Flamenco percussionist Manuel Flores was born in Morón de la Frontera, Spain in 1969. Considered one of the masters of hand rhythm (compas) from Moron he has participated in the Bienal de Flamenco and the Feria Mundial de Flamenco. For many years Flores was the rhythmic “anchor” for singers and dancers such as Chano Lobato, Andorrano, Kiko Veneno, Juan de Juan, Nano de Jerez, Rafael de Utrera and Javier Ruibal and guitarists Paco del Gastor, Diego de Moron, Juan del Gastor, El Leri, and Eduardo Rebollar.
Outside of Spain he has been involved in flamenco performances in the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, the United States, France and Belgium. In 1998 Manuel Flores began to collaborate with Martirio. He soon became an integral part of her flamenco group and performed on her album Mucho Corazon subsequently touring with her in 2003 and 2004.
Glen Velez is a master drummer, composer and educator. He won three Grammy awards and is considered one of the most influential percussionists of our time, as well as being responsible for a world-wide resurgence in the popularity of the frame drum.
He was born in Texas, of Mexican American ancestry. He moved to New York City in the late 196s. Although he began as a jazz drummer, he felt a strong attraction towards hand drums, especially frame drums.
Glen has also gained international recognition as a solo artist and is also known for his 15 year recording and performing collaborations with composer Steve Reich, as well as the Paul Winter Consort.
His teaching and performances inspired the Remo Drum Co. in 1983 to develop a line of frame drums called the Glen Velez signature Series. The Cooperman Drum Co. introduced a hand made Signature Series Glen Velez Tambourine and Frame Drum line in 1999.
In 1989, twentieth century composer, John Cage acknowledged Velez’ mastery when he wrote a piece especially for him, entitled “Composed Improvisation for One-sided Drum with or without Jingles.”
Other collaborations include: Tan Dun, Israel Philharmonia, Brooklyn Philharmonia, Opera Orchestra of New York, Suzanne Vega Pat Metheny Zakir Hussain, New York City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orpheus Chamber Ensemble.
His own compositions have been featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and John Schaefer’s New Sounds and have been commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation, Jerome Foundation, and Reader’s Digest. He has written music for theater and dance and recorded hundreds of albums on ECM, CBS, RCA, GRP, Warner Brothers, Deutsche Gramophone, Geffen, Nonesuch, Capital, and Sony.
Glen has several instructional videos, 5 instructional books and over a dozen recordings of his own music on CMP, Music of the World, Sounds True, Interworld, Ellipsis Arts and DafTof Records. Glen is a master teacher who conducts workshops worldwide and has published numerous books and articles on the subject.
Velez developed his own teaching approach called The Handance Method. It incorporates voice and body movement into the process of learning to play the frame drum and has been presented in hundreds of universities worldwide. He currently teaches frame drums at the Mannes School of Music, as well as series of master classes at The Julliard School and Manhattan School of Music.
While Glen draws upon the great drumming traditions of the Middle East, South India and the Mediterranean world (ancient and modern), he plays in a style all his own. Utilizing a vast culmination of complex hand and finger techniques, a symphony of sounds and textures remarkably stream forth from just a single hand held drum. Glen’s solos seem supernatural, a technical rarity that is beyond comprehension. However, beyond all the jaw-dropping spectacle of Glen’s super-human techniques, is a music that is so deeply emotional, a raw beauty, that perhaps, within it’s core, resides the most universal rhythm of all – the heart beat.
Glen is also an expert in Central Asian Overtone Singing (split-tone/harmonic singing). During concerts, he often gives his audiences a spontaneous crash course in this style, thus resulting into a spirited interactive overtone choir.
Glen Velez regularly performs and records with Trio Globo – featuring Eugene Friesen and Howard Levy; Coleman Barkes, world renown scholar/translator of the poetry of Rumi; Glen Velez Ensemble; Duo performances with vocalist/rhythm singer Lori Cotler – songs from their new recording are available on iTunes.
Handdance (Music of the World, 1983)
Musica Esporadica (Nocd Records, 1985)
Internal Combustion (Schematic, 1985)
Seven Heaven (CMP, 1987)
Assyrian Rose (CMP, 1989)
Doctrine of Signatures (CMP, 1991)
Ramana (Nomad Records/Music of the World, 1991)
Mokave 2 (Audioquest, 1993)
Border States (1993)
Pan Eros (CMP, 1993)
Trio Globo, with Trio Globo (Silver Wave, 1994)
Carnival of Souls, with Trio Globo (Silver Wave, 1995)
Rhythmcolor Exotica (Ellipsis Arts, 1996)
Rhythms of the Chakras (Sounds True, 1998)
Ettna (Nomad Records/Music of the World, 1999)
Breathing Rhythms (Sounds True, 2000)
Rhythms of Awakening (Sounds True, 2005)
Rhythms of the Chakras 2 (Sounds True, 2008)
Steering by the Stars, with Trio Globo (Stonecutter Records, 2010)
Innovative Granada-based Brazilian percussionist Rubem Dantas is set to perform in Seville, Spain as part of his Cajon Tour. The concert will take place Tuesday, May 9th at Teatro Central. Acclaimed singer La Susi will appear as guest artist.
Rubem Dantas introduced the Peruvian cajón to flamenco nearly 40 years ago, as part of Paco de Lucía’s band. Since then, the cajón has become a regular instrument in most flamenco ensembles.
Dantas will be presenting pieces from his most recent solo album Festejo along with covers of composiitons by Paco de Lucía, Camarón de la Isla, La Susi, Vinícius de Moraes, José Fernández and Justo Heredia.
The lineup includes Rubem Dantas (percusssion), Saray Fernández La Pitita (dance), Justo Heredia Malaguita (vocals), Joaquín Sánchez (clarinet and harmonica), José María Pedraza Petaca (piano), José Fernández Petete (flamenco guitar) and La Susi (vocals).
Terje Isungset was born in 1964. He is regarded as one of the most creative, uncompromising and distinctive percussionists in Norway. He has spent many years developing his own unique mode expression, crafted instruments himself, using materials found in natural surroundings.
Isungset performs throughout the year with various bands from Norway and other European countries, including Swedish band Groupa.
Isungset has made a major contribution on various folk music CDs. The many years he has spent working to create a genuine, rhythmic dimension in his music have enabled him to develop a distinctly individual musical identity built on Norwegian sounds.
In additional to conventional percussion, Isungset has experimented and performed with glass and ice percussion instruments, ice horns and other creations.
Orleysa (Odin NJ 4039-2, 1991)
Rom, with Isglem (NOR-CD 9102, 1991)
To steg, with Isglem (NOR-CD 9204, 1992)
Juv Utla (NOR-CD 9309, 1993)
Svanshornet, with Orleysa (Odin NJ 4048-2, 1993)
Rit, with Karl Seglem (NOR-CD 9410, 1994)
Haugtussa, with Lynni Treekrem and Ketil Bjornstad (Kirkelig Kulturverksted FXCD 159, 1995)
Brodd, with Utla (NOR-CD 9514, 1995)
Okuta Percussion (Osika Eucd 1343, 1996)
Null g, with Isglem (NOR-CD 9615, 1996)
Tya, with Reidar Sk?r and Karl Seglem (NOR-CD 9717, 1997)
Reise (NOR-CD 9724, 1997)
Trad, with Niss Kerstin Hallgren (Amigo AMCD 739, 1998)
Spir, with Karl Seglem (NOR-CD 9830, 1998)
Jol, with Hans Fredrik Jacobsen (Via Music VCD 375, 1998)
Lavalek, with Groupa (Xoucd 125, 1999)
Dans, with Utla (NOR-CD 9935, 1999)
Bergtatt, with Oslo Chamber Choir (Kirkelig Kulturverksted FXCD 214, 1999)
Glare of the Tiger is a series of remarkable world music jams performed by a superb collective of forward-thinking jazz musicians led by acclaimed composer and percussionist Adam Rudolph.
Throughout the album, the rhythm section lays out a solid foundation of creative percussion and bass over which you get a series of horn, electronic keyboard and guitar melodic evolutions and improvisations that mix jazz, jazz-rock and world music elements. You can hear influences from Ethiopian, Indian and Gnawa music at times, and from many other parts of the world.
Adam Rudolph plays a wide range of percussion instruments, including a drum set composed of hand drums from different traditions: Haitian kongos, West African jembe and Moroccan tarija (small frame drum).
The state of the art recording of Glare of the Tiger was made at Bill Laswell’s Orange Music Studio with James Dellatacoma as head engineer.
The lineup on Moving Pictures includes Adam Rudolph on handrum set, sintir, cajón, itótele, glockenspiel, gongs, additional percussion; Alexis Marcelo on Fender Rhodes, electric keyboards & Hammond B3; Damon Banks on electric bass; Graham Haynes on cornet, flugelhorn, electronics; Hamid Drake on drum set, percussion; James Hurt on sogo and kidi drums, oghene bell, okónkolo, Fender Rhodes, smart phone synthesizer module and sound design; Kenny Wessel on electric guitar, electronics; and Ralph M. Jones on c flute, alto flute, bass clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophones, husli and bamboo flutes.
Fellé Vega, is a renowned Dominican artist; Dominican percussionist native of Santiago De Los Caballeros who defines himself as an Imaginary Folklorist.
Percussionist, composer, inventor, instrument designer, who over the course of his multi-faceted 25-year career has shared the national and international stage with many notable artists, has participated in numerous jazz festivals around the world and led several musical groups, has served as instructor and lecturer at percussion workshops in addition to being a composer and designer of musical instruments.
This craftsman of rhythms and varied instruments exhibits in his music a strong ethnic fusion that is the result of the African, Spanish and Taino influence ever-present in the Caribbean.
Devoted to finding the sound of life, Fellé has distinguished himself by his experimentation with recyclable materials and everyday objects that have percussive possibilities, such as pails, lids and pots, which he then turns into musical instruments. His use of such materials to create music has earned him on many occasions the title of musical wizard from Dominican music critics.
Fellé currently heads the Monday’s concert series Monday’s Jazz every Monday in Bar Code, is the musical director of the jazz and world music group Orquesta de las Danzas Mezcladas, and member of the most famous percussion quintet in the country Cuero, Madera y Metal, as well as the music coordinator of the Palafitos Jazz Festival in Moca.
He is the creator and director of motivational percussion workshops offered at public and private schools called Tocando la Vida, (playing the life) and conducts an innovator idea for workshops based on percussion dynamics for corporate human resources department called SonTeam.
Fellé designs and manufactures percussion instruments under his own trademark, Tokit, for which he uses wood and recyclable materials. The percussion instruments called Boombaquin (percussion box), Tata, Gargaritas, Gayumba, Cuadrangarang, and Tambiro are some of his original creations.
At the moment, he is pointing all his energies in commercialize internationally the Boombakini. This instrument was designed by Fellé in the early 1990s and has being played by several Dominican and international musicians around the world. This is the first Dominican instrument that has been patented, something that makes Fellé very proud.
Retreta para el alma, by Felle Vega and La Orquesta de las Danzas Mezcladas (2005)
Federico Tellechea was born in 1979. He studied percussion and drum set with Facundo Guevara, Ariel Perez, Pablo Laporta, Fabricio Ortolan and Hubert Reyes, specializing in Rioplatense, Afrocuban, Afrobrazilian, Afroperuvian and rock-funk-Latin drums.
He has performed with tango group La Chicana, Afroperuvian group Como que no, accompanies the singer Casiana Torres and is tumbador (conga player) in the group Shamanes. He plays in Milamores and Los Ritmocerontes where he also sings background vocals.
Since 1997 he builds instruments like Peruvian cajon, Kalimbas and Marimbulas. He participated as percussionist in the group Caturga, carrying out, among other, the show “El camino del fuego”.
American percussionist Jerry Leake has recorded a superb album where he explores various musical genres. Leake is best known for his Cubist projects where he fused world music, rock and jazz-rock.
Crafty Hands is album dedicated to percussion and it’s a true delight. Jerry Leake uses an arsenal of percussion instruments drawn from many different global cultures, creating a rich and masterfully-crafted palette of rhythms. However, Leake is joined by other musicians, who enrich his work and take the fusion even further, incorporating jazz, rock, and ambient electronic music.
The opening piece, “Crafy Hands”, sets the tone with a traditional Ewe song where he uses a mix of instruments from three of Ghana’s ethnic groups, the Ewe, Dagomba and Ashanti. On top of this he layers Senegalese sabar beats, Moroccan frame drum and karkabas (metal castanets) and well as complex flamenco bulerias. Here, Leake is accompanied by guitars.
On the second piece, an original titled “Apprentice”the music turns electric and more jazz fusion-oriented, combining powerful drum set beats, electric bass, piano and guitar with harmonica along with various other percussion instruments. It’s based on a Dagomba rhythm and melody and showcases the talent of three students from Leake’s Berklee Global Jazz class.
“Time Hunt” is total jazz-rock fusion featuring fantastic synth solos that recall Joe Zawinul, electric guitars that echo Bill Frisell and Leake’s wide-range of percussion, ranging from marimba to tabla and drum set.
On Track 4, “Do you Think Your Thought” Leake invited DJ Mr. Rourke, who adds hip hop vocal samples that are combined with various drums.
“Blue Water” is a short shamanic composition with a flute that sounds Native American along with percussion, water sounds and resonator guitar.
Track 6 features a mesmerizing solo vibraphone performance titled “Alchemy.”
“String Theory” has some of the best electric guitar work on the album, with a soaring guitar that progresses beautifully accompanied by an assortment of irresistible rhythms.
The brief “Mr. Gong Prelude” highlights the gong accompanied by thunder tube. It leads into a traditional Dagombe song titled “Mr. Gong”, where Afro-roots fusion returns with rock-style guitar and outstanding percussion.
Track 10, “Tarang” is a tabla solo by Leake.
The remarkable sound of the talking drum opens “Dub Clef,” another traditional Dagombe tune that is reconstructed as a jazz-rock piece with electric and acoustic guitars and more masterful percussion structures. This piece has very close connections to the sound you’ll find on the Cubist albums.
The solo vibraphone reappears on track 12, “Quarks.”
Mr. Rourke returns with his turntables and samples on the last track, “Begin by Listening”. Spoken word and ethnic vocal samples sound much better than rap in the context of world music. Leake adds trance-like beats.
The lineup on Crafty Hands includes Jerry Leake on sabar, cajón, karkabas, vocals, bendir, gonkogui, atoké, shakers, floor tom, gender wayang, gung-gong, handclaps, lunga, cymbal, drum set, riq, yabla, daval, tar, triangle, marimba, cowbell, agogo, pandero, recorder flutes, water sounds, thunder tube, vibraphone, sogo, sabar, kidi, guiro, atoké, and clave; Randy Roos on nylon string, electric, baritone, MIDI and resonator guitars, bass; Steve Hunt on keyboards; Mr. Rourke on turntables and samples; Santiago Bosch on electric piano; Roni Eytan on harmonica; and Max Gerl on electric bass.
Percussionist Ángel Sánchez González, a.k.a. Cepillo, has become one of the essential accompanists of today’s best flamenco musicians and shows. He was born in Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cadiz province, Spain). Since his early years, he played his rhythms with flamenco, rock, jazz fusion and Brazilian musicians and groups.
Cepillo is a regular on the concerts of renowned artists such as Gerardo Núñez, Manolo Sanlúcar, Tomatito, Duquende, Carmen Cortés, Carmen Linares, Rafael Riqueni, Esperanza Fernández, Vicente Amigo, Isidro Muñoz, José Miguel Évora, José Antonio Galicia, Javier Barón, La Tobala, Pedro Sierra, Tino di Geraldo, Perico Sambeat, Michael Brecker, Renaud García Fons and Zakir Hussain, among others.
Cepillo has had a long career, performing throughout Spain and appearing in some of the best venues and festivals in Spain and abroad.
He has appeared in numerous recordings, including ‘Un ramito de locura’ by Carmen Linares, Jazzpaña, ‘Gerardo Núñez presenta. La Nueva Escuela de la Guitarra Flamenca’ and more.
Part of the East Meets West Music label’s Utsav! series celebrating the life and music of sitar master Ravi Shankar through the works of students, collaborators and fellow musicians, composer and percussionist Bickram Ghosh conjures up a lush collection of tracks entitled Maya.
After having played with the revered master Mr. Shankar for more than ten years, appearing on the Grammy winning Full Circle, collaborating with Sonu Nigam on The Music Room, collaborating with Anoushka Shankar and Rahul Sharma on the Decade of Great Fusion 2000-2009 and releasing his own recordings Drum Invasion, Electro Classical, Beyond Rhythmscape and Gumshuda, Mr. Ghosh is ever the revering devotee and disciple of Mr. Shankar.
One needs to look no further than Mr. Ghosh’s own words on Maya’s cover, “I am constantly inspired by the evocativeness of Raviji’s compositions – the subtle rhythmic interplays, the presentation of both East and West, his mind-bending melodic inventions and improvisations. He is a true star of world music and his body of work is a never-ending gift.”
While imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, Maya is anything but imitation or mere flattery. Chocked full of sitar, cello, oboe, santoor, violin and keyboard programming, as well as Mr. Ghosh’s own mastery of the tabla, udu and cajón.
Maya is a sleek listen into a hypnotic blend where the music of the East rises up to embrace the music of the West. Threaded throughout with vocals and plummy rhythms, tracks like opening track “Maya Sutra” thrum with the goodness of an easy grace.
Equally rich are tracks like the cello laced “Devotee” with vocalist Uljaini Mukherjee, the percussively rich “Mohana,” the darkly lush “The Journey to the Light” and “We Were Children” replete with mandolin, oboe, English horn, keyboard programming and Mr. Ghosh on udu, kahon, kanjeera and tabla.
Closing track “Maya’s Allure” with saxophone, mridangam, flute, viola, electric violin, xylophone, udu, tabla, handsonic, shakers and cajon is just as delightful in this jazzy collaboration.
Mr. Ghosh has cast a delightful spell with Maya. Sophisticated and fresh, Maya conjures lush spell after lush spell and so is a wonderful tribute to the maestro and ultimate musical conjurer Ravi Shankar.