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Babel Med Music 2016 Program Revealed

Influential world music showcase Babel Med Music revealed the 2016 selection. The 12° World Music Forum will take place March 17-19, 2016 in Marseilles, France.
The world music showcase, trade fair and conference attracts more than 2000 professionals from 5 continents and 15000 spectators expected to attend the 31 concerts of this buzzing forum. The event takes place in the monumental Dock des Suds.

Babel Med Music Selection

7SON@TO (Guadeloupe, France) – The revival of ancestral Guadeloupian Gwo Ka

Alejandra Ribera (Canada) – The charming vocals of globalist folk-music

Autostrad (Jordan) – The rock road of Jordanian indie pop

Baba Zula (Turkey) – Cult figures of Turkish Psychedelia

Bamba Wassoulou Groove (Mali) – Malian electric groove with African psychedelic rock flavor

Breabach (Scotland) – Modern Scottish folk sensation

Compagnie Lyakam (India, France) – Indo-European dancer

Djmawi Africa (Algeria) – Festive Gnawa fusion

Dorantes & Renaud Garcia-Fons (France-Spain) – Masterful flamenco-jazz conversation

Elida Almeida (Cape Verde) – Cape Verdean energy and saudade

Imhotep (France) – Exploratory dub sound

Jewish Monkeys (Israel) – Burlesque rock with klezmer aroma

Kalascima (Italy) – electro-trad tarantela trance

Korean Percussion Duo Bud (South Korea) – melodic percussion by Korean female duo

Labelle (Reunion Island, France) – Electro-Maloya trance

La Gallera Social Club (Venezuela) – Venezuelan folktronica

La Nuit D’antigone (France-Germany-Turkey) – The Mediterranean odyssey of resistant women

La Pegatina (Spain) – Rumba urbana from Barcelona

Marìa Sìmoglou Ensemble (Greece, France) – Contemporary rebetiko

Paille (La Martinique, France) – Caribbean ragga

Ricardo Ribeiro (Portugal) – Lisbon Fado maestro

Rocky Marsiano (Portugal) – Afro-Portuguese rhythms

Saodaj’ (Reunion Island, France) – Acoustic and nomadic Maloya

Sirventes (France) – Troubadours from Pays d’Oc

Temenik Electric (France) – Arabian-Rock

The Khoury Project (Jordan-Palestine) – The East revisited by gifted siblings

Tigana Santana (Brazil) – The secret musical treasure of Bahia

Turbo Sans Visa (France) – Fiery global sound

Vardan Hovanissian & Emre Gültekin (Armenia-Turkey-Belgium) – Armenian-Turkish musical reconciliation

More details at dock-des-suds.org/babelmedmusic2016

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Splendid Mix of Chamber Music and Traditional Sounds

Ensemble Galilei – From Whence We Came (Sono Luminus, 2016)

Ensemble Galilei brings together the worlds of classical music and the folk melodies of Scotland, Ireland and Sweden. The American acoustic ensemble has a chamber music feel, featuring virtuoso musicians playing a mix of classical and traditional music instruments. The Ensemble’s name was inspired by composer Vincenzo Galilei.

Ensemble Galilei’s latest release, From Whence We Came, is a 2-disc set with an audio CD and a Blu-Ray disc. The music selection switches from lively traditional folk tunes to evocative classical pieces and a handful of original compositions.

The lineup on From Whence We Came includes Isaac Alderson on uilleann pipes, Irish flute, whistle; Ryan McKasson on fiddle; Kathryn Montoya on baroque oboe and recorder; Jackie Moran on drums, percussion, banjo, vocals; Sue Richards on Celtic harp, and Carolyn Surrick on viola da gamba.

The Blu-Ray disc includes high resolution Surround Sound and Stereo versions of the recording.

From Whence We Came is a splendid recording that showcases the beauty of combining classical and traditional Celtic and Nordic music.

Buy From Whence We Came

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Celia Cruz Receives The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award

The Recording Academy announced today that Celia Cruz is one of the honorees of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Celia Cruz was one of the most popular salsa singers and performers in history. Known internationally as the “Reina de laa salsa” (Queen of Salsa), the Cuban-born Cruz was a highly influential personality. She recorded 23 gold albums and was a recipient of the United States National Medal of Arts. Cruz received three GRAMMY Awards and four Latin GRAMMY Awards.

Other honorees include Ruth Brown, Celia Cruz, Earth, Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, Jefferson Airplane, Linda Ronstadt, and RUN DMC. John Cage, Fred Foster, and Chris Strachwitz are Trustees Award honorees; and EMT and Dr. Harvey Fletcher are Technical GRAMMY Award recipients.

A special ceremony and concert celebrating the honorees will be held in the spring of 2016.

Each year, The Academy has the distinct privilege of honoring those who have greatly contributed to our industry and cultural heritage, and this year we have a gifted and brilliant group of honorees,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. “Their exceptional accomplishments, contributions, and artistry will continue to influence and inspire generations to come.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors performers who have made contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.

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Sidestepper Explores the Caribbean

Sidestepper – Supernatural Love (Real World Records, 2016)

The Sidestepper project is back with Supernatural Love, an album that brings together Colombian roots music, Caribbean influences and electronic beats. The current incarnation of Sidestepper is based in Bogotá and aims to recreate the feel of the great pre-electronic dance Caribbean orchestras. Most of the beats are now performed by acoustic instruments like drums and shakers, although the electronics are still present in the form of bass synths and dub effects.

On previous versions of Sidestepper, the sound was very Colombian. This time, Supernatural Love features a mix of pieces rooted in Colombian traditions along with with calypso, blues and other musical forms. The band delivers vocals in Spanish and English, in an effort to demonstrate the connections between the musics of the Spanish and English-speaking Caribbean, including New Orleans.

The pieces that work best are the Colombian-rooted compositions, full of seductive rhythm, charming melodies and vocals. These inclue Fuego Que Te Llama, Come See Us Play, Magangué, Lover, La Flor Y La Voz (Parte 1) and La Flor Y La Voz (Parte 2). The rest of the songs are a sort of laid back smooth world music that is pleasant to the ear.

The album lineup includes Richard Blair on (bass and lead synths, vocals, flutes, kalimba, harmonica; Erika Muñoz (Eka) on lead vocals; Teto Ocampo on guitars; El Chongo on tambor alegre, hand drums, percussion, vocals, flutes; and Guajiro on vocals and percussion.

Sidestepper was originally a studio project developed by British producer Richard Blair in the mid-1990s. He moved to Colombia in 1993 and has been working with some of the finest musicians, singers and songwriters there.

Sidestepper was transformed evolve into a full live band that released two significant albums, ‘More Grip’ and ‘3AM’. Many former musicians and singers from Sidestepper went on to great success with their own bands like Chocquibtown, Bomba Estereo and Sistema Solar.

Buy Supernatural Love (Real World Records, 2016) in North America

Buy Supernatural Love in Europe

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The 7th annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival Announces Third and Final Round of Artists

The 7th annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival announced the third and final round of artists completing the festival’s complete lineup. California Roots Music and Arts Festival will take place at the historic Monterey County Fair and Event Center from May 27-29, 2016,

Thre new artists announced include Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Pepper, Barrington Levy, J Boog, Mike Love, The Wheeland Brothers, Katastro, Jamaican rising stars Raging Fyah, the U.K.’s Will and The People, Maui’s Jordan T., the San Francisco Bay Area’s South Bay Dub All Stars, and Santa Barbara up and comers The Ole’s. 2016 will also see the addition of DJs who will perform between sets, including Amp Live, Expanders Sound System, Dub Architect, and Westafa.

In addition to the third round announcement, the festival will present: Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, Atmosphere, Stephen “Ragga” Marley, Tribal Seeds, The Expendables, The Green, Stick Figure, Protoje, Katchafire, Tarrus Riley, Gondwana, Fortunate Youth, The Skints, Nattali Rize, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, Ooklah The Moc, Josh Heinrichs, Hirie, Sticky Fingers, The Expanders, Peni Dean, Thrive, Eli-Mac, Seedless, and Tunnel Vision.

Festival Co-Producer Dan Sheehan indicated that 2016 is the festival’s strongest lineup to date.

Festival Details
The 7th Annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival
Dates: Friday, May 27, 2016 – Sunday May 29, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. PDT
Venue: Monterey County Fair and Event Center
Address: 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey, CA 93940
Admission: Varies. Purchase Link: californiaroots16.eventbrite.com
Age restrictions: All ages
Early advance ticket prices go up: Thursday, January 21, 2016

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Such is life

Malick Diaw – “Ainsí Va la Vie” (Malick Diaw, 2015)

Senegalese guitarist and singer-songwriter Malick Diaw has released his debut album after many years involved in the West African music scene. “Ainsí Va la Vie” (Such is life) reflects the musical and cultural influences he’s experienced throughout the years. You’ll find West African Manding roots along with blues, folk, jazz and some Spanish flamenco influences.

Although currently based in Paris, Malick Diaw spent eight years in Madrid and he went back there to record most of the tracks on “Ainsí Va la Vie.” His lyrics reflect his personal experience as a musician. He also pays tribute to his father, mothers, women, the Mouride Sufi brotherhood, the dangers of boat migration and other social issues.

Malick Diaw has some connections with the sound of Youssou N’Dour, Ismael Lo and Salif Keita although his time in Spain and his collaborations with African artists from other parts of the continent incorporate many other elements that define his unique sound.

Diaw started his musical career in 1993, while he was still a student in Dakar. One of his first gigs was in Gambia where he accompanied various Senegalse artists on the guitar. In Senegal he recorded on various albums: “Beukarek garaman” (1993) by Dial Mbaye; and the following albums by Alioune Mbaye Nder: “Aduna” (1995), “Inalmanaila” (1996), “Fatelekoul dom” (1996), “Lénéen” (1997) and “Serigne Mansour” (1998).

In 2001, Malick Diaw participated in “Madada”, the debut album by Guinean artists Kamaldine Konte.

In 2002 he relocated to Madrid (Spain) where he joined the band Djambutu Thiossane. He recorded two albums with the band, “Fass” and “Nitt”. In Madrid’s thriving musical melting pot he also worked with fellow Senegalese artist Sidy Samb (former member of Mártires del Compás) with he recorded “La sombra del duende” and two albums for the Senegalese market: “Ngewël” and “Morena”.

While in Spain, Malick Diaw toured with Equatorial Guinean vocalist Piruchi (Hijas Del Sol) and Bidinte from Guinea Bissau. He also joined well known Senegalse artists during their European toutrs: Fallou Dieng, Pape Diouf, Titi, Abdou Guite, Mapenda Seck, Fatou Guéwél, Pape Thiopet, and Djiby Dramé.
In 2009 he collaborated with the late Saharawi Singer Mariem Hassan during her performances at WOMAD in Charlton Park*(UK) and Taormina (Italy), and recorded on her album “Shouka” (Nubenegra, 2010).

In 2010, Diaw moved to Paris although he frequently tours Spain and Switzerland.

Buy the digital download version of Ainsí Va la Vie

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New Fela Kuti 3CD Compilation ‘Highlife – Jazz and Afro-Soul’

Kinitting Factory Records has announced the release of Fela Ransome Kuti and Koola Lobitos’ ‘Highlife – Jazz and Afro-Soul (1963-1969).’ The 3-CD compilation is scheduled for release April 1, 2016.

‘Highlife – Jazz and Afro-Soul (1963-1969)’ contains all the Koola Lobitos recordings with a 12-page booklet, including a full discography and essay by Fela Kuti scholar and author Michael Veal. The significant collection of 39 tracks, recorded live at the Afro-Spot in Lagos, Nigeria, in the mid-1960s demonstrates how Fela used a mix of jazz and high-life to create the early beginnings of what was soon to become his characteristic Afrobeat.

The compilation traces Fela’s musical evolution in the decade before he formed the famous Africa 70 band. In 1958 Fela was sent to London by his parents to study medicine but he decided to study music instead at the Trinity College of Music.

Upon returning to Lagos in 1963 Fela had aspirations of becoming a successful modern jazz musician and became the leader of Koola Lobitos, a popular dance band. ‘Highlife – Jazz and Afro-Soul (1963-1969)’ follows Fela Kuti’s career, from highlife (a genre considered to be a West African slant on jazz) to soul to the beginnings of Afrobeat.

Also for Record Store Day (April 16, 2016) Knitting Factory will release a limited edition 10” vinyl single of the 1986 recording of “I Go Shout Plenty”, backed with “Frustration”.

Buy http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014MKIEYC?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B014MKIEYC&linkCode=xm2&tag=musidelmund-20

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Fascinating Tibetan Musical Diversity of Dharamsala

Various Artists – Men of Dharamsala (Yarlung Records YAR70902, 2015)

Men of Dharamsala is a fascinating project in support of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts. Even though Dharamsala is located in northern india, it is the home of a large Tibetan exile community.

The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) was established by the Dalai Lama in 1959. Since then the TIPA and its musicians have labored to keep Tibetan performing arts alive.

The project was carried out by an American production crew consisting of associate producer and Tibetan opera singer Tsering Lodoe, executive producer Randy Bellous, assistant producer Jacob Horowitz, mastering engineer Steve Hoffman and their Tibetan friends Tenzin Sangpo, Rinchen Lhamo and Dhondup Namgyal.

The production team recorded Men of Dharamsala in the auditorium at TIPA in McLeod Ganj, above Dharamsala. Tibetan culture was represented by Tibetan opera, dance and folk music, nomad songs from the Tibetan plateau sung in Amdo, and mesmerizing pujas (prayers) from the Nechung Monastery featuring wind instruments, human skull rattles and Tibetan long horns.

The album begins with Chinbep Puja (Blessing of the Environment) by the monks of Nechung Monastery.

Track 2, “Great Eastern Sun”, is a Tibetan nomad song in Amdo by Toenpa Kyap.

Track 3, “Gyalue Namthar & Ringa” is a stage purification dance by Penpa Tsering, Sharab Wangmo and a chorus of dakinis.

On track 4, titled “Rangyul Rangla Mayna”, guitarist and vocalist Jamyang Choeden performs a modern folk song.

Track 5, “Rime Soldep” (Four Lineages Puja) is a prayer by the monks of Nechung Monastery.

Nechung monks taking a break from the recording and warming up with tea
Nechung monks taking a break from the recording and warming up with tea

Tibetan opera appears on track 6, “Nangsa Woebum” performed by Penpa Tsering.

Track 7, titled “Zandang Palri” features the monks of Nechung Monastery.

“Ayr-sha”, track 8, is a folk song about a majestic mountain pass, performd by Tsering Lodoe.

Track 9 presents “Drelkar,” a well-known spoken performance by Penpa Tsering.

The monks of Nechung Monastery deliver “Losar Puja”, a prayer for the New Year on track 10.

Track 11 is a deghtful Amdo folk song with a galloping rhythm titled “Homage to the Lama” performed by Toenpa Kyap on vocals and guitar and Tsering Lodoe on damyin (Tibetan lute).

On track 12, Tibetan opera returns with a white mask dance called “Tashi Shoelpa” featuring members of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts.
Tsering Lodoe sings in the next three tracks, “Dopoe Namthar” from the opera Drowa Sangmo, “Norsang Yab Ki Namthar” from the opera Prince Norsang and “Gyalue Namthar”, a stage purification dance.

Track 16 is a refuge puja titkled “Gyun, Chak Sumpa” by the monks of Nechung Monastery.

“Amdo Glory”, track 17 is another Tibetan nomad song by Toenpa Kyap.

The album closes with the spectacular sound of the Tibetan long horns played by the monks of Nechung Monastery.

This wonderful production received support from Stratton-Petit Foundation, Nechung Monastery, Jacques Farasat and Lynne & Tom Tillack.

Buy Men of Dharamsala

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Steep Canyon Rangers to perform at Merlefest 2016

Renowned contemporary bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers is set to perform at Merlefest in 2016. MerleFest 2016 is scheduled for April 28 – May 1, 2016 and will take place on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Steep Canyon Rangers was formed fifteen years ago at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and have released nine studio albums. The Rangers’ latest album “Radio” was released in August 2015.

Tickets for MerleFest 2016 may be purchased at www.MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857.

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Me decidi

Joan Soriano – Me decidi (iASO Records Records iASCD13, 2015)

Joan Soriano, the master of roots bachata delivers another superb album that combines tradition with modernity. Me decidi showcases Joan Soriano’s talent on guitar and lead vocals, along additional vocalists and a rhythm section with distinctively Dominican flavor.

The style remains rooted in captivating bachata, although Joan Soriano is also appealing to a wider audience by incorporating bolero, nueva trova, romantic pop elements and even unexpected doowop.

Most of the lyrics on the album are about love, passion and disaffection although Joan Soriano also sings about important social issues as in the song “El SIDA” (AIDS).

The lineup on Me decidi includes Joan Soriano on lead guitar, lead vocals and chorus; his sister Griselda Soriano on lead vocals and chorus; André Veloz on lead vocals; Joan’s brother, Fernando Soriano on rhythm guitar, lead vocals and chorus; and Robert Feliz on chorus.

Me decidi was recorded in two sessions. The New York band includes Julián Pacheco on bass; Raúl Bier on bongo, cowbell; and Livander Feliz on güira (Dominican scraper).

The other session took place in Santo Domingo and features Mariano Ferreira on rhythm guitar; José Jaques on bass; José Francisco Dias on bongo; and Rhadamés Reyes on güira.

Buy Me decidi

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