Category Archives: Artist Profiles

Artist Profiles: Aboubacar Camara

Aboubacar Camara
Aboubacar Camara

Steeped in the drumming and dance of his native Guinea from childhood, Aboubacar Camara was tapped for ballet training at the age of 9, and in 1986, was invited to join the National Ballet Soleil d’Afrique de Guinea.

He became lead dancer and assistant choreographer with his native troupe, touring throughout Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast and Europe. He came to the attention of Juno award-winning Alpha Yaya Diallo, joining Diallo’s group in Canada as a dancer, choreographer, and musician.

Soon, Aboubacar was performing locally and nationally at folk, native, and jazz festivals, and conducting classes and workshops. Now the leader of his own group, Doundounba Music & Dance, an ensemble of musicians that performs both traditional and afro-pop music, Aboubacar uses his childhood legacy, extensive training and vibrant music making to move people of all ages to stand up, dance, and sing along.

Discography:

Telephone

Share

Artist Profiles: Abiogenesis

Abiogenesis
Abiogenesis

Abiogenesis, from Nagaland in India, is an experimental band and they have developed a new world genre which they have named ‘Howey Music’. Howey is a fusion of Naga Folk tunes with modern music. They also play a new wind musical instrument made of bamboo invented by Moa Subong, a member of the band.

Abiogenesis are:

Arenla Subong: vocals, bamhum
Moa Subong: bamhum, guitar, harmonica
Imli Subong: drums, percussion
Paul: bass
Longden: guitar

Discography:

Aeon Spell (Saregama, 2007)
Rustic Relish (APH Records)
Slice of Heaven (APH Records)
Legacy Of The Mountains (Mondo Tunes)

Official Web Site: www.abiogenesis.altpro.net

Share

Artist Profiles: Abigail Washburn

Abigail Washburn
Abigail Washburn

Abigail Washburn’s soulful singing was one of the signature sounds of Uncle Earl since she joined in May 2003. Signed to Nettwerk Records as a solo recording artist, her album Song of the Traveling Daughter was released in August, 2005. The album features original songs in English and Mandarin Chinese, which she speaks. Actually, Abby was headed down a career path in Sino-American relations when she heard an LP of Doc Watson and decided to take up old-time banjo.

She met KC Groves at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in Louisville, Kentucky and joined the band that summer. Combining her love of traditional American music, Chinese language and classical Chinese poetry, she began writing songs, some of which happen to be in Chinese. Her writing earned her a second place award in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in 2004.

In 2012, after attending Doc Watson’s funeral, Abigail began performing “And Am I Born to Die,” a sacred harp piece recorded by Watson. “Doc is one of the main reasons I play the banjo and sing American old-time music,” says Washburn.

Along with 24 innovative and creative thinkers from across the world, Abigail Washburn was named a TED Fellow and presented at the 2012 Ted Convention about building United States-China relations through music. Her efforts to share American music in China, and Chinese music in the Unied States exist within a hope that cultural understanding and the communal experience of music will lead the way to a richer existence.

In 2014, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn released their eponymous debut album October 7th on Rounder Records. Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn is a front porch banjo and vocal album of new music, Appalachian murder ballads, gospel, chamber and blues; the culmination of a yearlong tour as a duo in 2013, following the birth of their son, Juno.

Discography:

She Waits for Night, with Uncle Earl (Rounder Records, 2005)

Song of the Traveling Daughter (Nettwerk Records, 2005)

The Sparrow Quartet EP (Nettwerk Records, 2006)

Waterloo, Tennessee, with Uncle Earl (Rounder Records, 2007)

Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet (Nettwerk Records, 2008)

Afterquake, with Shanghai Restoration Project (Afterquake Music, 2009)

City of Refuge (Rounder Records, 2011)

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn (Rounder Records, 2014)

Banjo Banjo EP, with Béla Fleck (Rounder Records, 2015)

Share

Artist Profiles: Abida Parveen

Abida Parveen
Abida Parveen
Abida Parveen, the queen of Sufi mystic singing spreads the message of love and induces a state of spiritual ecstasy with her Sufi mystic songs. An artist who has been recognized as a rue force in the realm of Sufi music, she proclaims her faith with her entire body. She is considered one of the most prominent contemporary exponents of the great ghazal and kafi musical styles from the Indian subcontinent. Rooted in the intense encounter between sensitivity and spirituality that is Sufism. She never ceases to sing her fiery love for the Divine.

The earliest memories of her childhood are all linked to her passion for music and her desire to sing. Born in 1954 in Larkana, Sindh into a family tat maintains close associations with the shrines of Sufi saints. She was imparted her initial training in the art of music from her father, Ustad Ghulam Haider, and later from Ustad Salamat Ali Khan of Sham Chorasia gharana. Her father, whom she refers to as reverently as Baba Sain, was also a singer and had his own small music school where he taught only male pupils. He was devoted to the Sufi poets and that is from where Abida gets her devotional inspiration. For her the Sufi poets of Sindh and Punjab are the ones who speak of the inner truths of the self and in their poetry, where she finds solace and peace. As she was growing up, Abida attended her father’s music school and that was where her foundation in music was laid.

Hyderabad Radio first introduced her in 1977. She is today the most popular and well-known folk and ghazal singer of Pakistan who breathed a new life into ghazal and semi-classical music. She holds an audience of thousands spellbound. Her appearance is a complete reverse of many other stage performers. She begins each number as solemnly as the previous one as the evening progresses, sinking deeper and deeper into her kafi’s and Sufiana kalam of the mystic poets. She is a woman of very few words and asks to be judged only by her music. This folk phenomenon, called Abida Parveen, is deeply religious and profoundly humble.

Abida Parveen is the finest singer of ghazal, geet and sindhi, seraiki and punjabi kafees. ‘While khayal and thumri became a part of her childhood training, her effective rendering of folk and traditional music with great sophistication and without losing the basic characteristics of the regional music of sindh has made her a versatile singer.’

Her command of kafi of sufi poets such as Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Hazrat Lal Shabaz Qalandar, Hazrat Sacchal Sarmast from sindh, and Hazrat Baba Bulhe Shah, Hazrat Khawja Farid Ganje Shakar, Hazrat Sultan Bahu, Hazrat Mian Muhammad Buksh, Hazrat Ghulam Farid, Hazrat Pir Mehr Ali Shah and Hazrat Shah Hussain from pujab embellishes her versatility. Apart from sufis of Pakistan, Parveen also sings mystic poetry of the Asian Indian subcontinent, which include sufis such as Hazra Amir Khusrau, Hazrat Nizamudin Auliya, Hazrat Kutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti and Hazrat Moulana Jalaluddin Roomi from Turkey.

Professor G.M. Mekhri of Sind University has rightly said that, ‘Abida Parveen is the spiritual daughter of Great Sufi Saint Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. She is the truly blessed voice.’ Abida has recorded all the poetry of Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, an 18th century poet and composer who blended folk music and classical raga in a style known as kafi from his book called ‘Shah jo Risalo’ according to their respective ‘Raags’ which were also laid down by him.

She has performed almost in all parts of the world and performed before international audiences and placed the name of the country high up I the field of music. Abida Parveen performed in Chicago in 1988. Her fist performance was based on classical and semi-classical art, the second was comprised of ghazals of prominent poets and the third rested on folk singing and different varieties of sindhi music. Her performance was recorded by the renowned organization Hazrat Amir Khusrau Society of Art and Culture, which issued a long play recording of her renderings.

Discography:

Pakistani Sufi Songs (Inedit Music, 1995)

Devotional Journey (Shalimar Records, 1997)

Songs of the Mystics (Navras Records, 2000)

Raqs-E-Bismil (Music Today, 2000)

Ho Jamalo (Music Today, 2000)

Jahan E Khusrau (Navras Records, 2001)

Tere Ishq Nachaya (Music Today, 2001)

Visal – The Meeting Mystic Poets from the Hind (World Village, 2002)

Hazrat Shah Hussain (Tim, 2002)

Sings Amir Khusrau (Tim, 2002)

Baba Bulleh Shah (Oreade Music, 2003)

Mere Dil Se (Tim, 2003)

Kabir (Tim, 2005)

Main Janu Mera Khuda Jane (Music Today, 2005)

‘Ishq: l’Amour Absolu – Supreme Love (Accords-Croises, 2005)

Passage to India:Traditional (Navras Records, 2006)

Euphoric Abida Remixes (Tim, 2006)

Live in Concert: Svar Utsav, Vol. 1 (Music Today, 2006)

Live in Concert: Svar Utsav, Vol. 2 (Music Today, 2006)

Euphoric (Tim, 2006)

Aashna (Tim, 2006)

Ghalib (2008)

Abida Ghazal Ka Safar Vol. II (Times Music)

Jeway Saiyaan (2008)

The Very Best of Abida (2009)

Zikr – Soul of Sufism, Vol. 1 (2009)

Thumri and Ghazal (2009)

Rukh-E-Murshid (2009)

Roohani Mehfil (Vol.2) (2010)

Qalander Asra Hai (2011)

The Sufi Queen (Vol.1) (2011)

30 Greatest Hits Abida Parveen And Noor Jehan (2011)

Treasures (Vol.1) (2011)

Eternal Abida (2012)

Lal De Rang Vich Rangi Aan (2012)

Sufiana safar (2012)

Tera Lal Sakhi Mera Lal Sakhi (2012)

Shaane-e-Ali (2012)

Ru-e-Ali (2013)

Zikr – Soul of Sufism (Vol. 2) (2014)

Tasawwuf (2014)

Share

Artist Profiles: Abhishek Basu

Abhishek Basu gave his first professional concert with santur maestro Tarun Bhattacharya. He was but a boy of eight when he first stepped into his guru’s home, where music reigned, in every possible form.

While Bikram Ghosh was away on long tours with Ravi Shankar, Abhishek had the privilege of taking lessons from the former’s father, the great tabla wizard Shankar Ghosh.

For the past years, Abhishek has intensely engaged himself with the study of rhythm. Presently, he is enriching his musical horizons with guidance from mridangam maestro Vidwan S. Sekhar. Though his technical underpinning derive from the Farrukhabad Gharana, Abhishek believes in the individual beauty of every gharana (school).

Abhishek’s individuality rests primarily on his modulations of the baya (the left hand bass drum). What distinguishes him most from his contemporaries is his ability to strike a perfect balance between power, clarity, and rhythmic sophistication. Bikram Ghosh says, “Abhishek is an extremely diligent and hard working tabla player. He is exceptionally talented, as is evident from the standard of performance he has achieved at such a young age. I can confidently say that he has a very bright future in professional tabla playing. He is sure to shine as one of the finest tabla players in our country in the near future.”

Awarded the First Prize at the annual music competition of the West Bengal State music Academy in 1996, Abhishek is also the recipient of the Pandit Jyan Prakash Ghosh Award (2001).

Abhishek has appeared in concert both as a soloist and accompanist in many. He has toured and performed with Tarun Bhattacharya, the celebrated santur virtuoso. Abhishek contributed significantly to Bhattacharya’s album Dance of the Gods, released by Bricklane, UK.

Abhishek released his first World music album Acrostic, with his world fusion band, ISM. Abhishek’s band has performed in the top venues of Kolkata.

Share

Artist Profiles: Abhisek Lahiri

Abhisek Lahiri
Abhisek Lahiri

At a young age Abhisek Lahiri rose to prominence as a sarod player in India. Abhisek has won the hearts of discerning audiences worldwide with his maturity, depth & perfection with enchanting tonal quality.

Abhisek was initiated in sarod and trained under the tutelage of his eminent father as well as Guru Pt. Alok Lahiri.

Abhisek is a proud recipient of the coveted National Scholarship for outstanding performance in Sarod, from the Ministry of Human Resource & Development and Tourism and Culture, Govt.of. India in 1996-97 and 2003.

Abhisek took part in the World Kinder Festival in Holland and enthralled the audiences as a Wonder Child Sarod Player in 1997. The Dutch Television network telecasts his recitals countrywide, repeatedly even now.

Abhisek won the coveted Anun Lund Rej Award worth Rs. 50,000- from the Norwegian Consulate in 1998 and has been honored by the Rotary International Club with Certificate Of Appreciation for his excellence in sarod in 2000. Abhisek has been honored with the prestigious Telegraph School Award as an outstanding talent.

Abhisek won the President Award in Sarod through All India Radio Music competition in the year 2000 and is at present a Graded regular artist of All India Radio and Doordarshan Kendra (Television).

http://sarodabhisek.com

Share

Artist Profiles: Abhiman Kaushal

Abhiman Kaushal - Photo by Daniel M Neuman
Abhiman Kaushal – Photo by Daniel M Neuman

Indian musician Abhiman Kaushal was initiated in the art of tabla by his father, R.M. Kaushal, who learned under the legendary Ustad Amir Hussain Khan. Abhiman also studied under Ustad Shiekh Dawood and Shri B. Nand Kumar. Abhiman is well known for his proficiency in the art of solo tabla as well as his sensitive accompaniment. His specialty lies in his rich tone and clarity.

Mr.Kaushal has accompanied most of the leading musicians of North Indian classical music including Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pandit Rajeev Taranath and Ustad Rais Khan. Abhiman Kaushal has toured throughout the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Japan, and India.

Discography:

Spring
Legacy

Share

Artist Profiles: Abhijit Banerjee

Abhijit Banerjee
Abhijit Banerjee

Indian musician Abhijit Banerjee started learning tabla at a very young age from Sri Tushar Kanti Bose, later from Sri Manik Pal and finally came under the tutelage of Pandit Gyan Prakash Ghosh. As a child he won many Music competitions of national repute. Besides tabla he had his training in vocal music and in violin.

Abhijit is now a regular performer at all the major music conferences all over India and overseas.Besides accompanying all the major artistes of India, both in North Indian and South Indian traditions, he has presented himself as a solo performer in many music conferences in India and Abroad. He has toured extensively all over the world and also associated himself with Jazz world and performed with some Jazz musicians and groups in New York. Abhijit has conducted many seminars on Indian Classical Music at Universities in U.S.A., Japan, England and Spain.

Abhijit has recorded many CDs with many reputed companies accompanying almost all the major artists in Indian Classical Music today; as well as many well-known Jazz musicians. He has also recorded a tabla solo CD, which is now available from Magnasound and Peshkar CD.

Abhijit has composed music for TV serials and short films of which The Trails– a film on Calcutta- got the National Award and is invited in the film festivals in Amsterdam and Munich.

Abhijit had the privilege of representing India in the World Festival of Music held in Granada , Spain.

In his academic life he is a graduate in English and post graduate in Journalism.

Discography:

The Genius of Pandit Nikhil Banerjee (chhanda dhara)
Tarang (TIM Music)
Amjad Ali Khan
Phases (Times Music)
Teental (Peshkar)
Trur Rhythms of India (NA Classical)
Moonlight Whispers, with Larry Coryell (TIM Music)
Tagorespeare
Ami Chitrangada
Musical Moments of Rhythm (Magnasound)

www.abhijitbanerjee.com

Share

Artist Profiles: Abdullah Ibrahim

Abdullah Ibrahim
Abdullah Ibrahim

Some still know him as Dollar Brand, others by his adopted moniker of Abdullah Ibrahim, which he began using in the late 1960s after his conversion to Islam. Either way, the piano styling of this remarkable South African musician have made their indelible mark in both the jazz and world genres for over half a century.

Ibrahim was born Adolphe Johannes Brand in Capetown in 1934, and quickly nicknamed ‘Dollar’. Learning the piano from the age of 7, he honed his early talent in the church. By the late 40?s he was already playing with local jazz big bands.

In the early 1960s alongside trumpeter Hugh Masekela, saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi, and trombonist Jonas Gwangwa, he was a central figure in South Africa’s own progressive jazz movement which took its lead from the New York-based sounds being articulated at the time by John Coltrane and Thelonius Monk amongst others. His Jazz Epistles group, which included Masekela and Gwangwa, broke new musical ground, with a distinctive African influence added to the jazz improvisation.

He left South Africa in 1962 due to the worsening political situation and, in a now-legendary meeting, his new Dollar Brand Trio was ‘discovered’ by Duke Ellington while playing in Zurich, Switzerland club. Ellington quickly arranged a recording session with Reprise Records, and the Trio began playing the major American and European jazz festivals to enthusiastic acclaim. Brand/Ibrahim’s powerful tonal clusters, repeating African melodies, and creative improvisations were to become his trademarks.

He returned briefly to South Africa in the mid-70?s, but found the conditions so oppressive that he went back into exile in New York. He finally returned to live in Capetown in 1990.

His discography as both a leader and sideman lists well over a hundred album credits, including African Space Program, Ekaya, Tintinyana and Black Lightning. He composed the award-winning soundtrack for the 1988 French/African film Chocolat.

Discography:

Jazz Epistles: Verse I (Gallo, 1960)

African Piano (ECM, 1969)

African Sketchbook (Enja, 1969)

Sangoma (Sackville, 1973)

Fats Duke and the Monk (Sackville, 1973)

African Portraits (Sackville, 1973)

Ancient Africa (Sackville, 1973)

Good News From Africa (Enja, 1973)

The Banyana: Children of Africa (Enja, 1976)

Streams of Consciousness (Piadrum Records, 1977)

Journey (Downtown Sound, 1977)

Autobiography (Planisphere, 1978)

Echoes from Africa (Enja, 1979)

The Pilgrim (Enja, 1979)

Africa: Tears and Laughter (Enja, 1979)

Black Lightning (Rareb, 1980)

Duke’s Memories (Black & Blue, 1981)

Dollar Brand at Montreux (Enja, 1981)

African Dawn (Enja, 1982)

Jazzbohne Berlin ’82 (Repertoire, 1982)

South African Sunshine (Plane, 1982)

Zimbabwe (Enja / Enja Records, 1983)

Dollar Brand (Enja, 1983)

Live at Sweet Basil, Vol. 1 (Ekapa Records, 1983)

Ekaya (Ekapa Records, 1983)

Water from an Ancient Well (Tiptoe, 1985)

South Africa (Enja, 1986)

Mindif (Enja, 1988)

African River (Enja, 1989)

Mantra Mode (Enja, 1991)

Desert Flowers (Enja, 1991)

Anthem for the New Nations (Denon Records, 1991)

Knysna Blue (Tiptoe, 1993)

No Fear, No Die (Tiptoe, 1994)

African Horns (Kaz, 1994)

Piano Solo (Pläne, 1995)

Yarona (Tiptoe, 1995)

South African Ambassador (Jazzfest, 1997)

Cape Town Flowers (Tiptoe, 1997)

The African Suite (Enja, 1999)

Jazz Piano Solos (Pläne, 2000)

Cape Town Revisited (Enja, 2000)

Ekapa Lodumo (EMI Music, 2001)

African Herbs (Rerooted, 2002)

Dukes Memories [Black & Blue] (Black & Blue, 2002)

African Symphony (Enja, 2002)

African Breeze (East Wind, 2002)

African Magic (Enja, 2003)

Recorded Live 1978 (Elephant, 2003)

African Horns (Camden, 2003)

African Suite (Justin Time, 2004)

Re: Brahim: Abdullah Ibrahim Remixed (Enja, 2005)

Arabic Jazz (2007)

Senzo (Sunnyside, 2008)

Bombella (Sunnyside, 2009)

Sotho Blue (Sunnyside, 2011)

Mukashi: Once Upon a Time (Sunnyside, 2013)

The Song Is My Story (Sunnyside, 2014)

Share

Artist Profiles: Abdul Tee-Jay

Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Abdul Tee-Jay, an abbreviation for the Fula name Tejan-Jalloh from the Fouta Jalloh region in Guinea where his family originally came from, started playing guitar at the age of nine. His parents objected, so he practiced at a cousin’s home, spurning the western pop styles being adopted by his friends and followed local musical styles from Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria. Major early influences were Sekou Diabate from Guinea’s legendary Bembeya Jazz, Congo’s Doctor Nico and Freddie Green from Sierra Leone’s 60s stars Super Combo.

In 1974 he moved to West Virginia in the United States to study, playing there with a funk band called Spice. He moved to Great Britain in 1979. Throughout the early and mid 1980s, he played pan-African styles with a variety of bands, including African Connection and African Culture. Eventually, he decided to concentrate on his own music based on Sierra Leonean folklore, incorporating some of the prevailing local contemporary influences like soukous and highlife.; By the late 1980s his band Rokoto was being hailed as the best modern African outfit in the UK and their 1989 debut album Kanka Kuru was a big seller. They followed it with two more albums over the next decade, and Abdul worked with many major African names visiting the UK, often outshining the legends themselves.

Discography:

Kanka Kuru (1994)

Rokoto Make Me Dance Dance (2002)

Palm Wine a Go-Go (Far Side Music, 2003)

Share