Category Archives: Artist Profiles

Artist Profiles: Carmelo Torres

Carmelo Torres

Accordion player and composer, Carmelo Torres is considered one of the leading Colombian cumbia performers. He is the living legacy of Cumbia Sabanera, a rural accordion style of cumbia from San Jacinto, in the Caribbean region of Colombia, influenced by traditional flutes.

He learned to play vallenato first, by himself, before he met the ‘King of Cumbia’, Andrés Landero who became his teacher at an early age. Carmelo started to play cumbias.

Since Landero passed away in 2000, Carmelo’s main focus has been to carry on his teacher’s legacy, keeping the cumbia genre alive and teaching the youngest.

Carmelo is now known as The Accordion Bible. In 2019, Carmelo Torres’ music still has the fragrance of the countryside. The sabana is present when he sings about labor works, nature, life and love. His music can be danced in nightclubs, making it part of new generations, looking backwards and towards the future in the same song.

With his group, he has performed widely at home in Colombia at Caribbean festivals winning all the contests and at the prestigious Festival Colombia al Parque in Bogotá in 2013. Torres has also travelled extensively with his conjunto as far as Europe, Australia, South Korea, Morroco and throughout Latin America, in México, Panamá, Perú, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil.

Partial Discography:

Vivo parrandeando (2013)
Me Recodarán (2018)

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Mamoutou Dembélé, Emde

Mamoutou Dembélé, Emde

Mamoutou Dembélé, artistically known as known as Emde, was born into a family of musicians and storytellers in Sikasso, Mali. Since jelis or griots are the safekeepers of culture and tradition communicated from one generation to the next, he grew up in an atmosphere of music, storytelling and inherited dance. He was also called upon to transfer this legacy to others, something he has accomplished since childhood.

A self-instructed musician, he started playing at age 6. Eventually, he also constructed his own musical instruments. He created the bahinu (bahouinou, a man’s strings) that has 15 strings and resembles a cross between a kora and a kamele ngoni.

Emde is a descendant of the Bwa ethnic group, spanning Mali and Burkina Faso. He uses the Bwa and Bambara languages. His style combines traditional Bwa music, Mandinka blues, jazz, funk and reggae.

Emde is also a skilled percussionist. He plays a wide range of instruments, including the tamani, jembe, dunduns, calabash, karinyan, filen and yabara.

Currently, Emde lives in Montreal, Canada.

Emde won the prestigious Syli d’Or award in 2019.

Discography:

the track “Taro Maro” in Lost In Mali (Riverboat Records, 2015)

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Artist Profiles: Naike Ponce

Naike Ponce

Singer and dancer Naike Ponce was born in Sanlucar de Barrameda (Cadiz, Spain) and grew up in various cities in southern Spain: Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Sevilla and Utrera. She was discovered by the legendary cantaora ‘La Sallago’, who instilled in her the wisdom of singing from the gut and the heart. Naike has a powerful and versatile voice.

Se received a scholarship from the prestigious ‘Cristina Hereen’ flamenco school, as well as the first prize in the ‘Primer concurso Cantiñas de Cádiz’, the ‘Upcoming Artist Award’ of the The Gran Vía Awards and the first prize in the ‘Concurso por saetas de Torres Macarena’ in Seville.

Throughout her career, she has worked in the best flamenco clubs and festivals in Andalusia. Later, she moved to Madrid. In the Spanish capital, Naike was part of great shows like the musical ‘Cómplices’ and collaborated with top artists such as Jorge Pardo, Estrella Morente, Manolo Sanlúcar, Manolo Soler, Caramelo, Dany Noel, Yelsy Heredia, Isrrael Varela, Piranha, Maria Vargas, Chano Lobato, Pansequito, Rancapino, Matilde Corral, Paco Taranto, and Naranjito de Triana.

In 2019 she toured several times with guitarist Juan José Suárez ‘Paquete.

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Artist Profiles: Juan José Suárez ‘Paquete’

Juan José Suárez ‘Paquete’

Juan José Suárez ‘Paquete’, is an acclaimed guitarist and a successful record producer. Together with Enrique Heredia ‘El Negri’, he was part of the successful and unforgettable band of new flamenco La Barbería del Sur.

‘Paquete’ is a member of one of the great flamenco family lineages, Los Porrina de Badajoz. He’s a multi-talented artist who appeared as an actor in the movie ‘Tierra’ by Julio Meden. Paquete produced two Grammy-winning albums, Tomatito’s ‘Agua Dulce’ de Tomatito and ‘Picasso en mis ojos’ with Diego ‘El Cigala’.

Throughout his career, he has performed with Enrique, Kiki and Estrella Morente; La Tana, Piraña, El Bandolero, Yelsy Heredia, Caramelo, Diego Carrasco, Montse Cortés, Alain Pérez, José Soto ‘El
Sorderita’, and mamny others.

‘Mr. Pakett’ was his great solo project, an album that incorporated a mix of tradiitonal flamenco guitar along with jazz explorations.

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Artist Profiles: Antonia Jiménez

Antonia Jiménez – Photo by Luca Fiaccavento

Guitarist Antonia Jiménez was born in the Port of Santa María (Cádiz). She started learning flamenco guitar with Antonio Villar at a young age. She accompanied Villar singing and dancing at Andalusian tablaos (flamenco nightclubs) and flamenco clubs. Later she moved to Madrid, where she played at the most relevant tablaos and the leading venues in the Spanish capital, accompanying various artists.

Antonia Jiménez has toured the globe accompanying high profile performers such as singers Carmen Linares, Montse Cortés and Juan Pinilla and dancers like Merche Esmeralda, Marco Flores, Olga Pericet, Rocío Molina, Manuel Liñán, and Belén Maya.

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Artist Profiles: Antonio Lizana

Antonio Lizana – Photo by Ana Solinis

Saxophonist, singer, arranger and composer Antonio Lizana was born in San Fernando, (Cádiz, Spain) in 1983.

He began sax studies in his native Cádiz and later continued at Musikene in northern Spain.

Antonio Lizana participated in Miguel Blanco’s Afrodisian Orchestra on the Satierismos album (2011). He also collaborated with Arturo O’Farrill’s Big Band.

Lizana specializes in the fusion of jazz and flamenco.

Discography:

De Viento ‎(Quartet Records, 2012)
Quimeras Del Mar ‎(Sony Music, 2015)
Oriente ‎(Sony Music, 2017)

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Artist Profiles: Maria Marin

Maria Marin – Photo by Noelia Nicolas

Guitarist and singer Maria Marin was born in Utrera, Spain and later moved to the Netherlands. She is a self-taught singer who collaborates in flamenco, jazz and world music projects.

Maria has appeared on various recordings and performed concert tours throughout the Netherlands and other countries (Germany, Belgium, Spain, United Kingdom, Czech Republic and France).

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Artist Profiles: Tündra

Tündra

Spanish progressive folk band Tündra was formed in Logroño, northern Spain, in late 2008 by four local musicians with backgrounds in folk music, rock and jazz.

The musical influences ranged from Swedish band Hedningarna and Spanish contemporary folk ensemble La Musgaña to progressive rock and jazz.

The early lineup included four multi-instrumentalists from Logroño. In 2012, Tündra won the first prize at the Gota Music competition, which gave them the opportunity to record their debut album titled “Folk Ancestro Sideral.”

One of Tündra’s members, Daniel Latorre is a highly esteemed instrument maker who handcrafts some of the ancient instruments used by the band.

In 2013, Rafa Martín, founder of the renowned folk band La Musgaña joined the band.

Band members in 2019 included Ignacio Benito on flutes, bagpipes, psaltery and drum; Jorge Garrido on drums, percussion and bass; Francisco González on electric guitar and samplers; and Rafa Martín on zanfona (hurdy gurdy) and nyckelharpa.

Discography:

Folk Ancestro Sideral (Nada Producciones, 2013)
Bastardüs (2017)

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Artist Profiles: Brooklyn Raga Massive

Brooklyn Raga Massive

The joyful Brooklyn Raga Massive (BRM) is a non-profit artist collective committed to creating cross-cultural perception through Indian classical and Raga inspired music. It includes innovative musicians rooted in both traditional Indian and South Asian classical music, as well as cross-cultural Raga inspired music.

The culturally all-encompassing nature of BRM has developed a strong community and has become an incubator of new music collaborations in Brooklyn, New York City.

BRM presents over around 70 performances annually with an continuing weekly concert and raga jam session series and specialty concerts, and co- stages an annual 24 Ragas Live festival.  

In 2019, Brooklyn Raga Massive participated in the double album
Ragmala – A Garland of Ragas, a collaboration with Go: Organic Orchestra.

Discography:

Brooklyn Raga Massive Compilation Volume 1 (2015)
Coltrane Raga Tribute (2017)
Terry Riley In C (Northern Spy Records, 2017)
Women’s Raga Massive Compilation v.1 (2018)
Coltrane Raga Tribute EP -Live Mondriaan Jazz festival (2018)
Ragmala – A Garland of Ragas (Meta Records, 2019)

To learn more about the artists in the collective, visit www.brooklynragamassive.org

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Artist Profiles: Go: Organic Orchestra

Go: Organic Orchestra

Go: Organic Orchestra is a 21st century concept of a “future orchestra”. Artistic director Adam Rudolph‘s archetypal method to composing and improvisational conducting incorporates musical forms from across the world.

Using a non-linear score with his distinctive approach to rhythm as the nucleus, Rudolph improvisationally leads the musicians in concert. This creates unplanned orchestrations that serve as both context and inspiration for the musicians’ improvisational dialog.

For over two decades, Rudolph has taught and conducted hundreds of musicians in the Go: Organic Orchestra concept throughout North America and Europe.

Rudolph has performed with Go: Organic Orchestra ensembles in New York, Los Angeles and Austin, Naples, Palermo and Istanbul.

Go: Organic Orchestra with Brooklyn Raga Massive at the Rubin Museum of Art – Photo by Adrien H. Tillman

In 2019, Go: Organic Orchestra released an outstanding double album titled Ragmala – A Garland of Ragas in collaboration with Brooklyn Raga Massive and Gnawa musician Hassan Hakmoun.

Discography:

Go: Organic Orchestra 1 ‎(Meta Records, 2002)
Web Of Light ‎(Meta Records, 2002)
In The Garden ‎(Meta Records, 2003)
Thought Forms ‎(Meta Records, 2008)
Can You Imagine… The Sound Of A Dream ‎(Meta Records, 2011)
Sonic Mandala (Meta Records, 2013)
Turning Towards The Light ‎(Cuneiform Records, 2015)
Ragmala – A Garland of Ragas (Meta Records, 2019)


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