African drums and percussion. On and around the low-slung porch of the main house a colorful group dances, sings, and plays music, as the smells of a fish fry drift through the
open windows.

In the southwest Virginia mountain town of Floyd, an eclectic blend of cultures are living a harmonious existence. Floyd is home to some of the finest bluegrass and old-time musicians around; and they all come together every Friday night for a jamboree at the old Country Store downtown. Simultaneously there exists a deeply-rooted counterculture, established in the early 1970s,
exemplified by the existence of a thriving health food’s coop, a hip vegetarian restaurant, and the New Mountain Mercantile, which does a brisk tourist business selling locally made crafts including pottery, candles, stained glass, clothing, sculpture and jewelry. Outside an office atop the mercantile, a lighted movie-style marquee sign reads: “Across-the-Way Productions, headquarters of the Floyd World Music Festival.”


Tribute to Cuban Singer in New York

Carlos Patato Valdés
Carlos Patato Valdés
(Prensa Latina -Cumbancha) New York, USA – Legendary Cuban singer Graciela Pérez, who performed with the orchestra of Latin jazz forerunner Machito will be paid homage by her colleagues this coming August 27, on her 87th birthday.

According to entrepreneur Charles Carlini, a group of outstanding jazz and salsa musicians, including Ray Barreto, Cándido Camero, Carlos “Patato” Valdés, Larry Harlow, Bobby Sanabria, Steve Turre, Mike Collazo, Ray Mantilla and Arturo O’Farrill Jr., will take part in the tribute to take place at the Birdland center.

Graciela Pérez had a long and successful career that made her famous as “the queen of bolero.” She accompanied her brother Francisco Pérez, who had to change his identity to Frank Grillo, and made history with his band, called Machito and his Afro-Cubans, which once enlisted such music myths as Mario Bauzá and Chano Pozo.

According to most experts, the fusion of Be Bop with Cuban music, the creation of Cu Bop, and, consequently, Latin jazz was precisely led by Machito’s orchestra and the encounter of this band with Dizzy Gillespie in the mid-1940s.


Celtic Fusion Has Begun

Down, Northern Ireland – The annual Celtic Fusion International Music Festival began today and will run until August 10.

This year there was a special opener, Celtic Ceili with Pipes in Ballynahinch on Thursday 7 August, featuring Robert Watt, world champion piper and friends. Michael McGoldrick and Band in concert on Friday 8 August in Castlewellan.

On Saturday 9 August, the Main Festival Stage in Castlewellan Forest Park will play host to a number of highly regarded and talented international musicians including:

· La Bottine Souriante (Quebec, Canada)
· Altan (Ireland)
· Dougie MacLean (Scotland)
· Sharon Shannon (Ireland)
· Shooglenifty (Scotland).

Danu live in concert on Sunday 10 August in Newcastle.

Ticket prices for the main festival stage performance on Saturday 9 August in Castlewellan Forest Park are £20.00 (Under five’s go free). A limited number of family tickets will be available for this main event at a special price of £50.00 for two adults and three children.

Tickets are £10 each for the Michael McGoldrick and Band concert on Friday 8 August and for Danu on Sunday 10 August.

Tickets for the festival will be going on sale May 8th from Ticketmaster and usual outlets.


28th New York Salsa Festival at Madison Square Garden

Oscar D'Leon
Oscar D’Leon
New York, USA – A large gathering of salsa artists will take place September 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The salsa festival with feature well known artists: Gilberto Santa Rosa & his Orchestra, Oscar D’Leon & his Orchestra, Fania All Stars, Johnny Pacheco, Ray Barreto , Cheo Feliciano, Ismael Miranda, Papo Lucca, Bobby Valentin, Roberto Roena, Larry Harlow, Yomo Toro, Alfredo De La Fe, Jimmy Bosh, Adalberto Santiago, Junior Gonzáles, Ismael Quintana, and young Puerto Rican sonero Ray Viera.


Musicport Festival

TransGlobal Underground
TransGlobal Underground
Whitby, North Yorkshire,England – Trans-Global Underground, Ensemble Kaboul, Martin Simpson & 40 other acts will be performing at Musicport, October 24th-26th, 2003. The festival is held annually in Whitby (North Yorkshire, England).

Musicport is a celebration of music and dance from different cultures around the globe. Now in it’s 4th year it is becoming a major international showcase for the top acts in the field of World Music & dance as well as proving a wonderfully magical & enjoyable event for all the family. Set against the backdrop of Whitby the festival pays homage to the town’s seafaring connections with the wider world.

Acts that have appeared in previous years include Misty in Roots, Osibisa, Labi Siffre, Kanda Bongo Man, Los De Abajo, Vera Bila & Waterson Carthy. Musicport is a not for profit community business with funding from Arts Council Yorkshire, Yorkshire Forward, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, PRS Foundation & Scarborough Borough Council

The Festival mainly happens in one venue – Whitby Pavilion Complex-with a capacity of 1000 in the main hall 500 in the theatre and 300 in the exhibition hall. Catering is provided both in the Pavilion café and by ethnic food vans just outside the main entrance.

The concerts take place Friday 24th – Sunday 26th October. The festival starts at 6.30pm on Friday and goes on until early hours Sat am. It starts again around 10.30am Saturday finishing 2am Sunday morning. Starts again 11am Sunday morning and finally finishes 11pm Sunday. The organizers try not to overlap acts on the two main stages so people don’t have to miss anything on these stages. There will be an added extra this year as the clocks go back on the Sunday morning .

In total there will be over 40 acts on the main stages including:

Trans-Global Underground as headline act for this year’s festival.

Ustad Mahwash & Ensemble Kaboul (Afghanistan) winners of BBC Radio3 2003 World Music Award Best Asia Act.The band that kept the music of Afghanistan alive
through the dark years.

Kékélé (Congo), Congolese veteran rumba band often described as Buena Vista Social Club of Africa.

The Bisserov Sisters(Bulgaria), celebrating 25 years of thrilling audiences world wide.

Ali Slimani Band (Algeria), Wonderful Rai band fronted by ex Invaders of The Heart lead singer.

Go.Lem System (Argentina/Spain) Manu Chao’s sometimes backing band on exclusive trip from Barcelona to UK for Musicport.
The Dhol Foundation with Johnny Kalsi (Punjab/UK),Afro Celt System drummer & fantastic band who were sensational at Musicport 2001.

Mighty Zulu Nation (South Africa) , Dance and song from great South African troupe.

Shiva Nova (India/UK), jazz meets classical meets ambient.

Charanga Del Norte (Cuba/UK) wonderful salsa band and Musicport veterans.

Lion Train (Jamaica/UK), music in the spirit of Bob Marley and great live show.
Ben Melo Band (Senegal),On their first trip to Uk. The band who often support
Youssou N’Dour in Senegal

Téa & Mirella (Bosnia),wild & haunting gypsy music

Julie Murphy Dylan Fowler & Danny Thompson (Wales),One of the finest singers in UK joined by great guitarist & legendary double bass player.

Martin Simpson & Spencer Bohren (USA/UK), Martin winner of Radio 2 awards 2002 for best album & best instrumentalist with Spencer great gospel singer /
guitarist from New Orleans.
Talisman (Russia), First UK appearance for incredible gypsy trio.

Modeste Hugues (Madagascar) highly rated singer songwriter.
Davide Sanna (Sardinia). “The Mediterranean Bob Dylan”.

Robert Maseko & Congobeat- Musicport favourite with new line-up and great new

Eduardo Niebla (Spain) stunning flamenco guitarist.

Rajan Spolia (India) India guitar and tabla

Bombay Baja – Bollywood brass ensemble

Nick Burman – one of the great didg players

The Old Rope String Band- Musical &Magical mayhem

Tuup the world renowned storyteller will perform the official opening.

Late night DJ sets and venue decor from locally based artists Cloudbase

There will be an adult workshop programme running throughout the weekend and
numerous stalls selling musical instruments, crafts etc as well as information
stalls on issues of global interest.
An adult weekend ticket (which is non-transferable) entitles you to free access
to all events within the festival.

Full weekend tickets are £45 until 30th July when they go up to £59
unwaged) Tickets for children over 10 are half the adult price. Children under
10 are free
Family tickets, day tickets and sessional tickets are also available (Contact festival office for detail)
Although under 10s have free entry to the main Festival there is a
separate sessional charge for the children’s festival events (around £2 for 3
hour session). There will be a range of artists working specifically on the
children’s festival stage performing and running workshops. The children’s
stage will be organised and supervised by InterActive a local charity who run
holiday playschemes in the Whitby area .

There is a free access venue at the Resolution Hotel, Skinner Street with a separate program of mainly acoustic artists and featuring some main
stage artists as well.

Contact numbers Jim McLaughlin @ Musicport Office 44(0)1947 603475
Fax 01947 603509

[Photo caption: TransGlobal Underground]


WOMEX 2003 Showcase Selection Announced

Berlin, Germany – The list of world music artists selected to participate at the WOMEX 20034 showcase has been announced. The selection is made by a jury that varies every year. Performing at a WOMEX showcase is very important for musicians because the event is attended by most of programmers of the top folk and world music festivals in Europe and North America.

Complete list of performers:

* Amal Murkus (Palestine/Israel)
* Ana Sofia Varela (Portugal)
* Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra (USA)
* Bazar Blå (Sweden)
* Bebo Valdés & Diego “El Cigala” (Cuba/Spain)
* Clotaire K (Lebanon/France)
* DJ Dolores (Brazil)
* DJ Martin Morales (UK)
* El Bicho (Spain)
* Faiz Ali Faiz (Pakistan)
* Future World Funk (UK)
* Gilad Atzmon & Orient House Ensemble (Israel/Romania/UK)
* Guaco (Venezuela)
* Huracán de Fuego (Venezuela)
* Jaojoby (Madagascar)
* Javier Ruibal (Andalucia/Spain)
* Jony Iliev & Band (Bulgaria)
* La Vela Puerca (Uruguay)
* L’Ham de Foc (Spain)
* Lo’Jo (France)
* Majid Bekkas (Morocco)
* Malouma (Mauritania)
* Manecas Costa (Guinea-Bissau/Portugal)
* Manou Gallo & Le Djiboi (Ivory Coast/Belgium)
* Marcel Khalife (Lebanon/France)
* Mawaca (Brazil)
* Musafir (Rajasthan/India)
* Nação Zumbi (Brazil)
* Otto (Brazil)
* Sevara Nazarkhan (Uzbekistan)
* Sidi Goma (Gujarat/India)
* Teofilo Chantre (Cape Verde/France)
* Tiharea (Madagascar/Belgium)
* Tinariwen (Mali)
* Weird MC (Nigeria/UK)
* Yusa (Cuba)


Preparation for Benny Moré Festival in Progress

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Santa Isabel de las Lajas (Cienfuegos), Cuba.- With more than a hundred activities on the program, preparations for the Benny More International Festival of Popular Music, to take place September 11 through 14, is making progress in the city. The cradle of the “Sonero” King, Cienfuegos, and Havana will be once again be the venues for the cultural event, this year celebrating its 14th edition. Front line groups and soloists will perform at the Festival, with which the local cultural institutions will enrich with the homage to the mythic figure of Benny, whose presence is felt in each corner of the southern municipality. The community will star in the program that will include options leading to the native roots and knowledge on the life and work of the musician from Santa Isabel de las Lajas. Year after year the Festival becomes an event ennobling the life and work of the King of Rhythm.


Night of Latin Vibration and Emotion with Bebo and Chucho Valdés

Chucho Valdes
Chucho Valdes
(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) San Sebastian, Spain – Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés, his son Chucho, and the band “Irakere”, along with Spanish Flamenco singer Diego Jiménez Salazar “El Cigala”, brought Latin vibes and emotion to the fourth night of the 38th edition of San Sebastian Jazz Festival. It was a special moment for the Valdés family, who united once again on the stage, and also for “El Cigala” who had always wanted to meet Bebo’s son.

Bebo Valdés and Jiménez performed at Trinidad Square, an emblematic jazz spot in this city, the album they recorded together, Lágrimas Negras (Black Tears). The work is an approximation of flamenco to bolero, produced by Spanish moviemaker Fernando Trueba, director of Calle 54.Berbo Valdés, legend of the golden years of Cuban music, was applauded by the more than 3,000 people when he stepped on the stage at the sold-out event. “Lágrimas Negras” was the last bolero performed, in a show that included songs such as “Corazón Loco” and “La Bien Pagá.” Nobody wanted them to stop, but the following act was gratifying: Playing with his former band Irakere, Chucho Valdés showed he knows how to continue his father’s music legacy.

Buy Chucho Valdes’ CDs: New Conceptions, Solo Piano,
Briyumba Palo Congo
Fantasia Cubana: Variations on Classical Themes
, Yemayá, Afrocubanismo Live!, Bele Bele en La HabanaLive at the Village Vanguard, Babalu Ayé, and Desafios (with Omara Portuondo,
Solo: Live in New York
, Unforgettable Boleros, Live in Cuba, Cuban Jazz Pianissimo, Indestructible (Irakere), En Vivo (with Irakere and Ivan Lins), Invitacion, and Canciones Inéditas