Yat-Kha is the latest project of Albert Kuvezin from Tuva, Siberia, who started his career in music by playing electric guitar along with his Deep Purple records during the Soviet era. As a hint of the format of this album, Albert appears on the cover wearing his electric guitar over his heavy Siberian coat.
A diversion from the folk music of Tuva seen in so many places – on recent European rock albums, throat singing is used to evoke a raw energy. The Bulgarian Choir Angelite sang with members of Huun Huur Tu. But this album goes the next step, getting away from the uniqueness of the style and featuring great songwriting, superb musicianship and a real sense of humor. On a few songs, Albert is joined by Sailyk Omnum, who sings in the bluesy Tuvan women’s style. Band members include the venerable Aldyn-ool Sevek, who toured for many years with the Sayani Ensemble, Tuva’s Official Folk Singing and Dancing Group. This is the next chapter in Tuvan music.
Iveta Kováĉová, Dagmar Podkonická and Jana Ryšerová met at the Prague Conservatory, all interested in Roma (gypsy) musical heritage. According to Iveta, they explored their roots together at her home, and found much to sing about. Their sound compares well with the Scandinavian vocal group Varttina in their range and accomplished vocal quality. Harmonies are not as complex and close as the Bulgarian Women’s Choirs or as simple as some Caribbean ditty, but find their own center in each song.
Their arrangements sensibly feature the wonderful timbre of the three voices. No one singer dominates, but each carries a unique sound, identifiable, and, after a while, you’ll be listening for your favorite. And when blended together, they sound sweet.
What makes this album super smart is their top notch band who coax rhythm and meaning out of every beat. Using a truckful of folk and electric instruments, they keep the songs lively, modern and fun, even when the lyrics are repetitious or nonsense. Very fun music to listen to on your way anywhere.
Danbury, USA – Scotland’s Old Blind Dogs released their new album on April 1. “The Gab o Mey,” on Green Linnet Records, means “the weather of May — the end of winter” in Scots Doric dialect. The album features traditional and contemporary Scottish, Breton and Galician songs and tunes by one of Scotland’s most exciting young quintets.
Silk Hope, USA – Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival is four days of performances in NorthCarolina, by over forty bands from a stunning variety of styles and cultures. Native American, Cajun, Reggae, Bluegrass, African, Latin, Zydeco, Roots Rock, Country, Old Time and more. There will be a series of workshops, seminars, and speakers with themes ranging from sustainability and the healing arts, to human rights and indigenous traditions and cosmology.
The World Music bands that are playing: –Thomas Mapfumo- African, chimurenga
–Carnavalito- Latin Jazz
–Alejandro Escovedo- Latin
–Los Pochos- Conjunto
–Moontee Sinquah- Native American
–The Overtakers- Reggae
–Mickey Mills and the Steel- Steel Drum, Calypso- Soca
–Amy Glicklich- Tradional Chants
–Keith Secola and the Wildband of Indians- Native American
–Freeman Owle- Native American
–Willie Lowery- Native American
New York, NY – IndigeDisc returns on April 22nd with the release of Synchro Series by the legendary King Sunny Ade.
Ade and his African Beats have thrilled audiences worldwide for over two decades with the scintillating West African sounds known as Juju music. However, while releasing several stateside albums over the years, recorded specifically for the Western market, his indigenous Nigerian recordings, released concurrently in Africa, have never before been available in the United States.
Synchro Series now makes two of those original albums from Ade’s creative peak available for the first time. Taking the listener on a journey back to a landmark period for African music, Synchro Series features pristine remastering, rare and early photos of Sunny Ade, and three sets of detailed, highly informed liner notes by IndigeDisc founder and longtime Ade manager, Andy Frankel; music critic for Nigeria’s prestigious Guardian newspaper, Benson Idonije; and respected World Music journalist J. Poet.
(Prensa Latina) Havana, Cuba – Bis Music, born six years ago, and producer of Grammy Winner La Rumba Soy Yo, is a commercial success that stems directly from Cuba’s cultural roots. No matters what is said about how the Grammy awards are “plotted”, it is an award similar to the Oscars. When it is not reached, it is despised, but if it is received, it is front-page news.
According to General Manager Belkis Vilalagut, the young Cuban recording company has a small professional team, mainly conformed by women. She said the company currently has 330 masters after buying the Caribe Production catalogue six months ago. This has increased its music stock, allowing Cuba to recover the cultural patrimony of a very important decade for Cuban music.
It has three collections: Meneo, Sesamo and Tributo. Now, we are taking on everything related to the former Caribe Productions as an additional production. The countries where the label is most accepted are the United States, Spain and Mexico. The United States with the anthology music, the Tributo Collection, and the new productions, are always interested in a first edition and the sales are not bad.
According to the manager, they are releasing a disc-catalogue for Cubadisco (Cuban Music Festival, in May), to promote Cuban businesses or others operating in the country. Promotion has been always present in magazines and newspapers and now it will be in CD-form and I think it will be welcomed, Vilalagut concluded.
(Prensa Latina) Matanzas, Cuba – For the first time in the Matanzas province music scene, a high tech recording project comes to life to promote talents from the territory. Under the name Quinta Luna -after the place where the first Danzon was performed in Cuba on December 28, 1878- the label expects to produce up to seven CDs a year.
Project representative Juan Francisco González said that the recordings would be made in a recording studio at Havana’s Music Institute, main production center of the Matanzas label and for other Cuban labels.
Before the end of summer, a CD by the Cantarelas trio, from Cardenas, will be finished and another by the Fusion Quartet is scheduled for recording. The bands Aguas Tibias and Lira Matancera -the latter celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2004- are getting ready to record.
(Prensa Latina) Havana, Cuba – The Cuban Percussionists Society announced the 14th International Percussion Festival of “PERCUBA 2003,” April 15-19, at the Amadeo Roldan Theater and the Casa de las Americas. A contest will take place April 16-18, also at the National Folkloric Group venue. The Festival will include a series of important theoretical and practical events in its program and is designed for education, promotion and exchange among national and international representatives from different fields of percussion. Professional or traditional performers, professors, students, researchers, composers and/or instrument or accessories manufacturers, as well as all friends of Cuban percussion are expected to participate.
Three living percussion masters will be paid homage: Regino Jimenez Saez, Eladio Terry Gonzalez “Don Pancho”, Lino Arturo Neira Betancourt and also the late Jorge Alfonso Campos “El Niño” and Ramon “Mongo” Santamaria. In 2002, the First PERCUBA Award went to Mexican Reynaliz Herrera Martinez.
The list of guest artistic projects include: ARGENTINA: didactic recital by Alberto Murillo (Patagonia); CUBA: Concert by Don Pancho Terry and his All Stars, Concert by Diakara, Concert by Sin Palabras, Didactic Conference by Cesar Rivero Sanz, among others.
(Prensa Latina) San Juan, Puerto Rico – Cuban musician Ibrahim Ferrer, member of the 1998 Grammy Award winning Buena Vista Social Club project, will perform April 19 in this city, where he will arrive from the US. According to an announcement by Grandes Eventos Co. Public Relations Vice-President Lidda Garcia Acosta, he will perform at San Juan’s Pier 10 Arena, with a repertoire of Son, Guarachas and Boleros.
Seventy-six-year-old Ferrer is currently touring the US, including performances in Arizona, Texas, San Francisco and New York. In 1997, producer and composer Ry Cooder chose him for the Buena Vista Social Club project, where he took part in 12 of the 14 CD tracks. Since then his popularity increased and he won two Latin Grammys, one with the Buena Vista Social Club and the other as Best New Artist in 2001.
(Prensa Latina) Havana, Cuba – Azucar Negra, one of the first Cuban bands mixing popular music (son, salsa, timba) with socio-political lyrics, will start a tour to demand freedom for the five Cuban prisoners in the US. The artists will perform several concerts all over Cuba starting in May to present the song “Los que Luchamos,” (Those of us in the Fight) written to honor Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez.
The band’s director Leonel Limonta -also author of pieces performed by Orchestra Aragon and Issac Delgado’s group, stated that this will be his modest contribution to the international organizations and the entire Cuban people’s demands for the freedom of the Five. Their second CD will include the song Sin Mirar Atras (Without Looking Back), scheduled to be finished this coming week on the EGREM label, ready for promotion on their tour. After playing in Cuba, the musicians will perform in several cities of Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, France and Belgium.
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