All posts by World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

New Boris Kovac Release: World After History

Boris Kovac – World After History

Berlin, Germany – With his new band La Campanella, Boris Kovac, composer, instrumentalist and multimedia artist from the Vojvodina part of Yugoslavia, presents the first spin-off from his critically acclaimed La Danza Apocalypsa Balcanica project. According to Piranha Records, World After History – A Pannonian-Mediterranean Round-Trip (PIR-CD1997), a natural hybrid of Pannonian and Mediterranean elements, opens up wide spaces of sentiment, indulging in nostalgia, joy, tristesa, romantic enthusiasm and melancholy alike: “I can’t change or stop history – but I can make it pause for a moment, the time it takes to play the record.”

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Seven Springs Mountain Resort Announces Summer Concert Series

Champion, Pennsylvania, USA (PRNewswire) – Seven Springs Mountain Resort has a full slate of summer concerts for 2005. The resort has been developing as a concert venue over the past four years, and built Grey Rocks Amphitheatre last year. This season brings improvements to the amphitheatre and a lineup of shows that appeal to a variety of people.

The Rock the Mountain Summer Concert Series is going to be great this year,” comments Melissa Cullin, special events director. “The list of performers fit into so many genres of music. People will have a chance to enjoy classic rock, blues, contemporary rock, bluegrass and more. There really is a show for most musical tastes,” Cullin adds.Grey Rocks Amphitheatre has grown and developed into a premier concert venue. The state-of-the-art stage and canopy offers the perfect facility for the performers, and additional food and beverage facilities, improved pedestrian access-ways and other changes will enhance the guests’ experience. “A beautiful mountain setting and the convenience of the hotel, restaurants and other resort activities in the Main Lodge are what really makes the concert experience at Seven Springs truly unique,” says Ms. Cullin.

Seven Springs will host the following concerts this year. Shows will likely be added to the calendar as summer approaches.

June 18 — Indigo Girls: Tickets on sale May 2, showtime 8 PM, Premium Seats $45, Lawn tickets $20.

July 14 — The Wallflowers: Tickets on sale May 9, showtime 8 PM, Premium Seats $28, Lawn tickets $18.

August 4 — Creedence Clearwater Revisited: Tickets on sale May 16, showtime 8 PM, Premium Seats $28, Lawn tickets $18.

August 11-14 — Grey Rocks Bluegrass Festival featuring Ricky Skaggs and Marty Stuart: Tickets on sale now, General Admission – single- and multiple- day tickets available – visit www.7springs.com for details.

August 20 — Gordon Lightfoot: Tickets on sale May 18, showtime 8 PM, Premium Seats $45, Lawn tickets $20.

August 26 — Melissa Manchester: Tickets on sale June 6, showtime 8 PM, Premium Seats $25, Lawn tickets $15.

September 3 — BB King Blues Festival: Tickets on sale June 13, showtime 7 PM, Premium Seats $55, Lawn tickets $20.

The Rock the Mountain Summer Concert Series is presented by Sprint, Rolling Rock, Subaru and WTAE TV. Tickets may be purchased on-line at
www.7springs.com or by calling 866-703-R.O.C.K. (7625) Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Seven Springs Mountain Resort is Pennsylvania’s largest ski and year-round resort. Located in Champion, the resort is easily accessible from either exit 91 or 110 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

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World Music Fundraiser for the Nelson Mandela Foundation

Festival 46664 poster 46664 was Nelson Mandela's prison number
Festival 46664 poster 46664 was Nelson Mandela’s prison number
Madrid, Spain – Last night, the first part of a three-day festival, was held in Madrid (Spain) to raise funds to fight AIDS in Africa. Produced by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the event is called festival 46664.

Raíces (Spanish Roots Night), the first part of the festival, was held on April 29. It featured top Flamenco acts such as José Mercé, La Tana, El Cigala, Pepe Habichuela, Pasión Vega, and Niña Pastori. Scheduled for today is Noche Pop (Spanish Pop night), and Sunday May 1st’s concert will be dedicated to soloists, including singer songwriters, pop singers and world music acts such as Galician piper Carlos Núñez and mestizo music sensation Carmen París.

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Nitta Oyako, Father & Son Tsugaru Shamisen Duo, Tours the US

New York City , USA – Nitta Oyako will be performing at Joe’s Pub in Public Theater
in New York City on May 3, 2005. The group consists of father, Hiorshi, and
son, Masahiro, two shamisen (a Japanese banjo-like lute) masters. Together and separately, Nitta Oyako continue to be in
great demand, performing extensively throughout Japan and other parts of
Asia.

Recently signed to Sony Japan, The Nitta Oyako performing team was
formed in 2000 after Masahiro won the grand prize of the National Tsugaru
Shamisen Competition. The repertoire of Nitta Oyako comprises a range from
traditional Japanese folk tunes (Min-yoh), original tunes based on
tradition, and even a few pop music and jazz.Joe’s Pub is located at 425 Lafayette Street, between East 4th and Astor Place, East Village. Tickets available at The Public Theater box office or through Telecharge:
www.telecharge.com or 212.239.6200.

Joe’s Pub is part of The Joseph Papp Public Theater, located at 425
Lafayette Street between East 4th and Astor Place in New York’s East
Village. There is a parking garage at 403 Lafayette Street, just south of
The Public Theater. Call 212.254.1263 for further information. There is very
limited street parking available after 6 pm.

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InFuse, the Best in Canadian Indian-Jazz Fusion

Toronto, Canada – In celebration of South Asian Heritage Month,
Small World presents four exciting
evenings showcasing the best in Canadian Indian-Jazz Fusion and Dub in one of
the city’s finest music venues. The series brings together some of Canada’s most
renowned Indo-jazz players with some of Toronto’s key South Asian hip-hop
performers. It features Juno-nominees [the top Canadian musical award], spoken
word artists, extraordinary virtuosos and soulful singers. A state-of-the-art
look at South Asian fusion in Canada.All shows will begin at 9:00 pm. Concerts will be held at
Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. West, (west of
Dufferin). Tickets are $15 per show, or $45 for series pass. Dinner Reservations
/ Info: 416-588-0307.

Sunday May 1st, Tasa

Tasa, led by tabla player and composer Ravi Naimpally, combines the talents of
some of Toronto’s finest world music performers to merge traditions and blur
musical boundaries. Tasa features singer Tanbeer Alam, inventive guitarist John
Gzowski, bansuri and saxophone player Ernie Tollar, the eclectic drumming of
Alan Hetherington, and bassist Chris Gartner. The music of Tasa ranges from the
upbeat and funky to the sublime. Based on the ancient Raga and Tala system from
India, it diverges into several other genres of world music including Brazilian,
Arabic, and jazz.

This special concert celebrates the release of Urban Turban, Tasa’s new
CD, showcasing some new sounds and including special guests Kevin Breit on
guitar, Qawwali singer Shahid Ali Khan and frequent collaborator Dhruba Ghosh on
sarangi. With a range of influences, including the Bollywood sound of composer
A.R. Raman, the new record is poised to carry on the momentum Tasa established
with last year’s successful European tour.

Thursday May 12th, LAL, Jugular and guests

LAL is a partnership between singer/songwriter Rosina Kazi and producer Nicholas
Murray. Over the past 4 years LAL has been breaking new ground with their unique
style of western electronic music interwoven with pieces of world music. The
lyrics are in English and Bengali and the voice speaks to the sensuality and
seduction that only music can do to the soul.

Toronto’s Nikhil ‘Jugular’ Tumne unites the pulse of a beatboxer with the
musical patterns of any song he can dissect – from jazz to jungle, from
Bollywood to classical South Asian music. His music is an expression of the
cultural diversity he experienced growing up in a multi-cultural society.

Being South Asian, but growing up in Canada played a great role in these
artists’ personal and musical development. “Being South Asian and living here
has given me my spiritual learnings
,” says Tumne. “It’s all about the
personal experience. It’s not about whether you are South Asian or whether you
are Canadian – it’s about how you are a South Asian-Canadia
n.”

Thursday May 19th, Autorickshaw with George Koller & Lotus

Autorickshaw is a world music ensemble that embodies the essence of new forms of
expression that are emerging on the Canadian music landscape. Their integration
of South Asian tradition with jazz and other popular music forms represents an
innovative and refreshing new standard. Autorickshaw thrives on the diverse
musical backgrounds of its members – vocalist and pianist Suba Sankaran, tabla
player Ed Hanley, bassist Rich Brown, and percussionist Debashis Sinha. The
ensemble’s repertoire includes funky, contemporary arrangements of south Indian
classical compositions, Bollywood tinged jazz standards, and fiery Indo-jazz
originals. Nominated for a world music Juno for their recent CD Four Higher,
the band are poised for a major tour of Canadian jazz festivals this summer.

George Koller & Hajile Kalaike (aka Lotus) combine one of Canada’s most
respected jazz performers with a South Asian spoken word artist. Bassist George
Koller has plaed with a veritable ‘who’s who’ of international jazz stars. He
has also dedicated much of his performing career to exploring Indian music and
has become an adept performer on dilruba, the bowed string instrument known for
its beautiful, haunting sound. Poet Lotus’ spoken word art is a perfect foil for
the the evening’s sounds.

Thursday May 26th, Galitcha with Tantra

Tantra is an exciting new musical trio inspired by Indian classical music and
jazz. From melodious ballads to fast compositions of remarkable virtuosity and
rhythmic exchanges, the musicians explore and improvise within an intriguing and
continuously changing canvas. Drawing from Hindustani and Karnatic traditions
textured with jazz, the guitar and sarod compliment and interact with each other
melodically and harmonically while the tabla provides the dynamic rhythmic
backbone. The result is a compelling experience of east meets west.

Based in Montreal and Toronto, Tantra is Aditya Verma on sarod, Vineet Vyas on
tabla and Joy Anandasivam on guitars. Each artist has been recognized nationally
and internationally through performances worldwide. Their debut performance at
the 2002 Atlantic Jazz Festival in Halifax was broadcast nationwide on CBC
Radio.

Ottawa’s Galitcha has just returned from a ‘once in a lifetime
experience’ – playing at the annual Festival au Désert, outside of Timbuktu,
Mali. They were invited there by festival organizers, who were captivated by a
sound featuring a strong North Indian footprint overlaid with influences from
western folk and jazz and instrumentation from around the world.

Since 1996 Kuljit Sodhi, Galitcha’s charismatic lead singer, composer and
percussionist has been building an ensemble which takes audiences on a rewarding
musical journey. The band features vocalists Kuljit Sodhi also on dolki and
Chris MacLean also on guitar, harmonium, dulcimer and gopichand; Linsey Wellman
on saxophone, flute and oboe; Shawn Mativetsky on tabla, dhol and percussion;
and Jeremy Moyer on Chinese fiddles. Together they create a culturally diverse,
uniquely Canadian sound.

[Photos: 1 – Tasa, courtesy of Marilyn Gilbert Artist Management, 2 –
Galitcha].

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MerleFest 2005 Starts Thursday, April 28

Wilkesboro, North Carolina, USA – Wilkes Community College will
present MerleFest 2005, the 18th annual festival in celebration of the music
of the late Merle Watson and his father Doc Watson, on its campus in
Wilkesboro, NC on April 28 – May 1, 2005. In addition to those on the Fresh
Faces collection, just a few of the artists joining Doc Watson and Merle’s
son Richard Watson for MerleFest 2005 will include Balfa Toujours; BR549,
Sam Bush; The Chieftains; John Cowan Band; Rodney Crowell; Donna the
Buffalo; the Duhks, Bela Fleck Acoustic Trio featuring Casey Driessen &
Bryan Sutton; Corey Harris; King Wilkie, Alison Krauss & Union Station
featuring Jerry Douglas, Robert Lockwood, Jr.; Loretta Lynn; Del McCoury
Band; Buddy Miller; Allison Moorer, Railroad Earth; Tony Rice; Earl Scruggs;
and Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder. A reunion of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass
Boys will feature Scruggs, Richard Greene, Bobby Hicks, host Peter Rowan,
and others. The festival will also present two sets of The Chieftains with
guests from the Down the Old Plank Road sessions including Scruggs, Douglas,
Fleck, McCoury, and more.General admission tickets will be available at the gate, starting at 2:30 PM
on Thursday and 8:00 AM Friday through Sunday. Tickets for all four days are
$130, while Friday through Sunday wristbands cost $115. Individual day rates
are $35 for Thursday, $45 Friday, $50 Saturday, and $40 on Sunday. Overall
festival participation, including artists, volunteers, children admitted
free, and outreach, totaled 81,592 for MerleFest 2004. Using guidelines
recommended by the College of Business at Appalachian State University,
MerleFest 2004 had an estimated total regional impact of $13,749,915.

MerleFest will once again share its performers with some 12,000 members of
the local community through the Outreach program. Sponsored by Sprint,
Outreach will facilitate 30 performances by MerleFest artists on April 28-29
at all Wilkes County Schools. Some of the artists participating include Doc
& Richard Watson, Tim O’Brien, Donna the Buffalo, Railroad Earth, John Cowan
Band, Balfa Toujours, the Waybacks, and Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble.
More than 3000 Wilkes County school students will also attend MerleFest as
part of organized school groups admitted without charge each year on Friday.

[Photo: Bela Fleck].

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Smithsonian Global Sound Is Launched

Washington, District of Columbia, USA – The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage has announced the launch of its highly anticipated web site, Smithsonian Global Sound.

The Web site offers digital downloads of music and sound from around the world. The site has a wealth of educational content and downloads are accompanied by extensive liner notes. “Our goal is to encourage local musicians and traditions around
the planet through international recognition, the payment of royalties, and support for regional archives
.”
The first track sold was “Tarab” by Famau, Harambee Music Club from the album Music of the Waswahili of Lamu, Kenya, Vol. 3: Secular Music–an eight
and a half minute track of drum, harmonium, and bongo. “Some lucky person is walking around right now jamming to that track on their iPod while reading
the liner notes and benefiting the musicians of Lamu
.”

Subscriptions are available for educational institutions.

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Choro Ensemble Album Released in USA

New York City, USA – Circular Moves has released the new
album by Choro Ensemble, Choro Ensemble (CIM 7017). The
instrumental genre of Brazilian music created in the 19th century served
as inspiration and guiding light to composers like Villa-Lobos and Tom
Jobim. Choro, which means “cry”, strongly combines elements of
classical, popular and African music in an elegant and virtuosistic way.
Poetic alliteration drives several tunes and anyone can identify follow
the soccer player dribbling an adversary in A Ginga do Mane. Choro was
born in Rio de Janeiro, through a mixing of polka, waltz, mazurka and
African rhythms. Former slaves and mestizos put together an original
musical style with instruments like flute, clarinet, guitar, light
percussion and cavaquinho, a Portuguese soprano guitar that resembles
the ukelele.This rich tradition was brought to New York City by Choro Ensemble. Sao
Paulo native and choro scholar Pedro Ramos, a cavaquinho player, started
looking for virtuoso instrumentalists to play the music he could not
live without right after moving here at the end of 1999. “I wanted a
traditional format -guitar, wind, cavaquinho and pandeiro-, playing in a
contemporary fashion, with a lot of improvisation and original
compositions and arrangements
.”

Besides fellow Brazilians Carlos Almeida, Gustavo Dantas and Ze
Mauricio, he found Anat Cohen, an accomplished horn player from Israel
who was last seen at Carnegie Hall in January doing a solo act with the
NY Pops and the Diva Jazz Orchesta on a tribute to Benny Goodman. “On
my first encounter with choro, I found it to be very challenging, since
it demands virtuosic abilities on the instrument. I was also glad to
find a genre where clarinet fit in
.”

I started playing with Pedro in 2000. In January 2001 I went to
Brazil and after meeting most of the choro community in Rio, I fell in
love with the warmth of the people, their kind of jam sessions, the
enthusiasm of the new generation for this music. I came back to New York
and said ‘that’s it, time to get serious about it’
“. And get serious
they did. Choro Ensemble has been a guest of Winton Marsalis and The
Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in the Apollo Theater and acclaimed by
Time Out magazine as one of the five best weekly gigs in New York.
Paquito D’Rivera said the presentation of the group during his birthday
party was “the best present I ever got“.

The definitive refinement of choro came through Pixinguinha, a
classically trained flute and saxophone player and composer. Further
development came through mandolinist Jacob do Bandolin, born in Rio in
1918 to a Russian Jewish mother.

The playful, soulful symmetry of choro, the “crying” sound of the
clarinet reminded Anat of the klezmer songs she grew up listening to. “When
I play, I pay respect to the tradition and the great masters of choro,
but I also use a lot of improvisation and bring elements from other
kinds of music I found in my path: traditional swing, modern jazz,
klezmer, Cuban and Venezuelan
.”

The mix of cultures that defines the New York flavor is echoed in
Choro Ensemble’s sound. Living in the city for several years, all band
members have worked with other styles. Gustavo Dantas, who also spent 10
years in Europe, applied his classical training to funk, fusion, reggae,
jazz and African styles. Ze Mauricio showed his percussion skills in a
Yo-Yo Ma album. Pedro was trained as a jazz guitarist at Los Angeles’
Musicians Institute of Technology and is finishing a Master’s Degree in
Composition at the City University of New York. The anchor of Brazilian
music tradition is Carlos Almeida, who as a teenager in the 1970s played
with the old choro masters in the Sunday jam sessions in the suburbs of
Rio de Janeiro. This experience enabled him to proceed on a career
playing with samba legends, such as Beth Carvalho and Alceu Maia. Carlos
founded the decade-old Saveiro, now the most famous Brazilian band in
the United States, with presentations at Lincoln Center and Central
Park’s Summer Stage on the resume. Finding Choro Ensemble “was a
revival, feelings that were dormant came back
“, he says.

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Winners of Spanish Music Awards

Paco de Lucia - Cositas Buenas
Paco de Lucia – Cositas Buenas

Madrid, Spain – The Academia de las Artes y las Ciencias de la Música (Music Arts and Sciences Academy) celebrated last night, April 21, the awards ceremony of the IX Premios de la Música (Music Awards). The event was held at the Palacio Municipal de Congresos (Madrid Convention Center). The awards are given to the best composers and musicians in Spain. Flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía won several of the awards.

List of Winners:

1.- Best New Songwriter: Bebe – Malo

2.- Best New Artist: Bebe – Pafuera telarañas

3.- Best Song: Cositas buenas (Paco de Lucía)

4.- Best Album:
Cositas Buenas (Paco de Lucía)

5.- Best Pop Album: Pafuera telerañas (Bebe)

6.- Best Rock Album: 60 mp3 (Miguel Ríos)

7.- Best Alternative Rock Album : Recargando (Def con Dos)

8.- Best Hip-Hop Album: Crónicas del barrio (Haze)

9.- Best Electronic Music Song : Miro la vida pasar (Fangoria)

10.- Best Flamenco Album: Cositas buenas (Paco de Lucía)

11.- Best Spanish Song Album: Acoplados (Martirio y Chano Domínguez)

12.- Best Jazz Album: Bebo De Cuba (Bebo Valdés)

13.- Best New Music (Contemporary Instrumental) Album: Guitarras en Shangai (José Luis Encinas)

14.- Best Traditional Music Album: Carlos Núñez y amigos (Carlos Nuñez)

15.- Best Classical Music Composer: Cristóbal Halffter (Don Quijote)

16.- Best Classical Music Performer: Coro Nacional de España [Spanish National Choir], Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid [Madrid symphony Orchestra]/ Conductor: Pedro Halffter Caro ‘Don Quijote’

17.- Best Movie Soundtrack Composer: Mar adentro
(Alejandro Amenábar)

18.- Best Song in Catalan: El pare (Dyango) / Songwriters: Dyango y Joan Isaac

19.- Best Song in Basque: Harrobiaz Harro (Kepa Junkera) / Composers: Kepa Junkera y Xabier Amuriza

20.- Best Song in Galician: Hai un paraíso (Luar Na Lubre)

21.- Best Song in Valencian (withdrawn)

22.- Best Song in Asturian: Agora sal a bailar (Chus Pedro) / Songwriters: Chus Pedro Suárez y Gabino Antuña

23.- Best Classical Music Work: Homenatge a Lorca para saxofón alto y piano / Joan Albert Amargós

24.- Best Artistic Producer: Fernando Trueba (Bebo de Cuba)

25.- Best Sound Engineer: Javier Limón (Cositas buenas)

26.- Best Arranger: Joan Albert Amargós (Puedo escribir los versos… (Poema XX) / Joan Manuel Serrat)

27.- Best Music Video: Joan Vallverdú (Malo / Bebe)

28.- Best Radio Show: La Gramola (M80 Radio)

29.- Best TV Music show: Los conciertos de La 2 (La 2)

The winners of previous editions are listed here:
www.academiadelamusica.com
.

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Flamenco Legend El Lebrijano and Moroccan Violinist Faiçal Release Puertas Abiertas

Madrid, Spain – Flamenco singer Juan Peña El Lebrijano and
Moroccan violinist Faiçal Kourrich presented yesterday their new album at the
Manuel de Falla Hall inside the Madrid palace that serves as main office for the
Sociedad General de Autores (SGAE). Ter two musicians were accompanied by
guitarist Pedro María Peña, El Lebrijano’s nephew, and musical director of
the project. El Lebrijano is known for his frequent collaborations with Arabic and North
African musicians. The new album, Puertas Abiertas (Open Doors), includes
a song by Iraki songwriter Kazem Al Saher.

The album comes with a music video of the song “Granate,” which features
backing vocals by Moroccan singers Redouane Kourrich, Leyla el Oumri and Iman
Kandoussi.

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