Ravikiran enthralls at Richmond

Chitravina N Ravikiran, prodigy since two, living legend since 22 and the world’s greatest slide player, if you go by the opinion of Radio Australia, entertained connoisseurs with
heartstopping and soul stirring music at Richmond, Virginia on Aug. 3rd.Ravikiran’s repertoire includes classical Indian ragas as also facile world music compositions, some of which are his own compositions. His presentation of some of the Carnatic masterpieces made one look up and take notice for this side of Indian music. Most listeners in the West have been exposed to the meandering exposition of long raag alap by artists from the Northern part of India but the southern system is full of lively songs laced with exciting improvs.

Ravikiran’s concert improved the listeners’ perspectives as he did not stint on explanations whenever appropriate and held the audience interest throughout.

Ravikiran’s creative forays were out of the ordinary. All in all, the music was an ideal mix of thrills but without any needless frills.


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.


The Rough Guide To South African Gospel


The Rough Guide To South African Gospel
The Rough Guide To South African Gospel
an Francisco, USA – This new installment of the Rough Guide collection focuses on South African Gospel. Today, gospel music remains one of the populist mainstays of everyday life in South Africa’s urban townships and rural communities, and it also constitutes one of the largest genre segments of the local record industry.

Its widespread popularity within South Africa has spilled over to the international stage, with groups and artists such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Rebecca Malope.

The Rough Guide To South African Gospel brings together twenty-two performances recorded over the last forty years, to cover the entire range of local styles, from apostolic choirs to pop-influenced gospel divas, and features the most famous artists in the field.


Second Generation, First-Rate Reggae

Morgan Heritage – Three In One
Morgan Heritage

Three In One (VP Records VPCD 1656, 2003)

After bringing reggae to the punk rock massive with their participation in the Warped tour, Morgan Heritage now offer up their most wide-ranging and best album yet. These offspring of reggae singer Denroy Morgan deliver roots consciousness with just enough touches of pop and dancehall to occasionally lighten the load.

The disc opens with “Jump Around,” a bopping dance tune reminiscent of Third World, before the more serious stuff starts kindling the righteous flame. Potent tracks like “Ah Who Dem,” “Rebel,” “Falling Race” and the acoustic “Anti-War Song (Someone Knows)” speak of religious hypocrisy, government corruption, personal responsibility and other such topics to wrap your mind around, demonstrating the sharpness with which the band have developed not only as singers and players but as insightful cultural observers.

There’s also a rousing ska number (“Everything is Still Everything”), some soulful love songs, spiritual reassurances and more, all tied up in a lengthy package of modern roots reggae rhythms characterized by by solid drums and bass laced with tightly tasty bits of guitar, keyboard and harmonies.

Morgan Heritage are consistently outspoken regarding their commitment to keeping the spirit of reggae pure and heartfelt, and Three In One shows how well they’re keeping the faith.

Buy Three In One


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.


Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC)

Los Angeles, USA – The biggest event in the world for Latin Rock & Hip Hop will be held in Los
Angeles, August 14th -16th. Highlights of the Los Angeles concert events include two nights of free concerts at Grand Performances at The California Plaza, the La Banda Elastica Awards ceremony at the
Universal Amphitheatre, an LAMC Indie Night Show-Down at the Knitting Factory, Acoustic Writers Showcase at The Highlands, LAMC Showcase at The Palace, and a Closing Night Party. Featuring the hottest bands in the genre as well as many of the music industry’s leading decision-makers, panels and exhibition hall.

The last day for the special “Early Bird” registration rate of $199 is April 29th. You can register online at http://www.latinalternative.com or by calling +1 818.763.1397.


Pedaling tabla beats

Autorickshaw (Tala-Wallah Records)

The word autorickshaw sums up this Toronto quintet’s musical repertoire. When I used the search word
autorickshaw, I found a handful of sites that sold just that, motorized rickshaws. We forgot sometimes that
India despite it’s ancient traditions does also have a contemporary side. On one hand, visitors of the country
can still partake in the old way, by riding in a rickshaw that is pedaled by a human or take a ride in a more
modern vehicle. The Canadian group Autorickshaw, not to be confused with modern Indian transportation
reflects on the musical diversity that a city such as Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver have to offer. And part of
that musical diversity includes musicians trained in both jazz and classical Indian traditions. You would be
surprised how many similarities these two genres share. For instance, jazz and classical Indian music both
rely heavily on improvisation, syncopation and the analytical mind. I first encountered Autorickshaw performing a set with Harry Manx and Tantra at the Vancouver Folk Music
Festival. Vocalist Suba Sankaran had pulled out a steamy jazz standard in which she added a few vocal tricks
of her own. To say that she left me speechless is an understatement. In the past, she worked with her father,
the mrdangam master, Trichy Sankaran and she trained as a classical singer and pianist. She eventually took
up jazz and working with choirs or contributing to a film soundtrack. This eventually led her to work with tabla
player Ed Hanley (an exceptionally talented musician). Also appearing on the recording are Dylan Bell and
Rich Brown on bass as well as, percussionist Debashis Sinha.

The first track, Ganamurthy hails from south India and represents the Carnatic tradition with the exception of
the bass guitar and tabla that embellish the song. Ganamurthy which praises Lord Krishna is a raga originally
composed by the 18th Century saint composer Thyagaraja in Adi tala (8 beat cycle). Kapi-Wallah translates
to either raga or coffee merchant. And the musicians drank lots of coffee when recording this challenging
piece. It is also a Carnatic raga that was commissioned by choreographer Natasha Bakht, thus marks the first
musical collaboration for the ensemble of musicians and the birth of Autorickshaw. Cloudscape/Monsoon
ventures into jazz territory and features Suba on piano and vocals, Ed on percussion, Debashis on drums and
Dylan on bass. Cloudscape/Monsoon shows off Suba’s jazzy vocals and piano chops while recalling the work
of Charlie Parker.

Sammi Ninne, a traditional varnam composed by Karoor Devudu (Sree raga) again features the 8 beat cycle,
but brings in the tabla thus marrying the north and south Indian classical styles. Ikat highlights Ed’s tabla
prowess. And the final track, Sunrise fused Indian and Indonesian music using the 8 beat cycle. The
recording features tabla tarang (a set of three tabla tuned to different pitches), kanjira, bass and vocals.

Autorickshaw brings in all their musical influences from classical Indian, classical and jazz music without
succumbing to creating Asian fusion music or chill out music like their UK contemporaries. The music on this
recording possesses an organic quality that emphasizes the musicians’ talents and passion for different types
of music. This CD marks the debut of a group that has only been around a year or so, but if it is any indication
of future projects, Autorickshaw will be leaving listeners speechless for years to come. Hailing from Ontario,
the home of the late Glenn Gould, Autorickshaw might also be called virtuoso and certainly unique.


Compliments of Cranky Crow World Music.


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.


Puerto Rican Salsa Legend Tite Curet Dies at 77

Tite Curet
Tite Curet
San Juan, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rican composer and journalist Catalino ” Tite” Curet died at age 77 at St. Joseph Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, at 2:00 pm on August 5th. He was one of Puerto Rico’s most famous and prolific composers. Even though he composed all types of music, his salsa songs became hits throughout Latin America. Many of salsa’s most famous artists performed his songs, including Celia Cruz, Rubén Blades, Willie Colón, Ismael Miranda, Cheo Feliciano, Tony Croatto, La Lupe and Los Condes.

The salsa legend was born in Guayama on February 12, 1926. His mother was a seamstress. His father was a musician with the Simón Madera orchestra and also a Spanish language teacher. After their separation, Tite moved with his mother to the Barrio Obrero in San Juan.Tite studied music with maestro Jorge Rubian. He graduated from the Universidad de Puerto Rico with a degree in Social Sciences and worked for over 30 years for the US Postal Service. His first break in the record business happened in 1965, in New York, when he composed music for Joe Quijano and his band Cachana. Three years later, Tite composed the song “El Gran Tirano” for famed Cuban bolero singer Roberto Ledesma. Ledesma did not use the song so it was adapted for female vocals and used by Cuban singer Lupe Victoria Yoli, better known as La Lupe. It was renamed “La Tirana.” La Lupe brought international fame to the song and Curet went on to become an internationally respected composer.

In 1970, salsa became the rage in New York and Tite Curet Alonso became the most sought writer in the genre. He became the main composer for salsa powerhouse Fania Records. Tite also became a well-respected journalist and musicologist. He hosted a radio show called Tropicalísimo for many years, produced in San Juan de Puerto Rico by Radio Universidad. The program featured contemporary and traditional rhythms from the Spanish-speaking Caribbean basin.

Some of his biggest hits were “La Tirana,” “Carcajada Final” and “Puro Teatro,” by La Lupe, “Tiemblas” by Tito Rodríguez, “Las Caras Lindas de mi Gente Negra” by Ismael Rivera, “Plantación Adentro” by Rubén Blades and “Cucubano” by Tony Croatto.


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]


Your Connection to traditional and contemporary World Music