(Prensa Latina) Bayamo, Cuba – The artistic creation of Manzanillo singer songwriter Carlos Puebla (1917- 1989) places him among popular Cuban music’s top musicians, said National Music Museum’s music researcher Blanca Cilia Reyez in Bayamo this week. Cilia Reyez recalled that the songwriter of “Quiero hablar contigo” composed about 1,500 songs, “guajiras”; “tangos”; anthems; marches; lullabies; “sones”; “claves” and “boleros”, with three thematical lines: socio-political, love and humor.
Puebla composed 200 “bolero” and love songs, thus demonstrating the use of stylistic resources of popular Cuban music, added Cilia Reyez.
On his compact disc “Complicidad“, recorded in 1989 for the Abdala record label, Carlos Puebla collected 13 love songs, sang by Cuban young “trovadores”.
San Francisco, USA – Avantagan (7/8 Music Productions) is the new album by John Chookasezian, a native of New York, who has been playing Armenian folk music for over 35 years. He founded the Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble and has performed for both Armenian and non-Armenian communities from the Eastern Seaboard to the West Coast in United States. He holds a Graduate degree from University of Nevada in Music and Education, where he taught Music and Ethnic Studies for three years.John, who is a premier clarinetist, along with his singer wife Barbara and the entire Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble were invited to Armenia for performances in 1999. This turned out to be a historic series of concerts in the Republic of Armenia. Since 1994 the ensemble has been presenting Traditional Armenian Concert Programs encompassing the classical, folkloric, and the troubadour music from both Eastern and Western Armenia.
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(Prensa Latina) Havana, Cuba – The best of Cuban percussion and over 60 foreign musicians are currently performing at the 12th Percuba International Festival, April 17-21 at Havana’s Amadeo Roldán Theater. The event is dedicated to Cuban “maestros” such as Los Van Van orchestra founder José Luis Quintana, known as “Changuito” and composer of the popular rhythm “Mozambique” the late Pedro Izquierdo, known as “Pello el Afrokán”.
The festival includes the colloquy “El otro entorno de la percusion”, several workshops and a contest that will feature different Cuban, Afro-Cuban and multi-percussion rhythms.
(Prensa Latina) Havana, Cuba- The CUBADISCO 2001 International Fair has nominated 64 CDs to compete for 28 awards on May 16-20 in Havana. Among the candidates with several nominations are included Issac Delgado’s “Malecon“; Kiki Corona’s “Corona canta a Corona“; Vocal Sampling’s “Cambio de tiempo“and Lazaro Ros’ “Orisha Aye“.
The appearance of eight volumes from Leo Brower’s guitar work, singer song writer Marta Valdés and musician Sergio Vitier’s joint work “Nuestra Cancion” and Nico Saquito’s “Al bate” have also been praised.
The candidates for “opera prima” (newcomers) are Azucar, Chispa y los Cómplices, Ilmar López Gavilan, Orishas and Miguel Núñez.
Whistesburg, USA – The Association for Independent Music (AFIM) has announced the finalists for the Indie Awards, the most important music awards for the independent record industry. In the contemporary world music category, the 5 contenders are:Thomas Mapfumo
London, England – Missing You….Mi Yeewnii is the new album by Senegalese singer Baaba Maal. It sees Baaba Maal focusing on the acoustic, poetic side of his heritage.
The original recording sessions for Missing You used a mobile studio based in Toubab Dialaw, Senegal and took place outdoors after dark which accounts for the clicking of crickets which can heard throughout the album. The recording continued at Real World Studios in Wiltshire and the album was mixed at Abbey Road and Real World.
This approach will be reflected in this April’s live shows when Baaba will tour the U.K. with an acoustic group giving audiences a chance to experience the pure, vital energy of one of the world’s most powerful performers in unique and intimate settings. This will be followed by a big London show in the summer featuring the no holds barred aural and visual spectacle of the full strength Daande Lenol.
New York City, USA – Remix pioneer, DJ Smash, has recorded an album of remixes titled Phonography: a Blue Note Mix. The 14-track remix album includes some of the top Blue Note Artists: Cassandra Wilson, Angelique Kidjo, Salif Keita, Ronny Jordan, and many others. Most of the music has a jazz flavor.
Washington D.C., USA- Smithsonian Folkways has released a beautifully packaged 3-CD collection of music from the island of Papua New Guinea. The boxed titled Bosavi: Rainforest Music From Papua New Guinea comes with an 80-page book full of information and photographs.
Disc 1 is dedicated to the guitar bands of the 1990s. Disc 2 focuses on the every day works songs of the Bosavi people and Disc 3 centers on sounds and songs of ritual and ceremony.
The project was recorded and annotated by Steven Feld. It is a collaborative production of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and the institute of Papua New Guinea.
Málaga, Spain – The finest jazz pianist in Spain, Chano Domínguez, known for his deep Flamenco roots, has recorded songs by one of the leading songwriters from Cuba, Marta Valdés. The Cuban songwriter’s songs were recorded by Benny Moré, Bola de Nieve, Elena Burke, Omara Portuondo, Pablo Milanés, Vicentico Valdés, Miriam Ramos, Frank Emilio, Emiliano Salvador, Hilario Durán and Gonzalo Rubalcaba.
Even though she is not a professional singer herself, Valdés sings on the Chano Domínguez album. The title is Tú no sospechas, released by Karonte-El Europeo. It also includes a book.
Barranquilla, Colombia- Cuban pianist, arranger and orchestra director Chucho Valdés, Grammy award winner this year at Latin Jazz category, was given the title of president for life of the festival of orchestras in this city, a distinction that in the opinion of the main organizer of the carnival, Colombian musician Roberto de Castro, honors the city. De Castro said that Barranquilla gets prestige with Valdés’ designation, whom he classifies as one of the most relevant figures on the Caribbean-rooted music cultural values.
Very famous celebrities have performed on the festival such as Rubén Blades, Willy Colón, Celia Cruz, Andy Montánez, Oscar D’León, Chucho Valdés, Tito Puente, Larry Harlow, Eddie Palmieri, Manolito Simonet y su Trabuco, Adalberto Alvarez y su Son and many other. The awards of the Festival of Orchestras, the “Congo de oro”, granted by a jury are very sought-after and have been achieved by Chucho Valdés, Rubén Blades, Willy Colón… among others. It is a very prestigious award and there is no salsa orchestra which does not wish to achieve one, said De Castro.