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,
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.
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.
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
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
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
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]
The Warsaw Village Band’s new CD Uprooting (World Village 468036) is the
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.
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:
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
Harry Remmers, a Lifetime member of the Folk Alliance, died in Montréal while
attending the conference. Although his name was not known to the general
audience listening to folk radio or sitting in the hall at a folk music event,
to many working in the folk world he is a patron and a hero. Harry was
passionately dedicated to acoustic music and gave generously to artists and
festivals, supporting the Susquehanna Music and Arts Festival, the Country Roads
Festival, and countless individual recording projects by musicians. He was a
constant figure at folk events in the DC area and a regular presence at
Kerrville, Falcon Ridge, and The Folk Alliance. Says Sherri Panzer, a good friend of Harry’s, “Harry appeared to be a quiet man
until you got him talking about one of his passions like folk music or travel
and he was a transformed man…his face would glow, his enthusiasm obvious, and
he could jabber on and on. What a pleasure it was to watch. But those occasions
were rare. What most people saw was someone who kept to himself, though that was
far from the reality. Harry worked incredibly hard and in his limited free time
quietly supported an amazing number of family and friends. He opened doors for
new performers by talking about them with fellow folkies and, helping them
produce their CDs. If he found a performer or CD he liked, he’d pass it around
to his friends (I’ve still got three of his CDs at home.) He helped some who
couldn’t afford to attend festivals to attend with him. The breadth of his
support is mind boggling. And amazingly he provided the same loving, caring
support to each one of his 11 brothers and sisters, and his parents, who loved
and will miss him very dearly. We will all miss him.”
It was a basic idea – create a cooperative organization of people who operated venues where folk music and dance were performed. As Director of the California Traditional Music Society (CTMS), Elaine Weissman saw the need for networking on behalf of her own organization on a daily basis, so Elaine did what Elaine did best – became the catalyst. Along with her husband, Clark, in 1989 she put out a call, over 125 people met in Malibu, CA, and the North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance began.But the Folk Alliance was only one of Elaine’s many hats. As the Director of the
California Traditional Music Society she oversaw a full calendar of concerts,
classes, the Summer Solstice Festival (and training for volunteers and on-site
staff), the Taste of Folk Music festival, and Music in the Schools program.
Elaine was a committed arts advocate in the city and county of Los Angeles,
fighting for recognition for folk music and dance in all sectors of the arts and
at all levels of government.
Elaine was one of the first people to bring traditional Quebecois artists into
America, and worked for many years booking various bands, as well as running her
other projects. Her love of tradition (celebrated in the new scholarship fund
for traditional artists described on page 3) meant that community-based voices
were preserved and celebrated. A major result of her advocacy resulted in the
Folk Arts position of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
being posted in the CTMS office – an unprecedented vote of support and
recognition of the high quality of work that CTMS as an organization produces.
Elaine was a proud wife, mother, and grandmother. Her partnership with her
husband, Clark, made many things possible, for themselves, their children, their
many friends in the greater folk community across the U.S. and Canada, and
Jewish community of southern California.
Committed, concerned, tireless, energetic, opinionated, inspiring, supportive,
visionary, generous of spirit are just a few words that can be used to describe
Elaine, a woman of many talents and a vast-reaching heart. Our favorite story
was told by her daughter Suzanne in Montréal at the luncheon for the newly
re-named Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards ceremony. She described her
mother going in for her cancer chemotherapy fully loaded down with Irish or Old
Time music, mailing labels, and the CTMS newsletter – and introducing all her
fellow patients to that old folkie tradition – the newsletter mailing party.
Everyone buckled down to slap mailing labels on newsletters – just one more
story in the life of the woman who no one could say “no” to.
Los Angeles, California, USA – The turntable wizardry of Spanish group Ojos de Brujo takes center stage with the U.S. release of Remixes From Bari, a blast of neo-Mediterranean bangers that brings the up-all-night sound of afterhours Barcelona to American dancefloors. Conjured up by the group’s brilliant turntablist, DJ Panko, this six-track collection offers up remixed favorites including “Cale Bari,” “Tiempo de Drumba” and a hypnotic reinvention of “Quien engaña no gana” (“Cheats never win”). Also included is a remix from the group’s resident gitano guitarist (and breakdancer) Ramón Giménez.The band will play concerts at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, on March 19, 2005, and a U.S. tour is set for June and July 2005.
Ojos De Brujo Touring Lineup: Marina “La Canillas” Abad – vocals; DJ Panko – turntables; Max Wright – MC vocals, percussion; Ramón Giménez- flamenco guitar, breakdancing; Paco Lomena – flamenco guitar; Javier Martín – bass; Sergio Ramos – drums; Xavi Turull – percussion; and featuring: Elisa Belmonte – flamenco dance; Andre Cruz – video production and direction.