Two New Studies Suggest Music Industry Shuns Adult Market

Durham, NC, USA – Two market- research firms, NPD Intellect (NPD) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), have recently released reports submitting that the music industry has ignored the adult, 36- to 50-year-old, market and is doing so at its own peril. Overall music sales dropped 10% in the first quarter stacked against last year’s sales. But, as NPD data shows, sales among the older adult market revealed a sharp 16% drop. Warnings suggest that if the industry continues to ignore the over-36 audience it could see further declines in sales.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reported that last year the over-30 market made up 56% of music sales in the United States. NPD reported that only a slim 4% of older adult music purchases were swayed by advertising. Research also suggested that over-35 purchasers were likely to ignore radio advertising in favor of in store browsing.

With the teen and college markets unlikely to see much growth, music industry watchers say that concerted efforts, such as new marketing and advertising campaigns, will have to be made to redress the current trend of chasing the teen dollar.

Adding insult to injury, PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) data made it clear that the older listener won’t have much to chose from when it comes to selection. With older consumers more reluctant to go to the Internet for music and mass merchants, such as Best Buy, Walmart, and Trans World Entertainment Corp. (operator of FYE, Strawberries and Coconuts stores), who characteristically reserve shelf space for blockbusters aimed at a young crowd, more mature audiences increasingly are left out in the cold.

Critics have proposed that mass merchants, who are blamed with obstructing the sales and the potential of less established artists in favor of the quick buck offered by artists backed up by major record company publicity machines, are part of the problem in slighting older listeners. The results of the continuation of this trend will mean a smaller and smaller pool of only “established” artists and a back catalog with little promise of continuing sales. Shrinking the development of artists will further diminish the market and mean more money woes for the ailing record industry.

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Two New Rough Guides

The Rough Guide to Pakistan
The Rough Guide to Pakistan
San Francisco, USA – Two new Rough Guide titles will be available this week.

The Rough Guide to Pakistan features the rich musical traditions of the Asian country. While qawwali, the ancient Sufi song style popularized by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, has overtaken almost every other kind of Pakistani music in terms of popularity and exportability, there are a great many other significant styles.

The country is justifiably proud of its many outstanding ghazal singers, with film and pop music also playing key roles in modern Pakistani music. This album explores all these styles to provide a striking insight into the deep-rooted music of Pakistan.

The Rough Guide to American Roots centers on the wealth of music that has developed and grown in the United States cannot be underestimated. It is the birthplace of jazz, blues, gospel, bluegrass, old-time, Cajun, zydeco and countless other folk styles.

The Rough Guide to American Roots
The Rough Guide to American Roots
Ranging from the early folk sounds of the Great Depression to the twangs of bluegrass and the soul of blues and gospel, The Rough Guide To American Roots is an indispensable collection of the giants of American roots music and introduces some of the finest musicians and the legendary performers that have contributed to the scene in the USA.

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International Songwriting Competition Is Now Accepting Online Entries

ISCLogo_BlueMedford, MA, USA – World music is one of the categories included in the International Songwriting Competition (ISC). Composers can now enter their song(s) online. ISC offers two options to enter online: participants may enter directly through ISC or through Sonicbids or they can also enter via the mail. For more information and to enter, go to:
http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/entry.htm

Categories include: Pop/Top 40; Rock; Country; AAA/Roots/Americana;
R&B/Hip-Hop; Blues; Folk/Singer-Songwriter; Jazz; World; Gospel/Christian;
Dance/Electronica; Lyrics Only; and Teen.*the Teen Category is for songwriters who are 18 yrs. old and younger (win

a scholarship to Berklee College of Music’s Summer Performance Program plus
lots of other great prizes!)

Contact Info:
International Songwriting Competition
Zero Governors Avenue #6
Medford, MA 02155, USA
Phone: +1 781.306.0441

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Stella Chiweshe’s International Tour

Stella Chiweshe
Stella Chiweshe
Los Angeles, USA – Stella Rambisai Chiweshe is starting an extensive tour in June that will take her to North America and Australia.

Zimbabwe’s foremost mbira player, Stella Rambisai Chiweshe has, over the past 30 years, emerged as one of the most original artists in the contemporary African music scene. Known at home as “Ambuya Chinyakare” (Grandmother of Traditional Music) and around the world as “The Queen of Mbira”, her songs are resonant with the themes of liberation, spirituality and social justice. Wrapping her evocative vocals around haunting mbira lines, sultry percussion and call & response choruses, Stella creates warm dance grooves based on mbira rhythms and utilizes popular music forms and contemporary instruments to showcase the depth and power of the Zimbabwean spiritual tradition. She has introduced mbira music to a broader audience without sacrificing the instrument’s – and her own – relationship to their roots. In the process she has emerged as a Zimbabwe cultural ambassador.

As the only woman in Zimbabwe who leads her own band, Stella Chiweshe is in control of her own equipment and transport, an achievement only those, who know under what kind of conditions female musicians normally work in Africa, can truly understand.

She took a leading role in the formation of the Zimbabwe Musicians Union, and since 1993 she is director of the Mother Earth Trust – Network of Female Artists in Zimbabwe.

Stella Chiweshe has toured the world extensively since 1983 and has released seven critically acclaimed and internationally successful albums most recently 2002’s Talking Mbira: Spirits of Liberation. Last winter Stella completed a US solo tour with performances at this year’s Folk Alliance (February), Joe’s Pub (NY), The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Boston and New Mexico.

Confirmed concert dates:
June 26 – Newark, NJ / Performing Arts Center Summer Series

June 28+29 – Omaha, NB / Summer Arts Festival
July 3 – New York City / Joe’s Pub

July 4+5 -London, Ontario / Sunfest

July 6 – Toronto / Afrofest

July 8 – Montreal / Nuits d’Afrique
(3 week Australia Tour)
July 31 – Los Angeles, CA / Skirball Cultural Center

Aug 2+3 – Santa Cruz, CA / venue TBD / concert & workshops

Aug 4+5 – Berkeley, CA / Workshops at Mahea Uchiyama,
Center for International Dance

Aug 6 – Berkeley, CA / Ashkenaz
Aug 7 – Redding, CA / Market Street Series

Aug 9+10 – East Lansing, MI / Great Lakes Folk Festival

Aug 11+12+13 – Detroit, MI / CAMP Detroit and more TBD

Aug 14 – Portland, OR / Portland Zoo Series

Aug 15 – Eugene, OR / WOW Hall
Aug 16 – Seattle, WA / Ballard Fire House

Aug 30 – NYC, NY / Cornelia Street Cafe
Aug 31 – NYC, NY / Workshops- TBD

Pending dates: Spokane, WA / Tucson, AZ / Santa Barbara, CA / Philadelphia, PA / Denver, CO

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The 26th Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Vancouver, Canada – The Vancouver Folk Music Festival heads back to Jericho Beach Park for its 26th annual celebration of music, song and dance with a lineup of some of the finest folk and roots musicians from across the street and around the world.

July 18 through 20, 2003 will see more than 50 groups and guest artists offer nearly 70 hours of music on seven stages in a breathtakingly beautiful outdoor venue.

Musical offerings at the 2003 Vancouver Folk Music Festival will include the soulful musical accompaniment of the Sufi whirling dervishes, ancient melodies of India, aboriginal music from Australia and folk-fusion music from the edge, all exploring and pushing the boundaries of the traditional definitions of folk music.

From celebrated names like Ani DiFranco, Utah
Phillips, Billy Bragg and Faith Petric to new-to-Vancouver acts such as
Colombia’s Petrona Martinez,  the USA’s The Lee Boys and Ray Wylie Hubbard and 
Australia’s White Cockatoo, the 2003 Vancouver International Folk Music
Festival will bring you familiar favourites and exciting new tunes and songs
to raise your spirits and widen your musical horizons.

In addition to both traditional and contemporary folk
and folk-fusion, the Festival will feature an array of informative workshops,
a colourful Artists’ Marketplace and a mouthwatering selection of healthful
foods and beverages to keep everyone’s strength up.

Early Bird weekend passes are $90 Canadian and are now on sale through the
Vancouver Folk Music Festival
office with no service charge, all Ticketmaster outlets or online at
www.ticketmaster.ca

From June 22 to July 18 adult advance tickets are $120.  Other advance tickets
and purchases at the gate range from $40 for the Friday evening concert to $55
for Saturday and Sunday passes.  Tickets for youth (13 to 18 years) are $55
for the Early Bird Weekend Pass (new this year), $25 for Friday night’s
concert and $30 for Saturday and Sunday admissions.  Students at post-secondary
institutions, with valid student  I.D., may purchase youth rate tickets in
person at outlets or at the gate.   Admission for Little Folks (three to 12
years) is free on Friday night with an adult, $12 for the weekend and $7
Saturday or Sunday.  Children two and under and seniors 65 and over are
admitted free.

Buy in person at 305 – 207 West Hastings in
Vancouver, call 604.602.9798, fax your order to 604.602.9790 or e-mail to
info@thefestival.bc.ca

Tickets can also be purchased at all Ticketmaster
outlets, by phone at 604.280.4444 in Vancouver, 250.386.7600 in Victoria and
in Washington and Oregon at 206.628.0888 and online at
www.ticketmaster.ca.

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The Jerusalem Festival – Songs of Freedom

East Jerusalem – The Jerusalem Festival – Songs of Freedom 2003, organized by Yabous Productions will take place throughout the period of 20th–29th of July 2003, in cooperation with the General Consulate of France and with the support of cultural activists.

The festival is based upon the theme of Freedom. The Jerusalem Festival encompasses a unique theme and vision; which consequently defines its character, atmosphere and program.For ten nights, East Jerusalem will feature the power of song and music. The power that reflects the human spirit in overcoming political and social obstacles. When there is instability, musicians respond as musicians do, they compose their music to help us remember that we always have the right of freedom of life.

The Jerusalem Festival – Songs of Freedom will feature musicians and groups from all over the world: Austria, Chile, Zimbabwe, Canada, France, South Africa and Spain, as well as local Palestinian musicians and groups.

The major aim of the organizers is to give hope and courage to Palestinian people in pain, to bring back to the city of East Jerusalem, its cultural glory as the central Palestinian city and to contribute to the development of the cultural, educational economic and touristic life of East Jerusalem.www.yabous.org

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Sierra Maestra Summer Tour Dates

Sierra Maestra
San Francisco, USA – One of Cuba’s most legendary bands, Sierra Maestra, will be touring the United States and Canada this summer for the first time in nearly five years. Here are Sierra Maestra’s confirmed tour dates for the next weeks.

Today, they are one of the finest and most popular musical ensembles performing in the Spanish Caribbean. Setting themselves apart from other Cuban bands, Sierra Maestra rekindled the old style son line-up: tres, guitar, trumpet, bongo, güiro and vocals, as during the great days of the 1920’s and 30’s. The band members are pioneers in reviving this style for new generations and its re-introduction it into the Cuban mainstream. Sierra Maestra named themselves after the mountain range in the eastern part of Cuba as a tribute to the birth place of son.

Updated list of confirmed dates:
6/27/03 Providence, RI Waterplace Park
6/30/03 New York, NY SOB’s
7/2/03 Hampton, VA American Theater
7/6/03 New York, NY Central Park Summer Stage
7/8/03 Quebec City, Canada Festival D’Ete International
7/9/03 Quebec City, Canada Festival D’Ete International
7/10/03 Montreal, Canada Nuits D’Afrique
7/11/03 Cleveland, OH Cleveland Museum of Art
7/12/03 Aspen, CO Jazz Aspen
7/13/03 Chicago, IL Chicago Folk and Roots Festival
7/15/03 Milwaukee, WI Marcus Center
7/18/03 Los Angeles, CA Grand Performances
7/19/03 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Park Casino
7/20/03 San Jose, CA DeAnza Hotel

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Mill Race Festival of Traditional Folk Music

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada – The 2003 edition of the Mill Race Festival of Traditional Folk Music will take place Saturday, August 2nd. The festival features traditional music and dancing of cultures around the world.

The activities will last from noon until midnight, in downtown Cambridge, Ontario Canada, (in the Galt core off Water Street) with kickoff event on Friday, August 1, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. in Mill Race Park off of Water Street. Performers include CALASAIG, CRUCIBLE, GALTICHA, KIYOSHI NAGATA ENSEMBLE, PIPELINE, GEORGE SAPOUNIDIS TRIO, TSUFIT, THE LOST DANCERS, NAOMI TYRRELL & MARK SEPIC, EDDIE DOUGLAS and NONIE CRETE, GENERAL STORE and many more. Admission: Absolutely Free! More infomatiion e-mail: mill_race@yahoo.com

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Brazilian Samba Fusion Pioneer Itamar Assumpção Died June 11

São Paulo, Brazil – World music fans are mourning the loss of Itamar Assumpção, who lost his battle with intestinal cancer on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 at the age of 53. Mr. Assumpção struggled for more than four years with the disease and chose to leave the hospital for the comforts of home care.

Best known for mixing samba with rock, funk and reggae, Mr. Assumpção recorded seven albums in the course of his career. His last album PretoBrás was released in 1998. His music struck a chord with artists such as Monica Salmaso, Zelia Duncan Ná Ozzetti, Cássia Eller and Rita Lee, who rerecorded songs by Assumpção.Born José Itamar de Assumpção, in Tietê in 1949, Mr. Assumpção is survived by his wife and daughters, Anelis and Serena, both who share their father’s passion for music and are singers themselves.

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Bembeya Jazz–Bembeya

Bembeya Jazz - Bembeya
Bembeya Jazz – Bembeya
Bembeya Jazz

Bembeya(World Village, 2003)

Released on World Village, sporting three vocalists, four guitarists, a horn trio, drums and percussion, Guinea’s Bembeya Jazz has reunited after a 14 year hiatus to commemorate their 40 plus year history. The end result was the group’s first European appearance in over a decade at the Musiques Metisses Festival and Bembeya, a CD that acts as an anthology.

The legendary octogenarian Cuban musicians made famous by the recording Buena Vista Social Club comes to mind and it’s not too far fetched to draw comparisons between the two groups. Both groups derived from nightclub musicians that reached legendary status in their respective countries and both groups suffered hardships due to politics or economic hardships only to return in their later years more dynamic than ever.

The Bembeya Jazz group first formed in 1961 as part of the new president Sekou Toure’s national arts and culture program. When persuaded by his uncle, guitarist Sekou Diabate, “Diamond Fingers,” created the nucleus of Bembeya Jazz. The group continued to evolve and expand through the 1960’s and 70’s by adding two rhythm guitarists and dancing girls. The group also experienced success within Guinea’s nightclub scene. By the 1980’s Guinea’s economy began to crumble, and while most musical acts suffered from this hardship, Bembeya Jazz was fortified by the arrival of their new young vocalist, Sekou “Bambino” Diabate who also contributed griot traditions to the group. However, this success proved short lived after Bambino left the group to pursue a solo career.

Founding member Sekou Diabate broke out on his own too, recording an album with his wife, Djanke Diabate and a solo album (Diamond Fingers) as well. He was residing in Paris when he was asked to return to the group. This led to Bembeya Jazz’s recent festival performance in France as well as, this recording. (For more historical information, see the CD liner notes).

The eight tracks on Bembeya span from 1965 with the group’s first song, Bembeya to 1987 with Yelema
Yelemaso, a song about heroes and troubadours. Sanfaran dates to 1974 and speaks of an old and revered woman sorceress. Gbapie written by Diagbe Traore is a love song about a young man that woos a village girl with his musical talents. Sabou, written by Sekouba Diabate brought in a new infusion of the Manding griot tradition and speaks of the cause of something or synchronicity.

Fans of the Ganje Brass band or the numerous orchestras or jazz outfits found throughout the African continent will enjoy Bembeya Jazz. Of course, since the group has been around since 1961, I imagine they have already garnered a sizable international following. If not, this recording should do the trick.

Buy Bembeya

(Compliments of Cranky Crow World Music).

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