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 produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

Hassan Hakmoun’s The Gift Wins Indie Award

Hassan Hakmoun - The Gift
Hassan Hakmoun – The Gift
Los Angeles, USA – Hassan Hakmoun’s latest album, The Gift, received the Association for Independent Music (AFIM) Indie Award for Best Contemporary World Music Recording this past Tuesday at the Annual Awards Luncheon in Orlando, Florida.

The Gift (Triloka 85228) teams Moroccan musician Hakmoun with American-born producer Fabian Alsultany. The two have tackled the landmark task of bridging Moroccan Gnawa sounds with Arabic music while maintaining a forward-looking sound. Alsultany recruited over a hundred musicians to fill out the sound with strings as is common in popular Arabic music.


Cachao Receives a Star

Hollywood, USA – Cuban bass player Israel “Cachao” Lopez has been praised for his musical contributions with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California. The 84-year-old musician is best known as one of the creators of the mambo.

Lopez’s star ceremony was celebrated in front of the King King nightclub on March 14, 2003. Cachao’s star will be the 2,219th star on the reputed Walk of Fame.Attending the ceremony were actors Andy Garcia, who produced and directed a documentary on Lopez in 1993 and Edward James Olmos.

In 1939, Cachao along with his brother, Orestes Lopez, developed the mambo. The popularity of the mambo reached its heights during the 1950s with help from bandleader Damaso Perez Prado.

Since then, Lopez has been the recipient of Grammy Awards and international acclaim.


Famed Neapolitan Singer Roberto Murolo Dies

Naples, Italy – Neapolitan singer and legend, Roberto Murolo, died Thursday, March 13, 2003 in Naples, Italy after an extended period of poor heath. Murolo, the 91-year-old voice of Neapolitan music, made famous the sounds of Italy with such songs like “O Sole Mio” and “Cu’umme.”

Murolo is credited for influencing many Italian musicians with his brand of Neapolitan song with its foundations based in traditional Italian folk music.

Celebrated as such a fixture of the county’s musical heritage, Murolo was honored with Italy’s highest order of merit in 1995.

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia(AGI) reported Naples’s mayor, Rosa Russo Jervolino saying, “This is a sad day for Naples.” The mayor was also quoted on new steps to honor Murolo. “His songs will be his memorial and will push ahead the project for a museum of Naples’s songs. I think Murolo would appreciate that more than a stone statue.”


The Caribbean Festival in Antwerp

antilliaansefeesten_2003Antwerp, Belgium – Saturday, March 15 of 2003, will be the time to transform the Antwerp Sport Palace into a Caribbean dance palace. The event will feature a large stage. The whole arena will be a dance floor, with a suitable décor and non-stop music until the wee hours.The Caribbean Festival – Indoor Caribbean Festival continues with the very strong tradition of the summer festival. The program also lists the biggest names in salsa and merengue. Four top groups from the Caribbean region, from Havana, New York, Caracas and Guadeloupe will be responsible for an unforgettable tropical evening, where *censored*tails and an exotic cuisine will also constitute part of the magic.

Music And Artists:

The festival will host a forum of artists representing their various Caribbean origins and their musical diversity:

Zouk, Merengue, Salsa, Timba, Son, Bossa Nova, Soukous, Kaskawi, Cumbia.

In 2003 the four top groups alternating with DJ El Flaco are as follows:

20.00 hours: Bamboleo (Havana – Cuba ) – salsa and timba

22.00 hours: Mala Fe (NY – USA) – merengue

23.30 hours: Oscar D’Leon (Caracas- Venezuela) – salsa

01.30 hours: Kassav’ (Guadeloupe) – zouk


Presale: 30 euros. Box office: 35 euros
Belgium: KBC Ticket Shop – +32 (0)78 155 151
Fnac – Sax Leuven 016 22 48 59 – Gelmel Hoogstraten 03 314 83 11
Presale Netherlands: Ticket Service Nederland (post offices)

Info: +32 3 314 37 32


Youssou N’Dour Cancels U.S. Tour

Youssou N'Dour
Youssou N’Dour
Renowned Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour has announced the cancellation of his seven-week tour of North America scheduled to start on March 26, 2003.

Citing a possible war on Iraq as reason for the dissolution the 38-city tour, N’Dour insists that the United Nations should have sole responsibility for disarming Iraq. He also has questioned the intentions of the U.S. government in pursuing war with Iraq. News sources quote N’Dour saying, “I believe that coming to America at this time would be perceived in many parts of the world – rightly or wrongly – as a support of this policy, and that, as a consequence, it is inappropriate to perform in the U.S. at this juncture.” N’Dour suggests that he will return to the U.S. “in better times.”

Youssou N’Dour is a Grammy-nominated musician and UNICEF ambassador, with superstar status in Senegal and a world wide following. N’Dour, known widely for international hit “Seven Seconds” with Neneh Cherry, is one of Africa’s best-selling musicians.


Havana to Host Peace Concert

(Prensa Latina) Havana, Cuba – Italian singer Zucchero will organize a great peace concert in Cuba with the participation of famous musicians such as the Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés.

Zucchero told the local press that he was preparing a show for at least one million people, to warn them against violence. Although he did not mention the date of the concert, it is expected to take place in 2003. Other guests are the outstanding Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, who asserted that the concert would be a success. The Italian musician expressed his satisfaction with his tour of the Island “because mixing my music with that of Cuba has been a dream for many years.”


Irshad Hussain Khan died in Amsterdam

Irshad Hussain Khan
Irshad Hussain Khan
Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Irshad Hussain Khan died in Amsterdam on March 5th, at the age of 29. His health had been declining for a couple of years and he died of total exhaustion.

Music, especially the music of India, was his passion. Irshad was a well respected tabla player and his playing was characterized by technical virtuosity and tonal quality.

Irshad stemmed from a long line of Indian musicians (the Jaipur Gharana). His father Ustad Zamir Ahmad Khan, also a tabla player, introduced him to the tabla at the age of three. Irshad’s approach was strongly based on the old styles and the traditional repertoire, but he combined this with much of his own improvisational creativity.

As a very promising tabla player of the younger generation he has had the opportunity to accompany many great musicians of Indian classical music such as: Pandit V.G. Jog, Ustad Munir Khan, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Sayeeduddin Dagar and G.S.Sachdev.

Irshad was always open for new possibilities and combinations with different musicians, styles and traditions. He performed with many well-known musicians in the fields of jazz and worldwide music traditions such as: Theo Loevendie, Joachim Kühn, David Vriessen, Philip Catherine, Ross Daly, and with percussionists like the Iranian zarb maestro Djamchid Chemirani and the African master drummers Fodé Youla, Adama Dramé, Omar Diabaté and Alfa Camara.

Irshad recorded and produced numerous CD recordings. He recorded a solo tabla album for Pan Records. His last production, released just several weeks before his death, was an album with the sarangi playing of his grandfather Ustad Munir Khan.


Traditional Music Encounter in Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico – A traditional music festival set for the first week of March 2003 offers an
opportunity to learn about Mexican music, in particular, the music of Tierra Caliente, as well as traditional music from other countries. The Seventh Annual Encuentro de Dos Tradiciones will take place in Mexico City, Zitácuaro, Michoacán; and Tlapehuala, Arcelia and Cd. Altamirano, Guerrero between March 3 and 10.

The festival features award-winning, 90-year-old Juan Reynoso, known as Mexico’s Paganini of the Hotlands, plus Alan Jabbour and Bertram Levy with Old Time Tunes from Appalachia.

Other fine musicians from both Mexico and the United States will participate in 3 days of conferences and workshops in Mexico City and a 6-day trip to provincial Mexico where everyone is welcome to be part of the audience or participate in any of public concerts held infour different towns.

The bus tour from Mexico City to Tierra Caliente will also include a trip to the Monarch Butterfly Reserve, opportunities for jamming with other musicians and dance workshops. Not including airfare to Mexico City, the trip costs US$ 465 (March 6-11) or $540 (March 3-11) in
shared accommodations. For more information, write Phone: +52 71-3430, Fax” + 52 73-4979.


Rubén Blades Wins the World Music Grammy

Ruben Blades
Los Angeles, USA – Panamanian musician Rubén Blades won the Best World Music Album award for his recording Mundo, which combines Latin music with plentiful elements from other cultures. List of winners in roots music categories:

Best Female Country Vocal Performance
(For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.)
Faith Hill
[Warner Brothers Records]

Best Male Country Vocal Performance

(For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.)
Give My Love To Rose
Johnny Cash
[American Recordings/Lost Highway Records]

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
(For established duos or groups with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)
Long Time Gone
Dixie Chicks
[Open Wide/Monument/Columbia Records]

Best Country Collaboration With Vocals
(For a collaborative performance, with vocals, by artists who do not normally perform together. Singles or Tracks only.)
Mendocino County Line
Willie Nelson With Lee Ann Womack
[Lost Highway Records]

Best Country Instrumental Performance
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, without vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)
Lil’ Jack Slade
Dixie Chicks
[Open Wide/Monument/Columbia Records]

Best Country Song

(A Songwriter(s) Award. Artist names appear in parenthesis. Singles or Tracks only.)
Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)
Alan Jackson, songwriter (Alan Jackson)
[Arista Nashville; Publishers: EMI April Music, Tri-Angels Music]

Best Country Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)
Dixie Chicks
[Open Wide/Monument/Columbia Records]

Best Bluegrass Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)
Lost In The Lonesome Pines
Jim Lauderdale, Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys

Best Latin Jazz Album

(Vocal or Instrumental.)
The Gathering
Caribbean Jazz Project
[Concord Picante]

Best Rock Gospel Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)
Come Together
Third Day
[Essential Records]

Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album

(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)
The Eleventh Hour
Jars Of Clay
[Essential Records]

Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)
We Called Him Mr. Gospel Music: The James Blackwood
Tribute Album
The Jordanaires, Larry Ford And The Light Crust Doughboys
[Art Greenhaw Records]

Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album

(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)
Higher Ground
The Blind Boys Of Alabama
[Real World]

Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album

(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)
[AFRT Music]

Best Gospel Choir Or Chorus Album

(For choirs or choruses only, with or without lead vocalist(s).)
Be Glad
Carol Cymbala, choir director; The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
[M2.0 Communications]

Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album

(Vocal or Instrumental.)
El Arte Del Sabor
Bebo Valdés Trio With Israel López “Cachao” & Carlos “Patato” Valdés
[Blue Note Records]

Best Salsa Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)
La Negra Tiene Tumbao
Celia Cruz
[Sony Discos]

Best Merengue Album

(Vocal or Instrumental.)
Grupo Mania
[Universal Music Latino]

Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album

(Vocal or Instrumental.)
Lo Dijo El Corazón
Joan Sebastian
[Balboa Records/Discos Musart]

Best Tejano Album

(Vocal or Instrumental.)
Emilio Navaira
[BMG U.S. Latin]

Best Traditional Blues Album

(Vocal or Instrumental.)
A Christmas Celebration Of Hope
B.B. King
[MCA Records]

Best Contemporary Blues Album

(Vocal or Instrumental.)
Don’t Give Up On Me
Solomon Burke
[Fat Possum Records/Anti]

Best Traditional Folk Album

(Vocal or Instrumental.)
Doc Watson & David Holt
[High Windy Audio]

Best Contemporary Folk Album

(Vocal or Instrumental.)
This Side
Nickel Creek
[Sugar Hill Records, Inc.]

Best Native American Music Album

(Vocal or Instrumental.)
Beneath The Raven Moon
Mary Youngblood
[Silver Wave Records]

Best Reggae Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)
Jamaican E.T.
Lee “Scratch” Perry
[Sanctuary Records/Trojan Records]

Best World Music Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)
Rubén Blades
[Columbia Records Group/Sony Discos]

Best Polka Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)
Top Of The World
Jimmy Sturr
[Rounder Select]