Parashqevi Simaku was born in 1966 in Kavajë, Albania. She is a popular and beloved singer from Albania. As a teen she represented Albanian culture, singing folk songs on national television and radio and performing to international audiences.
Simaku won many competitions and awards, worked with many well-known composers and musicians, ventured into modern pop and created the first music videos in her country.
currently living in New York City, Simaku writes and produces recordings with her American husband, guitarist Robert Nolfe. Simaku made a modern world music album, Echoes From Iliria, that is rooted in undiscovered Eastern-European folk traditions.
Siamak Jahangiry was born in 1971 in chaloos, in northern Iran. He started playing the ney at the age of 12. Jahangiry studied with Abdolnaghi Afsharnia before going on to study with Iran’s leading ney players, mostly with Mohammad Ali Kiani Nejad.
He received his degree in music from Tehran University of the Arts and has written a book on the ney, its playing techniques in the 20th century, and its masters.
Jahangiry is a member of the Abd-al-kadir Ensemble, a group dedicated to the compositions of Abd-al-kadir Maraghi—one of the most important Iranian music theorists and composers of the 14th century.
Siamak Jahangiry is also a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and appears on the ensemble’s albums Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet and New Impossibilities, as well as recordings with his own ensemble. “//When you travel and play for people outside your country, they usually want to learn more about your culture and where you come from//,” says Jahangiry. “//This is an important aspect of what we do with this project. We gain knowledge about each other and share knowledge about ourselves//.”
He is currently a professor of music in the Fine Arts school of Tehran University.
Thornato, the artistic name of American producer Thor Partridge, takes the listener on a global electronica voyage across the Americas, southern Africa and the Middle East.
Using seductive electronic and acoustic dance rhythms based on Colombian cumbia, Jamaican dancehall, Central and South African beats, South Asian rhythms, and mesmerizing marimbas from Esmeraldas in Ecuador.
Even though Thornato produces a lot of the melodies and electronic global dance music, he features various guests throughout the album such as Afro-Esmeraldan band Grupo Taribo, African dance music collective Kongo elektro, Colombian vocalist Lido Pimienta, dancehall singer Gappy Ranks, and the Arabic oud of Spy From Cairo.
Bennu is an impressive global electronica debut album beautifully-crafted by Thornato.
Buy Bennu (available on CD, vinyl and digital download versions)
Salar Nader, of Afghan origin, was born in 1981 in Hamburg, Germany and migrated to the United States at the age of three . It was in his early months of life when his mother and father noticed his passion for the tabla. No matter where Salar was, he had to bring along his personal tabla set that his father bought for him when he was 6 months old.
At the age of 7, Salar attended his first tabla class in Berkeley, California. The instructor of the class, Ustad Zakir Hussain, who is now Salar’s guru, is a world renowned master of the tabla.
Sooner than expected, Salar was making public appearances on nationwide television screens including; “Nowrooz” festival TV, Nima TV and Jaam-e-Jaam TV. One of his memorable appearances was with Ustad Mawaash (notable Afghan vocalist), when Salar was only 11 years old.
As time progressed Salar became more and more devoted to his tabla training and has since played internationally with renowned masters such as Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, world famous sarangi virtuoso Ustad Sultan Khan, Rob Wasserman, Pandit Chtresh Das and participated at the famous Monterey Music Festival at 18.
With a deep passion for Afghan classical music traditions but also Indian Kathak dance and music, he also enjoyed collaborating with the Dj Cheb i Sabbah and Fareed Haque Group, improvising on an Indian jazz fusion style of music.
He has performed with Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Ustad Mawaash, Rahul Sharma, Ahmad Wali, Homayun Sakhi, Fareed Haque Group, Ustad Shujaat khan, Ustad Rashid khan, Kala Ramnath, Ghulam Ali Khan and Riffat Sultana. He has also performed with ensembles such as the Rumi Ensemble (Shahram Nazeri and Hafez Nazeri), Rumination (Farzin Farhadi, Cheb I Sabbah) and Niyaz.
Live In Osnabruck, with Tehran Symphony Orchestra and Hassan Riahi (Dreyer Gaido, 2007)
Tombak and daf master Pezhham Akhavass has a unique approach to rhythm has gained him recognition as one of the most distinguished Iranian percussionists of his generation.
Born in 1980, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music from Tehran’s Sureh University. He began learning music theory under the instruction of Naser Nazar at the age of five.
With the support of his father, be began studying the tombak under the guidance of Naser Farhanghfar. He also met members of the Masters in Persian Music, including Hossein Alizadeh and Kayhan Kalhor, and performed with them both locally and on tour in Iran and Europe.
He has collaborated with Irish harp player Diana Rowan and world music sensation Mamak Khadem.
Currently, Pezhham lives in San Francisco, California where he teaches private classes in tombak, daf and setar.
The Sky At Dawn, with Diana Rowan
Shahram Nazeri (Quartertone Productions, 2007) Tombak (2008) Percussions (2008) The Passion of Rumi, with
Liberated [Raha], with Payam Jahanman
Song-of-Sparrows [Avaze Gonjeshkha], with Hossein Alizadeh
Breeze and wheat field [Nasim o Gandomzar], with Aliakbar Moradi The Road, with Mamak Khadem (Innova, 2015)
One of the finest acts in the world music scene, Niyaz featuring Azam Ali will perform its 21st Century Global Trance Music on Saturday, April 29 at 8:00 pm at Roulette in New York City.
Niyaz combines Sufi poetry and folk songs from its native Iran and surrounding countries with rich acoustic instrumentation and modern electronics. Formed in California in 2004 and currently based in Montreal, Niyaz’s sound bridges the gap between East and West.
The group was founded by the mesmerizing vocalist andcomposer Azam Ali, whose Iranian heritage and Indian upbringing have deeply influenced her music, and multi-instrumentalist and composer Loga Ramin Torkian (oud & kamaan lutes). They will be joined by Didem Basar (kanun), Gabriel Ethier (keyboards, programming), Vaneet Vyas (tabla), and whirling dervish dancer Miriam Peretz.
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.
Noches Del Botánico (Nights at the Botanical), Madrid’s increasingly popular summer venue, has announced the impressive lineup for the 2017 edition. The series will run from June 22 to July 29 at the Alfonso XIII Royal Botanical Garden in Madrid’s Complutense University.
The lineup includes world music, jazz, progressive rock, classical music, rock and much more. Highlights include Salif Keita, Tony Bennett, Steve Hackett, Rubén Blades, Buika + Chucho Valdés, Roger Hodgson and UB40.
Current Program (more artists to be announced):
Tony Bennett (June 22)
Il Volo (June 24)
Gipsy Kings – Chico Castillo, Mario Reyes & André Reyes (June 28)
Composer, arranger, producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer, Pedro Aznar is one of the most prestigious and respected artists to emerge from South America in recent times.
His far-reaching experience includes being a founding member of Seru Giran, one of the most influential rock (classic rock, progressive rock) groups in Argentina, and his three-time Grammy Award winning work with the internationally acclaimed Pat Metheny Group. He’s also a celebrated pop singer.
The writer of several movie scores, he has also published a book of poetry, Pruebas de Fuego Ordeals by Fire.
Pedro’s virtuoso bass playing and unmistakable vocal style, explores the roots of Argentine and South American music from a broad base, as respectful of old traditions as it is open to new directions.
On his 2006 recording, A Roar of Southern Clouds, Pedro Aznar led the listener on a journey through a rich musical tradition ranging across three continents: the ancestral song of the Andean peoples, the rhythmic legacy of Africa, and the European musical heritage, all seen through a contemporary prism with many facets.
Pedro worked with David Lebón in 2007, releasing an album titled Aznar-Lebón. That same year he was appointed as Musical Director of Estudio Urbano, the first institution to teach all things related to the music industry, with free of charge access to all courses and facilities. He also co-produced with Shakira two songs for the Love in the Time of Cholera soundtrack. The film is based on the novel by the same name by Gabriel García Márquez.
Also in 2007, Aznar performed “Canterurías”, by Chabuca Granda, for “Folklore por los chicos”, a benefit album for Garrahan Pediatric Hospital .
In 2008 Aznar recorded and co-produced with Roger Waters a song for the Alas Foundation, a not-for-profit organization created to improve education, nutrition and health programs for Latin American children. The recording also features Gustavo Cerati and various guest artists.
Aznar won the Gardel Award in 2008 the Sound Engineering category for the Aznar-Lebon album, with Ariel Lavigna and Andrés Mayo.
He formed a new band that same year with Federico Dannemann and Julián Semprini, and played a concert at Alas – The concert for children. The festival, which took place in Buenos Aires and Mexico City simultaneously, was heard live by over 400,000 people, and seen on TV by 200 million. The featured artists were, among others: Shakira, Alejandro Sanz, Gustavo Cerati, Ricky Martin, Calle 13, Fito Páez and Jorge Drexler.
Quebrado, a double album featuring new songs written by Aznar, came out in 2008 with pieces by Pedro and versions of songs by some of his favorite songwriters.
Aznar composed music for the film No mires para abajo (Don’t Look Down), by Eliseo Subiela.
He presented his book Pruebas de Fuego at the 2008 Santiago de Chile Book Fair, mixing poetry reading with songs.
In 2009 he records with Mercedes Sosa (who died later that year), Suna Rocha, Aca Seca, Power 3, Gabo Ferro, Cuban singer Haydée Milanés, Spanish Basque musician Kepa Junkera and Brazilian singer-songwriter Paulinho Moska.
Aznar won three Gardel Awards for his album Quebrado, in the categories Best Male Pop Singer, Production of the Year and Sound Engineering (the latter, with Ariel Lavigna and Andrés Mayo). The album also reached Gold Record status.
Quebrado Vivo, a live double album recorded at Teatro Coliseo, Buenos Aires, was released on CD and DVD.
Aznar published in 2009 his second book of poetry, Dos pasajes a la noche, presenting it at the Buenos Aires International Book Fair and the Santiago de Chile International Book Fair, alternating poetry reading with songs.
Natacha Atlas was born in Belgium, the daughter of an Egyptian father and an English mother. Natacha grew up in the Moroccan suburbs of Brussels, becoming fluent in French, Spanish, Arabic and English, immersing herself in Arabic culture, Egyptian “shaabi” pop and learning from childhood the raks sharki (belly dance) techniques that she uses during her spectacular live performances.
Even more remarkable than Natacha’s dance moves is her unmistakable voice, rich in nuance and grounded in Arabic music.
Natacha moved to England as a teenager and became Northampton’s first Arabic rock singer. Since then has involved herself in a wide variety of musical projects. Dividing her time between the UK and Brussels, she sang in a variety of Arabic and Turkish nightclubs, and spent a brief period in a Belgian salsa band called Mandanga. As she commuted between Northampton and Brussels, however, she began to attract the attention of the Balearic beat crew ¡Loca! and Jah Wobble, who was then assembling his Invaders of the Heart. Wobble was looking for an wide-ranging Middle Eastern singer and fell in love with her voice.
In 1991, both these projects became a reality. Timbal by ¡Loca! started out as a track on Nation Records’ Fuse Two compilation and became a massive dance club hit, while Wobble’s http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000007641/musidelmund-20/002-7906139-4219234?%5Fencoding=UTF8&camp=1789&link%5Fcode=xm2 | Rising Above Bedlam – five tracks which Natasha co-wrote – attracted much critical acclaim and a Mercury award nomination.
The success of Timbal consolidated Natacha’s relationship with the ground-breaking Nation Label, who introduced her to TransGlobal Underground (TGU), at that time enjoying Top 40 success with http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00000DEO0/musidelmund-20/002-7906139-4219234?%5Fencoding=UTF8&camp=1789&link%5Fcode=xm2 | Templehead.
First guesting with TransGlobal Underground in 1991, Natacha became two years later a member of the core quartet of TransGlobal Underground, as lead singer and belly-dancer. A couple of years later, it was TransGlobal Underground’s Tim Whelan, Hamid ManTu and Nick Page (a.k.a. Count Dubulah, who helped her to make her first solo album, Diaspora.
Diaspora came out in the summer of 1995 to critical acclaim. Natacha combined the dubby, rhythmic-driven global dance of her longtime associates Transglobal Underground, with the more traditional work of Arabic musicians like Tunisian singer-songwriter Walid Rouissi and Egyptian composer and ud master Essam Rashad. The result was a collection of songs of love and yearning that genuinely fused West and East.
On her second LP, Halim, Natacha explored further her deeply felt affinity with Arabic musical heritage.
In parallel with the success of her solo albums she remained a full-time Transglobal Underground member, and Transglobal Underground composed her backing band, until they left Nation Records in 1999, and they have remained allies throughout her subsequent career. Atlas has appeared on most TGU albums and its members are usually involved in the production of her solo albums.
1997’s Halim followed, and then Gedida in 1999 , both creatively and naturally fusing Middle Eastern and European styles, and delighting an ever-increasing audience in both territories.
In 2000, Natacha released The Remix Collection, in which material from the first three albums was reworked by a variety of remixers, including Talvin Singh, Banco de Gaia, Youth, 16B, Klute, the Bullitnuts, TJ Rehmi, Spooky and Transglobal Underground.
Natacha’s fourth album Ayeshteni was released in 2001.
2002’s album, Natacha Atlas and Marc Eagleton Project’s Foretold in the Language of Dreams, was a considerable divergence. No beats; a calm recording, involving a slightly smaller group of musicians than normal, including Syrian qanun master Abdullah Chhadeh, whom Natacha married in 1999.
Aside from her own projects, Natacha remains very much in demand as a guest singer for the recordings and performances of a remarkably wide range of musicians, including Nitin Sawhney, Jocelyn Pook, the Indigo Girls, FunDaMental, Ghostland, Abdel Ali Slimani, Toires, !Loca, Musafir, Sawt El Atlas, Franco Battiato, Juno Reactor, Dhol Foundation, Jah Wobble, Jaz Coleman, Apache Indian (on his chart hit Arranged Marriage), Mick Karn, Jean-Michel Jarre’s Millennium Night spectacular at the Pyramids, Jonathan Demme’s film The Truth About Charlie, and David Arnold’s film scores including Stargate and Die Another Day.
Natacha Atlas spent a lot of time in her father’s homeland, Egypt. There, she worked with members of Transglobal Underground and Egyptian musicians. Her album, Ayeshteni, was recorded and composed there.
In 2003, she released Something Dangerous, a solo album of contrasts and collaborations, in which she injected Middle Eastern music into UK pop, pulling in dance music, rap, drum’n’bass, R&B, Hindi pop, film music and French chanson.
On Something Dangerous (2003), Atlas not only combined more styles than ever, but for the first time on an Atlas album it featured guest vocalists, and more singing in English than she did before. There is a collaboration with English composer Jocelyn Pook (who, among other things, created the score for Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut), it has Atlas’ Arabic vocal lushly surrounded by Pook’s western classical orchestration for the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Another guest is West Indian Princess Julianna, whom Atlas met when they were both guesting with Temple of Sound.
On the Arabic side, Atlas used Abdullah Chhadeh and one of Egypt’s finest shaabi trumpet players, the late Sami El Babli (deceased in a car crash shortly after the recording), to whom the track is dedicated. Atlas and Sinead O’Connor, who last recorded together on John Reynolds’, Justin Adams’ and Caroline Dale’s 2002 Ghostland album, trade aphorisms in ‘Simple Heart”.
With Mish Maoul (MNTCD 1038), released in April 2006, Atlas’ career came full circle to touch base with her roots.
The new album returned to the music she grew up hearing in the Moroccan suburb of Brussels, particularly when the Golden Sound Studio Orchestra of Cairo makes its entrance. It also reunited her again with Temple of Sound’s Nick Page (aka Count Dubulah), with whom she first worked in Transglobal Underground and who helped produce her very first solo album Diaspora.