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 and 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.

Darin Aldridge Debuts With "Call It A Day"

Orlando, Florida, USA – Bluegrass musician Darin Aldridge
has an album titled Call It a Day. The album was recorded at Riverside
Audio in Mt. Gilead, North Carolina, and was mastered at American Mastering by
John Eberle.

Darin Aldridge is best known as a member of Charlie
Waller and the Country Gentlemen as the tenor singer and mandolin player. Call It a Day proves, however, that Darin is an outstanding singer,
songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist.

Darin’s mandolin playing is no secret, being nominated
three times for Bluegrass Mandolin Player of the Year by “The Society for the
Preservation of Bluegrass”, but Call It a Day exploits Darin’s ability to
write songs and to cover other writers’ material. Appearing on the album with
Darin is Tim Stafford, Jaret Carter, Billy Gee, Greg Luck, Shawn Lane, Jason
Burleson, Greg Corbett, Amanda Smith, Lou Reid and Chris Bryant. Call It a Day hits the streets August 31st.

Buy Call It a Day.


The World Music Institute celebrates its 20th season with a major gallery exhibit in New York

New York, USA – The World Music Institute opens its 20th
season with a gallery exhibit highlighting WMI’s 19-year history with
photographs by Jack Vartoogian, Linda Vartoogian and Ira Landgarten; instruments
from around the world; and interactive kiosks. The exhibit takes place at the
Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery (Plaza level) at the New York Public Library
for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza and runs from September 10 to
November 26, 2004. The music season begins at Central Park’s Summerstage
with the JP Morgan Chase New York World Festival, a collaboration with the
Center for Traditional Music & Dance which takes place on two Sundays (September
12 and 19) and is titled Coastal Sounds from the Bayou to the Caribbean.


Vallenato Music School opens in Colombia

Valledupar, Colombia – The Fundación Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata has developed one of its main objectives, the creation of a vallenato music school. The Escuela de Música Talentos Vallenatos “Rafael Escalona Martínez” has opened its doors with courses in the fields of accordion, guitar, piano, caja, guacharaca, bass, clarinet, voice and folk dances. The school director is Dr. Sandra Padilla.Children over 5 are welcomed. It is also open to teens and adults. The school is located at Callejón de La Estrella, Road 5 Nº 16 – 50, Valledupar, Colombia. More information available at +57 5 5745258.


Tana Tani, State of Bengal vs Paban Das Baul

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA – Tana Tani
(Real World Records) is a
collaboration that brings together Paban Das Baul – a leading figure among
Bengal’s Baul singers – with Sam Zaman, king of the British Asian breakbeat

Saifullah ‘Sam’ Zaman, the east London DJ and producer who records as State Of
Bengal, was first introduced to Paban Das Baul when he attended a tribute to the
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
at the Royal Festival Hall, shortly after the qawwali
legend’s death in 1997. Zaman had been attracted to the music of the Bauls ever
since coming across a vinyl LP by an elderly singer called Burna Das Baul, who
possesses a heavy, screaming, untamed punky voice. He’d also been impressed by
the first track on Paban’s Real World album with Sam Mills (the guitarist from
worldly punk-funk outfit 23 Skidoo), entitled Real Sugar, often spinning it when
out playing DJ sets. Tana Tani
plunges Paban into the dub-heavy melee of the British Asian
breakbeat scene, where his ecstatic, smoky vocals soar over juddering beats and
squelchy bass lines, and his urgent and hypnotic rhythms mutate into frenetic
drum ‘n’ bass breaks.

The collaboration began in Zaman’s home studio in Upton Park, east London in
December 2002 and continued to grow at Paban’s Paris home. During the sessions
Zaman began working around Paban’s strong, timeless melodies and haunting
lyrics, building up each song organically. Often Zaman’s syncopated beats were
unfamiliar to Paban, and essentially they had to learn each other’s music. Both
Zaman and Mimlu Sen (Paban’s partner and collaborator) made suggestions, and
Paban experimented by fitting more familiar rhythmic patterns like the dhrupada
of the jhaptal into Zaman’s syncopations.

You can take a Baul to a track,” explains Mimlu Sen, “but you can’t
make him synch unless the approach is organic and interior

Zaman, who has collaborated with many South Asian musicians, was keen to push
Paban. He didn’t want to fall into the trap of always compromising on Indian
terms like so many overly-deferential East-West fusions. “I want to feel that
I’m moving things on, not just regurgitating music that’s being played for
,” he says. “I’d occasionally ask Paban to experiment in areas
where he wouldn’t naturally work

Paban is used to working with old folk songs which have been handed down for
generations, so it was something of a liberation for him to write his own
lyrics. The title track ‘Tana Tani’ translates as ‘pushing and pulling’. “It’s
to do with the tension between the rhythm and the bass line
,” says Zaman, “but
it also serves as a metaphor for the whole project
.” Elsewhere, Paban sings
‘Dohai Allah’, which Zaman says loosely translates as ‘God eat my head’! “In
fact the more figurative meaning is God, feed me, feed me with your

The guest playing on Tana Tani
is also exemplary. The sessions feature
Asian Dub Foundation’s Aniruddha Das on bass guitar (Dr Das’ former ADF bandmate
Deedar is Zaman’s brother) and New York jazz drummer Marque Gilmore playing his
unique drum ‘n’ bass percussion – replicating the rippling junglist hi-hats and
stuttering kick drums on a more-or-less acoustic drum kit. Other players include
guitarists Matt Mars, Yann Pittard and Qwami Boaten.

Paban’s music is the soul of itinerant India,” says Mimlu, “that
which lives below the bottom line. Sam’s tracks lead us to the nocturnal soul of
London, its sacred dancing, its hip hopping streets. Sam has made a confluence –
the Thames flows into the Ganges

Buy Tana Tani.


Global Café, Toronto\’s New World Music Festival

Toronto, Canada – Global Café, Toronto’s newest world music festival,
presented by Small World Music, announces the Toronto debuts of Mexico City’s
Los De Abajo on July 7, and Israel’s

Ex-Centric Sound System
on July 10. Additionally, Guinea legends

Bembeya Jazz
  make a much anticipated return to Toronto on July 8. All
concerts take place in the in the Stone Distillery at Toronto’s charming
Distillery District.Tickets go on sale June 4 through Ticket King at 416-872-1212, toll free:
1-800-461-3333 and online at
, and at Soundscapes, 572 College Street.

Global Café will also feature free presentations and concerts. Visit for
complete festival information.


Spanish Harlem Orchestra Presents a new CD, Across 110th Street

Spanish Harlem Orchestra - Across 110th Street
Spanish Harlem Orchestra – Across 110th Street
New York, USA – Latin music label Libertad Records released the Spanish Harlem Orchestra’s new CD, Across 110th Street.
The second CD released by the world-renowned Latin dance band features salsa legend Rubén Blades.

Founded by Aaron Luis Levinson in 2000, and directed by Oscar Hernández, the 13 member Spanish Harlem Orchestra covers classic Latin music as well as introducing original music. Its first CD, released in 2002, garnered the best New Artist Award at the 2003 Billboard Latin Music Awards and was nominated for a Grammy in 2002 for Best Salsa Album of the Year.

Classics such as “Bailadores” and “Como Lo Canto Yo” have been rearranged and orchestrated to blend in with original compositions written by band members Ray De La Paz and Oscar Hernández, and one outside contribution from talented new songwriter Ray Viera.< "This was an excellent opportunity to record some great music with a great band, and my good friend Oscar Hernández”, said Ruben Blades. “The Spanish Harlem Orchestra plays with the swing that epitomizes what this music is about.”< “Working on this album with Rubén and Oscar was simply an extraordinary experience,” said
Levinson. “With blistering performances by every member of the band,“Across 110th Street
” exemplifies the virtuosity, groove and sophistication that are at the core of this music. When I heard the playback of the first take of the first song it was plainly obvious
that we were getting something that was going to take off like a hurricane out of Spanish Harlem!

Across 110th Street
features four performances by Rubén Blades as well as classic renditions of salsa songs by newcomers Willie Torres and Marco Bermudez. The CD also highlights the vocal styling of original Spanish Harlem Orchestra member and salsa pioneer Ray De La Paz, trombonist Jimmy Bosch and bassman Rubén Rodriguez.

The album’s 13 songs were recorded live in the studio, without overdubs or digital effects. “The sonic signature is fat and round, and cannot be confused with the assembly-line digital methods used by most studios today,” said Levinson.

Buy Across 110th Street.

Buy the Spanish Harlem Orchestra albums:


Brizzi do Brasil, Brazilian popular music meets avant garde and electronica

San Francisco, USA – As part of its Secret World series, Amiata Records has
released an album by Italian musician Aldo Brizzi. Brizzi do Brasil is a
unique project that brings together Italian classical composer Aldo Brizzi and
some of the biggest names in the Portuguese-speaking musical world. Some of the
biggest names in Brazilian and Portuguese music, stars like Caetano Veloso and
Madre Deus vocalist Teresa Salgueiro, Gilberto Gil, Carlinhos Brown, Virginia
Rodrigues and Tom Ze, collaborate in an intriguing, modern fusion which
skillfully blends Brazilian popular music with world, avant garde and
electronica. Aldo Brizzi, in addition to his own compositions and releases, has conducted
the strings of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and numerous other symphonies
and orchestras worldwide and has worked with Ennio Morricone and John Cage. He
has chosen Salvador de Bahia in Brazil as his second home where he is a well
respected author and composer.

The track “Misterio de Afrodite” has been also selected for the official
UNICEF compilation promoted by the Audrey Hepburn children’s Fund and due to be
released this year to promote and raise funds for the international “All
children in School” campaign.


Dominican Afro-Roots band, Super Uba y su Conjunto Tours the U.S.A.

New York, USA – Dominican Bachata and Afro-Roots band,
Uba y su Conjunto
, perform throughout the U.S.A. this summer in celebration
of their new album, Tierra Lejana on Iaso

Performances will feature Dominican singer and composer Super Uba, accompanied
by Latin guitar virtuoso ‘El Maestro’ Edilio Paredes and Afro-Dominican ritual
singer El Bachatín & his Paleros.

Tour schedule:

• June 18 & 19 – Festival Latino,
Columbus, OH*

• June 20 – Quisqueya On The Hudson, Highbridge Park, New York, NY*

• June 30 – Lincoln Center Midsummer
Night Swing
, New York, NY*

• July 2 – International African Arts
, Brooklyn, NY

• July 30 – Queens Theatre Latino
Cultural Festival
, Queens, NY*

• August 28 – HotHouse Performance Center,
Chicago, IL*

• August 29 – Viva! Chicago Latin Music
, Chicago, IL*

• September 1 – La Casita Latin Arts Festival, New York, NY

*Super Uba performs with El Bachatín

Buy Tierra Lejana.


Pinecastle Records releases a tribute to The Beacon Brothers

Orlando, Florida, USA – Tim Graves and Daryl Mosley collaborate on Remembering the Beacon Brothers (Pinecastle PRC 1137). Tim Graves and Daryl Mosley have been involved professionally throughout the bluegrass circles for many years. Both have headlined their own individual bands, which were very successful. As part of the world famous Osborne Brothers band, Tim and Daryl developed the idea for a tribute from Sonny Osborne, who eventually took the idea to Pinecastle Records.
This new “Brother Act” was born on the Osborne Brother’s tour bus as the band
was developing new ideas for the stage show. Brother acts such as the Delmore
Brothers, the Monroe Brothers and untold others were part of early country and
bluegrass music. The Beacon Brothers were one of those regional groups that
almost hit fame before being passed over by the advent of Rock and Roll. Tim and
Daryl have chose to honor the Beacon Brothers, by recreating the sounds of this
now forgotten duo.

Tim and Daryl have a true love for the music and have come together to produce
an album full of historical value. Tim and Daryl bring the long lost sound
of the original Beacon Brothers who performed throughout the Texas markets in
the 1950s.

The album was recorded at Hilltop Studios in Nashville in the spring of 2004 and was
mastered at American Mastering by John Eberle.


Stern Grove Festival Announces 67th Season Of Free Summer Concerts

San Francisco, USA – Stern Grove Festival announced its 67th Season of 10 admission-free concerts that will take place every Sunday at  2:00 p.m. from June 13 through August 15, 2004 at San Francisco’s Sigmund Stern Grove (19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard).

This year, the festival continues to make good on a promise made to the entire Bay Area community in 1938–to present a selection of the world’s best performing arts each summer, completely admission-free.

There will be a world-premiere recomposition of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue;” the Regina Carter Quintet with the innovative Tin Hat Trio; Mexican-American singer Lila Downs; Algerian singer Souad Massi; Senegal’s Youssou N’Dour and highlife sensations West African Highlife Band; Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu; Gamelan Sekar Jaya with performers from Bali; world-beat producers Ex-Centric Sound System and Mercan Dede; the San Francisco Symphony; blues with the John Hammond Trio and eclectic Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise; the Long Beach Opera Company; and the San Francisco Ballet.

The Festival also presents innovative outreach and education programs for kids, pre-concert artist talks, historic walking tours, and other activities at the 33-acre Sigmund Stern Grove.Schedule:

* Sunday, June 13:  The Regina Carter Quintet and Tin Hat Trio

* Sunday, June 20: San Francisco Symphony with Edwin Outwater conducting
works by Stravinsky, Dvorak, and  Mussorgsky/Rimsky-Korsakov

* Sunday, June 27:    Long Beach Opera with conductor Andreas Mitisek, performing Astor Piazzolla’s tango operita “Maria de  Buenos Aires”

* Sunday, July 4:    Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra and Melody of China, performing a world premiere recomposition of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”

* Sunday, July 11:    Mexican-American singer Lila Downs and Algerian singer Souad Massi

* Sunday, July 18:    Electrifying Senegalese vocalist Youssou N’ Dour and The Super Etoile de Dakar and local favorite  West African Highlife Band

* Sunday, July 25:    Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu and local ensemble Gamelan Sekar Jaya with performers from Bali

* Sunday, August 1:    World-beat producers Mercan Dede and Ex-Centric Sound System

* Sunday, August 8:    San Francisco Ballet, Helgi Tomasson, Artistic Director

* Sunday, August 15:    Blues sensations the John Hammond Trio and Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise

Admission is free. No tickets or reservations are required.