Malian kora maestro Ballaké Sissoko and French cello virtuoso Vincent Segal are set to perform on Tuesday February 28 at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina.
The two musicians have developed a distinctive hybrid musical style that mixes traditional West African and European Baroque music.
The duo released a remarkable debut album titled Chamber Music, released in North America in 2011. Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal continued the collaboration in 2015 with Musique du Nuit.
Tuesday February 28 at 8 PM
The ArtsCenter, 300-G E. Main Street, Carrboro, NC.
Tickets for this show are $22. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit artscenterlive.org or call the Box Office at (919) 929-2787.
Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal will start their North American tour tomorrow. Tour dates:
Feb. 23, Berea College, Berea KY
Feb. 24, University of VT, Burlington VT
Feb. 25, Palais Montcalm, Quebec
Feb. 26, Le Gesu, Montreal
Feb. 28, The Arts Center, Carrboro NC
March 1, The Barns at Wolftrap Vienna
March 3, French Institute Alliance, New York NY
March 4, Villa Victoria, Boston, MA
March 5, North Beach Band Shell, Miami Beach
March 8, Old Town School of Folk, Chicago IL
March 9, Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis MN
Justin Adams is one the UK’s most original and inspirational guitarists, lending his talents to such artists as Jah Wobble, Sinead O’Connor, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, and Robert Plant’s band The Strange Sensations.
Adams spent his youth living and traveling in the Middle East and North Africa. “My original love when I was young was The Clash and dub reggae,” says Justin. “I like to keep things raw and swinging – so it never gets too pristine or too sweet. I love listening to cassettes of Moroccan music and Algerian music. I like trancey, circular rhythms and voices that are in between pleasure and pain, where it’s bittersweet.”
A restless musical traveler, Adams’ solo debut http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006AE2R?ieUTF8&tagmusidelmund-20&linkCodexm2&camp1789&creativeASINB00006AE2R | Desert Road (World Village) created a dub-wise atmospheric soundscape filled with swaying grooves and parched tones that invoke desert landscapes, Arizona or Sahara — an ancient/contemporary Moorish blues with echoes of the call to prayer and African trance.
One of Justin Adam’s most important projects is his collaboration with Gambian musician Juldeh Camara. The connection was sparked by a phone call out of the blue from an excited Camara. “A friend gave me a copy of Justin’s CD and I took it with me in Gambia. When I got there I was playing the riti and trying to follow what he was playing. I was feeling it in my body. When I got to the UK, I got his number and called him. I said, ‘I heard your stuff. This style you play is very, very connected with my spirit.” Then over the phone Camara whipped out a few licks on his riti and the kologo, which he had picked up from Ghanaian musician Atongo Zimba, and Adams “went crazy” on the other end of the line. They were soon jamming and recording together.
Justin and Juldeh have been playing together since 2007, following the release of the critically acclaimed “Soul Science” in 2007 (winner of the BBC Radio 3 World Music Award in the Crossing Continents category), touring at festivals in Siberia, Mexico City, Morocco and the WOMAD festival. The touring experience has clearly brought them closer together as musicians and added to the unique nature of their musical style. “At certain soundchecks I’d start playing something and Juldeh would rush over and say ‘…keep playing that! We’ve got to play that tonight!’ Juldeh would record things on his mobile phone – so that’s they way we came up with a lot of material,” explains Justin.
In 2011, Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara formed a new band called JuJu. The band is characterized by trance-like rhythms from traditional Africa, jazz and the wilder side of rock.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Jon Hassell grew up with ears alert to divergent aspects of the jazz tradition, one early influence including Maynard Ferguson’s “stratospheric” trumpeting with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. While studying at the Eastman School of Music, Hassell became increasingly interested in serial music and more experimental expressions of the new music avant-garde, in the mid-1960s traveling to Cologne to study with pioneering composer Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Returning to New York in 1967 he met and befriended Terry Riley. Hassell played on Riley’s landmark recording In C, and was introduced by Riley to La Monte Young with whose Dream House project he toured through the 1970s.
An encounter with the music of Indian singer Pandit Pran Nath was fundamental. Hassell studied extensively with Pran Nath, subsequently incorporating vocal techniques of raga into his trumpet playing, developing a new style for his instrument and his music as a whole.
Vernal Equinox (1977) laid down the essence of the idiosyncratic yet wide-open musical expression Hassell has continued to develop and redefine over the past decades: “My aim was to make a music that was vertically integrated in such a way that at any cross-sectional moment you were not able to pick a single element out as being from a particular country or genre of music.”
In 1986 Brian Eno, a frequent collaborator, would observe that “Jon Hassell is an inventor of new forms of music – of new ideas of what music could be and how it might be made. His work is drawn from his whole cultural experience without fear or prejudice. It is an optimistic, global vision that suggests not only possible musics but possible futures.” An enticing proposal for the most diverse musicians, Hassell’s collaborators over the years have ranged from Peter Gabriel to the Kronos Quartet, Ry Cooder and rock star Bono, and his trumpet performances have featured on recordings with Björk, Baaba Maal, Ibrahim Ferrer, Ani di Franco, David Sylvian, the Talking Heads and many others.
Additionally his playing and/or music has been heard in numerous films including The Last Temptation of Christ, Trespass, Wild Side, Greenwich Mean Time, Angel Eyes, Owning Mahowny, Million Dollar Hotel and more.
In April 2009, Jon Hassell and Brian Eno delivered their Conversation Piece at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. This “conversational remix”, an animated juxtaposing of philosophies of life, art and music, was premiered to acclaim at Norway’s Punkt Festival in 2008.
Completely self taught, Johnny Kalsi has been playing the dhol drum for many years. His determination and persistence in learning to play came about when he could not find anyone who would give him any training. A little later, Johnny was lucky enough to get a small break in a local band and gained some basic experience. After three years, he was fortunate to join the most popular Bhangra band of that time called Alaap. With the correct guidance from the strong rhythm section in the band, Johnny incorporated modern dance steps to enhance his performance. Powerful big beats and dynamic rhythms became the focal point in his performance, a sound that soon began to dominate the Bhangra scene.
Up to this point, Johnny had never thought about training others, but as he profile grew, he began to receive inquiries as to whether or not he was teaching. Ultimately, this led to Johnny creating The Dhol Foundation (TDF), the largest dhol institute in Great Britain. The first Dhol Foundation class took place in 1991 in a community hall in Slough and within five weeks through word of mouth it had become a forty-strong student class. As demand grew, Johnny started another class in East and West London. The Dhol Foundation now runs a total of twelve classes throughout the UK and with nearly two hundred students already on the register the numbers are still growing. Going strong for nearly ten years, The Dhol Foundation is still the only institute in the country that teaches the dhol to a professional level.
After performing on the Bhangra circuit for nine years, Johnny ventured off to explore the European festival scene, which he had a taste with The Dhol Foundation. This resulted in Johnny exposing the dhol sound to a new album by Fun^Da^Mental. After touring with them for a little a year, he was quickly asked to join a session with pioneering world music fusion band TransGlobal Underground (TGU).
TransGlobal Underground was the next band to expose Johnny to the European club circuit. During an 18-month period, he concentrated on completing The Dhol Foundation’s first album. Gigs with TransGlobal Underground became more frequent, giving Johnny even more European exposure. In 1998, TransGlobal Underground released their hit album Rejoice Rejoice. A tour in the United States of America was scheduled for September and Johnny was on the priority list to cover the dates. Traveling around the east coast of the United States of America, finally ending up in Los Angeles. Two weeks later, they were back on the road with their biggest support tour to date with the legendary duo Page & Plant, formerly of Led Zeppelin. This tour was another six weeks of pure fun and getting on with a big band, big rig and big crew. After this tour, Johnny took time out to let the Asian media know about the support gig and the fact that The Dhol Foundation was involved in such a big outfit.
Another world music act, Afro Celt Sound System (ACSS) was Johnny’s dream band and he had a lot to offer them besides live dhol performances. While touring New York in 1997 with TransGlobal Underground and Afro Celt Sound System, he went on stage for a few numbers. This was his first taste of an interacting band vibing off each other. Next to come was Johnny’s participation in Afro Celt Sound System’s album Volume 2 Release. Together with Moussa Sissokho on talking drum and jembe, and James McNally on bodhran and whistle, Johnny contributed ideas and inspiration for tunes and heavy drum breaks.
Meanwhile, the Afro Celt Sound System album was due out in April 1999 and the rehearsals began thereafter. The master cut of the album was sent and Johnny began to go through the drum sections. Tour dates came flooding in and suddenly Johnny found himself torn between TransGlobal Underground and Afro Celt Sound System. This felt quite natural to the ‘Dholaholik.’ After sixteen years of touring and performing, his experience had reached an untouchable level within the international dhol community. Johnny found himself in the position of being a major front man for his art, with feature parts for dhol solos and broke into his live performances with Afro Celt Sound System.
In 2001, Johnny Kalsi released his first solo album, titled Big Drum Small World. He continues to collaborate with various artists and fusing his explosive mix of Punjabi music with other global cultures through The Dhol Foundation.
Jivan Gasparyan (his first name is also spelled Djivan) was born in 1928 in Solag, a village near the Armenian capital Yerevan. He began to play the duduk at age 6, gaining much of his knowledge by listening to the great masters.
In 1948 he joined the Tatoo’ Altounian National Song and Dance Ensemble, and also had his first professional engagement as soloist with the Yerevan Philharmonic Orchestra.
Most of Gasparyan’s repertoire features traditional Armenian folk songs. He also is an accomplished composer and a singer in the folk tradition. In addition to his original compositions and arrangements of traditional songs, he has written love songs based on the poetry of Vahan Derian.
Gasparyan won Gold Medals in four worldwide competitions organized by UNESCO (1959, 1962, 1973, and 1980) and is the only musician ever to be given the honorary title of People’s Artist of Armenia, received in 1973 from the Armenian government.
A professor at the Yerevan Conservatory, Gasparyan has prepared more than 70 duduk musicians for professional performance. He greatly enjoys teaching, and it brings him joy to know that through his efforts the tradition of duduk playing will not be lost.
Gasparyan has toured Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. In the United States, he has performed extensively in New York and Los Angeles, appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and has received exposure to Western audiences through performances with the Kronos Quartet.
Gasparyan’s album of Armenian folk songs and ballads, I Will Not Be Sad In This World (All Saints, 1989), dedicated to victims of the Armenian earthquake, received worldwide recognition. He has collaborated with Lionel Richie and Peter Gabriel.
His contribution to the soundtrack of Gladiator is only the latest of his continuing collaborations with the film industry both in Hollywood and in Europe: The Russia House, The Siege and The Crowand Atom Egoyan’s film Calendar, as well as for the American-Hungarian cable television co-production Storm and Sorrow.
At the age of 73, Jivan received the WOMEX (World Music Expo) lifetime achievement award of 2002.
The musical landscape of American music overflows with cool. From Blind Lemon Jefferson to Woody Guthrie, from Ella Fitzgerald to Hank Williams, from Miles Davis to Chuck Berry, from Aaron Copland to Jimi Hendrix, from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Jessye Norman, the music of the United States has flowed freely. And that cool has spread far and wide as the likes of Aerosmith, Chicago and Bruce Springsteen have circled the globe many time over and continue to do so.
Without lapsing into some creepy American exceptionalism, we’ve reveled in the sounds of R. Carlos Nakai, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Muddy Waters, Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Mahalia Jackson and the list just goes on and on.
But here’s the thing – musically we’ve never lived in a vacuum. The general attitude of US audiences has been if it’s cool, we want it. In the early 1970s Ravi Shankar brought his Concert for Bangladesh to the US and the American audience was so enthralled by the sounds they applauded the group’s warm-up. Okay, the audience’s naiveté is amusing, but the point is we wanted this music.
Having been to a Buena Vista Social Club concert, I can attest that if anyone took my seat I would have clawed their eyes out, as I expect most others who have fallen hard for those rich, warm sounds out of Cuba. The same could be said of the concert featuring L. Subramaniam, his son Ambi Subramaniam and Mahesh Krishnamurthy. Think about it, how many times do you think you heard the Spanish summer song “Macarena” by Los del Rio or “Gangnam Style” by South Korea’s Psy?
In 1986, Paul Simon introduced audiences to South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo on his Graceland album and later in 1990 gave audiences a taste of Afro-Brazilian musicians like Grupo Cultural Olodum, Milton Nascimento and Nana Vasconcelos on his release of Rhythm of the Saints. By-the-way, Ladysmith Black Mambazo is currently on tour and will have upcoming concert dates in the US in February and March of 2017.
Bill Frisell let us into the goodness of Sidiki Camara, Vinicius Cantuaria, Christos Govetas, Greg Leisz and Jenny Scheinman with the The Intercontinentals. There are countless other examples of collaborations of American musicians with artists from around the world. We’ve been inundated by bits of bhangra, African, Indian, Celtic and every other genre under the sun in our popular music, movies and advertising.
I’m not sure how any movie soundtrack makes it without the sly addition of tabla or frame drum these days. Again, if it’s cool we want it. We need it. Let’s face it we’re the fat kid and there’s a whole lot of musical cake out there to eat. And the good thing is that we are all the better for it.
But what if all this musical collaborative goodness from around the world is coming to an end for US audiences? Let’s just forego the conversation about the President Trump’s plan to completely gut government funding for the National Endowment of the Arts and Humanities. There’s something more sinister afoot.
Recently, Zimbabwe’s Oliver Mtukudzi has been forced to cancel US tour dates because he was denied a visa from the US Embassy in Harare. Speculation has it could be the US’s ongoing wrangling with President Mugabe’s administration or a summit of Sudanese, Somalian and Libyan musicians that coincides with Mr. Mtukudzi’s concert. Also, the Beijing Chinese Orchestra is reported to have cancelled a February concert in Seattle after 22 musicians were denied entry visas by the US government. With the current climate, the powers that be and the sheer force of will to dismantle any and all of President Obama’s actions by the hard-nosed hard asses in charge, can Cuba’s musicians be far behind in the denied visa category? And, which musicians will be next?
I want to be optimistic and say that US audiences won’t go for this, but already the cancelled concerts of Mr. Mtukudzi and the Beijing Chinese Orchestra have already slipped past our collective radar. It is quite possible that there is a whole host of foreign musicians and performers who have been denied visas and those concerts have gone quietly into the night and simply disappeared. Let’s face it this is not the most up-front and honest of administrations. But what is even more worrying is the idea of musicians, artists and performers simply passing up coming to the US entirely. What if we’ve become just too much of a hassle? What if facing a populace of angry, shouting, red-faced, gun-toting, wall-building nuts just isn’t worth it? So then what? What happens when our cool openness for whatever is around the musical corner is gone?
Don’t get me wrong I still think there’s a place for the sweet little square dance or the shit-kicking hoedown, but I don’t think we can live on it alone. I don’t think I’d want to.
The Primavera Trompetera Festival 2017 will take place March 31 – April 1 at the racetrack in Jerez de la Frontera, in southern Spain. The festival will feature a wide-range of genres, including mestizo, world music and reggae. Some of Spain’s leading roots music acts will perform there along with Asian Dub Foundation and American band Balkan Beat Box.
The lineup includes Asian Dub Foundation, Eskorzo, The Zombie Kids, La Jungla Band, Miguel Caamaño Dj Set , Los Vivos, La Tarambana, Kase.O, Balkan Beat Box, Tomasito, Enseco, Loquillo, Fali Abad, Cristo el Mesías de Jerez, Marcos Cruz Dj Set, Chagar Dj Set, Bony Stuche Dj Set, Aivan Cabrera Dj Set, Dannyboy DJ Set, Cali Dj set, Miguel Campello, Guadalupe Plata, Rozalén, Ganjahr Family & Atlantic Force Band, Gordo Master, Macaco, La Raíz, Narco, Nikone, G.a.s Drummers, La Selva Sur, Nach, Fuel Fandango, Poncho K, Emeterians & Forward Ever Band, Mama Ladilla , El Chojin, Estricnina, Mala Rodríguez, Chambao, Fyahbwoy & Forward Ever Band, Green Valley, Muchachito, Shotta and Mario Díaz.
When music listeners and explorers gather formally to further their fascination, there are always two or three performers too intense for most ears. One hears whispers in the listening space as those who recognize the act about to begin caution those around them that this may be a time to visit the lobby or concession stand, to go outside to smoke or check messages. “Oh God, this guy will put you to sleep,” or “They’re saying something, but I don’t know what,” one hears from the row ahead or behind. These are the acts that are overwhelming for many.
The truly musically curious, however, remain in the concert space and pay all the more attention, both to the stage and to the other attendees who have remained in their seats. The acts that elicit this preliminary response in the audience are those who separate the fans from the ethnomusicologists. Meet Serbian composer Srdjan Beronja. His label’s press release explains that he “travel[s] to remote locations and records unusual local sounds from desert townships, coastal villages and the dawn chorus high up in trees.” On this CD, these field recordings “from the geographical triangle between India, the Middle East and the Balkans” are used to introduce and provide audio beds for some of the cuts, thus merging the artist’s fascination with natural sounds and his musicianship.
He works with a number of renowned players of instruments typifying tour stops along the way from the Balkans through the Middle East to India and back, with expressive results. This is not a consistent album to be played as background music at a cocktail party or curry house, but more akin to a visit to a good art gallery where a broad spectrum of visual artists is on display.
“Sounds of the East Music from The Balkans, India & The Middle East” is a beautiful collection for collectors.
The album Sing Me Home (Sony Music Masterworks, 2016) by Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble received the Best World Music Album Grammy Award at the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards.
Sing Me Home is a companion album, developed and recorded together with The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, a documentary film from award-winning director Morgan Neville that tells the story of The Silk Road Ensemble and Silkroad, its parent organization.
The album explores the changeable idea of home, with original and traditional tunes composed or arranged by members of the Ensemble’s exceptional collective of global artists. Each composition invites listeners to explore the “music of home” through the individual experiences of Ensemble members, many of whom are immigrants.
“Every tradition is the result of successful invention,” Yo-Yo Ma says in the documentary The Music of Strangers. “Human beings grow by being curious and receptive to what’s around them. A lot of people are scared of change, and sometimes there’s reason to be fearful. But if you can welcome change, you become fertile ground for development.”
The other nominees were:
Destiny – Celtic Woman (Manhattan Records_
Walking In The Footsteps Of Our Fathers – Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Ladysmith Black Mambazo0
Land Of Gold – Anoushka Shankar (Deutsche Grammophon)
Dois Amigos, Um Século De Música: Multishow Live – Caetano Veloso & Gilberto Gil (Nonesuch)
Gustavo Santaolalla has been a force in Latin American music since the 1960s. He is one of a small group of musicians who created the hugely popular “Argentine Rock” movement, which included very creative bands that played progressive rock, jazz fusion, and other genres, sometimes combined with Latin American melodies and rhythms.
Santaolalla’s professional music career started in 1967 at the age of 16, when he founded the seminal group Arco Iris, making history as the pioneer in the fusion of rock and Latin American folk. Santaolalla’s work as bandleader (Arco Iris, Soluna, Wet Picnic); solo artist (Santaolalla, GAS, Ronroco); and record producer (Cafe Tacuba, Kronos Quartet) showcases his expertise in a wide variety of other musical styles.
For a few years, Santaolla lived between Buenos Aires and Los Angeles. Eventually, he settled in Los Angeles in the 1980s.
He has since become the most important name in Latin Alternative music in North America, having won Grammy awardss for his work with Cafe Tacuba and Juanes and has also produced critical and commercial successes for million-selling Mexican group Molotov, as well as Julieta Venegas, Maldita Vecindad, Caifanes, Leon Gieco, Los Prisioneros and Divididos, amongst others.
After the launching of his label Surco, he also played a major role in producing music for his label’s roster of artists, including Bersuit, Erica Garcia, Arbol and La Vela Puerca. Gustavo later entered the world of film music by scoring the music and producing the soundtrack for the Oscar-nominated and Cannes Film Festival-winning film Amores Perros, and again teamed up with Amores Perros director Alejandro Gonzalez Izarritu to work on his film, 21 Grams. Since then, he has composed numerous scores for film, TV and video games.
Santaolalla is the producer of Carnabailito, by Gaby Kerpel, the third Nonesuch project with which he has been involved. Proving once again his versatility, Santaolalla co-produced Kronos Quartet’s Nuevo, which pays homage to the rich musical styles of Mexico.
Gustavo Santaolalla’s musical style fuses rock, soul, African rhythms, and Latin American folk.