All posts by Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. 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.

Tuareg Ensemble Tartit: US Tour

Bloomington, USA – Tuareg ensemble Tartit will begin its US tour March 29 in New York city. The members of Tartit play the instruments of their Tuareg—or Kel Tamashek, as they prefer to be called—heritage. The tinde, played exclusively by women, is made from a small wooden mortar that the women use to grind grains, and which is covered with a goatskin.

Only women of the noble or the vassal tribes were once permitted to play the imzad, the small one-stringed gourd-fiddle that is the symbol of Kel Tamashek society. Both instruments are easily disassembled for use in other daily activities. But their most important instrument is also the most portable one of all: the human voice.

Tour dates:03/29/2003, New York City, NY
04/01/2003, Boston, MA
04/05/2003, Stone Ridge, NY
04/07/2003, Washington, DC
04/11/2003, Chicago, IL
04/12/2003, Minneapolis, MN
04/14/2003, Oakland, CA
04/15/2003, Santa Cruz, CA
04/16/2003, Oakland, CA
04/17/2003, Palo Alto, CA
04/18/2003, Stanford, CA
04/26/2003, Seattle, WA

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Saharawi Nayim Alal Releases New CD

Madrid, Spain – Saharawi musician Nayim Alal will present his new CD, Nar, in Madrid. The event will take place Thursday, March 27 at 10 p.m. at the Sala Hebe, Calle Tomás García, 17.

Nayim plays fiery desert blues. It is epic, amorous, nostalgic, brave, and also witty and humorous.

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Najma’s Spectacular Return

Najma - Vivid
Najma – Vivid

Los Angeles, USA – Indian singer Najma has returned after a long silence with a sensational album. Titled “Vivid,” it combines Najma’s unique vocals with rich harmonies, electronic beats and trance-like atmospheres. The album is available from Mondo Melodia/Ark 21.

This is her 5th album.

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Time to Change the World Music Grammy

Numerous world music artists are at a disadvantage in the competition for a Grammy Award. With the current system, there is only one Grammy award category for world music. This forces traditional and contemporary artists to compete with each other. Unfortunately, the better known contemporary artists are the ones that usually get selected because academy members are more familiar with them.

Other musical genres, such as Latin, Jazz, Country, and Blues, have multiple subcategories. Considering the broad musical spectrum of world music, it would make sense to create at least two world music subcategories. A group of world music professionals is trying to achieve this worthwhile goal. A letter campaign initiative has been started to lobby NARAS (the Recording Academy) to make such changes. Specifically, the creation of two subcategories. One for traditional world music and another for contemporary world music.

NARAS would be doing justice to the world music community by listening to its concerns. The creation of two world music subcategories would be a great first step.

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New Radio Tarifa Album

Radio Tarifa - Fiebre
Radio Tarifa – Fiebre
London, UK – Fiebre, a new album by Spanish world fusion band, Radio Tarifa, will be out soon in the form of a live album. Recorded during their 2002 tour, it will showcase the group’s unique musicianship in a live setting. A great live attraction, Radio Tarifa will tour again this year.

Radio Tarifa is the brainchild of Faín Dueñas, a former electric guitarist who realized that playing Anglo-Saxon rock wasn’t leading him anywhere. Instead, he sought new paths and learned about other kinds of music from foreign and southern Spanish musicians. Currently, he has become an specialist in African and Arabic percussion, as well as in string instruments from the lute family such as the Turkish cümbüs, the guimbri, sentir, ud; and Flamenco guitar.

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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.

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Cachao Receives a Star

Cachao
Cachao
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.

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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.”

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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

TICKET INFO:

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
lo@antilliaansefeesten.be

www.antilliaansefeesten.be

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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.

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