Guitarist and producer Dayron Ortega Guzmán invited his Cuban colleagues Maykel Elizarde Ruano (tres guitar) and Eduardo Silveira (percussion) to a jam session at Abdala Studios in Havana. As the title indicates, the music recorded in Espontáneo: The Abdala Sessions is a set of spontaneous jam sessions captured in the studio
Dayron started by playing melodies. Maykel and Eduardo listened and responded with embellishments. The music is a sampling of the best of Cuban music, bringing together Afro-Cuban rhythms, rural traditions and Spanish influenced guitars.
Singer-songwriter David Broza, one of Israel’s most important recording artists, will embark on a coast-to-coast tour of the United States from September 2019 through March 2020. Broza will present an alternate side of his hit songs with a new Cuban twist.
Performing with Broza on stage is the New York-based Trio Havana, including: Manuel Alejandro Carro, also known as Mannya – Cuban-born singer-songwriter and master percussionist with a style firmly rooted in Latin pop; Yuniel Jiménez “El Guajiro” – master tres guitar player from Santa Clara, Cuba; and Jorge Bringas –celebrated from Havana, Cuba, who played previously with Albita Rodriguez and the late Celia Cruz.
Joining Trio Havana is Itai Kriss, one of the most exciting flute players in the Cuban music scene, with an eclectic style infused with jazz, Latin and middle eastern sounds. Special guests on select tour dates include flamenco singer and flute player, Alfonso Cid from Seville, Spain; and flamenco dancer Xianix Barrera.
David Broza brings together fingerpicking guitar, flamenco rhythms, global sounds and rock. Raised in Israel, Spain and England, Broza has performed worldwide since 1977, when his song “Yihye Tov” appeared on radio, promoting a message of peace.
David Broza is known for his commitment and dedication to several humanitarian projects, especially a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through dialogue, culture, music and tolerance.
Tour Dates 2019/2020:
September 6, 2019 New York, NY Naked Soul, The Rubin Museum September 28, 2019 Mamaroneck, NY Emelin Theater November 17, 2019 Philadelphia, PA City Winery December 14, 2019 Brookline, MA Temple Ohabel Shalom December 19, 2019 New York, NY The Streicker Center December 21, 2019 Tucson, AZ Fox Theater December 22, 2019 Santa Monica, CA The Broad Stage January 12, 2020 Aventura, FL Aventura Arts & Cultural Center January 13, 2020 Atlanta, GA City Winery January 25, 2020 Richmond Hill, ON Centre for the Performing Arts March 20, 2020 Port Washington, NY Landmark on Main Street March 21, 2020 South Orange, NJ South Orange Performing Arts Center
Ebo Taylor – Palaver (Tabansi Records/ BBE Music, 2019)
Palaver contains five tracks recorded in Nigeria in 1980 by famed Ghanaian guitarist and composer Ebo Taylor. The material consists of irresistible songs that mix highlife, Afrobeat, funk and jazz. The EP showcases Taylor’s characteristic electric guitar style, along with a superb set of musicians, comprising George Amissah. Mat Hammond, George Kennedy and George Abunuah.
Ghanaian guitarist Ebo Taylor was one of the leading highlife musicians in the 1950s with ensembles such as Broadway Dance Band and Stargazers and continued during the following decades making remarkable highlife and Afrobeat recordings in Ghana and Nigeria.
This video sums up the historical context of the recordings:
University has announced the second annual BU Global Music Festival to be held
October 4th and 5th, 2019 on the Boston University Charles River
Campus. The festival will be free, open to the public and is intended for all
will include traditional and contemporary international musicians, as well as
local world music artists.
The lineup includes Les Filles de Illighadad (Niger) who will bring to the festival the music of rural Niger called “tende” featuring compositions built from vocals, handclaps, and percussion; 47Soul (Palestine/UK) celebrated for inventing their own genre Shamstep, which fuses dub synth sounds with rock elements, hip-hop and pop lyrics in English and Arabic.
Also featured: Gamelan Cudamani (Bali, Indonesia) known for their outstanding creativity; Frontera Bugalú (Mexico/Texas) who perform a combination of high-energy “cumbia” mixed with other traditional Mexican and Latin American rhythms.
Saraswathi Ranganathan (India/US) will treat festival goers to a diverse presentation of the ancient veena; and Congolese band KOKOKO! (Democratic Republic of Congo), known for building their own instruments and blending Congolese and modern music.
artists Grooversity (Boston/Brazil) and Eastern Medicine Singers (Algonquin,
Rhode Island) will also perform.
The festival is produced by the BU Arts Initiative – Office of the Provost and the College of Fine Arts Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology through the Karbank Fund for Global Music. Musician and BU ethnomusicologist Marié Abe continues to serve as artistic director. Additional support comes from BU Global Programs, BU College of Fine Arts, and BU Dean of Students’ Office, the New England and American Studies Program. WBUR will serve as a media sponsor.
“BU is very proud to host this festival and to welcome so many talented artists from around the world. Such events have transformative power. They expose us to different experiences, perspectives, and artistic expressions, while helping to break down barriers and bring us closer together,” said Jean Morrison, Provost and Chief Academic Officer of the University.
“The BU Global Music Festival creates community and inspires greater understanding and respect through our shared passion for music and the performing arts,” expressed Harvey Young, Dean of the College of Fine Arts.
to workshops and demonstrations offered to the public during the festival, this
year, the BU Global Music Festival and BU Music Education Department have
developed a new opportunity with the Boston Public Schools Office of the Arts,
which will connect Boston’s music educators with visiting international musicians
for a professional development credit in global music.
“The Boston University Music Education Department and students are excited to partner with Boston Public School music educators for a collaborative professional development opportunity centered around the world music traditions represented at this year’s Global Music Festival,” said Tawnya Smith, BU Assistant Professor in Music Education and member of the BU Provost’s Arts Council.
to music, the Global Bazaar featuring artisan goods for purchase from
international and immigrant communities continues this year. On Saturday
afternoon guests can also take part in a Cultural Vendor Fair where they can
peruse more than a dozen regional cultural and ethnic organizations that offer
arts related programming throughout the year.
Frontera Bugalú is a musical project developed by accordionist, guitarist, vocalist and composer Kiko Rodriguez and pianist Joel Osvaldo in El Paso, Texas in 2011. The group has become well-known for its lively música fronteriza, a combination of borderland folk, mambo and cumbia music.
The band includes members from both sides of the border, including vocalist Anabel Gutierrez and bassist Alex Ravana from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Tuareg act Les Filles de Illighadad comes from an isolated village in
central Niger, in the outback deserts at the edge of the Sahara. The camp is
only reachable through a difficult drive through the open desert and there is
little infrastructure, no electricity or running water. The surrounding
countryside supports hundreds of herders, living with and among their farm
animals, as their families have done for centuries.
The music performed by Les Filles de Illighadad known as tende comes from a drum built from a goat skin stretched across a mortar and pestle. Tende music is developed from a few elements: vocals, handclaps, and percussion. Songs talk about the village, of love, and celebrate ancestors. It’s a musical form directed by women. Tende is a tradition for all the young girls, performed during celebrations and to pass the time at nighttime during the rainy season.
Fatou Seidi Ghali, lead vocalist and instrumentalist of Les Filles de Illighadad is one of the few Tuareg female guitarists in Niger. Using her older brother’s guitar, she taught herself to play. While Fatou’s position as the first female Tuareg guitarist is revolutionary, it is just as interesting for her musical direction. In a place where gender norms have generated two different types of music, Fatou and Les Filles de Illighadad are reaffirming the role of tende in Tuareg guitar.
Instead of the jembe or the drum set, Les Filles de Illighadad feature the traditional drum and the pounding calabash, half buried in water.
Áššu’s album Áššu has won The German Record Critics’ Award (Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik), Longlist 3/2019, Weltmusik (world music).
Áššu includes Ulla Pirttijarvi (Finland) on vocals, joiks; Harald Skullerud (Norway) on percussion, calimba, calabas, harmonium; and Olav Torget (Norway) on baritone guitar, konting, oilcan guitar.
On behalf of the jury, Johannes Kneihs stated “Rough and with electrifying energy, singer Ulla Pirttijärvi from the Finnish part of Lapland “joiks” about people and others bring West African elements into the game – which fits surprisingly well and clearly convincing better than other pop-joik adaptations from Finland or Norway in past years. A rousing debut album, it makes you curious and wants more.”
Áššu recently performed at Etno-Espa in Helsinki 9th of August, 2019.
Senegalese kora player Lamine Cissokho mixes traditional
sounds from West Africa with jazz and contemporary influences on Sunujazz.
Standout pieces include “Contre Vent,” an exquisite piece where the kora and electric guitar dance around each other over a layer of calabass; the irresistible rootsy “L’Amour” featuring lead vocals by Lamine Cissokho; the joyous interplay of Ousmane Ba’s guitar and Lamine’s kora on “Kaira;” and the lively “Sosolasso” a superb song highlighting the kora, electric guitar and call and response vocals.
Lamine Cissokho is a Mandinka jali (musician and storyteller,
also known as griot) from Casamance in southern Senegal. He is based in Sweden.
The lineup includes Lamine Cissokho on kora and lead vocals; Alain Oyono on saxophone; Tobias Grim on guitar; Per-Olof Rylander on piano; Ousmane Ba on fula flute; Romi Christian Bonaban on bass; Ibou Calebasse on calabash; Diougouna Sissokho and Saga Björkling on backing vocals.
The World Music Institute (WMI) has announced the set of global artists set to perform in New York City during the Fall/Winter 2019-2020 Season. Selected by new Artistic Director Brian Keigher, WMI’s 2019-2020 Season includes world music artists from 15 cultures including five New York City debuts: Finland’s Kardemimmit, Ethiopia’s Girma Bèyènè with French band Akalé Wubé, Cape Verde’s Lucibela, Madagascar’s Toko Telo, and France’s The Bongo Hop.
New venue partnerships include Chelsea Music Hall, Mercury Lounge, and The Sultan Room, with established venues such as Symphony Space, (le) poisson rouge, Littlefield, Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center, and Storm King Art Center remaining as program partners.
Marianella Rojas, better known as Nella, in Isla Margarita, an island in the Caribbean Sea, off the northeastern coast of Venezuela. Nella spent hours as a child singing over recordings by pop stars like Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion, and Mariah Carey. “I took singing lessons and was a bit embarrassed about my singing, so to hide it, I played the music very loud.” The plot worked well until her voice teacher asked Nella’s father to listen “to the student in the next room” and he was surprised to find it was his daughter.
“I was 11, and from then on they were really supportive,” reveals Nella. “I was involved in anything that would come up: singing, acting, dancing, you name it. At 13, my voice started to change and without realizing, by singing to the records, imitating these divas, I was studying a lot. They were incredible teachers. I loved it. I was also into the challenges of how high I could go vocally or how well I could do certain vocal turns, and I believe that helped me develop a vocal flexibility that perhaps I wouldn’t have by just listening to Venezuelan music. Now, even when singing Venezuelan songs I don’t sound like a typical traditional singer.”
Nella moved to Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, in 2007, at age 17. And in 2011 she enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston, majoring in performance, composition and production.
She started singing in a trio that played folk music from Latin America with jazz and pop influences. “It was part of the process of rediscovering myself,” says Nella. “Once you leave your country, your roots start knocking at your door”. At that time, Nella also discovered the work of Afro-Spanish singer Buika, rooted in copla and flamenco.
“After all the vocal acrobatics I had learned, I found the importance of interpretation, of how to say a lyric,” says Nella. “I fell in love with flamenco and with that honesty between cantaor and audience. It is something I had not found in any other genre.”
It was also in Boston that an a cappella performance by Nella of a Venezuelan song, “La Negra Atilia” caught Javier Limón´s ear. “I had heard her before and thought she was really good and very versatile, but that night I heard an original way of phrasing,” recalls Limón, who is a well-known Spanish musician and producer. “She has something special, and it’s all hers.”
Limón, who has worked with several top singers including flamenco star Estrella Morente and fado diva Mariza, says “Nella has an Andalusian way of phrasing that is beautiful and very natural. In fact, many people assume she is from Andalusia. When she sang the title track in Everybody Knows, the Asghar Farhadi movie with Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, many people thought she was from Córdoba or Granada.”
Her fans now include Latin pop superstars such as Alejandro Sanz and flamenco celebrities such as Miguel Poveda.
In her album Voy, produced by Limón, Nella sings love stories such as “Fin de Fiesta” (Party’s End), an early choice and a song Limón “got from a dusty notebook and sang to me accompanying himself on the guitar,” remembers Nella. “As soon as I heard it, I said ‘This one! This one! That’s a song we must do together’.”
Other favorites include “Los Nacidos” (The Born Ones) and “Me Llaman Nella” (They Call Me Nella), her autobiographical song — written by Limón.
“We were in Colombia and I remember we needed one more track,” recalls Nella. “So we have breakfast, we talk, he goes to his room, I go to mine, and a few minutes later I get a message: ‘I got it’ And he reads me the refrain ‘I am Nella, the one with the broken voice’ And I say ‘Excuse me?!’ We get together and he sings “Above the Margarita Sea, the moon almost full …’ and I tell him ‘Javier you’ve never been to Margarita!’ And he says ‘I know, but you talk so much about Margarita, you even carry it literally under your skin, so you helped me create a story.’”
Meanwhile, the emotional “Volveré A Mi Tierra” (I Will Go Back To My Country) was written by Limón as a response to news from Venezuela. “He sent me a text and I burst into tears and told him we need to put music to it,” she says. “And as soon as I had it, I sent the mockup of the song to friends around the world and that’s how we ended up with the video, with images of Venezuelans all over the world, lip-syncing the lyrics.”
“I try to not get into politics,” articulates Nella. “Because what we are suffering now transcends politics. I don’t care which side you are on, we are all affected by the situation. One of the things that moves me the most is when after a concert people come up to me and say things like ‘Nella, I felt I was in La Guaira, at the beach, with my grandmother, having a coffee while she read me a story.’ There is no better response than that.”
Regarding her songwriter side, Nella says: “Yes, I have a lot of songs in a drawer, but right now I am very comfortable with Javier’s writing and to have someone like him writing for you is a luxury. Most important, I feel them as my own.”
The recording includes guest appearances by Spanish flamenco singer Alba Molina (the daughter of the fabled flamenco duo Lola y Manuel); string player Santiago Prieto, from Latin Grammy-winning Colombian band Monsieur Periné; and two outstanding Venezuelan musicians, cuatro wizard Jorge Glem, and singer and composer Ilan Chester, a Latin Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
“I feel these songs as if I had written them myself,” says Nella about their partnership. “They often reflect exactly what was happening in my life at the time. The music is a mix of many sources and the lyrics tell stories. I want to reach people, I want to give them more than just something to dance to.”