All posts by World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

Cuban A Cappella Mavericks Vocal Sampling Announce Summer 2020 Tour

Vocal Sampling

Vocal Sampling, the Cuban masters of vocal music have announced summer 2020 tour dates in Europe and China. The Cuban group uses its voices as musical instruments. Attending a Vocal Sampling concert is like participating in a magic show.

The group performs a wide range of sounds, emulating traditional Cuban musical instruments, that come exclusively from their voices.

Summer Tour 2020

July 10: Rheingau festival (Germany)

July 15: Masala Festival Hannover (Germany)

July 17: Effeltrich (Germany)

July 18 – 31: China tour

August 1: Bardentreffen Festival – Nurenberg (Germany) 

August 7 and 8: Kassel (Germany)

August 12 – 15: Nis Festival (Serbia)

More about Vocal Sampling


Transglobal World Music Chart Reveals 2019 Festival Award

The Transglobal World Music Chart (TWMC) has unveiled the winners of its 2019 Festival Award. South Korea’s Jeonju Int’l Sori Festival is the winner this year.

Park Jechun (right), Commissioner of the Jeonju International Sori Festival

2019 Festival Award:

1. Jeonju International Sori Festival

2. Ethnoport

3. (two festivals tied for third place) Estival and 5 Continents

5. BU Global Music Festival

6. Globaltica

7. Fira Mediterrània de Manresa

8. Rainforest World Music Festival

9. Sukiyaki Meets the World

10. Etnosur

After the evaluation of the previous edition, at least one of the festivals that repeated this year has improved, following our assessment. That made us very proud,” stated Transglobal World Music Chart co-founder and Festival Awards coordinator Araceli Tzigane Sánchez. “Moreover, this second edition has served us to identify our own areas of improvement. We have not been able to assess two specific festivals that applied and that had fluent communication with us. For the third edition, we will work more closely with the applicants to avoid this situation and to increase the number of applicants.

The Transglobal World Music Chart Festival Awards were started in 2018 as part of the TWM’s goal to increase the awareness, enjoyment and appreciation of the music from diverse cultures of the globe.

Application information for festivals interested in participating in the 2020 edition is available here.

Transglobal World Music Chart (TWMC) is an association of music critics, writers, and radio DJs and producers specialized in world music. Members hail from all continents. The TWMC releases a monthly chart that selects the best recent world music albums across the globe.

More about the chart:

Headline photo: Iri Nongak at Jeonju Sori International Festival 2019 by Angel Romero


Los Angeles Philharmonic Announces 2020 World Music Concerts

The Los Angeles Philharmonic has revealed the early 2020 World Music series. Merrill Garbus’ Tune-Yards will perform January 31, 2020. Guitar virtuoso Vieux Farka Touré is set to open the evening.

Renowned Irish band The Chieftains will present The Irish Goodbye Tour on March 1, 2020.

Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones, daughters of Ravi Shankar, will celebrate the centenary of Ravi Shankar in this evening dedicated to his life and legacy on May 19, 2020. Additional special guests will be announced.

The concerts will take place at Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA.  

More information at Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

headline photo credit: Anoushka Shankar by Simonyc


Cimarrón to Honor Carlos Cuco Rojas with its UK Tour alongside Catrin Finch

After Cimarrón’s director and harper Carlos Cuco Rojas passed away on January 10th, the Colombian joropo band announced that they will continue touring worldwide. In the upcoming winter tour, Cimarrón will perform in the United Kingdom along with renowned Welsh harpist Catrin Finch.

Next Monday, January 20, Cimarrón will perform at Theatr Mwldan in Cardigan, Wales, with singer Ana Veydó leading the band, continuing the legacy of maestro Rojas. “We planned to cancel our next concerts, but we believe that the idea of performing at large UK stages is the best tribute we can pay to Carlos. His dream was to tour again with Catrin Finch,”said Veydó.

Cimarrón and Catrin Finch will meet again 10 years after their last collaboration. In 2007, 2009 and 2010, both marked a footprint in the world music circuit with the first encounter of the Colombian llanera and Welsh harps, in addition to an album recorded live with traditional joropo pieces and traditional music of Wales.

Cimarrón’s most recent album, Orinoco (Latin Grammy nominated for Best Folk Album), was awarded Top of the World Album in Songlines magazine and became one of the best 2019 albums on the British radio program World Beat.

Last year, the Orinoco promotional tour took Cimarrón’s joropo to China, India, Lebanon, Algeria, the USA and Dominican Republic. For 2020 the band has confirmed dates in the United States and Germany.

UK Tour 2020

January 20 CARDIGAN Theatr Mwldan

January 22 LIVERPOOL Royal Philharmonic Music Room

January 23 MANCHESTER Stoller Hall

January 24 CAERNARFON Galeri

January 25 BRISTOL St Georges

January 26 GLASGOW Celtic Connections Festival

January 28 BRECON Theatr Brycheiniog

January 29 ABERYSTWITH Arts Centre

January 30 SOUTHAMPTON Turner Sims

January 31 SWANSEA Taliesin Arts Centre

February 1 GATESHEAD Sage

February 3 CARDIFF St David’s Hall

February 4 BURY ST EDMUNDS The Apex

February 5 NOTTINGHAM Lakeside

February 6 LONDON Cecil Sharp House

More about Cimarrón and Catrin Finch


Círculo Flamenco de Madrid Unveils Early 2020 Program

Manolo Franco at the Bienal de Flamenco

Performing arts presenter Círculo Flamenco de Madrid has announced its programming for the first quarter of 2020.  The programming includes flamenco concerts at the OFF Latina venues, and book presentations at No Tarima Libros in Madrid, Spain.

The first show will take place on January 16, presenting one of the great flamenco guitarists from Seville, Manolo Franco.

On January 23 there will be a presentation of the magazine Recopilatorio Artistas Flamencos de Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Flamenco Artists Collection of Sanlúcar de Barrameda), by Servando Repetto.

Antonio Campos – Tardo Antiguo

The last event in January will be the presentation of the new album from Antonio Campos, titled Tardo Antiguo.

The February program will begin on February 6th with a concert by Ángel Gabarre accompanied by Montoyita on guitar.

On February 13, the Círculo Flamenco de Madrid will present the book Tremendo asombro by José Luis Ortiz Nuevo, a poet from Archidona who found traces offlamenco in the theaters of Havana.

The last show that month will be on February 27, an encounter with radio producer José María Velázquez-Gaztelu, who will celebrate the 35th anniversary of his radio show Nuestro flamenco.

March will begin on January 12th with the traditional Flamenco Women’s Day (Día de la Mujer Flamenca), which will feature La Kaíta as the protagonist, in addition to the many guests who will join in.

On March 19th, Paco Zambrano will present his book Porrina de Badajoz, an essential biography that has just sold out its second edition.

The quarter will close on March 26th with the concert by Jerez artists Miguel Lavi and Manuel Parrilla.

 All events will begin at 9:00 pm, both in OFF Latina, and at No Tarima Libros.


Afro Roots Fest 2020 Program in Miami Announced


Performing arts presenters Community Arts & Culture and Rhythm Foundation have announced the Afro Roots Fest 2020 lineup at the North Beach Bandshell on Saturday, April 25, 2020.


 The artists set to perform are Sudanese American Sinkane and Sudanese artists Alsarah and her band the Nubatones. DJ Le Spam will open the night.

North Beach Bandshell is located at 7275 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, Florida, USA.

More about Afro Roots Fest and ticket information.


Puerto Rican Percussionist and Batacumbele Founder Ángel “Cachete” Maldonado Dies at 68

Angel “Cachete” Maldonado

Ángel “Cachete” Maldonado, a renowned percussionist and co-founder of the celebrated Afro-Puerto Rican Batacumbele ensemble died on January 10, 2020. He was 68 years old.

Maldonado was born in Barrio Obrero, Santurce, and became a leading Afro-Caribbean percussionist.

He performed with some of the leading Latin jazz, salsa, jazz and Puerto Rican artists, including Carlos Patato Valdés, Pablo Rosario, Ernie Agosto, Larry Harlow, Eddie Palmieri, Louie Ramírez, Conjunto Libre, Típica 73, Machito, Dizzie Guillespie, Gato Barbieri, Freddie Hubbard, Weather Report and Jorge Dalto.

To learn more about Ángel “Cachete” Maldonado, read Les Moncada Chats With Legendary Latin Percussionist and Orchestra Leader Angel “Cachete” Maldonado.


Cimarrón Musical Director and Harper Carlos “Cuco” Rojas Dies in Bogotá

Carlos “Cuco” Rojas – Cimarrón

Colombian band Cimarrón announced that the group’s musical director and harp player Carlos “Cuco” Rojas died on Friday, January 10, 2020, in Bogotá, Colombia, after suffering a heart condition.

Cimarrón is Colombia’s best know joropo act. Carlos Rojas Hernández, an educator and innovator of the Colombian joropo, achieved a widely recognized career in more than 38 countries on five continents, alongside his romantic partner, singer Ana Veydó.


The band’s press releases states: “Carlos Rojas Hernández leaves an indelible mark on the history of Colombian music, with his name in dozens of record productions as a performer, producer, arranger and composer.

Cimarrón is committed to honor the legacy, memory, life and work of its eternal director and harper

More about Grupo Cimarrón


Gong Hei Fat Choy, Chinese Classics Recreated by International Artists

Gong Hei Fat Choy

The album Gong Hei Fat Choy (China Music House, 2019) features classic Chinese songs recreated by musicans from various countries. The recordings took place in six countries, Cuba, Poland, France, Israel, USA, and China. The thirty musicians came from 10 countries: including Cuba, Ukraine, Poland, USA, France, Israel, Zambia, China, Brazil and Venezuela.

China Music House, the label that put together the project selected some well known artists from the world music, reggae and electronic music scene such as Cuba’s a cappella maestros Vocal Sampling, Brazil’s Luis de Aquino and Polish-Ukrainian band Dagadana. Global music instruments were combined with Chinese pipa, suona and gaohu.

The folk songs featured are “Beautiful Flowers and Full Moon”, ”Bu Bu Gao”, “Xi Yang Yang”, ”Purple Bamboo Melody”, ”Song of The Phoenix”, ”Thunder in the Dry Summer.”


SGAE Foundation to Showcase Madrid Flamenco in January 2020

The SGAE Foundation will present Flamencos de Aqui (Flamencos from Here), a series of concerts from January 23 to 25, 2020 at the Sala Berlanga venue. The artists featured are part of Madrid’s thriving flamenco scene.

The series will begin on January 23rd with celebrated Gypsy singer M. Heredia (Marta Heredia), an artist that has performed at the most important theaters in the world, accompanied by upcoming artists on dance and guitar. M. Heredia is a member of the famed Heredia flamenco lineage. Her show is titled Esencias Flamencas.

M. Heredia

The next day, January 24, the focus will be the Flamenco cajón, a percussion instrument that has become a standard in flamenco ensembles. Cajón masters Lucky Losada and Antonio Losada, members of the well known Losada family, will show the audience the evolution of this musical instrument, together with dance and guitar. The show is titled Flamencos por cajones, a word play that means ballsy flamenco or flamenco for the sake of it.

Lucky Losada
Antonio Losada

The series will conclude on Friday, January 25, showcasing the great guitarist Iván Losada, accompanied by young upcoming dancers and singers. The show is titled Los canasteros: Tributo al Teatro Real de los gitanos (Los canasteros: Tribute to the Royal Theater of the Gypsies).

Iván Losada – Photo courtesy of Cardamomo Flamenco Madrid

This diverse concert is a tribute to the legendary flamenco maestro Manolo Caracol, his zambra and the now defunct Los Canasteros flamenco nightclub in Madrid. For 30 years, Los Canasteros welcomed artists, intellectuals and bullfighters on Barbieri Street, and was known by the nickname of “Teatro Real” (Royal theater) of the gypsies


Wednesday, January 23 – Esencias Flamencas

  • M. Heredia, vocals
  • Jesús “el Almendro”, vocals
  • José Sisón, guitar
  • Marcos Morales, dance
  • Antonia Estepa, dance

Thursday – January 24 – Flamencos por cajones

  • Lucky Losada, percussion
  • Antonio Losada, percussion
  • Saúl Quirós, vocals
  • Mario Montoya, guitar
  • Ileana Gómez, dance

Friday, January 25 – Los canasteros: Homenaje al “Teatro Real” de los gitanos

  • Iván Losada, guitar
  • Eleazar Cerreduela, vocals
  • Nael Salazar, vocals
  • Iván Losada Jr., percussion
  • José “el Bocadillo”, dance

All shows at 9:00 pm at Sala Berlanga, Calle Andrés Mellado 53. Price: 6.50 euros. Advance sale at the box office and at