Benalmádena, Spain – The first a Tango Festival of the Costa del Sol (southern Spain) will take place January 8 -12, 2003, in Benalmádena. The venue will be Fortuna Hall (Sala Fortuna) at the Hotel Torrequebrada, located in Benalmádena (Málaga province). The festival will feature top Argentine artists, dance workshops and samples of Argentine food.
(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – Cuba’s famous singer and composer Polo Montañez died on Tuesday night of severe cranial traumas caused by a traffic accident on November 20, according to national TV. The health of the renowned artist, who was reported as “seriously ill” by the multidisciplinary team taking care of him at Havana’s Carlos J. Finlay Hospital, had worsened after presenting irreversible multi-organic failures.
Known all over the world as Guajiro Natural, the title of his first CD, Fernando Borrego Linares (Polo) was born 47 years ago in Brujito, on Sierra del Rosario, Pinar del Rio. He was influenced by music since he was a child, a family tradition as he said on many occasions. In 1994, he began playing with his band in Pinar del Rio.
In 2000, he recorded his first CD, “Guajiro Natural“, with Lusafrica Record Company, and was promoted for the first time in Colombia.
He will be internationally known his song “Un montón de estrellas”. He sold 40,000 albums and won a platinum record. Polo Montañez’s songs became popular in several Latin American and European countries.
The popular singer was a member of the Cuban delegation attending Guadalajara’s International Book Fair, in Mexico, which will is dedicated to Cuba this year.
Madrid, Spain – Basque accordionist Kepa Junkera has produced the debut album by the chalapartaris (txalapartaris in Basque) that normally accompany him, Igor Otxoa and Harkaitz Martínez, under the band name of Oreka TX. The chalaparta is an ancient percussion instrument used in the Basque Country.
The title of the album is Quercus Endorphina and it features producer Junkera himself together with several international musicians: Glen Vélez, Mikel Laboa and La Bouttine Souriant.
Huntington, USA – Puerto Rican multi-instrumentalist William Cepeda has a new recording, “Branching Out” (Blue Jackel BJE 5037-2), where, in addition to developing his Afro-Puerto Rican roots and love for jazz, he explores other cultures.
“I have the great fortune of coming from a family of musicians and having been born in Loiza Aldea, where the tradition of Puerto Rican music lives today. This heritage is a precious gif to me. In this new CD I continue to expand the horizons of Puerto Rican music. This is the heritage our ancestors left us and we as artists must make our contribution for the future. In “Branching Out” I have opened my music to influences from other cultures , such as African, Indian, Andalusian (Spanish), and Arabic among others. Some of them form the roots of our own tradition. ”
Danbury, USA – Green Linnet has released the latest album by Irish band Lúnasa. “The Merry Sisters of Fate” features eleven instrumental tracks by some of the finest contemporary Irish music virtuosos: fiddler Seán Smyth, flutist Kevin Crawford, bassist Trevor Hutchinson, guitarist Donogh Hennessy and uilleann piper Cillian Vallely.
The band will on tour starting June 28 in Baltimore, Maryland and will continue through the United States, Canada, Ireland, continental Europe and then back to the United States in August.
Santiago De Cuba, Cuba – The 15the issue of “Salsa Cubana” magazine is dedicated to Eliades Ochoa -one of the outstanding personalities of Cuban traditional music. It was presented at Meliá Santiago Hotel and Pepe Sánchez “Trova” Music House in Santiago de Cuba.
Photo reporter Roberto Bello portrays the “trova” singer’s life, work, records and tours. Ochoa will shortly celebrate his 55th birthday anniversary, on June 22. Eliades Ochoa, a country man by heart, won a Grammy award in 1997 in the category of Best Tropical Latin Performance, with the album Buena Vista Social Club.
Ochoa, along with his Cuarteto Patria , which he has directed for over 25 years, has recorded his greatest hits: the CDs “Sublime Ilusion” and “Tributo al Cuarteto Patria, both nominated to 2000 and 2001 Grammy awards, respectively.
The current issue also includes articles about the 145th birthday anniversary of Pepe Sánchez, composer of song “Tristeza” and recognized it as the first “bolero” song of music history; César Portillo de la Luz, a famous personality of “bolero” music; Emiliano Salvador, a legend of Cuban Jazz; Enrique Lazaga, a maestro of güiro; and musical groups Azucar and Síntesis.
“Salsa Cubana” magazine, which publishes 5,000 copies four times a year, first appeared on May 3, 1997, by the initiative of a group of artists headed by Juan Formell, motivated to have have a magazine that would reflect the Cuban music cene, from classical music to rock-and-roll.
Malibu, USA – Corsican band I Muvrini has made its US debut with the album I Muvrini, released by Higher Octave Music.
The recording by the Bernardini brothers features a combination of Corsican music with a melting pot of Breton, Cajun, Malagasy, Celtic and jazz sounds. It also includes a duet with pop star Sting.
New York, USA – The National Radio pioneer syndicated radio show, Afropop, has launched www.afropop.org. It gives Web surfers access to fifteen years of research in the form of themed streams of its radio programs. In addition, visitors can participate in online discussions, post digital postcards or African recipes, and listen to live streaming music channels such as the Cuban Connection
New York, USA – His face hidden behind a vibrantly colored mask meant to represent the facelessness of the common man in Africa. His music a pulsating mix of traditional African styles infused with Western influenced instrumentation and production.
Lágbájá is one of Nigeria’s most revered and popular recording artists. On June 19th, 2001, Lágbájá’s first internationally distributed album, We Before Me, will be released by IndigeDisc thus revealing West Africa’s best-kept secret to the rest of the world.
Bloomington, USA – In July, the Vive La World! tour will take place in North America. Three world music acts based in France form the package: Amina (a Tunisian singer based in Paris), Ekova (a group that combines world music with electronics) and Lo’Jo (chanson meets Tuareg meets circus).
For details about the tour, visit: www.uprise.com
The tour is produced by GlobeSonic Entertainment, European Connection and Acidophilus: Live & Active Cultures. The idea behind the Vive La World! series is to present new world music acts in North America every year.