Category Archives: Artist Profiles

Artist Profiles: Adolfo Osta

Adolfo Osta
Adolfo Osta

Adolfo Osta was born in Pamplona (Spain) in 1966. He’s a graduate of Spanish language in the University of Barcelona (1990). At the same time, he studied Spanish guitar, Renaissance lute and sight-reading. He was also involved in different courses and seminars on traditional music and literature and carrying out frequent work on the traditional song canon.

His own repertoire includes the recovery, arrangement and adaptation of songs from various regions of Spain and France: Galicia, Provence, Castile, Andalusia, Basque Country, and Occitania; as well as Arabic, and Sephardic music.

His stage career commenced in 1990 as a soloist and member of various bands, accompanying other artists (eg: Rosa Zaragoza, Toni Xucla) or collaborating on musical theater productions with such companies such as Teatre del Repartidor.




Artist Profiles: Adnan Joubran

Adnan Joubran
Adnan Joubran

Adnan Joubran was born 1985 in Nazareth (Palestine), to a musical family of singers, oud makers and players. He made his debut on the international stage in 2004 at the age of 18. He’s a member of Le Trio Joubran, an ensemble playing traditional Palestinian music. The trio consists of the brothers Samir, Wissam, and Adnan Joubran, originally from the city of Nazareth.


Tamaas (2002)
Randana (2005)
Majaz (2007)
À l’ombre des mots (2008)
AsFar, with Dhafer Youssef (2011)
The First Ten Years (2013)


Artist Profiles: Aditya Narayan Banerjee

Aditya Narayan Banerjee
Aditya Narayan Banerjee

Aditya Narayan Banerjee is an M.A. in Instrumental Music (percussion) from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. He was born in 1970 in a musical family. His father and sister both are sarod players. His uncle Sri B.B. Banerjee was a senior most disciple of Pandit Ravishankarji and A graded musician of AIR, New Delhi.

Aditya turned to tabla an early age of five when he started his training under guidance of Sri Shivshankar Karmakar, a prominent disciple of Late Ustad Karamatullah Khan of Farukhabad Gharana.

Since 1990 he has been under able guidance of the great tabla maestro Pandit Swapan Choudhuri, a great Exponent of Lucknow Gharana.

Aditya is Sangeet Prabhakar from Proyag Sangeet Samity, Allahabad and M. Mus from Troilokya Sangeet Parishad, Kolkata. He also completed a music appreciation course from West Bengal State Academy & is also a computer hardware and software engineer.

He was the faculty member of Pandit Jasraj school of Music Foundation, Tampa (Florida), USA. He also has to his credit execution of a joint workshop under the able guidance of Padmavibhusan Pandit Jasrajji.

Aditya led a Tabla Workshop for visually Impaired children at LaVoy Exceptional Center in Tampa, Florida, USA. He did a lecture demonstration at Renaissance Center For the non Indian audience organized by Project Ahimsha, Patel Foundation for Global Understanding & Renaissance Center for the Arts in Tampa.


Artist Profiles: Aditya Kalyanpur

Aditya Kalyanpur
Aditya Kalyanpur

Indian tabla player Aditya Kalyanpur was born July 21, 1978 in Mumbai, India. A student of the legendary late Ustad Alla Rakha and today of Ustad Zakir Hussain with whom he has collaborated and performed for many years now. Aditya Kalyanpur is well known in the west for his solo performance during the Rolling Stones concert held in Bombay and for the recording collaboration with their saxophonist Tim Ries. He has participated in some important festivals in India and abroad.

He’s recorded with John Beasley (“American Idol” music director), performed with GRAMMY-winner John Popper at the prestigious Carnegie Hall NYC, and Founded the New England School of Music in Boston, MA, as well as established the Shyamal Music Foundation in Mumbai, India – a non-profit created to promote, preserve and propagate Indian classical music by giving a platform to the next generation of talented musicians.

Aditya Kalyanpur is currently a member of the fusion group Tihai.


Artist Profiles: Adjagas


Norwegian act Adjagas is a yoik group formed in 2004 by Sara Marielle Gaup and Lawra Somby, both from a long line of Sami ancestry. A yoiker is a singer or a chanter with a Sami origin, and it represents a very historically important part of the musical history of Northern Europe.

Sara Marielle Gaup, born in 1984, is from Guovdageaidnu/Kautokeino, whose musical heritage was passed down to her from her parents and generations before that. She began singing at a very early age, and it was through continued musical education at SMG she developed her unique sense of performance and perfected her singing voice.

Lawra Somby, born in 1981, was taught the great gift of yoiking from his father, Ande Somby. Lawra started performing on a variety of stages in 1997, and he has performed his music both solo as well as with his father Ande, making him a an experienced singer with a strong stage presence.

Yoik is not about making stories about people, animals, situations or landscapes. Yoik is the young woman, the eagle, the grass field by the river they are recreations of a moment, a sense, a memory how the wings of a bird slowly touches your chin, the smell of a fireplace and and how it evokes memories. The yoik is about bringing memories into the light of day, making them available and inviting new people into this special world

Samiland, also known as Lapland, is the territory at the very northernmost parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland, spreading into Russia.


Adjágas (2005)
Mánu Rávdnji (2009)
Nordic Woman (2012)


Artist Profiles: Adel Shams Eddine

Adel Shams Eddine
Adel Shams Eddine

Adel Shams Eddine (also spelled Adel Shams El Din) was born in Cairo in 1950, but is currently living in France. He has been one of the mainstays of the Al-Kindi Ensemble ever since it was created, and indeed he has become indispensable as an accompanist. His total mastery of even the most complex rhythmic cycles have made him a much respected performer on the riqq (tambourine).


The Aleppian Music Room

Takasim & Sufi Chants

Parfums Ottomans

Aleppian Sufi Trance

Whirling Dervishes of Damascus

Arab music from the time of the Crusades.

Wasla – Suites musicales égyptiennes (Buda Musique)

Forty Rhythms From the Middle (Buda Musique)

Tambour Quartet (Buda Musique)


Artist Profiles: Adel Salameh

Adel Salameh
Adel Salameh

Palestinian ‘ud player and composer, Adel Salameh was born in Nablus, Palestine, in 1966. He started performing as a soloist while still living in the Arab World, but emigrated to Europe in 1990.

He quickly established a reputation as one of the finest performers of the ‘ud. He performed in more than thirty countries including Japan, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, and numerous countries in North Africa and Europe.

When performing as a soloist or with musicians from a variety of musical backgrounds, Adel believed that music is an excellent tool to build bridges between various cultures. In an effort to tackle these cultural barriers, he worked with Turkish, Spanish, Indian, French, English, Israeli and jazz musicians.

Adel worked with Womad/Real World for several years and performed at the most prestigious concert halls in Europe.

He collaborated with Algerian singer Naziha Azzouz and recorded several CDs with her.

Adel Salameh died on January 23, 2019.


Master of the Oud (Playasound)

Awda (Enja)

Nuzhu (Arion)

Kanza (Enja)

Rissala (Enja)

Mediterraneo (Riverboat)


Artist Profiles: Addys D’Mercedes

Addys D’Mercedes
Addys D’Mercedes

Cuban singer Addys D’Mercedes grew up in Oriente, the southern, rural part of Cuba. At local parties she heard her father playing sones and guajiras on the guitar, such as El Cuarto De Tula or El Carretero”, which now have become popular worldwide thanks to the success of the Buena Vista Social Club. The radio played songs of the Nueva Trova from Pablo Milanés, Silvio Rodríguez and Sara Gonzáles, Dominican merengues, Mexican rancheras and the latest songs from Madona and Michael Jackson.

As a young girl, Addys sang boleros and Nueva Trova songs at parties. At the age of 16 she became the lead singer of the group Onda Joven, in Moa. One year later she started her professional career as lead singer of several famous Cuban groups Los Neira, Timbre Latino and Spectrum.

In January 1999, Addys started to record with her group ¡Q´ba! in Havana. As a tribute to her Oriente roots, she sung her own new arrangements of the three very famous songs El Carretero, Capullito De Alelí and Como Fue, featuring Coto (Cubanismo) on tres.

In September of 1999 she recorded in Havana a set of nine original compositions with ¡Q´ba! inviting musicians from Afro Cuban All Stars and Jóvenes Clásicos del Son. Unlike what is common in Cuba, the recording had a wide range of Spanish American musical styles, Cuban styles like son, timba, guajira and cha cha cha alternate with salsa, cumbia, bolero and bachata. On the guajira No Me Abandones the 76-year-old singer Raúl Plana (Afro Cuba All Stars, Sonora Matanzera) sings a duo with Addys.

Fascinated by her warm voice, Cándido Fabré recorded with Addys the very popular duo La Fórmula in the summer of 2000.


Mundo Nuevo (Media Luna, 2001)
Nomad (Media Luna, 2003)
Addys (Media Luna, 2012)


Artist Profiles: Adassa

Singer-songwriter Adassa combines dancehall, reggaeton, and r&b, and hip hop captivating the public’s ear with unabashed and up front lyrics as well as fiery club bangers.

Born in Miami, Florida, February 5th, she is daughter to Colombian parents. Raised in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, she represents the new multicultural generation dominating both the English and Spanish language.

As a child, her first taste of the stage was at the age of 4, when she sang with her mother in Church. “ I remember begging my Mom to teach me the hymn, since I was to little to read, and give me a chance to go on stage with her. While on stage I knew at that moment, I wanted to be a singer.” From that moment on she started experimenting with colorful vocal techniques and harmonies studying musical theory and opera, expanding her vocal range.

Propelled by her overwhelming passion for self-expression, from a very young age she received many awards not only as a singer, but as a writer as well. Many of her poems were published as early as the age of 10, moment in time in which she wrote a poem dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. At 14, she published another titled “The Rose” and “Who am I”. To this day Adassa continues writing poetry, although in anonymous fashion, solely for the need to be heard.

At the age of 15 was the first time she stepped into a recording studio alongside her mother, to record a Christian Album. Although, it wasn’t until she was 17 that she got her big break and was able to prove what she was capable of. Her brother and musical promoter Chuly, invited her to form part of a group named Xtasy, opportunity which drove her to move to Houston, Texas. The immediate musical bond she made with heavy hitter Don Candiani, producer and songwriter for the group, was evident. It was at this precise moment in which she flourished as a songwriter and subsequently landed her first record deal alongside the group, with Caiman Records. “Even though I had already recorded a Christian album, it was with Xtasy that I had a chance to work with a notorious producer and write my own songs.” she remembers.

Once the album was finished, she made the life changing decision to leave the group and take the long road to success as a solo artist. “I left the group before the album dropped. They removed my image, but kept my vocals on the production.” She comments with no regret. Determined to quench her thirst for the stage and self-expression, she packed her bangs and moved to Monterrey, Mexico. This is where she learned the magic of being a true performer. “I had to memorize forty to fifty songs per week along with different choreographies and a live band. I learned that this career is not based on just being an artist, it’s about entertaining the public.” She toured through the borders of the U.S. and Mexico from Monterrey, Tampico, Saltillo, to Laredo, Reynosa and McAllen, Texas just to name a few cities. “It was here where I grew musically and as a performer.” she comments.

With tenacity and developed musical talent, she decided to move back to the U.S. determined to establish herself as a solo artist. It is while living in McAllen, Texas that she became part of the underground Hip- Hop movement releasing her first album Down South, a backpack out-of-the trunk distributed album. With no limitations and all sincerity, Adassa let it all out in this album with sexy, aggressive rhymes and themes from happiness, deep emotion, to domestic violence and everything in between. “Down South was a real emotional album for me that?s why I can’t leave it behind. It was the first time I expressed myself without holding back. I think it’s important to show your colors, as dark or as bright as they may be. Music should be a form of release, a musical diary in which you can unleash yourself with no remorse.”

She succeeded in creating a buzz, yet she hungered for more which lead her back to Houston, Texas, where she recorded her second underground self-titled album distributed through Hoodlum Records, an independent label. It showcased her aggressive, yet sexy and playful side and was well received in the clubs and even leaked into local radio stations. Riding on the growing buzz and underground success of these albums, she moved to Miami where she released On the Floor and gained national distribution.

With her musical career on the rise, Adassa had the opportunity to tour with artists such as Daddy Yankee, Lil’ Flip, Pitbull, Ivy Queen, Don Omar, Lil’ John, Vico C., Baby Rasta y Gringo, Sasha, Baby Bash and Juvenile among others. She also made high-profile cameo appearances with Ciara and Missy Elliott on “1,2 Step” Don Candiani Reggaeton Remix, with Pitbull on the title track record off of her album Kamasutra, and alongside Tego Calderon and Roselyn Sanchez to name a few.

Her hotly anticipated new CD Kamasutra, released through Universal Latino, is proof that perseverance and talent are rewarded. This opinionated, seductive, yet lyrically flirtatious album includes 15 completely bilingual sharp tracks produced by heavy hitter Don Candiani, in which Adassa proves her versatility not only lyrically, but vocally as well. Every song has its own identity from “Kamasutra” which is an Indian laced sensual Hip Hop track, to “Bang, Bang” a high voltage Reggaeton which has already become a record pool chart topper along with “De Tra” another high-energy cut.

This album is a reflection of the musical influences she had growing up. She was exposed to a musical array of artists from the Dance Hall and Reggaeton of Bennie Man, Patra, Shabba Ranks, Elephant Man, Lady Saw, Shaggy, El General and Vico C., to the Hip Hop and R&B from artists such as Missy Elliott, Bone Thugs n’ Harmony, TuPac, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey and Boys 2 Men. “I think this album represents who I am – my passion, my sensuality, my maturity, my playfulness, and my sexual aggression. There are songs I feel more in English others in Spanish, there are even some cuts in Spanglish.”


On the Floor (2004)
Kamasutra (2005)
Adassa (2007)