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.

South African Hip Hop personalizes the fight against AIDS

(PRWEB) – Local Hip Hop is waging a war against HIV/AIDS with the Abo’
m-Rapper Against AIDS (AMAA) initiative. BLK Storm Entertainment and 8 Bayce
Enterprises have taken up the challenge to use hip hop music to encourage sexual
responsibility and positive mindsets in conquering HIV/AIDS.

Abo’m-Rapper Against Aids will provide Aids education and awareness by hosting
open forums and providing entertainment across Gauteng.

AMAA aims to extend the genre to deal with real issues regarding the pandemic
through partnership with government and hip hop artists. The campaign will address discrepancies between urban youth culture and
traditional HIV/AIDS prevention methods, promote dialogue that encourages safer
sexual practices, and alter attitude and perception to influence responsible
decision making.

The artists intend using music videos, recordings, mini-magazines, radio, road
shows, films, billboards and graffiti as sources of information about safe sex.
They are also working on a CD compilation of the best of local hip-hop.

Spokesman Tumi Lehihi said, “the Abo’m-Rapper Against Aids calendar will work
to rotate signed and unsigned hip-hop artists, selecting an ambassador every

The organization realizes that the hip-hop and poetry culture has tapped
into the youth market on a deeper level and aims to deliver information through
the culture because it’s a language that the youth is familiar with
,” said

Some of the artists who have already committed themselves to the initiative
include Cashless Society, Nabunya, Concentration Camp, Relo, Godessa, Amu, Pitch
Black Afro, Audio Visual, Conscious, Bi Example, Fortune, 1Wonder, Selwyn, Afro,
Spex, 5th Floor, Hidden Force, Proverb, Zubz, the Kenya-based Gidigidi-majimaji,
Audio Visual, Hymphatic Tabs, Optical Illusion, and Trinity.

With this campaign AMMA believes that the youth will identify with the HIV/AIDS
prevention messages and that through the development of associative links
between their popular culture (Hip Hop) and health promotion AMAA will promote
these messages within their social circles.


Eliades Ochoa Announces Forthcoming Album

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Santiago de Cuba, Cuba – Guajiro Sin Fronteras is the title for the latest album by Cuban singer Eliades Ochoa due on July, the artist stated for Prensa
Latina. One of the Grammy Award-winner members of the Buena Vista Social Club, Ochoa commented this is his fourth album for EMI, following Sublime Ilusión, Tribute to the Cuarteto Patria and Estoy Como Nunca. He has recorded a total of 16 albums, and he is the Cuban musician who collects most nominations for the award of the American Academy of Recording Art and Sciences (Grammy).

On Wednesday March 17, the famous singer and leader of the mythical Patria Quartet played at the Casa de la Trova’s Salón de los Grandes, in Santiago, 900 kilometers from Havana and cradle of trova, bolero and son. Soon to start a European tour, Ochoa will previously perform in Mexico -Mexico City, Veracruz, Guadalajara and Cancun- in April. Once in Europe, the artist will participate in the project Todo Grammy, along with Cuban music stars Tata Guines, percussionist Changuito and singers Haila and David Calzado.

The Buena Vista Social Club Ochoa sales -more than 500,000 copies- recently earned him a Gold Disc in Holland, where he also recorded a song with a rock group, for a production featuring various artists.

Eliades Ochoa recordings available: Buena Vista Social Club, Cubafrica (1998), Sublime Ilusión (1999); Tributo a Cuarteto Patria (2000) and Estoy Como Nunca (2002)


Cuban Musicians Find it Hard to Travel to United States

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Los Angeles, Cuba – Cuban singer-songwriter Carlos Varela applied for a visa to travel to the United States to sing his powerful, amazing songs in Miami, New York and Los Angeles and the US government turned him down, an opinion
article published in The New York Times reported Monday.  Written by singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, the article criticized the visa-granting process to Cuban artists because their visits are “detrimental to the interests” of the US.  “In essence, the government says that if Carlos Varela plays concerts in the United States, the money he makes would go to Fidel Castro´s government.  This is untrue,” Browne indicates.

The Bush administration used the same reasoning to keep award-winners Ibrahim Ferrer and Manuel Galban from attending the Grammy award ceremony in Los Angeles last month.  “In a profound way, the US government takes on the role of oppressor when it tries to control which artists will be allowed access to our minds and our hearts. We may think we are isolating Cuba with our embargo and our travel restrictions, but it is we Americans who are becoming isolated. People travel to Cuba from Australia, Britain, Canada, Italy and Spain – countries we consider staunch allies,” Browne stated.

The White House foreign policy on Cuba is unpopular in the US for a good reason. “It stops [US citizens],” the folk singer continued, “from coming into Cuba and Cubans from traveling to the United States.  It stops us from sharing medicine with the ill and restricts our ability to sell food to the hungry.”  Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, Jackson Browne thinks this policy is an outdated relic of the cold war and exists only as a political payoff to Republican-leaning Cuban-American voters in Miami.


Cuban Rock Musicians Play in Concert for Peace

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – Cuban rock bands joined to the world protests against war and
terrorist acts and organized a concert Friday night at Havana´s John Lennon
Park.  Titled Concert for Peace, the show presented the bands Agonizer,
Combat Noise and Chlover, as part of the 27th Culture Week in the Plaza de
la Revolucion municipality, from March 15 through 21. Dedicated to the
memories of the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Madrid and New York´s World Trade Center, and the victims of the US invasion to Afghanistan
and Iraq, the concert represented the Cuban rock scene´s voice to protest
against terrorism.  "The concert is especially dedicated to the victims of
terrorist attacks in Cuba during the 45 years of revolution and for peace in
the world
," stated Lazaro A. Ceballos, leader of the thrash metal band


Peter Tosh Commemorated in a Benefit Album Featuring Some of Reggae’s Biggest Artists

Controversial Jamaican reggae artist Peter Tosh is being commemorated in a benefit album featuring some of reggae’s most prominent artists. The CD is being released in both CD and on-line formats. Put My Faith In Jah is a compendium of songs donated by such notable performers as Joe Higgs, Half Pint, Edi Fitzroy, Toots & the Maytals, Lehbanchuleh, Bob Andy, Natty Remo, Mikey General and others. The album also features a rare live track of Tosh performing his trademark anthem “Get Up Stand Up” at the 1982 Jamaica World Music Festival. It is the first of a series of albums to be released by the Tosh Foundation, including the upcoming Peter Tosh Tribute album, which will feature Tosh songs performed by Jerry Garcia, Eric Clapton, Cypress Hill, and others.

In a unique twist, many of the tracks from the album are being released first for on-line distribution via the new WeedSM format from Shared Media Licensing, Inc. of Seattle (“SML”). Weed files can be freely shared, with both artists and the people responsible for spreading the files getting a share of on-line sales revenue. Subsequently, a limited-edition (1,000-copy) collector’s CD will be available from the Tosh Foundation.

Jeanette Smith, owner of Stone Tiger Entertainment (
and the reggae download web site,
is collaborating on the project. She says “Peter Tosh was a giant of 20th
Century music. We’re excited to be helping to immortalize his work while aiding
a worthy cause

About Peter Tosh and the Tosh Foundation

Peter Tosh was, with Bob Marley and Bunny Livingston, a founding member of
the seminal reggae group The Wailers, and became known as that band’s more
militant spokesman for equality and justice. After leaving the Wailers, Tosh
found success as a solo artist, culminating in his 1987 Grammy-winning album
No Nuclear War
. While planning a tour to back the album, he was killed by
gunmen who invaded his house.

The Tosh Foundation was established by veteran rock promoter Mike Malott and Tosh’s son David; its mission is to preserve the musician’s legacy and continue his social activism. Proceeds from the benefit album will go toward building a museum, medical clinic, and library for the people of Jamaica.

About SML and Weed

SML’s WeedSM service was begun in 2003 to
solve the problem of illegal music file sharing on the Internet. Weed files can
be played three times for free; after that, the recipient is invited to purchase
them. A portion of each purchase is paid to file sharers as an incentive to
respect artists’ rights. Weed obtains content via a network of Independent
Content Providers (ICPs). Daniel House, the ICP in charge of “Weedifying” the
Tosh album, says “My experience working with SML has introduced me to a lot
of great music; this album will be truly exceptional whether you obtain it on CD
or download the files


Folk Singer Rick Fielding Dies of Cancer

[image1_left]Rick Fielding passed away Saturday evening March 20 after a lengthy and
courageous battle with cancer.

Originally a native of Montréal, Quebec, Rick was smitten by the music of
Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie as a teenager. After leaving school, he moved to
Toronto and began his career as a professional musician. For over thirty years
he toured extensively throughout Canada, Great Britain, and the United States,
and recorded albums for Folk Legacy and Borealis. He happily managed to finish
his latest album Acoustic Workshop while struggling with his illness.Apart from touring and playing his own music Rick taught acoustic techniques on
guitar, banjo, mandolin, and dulcimer, ran workshops on songwriting and
professional development for musicians, did custom leather work, and hosted the
radio show Acoustic Workshop on CIUT-FM 89.5.

Above all Rick was a giving person as a performer, teacher, and friend. He will
be missed deeply by all who knew him. A celebration of Rick’s life and music
will take place Saturday June 5 at the Tranzac Club in Toronto, ON. For details,
visit .

[Obituary courtesy of the

Folk Alliance
. Photo courtesy of Borealis Records].


New Jazz Club in Havana

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – World renowned Cuban pianist
Chucho Valdés
, several times Grammy award winner, opened the Irakere Jazz Club in Havana in an effort to lure local and international musicians to jam in the Cuban capital. Valdés, one of the musicians who best represents Cuban jazz, helped kick off the club´s opening over the weekend.
The club “is a longtime dream come true and will be a source of inspiration for young musicians, Cuban music and Latin jazz, in general,” Valdés told Prensa Latina. The nightclub is located in Havana´s former Rio Club, a hotspot for Cuban jazzmen over the past 20 years, and will hold early and late evening performances. Valdés, director of the jazz group Irakere for 30 years and winner of four Grammy awards, said the club would be one of the main venues for Havana´s Jazz Plaza International Festival, which he organizes. Starting this year, the event will be held annually “so as to not fall out of step with musicians around the world and to maintain an enriching exchange with them,” the musician said.


Miquel Gil’s Valencian Roots

Miquel Gil
Miquel Gil
Madrid, Spain – Alike the oranges he cultivates according to ecological principles Miquel Gil’s voice grows directly from the Valencian earth. With his previous album Orgànic (Sonifolk, 2002) Miquel had opened a new chapter in his career as a musician and earned several awards, i.e. the “Best album of the Year in Catalonia” (Enderrock awards).

On Katà he discovers the geological layers of Levante (Eastern Spain), Andalusia, Mallorca and Catalonia, traveling over these regions and the Spanish Mediterranean seaside. On his trips to Northern Africa, Greece and Turkey he demonstrates the close relationship  between Spain and these
styles like granainas and fandangos, gnawa, jotas, rembetika, picados mallorquines, boleros, dances from the mountainside, and odd rhythms from Turkey are put together in a small room and a big album came out of it. Miquel does not care about political conventions and makes all these cultures live together in a natural familiarity. The extensive work of collecting traditional motifs and reinventing them has made out of the Cantautor Miquel Gil (singer/songwriter) in Orgànic the Cantaor (flamenco singer) in Katá.

The wide musical range that covers Katà is also reflected in the musicians who joined the recording sessions: Raúl Rodriguez (guitar) from Seville who is responsible for the flamenco sounds; Eduard Navarro, well known from his band L’Ham de Foc, who has created his very own sound due to his great performance on the dulzaina and other wind instruments; Diego López, also known from L’Ham de Foc, who gives to each and every of the 11 songs his particular flavour through his precise and subtle playing, and finally Xavi Lozano (Eliseo Parra, Lídia Pujol), who creates a special magic on his
exotic wind instruments. Special guests like Carles Belda (Pomada) and Pep Toni Rubio (Música Nostra) point out the great reputation that Miquel has reached in the Spanish music scene.


US Denied Visa to Cuban Singer-songwriter Carlos Varela

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – Cuban singer-songwriter Carlos Varela was not able to perform at the Gusman Center, Miami City, because the US government denied him the visa to enter the country. The prohibition to the artist aborted a series of shows in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Juan, Puerto Rico. “It is a pity that my fans in Miami as the audience in other US cities were deprived of their right to listen my work due to the decision of a couple of dinosaurs from the Department of State,” the artist said in statements for international press. The US organizers said they were “deeply saddened and outraged” and commented their government did not give then a reason for the decision of denying Varela and his musicians the visa. Becoming a usual practice, the US authorities are recently banning all Cuban musicians to enter the US territory.


Spanish and Cuban singer-songwriters on Tour

Liuba Maria Hevia
Liuba Maria Hevia
(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – Cuban singers Liuba Maria Hevia and Reynier Mariño and Spanish singer-songwriter Nando Juglar perform Wednesday at Spanish city of Badajoz in a show ttiled “Travesia del Alma“, mixing the essence of trova and Cuban traditional music. The music project began in Havana in 2003 and is now in the Canary Islands, Extremadura and Madrid, Juglar commented. “Travesia del Alma” intends to be “an offering of Cuban music from the heart, trying to catch the audience with love stories and experiences.” It is “the opportunity to show Spanish people how Cubans are and embrace the mutual roots we have,” show director Yusnel Suarez stated. Singer Liuba Maria has released important albums featuring Silvio Rodriguez, Chucho Valdes as guest musicians and she also stands out for her work for children. Young Cuban musician Reynier Mariño, an artist who just released an album where he fuses flamenco with Cuban rhythms, will perform along with them.