All posts by Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.

Dennis Bolten’s Mix of Blues, Americana and World Sounds

Dennis Bolten - Silk’s Groove
Dennis Bolten – Silk’s Groove
Dennis Bolten, a Montana based instrumentalist, released his new CD, Silk’s Groove, on May 1st. The album is a blend of fingerstyle guitar, banjo, dobro and ukulele.

Dennis played French horn and cello in school and guitar in various rock bands.
While in college, Lance Boyd’s jazz workshops and jazz theory classes instilled the energy, fun and playfulness that stay with Dennis’ writing today."Musicians who bring as much emotion to their work as technique influence me the most," Dennis says. "Players who are also writers inspire me. They
bring a desire and spark to their work. And it’s writing that continues to draw
me in
." He loves the quirky humor of Leo Kottke and Tin Hat Trio as much as
the simplicity and playfulness of Bill Frisell and Yann Tiersen.

"Silk’s Groove is a fresh mix of styles and instruments," Dennis Bolten comments on his new release. "The ukulele pieces were adapted from fingerstyle guitar compositions that I reduced to miniatures
to help pace the CD. The first banjo track, Rattlebones, is a blues piece while
the second, Mementos, was influenced by French street music. The guitar tracks
range from the classic subtlety of Ascension to the groove driven Thigh High to
the rattling blues of Hammerhead
."

Silk’s Groove samples are available today at www.dennisbolten.com and
Silk’s Groove

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Putumayo Presents Nuevo Latino

Putumayo presents... Nuevo Latino
Putumayo presents… Nuevo Latino
New York, USA – Putumayo’s latest compilation is Nuevo Latino. In the 1990s, the term “Nuevo Latino” was coined to describe a new type of cuisine that blends ingredients from Latin America, Europe and the U.S. to create an exciting and original fusion. A similar blend has occurred in the music world. Young
artists from the Americas and beyond have used a stock of Latin rhythms, portions of alternative rock, reggae and electronica, spiced with local languages, rhythms and instruments to create a flavorful musical stew.

In this new Latin music, hints of Cuban son, Brazilian bossa nova, Argentinean tango, Colombian cumbia can be heard alongside touches of contemporary blues, loungy surf music, ragamuffin, trip-hop and hip-hop. The combination reflects the multicultural influences guiding a new generation of
musicians.

Nuevo Latino features the Cuban soul of singer and songwriter Raul Paz, Mexican musical and cultural revolutionaries Los de Abajo and newcomer Federico Aubele, who presents subtle remixes of tango from his native Argentina. The inspired guitar of Spanish superstar Jarabe De Palo reveals the deep influence of blues on their music.

New York band Mosquitos offers a blend of pop and bossa nova.The multicultural background of London-based Kad Achouri is reflected in his music. French/Spanish singer Sergent Garcia’s mix of Cuban salsa, Jamaican reggae and ragamuffin have earned him worldwide fame.

Nuevo Latino also features Acida, an Argentinean husband and wife duo that perform loungy Latin music. Spanish singer songwriter Javier Álvarez, who was discovered singing in Madrid’s subways, is featured as our Colombian alternative rockers Aterciopelados. The collection is closed out by Kana, a French reggae band with a Spanish lead singer.

Buy Nuevo Latino

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JPMorgan Chase Latino Cultural Festival at Queens Theatre in the Park, New York

Queens Theatre
Queens Theatre
Queens, New York, USA – The JPMorgan Chase Latino Cultural Festival—presented by Queens Theatre in the Park (QTP) and now in its eighth year—will take place from July 28 through August 8. it will feature an eclectic line-up of artists from the Spanish-speaking world, including Grupo de Danzas Folcloricas “Jocaycu” (Colombia),
a Rock en Español Night, Super Uba (Dominican
Republic/USA),
Sol y
Canto
(US), ‘Manolín: El Médico de la Salsa (Cuba/USA), Fusion Tango (Argentina/USA),
the film New York Spin by Pedro Valiente (Spain), an Open Mic Night for poets and
spoken word, a commissioned dance piece
by Producciones La Lágrima (Mexico), Palo Flamenco (Spain), Simón Diaz (Venezuela),
a Sesame Street Workshop,  Illapu (Chile), and .Johnny Pacheco (USA).The JPMorgan Chase Latino Cultural
Festival has become an international
springboard for the careers of artists
throughout Latin America and Spain.
Dozens of musicians, dancers, and actors
have made their USA or New York debut at
the Festival and become world renown
soon after. Festival organizers walk the
line between selecting performers with
name-recognition among the Queens Latino
community and those on the cutting edge
of contemporary performance.

Some of the artists we present are
well known abroad
,” says Festival
artistic director Claudia Norman. “The
funny thing is that newspapers from
Venezuela or Colombia will announce our
concert and people abroad will call
their relatives here in Queens and tell
them they cannot miss this or that
concert at our Festival! We have to use
some reverse logic to reach our
audiences, targeting newspapers
thousands of miles away
.”

Audience members and
artists alike feel pride in being able
to be a part of an arts institution that
is putting their culture front and
center on stage. Latin great Johnny
Pacheco—who will return to the Festival
for the third time—has commented that he
appreciates the special respect
audiences give him when he performs at
Queens Theatre. Pacheco and other
members of the famed Fania Allstars
represent the end of a classic era in
New York salsa. By presenting this
living legend alongside current Latin
pop stars like invitee Manolín, “El
Médico de Salsa,” the Festival is
bridging this historic legacy with what
is happening in Latin music and
performance today.

Continuing the event’s tradition of
presenting powerful Rock en Español
performers, the Festival hopes to
announce a performance by a leading
group from the genre in the coming
weeks. In previous years the Festival
presented Coral and Ely Guerra’s USA
theatre debut.

This year QTP has commissioned
Producciones La Lágrima to present a
world-premiere dance piece at the
Festival. Onstage, the collective of
minimalist dancers, musicians, and poets
from Mexican border city Hermosillo—led
by choreographers Adriana Castaños and
David Barrón—evoke daily existence in
the desert. For their Festival premiere,
Castaños’ and Barrón’s duet draws on
historic icons and everyday life to
convey the diversity of expressions of
love.

Festival performers extend
geographically from the folkloric music
and dance ensemble Jocaycu, whose
25-member ensemble will perform a wide
range of styles from Colombia, to Palo
Flamenco, a music an dance ensemble that
combines the flamenco of Spain with
traditions from the Basque country.
Stylistically, Festival music will range
from the reinvigorated Venezuelan son of
Simón Diaz, to the combination of jazz
improv, reggae, and rock of Illapu. New
York performers will include Fusión
Tango—who mix old and new tango; Super
Uba representing the best in modern
Dominican bachata, son, bolero, and
merengue; and Boston’s Sol y Canto
performing a bilingual family matinee of
toe-tapping, be-bopping arrangements
from Latin America. The Festival program
is rounded out with New York Spin
a film by Pedro Valiente, an Open Mic
Night for poetry and spoken word hosted
by Emanuel Xavier, and a bilingual
educational program by the Sesame Street
Workshop.

Tickets range from free to $35 and are
available in advance from Queens Theatre
in the Park’s

website
.

Festival program:

7/28 Grupo de Danzas
Folcloricas “Jocaycu.” Colombia.
Traditional dance & music from 25-member
ensemble.

7/29 Rock en Español Night.

7/30 Super Uba. Dominican
Republic/NY. Blends modern bachata with
classic son, bolero and merengue
rhythms.

7/31 Matinee. Sol Y Canto’s “El Doble
de Amigos/Twice as Many Friends.”
Traditional music from Latin America for
children. Bilingual program.

7/31 Manolin: El Medico de la Salsa.
Miami, FL. One of the world’s best Timba
performers now turned Latin pop star.

8/1 Tango Master Class. Fusion Tango.
Argentina/NY.

8/1 Fusion Tango. Argentina/NY. A
unique combination of traditional tango,
fast milonga, new tango, and romantic
boleros.

8/2 “New York Spin.” Spain/NY. Film
directed by Pedro Valiente;
multicultural portrait of 24 people of
different ages, occupations and races.

8/3 Open Mic Night for poets and
spoken word. Dedicated to the young and
upcoming spoken word artists and poets
from Queens.

8/4 Commissioned dance piece.
Producciones La Lagrima. Mexico. The 2nd
annual International Movements Project
presents a collaborative project
featuring a new duet by choreographers
Adriana Castaños and David Barrón,
from Hermosillo,
Sonora, Mexico
.  Set to original
music by composer Ramón Astrain.

8/5 Palo Flamenco. Spain. Music &
dance combining the flamenco of Spain &
traditions of the Basque country.

8/6 Simon Diaz. Venezuela. Back by
popular demand, he plays the
reinvigorated son of the Venezuelan
plains.

8/7 Matinee. Sesame Street Workshop.
NY. “Maravillas Musicales/Music Works
Wonders.” Bilingual educational program
created especially for Hispanic
families.

8/7 Illapu. Chile. Experiments with
improvised jazz, the harmonic
constructions and counter-points of
classical music, the syncopation of
reggae, and a tremor of rock.

8/8 Johnny Pacheco. New York, NY. A
Latin music legend (and member of The
Fania All Stars that included Celia Cruz
and Tito Puente), El Maestro Johnny
Pacheco will return to the Festival by
popular demand.

[All photos courtesy of Queens Theatre in the Park. Photo 1: Queens Theatre
in the Par. Photo 2: Johnny pacheco. Photo 3: Super Uba].

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The Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra On Tour

San Francisco, USA – The Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra will be touring North
America in June. Not your typical ska band, for the past 20 years Tokyo Ska
Paradise Orchestra has been honing its eyebrow-raising craft in Japan and Europe
like a fine but potent sake.

These ten charismatic musicians in impeccably outrageous suits are certainly
masters of third wave/modern ska, whether it is traditional Jamaican ska
(complete with full horns), hardcore garage-surf-punk-ska, or rock, jazz, funk
and reggae and even Latin and calypso. The jazz chops are there – the horn
section alone is well qualified to blast complex and articulate big band. And
when they do a cover, they go for something like Deep Purple’s “Black Night.”TSPO are veterans of the studio (11 albums, 25 singles, 10 videos and 2 DVDs)
but their live show just has to be seen to be believed. The combination of the
ferocious musicianship (all are stellar musicians, lending their talents to
other groups and projects in Japan) combined with the live-wire high energy and
the amusing toasting from the “Agitate man” add up to an unforgettable show of
slammin’ ska and much more turned upside down and sideways.

Streaming video of the group is available at:
www.snwmf.com/video/tokyoskavido.ram

June Tour

6/9 Wed. New York NY SOBs

6/10 Thurs. Brooklyn NY Volume

6/13 Sun. Manchester TN Bonaroo

6/16 Wed. Vancouver BC Commodore

6/17 Thurs. Seattle WA Showbox

6/18 Fri. San Francisco CA Independent

6/19 Sat. Angels Camp CA Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

6/20 Sun. Angel’s Camp CA Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

6/22 Tues. Los Angeles, CA* Knitting Factory*

*Signing/Appearance only – no performance

6/23 Wed. Los Angeles CA House of Blues

[Buy the group’s CDs:

Ska Me Crazy
,

Full Tension Beaters
,

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra
,

Grand Prix
,

Live
,

Rock Monster Strikes Back


Pioneers
,

Fantasia
,

Tokyo Strut
,

Moods for Tokyo Ska
,

Akirabushi Akira No Jean to Paradise
,

Gunslingers
,

Ska Para Toujou
,

World Famous
,
and

World Famous Remix
].

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Flamenco Cultural Forum “Morón 2004” Founded in Morón de la Frontera

Morón de la Frontera, Spain – The Foro Cultural Flamenco “Morón 2004” was founded on March 19th in the city of Morón de la Frontera (Seville, Spain) as a non-profit organization which hopes to cover the cultural need of preserving the art of flamenco in the city.Twenty-four founding members, including flamenco-followers and professional artists associated with flamenco, participated in the founding assembly wherein the statutes were unanimously approved and presented.

The Foro Cultural Flamenco “Morón 2004” comes into being with the intention of continuity, and hopes to fill a cultural vacuum via the collection and safeguarding of this city’s flamenco heritage, supporting and projecting this heritage in order to contribute to the development and promotion of its values.

One of the Foro’s principal objectives is the creation of a Flamenco Cultural Center where a Program of Activities can be developed and implemented, not only among the citizens of Moron, but within the flamenco community at large. Activities designed to promote and support professionals and local amateurs, uncover new talents and encourage study and investigation of the history of flamenco in Morón de la Frontera will be the backbone of the Program.

The necessary steps have been taken to formally request the use of adequate
premises to serve as headquarters for the Cultural Center where relevant material may be exhibited and the Program of Activities be developed.

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Tribute Gala to the 80th Anniversary of Lira Matancera

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Matanzas.- One of Cuba´s oldest orchestras, La Lira
Matancera, will be paid tribute for its 80th anniversary on May 12, at the Sauto
Theater, in the western Cuban city of Matanzas. Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and
the Fantasia String Quintet, directed by maestro Alberto Garcia, will share the
stage with the group and play old and contemporary classics of its repertoire.
Other invited celebrities include, Eduardo Rosillo, professor of Cuban radio
announcers, linked to the work of the orchestra for years. The Lira Matancera orchestra has retained during its 80 years the hallmark that makes it a genuine expression of Cuban culture and its members keep their predecessors’ spirit of creativity, improvisation and enthusiasm alive. The orchestra is currently directed by Carmelo Marrero Alpizar and performs for tourists at the Varadero beach resort and at concerts and balls in theaters and institutions throughout Cuba.

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You Are Here, New Studio Album by Banco De Gaia

San Francisco, USA – You Are Here, the new album from Toby Marks (aka Banco de Gaia) is scheduled for
release in North America on May 11. The album
features the vocal talents of Jennifer Folker (also heard on
“Obsidian” from Banco’s album Igizeh) and remixes to be released
separately by Future Loop Foundation and Andy Guthrie’s OverfunktYou Are Here is the first studio album by Banco De Gaia since Igizeh
in 2000. The album is a series of musical snap shots of the world we live in as
of 2003. It is not a slogan-shouting political tirade, more a meditation on how
things are, a globally inspired series of soundtracks.

Banco de Gaia intends to tour the United States with a completely new live
show featuring brand new video material as well as tunes from You Are Here.

Buy You Are Here.

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"Rasarang," North Indian Classical Music Performed By Rajeev Taranath

Golden Horn Records released Rasarang, an album of
North Indian classical music performed by sarod master
Rajeev
Taranath
.
Accompanying master Taranath are Abhiman Kaushal on tabla and Chad Hamill on
tanpura. About the album,
Taranath said, “I will just close my eyes, listen to the mood and absorb what is
going on around me and the music will come
.” Rasarang demonstrates how his
inspiration for Raga, “the main building block of any concert of Indian
classical music…(and) that which gives color
,” weaves technicality with a fire
of emotion connecting player to audience. A Raga is not just a scale or melodic
mode, but a complex system of exploring melody, following certain rules of
ornamentation and intonation, and expressing a unique emotional color. “Playing
a raga, to a musician, then means being aware of …(the) rules and making music
while playing the notes to open up different vistas, some already traversed,
some not yet, all the time abiding strictly to given rules. The musician is not
unlike a mathematician who sets up problems with different levels of difficulty
and sets about solving them with precision and clarity
.” Taranath’s description
of musician as mathematician betrays the depth of emotion revealed through his
sarod. Taranath best describes his musicianship by quoting T.S.
Eliot, “You are the music while it lasts.”Rasarang presents four Ragas: Vachaspati, Desh, Jogia Kalingra, and Piloo. For
listeners new to Indian music, Rasarang’s liner notes include an interview with
Taranath on Raga and bansuri player Deepak Ram’s eloquent description of the
Ragas played by master Taranath. Raga Vachaspati is a challenging raga, which
originates in the South Indian musical tradition but is performed here in the
North Indian style. It is one scale among those known as ‘melas.’ On this CD,
Taranath plays only the first part of a North Indian performance, known as Alap.

The second Raga, Desh, is “derived from folk music” and “evokes romantic and
nostalgic feelings
.” Taranath performs Desh starting with a slow teental (a
sixteen-beat rhythmic cycle) and moving to a “second faster composition also in
teental…gradually increasing in tempo, ending with an exciting Jhala.” Raga
Jogia Kalingra is the combination of two morning Ragas (Jogia and Kalingra).
Taranath plays an Aachor (“an abridged form of Alap”), followed by a slow
composition in rupak (a seven-beat rhythmic cycle) and concluding with a second
faster composition in teental. Raga Piloo is a popular Raga that bends the rules
for the sake of aesthetics.” However, as Ram states, “It takes a tremendous
amount of experience and knowledge of a raga before one can find ‘loopholes’ in
the laws governing the particular Raga, whilst still maintaining its ‘aura
’.”

Buy Rasarang.

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Havana Caliente Records Releases Historic Album Featuring Los Van Van Live at Miami Arena

Havana Caliente Records recently released a DVD of the historic live recording of Los Van Van’s highly controversial show at Miami Arena in October 9, 1999 to critical acclaim. Entitled Van Van Live at Miami Arena, the album chronicles the evening’s events and the band’s highly exuberant performance. With 5,000 protesters outside the venue, media coverage spanned the country.

This live recording captures the spirit and excitement of the band’s first performance ever in Miami featuring founding members Juan Formell and Cesar “Pupi” Pedroso as well as the great baritone Pedrito Calvo. Highlights include performances of their first single “Marilu” (1969), the classic “Van Van Sandunguera” (1983), “Soy Todo: Ay Dios Amparame!” (1995), and “Permiso Que Llego Van Van” (1999) from their Grammy winning album.Los Van Van is Cuba’s ultimate dance band and their music embraces the
traditions of a charanga orchestra, son, Afro Latin grooves along with strong
jazz, funk and rock and roll beats.

Against all odds in Miami, Los Van Van defended themselves against agitators and
unfounded accusations prior to the October 9th show. Even Miami’s mayor got into
the action calling them “the official Communist band of Fidel Castro”. In the
words of Los Van Van’s musical director Juan Formell, the band “represents the
music, and we are part of Cuba’s rich musical history…we do not speak of
politics nor do we represent Cuba’s government. Our music speaks of the people
and we try to make them feel great through our songs; we make them dance
.”

Before and during the performance, Los Van Van fans defied protestors and were
escorted by police bearing shield and riot helmets in order to protect
themselves from angry demonstrators. The strained atmosphere and high tension
still produced one of the best live shows of all time. Los Van Van and their
fans would not be defeated.
Buy Van Van Live at Miami Arena
and Los Van Van in Concert.

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Divine Arts Works with RealNetworks and Saregama for Digital Indian Music Downloads

San Francisco, USA (PRWEB) – Divine Arts, Inc. announced May 5 that
it has entered into a strategic partnership with Saregama India Limited, India’s
oldest and largest music catalog owner. There are millions of non-resident
Indians dispersed throughout the world. This agreement offers this broad
community easy and cost-effective access to music from their home country.

As computer usage and broadband Internet access continue to increase yearly,
computers and digital distribution will become the gateway to listening and
purchasing music. In the United States alone there are more than 120 million
Internet users, and over 30 percent of American home Internet users have a
high-speed broadband connection.Divine Arts, Inc. will represent Saregama in licensing their extensive catalog
to streaming and download sites throughout the world. The company, which has
established an international presence through its record label, is embracing the
future of music distribution by offering its music digitally in the form of
downloads and streaming media over the Internet.

RealNetworks will be the first company to offer digital music from the Saregama
catalog. The first of more than 30,000 top-selling songs from the Saregama
catalog will be available through the company’s Rhapsody Internet jukebox
service and soon through the RealPlayer Music Store. Both services are available
at http://www.real.com.

"With this partnership, listeners can now personalize their music solution from Saregama’s vast catalog. Digital distribution through the Internet provides
customers all over the world access to their choice of songs from our catalog,
which represents over 100 years of the finest in Indian music
," said Dilip R.
Mehta, Saregama managing director.

Manu Kaushish, CEO of Divine Arts, Inc., welcomed Saregama as a key partner.

"The future of music distribution is on-demand delivery using streaming media
and downloads for instant access. The partnership with Saregama India Limited
allows us to offer the largest and richest Indian music catalog to our digital
distribution partners and promises a great database of music
," said Kaushish.

"We are thrilled to provide music from Saregama through our online music
service
s," stated Tim Quirk, executive editor of RealNetworks’ Rhapsody
editorial staff. "The addition of this extensive catalog will broaden our
musical reach and introduce Indian music to a wider audience of online
listeners
."

Divine Arts, Inc. works with content providers and large distribution channels
to bring the music of the Indian subcontinent to a worldwide audience. In the
process, it also caters to the needs of a new generation that downloads music
from the Internet and listens to it on digital music devices.

Divine Arts, Inc. is a leader in digital distribution services for content from
the Indian subcontinent. Based in California, the founders of Divine Arts, Inc.
have extensive experience with India’s entertainment industry. Through
relationships with record labels and distribution channels, the company uses its
knowledge of emerging technologies to bring the rich culture of the Indian
subcontinent to the rest of the world. In addition, Divine Arts, Inc. provides
artist management and radio licensing services. More information on Divine Arts,
Inc. can be found at http://www.divine-arts.com.

RealNetworks, Inc. is the leading creator of digital media services and
software, including the award-winning Rhapsody Internet jukebox service and
RealPlayer 10, the first product to integrate finding, organizing, buying,
playing and managing digital audio and video in a single product. Consumers can
access and experience audio/video programming and download RealNetworks’
consumer software at http://www.real.com. Broadcasters, network operators, media
companies and enterprises use RealNetworks’ products and services to create and
deliver digital media to PCs, mobile phones and consumer electronics devices.

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