An album by charismatic Brazilian Amazonian singer Dona Onete. Her songs are about seduction, plants that make your body ‘agitate’ and stories related to the Amazon. The septuagenarian artist is enjoying new popularity in her country and abroad thanks to international releases like Banzeiro.
On Banzeiro, Dona Onete delivers infectious Brazilian rhythms like bangue and a style she developed called carimbó chamegado where she combined two genres called lundum and carimbó. She mixed them with the rhythm of the songs from the slaves. Dona Onete describes carimbó chamegado as slower and sexier than carimbó.
Too often when we hear “it must be something in the blood” it conjures up images of someone gone wrong somewhere, but nothing could be further from that kind of assumption when we’re talking about Mali’s Vieux Farka Toure.
Son of the musical powerhouse Ali Farka Toure, Vieux Farka Toure has not just continued in his father’s musical footsteps but blazed a path of his own with recordings like Vieux Farka Toure, Fondo, The Secret, Mon Pays and Touristes with Julia Easterlin and an ongoing collaboration with Israeli musician Idan Raichel on the Toure-Raichel Collective. And the righteous riffs just keep coming with the Six Degrees Records release of his latest of Samba.
Mr. Toure is just content to rest on his vocals and guitar playing laurels on Samba; instead he composed and arranged all the tracks and produced this latest with co-producer Eric Herman. Mr. Toure explains the recording process of Samba, “It was not a regular studio session nor was it a concert. It was somewhere in between. We were recording the album, but we had an audience of about fifty people in the room with us. The audience understood it was to witness the process of recording an album, not to present a concert in a studio, which was a very good thing because we got the energy of a live concert with the quality of a studio recording.”
Rich, warm and rewarding, Samba pulls at the threads of desert blues, funk, reggae, rock and Malian praise song to create a polished, masterful collection of tracks. From the opening of the guitar lick laced “Bonheur” through to the deliciously catchy “Ni Negaba,” Mr. Toure lets his listeners ride a wave of hypnotic grooves while using his musical voice to express the joys of family, the importance of protecting the environment and the pitfalls of religious fanaticism in the wake of Mali’s recent struggles with jihadism where music was banned and musicians were abused or exiled.
Backed by such musicians as drummer Mamadou Kone, calabash player Soulemane Kane, ngoni players Maffa Diabate and Abdoulaye Kone, bassists Marshall Henry, Eric Herman and Checikmare Ba, shaker and kourignans player Tim Keiper and organist and keyboardist Rob Cohen, Mr. Toure gives listeners a delicious ride on sizzling tracks like “Ba Kaitere” and “Homafu Wawa,” and doles out delectable treats like the guitar and ngoni enfused “Samba Si Kairi” and the cool grooves of “Nature.” Fans get a dose of guest keyboardist Idan Raichel on the track “Mariam,” a track dedicated to Mr. Toure’s little sister, and the delightfully elegant track “Maya.”
Despite some doubts about the success of Samba, Mr. Toure says of the experience, “It was an interesting idea but I did not know how it would go. Luckily everything was perfect. There was a great ambience there for the session and we were able to capture this unique energy for the album.”
Mr. Toure has certainly blazed his own path on Mali’s musical griot road of riches with Samba. Must be something in the blood.
Miami’s TransAtlantic Festival will take place today, April 21 and tomorrow April 22, 2017 at North Beach Bandshell in Miami Beach. The annual world music festival will showcase talent made in Miami tonight and African-rooted music tomorrow.
April 21 lineup
A.C.H.E. Afro Cuban House Experiment featuring DJ Oscar G, Oba Frank Lords & Katiahshé. The classic sounds of Miami house combined with Yoruba ache, with live percussion and dance.
April 22 Program
Malian guitar master Vieux Farka Touré will present his enthralling style of desert blues.
The reggae, jazz and Sudanese mix of Sinkane.
Symbi Roots, an all-female rara group, direct from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Their transcendent and vibrant live show has fans in Haiti and the Caribbean.
North Beach Bandshell
7275 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach 33141
Tickets Available at TransAtlanticFestival.com or call (305) 672-5202
‘A World In Trance’, a 3-day festival featuring the spellbinding music of Zimbabwe, Iran, Pakistan and India will take place April 29-30 in New York City at Roulette.
This year’s series includes mbira music of Zimbabwe with masterful musician Chartwell Dutiro (April 28); enthralling 21st century trance world music with Niyaz featuring captivating vocalist Azam Ali (April 29); and exhilarating interpretations of Sufi qawwali with the US-based Riyaaz Qawwali (April 30).
Friday, April 28, 2017 8:00 p.m.
Voices of the Ancestors: Mbira Music of Zimbabwe
Saturday, April 29, 2017 8:00 p.m.
Niyaz featuring Azam Ali
21st Century Global Trance Music
Sunday, April 30, 2017 7:00 p.m.
Sufi Music of Pakistan & India
Rakkatak is a Canadian duo led by tabla master Anita Katakkar and bassist Oriana Barbato. Their album Small Pieces came out this week. It’s a remarkable mix of percussive Indian classical music and western musical forms, including rock and jazz-rock fusion.
Small Pieces contains original pieces by Rakkatak along with some surprising versions of well-known songs. The most famous is “Norwegian Wood,” the Beatles’ song composed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The other unexpected song is Rush’s “YYZ.” Rush is one of Canada’s most famous rock bands and Anita Katakkar found connections in its rhythmic structure and odd time signatures.
In addition to the familiar tabla, Anita Katakkar adds other percussion instruments to her arsenal such as the western glockenspiel, creating an unpredictable partnership between the tabla and the bell sound of the glockenspiel.
On Small pieces Rakkatak is joined by sitar player Rex Van der Spuy as well as several other guests on Indian-style vocals and other instruments.
The last track on the album, “Riffing On 9,” takes Rakkatak in yet another direction, This timer it’s an example of the work Anita Katakkar did in the past, mixing Indian percussion with electronics, inspired by the Asian Underground movement.
The lineup on Small Pieces includes Anita Katakkar on tabla, cajón, glockenspiel and harmonium; Oriana Barbato on bass, shaker and cabasa; Rex Van der Spuy on sitar; Sina Bathaie on santur; Randolf Jiménez on drums; Samidha Joglekar on vocals; Joanna De Souza on manjira; Jessica Deutsche on violin; Steve Oda on sarod; Philippe Tasci on guitar; Reza Moghaddas on keyboard; and Joanna Mack on sitar.
Battle of Santiago – La Migra (Made With Pencil Crayons, 2017)
Canadian band Battle of Santiago’s style has evolved towards a vibrant mix of Afro-Cuban rhythms, post rock, dub, cumbia, Cuban Yoruba chants, funk and beyond. The band became more “Cuban” as more musicians from the Caribbean island joined. Battle of Santiago is based in Toronto, which has a large Cuban expatriate community.
The title of the album is La Migra, which is the name Mexicans and other Spanish-speaking immigrants give to the border patrol or immigration officers. Another evolution of the band is that they’ve added vocals. The classic Cuban-style vocals mixed with the post rock influences makes the experience unique. There is also a little bit of rapping which doesn’t fit that well with the band’s forward-thinking sound.
The Battle of Santiago’s name could have several different meanings depending on what part of Latin America you’re in. Battle of Santiago’s founder, bassist Michael Owen, indicates that it reflects how the band’s music can change and also the sound clash between the Anglo and Hispanic sections of the band.
La Migra showcases the talent of Battle of Santiago, a band developed in Toronto’s melting pot, who have developed a dazzling mix of Afro-Cuban music, electronics and post rock.
The second edition of the Russian World Music Awards application process is now open until July 15, 2017. To apply, go to worldmusicawards.ru. The voting process will be held during 15 days – from July 15 till July 31. People choose the best nominee for the Listeners Choice nomination until July 31. The jury will evaluate nominees based on 4 criteria: professionalism, authenticity, experimentalism, personal attitude. The winners will be presented in 5 categories: The Best Authentic Project, The Best Experimental Project, The Best World Music Project, The Best New World Music Project, and Listeners Choice Award.
In 2017 jury members are Ben Mandelson from the UK, Jarmila Vlchkova from Slovakia, Nataliya Shostina from Russia, Simon Broughton from the UK, Aengus Finnan from the US, Rolf Beydemuller from Germany, Alexander Cheparukhin from Russia, Arne Berg from Norway, Andrew Cronshaw from the UK, Carlos Seixas from Portugal and Yury Romanov from Russia. In total, 11 samurais and absolutely wonderful people.
The first Russian World Music Awards Ceremony was held in November 2016 in Moscow. The winners were chosen from a large amount of nominees for the first time – 149 applicants from 25 cities of Russia. The best world music project was Authentic Light Orchestra; the best experimental, Inna Zhelannaya; the best authentic project, Nerechtskiy Rozhechniy Choir; and Listeners choice, Robert Yuldashev and Kuraisy band.
Jury members in 2016 were 9 professionals from 7 countries: Juliana Voloz from Estonia, Ton Maas from the Netherlands, Johannes Theurer from Germany, Andrey Kataev from Russia, Timur Davletov from Turkey, Tristra Newyear Yeager from the USA, Aengus Finnan from the USA, Joe Boyd from the UK, and Ankur Malhotra from India.
It was a big surprise for us, organizers, that our idea with the world music awards had a resonance in hearts of many people, the activity in social nets was really impressing! Over 2000 visitors per day! Organizers are Natalia Myazina and Daryana Antipova.
We ordered handcrafted statues with the symbol of our Awards – a bird, made of cedar wood in Siberia. Totally we spent about 500 dollars for all the project work.
In 2017 year we are planning to present our winners at WOMEX in Poland. And this year it’s going to be free for the musicians to apply to our Awards. As what we offer is really a substantial deal: an international and Russian jury will listen to nominee’s music, will watch their video, we publish the band’s profile at all our social media, so later bands will be in our compilation CD and online (for the best nominees), so many new people will know about nominees music and can become their fans!
Some people ask us why we are positioning ourselves as an international project. The answer is vivid, we almost don’t have a world music market in Russia. Our bands are traveling abroad to earn money. The Russian reality is that world music is an unknown term for our specialists; we misunderstand ethnic and folk music, often taking communist lubok balalaika and garmoshka as national folk. That’s why we gather international specialists for the Awards’ jury, as we see the lack of international-class specialists in world music in Russia. We hope this will change in the future, and our mission is to be the locomotive of this process in Russia.
The best authentic project – Nerechtskiy Rozhechniy Choir
The best world music project Authentic Light Orchestra
The best experimental project – Inna Zhelannaya
Listeners choice – Robert Yuldashev and Kuraisy band
The Russian World Music Awards welcome professional bands and soloists, performing in world music genre living in Russia. How do we determine who is professional and who is amateur? We decided that to be a professional musician in world music is not about documents, diplomas, it’s about listener’s’ choice. It’s impossible to lie to people, they feel what has a resonance in their hearts, and what does not. That’s why a professional musician for us is who has a vast concert activity and has at least 1 album.
Vataff Project is a Bulgarian act that brilliantly mixes trance and ambient electronics with traditional musical instruments. Electronic music artist Victor Marinov is behind the project. He provides the electronic atmospheres, beats, samples and effects. He’s joined by three additional musicians who add a tasty world music vibe to the recording.
One of the guests is Veselin Mitev on duduk. The duduk by itself always sounds exotic and mesmeric. Here, the duduk is processed to sound even more mysterious and fascinating.
The other two guests are Anton Karadimchev on vocals and guitar; and Rossen Zahariev on flugelhorn.
Vataff has several meanings. One of them is leader or guide. In Bulgarian folk tradition the leader of the kalushar dancers is also called vataff. The vataff are considered the successors of an ancient privileged society of warriors, whose frontrunners most likely were initiated in a religious cult and had the capacity to heal through particular music as part of certain rituals.
Solьmen is a finely-crafted album that brings together cutting edge electronica, Bulgarian folklore and shamanic world music influences.
Preparing to direct the 1970 film, “Little Big Man,” director Arthur Penn decided to use country blues for the soundtrack rather than Native American music. He called Columbia producer John Hammond to discuss the matter, stating that he wanted “the sound of oppression.” Hammond played him some of the music of Robert “Hellhound On My Trail” Johnson, and Penn said, according to Hammond’s autobiography, “My God, that’s just what I want. I hope we can get him.”
Hammond told him Johnson had been dead for more than thirty years, but that his son, John Paul Hammond, played just like him. That is how now-renowned slide guitarist John Hammond got his recording career off to a fantastic start, courtesy of his father, and that is also an example of how “the sound of oppression” easily crosses cultural barriers to speak to us all.
Gypsy music parallels blues in many ways. It is the music of an ethnic group stuck in interaction with a bullying mainstream culture. One does not wish persecution on any culture. Music is, however, a means of expressing deep feelings and generating solace and joy. The music of an oppressed people has the extra task of replacing words in a climate where a dominant culture frowns upon or even bans said oppressed people’s verbal observations on their plight. The listener can share the solace and joy and admire the players’ abilities all the more when the music comes from such a source, and the players are more motivated and rewarded by being able to accomplish much with a restricted set of tools. This is what Khamoro Budapest Band brings us.
There is some mournful wailing. There is reliance on sad, minor keys. Instrumentation is not always what we expect. There is also an imparting of awe; how can these people still dance and laugh with all they’re letting us know with their music that they and their families have gone through? Khamoro (“little sun” in the Romani language) plays with passion, virtuosity and the enthusiasm that comes from their desire to share the experience and exuberance of their musical tradition with the world.
There is poignancy, pride and dignity in “Rovan More Jahka,” humor in other pieces, and beautifully supported celebration throughout the release.
They have done their homework and selected pieces from specific regions in which gypsy culture has bloomed best. As a plant grows tallest above the soil when its roots run deepest beneath it, their take on the music shares it articulately because of the study underlying their familiarity with the form. When one acquires this CD, one acquires not only the joy and strength inherent in the music, but also a deeper insight into the tradition that built it.