All posts by World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

Sarajevo Blues

New York City, USA – Tzadik announced recently the release of Sarajevo Blues (Tzadik), from “vocal rebels
Jewlia Eisenberg and Charming Hostess
. It draws on Bosnian poetry to tell a story
of love and resistance, the nature of evil, and laughter by any means necessary.
A tour de force of vocal brains and brawn, Sarajevo Blues updates the sexy,
soulful sounds of 60s girl groups with the adventurous energy of the avant-garde
and the rhythmic propulsion of hip-hop beatbox. Self-described as a
“Nerdy-Sexy-Commie-Girlie band,” Bosnian National Radio has taken to calling
Charming Hostess, “The Sarajevo Supremes.”Composer/singer Eisenberg explains: “Charming Hostess pushes vocal boundaries
to tell complex stories in a visceral way. We use every aspect of the human body
to get sound: Voices and vocal percussion, hand claps and heart beats,
sex-breath and silence. I love writing for voices, because they provide the
entire palette of the human experience
.”

Working with text by Bosnian poet Sem Mehmedinovic, Sarajevo Blues explores day
to day life under siege, slipping between humor and horror. Some songs speak
explicitly of war, and others of the joys of long underwear, café culture, and
underground sexuality. Along the way, Blues touches on nationalism, genocide,
freedom, and the life of an artist in times of constraint.

When you describe Sarajevo Blues it sounds heavy, but the poems contain the
ups and downs of everyday life—sometimes, ironically, within the same moment.
There’s emotional intensity hand-in-hand with dark humor, erotic action playing
off politics, fear mixed with glee. It’s an exciting challenge to express a
skein of feelings
,” Eisenberg notes.

The song “Death is a Job” rises to that challenge, juxtaposing doo-wop
jauntiness and choreography with what it feels like to confront a war
photographer waiting for a worthwhile shot. “War” is actually a love song, about
a birthday celebration with a single coffee bean, surrounded by flies in a
bombed-out apartment. “Grbavica” sings of the shelling of Sarajevo from the
graveyards above the city, from the perspective of a child picking violets from
the same cemetery.

As for why she chose to set the journalistic poetry of Sarajevo Blues, Eisenberg
says: “I wanted to explore three questions: Is an understanding of historical
parallels useful for changing the present and future? Is it possible, or even
desirable, to create emotional connections to brutal events that most Americans
will never experience? Can creating connections make change?

San Francisco’s art-diva sweethearts, the ladies of Charming Hostess sing with a
pan-Diaspora sensibility, inspired by doo-wop, Pygmy counterpoint, Torah
chanting, Balkan harmony and Sufi melody. Concerts sometimes feel like intimate
revivals–people laugh, cry and witness, even faint. Perhaps it is the music’s
empathy that explains the diverse crowds, peppered with refugees from around the
world. They come for the snappy, soulful sound that celebrates survival and joy
in dark times.

The story of the Sarajevo Supremes begins in Brooklyn. Eisenberg grew up in a
Black and Jewish commune in East New York, where her large set of parents were
labor and community organizers. Her upbringing continues to inform her work
today, as she comments: “My folks exposed me to what they called ‘people’s
music’ from around the world, especially from African and Jewish sources. It was
a musical culture– I was expected to lead songs on picket lines,
demonstrations, and meetings, to teach and preach. A lot of my preoccupation
with Diaspora consciousness and multiple voices in dialogue comes from my
oddball childhood. If you don’t mind hard-core Marxist indoctrination, it’s a
really nice way to grow up
.”

Though leaving New York for San Francisco in a break from her own communist
regime, Eisenberg maintained her interest in “people’s music” by heading to
Eastern Europe to document women’s folk music in Bulgaria and Romania. “That’s
when I realized I didn’t want to be an ethnomusicologist; I wanted to be a rock
star
,” she says. Upon her return to the States, Eisenberg founded Charming
Hostess, she says, “to make lovely noise, play with text, articulate ideas,
and explore the emotional, erotic, and spiritual terrains that the voice can
traverse
.”

Sarajevo Blues is Eisenberg and Charming Hostess’s second album on Tzadik.
Her critically acclaimed first album, Trilectic, explored the
political/erotic world of philosopher Walter Benjamin with wit and sensuality.
Charming Hostess has performed live with such luminaries as David Krakauer and
Fred Frith and has graced the stage internationally from Lillith Fair to
Leipzig.

[Buy

Sarajevo Blues
now].

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R.Carlos Nakai and Jack Miller to Be Inducted to Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall Of Fame

Phoenix, Arizona, USA – In a press release, Canyon Records
announced that Native American flutist,
R.
Carlos Nakai
and Grammy winning recording engineer Jack Miller, both
associated with Canyon Records for over two decades, will be inducted into the
Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame on Sunday, April 17th in Phoenix,
Arizona.

Nakai, of Navajo-Ute heritage, is considered the leading performer of the
traditional Native American flute and has been credited with leading its
renaissance. Nakai has released over thirty albums with Canyon Records since his
first Canyon release in 1983 with his output spanning genres from traditional
music to jazz, classical, new age and world.Two of his albums,

Earth Spirit
and

Canyon Trilogy: Native American Flute Music
, have earned Gold
Records (sales in excess of 500,000 units) and six have received Grammy
nominations. He is a past recipient of the Arizona Governor’s Arts Award and
numerous Native American Music Awards.

Miller, whose Jack Miller Productions has been a subsidiary of Canyon Records
since 2001, has been recording Native American music for over a quarter century
including many albums with Nakai. Miller earned a Grammy Award in 2002 for his
work on Bless the People by

Verdell Primeaux and Johnny Mike
.

Miller, considered by many the dean of recording engineers in the Southwest, was
nineteen when his family moved to Phoenix in 1953. He began in the music
business by establishing a music section in the variety store his family owned.
He later worked for Dawson Music, a combination music store, record label and
recording studio, until landing a job at Ramsey’s Recording studio (later Audio
Recorders).

In 1958 Miller made a name for himself by recording the sound known as the “twang
heard around the world
” for the single “Rebel Rouser” by Duane Eddy. This
record went on to sell over a million copies and drew attention from major music
figures like Henry Mancini. Miller moved to Los Angeles where he recorded
Mancini, The Rolling Stones, The Limelights, The Monkees, Waylon Jennings, Wayne
Newton, and Sammy Davis, Jr. to name a few. Miller has recorded over 4,000
albums in his more than fifty-year career.

The Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame recognizes artists who grew up in
or started their careers in Arizona. Previous inductees include Wayne Newton,
Stevie Nicks, and Alice Cooper. Other inductees this year include Glen Campbell,
Waylon Jennings, Lew King, and Marty Robbins. Musical performances scheduled for
the event include R. Carlos Nakai, Glen Campbell, Jessi Colter, and The
Pistoleros.

Canyon Records, founded in Phoenix, Arizona in 1951, produces and distributes
contemporary and traditional Native American music. For more information on the
label, its artists and for sound clips, visit
www.canyonrecords.com or call (800)
268-1141.

For ticket information contact The Dodge
Theatre
at 602-379-2888 or
Ticketmaster
at 480-784-4444.

[R. Carlos Nakai photo courtesy of Hershel Freeman agency].

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Battle of the Salsa bands Round II: Bio Ritmo vs. Willie Gomez

Chicago, USA – The winner of February 26th Battle of the
Salsa Band between Hector Sliveira and Willie Gomez will face off
against Bio Ritmo on Saturday, April 16 10:30pm, at Hot house in chicago.
Tickets are: $15.

For the past twelve years, Bio Ritmo has treated audiences across
America to its own unique and inspiring vision of what a salsa band can
be. Beginning with its birth in 1991 as a rhythm driven drummer’s
ensemble, Bio Ritmo has sought to connect with its fans every second it
spends on stage and with every song it commits to record. With each of
its first three recordings Bio Ritmo introduced fans to entirely
different facets of its sound.Embracing the stripped-down and straight-up street-wise salsa sound so
rare in today’s contemporary Latin music scene, Bio Ritmo’s "old schools
with a twist" approach is converting skeptics and delighting dancers
across the globe.

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Folk Alliance 2006 Showcase Applications Now Available

Silver Spring, Maryland, USA – Official showcase applications and
Program proposal forms for the 2006 conference in Austin Texas are now
available on the Folk Alliance website. You can download each form as a
.pdf file at
http://www.folkalliance.net/conference/index.php
. Applications for
the 2006 Official showcase must be postmarked no later than May 31,
2005.

The application fee is $35 US or $55 Canadian for Folk Alliance members,
$105 US or $145 CDN for non-members. The non member rate includes a
one-year individual membership in the Folk Alliance.Applications will also be accepted via
www.sonicbids.com. Fees for
applying through sonicbids are as follows:

If you are a member of Folk Alliance and a member of Sonicbids, the cost
is $35.00 US

If you are a member of Folk Alliance and are not a member of Sonicbids,
the cost is $45.00 US and includes a 6-month Sonicbids membership.

If you are a Sonicbids member but not a Folk Alliance member, the fee is
$80.00 US and includes a one-year Folk Alliance membership.

If you are not a member of Sonicbids or the Folk Alliance, the fee is
$99.00 US and includes both a 6-month Sonicbids membership and a
one-year Folk Alliance membership.

Program Proposal forms allow the participants to tell the Foolk Alliance
what panels they would like to see presented at the conference or to
indicate interest in leading a panel. Program proposal forms must be
postmarked no later than May 31, 2005.

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World Music and Ecology

Bulgaria – On April 8, Club Ethno & Art and world music band Lot
Lorien organized a planting of trees and bushes in the national monument of
culture of Bulgaria, Aladja Monastery, near the city of Varna.

The initiative is on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of “Week of the
Forest
” in Bulgaria. There is a tradition of planting in the selected area,
started by Czech brother Shkorpil, pioneer of modern Bulgarian archeology,
culture and ecology.Organizers chose this place, because Aladja Monastery is one of the most
charismatic places on the Black Sea coast, bringing many visitors from all
around the world every year.

At this place there were several world music concerts and a world music festival
is planned in the near future.

The idea of the ecological initiative is from world music band Lot Lorien,
artists Nikolay and Marina Roussevi and computer designer Svetlan Stefanov.

Organizers believe that there is a connection between world music and ecology.
World music is tolerance between the people from all around the world and
ecology is tolerance with the nature.

Lot Lorien came from Lothlorien, which means magical forest of the elves in J.R.
Tolkien’s books.

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CalabashMusic Releases Exclusive Digital World Music

CalabashMusic.com is
breaking new ground by offering one of the first recordings
by a world music artist to only be released in digital format.

Thomas Mapfumo
-an
outspoken Zimbabwean living in exile in the United States of America- has chosen to bypass the middle
men and even the manufacturer going direct from studio to MP3 on his new album,
Rise Up. The album will be available exclusively as a digital download
via CalabashMusic.com;
making Mapfumo the first artist to release an entire world music album in
digital format only. I would add a strong musical influence filtered from the court dances of Europe,
via the post-Islamic courts of Spain (this is particularly true of the 3/4, 6/8
forms which don’t seem to me to be characteristic of Middle Eastern rhythms
except in very basic forms….

Furthermore, the April 12 release will be accompanied by a
download package of an entire catalog of his recorded music—over 130 songs—for
$99.
The “Mapfumo Files”—as this unboxable set has been dubbed—contain the previously
unreleased Rise Up, and fourteen other Mapfumo albums, including a
never-released-before recording called Afropop Worldwide Presents Thomas Mapfumo
and the Blacks Unlimited, Live in New York
. Afropop Worldwide’s Sean Barlow
says: “Our landmark live recording at SOB’s in 1991 catches Thomas and his band
when they first achieved their fully matured sound. With two mbira players right
up front, the repertoire alternates between traditionally based songs and
uptempo dance tunes with the swing of African jazz in Thomas’ unique horn
arrangements. One of Afropop’s most sublime recordings ever
.” The recording
features key band members Sebastian Mbata (drums), Charles Makokova (bass) and
Ephraim Karimaura (guitar) who have passed away since the recording was made.

Here we have possibly the most prolific voice for a generation of social
protest in Zimbabwe
,” explains CalabashMusic.com founder Brad Powell. “He has tried the path of working with
record labels and is now seeking a more direct route to fans, cutting out some
of the middle-men in the process. He has spent recent months recovering the
rights to his music and publishing. And now he has found our fair trade model
which earns a higher royalty than any other record deal he has had in his life,
in 40 years of being in music
.”

CalabashMusic.com is the premiere world music only digital download website. The
company has established a Fair Trade model in which independent artists get half
of retail sales. Calabash is fast-establishing a reputation for creating
forward-thinking strategic partnerships that bring the music industry into the
modern age.

Calabash is the provider of content for the digital retail store of national
radio program Afropop Worldwide. Afropop makes its exclusive recordings such as
the live Mapfumo concert and the recent Festival in the Desert — The Tent
Sessions
, a intimate set of live “field recordings” available as digital
downloads solely through Calabash. The Tent Sessions were also released as a
video documentary, which was broadcast exclusively by Link TV, the United State’s only
national TV broadcaster of world music videos.

Calabash plays a similar role with Link TV, who also use Calabash’s catalog of
music to power their online retail outlet. This satellite channel broadcasts up
to four hours of world music videos each day. Viewers are directed to Link’s
website where they can purchase MP3s and CDs by the artists performing on their
screens. Calabash also just launched a weekly video premier of new music videos
available as streams on the website, timed to coincide with Link’s broadcast of
a new video.

[Thomas Mapfumo photo courtesy of Calabashmusic.com]

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Warsaw Village Band Uprooting Polish Folk Music

The Warsaw Village Band’s new CD Uprooting (World Village 468036) is the
group’s
boldest venture yet. The ensemble invited representatives of traditional Polish
folklore to join them in the recording studio they also forged contacts with two
dub-sound and scratch specialists. In view of this unusual blend of elements and
epochs, the Warsaw Village Band’s motto for Uprooting, comes from Reggae hero
Burning Spear, “Remember the past, but keep it livin’ in the future.” Warsaw Village Band is known for their trance-like rhythms of two drums and the
so-called “white voices” – near-screams, primeval, clear and wild, combined with
the szuka (knee-violin), cello, dulcimer, violin and hurdy-gurdy. The Warsaw
Village Band experiments with its roots, creating an entirely new,
suspense-charged relationship between the traditional and the modern. Their
great love for their national musical heritage and the will to preserve the old
musical traditions are the chief ingredients for their success.

For the Warsaw
Village Band preservation does not mean restoration but – as in the case of “The Pogues” and “Les Negresses Vertes” – reanimation, the conveyance of the songs’
spirit into the present. So Polka gets a shot of Techno. The result is a sound
young people identify with, a sound that has mesmerized audiences all the way
from the United States of America to Japan.

[Buy

Uprooting
now].

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Malagasy Artist Wins World Music Award at International Songwriting Competition

Nashville, Tennessee, USA – The International Songwriting Competition (ISC)
announced the winners for its 2004 annual competition.

Modeste
, an artist from
Madagascar, now based in London
(England), won in the world music category. ISC received over 11,000 entries from
77 countries in its third year. ISC prizes include more than $100,000 (USD) in
cash and merchandise and are shared by 50 winners in 16 categories.

List of winners in the world music and other roots categories:

World Music

First Place
Agapi Mou by
Modeste
London, England

Second Place
Samulai by
Opetaia Foai
Auckland, New Zealand

Third Place
Waliyu by
Seydina Insa Wad
Dakar, Senegal


AAA/Roots/Americana

First Place
Coffee With Jesus by
Dave Berg
Nashville, TN, USA

Second Place

On My Mind by
Ben Kyle
Robbinsdale, MN, USA

Third Place
Sharecroppin’ Man
Grey De Lisle by
Glendale, CA, USA


Blues

First Place
The Honey I Want by
Suzie Vinnick/David Leask/Liz Tansey
Toronto, ON, Canada

Second Place

Right Side Of The Kingdom by
Peter Stein
Bellevue Hill, NSW, Australia

Third Place
Stuck With Me by
Mike Andersen
Hojbjerg, Denmark

For the first time ever in any major songwriting competition, a teen is the
winner of the overall Grand Prize. The winner is newcomer 18-yr. old Gin Wigmore
(Auckland, New Zealand) for her song “Hallelujah,” which was entered into the
Teen category. Her prizes include $10,000 US cash and over $30,000 US in
merchandise and services.

For a complete list of winners, please go to
http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/winners.htm

Judges for the 2004 competition included many of the music industry’s top
executives and recording artists:

Monte Lipman (President, Universal Records); Sean “P. Diddy” Combs; Aaron Lewis
(Staind); John Ondrasik (Five For Fighting); Bo Diddley; Clint Black; David
Hidalgo (Los Lobos); Branford Marsalis; Darryl McDaniels (Run D.M.C.); Peter
Furler (Newsboys); Taj Mahal; Sully Erna (Godsmack); Macy Gray; Stacey Earle;
Scott Kirkland (The Crystal Method); Michael Gudinski (Chairman, Mushroom Group
of Companies); Alan Meltzer (CEO, Wind-Up Records); Tara Griggs-Magee (Executive
VP Gospel/Urban Music, Sony Records); Michael McDonald (President, ATO Records);
Tracy Gershon (Sr. Dir A&R/Artist Dev, Sony Records Nashville); Chris Parr (VP
of Music Programming & Talent Relations, CMT); Peter Asher (Co-President,
Sanctuary Artist Management); Kim Stephens (VP A&R, Lava Records); Barbara Sedun
(VP Creative, EMI Music Publishing Canada) and Leib Ostrow (CEO, Music For
Little People).

ISC is now accepting entries for 2005. Entry forms are available at
www.songwritingcompetition.com.

ISC is sponsored by: Xytar Digital Systems, Epiphone Guitars, Berklee
College of Music, Fishman Transducers, Disc Makers, Alphabet Arm Design, L.R.
Baggs, Sam Ash Music Stores, Planetary Group, Mixdown Media Network, Hear
Technologies, Sibelius, Cakewalk, Performer.com, FYE, Onlinegigs.com, and
Sonicbids.

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Adventure Music America, a New Acoustic Music Imprint from World Music Label Adventure Music

Psychograss Now – Hear

Adventure Music announced recently the launch of a new imprint emphasizing the full spectrum of acoustic music. the first project from Adventure Music America will be Psychograss’ Now Hear This.

Adventure Music, the three year old independent record label that is home to a host of acclaimed Brazilian and South American artists, with fourteen releases to date from such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ricardo Silveira, Moacir Santos, Tom Lellis, Nelson Angelo, Claudia Villela, Ricardo Peixoto, Gui Mallon, Weber Iago and Maria Marquez, as well as the upcoming release of the 2004 Latin Grammy
Award winning recording of Symphonic Jobim, has announced the launch of Adventure Music America, a new imprint that will focus on a wide expanse of acoustic music, from Americana to folk to bluegrass to jazz. Adventure Music America will be helmed by the same three principals who head Adventure Music: Richard Zirinsky, Robert Corroon and Mike Marshall, the superb mandolin and string player whose musical career has spanned over two decades.

The label will launch with the May 10 release of Now Hear This the first recording in seven years from Marshall’s acoustic supergroup, Psychograss, which also features fiddler Darol Anger, Todd Phillips (bass), Tony Trischka (banjo), and David Grier (guitar.)

We decided to establish Adventure Music America for several reasons,” explained Zirinsky. “We wanted to expose audiences to the great music that has come our way, but we didn’t want to confuse the Brazilian music audience, who has showered the Adventure Music roster with incredible commercial and critical acclaim, including our first Grammy nomination for Ricardo Silveira’s Noite Clara this past year. Bob Corroon is himself a mandolin player and acoustic music fanatic, and of course, Mike has been so deeply rooted in the American string music movement for so long, that we have access to not only the key figures in acoustic music like Mike and Darol Anger, but to some amazing new young talent.”

Mike Marshall adds, “I have many friends who come from the American roots styles of music who have music they’d like to record, but no particular home for it at this time. The music industry as we have known it is undergoing an amazing restructuring, which has created an opportunity for Adventure Music America to assist in the birth of some really incredible projects.”

Next among those projects will be an ambitious collaboration between Marshall and Darol Anger, which features the Duo multi-tracking dozens of instruments performing, in Marshall’s words, “a kind of folk-orchestral project.” The release of Duo will coincide with Marshall and Anger’s participation in the Windham Hill Winter Solstice Tour. “In some ways, our new CD will reference a recording we did 20 years ago entitled Chiaroscuro. But the new project is made current by the many things we’ve learned about composition and recording technology, and enhanced by the cornucopia of styles of music from around the globe that we’ve been studying since then,” says Marshall.

Over the course of a career that spans over two decades, Mike Marshall – one of the world’s most accomplished and versatile musicians – has proved capable of switching effortlessly between jazz, bluegrass, classical, and Latin genres. From his career beginnings in the late 70’s and into the early 80’s as a member of the David Grisman Quintet, Mike has gone on to perform and record with some of the top acoustic string instrumentalists in the world, including jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli, fiddle virtuoso Mark O’Connor, five-string banjo phenom Bela Fleck, bassist and MacArthur Fellowship winner Edgar Meyer, and classical violinist Joshua Bell. As a founding member (with Darol Anger) of the
band Montreaux, as well as of the classical ensemble The Modern Mandolin Quartet, Mike was one of the signature artists on Windham Hill Records.

His ongoing passion for Brazilian music resulted in two releases, Serenata (2003) and Mike Marshall & Choro Famoso (2004 – a tribute to his love for the choro style in particular) on Adventure Music, which he co-founded in 2003.

He has also continued to push the boundaries of acoustic instrumental music with collaborative releases on the Sony Classical label, including “A Short Trip Home” and “Uncommon Ritual,” the latter of which spent over three months on Billboard’s classical music chart. Another collaborative effort, with fellow
mandolinist, Nickel Creek’s Chris Thile, was 2003’s Into the Cauldron on Sugar Hill Records.

Adventure Music America is a natural progression for us, an extension of what we’ve been doing with our Brazilian and South American work,” concludes Marshall. “From samba and choro, to folk and bluegrass, a singular sound is emerging that connects the music of string band musicians from around the Americas. We’re harnessing the beauty of that sound and giving it to the world.”

Adventure Music America will operate out of the Adventure Music offices in New York City and Oakland, California, and will be exclusively distributed in the U.S. by the Burnside Distribution Corporation.

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First International Imzad Symposium

Tamanrasset, Algeria – The First International Imzad Symposium
organized by the “Save the Imzad Association” with the support of UNESCO, aims
at promoting awareness of this instrument, its role in Tuareg culture and in
today’s world, as a referent for women and a tool against poverty.

Speakers from 12 countries will be present and, in particular, musicians from
Mali and Niger as well as Algeria, countries where the Imzad is still in use.
UNESCO has promoted an Imzad training program for 40 girls who will receive
their diplomas at the seminar. This activity is part of the interdisciplinary
project for the fight against poverty (Millennium goal) “the Sahara of cultures
and peoples” which aims to promote sustainable development and poverty reduction
based on preservation and revitalization of the tangible and intangible cultural
heritage.

The 2003 Convention on the preservation of the intangible cultural heritage
will be presented during the Seminar: Algeria is the first Member State to
adhere to this instrument.

[Photo Joueuse d’imzad, Tamanrasset © L. Veirier / UNESCO].

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