All posts by World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

Rudolstadt Festival Announces 2019 Program

Germany’s largest world music event, Rudolstadt Festival, will take place July 4-7, 2019. The opening concert on 4 July will be a tribute concert dedicated to splendid female artists from the worlds of jazz, folk and blues. Sing The Truth is a project by three women who are themselves acclaimed for their extraordinary voices – Lizz Wright, Angelique Kidjo and Cecile McLoren Salvant – with drummer and producer Terri Lyne Carrington acting as musical director.

Three days later, the closing concert will feature alternative country pioneers, the Cowboy Junkies from Canada, who have raised the bar with their slow motion blues and folk sounds.

Cowboy Junkies

The massive line-up at this year’s festival includes 300 concerts, workshops and discussions. One of the standout acts is the Herbert Pixner Projekt from South Tyrol. This quartet from the Alps transcends all sorts of musical borders with their mastery of flamenco, tango, gypsy jazz and rock riffs, and is in high demand in the German-speaking world.

Presently, one of the most sought-after Icelandic musicians is Ólafur Arnalds with his sound collages made up of art, music and technology.

Luedji Luna

A new figurehead of Afro-Brazilian women is Luedji Luna, who frequently serves up her songs addressing social problems with laidback tunes enhanced with elements of both jazz and R&B.

South African singer-songwriter Alice Phoebe Lou, who launched her career by busking in Berlin, will perform poetry with a touch of jazz, summing up the music of South Africa.

Small Island Big Song

Die Höchste Eisenbahn, who will be releasing their third album this summer, also began their successful journey in Berlin by pairing catchy melodies with zeitgeisty humor. Then there’s the unique project Small Island Big Song, whose members come from island nations in the Pacific and Indian Oceans which are literally threatened with extinction by climate change.

Musical contrasts from Iran

To represent Iran, this year’s special guest country, the Rudolstadt Festival has selected nine ensembles and devised a richly contrasting program. It ranges from performances based on centuries-old traditions to music driven by current political protests. “The festival intends to convey that there’s a vibrant cultural scene in Iran striving to find its own way and make itself known internationally,” declared program director Bernhard Hanneken. In Rudolstadt, Iranian artists will also be given a forum to talk about their lives, their circumstances, and their opportunities for artistic expression.

Hamid Motebassem Ensemble

On the opening night, the band Damahi will be performing a pop-oriented fusion of Iranian and world music genres. One of Iran’s most prominent musicians is tar and setar player Hamid Motebassem, who is also a noted composer. At Rudolstadt, he will be presenting compositions such as his orchestral work Pardis accompanied by the Thuringian Symphony Orchestra from Saalfeld-Rudolstadt. What’s more, they’ll be joined by one of Iran’s best-known women‘s voices, Mahdieh Mohammadkhani.

Hamnava Ensemble

There is another expressive female singer in the Hamnava Ensemble, which hails from Bushehr in southwest Iran on the Persian Gulf. Baran Mozafari is one of the few women endeavoring to take the female vocal styles from the region into the 21st century.

Ali Ghamsari – Photo by Ashkan Azadbakht

Tar virtuoso Ali Ghamsari from Tehran represents a subtle, innovative variety of classical Persian music. By contrast, Shahin Najafi’s current program is a powerful contemporary blend of jazz, blues, rock and Persian folk songs.

Apart from the performances by the nine Iranian ensembles, there will be discussions with the artists during the festival and a wide-ranging symposium with topics including the status of women in Iran, the social aspect of Iranian music, Persian poetry, record production and marketing.

New partnership: The EBU Folk Festival in Rudolstadt

With the Rudolstadt Festival being held for the 29th time in 2019, this year marks the start of a new partnership with  the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The EBU will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of its own Euroradio Folk Festival by presenting selected musicians in Rudolstadt.

Husistein-Musik

This partnership has been initially set to run for three years, meaning the Euroradio Folk Festival will also provide a forum for various facets of the European scene at the Rudolstadt Festival in 2020 and 2021. Both sides hope for lasting collaboration with Graham Dixon, the EBU’s Head of Radio, even talking of a new chapter in the European Broadcasting Union’s history: “Despite the wide participation and high quality of performance, until now, the EBU Folk Festival has never enjoyed a long-term home. From now, working together with the well-established festival in Rudolstadt provides an opportunity to pool our resources.”

SibA Folk Big Band

This summer, editorial teams from 16 EBU member states will be taking part together with artists from their respective countries. They represent a wide variety in every respect, ranging from the 23-strong Finnish SibA Folk Big Band to solo accordion performances by Yegor Zabelov from Belarus and Otto Lechner from Austria, both of whom perform in their own distinctive manner. Nineteenth-century dance music will be fronted by Husistein-Musik from Switzerland while at the opposite end of the spectrum, avant-garde Polish group Polmuz will be taking the concept of folk music in an experimental direction.

More at www.rudolstadt-festival.de

headline photo: Colombia’s La 33

Share

Samba Star Beth Carvalho Dies at 72

Beth Carvalho

Brazilian vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and composer Beth Carvalho died April 30, 2019 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Elizabeth Santos Leal de Carvalho, better known as Beth Carvalho, was born May 5, 1946 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She was an influential samba artist.

“Beth Carvalho was a Brazilian samba singer, musician, and composer,” said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of the The Latin Recording Academy. “With a career that spanned 50 years filled with multiple acclaimed recordings, Carvalho was known as the “Godmother of Samba” and a historical figure in Brazilian culture.

In 2009 she was recognized with a Latin Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award and at the 13th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards she received a Latin GRAMMY for Best Samba/Pagode Album for Nosso Samba Tá Na Rua.

Carvalho helped bring underrated composers the recognition they deserved, becoming a driving force in the modernization of samba in the ’80s, while preserving its roots. As a philanthropist and activist, she founded various schools to teach samba and used her lyrics to bring awareness of social issues such as poverty and indigenous rights. Our deepest condolences to her family, friends and music lovers during this difficult time.”

Share

International Songwriting Competition (ISC) Announces 2018 World Music Winners

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has announced its 2018 winners. The winners in the world music category are:

1st Place
Komal Rizvi
Karachi, Pakistan

2nd Place
B Prasanna, Subu
Chennai, India

3rd Place
Harouna Samake
Dissan, Mali

ISC received almost 19,000 entries this year from almost 140 countries. Prizes include more than $175,000 in cash and merchandise.

Komal Rizvi

Dubai-born Komal Rizvi is a Pakistani actress, singer-songwriter, and a TV host. She is well-known for her songs in Coke Studio (Pakistan). Her recordings include Komal Rizvi and Komal.

B Prasanna
Subu

B Prasanna, is a Chennai-based multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer. His musical influences include world music, pop, jazz fusion and rock. His colleague Subu is a lyricist.

Harouna Samake

Harouna Samake is Mali’s leading kamale n’goni player. He has performed ands recorded with Salif Keita, Blick Bassy, Bella Flick, Etienne Mbappé, and Bassekou Kouyate. He has a solo album titled Kamale Blues (One World, 2018) .

For the first time in the competition’s 18-year history, the Grand Prize is awarded to an R&B song – as well as to artist/songwriters from Nashville, Tennessee. The ISC bestowed its highest honor to R&B artist Reginald Lamar Williams Jr., (aka R.LUM.R) and artist/producer Josh Hawkins (aka Super Duper) for their co-written song “Frustrated.” The Grand Prize includes $25,000 (USD) cash and over $30,000 in merchandise and services.

Reginald Lamar Williams Jr. (R.LUM.R) and Josh Hawkins ( Super Duper)

“With R&B being such a dominant force in today’s music landscape, it is exciting that an R&B song is the Grand Prize winner for the first time in ISC. We are thrilled to acknowledge R.LUM.R and Super Duper, two artists who exemplify the present and the future of songwriting in this genre,” says ISC Founder and Director, Candace Avery.

For a complete list of 2018 winners in all categories and to hear the winning songs, go to: www.songwritingcompetition.com/winners.

ISC is sponsored by: Art & Lutherie By Godin Guitars; Berklee College of Music; Celebrity Access; Eventric; Gig Salad; Lurssen Mastering; Merch Cat; Musician Wellness; Musicians Institute; oneRPM; PreSonus; Pro Tour Nutrition; Shubb Capos; SongU; Sweetwater; The Tracking Room; Tunedly; Vocal Eze; and Westone.

Entries are now open for the 2019 competition. To enter, go to www.songwritingcompetition.com.

Share

Amina by Refugees for Refugees Tops the Transglobal World Music Chart in May 2019

Amina, the second album by the Belgium-based world music collective Refugees for Refugees is the number one album in the May 2019 Transglobal World Music Chart.

Refugees for Refugees – Amina

The Refugees for Refugees ensemble includes acclaimed musicians from Syria, Tibet, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Belgium. After the debut album ’Amerli’ in 2016, 10 of the musicians that took part in the recordings formed a band under the artistic direction of Tristan Driessens.

The line includes Asad Qizilbash (Pakistan) on sarod; Aren Dolma (Tibet) on vocals; Fakher Madallal (Syria) on vocals and percussion; Kelsang Hula (Tibet) on dramyen and vocals; Mohammad Aman Yusufi (Afghanistan) on dambura, vocals; Simon Leleux (Belgium) on percussion; Souhad Najem (Iraq) on qanun; Tammam Al Ramadan (Syria) on ney; Tareq Alsayed Yahya (Syria) on ud; Tristan Driessens (Belgium) on ud.

The complete May 2019 list:

  1. Refugees for Refugees – Amina – Muziekpublique
  2. Kronos Quartet, Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat – Placeless – Kirkelig Kulturverksted
  3. Waed Bouhassoun – Safar: Les Âmes Retrouvées – Buda Musique
  4. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba – Miri – Outhere
  5. Alim Qasimov and Michel Godard – Awakening – Buda Musique
  6. Minyo Crusaders – Echoes of Japan – Mais Um
  7. The Gloaming – 3 – Real World
  8. Las Hermanas Caronni – Santa Plástica – Les Grands Fleuves
  9. AKA Trio – Joy – Bendigedig
  10. Kel Assouf – Black Tenere – Glitterbeat
  11. Leyla McCalla – The Capitalist Blues – Jazz Village / PIAS
  12. Le Trio Joubran – The Long March – Cooking Vinyl
  13. Ifriqiyya Électrique – Laylet el Booree – Glitterbeat
  14. Urna Chahar-Tugchi featuring Kroke – Ser – Urna Chahar-Tugchi / UCT
  15. Oratnitza – Alter Ethno – Fusion Embassy
  16. Söndörgő – Nyolc 8 Nyolc – SNDRG Music
  17. Kanazoé Orkestra – Tolonso – Buda Musique
  18. Adir Jan – Leyla – Trikont / BGST
  19. Altın Gün – Gece – Glitterbeat
  20. Coşkun Karademir Quartet – Öz / Essence – Kalan
  21. Olcay Bayır – Rüya: Dream for Anatolia – ARC Music
  22. Aziz Sahmaoui & University of Gnawa – Poetic Trance – PIAS
  23. Xiomara Fortuna – Son Verdad – Ileakwa Producciones
  24. Our Native Daughters – Songs of Our Native Daughters – Smithsonian Folkways
  25. Dobranotch – Merčedes Kolo – CPL-Music
  26. Tartit – Amankor / The Exile – Riverboat / World Music Network
  27. Mary Ann Kennedy – Glaschu: Hometown Love Song – ARC Music
  28. Hama Sankare – Niafunke – Clermont Music
  29. Le Vent du Nord – Territoires – Borealis
  30. Rachele Andrioli & Rocco Nigro – Maletiempu – Dodicilune
  31. Lau – Midnight and Closedown – Reveal
  32. Rodopi Ensemble – Thraki: Thrace, the Paths of Dionysus – ARC Music
  33. Equus – Tailwind Home – Equus
  34. Áššu – Áššu – Bafe’s Factory
  35. Black Flower – Future Flora – Sdban Ultra
  36. Umut Adan – Bahar – Riverboat / World Music Network
  37. Rupa & the April Fishes – Growing Upward – Electric Gumbo Radio Music
  38. Yann-Fañch Kemener – Roudennoù / Traces – Buda Musique
  39. Alfredo Rodríguez & Pedrito Martínez – Duologue – Mack Avenue
  40. Dhafer Youssef – Sounds of Mirrors – Anteprima

More at www.transglobalwmc.com

Share

KCRW’s World Festival at the Hollywood Bowl to Present Reggae Night XVIII

Damian Marley

The 2019 KCRW World Festival at the Hollywood Bowl will present Reggae Night XVIII on Sunday, July 7, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. The artists featured include Damian Marley, Third World and Kabaka Pyramid.

Four-time Grammy winner Damian Marley has established himself as a unique and influential presence in reggae, combining the roots sound of his father’s legendary music with the fast flow and spirit of dancehall.

Third World are no strangers to fusion, setting their blend of soul, R&B, rock, and disco to a reggae beat since 1973.

Socially conscious Kabaka Pyramid opens with a fiery, beat-based reggae sound built around messages of love, unity, and justice. Their discography includes Rebel Music (2011) and Kontraband (Ghetto Youths International, 2018) .

Tickets for the Hollywood Bowl 2019 summer season will be available online at HollywoodBowl.com or via phone at 323-850-2000.

Share

Blues on the Fox Announces 2019 Lineup

Blues festival Blues on the Fox will take place June 14 and 15, 2019 in Aurora, Illinois.

The lineup includes guitarist and vocalist Ana Popovic, blues legend Taj Mahal, rising blues musician Jamiah Rogers, acclaimed guitarist Ronnie Baker Brooks, renowned guitarist Coco Montoya, and steel guitar maestro Robert Randolph and the Family Band.

More at riveredgeaurora.com/events/blues-on-the-fox-2019

Share

Unsigned Only Contest Extended Deadline Ends April 30, 2019

Unsigned Only will continue to receive submissions until April 30, 2019. Unsigned Only includes a world music category and is looking for talented, unsigned artists who deserve to be heard.

Submit your entry now before the April 30th deadline for your chance at $20,000 US in cash, plus one-on-one mentoring by an elite group of record company executives. Enter your songs at http://bit.ly/2VU61Qo

Share

Bakalina Velika Releases Prvi krajec

Bakalina Velika – Prvi krajec

Prvi krajec is the new album of Slovenian act Bakalina Velika. Bakalina was initially a duo featuring singer-songwriter, farmer and poet Jani Kutin and accordionist Renata Lapanja.

The new album is a gathering of a much larger musical family. It is a musical adventure that takes the listener away from the hidden corners of ancient caves to the Tolmin peaks and features experimental textures and diverse sounds and instrumentation combined reflectively with Jani’s stories.

Share

WOMAD UK Festival Announces full Line-Up

Pioneering world music festival WOMAD UK has announced the complete list of artists set to perform at the 2019 festival. WOMAD will take place at Charlton Park in in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England, during July 25 – July 28, 2019.

The program begins of Thursday with headliner Afro-Cuban All Stars. Saturday includes Grammy-Award winning singer Macy Gray, headlining Friday along with reggae legend and five-time Grammy award-winner Ziggy Marley. Following on Saturday, Anna Calvi and Malian star Salif Keita.

Headliners on Sunday are Robert Plant’s new Americana group Saving Grace with Suzi Dian and Robert Plant, followed by 1990’s electronic music pioneers Orbital.

Other artists set to perform include Calypso Rose, 1970’s funk stars Cymande, WOMAD favorites DakaBrakha, Dhafer Youssef, Orquesta Akokán and lots more.  

More information at womad.co.uk

Share

Olah Gypsy Maestros Romano Drom to Release Give Me Wine

Romano Drom

Acclaimed Hungarian Gypsy band Romano Drom is set to release its new album, Give Me Wine, on May 31, 2019 through Riverboat Records.

Romano Drom means ‘gypsy road’ in the Romani language, and since the band’s creation in 1999, the band has traveled worldwide with its distinctive form of gypsy roots music. Led by Antal Kovács who co-founded the group with his late father, the album features recreations of ancient gypsy songs with new compositions, ranging from drinking songs and dances, to stories of love and hardship.

Singing in their Romani mother tongue, the band’s music is characterized by liveliness and vocal jousts and interplay.

Share