Category Archives: Events

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


Lo Ferro National Flamenco Festival

Torre Pacheco, Murcia, Spain – The 24th edition of the flamenco song festival Festival Nacional de Cante Flamenco de Lo Ferro will take place August 23-31 in Torre Pacheco, Murcia province, in southeastern Spain.

The festival includes a contest, live performances by world class singers and guitarists, conferences and award presentations.

Saturday, 23 August

22.00 h.:
Gala Flamenca Amas de Casa de la Región de Murcia:
Festival opening cremony

Sunday, 24 August

22.00 h.:
Noche Trovera: “Con los Troveros de Cartagena y Murcia”

Monday, 25 August

20.30 h.:
“Approach to Flamenco Singing” course, given by Francisco José Sánchez Bandera
“Bonela hijo”

Tuesday, 26 August

20.30 h.:
“Charla Flamenca”, given by José Menese.

22.00 h.:

Wednesday, 27 August

12.00 h.:
“Recepction in honor of José Menese by the Mayor of  Torre-Pacheco.”

22.00 h.:
Gold medal presentation ceremony

Guest artists:

Official guitarists:
Antonio Fernández “EL TORERO” y “NIÑO CARRION”.

Thursday, 28 August

22.00 h.:

Official guitarists:
Antonio Fernández “EL TORERO” y “NIÑO CARRION”.

Guest artist: ARCANGEL
Acompañado a la guitarra por: MIGUEL ANGEL CORTES

Friday, 29 August

22.00 h.:

Official guitarists:
Antonio Fernández “EL TORERO” y “NIÑO CARRION”.

Artista invitado: EL CABRERO
Acompañado a la guitarra por: MANUEL DE PALMA

Saturday, 30 August

22.00 h.:

Official guitarists:
Antonio Fernández “EL TORERO” y “NIÑO CARRION”.

Artista invitada: JUANA AMAYA y su compañía.

Sunday, 31 August

20.00 h.:
Traditional Flamenco Mass

Al cante: Contest winners
Al Toque: Antonio Fernández “EL TORERO” y “NIÑO CARRION”


Arabic Music Retreat – 2003

Simon Shaheen is hosting the Seventh Annual Arabic Music Retreat at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA USA. August 9-16, 2003. The Retreat gathers master-level instructors to teach intensive theory and performance classes for a week, capped by a recital by participants and instructors. More information see:

Shaheen is one of the most significant Arab musicians, performers, and composers of his generation. His work incorporates and reflects a legacy of Arabic music, while it forges ahead to new frontiers, embracing many different styles in the process. This unique contribution to the world of arts was recognized in 1994 when Shaheen was honored with the prestigious National Heritage Award.In the 1990s he released four albums of his own: Saltanah (Water Lily Acoustics), Turath (CMP), Taqasim (Lyrichord), and Simon Shaheen: The Music of Mohamed Abdel Wahab (Axiom), while also contributing cuts to producer Bill Laswell’s fusion collective, Hallucination Engine (Island). He arranged and re-recorded the smash remake of the Latin singer Soraya’s song, I’m Yours, released on the compilation Desert Roses and Arabian Rhythms. He has contributed selections to soundtracks for The Sheltering Sky and Malcolm X, among others, and has composed the entire soundtrack for the United Nations-sponsored documentary, For Everyone Everywhere. Broadcast globally in December 1998, this film celebrated the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Human Rights Charter.

But perhaps his greatest success has come with Blue Flame (ARK21, 2001), where he leads his group, Qantara, on a labyrinthian journey through the world of fusion music to discover the heart of the Middle East.


Celebration of Afro-Latino Culture

Redondo Beach California, USA – A celebration of Afro-Latino Culture will take place Saturday, August 16, 2003, from 11:30AM – 6:00PM, in Redondo Beach, California.

There will be performances from Perú, Honduras, Colombia, and Brazil, with music & more than 20 dancers one one stage wearing traditional costumes from the coast of Perú. There will also be authentic cuisine from various countries in South America.For further information or reservations
contact (310) 323-3233. Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach CA. 90278.


Vive La World! Festival Tours North America

Natacha Atlas
Natacha Atlas
Bloomington, Indiana, USA – The 2003 edition of the Vive La World! world music tour will be taking place throughout the month of July. This year’s world music caravan features Natacha Atlas (Belgium/North Africa), Electro Bamako (France/Mali), DuOud (France/Tunisia), and So Kalmery (D. R. Congo).

Born in 1997 in Central Park (New York City),Vive La World! is a nomadic festival designed to introduce North American audiences to the diversity of music produced in France, focusing on world music and electro-world sounds.

Vive La World! helped launch the careers in America of such artists as Cheb Mami, Alabina, Rachid Taha, Orchestre National de Barbés, Amadou et Mariam, and Les Nubians. The VLW artists selected bring new sounds together with older traditional forms of music. This year’s caravan will stop in eight cities and draw a total audience of 100,000 people.

Vive La World!: Tour Schedule

07/09/2003, Wed
Quebec City
Festival d’été de Québec

  • Natacha Atlas only
  •   07/10/2003, Thu
    Quebec City
    Festival d’été de Québec

  • Natacha Atlas, DuOud, Electro-Bamako,So Kalmery
  •   07/11/2003, Fri
    Montreal, QC
    Nuit d’Afrique
      07/12/2003, Sat
    Miami Beach, FL
    Rhythm Foundation
      07/13/2003, Sun
    Detroit, MI

    Concert of Colors

      07/15/2003, Tue
    Vancouver, BC
    Caravan World Rhythms,
    Richards on Richards
      07/17/2003, Thu
    Washington, DC
    Kennedy Center

  • Natacha Atlas and DuOud
  •   07/18/2003, Fri
    Washington, DC
    Kennedy Center

  • Electro Bamako and So Kalmery
  •   07/19/2003, Sat
    Chicago, IL
      07/20/2003, Sun
    New York, NY
    Central Park SummerStage


    Updated California Worldfest Program

    California-worldfestChico, California, USA – There have been some changes to the program of the 2003 edition of WorldFest. The festival will take place July 17-20 in the fairgrounds of Grass Valley, California. The festival includes concerts, workshops (vocal, instrumental and percussion), a complete children’s program, and great food.


    Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca – Afro Cuban
    Mamadou Diabate Ensemble- Village tunes of Mali
    Robert Cray Band – Blues
    John Cowan Band – New Bluegrass
    Tommy Emmanuel – Guitar Wizard
    Perla Batalla – Mesamerican Chanteuse
    Alasdair Fraser – Scottish Fiddle
    Waifs – Australian Pop
    Obo Addy – Ghana Superstar
    Laura Love Duo with Jen Todd – Afro Celtic
    Inner Visions – Virgin Islands Reggae
    Juan L. Sanchez Ensemble – Cosmopolitan Sounds of Spain
    Mumbo Gumbo – Gulf Coast Boogie
    Vishten – Red Hot Acadian Fiddle & Dance
    the bluehouse – Sassy pop & harmony
    Balkan Cabaret – Old World Standards
    Incendio – Latin Guitar Fusion
    Joaquin Diaz – Caribbean Merengue
    Ancient Future with Habib Khan – Indian Classical
    David Jacobs-Strain – Acoustic Blues
    Gyan Riley – Classical Guitar
    Palm Wine Boys – Highlife & Soukous
    Beolach – Cape Breton Celtic
    Bjarv – Scandinavian Folk
    Paul Kamm & Eleanore MacDonald – Contemporary Folk
    Djunkyard Gypsies – Swing Jazz

    Plus, Troika Folk Dance, Sid Lewis’ Acoustic College, Hogcallers, Fiddle for
    Kids, and Music In The Mountains Competition Winners.

    Vocal, instrumental and percussion workshops, a complete children’s program, great food, and unique artisans. 

    Purchase tickets online at
    or call 530-891-4098 You can purchase an advance 4-day camping ticket for $90, a
    3-day camping ticket for $80, and a 2-day camping ticket for $65, all a savings
    of $10 per ticket off the gate price.  Camping ticket includes all music,
    workshops, children’s programs and camping at the festival.  A youth (age 13-16)
    ticket with camping is $35 for the whole festival and a child’s (age 5-12)
    ticket with camping is $15.  Children under 5 are free.

    RV HOOKUPS are available for the whole festival.  Full Hookups = $40.Visit for complete details. 
    Also, check the website for continuous artist updates.


    Festival Músicas do Mundo in Sines, Portugal

    Sines, Portugal – The 5th edition of Festival Músicas do Mundo (World Music Festival) 2003, will take place in Sines’ Castle (Portugal) July 24-26. The festival, which takes place since 1999 inside the walls of the old castle, presents on July 26th (Saturday), the Kronos Quartet, the most famous string quartet in the world, commemorating its 30th birthday this year.

    The group has been regarded as revolutionary because of the way it has bridged both the repertoires and audiences of classical and popular music (including jazz and world music). The Kronos Quartet opens the last of the FMM2003 evenings, followed by the French Kad Achouri and The Skatalites, the founders fathers of ska rhythm and of all contemporary Jamaican music. The Skatalites will end the Festival itself, as usual, under an uproar of dazzling fireworks.

    The Festival begins the July 24th (Thursday) with Portugal and Cape Verde. The opening concert will be fulfilled with the harmonic games of Danças Ocultas quartet, which has decided to give a new character to diatonic accordion in the Portuguese modern music production. Simentera, Cape Verde’s most representative group in the international world music circuit nowadays, closes the first night.

    he July 25th (Friday) program includes the performance of Mahwash & Ensemble Kabul (Afghanistan), 2003 winners for Asia / Pacific category in BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards. They will be followed by Mahotella Queens, the historic vocal trio from South Africa, and Totonho & Os Cabra, a Brazilian band that mixes the rural rhythms of “Nordeste” region with hip hop and electronics.

    Festival Músicas do Mundo (World Music Festival) is organized by Sines’ City Hall. The Festival, in its past four years life, has already entertained inside the walls of the old Castle, believed to be the birthplace of navigator Vasco da Gama, more than 40,000 people.

    Official site:


    Floydfest: World Music Festival in Virginia

    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 Virignia 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, Virginiaa, 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.”


    WorldFest in California

    California-worldfestChico, USA – The 2003 edition of WorldFest will take place July 17-20 in the fairgrounds of Grass Valley, California. The festival includes concerts, workshops (vocal, instrumental and percussion), a complete children’s program, and great food. This is the line-up so far:

    John Cowan Band ~ Vocal super band
    Tommy Emmanuel ~ Guitar Wizard
    Perla Batalla ~ Mesamerican Chanteuse
    Alasdair Fraser ~ Scottish Fiddle
    Waifs ~ Australian Pop
    Obo Addy ~ Ghana Superstar
    Laura Love Duo with Jen Todd ~ Afro Celtic
    Juan L. Sanchez Ensemble ~ Cosmopolitan Sounds of Spain
    Mamadou Diabate Ensemble~ Village tunes of Mali
    Vishten ~ Red Hot Acadian Fiddle & Dance
    the bluehouse ~ Sassy pop & harmony
    Balkan Cabaret ~ Old World Standards
    Incendio ~ Latin Guitar Fusion
    Joaquin Diaz ~ Caribbean Merengue
    Xavier Rudd ~ Didgeridoo Wildman
    Paul Kamm & Eleanore MacDonald ~ Contemporary Folk
    Plus, Troika Folk Dance and Sid Lewis’ Acoustic College

    For more information, go to: