End of Illusions (Constitution Music Records, 2003)
The music of this CD could make Astor Piazolla proud. It has mixed the best elements of tango with a touck of rock. The music is great from the first track “What you See” until the last one “The End Of Illusions”. The sound of the bandoneon creates a special atmosphere that makes each song special. This is an unique album different from the rest. I recommend it specially for those who are awaiting to hear something new.020 (zero2zero) is based in Buenos Aires (Argentina). It is formed by Maxx (vocals), Diego Velázquez (guitar), Hernan Padro (bass), Marcelo Ferrari (piano), Leadron Lijan (drums) and special guest Daniel Rugeiro (bandoneon). For more information go to: www.zero2zero.net
New York, USA – On August 15, 2003, Samuel Goldwyn Films will release the film Passionada. It is a movie about the trials and tribulations of love and the struggle between one’s instincts and cultural traditions.
Set against the picturesque backdrop of New Bedford, Passionada is a wonderful and winning romance centered on a Portuguese-American family where old traditions conflict with modern views. The family is headed by a beautiful and talented Fado singer (Sofia Milos), who is also a single mother, juggling life with her willful teenage daughter (Emmy Rossum) and her meddling mother-in-law (Lupe Ontiveros). She has everything under control until a sexy wandering stranger (Jason Isaacs) falls in love with her, forcing Sofia to decide if the wrong man just might be the right one.
The film stars Isaacs (HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, PETER PAN), Milos (“The Sopranos”), Rossum (Roland Emmerich’s TOMORROW, Clint Eastwood’s MYSTIC RIVER), Theresa Russell (BLACK WIDOW), Seymour Cassel (THE ROYAL TANNENBAUMS), and Ontiveros (REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES). It was written by Jim & Steve Jermanok with a musical score by Harry Gregson-Williams (SHREK). Jim Jermanok also served as Executive Producer.
Norway seems to produce quite a few excellent groups that combine melancholic Scandinavian folk music with jazz and atmospheric sounds. Vintermåne is a group formed by three outstanding musicians: Anne Gravir Klykken on vocals, Frøydis Grorud on saxophone and Torjus Vierli on piano and keyboards. The sound of the group is clean and full of exquisite ambience. There is little jazz improvisation in the group’s music. The group’s sound is characterized by Anne Gravir Klykken’s beautiful vocals performing duets with Frøydis Grorud’s sax, accompanied by Torjus Vierli’s minimalist piano.
The album features several guests musicians. The one that attracted my attention is Jørn Simenstad, who plays the delicate willow flute, one of the most wonderful instruments from the Nordic lands.
(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – Hip-hop or rap, born in the 70’s in the black and Latin neighborhoods of New York, was reaffirmed as a strong music movement in Cuba where it coexists with the most popular genres such as salsa and son.
A representation of Cuban rappers of the more than 1,000 groups throughout the Island, are heard in several spots in Havana this week during the ninth edition of the Havana Hip-Hop Festival, where 73 bands, 53 local and 20 foreign are taking part.
The Hermanos Saíz Association (AHS) organized this international festival with groups, DJs, break-dance dancers and graffiti artists -expression always linked to rap from its early stages- coming from the US, Canada, Great Britain, Colombia, Mexico, Switzerland and Brazil. AHS President Alpidio Alonso recently stated that Cuban rap “has more to do with our reality and has won identity in the lyrics as well as the music.”
“They have a face -he stated -, their own profile, and, consequently, they reflect the problems of our youth, their dreams and concerns.
Los Angeles, USA – Poised for their landmark American debut this summer, Yoshida Brothers, the Yoshida Brothers are already veritable rock stars in their native Japan. Siblings Ryoichiro and Kenichi have struck a deep cultural chord with their enthralling “East meets West” revival of traditional Japanese folk music, reinventing it for a new generation. Clad in formal, ceremonial attire of kimonos and hakama pants, but sporting the dyed light brown hair that is trendy among Japan’s savvy youth, the Brothers play the age-old Tsugaru-shamisen—an instrument akin to a rustic three-stringed banjo—with the fervor of Jimi Hendrix. Incorporating jazz-like improvisation, pop-rock sensibilities, and disparate global music idioms into their virtuoso shamisen mastery, the framework of the Yoshida Brothers’ art may be traditional, but its essence and spirit are altogether revolutionary.
It’s spurred a revolution in sales as well–shamisen albums normally don’t top 5,000, but the Yoshida Brothers’ first album, 1999’s blockbuster Ibuki, has exceeded the 100,000 mark, an astounding statistic by any standards, and they have since delivered three more top-selling CDs in Japan.
Their US debut was yesterday, August 12. Los Angeles-based Domo Records brings this musical phenomenon to the U.S., the self-titled Yoshida Brothers, featuring eleven inspired pieces culled from their overall repertoire.
While the Yoshida Brothers play upwards of 100 sold out shows annually in Japan—at venues averaging 2,000 in capacity—they have never toured internationally. In support of their forthcoming Domo Records debut, Ryoichiro and Kenichi will visit the U.S. for the first time, and, in addition to doing promotional press, will perform industry showcases in Los Angeles and New York City. They return to the United States in October for a to-be-announced series of concert dates open to the public. To complement their dynamic cross-cultural artistry, the Yoshida Brothers will perform in both traditional Japanese garb and, later in the show, contemporary western dress.
Now in their mid 20s, Ryoichiro and Kenichi Yoshida began playing the Tsugaru-shamisen (also the name of the genre of music it is associated with) at age 5 in Hokkaido, their home in northern Japan, where they studied with master Takashi Sasaki.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA – Following their acclaimed Zoë debut How Was Tomorrow, the Cash Brothers return with A Brand New Night, eleven new songs featuring Andrew and Peter Cash’s unique blend of sibling harmonies and melodic hooks.
Combining guitar driven alterna-pop and rootsy folk-rock, the Cash Brothers’ music presents snapshots of life, caught in the headlights of a world moving too fast. While maintaining many of the subtleties that made their first collaboration so magical, this time around the pair brings a fuller rock sound to their engaging and memorable songs. Produced by the Cash Brothers.
Miami, USA – Cuban musicians Ibrahim Ferrer, Chucho Valdes and Cuban group Los Van Van, three nominees for the September 3rd Latin Grammy Award show, are not expected to attend the Latin music inspired extravaganza, due to a visa snafu with the U.S. State Department.
Cuba’s Cultural Ministry stated that preparations for the musicians’ travel to Miami have been in the works since August 2nd, but last week the U.S. State Department has denied receiving the visa applications. The State Department insists that standard visa applications for Cubans traveling to the U.S. require a minimum of two months for processing due to a detailed investigation of each applicant. Because the U.S. government considers Cuba a state which sponsors terrorism, stricter rules are applied to Cubans who wish to come to the U.S. from Cuba, including those taking part in cultural exchanges.
This latest incident comes on the heels of increased efforts by the Bush administration to topple Cuban President Fidel Castro by intensifying international pressures on the country. Roger Noriega, the newly appointed assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs and a former Jesse Helms aide, is seeking assistance from Cuban dissident groups in Florida. The government’s plan is being called a democratic transition and not outright regime change.
Chucho Valdes is a nominee in the Best Latin Jazz Album category; Ibrahim Ferrer is nominated for Best Traditional Tropical Album; and Los Van Van is up for Best Contemporary Tropical Album.
Diane Jarvi told me this CD was made to appeal to everyone with lots of lullaby
recordings. Indeed, looking through the tracts, I see many of the selections are
lullabies. But far from putting me to sleep, I am curious and intrigued. I even
find myself mentally singing the lead song, “Flying Into Blue” while exercising
at the gym! Needless to say, I don’t find it lulling.In Finland, Jarvi is known as the Minnesota Satakieli (The Minnesota
Nightingale). Aptly nicknamed, Jarvi’s voice is sweet, yet sensuous, matching up
with the melodic kantele, a Finnish folk harp. Jarvi plays the 36 string kantele
for the instrumental, “Kristiina’s Waltz” and also for a Russian karelia, “Makaa
Pieni Blatentsaine.” I imagine little fairies flittering about on their gossamer
wings during the song “Uni Tullee” sung in Ingria and played on the 5 string
About midway through the album, Jarvi’s voice changes. It becomes throaty and
full and ensconced with ethnic flavor as she pours out “Àillohas.” Jarvi says,
“I try to enter the song and the language with as much empathy and respect as possible.” You’ll
hear that attitude in every note. This song, sung in Sami, is a joik, a tribute
to an event, landscape, emotion or person. Joiks are intrinsic to the Sami
culture. You might hear many other artists sing joiks, but you’ll never hear
another sung with the raw, yet understated power of Jarvi as she tells us of the
“wild child of the wild tundra.”
The many varied languages Jarvi uses could make for a chopped up compilation,
but not so with “Flying Into Blue.” The smooth transitions from Yiddish “Raisins
and Almonds” to the Spanish tongue of the Mexican tune, “Arrullo,” are seamless.
We are treated to a bit of Gaelic sound with “Mullach A’ Tsi.” When “Aa Tuuti
Lasta” is sung in Finnish, Jarvi sounds as though it’s her native tongue. And
well it might have been if her two sets of grandparents had stayed put rather
than emigrating to the United States from Finland. All the languages, all the
sounds complement one another without clashing or fighting. It’s a delightful
Floyd, 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 Virginia 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, Virginia, 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
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.”
Scotch Plains, New Jersey, USA – Guitarist Walter Trout has a new CD with songs recorded before a live audience at a Special Recording Session in Amsterdam. In a BBC Radio poll, Walter Trout ranked #6 out of the top 20 all-time greatest guitarists right behind Clapton, Hendrix, Gary Moore, Mark Knopfler and Jimmy Page, is set to release Relentless (Ruf).
Trout, whose worldwide album sales are now closing in a million, is best known for his spell-binding performances, stratospheric guitar playing, honest song writing, powerhouse vocals and mesmerizing showmanship. Relentless, which features 14 original tunes, captures the essence of Walter Trout and his band the Radicals. They laid it all on the line in front of a studio audience at
the 300 year old Paradiso Theater in Amsterdam, performing the new songs for the first time as they were being recorded. Relentless is raw and unpolished, in your face, spontaneous – and yes,
relentless. This release also marks Trout’s 5th collaboration with legendary modern blues producer Jim Gaines (Blues Traveler, Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan).
Later this fall, Relentless will be issued in 5.1 as an SACD, followed by a DVD documentary of the recording in 5.1 surround sound. Trout, along with his band is currently touring nationally in support of the release.
Backed by an exceptionally tight trio, which features James Trapp on bass guitar, Sammy Avila on Hammond B-3 organ / backing vocals, and Joey Pafumi on drums, Walter Trout and the Radicals have made a name for themselves both in Europe and the US. This CD is the product of years of his hard work since then, total dedication, years of driving to the next gig, sleepless nights – the road
life that follows when a career of music is chosen. That road life is a risk, as is recording songs live that have never been performed. For Walter Trout, it was a risk worth taking – he instinctively knew the energy of his audience would carry him.
Trout’s ability to tear up the neck made him a sought after sideman, playing along some of the greatest blues players of all time including legends like John Lee Hooker and Big Mama Thornton. But, it was Trout’s 5 year stints with each Canned Heat and John Mayall and the Blues Breakers that gave him a decade to hone his impeccable fretwork into an immediately recognizable style. In 1989,
Trout launched a solo career which spawned a Top 10 hit in Europe, and has led to performances with Elton John, Black Crowes, Lenny Kravitz, Led Zeppelin kingpins Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Fanfare overseas set the trend for audiences in the USA, which have applauded his releases, several of which
have become top-selling blues albums in the States.
Born and raised in New Jersey and now living in Southern California, Walter Trout, for 35 of his 50 years, has been rocking the strings on his trademark ’73 Fender Strat, faithful to a promise he made to himself as a teenager to always play guitar for those will listen.
TOUR DATES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Fri 8/08 Grand Forks, ND Sensations
Sat 8/09 St. Paul, MN Minnesota Music Café
Sun 8/10 Duluth, MN Bayfront Blues Festival (4:45 pm)
Sun 8/10 Duluth, MN Norshore Theatre (9:00 pm)
Wed 8/13 Grand Rapids, MI Monroe Mall Amphitheater
Thurs 8/14 Wapakoneta, OH Rhythm and Brews
Fri 8/15 Dearborn, MI George & Harry’s
Sat 8/16 Wheeling, WV Heritage Music Blues Festival
Sun 8/17 Newport, KY Southgate House
Tues 8/19 St. Louis, MO Generations
Wed 8/20 Hot Springs, AR Boogie’s
Thurs 8/21 Dardanelle, AR Romedio’s
Fri 8/22 Aurora, MO The Legacy
Sat 8/23 Kansas City, MO Grand Emporium
Mon 8/25 Englewood, CO Gothic Theatre
Tues 8/26 Colorado Springs, CO Navajo Hogan Roadhouse
Thur 8/28 Las Vegas, NV Boulder Station Casino
Sat 8/30 Long Beach, CA Seaport Marina Hotel (CD release party)
Your Connection to traditional and contemporary World Music including folk, roots and various types of global fusion