All posts by Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel is also co-founder of the Transglobal World Music Chart. Angel has also produced and remastered world music studio albums and compilations for labels such as Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, and Music of the World.

Night of Latin Vibration and Emotion with Bebo and Chucho Valdés

Chucho Valdes
Chucho Valdes
(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) San Sebastian, Spain – Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés, his son Chucho, and the band “Irakere”, along with Spanish Flamenco singer Diego Jiménez Salazar “El Cigala”, brought Latin vibes and emotion to the fourth night of the 38th edition of San Sebastian Jazz Festival. It was a special moment for the Valdés family, who united once again on the stage, and also for “El Cigala” who had always wanted to meet Bebo’s son.

Bebo Valdés and Jiménez performed at Trinidad Square, an emblematic jazz spot in this city, the album they recorded together, Lágrimas Negras (Black Tears). The work is an approximation of flamenco to bolero, produced by Spanish moviemaker Fernando Trueba, director of Calle 54.Berbo Valdés, legend of the golden years of Cuban music, was applauded by the more than 3,000 people when he stepped on the stage at the sold-out event. “Lágrimas Negras” was the last bolero performed, in a show that included songs such as “Corazón Loco” and “La Bien Pagá.” Nobody wanted them to stop, but the following act was gratifying: Playing with his former band Irakere, Chucho Valdés showed he knows how to continue his father’s music legacy.

Buy Chucho Valdes’ CDs: New Conceptions, Solo Piano,
Briyumba Palo Congo
Fantasia Cubana: Variations on Classical Themes
, Yemayá, Afrocubanismo Live!, Bele Bele en La HabanaLive at the Village Vanguard, Babalu Ayé, and Desafios (with Omara Portuondo,
Solo: Live in New York
, Unforgettable Boleros, Live in Cuba, Cuban Jazz Pianissimo, Indestructible (Irakere), En Vivo (with Irakere and Ivan Lins), Invitacion, and Canciones Inéditas


A Place to Remember

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – Located on the busy Central Havana Galiano Street, Casa de la Música is celebrating its first anniversary in a zone marked by several historical landmarks. In a place where the Jigüe movie theater was located some time ago, Casa de la Musica has a music and music instruments store open 24 hours, besides having a concert room with a stage and state-of-the-art audio and light techniques.

Famous Cuban music bands working on different genres perform there: from the contagious and furiously-paced salsa to the soft mellow bolero, with time for rock or any other contemporary rhythm. With a capacity for 500 people, the facility is also known for its food. The Casa was built over the ruins of what was left of a movie theater battered by the tropical storm Kate in 1985. The site has a beautiful story that dates back to the early 20th century, when the Molino Rojo Theater was opened
there, dedicated to the picaresque genre of men-only shows.

By the end of 1923, it became the Teatro Cubano staging shows by Arquímedes Pous and his famous company. Then a new name for the building turned it into the Regina Theater. There, composers such as Ernesto Lecuona, Eliseo Grenet, Rodrigo Prats and Moisés Simón made their premieres. On its stage performed artists such as Rita Montaner, Mario Martínez Casado, María Ruíz.

It became a movie theater in 1941, and was the place where Charles Chaplin’s film The Great Dictator was first premiered in Cuba.


Txilibrin, Basque Musician Dies at 91

Sopela, Biscay, Spain – A legendary figure in Basque music, Silvestre Elezkano, a.k.a.
“Txilibrin,” died this week in Spain’s Basque Country.

Txilibrin (pronounced chee-lee-breen), born in 1912, was well known as an alboka player and maker. The alboka is a Basque horn that nearly disappeared in the 20th century. Recently, there has been a renewed interest in the instrument and many young folk musicians are now playing it. Txilibrin’s albokas were highly esteemed.


Call for Applications! Asia Pacific Performance Exchange (APPEX)

Los Angeles, USA – The Asia Pacific Performance Exchange (APPEX) is an international artists
residency program that promotes cross-cultural dialogue and interdisciplinary
exploration; develops rigorous strategies for art making that reflect the
nuances of cultural differences; and fosters new ways to create, combine, and
interpret artistic expressions.  

Program Schedule: APPEX 2004: July to August 2004 – Bali, Indonesia
APPEX 2006: July to August 2006 – Los Angeles, CA  

Deadline for submissions: For APPEX 2004: December 10, 2003 For APPEX
2006: December 10, 2005.THE PROGRAM: APPEX is a six-week intensive residency. For five days a
week, artists will engage in all-day master classes, studio workshops,
experimentation, and collaborative projects. On weekends and evenings,
participants will be introduced to the vibrant arts and culture context of the
host city through specially planned field trips and concerts. Each Fellow will
be provided with travel expenses, shared accommodations, and meals for the
duration of the residency.

WHO SHOULD APPLY: Traditional and contemporary performing artists from
Asia and the United States are invited to apply. Special care will be given in
the selection process to ensure a balance across disciplines. Artists who are
active in the community as educators, artistic directors, and cultural workers
are encouraged to apply.

For Application information: please
Phone: 1-310-206-1335 – Fax: 1-310-825-5152 – E-mail:


Lo Ferro National Flamenco Festival

Torre Pacheco, Murcia, Spain – The 24th edition of the flamenco song festival Festival Nacional de Cante Flamenco de Lo Ferro will take place August 23-31 in Torre Pacheco, Murcia province, in southeastern Spain.

The festival includes a contest, live performances by world class singers and guitarists, conferences and award presentations.

Saturday, 23 August

22.00 h.:
Gala Flamenca Amas de Casa de la Región de Murcia:
Festival opening cremony

Sunday, 24 August

22.00 h.:
Noche Trovera: “Con los Troveros de Cartagena y Murcia”

Monday, 25 August

20.30 h.:
“Approach to Flamenco Singing” course, given by Francisco José Sánchez Bandera
“Bonela hijo”

Tuesday, 26 August

20.30 h.:
“Charla Flamenca”, given by José Menese.

22.00 h.:

Wednesday, 27 August

12.00 h.:
“Recepction in honor of José Menese by the Mayor of  Torre-Pacheco.”

22.00 h.:
Gold medal presentation ceremony

Guest artists:

Official guitarists:
Antonio Fernández “EL TORERO” y “NIÑO CARRION”.

Thursday, 28 August

22.00 h.:

Official guitarists:
Antonio Fernández “EL TORERO” y “NIÑO CARRION”.

Guest artist: ARCANGEL
Acompañado a la guitarra por: MIGUEL ANGEL CORTES

Friday, 29 August

22.00 h.:

Official guitarists:
Antonio Fernández “EL TORERO” y “NIÑO CARRION”.

Artista invitado: EL CABRERO
Acompañado a la guitarra por: MANUEL DE PALMA

Saturday, 30 August

22.00 h.:

Official guitarists:
Antonio Fernández “EL TORERO” y “NIÑO CARRION”.

Artista invitada: JUANA AMAYA y su compañía.

Sunday, 31 August

20.00 h.:
Traditional Flamenco Mass

Al cante: Contest winners
Al Toque: Antonio Fernández “EL TORERO” y “NIÑO CARRION”


The return of Legendary Blues Artist, Chris “Uncle Gus” Gussa

Chris “Uncle Gus” Gussa - Turn up the Blues-a-lator
Chris “Uncle Gus” Gussa – Turn up the Blues-a-lator
Tucson, Arizona, USA – Roadcatz Records has announced the return of Legendary Blues Artist, Chris “Uncle Gus” Gussa With his new release, Turn up the Blues-a-lator.”

Considered by many as one of the best blues guitarists of the 60’s, Chris “Uncle Gus” Gussa, has returned to the Blues. Starting off from winning Best Blues Guitarist in San Diego to playing Blues in the bars of Chicago to producing movie soundtracks and national jingles, Uncle Gus has gone full circle back to recording a Blues album of twelve original songs on Roadcatz Records.

Back in 1966 in the small town (at that time) of El Cajon, California, Chris at the age of sixteen, won a contest for Best Blues Guitarist in San Diego “I think I won a hundred dollars and got a write up in San Diego Magazine or some such thing”, says Chris.


Martin Simpson’s Righteousness & Humidity

Martin Simpson - Righteousness & Humidity
Martin Simpson – Righteousness & Humidity
London, England – British fingerstyle guitar master, Martin Simpson, has recorded a new album titled Righteousness & Humidity. To be released in August 2003, this follow up to the award-winning album The Bramble Briar is a collection of new recordings, this time drawn from the American tradition and featuring his unequaled instrumental and vocal ability.

As Martin says in his album notes, “this record allows him to tip his hat to the music and people of the Southern US“, and features a mix of traditional song and Martin’s own compositions.Alongside his singing, Martin plays acoustic guitar, ukulele, electric guitar, lap-steel, percussion, 5-string banjo and slide guitar.

Much of the album was recorded in New Orleans and he is joined by a crack team of local musicians. Steeleye Span’s Rick Kemp features on some of the tracks recorded in the UK.

buy Righteousness & Humidity.


Gnawa Njoum Experience

Gnawa Njoum - Boum Ba Clash
Gnawa Njoum – Boum Ba Clash
Gnawa Njoum Experience (No Fridge/Boom Ba Clash NOCD 097, 2003)

Gnawa music from Morocco has attracted the attention of many musicians in the fields of rock, jazz and world music. Some of the hybrid sounds that came out from these experiments were really interesting, others were frightening.

Gnawa Njoum Experience is definitely one of the positive experiences. The album is the result of an encounter between traditional music by Gnawa Njoum (from Essawira, Morocco) and several musicians from the Parisian electronic music scene, including UHT. The lyrics are in English, French and in Arabic, accompanied by trance-like acoustic rhythms provided by the Gnawa and a series of electronic beats that range from funk to reggae.


In a Beirut Mood

Jalilah's Raks Sharki 6  - In a Beirut Mood
Jalilah’s Raks Sharki 6
In a Beirut Mood
Jalilah’s Raks Sharki 6

In a Beirut Mood (Piranha CD-PIR788, 2003)

This is a recording of Lebanese-style raks sharki music, better known as Oriental dance or belly dance. The Arabic orchestra, which includes violins, ud, qanun, nay, accordion and percussion; is led by conductor and pianist Ihsan Al-Mounzer.

The music is instrumental, with a heavy emphasis on Arabic percussion instruments.Jalilah is one of the top belly dancers in the world. Born in the US of German and Mexican descent, she has lived and worked in various Arab countries, recording various raks sharki albums.

Buy In a Beirut Mood.


Virginia Rodrigues Has Recorded Mares Profundos

Virginia Rodrigues - Mares Profundos
Virginia Rodrigues – Mares Profundos
New York, USA – Universal Classics has announced today that Brazilian singer Virginia Rodrigues has recorded a new album. Her forthcoming CD, Mares Profundos, will come out on Edge Music.

Rodrigues’ axe-sharp voice has been described as “one of the world’s most enchanting voices” by the San Francisco Weekly and the New York Post stated that “(She) has become the new star of world music with her almost-celestial soprano.” Rodrigues is slated to tour this fall with dates to be announced.

The album will be in stores October 14. Virginia’s first concerts in Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo were earthquakes. Sophisticated Brazilian critics and media were left speechless and often in tears. Her recent visits to Expo ’98 in Lisbon and New York City left these audiences equally amazed at the power and beauty of her voice.