Category Archives: Events

First Annual Africa Mondo Festival at SOBs, New York

New York, USA – New York City’s premiere world music club, Sounds of Brazil (SOBs),in association with Africamondo, will be presenting the 1st Annual Africa Mondo Festival on Sunday, May 25. There will be
live performances by Dominic Kanza and The African Rhythm Machine, Diblo Dibala, Kaïssa Doumbè and The Drums ofAfrica. Manning the wheels of steel will be Mister P and the event will be hosted by radio personality Kola Nut fromWLIB.

S.O.B.’s has remained in the forefront of musical diplomacy by presenting the most accomplished African musicians from Ali Farka Touré to Zap Mama, to music lovers worldwide. Now, with increased interest in the sounds of Africa, S.O.B.’s has created the Africa Mondo Festival that will once a year present the world’s greatest African musicians.

To initiate the Festival The Drums of Africa will perform a percussive prayer. Immediately following will be a moment of silence in honor of the world’s loss of one the most significant African musicians of the late twentieth century, Baaba Olatunji, to whom this first Festival is being dedicated with a portion of the proceeds going to the Baaba Olatunji Foundation.

Taking the stage first will be the spicy and joyous music of Dominic Kanza and The African Rhythm machine. Into his stew of Congolese soukous, Kanza throws spices from all of his international musical experiences including collaborations with Papa Wemba, José Feliciano, Paul Simon and Harry Belafonte.

Named best female vocalist in the 2001 African Music Awards, Kaïssa Doumbè has been thrilling audiences with her unique blend of R&B, jazz, makossa, African and Brazilian fusion. She sings in her native Cameroonian language and is accompanied by an international group of musicians with songs against war and injustice. Her electrifying performance is a testament to the power of music that
transcends cultural differences.

As if the evening wasn’t already magical, guitar wizard Diblo Dibala takes the stage next. Dibala is a master of the electric guitar, to such an extent that he can add intriguing new elements to a song without sounding cliché. He can take a song that begins as a romantic ballad, and slowly transform and rework it with his guitar playing into a hot dance track. Within each song, Dibala’s solo work
leads the music to higher and higher heights of listening pleasure.

For more information go to S.O.B.’s


Handpicked – An Acoustic Celebration of the Plucked String in London

London, England – As part of a national tour, Serious is presenting five of the world’s leading exponents of the plucked string at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Wednesday 4 June. It features a series of dazzling solos and unique collaborations, using minimal amplification to draw out the subtle and beautiful nature of the music.

The varied line-up includes one of the finest finger-style acoustic guitarists, Martin Simpson; Scottish guitarist Tony McManus, who brings the traditional jigs and reels of the Celtic diaspora to life; maestro of the kora, Senegalese Seckou Keita; Welsh harpist Llio Rhydderch; and Minna Raskinen who plays the haunting traditional Finnish kantele.


‘Global Fusion’ Is The Name Of This Year’s Pestalozzi Festival

Battle, East Sussex, UK – Following on from the success of World Music, Crafts and Storytelling 2002, the Pestalozzi International Village will be hosting a second even more ambitious event to be held on the weekend of Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th June 2003.

This year the plan is to take the festival one step further to incorporate the idea of global fusion. The emphasis will be on celebrating the similarities between cultures hosting artists who share influences through their music, crafts, storytelling and puppetry.This year there will be three main marquees, one more than last year, housing: Music – Storytelling – and Interactive Workshops. Visitors will be able to listen to fabulous bands in one, watch and interact with stories, music and puppets in another or take part in African Drumming and learn Belly Dancing in the third.

The main Music Marquee headline band for the Saturday night is Transglobal Underground; as with the Twinkle Brothers last year this band has a major cult following. Mandy Curtis Festival Co-ordinator explains: “ If one band sums up what we mean by global fusion it’s this one. Natacha Atlas provides eastern vocals and chants to the raps of the Transglobal Crew. They are famous for their live performances – Balinese tribal masks and Natacha’s chiffon-draped belly dancing in a hypnotic, dazzling display, fusing together the sound of global music with the contemporary dance scene. This is a must see act.

“As If Transglobal weren’t enough, we have Celloman, North African and Arabic influences, he plays electric cello with loads of attitude – Sugarbeat a mix of Mauritians and Jamaicans performing traditional SAGA music – Bushfaya a local group led by Nana Tsiboe combining young DJ’s mixing poetry to a dance beat – Sujata Banerjee Dance Company with traditional North Indian music interwoven with Flamenco dance – Maambena a fusion of West African music. And a real coup we have Black Voices, the Birmingham based acapella group renowned for their African, Caribbean and gospel sound.”

The storytelling theme is puppetry but all working within the framework of fusion. Mandy Curtis continues: “We are going to have a lot more hands-on activities for the children this year. There will be a puppet-making workshop run by Radiator Community Arts Group where the kids can make their own puppets and participate in a final procession at the end of each day session. Fantastic Circus Skills workshops, Belly Dancing, African Drumming and DJ Mixing.

“Usifu Jalloh makes a welcome return to the children’s marquee, as always Usifu will have the entire audience from the youngest to the oldest participating in the stories, singing, dancing and shouting. Pat Robson makes her Pestalozzi debut; she is an English storyteller who illustrates her tales with the aid of her magic quilt – and the marvellous ‘KINTU’ a puppet theatre show produced by the famous Theatre Rotto Puppet Company. Intensely visual as well as physical ‘KINTU’ combines unique shadow and rod puppets

One very popular feature from last year to appear again in even bigger numbers will be The World Craft Market: South African handicrafts, Latin American music, African drums and clothes, health goods, herbal products, oils, homeopathy, jewellery, paintings, ornaments, Tibetan arts and crafts, African arts, musical items and much more help to create that authentic festival atmosphere. Many stallholders are very keen to return to Pestalozzi, they see the festival as a stepping stone to their next big venue Glastonbury.

Mandy Curtis sums up: “ Last year, despite the weather and the World Cup, we managed to take the enormous step up from an open day to a two day event with all the colour, sounds and activities of a real live festival. Those who came last year were full of praise for what we had achieved and have been very supportive of our future plans. We are confident that this year will be even better than last and who knows, if everyone comes back and we attract a few more we could hit four thousand attendance this year. If that happens we are on our way to putting this festival well and truly on the map.”

Tickets are now on sale at: £6 per session in advance – £8 per session on the gate Children 5 and under will go in free while 6 – 16 year olds will pay £5 per session. Session times are Saturday 11am – 5pm Saturday evening: 5pm- 11pm. Sunday: 11am – 5pm. Ticket booking and information is available on: 01424 870444 or alternatively by visiting the Pestalozzi website at:


Northwest Folklife Festival

Seattle, Washington, USA –
Memorial Day Weekend means two things in the Pacific Northwest–the beginning of summer and the annual Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle. The Festival, an enormous celebration of folk traditions from every corner of the globe, is one of the largest in the country, bringing together more than 220,000 people every Memorial Day Weekend for a long weekend of jamming, dancing, and have-a-great-time participation. This year it will take place May 23-26, 2003.There are roughly 1,500 presentations on 21 stages over one weekend. There is participatory music and dancing, choral singing, storytelling; there are exhibits and workshops, films, panel discussions, poetry readings, craft sales and demonstrations and more throughout the weekend.

Music and dance performances focus on a variety of world cultures. Special events showcase the traditional music and dance of Korea, Senegal, and Southeast Asia. There are master classical musicians from north and south India, and an Arabic showcase featuring dance from Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt; music performed on the oud, the nay, and the tabla; and Arab women’s poetry. Performers present the traditional sounds of Africa, Asia, Brazil, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Philippines, South America, Western Europe and more.

Information at


Barbican: Ethnic and Urban Music from the former Eastern Bloc

London, England – Barbican Centre will present X-Bloc Reunion, May 23-31. It is a revolutionary mix of ethnic and urban music from the former Eastern Bloc. From wild Gypsy Balkan brass, to seductive Silk Road vocals, from Tuvan punk and Russian ska to Bulgarian voices and Czech Electronica.Fri 23: Djivan Gasparyan / Alim Qasimov / Sergey Starostin
The musical gods of Armenia and Azerbaijan perform with Russia’s leading folk singer and musician Sergey Starostin.

Sat 24: Boban Markovic & Frank London / Laikó Félix
First UK appearance by Boban Markovic, leader of Serbia’s biggest and best Gypsy brass band, plus Klezmatics trumpeter Frank London. Hungarian violinist extraordinaire Laikó Félix
opens the evening.

Sun 25: Sui Vesan / Iva Bittova
The Czech Republic and Slovakia are reunited for one night in the performances of two extraoridary female artists.

Sun 25: Leningrad
Moscow’s hippest music export make their first ever trip to London, mixing elements of ska, punk, and jaz with a unique dissident edge.

Mon 26: Eastern Divas – Sainkho / Esma Redžepova / Sevara

A holy trinity of divas – ethereal seductive and surreal; Tuva’s Sainkho, Sereva, the new voice from Uzbekistan, and Queen of Gypsy singers Esma Redžepova.

Mon 26: Yat-Kha – Storm Over Asia
Tuvan punk band Yat-Kha perform a live film soundtrack to Vsevold Pudovkin’s 1928 silent masterpiece Storm Over Asia

Thu 29: Koutev Ensemble & Theodosii Spassov
Philip Koutev was the genius behinnd Le Mysèter Voix Bulgares and this group is the forerunner of that tradition and bearer of his name, today. A spectacular show performed with female choir, folk orchestra and innovative Kaval player Theodosii Spassov.

Fri 30: Mostar Sevdah Reunion & Ljiljana Buttler / Merita Halili
Representing the mulit-ethnic sould of Bosnia, Mostar Sevdah Reunion perform herer with veteran Gypsy sinder Ljiljana Buttler. The show is opened by Albanian star Merita Halili.

Fri 30: Anatoly Vapirov Quintet featuring Tomasz Stanko
Bulgaria-based Russian free-jazz saxophonist Anatoly Vapirov performs his imspired improsiations with his band, featuring the Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko.

Sat 31: Goran Bregović – Tolerant Heart
Sarajevo-born composer Goran Bregovic’s stunning new work features his Weddings and Funerals band, an Andaulz Orchestra from Morocco, Russian choir and singers Amnia from Tunsia and Dana International from Israel.

Plus talks, workshops, films & free music and dance featuring Kharkov Klezmer (Ukraine), Jony Iliev (Bulgaria), Szascsavas (Transylvania), Oi Va Voi (UK), Ecstacy of St Theresa, Pavel Fajt (Czech Republic), Stepandia (Siberia), Fanfare Ciocarlia (Romania), Coxless Pair (Siberia), Amina Sound System, Naming the Golem (Hungary), Chudobah (Poland), Orkestar Agusevi (Macedonia) and the Akhatamov Dance Group (Armenia).

Tickets for X-BLOC REUNION are on sale now from the Barbican Box Office 020 7638 8891.


Cubadisco Returns to Pabexpo

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – The most important event for the Cuban record industry returns to it former venue in Pabexpo, on the west side of Havana, after having taken place in the Morro Cabaña park facility last year. This edition pays homage to Tomás Luis de Victoria Award musician Harold Gramatges; Adalberto Alvarez, Sergio Vitier, Carlos Varela, and Manolito Simonet and his group.

Cubadisco 2003 Award winners in the different categories will be revealed Tuesday May 13 during the gala event, where Cesar Portillo de la Luz, Buena Fe, Paulo FG, Ernan Lopez Nussa, Free Hole Negro and Liana Fernandez will perform. Album and catalogue releases will take place as part of the Fair, as well as lectures on the perils of record piracy and copyrights.

Sociedad General de Autores (SGAE) President Eduardo Teddy Bautista will attend with a large delegation of the organization he leads. An important aspect of the Cubadisco Fair will be the symposium The Music Industry in the 21st Century, in which experts from Italy, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Chile, Spain, Germany and Cuba will take part.


Cuban Country Music Festival and Contest

(Prensa Latina-Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba- Havana’s Antonio Maria Romeu Province Music Center will celebrate the 5th Country Music Festival and, within it, the First Country Composition Contest. The conditions of entry for the contest say every Cuban composer is able to take part, with a maximum of three unreleased works.

The jury will be conformed by prestigious Cuban music figures and their verdict will not be open to appeal. The composer will have the possibility of suggesting the artist to perform his/her music, who will be auditioned by a jury especially chosen for this purpose. The deadline to enter is June 30, 2003.


Celtic Fusion Festival in Northern Ireland

Down, Northern Ireland – The annual Celtic Fusion International Music Festival will be taking place August 7-10, 2003.

This year there will be 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. See website for details:


Miles of Music Returns to Chicago

Chicago, USA – Miles of Music returns to kick off the beginning of summer on Friday, June 20 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. with a daylong celebration of music along Michigan Avenue from Oak Street on the north to Jackson Boulevard on the south.

Modeled after the French “Fete de la Musique” celebration, Miles of Music features music at 20 performance sites ranging from sidewalk squares to plazas, courtyards and gardens. Miles of Music is sponsored by the Chicago Office of Tourism as part of Play on Chicago, the citywide promotional campaign that showcases Chicago’s depth and range of music events from June 1 to September 21, 2003.

Various musical genres will be represented including classical, folk, jazz, blues and world music in staggered 45-minute performances. Emerging artists as well as established performers will be featured. The full schedule of participating artists will be announced once available.

Miles of Music is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Chicago Dance and Music Alliance in cooperation with the Central Michigan Avenue Association, the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association and the New East Side Association. For more information on Miles of Music, call 312-744-6630 or visit:


IslaVuelta – la chispa! in Menorca, Spain

IslavueltaMahon, Menorca Island, Spain – IslaVuelta – la chispa! will take place in Mahon, Menorca, Baleares, Spain 2003.

IslaVuelta – la chispa! is an annual series of 5 Jazz/Latin Jazz concerts and hot Cuban rhythms, staged in the splendour of Spain’s second oldest Opera House, performed by world renown musicians in a friendly repatriation of music from the Americas and the Caribbean, illustrating the evidence of past Iberian influences on an African heartbeat. Concert schedule:

All events take place at 21.30hrs

30th May 2003:

Ramón Valle -solo (support act: La Folkabanda)

27th June 2003:

Hilario Durán Quartet

25th July 2003:

Monty Alexander Trio

19th September:

Habana Son Club

10th October:

Michel Camilo -solo

All concerts take place at Teatre Principal de Maó, Mahon, Menorca, Balearic Islands:
The second oldest Opera House in Spain (1829), tastefully renovated and brought up to date technically, combining the best of the old with the state-of-the-art best of the new. The theatre boasts a beautiful auditorium in the Italianate style.

The purpose of the concert series is to acknowledge and celebrate the historical, musical and artistic link between Menorca and Cuba and more broadly Spain and the Americas through a friendly repatriation of musical forms to the island through a series of concerts which will stand as a metaphor for the harmonious and mutual benefits that can flow from cross cultural appreciation and co-operation.

IslaVuelta – la chispa! is conceived produced and promoted by Ivan Brown of Idtenti Limited (London).