San Francisco – The Rough Guide To The Asian Underground showcases British-Asian hybrid sounds, with a collection of solid scene classics and fresh, unreleased material. It includes material by artists that have achieved phenomenal success around the globe Musical styles and genres have always been blended together, as cultures intersect, to form new sounds and push the boundaries of experimentation. This has been felt in the UK where one of the most exciting forms of music to emerge in the last decade, Asian Underground, is a world of tabla-driven beats, Indian classical samples and frenetic drum’n’bass, trip-hop and techno.
Nashville, USA – Irish band Lunasa will kick off its US tour in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Celtic supergroup is known for its virtuoso musicians who perform a brilliant combination of Irish traditional music and contemporary influences.
The following dates are confirmed:
2/27/2003 Raleigh NC Stewart Theater
2/28/2003 Tarpon Springs FL Tarpon Springs Performing
3/1/2003 Dallas TX North Texas Irish Festival
3/2/2003 Dallas TX North Texas Irish Festival
3/4/2003 Austin TX Cactus Café, Univ of TX
3/5/2003 Portland OR Aladdin Theater
3/7/2003 Bellingham WA Leopold Crystal Ballroom
3/8/2003 Harrison Hot Springs BC Memorial Hall
3/9/2003 Vancouver BC Croatian Cultural Center
3/9/2003 Coquitlam BC Festival du Bois
3/10/2003 Seattle WA Tractor Tavern
3/11/2003 Seattle WA Tractor Tavern
3/13/2003 Englewood CO Gothic Theatre
3/14/2003 Loveland CO Rialto Theater
3/15/2003 Chicago IL Old Town School of Folk Music
3/16/2003 Springfield IL Sangamon State Univ PAC
3/17/2003 Nashville, TN Cafe 1, 2, 3
3/18/2003 East Rochester NY East Rochester High School
3/19/2003 Lake Place NY Lake Place Center for the Arts
3/20/2003 Portland ME Center for Cultural Exchange
3/21/2003 Lebanon NH Lebanon Opera House
3/22/2003 Somerville MA Somerville Theatre
3/23/2003 New York NY Joe’s Pub
3/24/2003 Reston VA Reston Community Ctr
3/25/2003 Harrisonburg VA Court Square Theater
3/27/2003 Asheville NC Pack Place/Wortham Theatre
3/28/2003 Louisville KY Kentucky Center for the Arts
Tallahassee, USA – The Florida Folklife Program recently announced the availability of “The
Florida Music Train” by folklorist and ethnomusicologist Laurie K. Sommers. This educational module includes an audio CD of archival, field, and studio recordings of Florida’s traditional music; five lesson plans; a full color poster; and background information about the artists and musical traditions represented in the unit. The audio CD includes an extensive range of 23 selections that allows teachers to create countless more lessons. The musical selections feature traditional music from such legendary Florida musicians as bluegrass fiddler Chubby Wise, Cuban singer Willie Chirino, klezmer greats The Epstein Brothers, Seminole musician James Billie and more.
Musical genres include blues, sacred harp, old-time, bluegrass, a cappella gospel, as well as music from Florida’s Greek, Seminole, Bahamian, Mexican, and Haitian communities.
Designed for use in elementary and secondary classrooms, the resource integrates music education with curricula in language arts and social studies.
For more information contact the Friends of Historic Properties and Museums, Florida Heritage Education Program, Museum of Florida History, 500 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250.
Marseilles, France – Hundreds of world music professionals will meet this week at Strictly Mundial, the second largest world music conference. From February 26th through March 1st there were will be dozens of showcases, a trade show, conferences and other events. If you plan to attend, visit World Music Central’s world music guide to Marseilles: World Music in Marseilles.
San Francisco, USA – The Rough Guide to the Music of the Balkans spans the complete range of Balkan folk. This new addition to the Rough Guide CD collection rounds up some of the best sounds from Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Romania, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The Balkan countries constitute a region of striking contradictions. While political borders have been changing regularly in recent years, Balkan music endures, even thrives, defying political, religious, linguistic and ethnic confines. The region is bound together with some of the most dynamic folk music in the world – as the Turkish brass sound and a series of Muslim influences have swept northward and westward, Western vocal harmonies, waltzes, polkas, bagpipe and accordion have flowed in the opposite direction.
Los Angeles, USA – Iraqi singer Kazem Al Sahir will be touring the United States accompanied by a stunning 15-piece Middle Eastern orchestra. The tour commences February 28th, 2003.
A cultural icon throughout the Arabic-speaking world, Iraq’s most popular living singer, Kazem Al-Sahir, embarks on an historic performance tour this winter. As the United States hovers on the brink of war with his country, Al-Sahir will visit major American cities in order to present a positive view of life and culture in his troubled region of the world, a view imbued with elegance, sophistication, celebration, and hope. Al-Sahir’s gesture transcends politics, but it is not naive. He believes that there is no more important thing he can do at this perilous moment than extend a genuine hand of friendship from one Iraqi to all Americans.
Kazem Al-Sahir says, “For me, composing music and performing for old and new audiences has always been and still is the most enriching experience of my life. I hope my music, and these performances with this notable group of some of the most talent Arab American musicians from all around the United States communicates a little bit of understanding and friendship with their fellow neighbors in these very difficult times.”
Thessaloniki, Greece – On Saturday February the 15th 2003 the Eastern Music Ensemble of the National Lebanese Conservatory and the Takht Ensemble of the Institute of Arab Music of Cairo will perform in a unique concert at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, presenting an imaginary journey to two important musical destinations: Egypt and Lebanon, the countries that gave birth to the two greatest voices of the Arab world, Um Kalthum and Fairuz. The concert, which is a coproduction of the Cultural Organization “En Chordais” and “Thessalonikis’ Concert Hall, focuses on works of the classical Arabic musical traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries, whilst also bringing to the surface the affinities that exist with Byzantine ecclesiastical music.
The members of both ensembles are virtuoso musicians and singers and important representatives of the Arabic school, performing mainly on the ud, the qanun, the violin, the darbuka and the ney. Ghada Shbeir (voice), Imane Homsy (qanun), Simir Siblini (nay) have already performed at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall in October 2002 with En Chordais, and Charbel Rouhana (ud) performed at the International Oud Meeting in November 2002, also in Thessaloniki.
The concert is a part of the MediMuses project that is being realized by En Chordais with financing of the Euromed Heritage II program of the European Union. It has also received the financial support of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture.
Kentfield, USA – World Music Network has released The Rough Guide To Highlife (World Music Network RGNET1102CD). Highlife music conjures up images of African nightclubs, shiny dance floors, champagne, fine clothes and the spirit of hope and expectation that marked the end of the colonial era.
The heyday of highlife was in the 1960s and 1970s, and the name describes and defines the popular guitar-led dance music of West Africa, primarily from Ghana and Nigeria. The Rough Guide To Highlife surveys this vibrant scene, featuring classic tracks of the era and the biggest artists within the genre.
London, England – ARC Music has put together a compilation of international love songs for Valentine’s Day. Love Songs Of The World (ARC EUCD1699) features Márta Sebestyén (Hungary), Valentina Ponomareva (Russia), Dolores Keane (Ireland), Esma Redzepova (Macedonia), Galina Durmushliyska (Bulgaria), etc.
Feelings of love and longing expressed in many different languages and in different rhythms accompanied with varied authentic and modern instruments. This collection includes songs from Bulgaria, Ireland, Portugal, Turkey, Hungary, Scotland, Macedonia, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt and Israel.