Rao Trio – Sin Titulo (Producciones Efímeras, 2004)
Although the zanfona (Spanish hurdy gurdy) is best known as an instrument used in Spanish regional folk and Celtic music, Rao Trio take the zanfona to the world of progressive jazz and improvised music as well as tango and flamenco buleria.
Rao Trio is led by zanfona master Germán Diaz from Valladolid (Spain), who is known as one of the best hurdy gurdy players in Europe. The other two members are César Diaz on bass and fretless bass; and Diego Martín on drums and percussion. Accordionist Gorka Hermosa is the guest artist on the album.
Sin Titulo is an excellent album that shows the tremendous potential of the ancient zanfona in the hands of a talented and pioneering musician.
Russian composer and arranger Andrey Vinogradov (a former member of the legendary Russian band Arsenal) is set to play on hurdy-gurdy March 30th, 2017 at Hyperion club, Moscow.
You will hear Andrey’s own songs and instrumental compositions, as well as Russian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian, Greek, Austrian music, contemporary classical melodies, and jazz improvisation on hurdy-gurdy. This exact instrument was made by Wolfgang Weichselbaumer from Austria.
Andrey participated at several prestigious folk festivals recently like Krutushka (Kazan, 2015), EuroFolk (Bulgaria, 2015), Medunarodni Festival Tradicijskih Glazbala (Croatia, 2015), Manor Jazz Rosa Khutor (Russia, 2016), Music on the river (Russia, 2016), and Pilsen Busking Fest (Czech Republic, 2016).
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Stefan Straubinger supported by the SpuimaNovas group, a collective of musicians led by Eva and Stefan Straubinger. Their new album, Tanzboden Grooves 2016, is a quirky mix of traditional Bavarian music, tango, polka, samba, landler music, Breton folk music, cha cha cha, and much more.
The musical instruments used include familiar elements like saxophone, violin, trumpet, drums and bass, along with unexpected instruments such as bagpipes and hurdy gurdy. The overall result is a selection of folk-rooted pieces and dance or party songs.
The album lineup includes Stefan Straubinger on hurdy gurdy, bandoneon and vocals; Eva Straubinger on dudelsack (bagpipe), recorder, clarinet and vocals; Dominik Straubinger on violin; Fridolin Straubinger on trombone; Markus Heinze on cornet, baritone and alto saxophone; Philip Unterreiner on E-Guitar and vocals; Max Flossmann on acoustic bass; Leonie Sobek on drums; and Ludwig Himpsl on percussion.
Valentin Clastrier and Steven Kamperman – Fabuloseries (Homerecords, 2016)
A collaboration between French hurdy gurdy experimentalist and Dutch clarinetist Steven Kamperman. Although the hurdy is commonly used in traditional music, Clastrier is known for his exploratory works, using jazz improvisation and other elements.
This album will appeal to fans of the avant-garde side of the hurdy gurdy.
Fabuloseries features Valentin Clastrier on electro-acoustic hurdy gurdy and Steven Kamperman on clarinets and soprano saxophone.
1er Festival Internacional de Alturas – Lima, Perú, noviembre 2014 (Asociación Arte de Alturas, 2015)
This album features artists from across the globe who participated in the first Festival Internacional de Alturas (Highland Festival) held in Lima, Peru. The festival celebrates the rich and varied musical traditions of the peoples who live in the high mountainous areas of the world.
The selection includes artists from South American countries that share the Andes mountain range: Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia and Argentina. Europe is represented by artists from countries that border the Alps: Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy and Germany. The great Himalayas range is represented by an Indian act from Kashmir.
The diversity of sounds is quite striking. The album opens with Swiss band Alphorn who use the traditional alphorn (a really long trumpet-like instrument) in a contemporary fashion.
Track 2 features Peruvian vocalist Consuelo Jerí accompanied by Ricardo Villanueva, delivering music derived from the Ayacucho region.
Probably the most familiar from the Andes are the pan flute and charango ensembles. Los Jaukas (Perú) perform traditional Andean music using string instruments and flute.
Andrea Capezzuoli e Compagnia deliver an accordion-driven call and response northern Italian folk song combined with a jazz.
Argentina’s Mariana Carrizo performs a passionate Argentine folk song accompanied by a drum.
Freddy Torrealba is a charango virtuoso from Chile who demonstrates his admirable technique. He’s one of the finest charango players in the world.
Peruvians Jean Pierre Magnet (saxophone) and Luciano Quispe (harp) perform jazz-infused Andean music with an unusual instrumentation consisting of saxophone and harp.
Kofelgschroa represents the music of the Bavarian Alps of Germany. The quartet plays brass and accordion music inspired by traditional music.
Rabab Instrumental Group is a quintet from Srinagar (India). They perform traditional music using the rabab lute and clay drums.
Colombian act Dueto Vivir Cantando includes Fernando Salazar and Lucho Vergara. They play a melodic Colombian Andean song using vocals and guitars.
Andrés “Chimango” Lares is an Andean fiddler who accompanies traditional folk dancers. He performs a brief traditional tune.
French musician Laurence Bourdin specializes in the electroacoustic hurdy gurdy. His style crosses numerous boundaries, from medieval music to Occitan folk and jazz fusion.
Marcelo Peña is a quena (traditional Andean flute) maestro. He’s joined by charango virtuoso Wilson Molina. They represent the new vision of Andean traditions of Bolivia.
Peruvian act Conjunto Pancho Gómez Negrón are preservationists of the Chumbivilcas high plains traditional music.
The album closes with traditional yodeling music by Austrian folk band Alma.
The álbum 1er Festival Internacional de Alturas – Lima, Perú, noviembre 2014 presents a fascinating portrait of the diversity of traditional music from the highlands of the planet.
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