Baeshi Bang is a French jazz quintet fascinated by Korean 1960s star Baeshi Ho. Baeshi Bang has transformed Baeshi Ho’s songs and turned them into contemporary jazz instrumentals with a Korean flavor, bits of retro elements and Korean spoken word segments.
Without haven’t listened to the K-Pop originals it’s hard to envision how the songs have changed. Nonetheless, the quintet has created a fascinating album where jazz meets cherished pop from the 1960s.
The lineup includes Etienne de la Sayette on tenor saxophone, flute, clavioline, kayageum; Victor Michaud on French horn, organ; Loic Récahard and Giani Caseroto on guitar; François Chesnel on piano; and Stefano Lucchini on drums.
The Seal of Solomon is an album that combines classic rock with Middle Eastern music. The album features a great version of a traditional Yemenite song performed by Shlomit Levi. The album’s sound is anchored by the beautiful vocals of Israeli singer Shlomit Levi and Israeli-American guitarist RebbeSoul.
West Philly Orchestra (WPO) – Tour De Filli (Fly Bottle Records, 2016)
On Tour De Filli, the West Philly Orchestra Album plays fun, infectious Balkan dance music. The ensemble’s foundation is Eastern European brass band music, Gypsy melodies, American jazz improvisation and vocals by Bulgarian artist Petia Zamfirova who sings in English, Romani and Bulgarian.
The jew’s harp had disappeared in Russia until Vladimir Markov (Владимир Марков) and other enthusiasts revived it. Markov, a musician from Irkutsk conducted research and started playing the vargan, the Russian jew’s harp in the 1990s.
Out of time – Russian jew’s harp music (Вне времён. Русская варганная музыка) is Markov’s vision of how the vargan was used. It’s a fascinating album of traditional Russian folk songs adapted to jew’s harp.
Maggie MacInnes sings and plays the clarsach. She was born in Glasgow and now lives in Ayrshire. She comes from a long line of Gaelic singers from the small island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and learns most of her songs from her mother the highly acclaimed traditional singer Flora MacNeil, M.B.E.
Maggie has been involved in various groups over the years such as Ossian Fuaim and Eclipse First and has traveled widely with her music touring in many parts of Europe U.S.A. and Canada. She also appears frequently on Radio and Television and has made various recordings over the years.
Autumn 1998 saw the release of Maggie’s first solo CD Eilean Mara on Dunkeld Records which was co-produced by Dougie MacLean and received great critical acclaim. In 2001 Maggie released her second solo CD which is called Spiorad Beatha – The Spirit of Life and features some of Scotland’s finest musicians such as Charlie McKerron (of Capercaillie) Brian McAlpine (formerly of Iron Horse) Sean O’Rourke (formerly of JSD Band) Marie Fielding Paul Jennings and Keith Easdale along with her mother Flora on backing vocals.
Maggie followed up the release of the record by performing at various festivals at home in Ireland and in Italy as well as being invited to Russia for the 1st International Festival of Celtic Music and Dance of Moscow where she was accompanied by the flute and saxophone player Sean O’Rourke and the percussion player Frank MacGuire.
In 2002 Maggie performed at the Celtic Connections Festival and The Edinburgh International Harp Festival and she was one of those chosen to take part in a two week tour of Scotland with Scottish Women which involved Scots and Gaelic singers coming together to showcase some of the finest songs from the two traditions with a backing band of some of the finest Scottish musicians under the musical direction of Brian McNeill Head of Scottish Music in the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Maggie also produced and directed a new show/concert called Burns and the Gaels which looked at the links between the works of Robert Burns and Gaelic music and poetry. This event combined music poetry and song and featured Maggie along with Sheena Wellington Rod Paterson Ishbel MacAskill and Finlay MacDonald amongst others. Burns and the Gaels and Scottish Women were both performed at Celtic Connections Festival in January 2003.
Maggie was chosen by the voting public as Best Gaelic Singer of the Year at the 2004 Scots Trad Music Awards.
Luis Di Matteo is one of the great bandoneonistas from South America. Living in Montevideo, Uruguay, Di Matteo has carried bandoneon music the furthest in a classical direction after the death of Astor Piazzolla. From the very beginning of his musical career he has shown an impressive independence in his musical thinking and concert performances.
Luis Di Matteo was born in 1934. He began his musical education at the conservatory in his native city Montevideo Uruguay. In 1962 he founded his first ensemble and in 198 he gave his first performances in Europe. Between 1983 and 1986 he cooperated with the music conservatory of Detmold, Germany. In 1987 he wrote the music for the Swedish film production Black Dawn/Los Dueños del Silencio. He took the opportunity of working and recording with a string orchestra for the first time in 199/91. In the Russian city of Uljanowsk (Lenin’s birthplace) he recorded compositions of his own with the chamber soloists of the Uljanowsk National Symphony Orchestra. The premier of his latest major composition Concierto para contrabajo y orquesta de cuerdas (Concert for double bass and string orchestra) performed by the Montevideo Philharmonic Orchestra took place in Montevideo in the summer of 1995.
The combination of strings and bandoneon have had a long tradition in South America: since the triumphal career of the bandoneon (invented by the German Karl Band) began there in the middle of the 19th century strings have been an integral part of the “orchesta típica” (two bandoneons two fiddles acoustic bass and a piano). However Matteo’s intensive collaboration with strings denotes a decisive step forward in the development of bandoneon music. He has broken with the old cliché that forever tied the bandoneon to the sweet and painful sound of the Tango. Instead Di Matteo in his compositions for this rather difficult instrument has found a form of personal expression that clearly places him within the Western music tradition.
Di Matteo has not only been influenced by traditional South American music but also increasingly by classical music including the modern masters such as Arnold Schönberg. With his compositions for bandoneon and strings he opens our eyes for a new look at the bandoneon’s possibilities of expression.
Louis Mhlanga was born November 1, 1956. He is a South Africa-based Zimbabwean award-winning guitarist and producer. Mhlanga taught himself playing the guitar at a tender age and is considered one of the best Southern African guitarists.
Mhlanga’s career began in the 1970s. Fronting many bands in Zimbabwe he mixed American and Zimbabwean influences into his music. Mhlanga became renowned for his guitar skills and worked with Zimbabwean acts such as Shaka Talking Drum Ilanga Mudzimu and Oliver Mtukudzi. Louis eventually headed to South Africa to pursue different musical opportunities leading to collaborations with renowned South African artists such as Hugh Masekela Ray Phiri Sipho Mabuse Mlunhgisi Gegane and Busi Mhlongo.
He has produced albums byThomas Mapfumo NigerianKing Sunny Ade South African musician Vusi Mahlasela and many other artists. A former director of musical theatre Mhlanga also ran Zimbabwe’s Ethnomusicology Trust where he was in charge of developing national teaching programs for traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean music. He also spent a year in the Netherlands. As the musician-in-residence at the Royal Dutch Conservatory of Music Mhlanga taught African guitar courses and eventually recorded an album with bassist Eric Van Der Westen.
Cenzontle is the Aztec word for mockingbird the bird of a hundred voices. Like the cenzontle, Los Cenzontles interpret a variety of regional Mexican styles. Los Cenzontles approach their performances with joyous energy sincerity and depth. Among the styles that they have interpreted are alabanzas, rancheras, pirekuas, son jarocho, Banda Sinaloense, tropical songs and dances of Mexico and the Caribbean and much more.
Since 1990 Los Cenzontles has worked with performed for and received support from numerous celebrities such as Linda Ronstadt Anthony Quinn Los Lobos Cheech Marin Yolanda del Rio Flaco JimÉnez Santiago JimÉnez Jr. Lalo Guerrero Gary Soto and Isabel Allende.
Loop Guru core members Salman Gita and Jamuud have been working together for many years. They function as a collective rarely playing two consecutive gigs with the same line-up. The music which has made the group a big favorite with the “Megadog” and “Whirl-y-Gig” club goers is put together using as a staggering array of instruments ranging from the electric (the Cora, the Sitar and various Gamelan pieces) to the electric to the monster made up of dustbin lids, metal cogs and hip replacement joints.
Regular band members include percussionist Mad Jym and lead vocalists Natasha Atlas who performed on the band’s second single ‘Hope’ in 1993 and Iranian-born Sussan Deihim who appears on Loop Guru’s debut album ‘Duniya’ as well as single ‘Sus-san-tics’ their ‘tribute to her. One track on the album also features the bass player talents of Transglobal Underground’s Count Dubulah.
Duniya (Nation Records 1994)
The Third Chamber (1994) Amrita (1995)
Catalogue of Desires Vol. 3: The Clear White Variation (1996)
Moksha…Peel To Reveal/The Peel Sessions (1996)
Loop Bites Dog (1997)
The Fountains Of Paradise (1999)
Loopus Interruptus…Forgotten Treasures & Lost Artifacts (2001)
Wisdom of the Idiots…Half a History and a History and a Half (2003)
Bathtime With Loop Guru (2003)
Elderberry Shiftglass (2006)
Lo Sirong is an award-winning poet and singer-songwriter from Miaoli. One of Taiwan’s rare female singer-songwriters, Lo draws inspiration from her Hakka heritage and upbringing.
Traditional Hakka music and literature in Taiwan is often associated the natural beauty of mountains and rivers and rural life. In her music Lo sets out to reinterpret and bring a new vitality to the traditional music and imagery that surrounded her as a young child. Influenced by her father the poet Lo Lang Lo Sirong enters her musical world through her poetry; she applies an improvisational style that highlights both her vocal and literary talents to produce intimate meditations on love family and the human spirit in everyday life.
Lo has produced a large body of work and has written hundreds of songs in Hakka Hokkien and Mandarin Chinese. She has won a number of awards for both her songwriting and poetry from major publications in Taiwan.
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