Artist Profiles: Django Reinhardt

Django Reinhardt

Legendary Belgian gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt’s “hot swing” style and music caused a sensation in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s and is still popular today. Django along with famed violinist Stephane Grappelli were the stars of The Quintet of the Hot Club of France, which defined this style of music, known as Le Jazz Hot.

Django was a gypsy guitar virtuoso, called a genius by many. His influence lives on through recordings and talented musicians who continue to enjoy and appreciate his very special and original style of swing music.

Jean Reinhardt, better known as “Django” was born January 23, 1910 in Liberchies, Pont-a-Celles, Belgium. He died in 1953.

Several of Django’s descendants are musicians who play music influenced by their legendary ancestor.

The Django Reinhardt Festival, produced by Pat Phillips and Ettore Stratta, serves to preserve and carry forward the musical legacy of Django as well as the many possibilities of creativity that can grow from his enormous talent and inspiration by presenting the top players in the world of this music.


The Best of Django Reinhardt
The Classic Early Recordings (5 CD boxed set)


Artist Profiles: Camaxe

Camaxe – Photo by Strange Milena

The musical roots of the band Camaxe lie in the Galician tradition. Miguel Allo, founder of the band, has a passion for folk music and has been studying Galician music for over two decades years. Bands like Fuxan os ventos, Milladoiro and Luar na Lubre still serve as a musical reference point to him.

From a very young age he studied music and dance in the company of people from various backgrounds, one of them being Marisol Palomo (vocalist at Ialma). Other Galician musicians like Mario Romero (Os Rosales) and Xoan Porto (Leilia) enriched his musical education. Around 2003, Miguel decided to work together with Marc De Martelaer, a bass player, who became responsible for most of the band’s arrangements.

Camaxe’s first album was titled Imaxes. By means of melodies inspired by the Galician tradition, and subtly mixed with other musical styles b>Imaxes. (meaning images) took the listener on a journey leading along both sad and exuberant roads. Camaxe tells the story of many years of musical discoveries and encounters.

The band consisted of 7 musicians from a variety of backgrounds:

Miguel Allo – Apart from being the composer of most of the tracks on the CD, Miguel Allo is also a passionate gaitero (player of the gaita, the Galician bagpipes). He started playing the instrument at the age of 9 and by the age of 12 was already composing his first melodies.

Miguel grew up in the context of Galician musical culture and participated a numerous musical contests in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), where he managed to win the first prize with his Belgian band. Miguel is also a member of Ialma.

Marc De Martelaer – bass

Sophie Cavez – diatonic accordion

Filip Lambrechts – guitar

Veronica Codesal – vocals and pandeireta (Galician tambourine).

Baptiste Argouarch – violin

Ariane De Bievre – flutes and percussion


Imaxes ‎(Wild Boar Music, 2005)
Airexa ‎(Music & Words, 2008)


Artist Profiles: Baptiste Argouarch

Baptiste Argouarch was born in St Nazaire in 1983 and started playing the violin at the age of 7. He studied classical music for 7 years, after which he turned to Irish traditional music only.

At 15 he started a violin building course from which he graduated in 2003.

Argouarch spent some time in Belgium, performing with Camaxe , Khalid Izri, Ialma, Turdus Philomélos and Klezmic Zirkus.


Artist Profiles: Karim Baggili

Karim Baggili

Born in Belgium in 1976 with Jordanian and Yugoslavian origins, Karim Baggili, is a composer, self-taught guitarist and ud player.

He began playing the electric guitar at the age of 16. At 20, he started working the different techniques of the flamenco guitar and acquired an Arabic lute (ud) during one of his many trips to Jordan.

He participated in several projects: Ereska Trio, Colette, and a play. He worked with “L’Orchestre de Chambre de la Nathen”, and with singers for children like, Christian Merveille, Yvette Berger, Raphy Rapha?l…

In 2000, Karim won the first price of the “Open String Festival” in Osnabruck.

His first CD was released in 2002 and he took part in many CD recordings. He also composed the music of several documentaries and one short film.

Karim performed with groups like Traces and Turdus Philomelos. He also plays with jazz pianist Nathalie Loriers and takes part on stage and in studio with an English singer, Melanie Gabriel. He also performed with Philippe Lafontaine.

He brought together great musicians for his new band: Karim Baggili Quartet where he plays all his compositions inspired by flamenco music, South American rythms and one of his origins: Arabic music.

The Karim Baggili Quartet CD Cuatro con Cuatro was released at the beginning of December 2005 and will be followed by a tour in Belgium. Label: homerecords.

A solo CD, Douar was released in Germany mid-November 2005 by Acoustic Music Records. The release was followed by a tour of nine dates in several towns of Germany. The event was called “The International Guitar Night”.

Karim also performs often in solo or in duets with his percussionist Osvaldo Hernandez Napoles.

Aton Lua, another of his projects, is a mixture of rock and world music where he sings (in French, English, Spanish, Arabic and Serbo-Croatian) and plays the electric guitar, flamenco guitar and lute (ud).


Douar (
Cuatro con Cuatro (
Lea & Kash (
Kali City (
Apollo You Sixteen (Take The Bus)
Apollo You Sixteen, Pt. 2 (Take The Bus)



Artist Profiles: Ariane De Bievre

Ariane De Bievre

Ariane De Bievre plays flutes and percussion. She studied classical flute and also mastered the bansuri (Indian flute). She is also a skilled percussionist. She plays bodhran, bendir, daf and other instruments.

Ariane has performed with Julos Beaucame, Satya, Karo-Trio-Flute, Ten Strings, Univers Zero and Galician Celtic band Camaxe.


Artist Profiles: Ivan Kirchuk

Ivan Kirchuk and Troitsa

Ivan Kirchuk is a multi-instrumentalist who specializes in the ethnology and folklore of his homeland Belarus. He owns and plays rare ancient instruments and, with his group, Troitsa, performs music that has almost disappeared from the region.

They play and sing ancient songs accompanied by traditional and endangered instruments. Ivan Kirchuk has spent much of his life traveling all around the Belarusian countryside learning the folklore and old ways of the people.

Ivan is a bigger-than-life character with a magnificent beard to match. He is a professor at the University of Minsk and teaches national folk history. He has a wonderfully soulful voice and he will be bringing with him instruments like the Gusli, Domra, Flutes, Ocarina, Zmyk, and Duda.

He has worked for many years at the Minsk Art College as the head of the section “Rituals and Folklore”, and is the author of more than 20 programs of reconstructed ceremonies for music and art colleges in Belarus. His unique works of arranged authentic folklore are frequently televised and broadcast in Europe, the USA and Australia.

Not only does Ivan perform with Troitsa, he was the founder and the leader of educational laboratories and other folklore groups like Pradviesnie, Bliskavica, Dabradzieji and Dziva, which have participated in numerous festivals in Belarus and abroad during 10 years.

The preservation and revival of the Belarusian antique puppet theater called “Batlejka”, which has been known in Belarus since the 16th century is also a pet project of Ivan’s.

Ivan Kirchuk is a vocalist and also plays ocarina, flutes, guitar, domra, and bagpipe. His Troitsa colleagues include Jury Dmitriev on guitar, domra, vocals; and Jury Pavlovski on percussion.


Heritage of the Lost Villages


Artist Profiles: Bari Siddiqui

Bari Siddiqui

Bari Siddiqui played North Indian Classical Music with flute and sang Baul songs as well. To add to his versatile quality, he composed and directed music, wrote lyrics and was a vocalist as well. Bari started to sing in 2000, with the award winning album of Shrabon Megher Din. His unique contribution in the music of folk fusion is originated from the sub-continental classical music. With the authentic background in music and originality of his voice quality, Bari created his own genre.

Bari came from a family of musicians. His formal vocal training began at the age of 12 under Gopal Dutta of Netrokona. His career took flight in 1981, when he was taken under the wings of Ustad Aminur Rahman, direct disciple of Pandit Panna Lal Ghosh (1911- 1960) and Dabir Khan (Beenkar). Ustad Aminur Rahman spotted Bari during a concert, and offered to tutor him. For the next six years Bari trained under Rahman.

Ustad Aminur Rahman’s house was frequented by the contemporary legends like Devendra Muddereshshor, Director All India Radio (also the son in-law of Pandit Panna Lal Ghosh), VG Kannad, Daagar Brothers, Ustad Zia Mohiuddin (Veenakar), Ustad Asad Ali Kha Veenakar, Pandit Sriram Tewari. After Aminur Rahma, Bari continued to take special training on Alap from Tawfique Nawaz, second son of Ustad Aminur Rahman.

Bari Siddiqui

At one stage, Bari went to Pune and got professional tutelage under Pandit VG Karnad. For many years to come, Bari, being in an environment surrounded by musical maestros, kept his search for his own true self and to achieve newer heights of infinite journey of music.

This passion of Bari for around 4 decades extended his reputation beyond Bangladesh. He performed and conducted workshops in France, Switzerland, Malaysia, Pakistan, Iran, Singapore, Austria, Australia, China and USA. He was the only participant invited from the whole Indian subcontinent in the World Flute Conference held in Geneva in 1999.

According to Bari, the difference between Indian and European music is that Indian music comes from silence whereas the European music comes from sound.

Bari maintained that the Indian way is more melodious with the Miir (the sweet curves and filigree works) and more natural with the typical natural bamboo flute. As of his Gurus, he believed in praying through his tunes and devoted all his creation to eternity.

Bari Siddiqui died in Dhaka on November 17, 2017.


Artist Profiles: Yaghob Zoroofchi

Yaghob Zoroofchi

Yaghob Zoroofchi is the greatest Azeri vocalist of our time, and shows why on his CD, “The Best of Zoroofchi”. He started his singing career at the age of eight in the Children’s Program on Radio Tabriz in Iran, and later on Tabriz Television. After his vocal training at the Academy of Arts in Tabriz he studied opera and classical vocals for seven years under the guidance of Iranian, Italian, and British masters.

He has exceptional ability and command in the tenor range, and has performed with Azeri master singer Rashid Behboodov. Zoroofchi’s rich and warm operatic voice is often accompanied by the Azerbaijani National Orchestra.


Arezoo – Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra (X Dot 25 Productions, 1996)
Best of Zoroofchi (X Dot 25 Productions, 1997)


Artist Profiles: Rufat Hasanov

Rufat Hasanov

Rufat Hasanov was born in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1982. He started playing the tar at the age of seven. In 1997 he was awarded a First Degree Diploma in the 3rd Baku Competition dedicated to the memory of the national artist of the Republic, Haji Mammadov.

In 2000 Rufat Hasanov was awarded a First Degree Diploma in the VIII Republic Competition of National Music. That same year he entered the first course of Baku Music Academy named after Uzeyir Hajibayov.

In 2003 he was invited to the Modern Educational Complex named after Heydar Aliyev as a teacher of tar. On March 2004 he had his solo concert with the National Reassurance Orchestra in Istanbul, Turkey.

In 2004 he graduated with a Bachelor Degree from the Azerbaijan National Conservatory and was admitted for a Master’s Degree program. He was awarded a Diploma by the leadership of Modern Educational Complex named after Heydar Aliyev for his active work during the 2004-2005 academic year.

In October 2005 he participated in San Francisco World Music Festival via multi-media. In 2006 he graduated from the Master’s Degree program with an Honors Diploma and was admitted to its post-graduate course


Artist Profiles: Rahman Asadollahi

Rahman Asadollahi, from Southern Azerbaijan, was born in 1951 and is considered the most accomplished garmon player, which is the Azerbaijani accordion.

He started playing the garmon at the age of 10 and a few years later was honored by the most prestigious awards by the Azerbaijan State Music University and Conservatory of Music of Azerbaijan. Rahman Asadollahi composed music, played in and conducted Azerbaijani concerts in Iran from 1969 to 1985 where he became known as the master of all accordion players. He is a remarkable composer and masterful improviser on the garmon.

Rahman Asadollahi has a vast knowledge of the Azerbaijani mugams and performs them with infinite devotion. He has won the first prize among 160 European accordion players in the 1995 All European Accordion and Harmonica Championship in Switzerland. He lived in Germany from 1985 to 1999 and has performed throughout Iran, Azerbaijan, the United States, Turkmenistan, England, France, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, arriving to the US in 1999.

For his recording Ana, Rahman Asadollahi teamed up with the Orchestra of Azerbaijani Folkloric Music, conducted by nationally renown Professor Nariman Azimoff, and his brother master drummer Vehid Asadollahi, to feature some of the best loved traditional Azeri music, poured out with profound sensitivity from Rahman’s 90 year-old garmon.

Ana was recorded with a 25 member Azerbaijani orchestra in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan with the famed conductor Nariman Azimoff. Azerbaijan Asia


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