Category Archives: Artist Profiles

Artist Profiles: Liam Bradley

Liam Bradley

Keyboardist Liam Bradley from Tobermore, Co. Derry is known throughout the world for his music for Irish dancing. He has produced recordings and provided accompaniment for major Irish Dancing events, including the All Ireland, American and Australian National Championships and the World Championships.

His music has been used for many shows and performances, from the Royal Albert Hall, Áras an Uachtaráin and the White House, to a ‘Barney the Dinasaur’ DVD. He also arranged the music for the RTE television series “Rising Steps”

He is a member of acclaimed Irish band Beoga.

Discography

* A Lovely Madness (Compass Records, 2004)
* Mischief (Compass Records, 2007)
* The Incident (Compass Records, 2009)
* How to tune a fish (2011)
* Before we change our mind (2016)

Web site: www.beogamusic.com

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Artist Profiles: Leyanis Lopez

Leyanis López

Leyanis López Luque was born in Guantanamo on the 8th of October 1971. She started out at the age of seven as a member of the Guantanamo province Fabio Rosell del Rio Primary School choir, directed by art instructor Miguel Angel Duran. Her natural gift for singing soon singled her out and she became a solo singer for different musical groups within the Pioneers organization. During all this period, she performed in various cultural events.

From 1980 onwards, she constantly participated in the Jose Marti tribute youth festivals, Pioneers Trova festivals and summer festivals organized nationally, allowing her to perfect her artistic qualities. In 1984, she was a cultural representative at the forum of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), a non-governmental organization, held in Havana.

In 1985, accompanied by the excellent Ismaelillo group, she won first prize in the Summer Festival, with the support from her teacher Maria Balan and lessons from Angel Savin, an arts instructor.

In 1986, she took her first trip abroad, representing Cuba at the International Festival of Amateur Artists organized in Hungary in July, then touring the German Federal Republic and Czechoslovakia.

In 1988, she was ranked in the highest category of amateur artists. Her career as a professional singer began in 1989 when she performed at different guitar trio festivals, at the Boleros de Oro Festival and the Rafael Inciarte Brioso Festival of Popular Music. She gave concerts as a singer with orchestras or trios in theaters, community arts centers and open-air events in parks, going on tours throughout the country and appearing on the radio and television in Guantanamo and other provinces. She also recorded at the EGREM studios in Santiago de Cuba for the CMQ International channel and Japanese television.

In 1994, she was ranked in the higher category of professional singers. She then studied singing at the Guantanamo Further Training Centre for Professional Artists. In 1995, she was awarded her singing-category intermediate-level diploma with distinction.

She recorded her first CD in 1998 for the French label Lusafrica. Her repertoire, which includes different types of popular music, romantic ballads, bolero, cancion, waltz, guajira and Cuban son, allows the listener to appreciate the effect of more complex music on popular music since the beginning of the century in Eastern Cuba, as well as the influence of 1950s music. It also adopts a present-day innovations in terms of harmonies and tones.

Discography

* Como la Mariposa (Lusafrica, 1999)
* Mi corazón y yo (Lusafrica, 2002)
* Corazón Presumido (Lusafrica, 2005)

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Artist Profiles: Leonsia Erdenko

Leonsia Erdenko

Russian vocalist Leonsia Erdenko was born in 1972. She is the daughter of the famous Roma singer Nikolay Erdenko. Leonsia has been performing since 1987. She started her musical career with the band Djang that was led by her parents – Nikolay and Rozaliya Erdenko. Leonsia devoted herself to intensive study of music, especially playing the piano, dancing and singing.

In collaboration with the composer George Barkin they recorded in 1997 album The new Gypsy music that contained well-known Romani melodies in a modern concept. Less than 3 years later she and Alexey Bezlepkin gave rise to a new band, Trio Erdenko. Furthermore, she traveled the world with the famous band Loyko, with which she recorded three discs.

Leonsia not only performs concerts throughout the world, but also cooperates with various artists in their recordings (e.g. !DelaDap, Garik Sukachev) and is also active in the film industry (historical movie – One night of love).

 

Discography:

Gypsyroad

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Artist Profiles: Leonard Jacome

Leonard Jacome

Leonard Jacome, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, composer and producer, is one of Venezuela’s most prolific and accomplished harpists. He has numerous awards representing Venezuela abroad and has toured and performed throughout Latin America, Europe and Japan.

He performs Joropo and other traditional Venezuelan styles as well as salsa and contemporary pieces.

Discography:

Empirico (2009)
Walking Hands (2014)
Rhythms of the Atlantic (2015)

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Artist Profiles: Leif Rygg

Leif Rygg

Leif Rygg was born in 1940 in Voss, in western Norway. He’s one of Norway’s leading Hardanger fiddle players.

Rygg began playing the fiddle at age of nine. He was inspired and motivated by his teachers: Lars Skjervheim, Sigbjørn Bernhoft Osa Anders Kjerland.

Leif Rygg won the first prize at the National Contest for Traditional Music four times between 1977 and 1996. He has performed in concerts in Norway and abroad, and has participated on a number of recordings, both under the auspices of his own music publishing house, “Spelarhaugen Folkemusikk,” and on other labels.

Rygg holds the position of county-employed musician in Hordaland, and is connected with Ole Bull Academy Voss. He also teaches international hardanger fiddle workshops.

Discography

* Bjølleslåtten, with Knut Buen and Kåre Nordstoga (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 6, 1994)
* Høgdepunkt frå Landskappleiken (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7103, 1994)
* Lengt (Spelarhaugen Folkemusikk SFCD 1, 1995)
* Norsk Folkemusikk 7 (Folkemusikk frå Rogaland og Hordaland) (Grappa Musikkforlag GRCD 4067, 1995)
* Nøringen, with Knut Hamre ‎(Heilo HO 7005, 1980)
* Meisterspel, with various artists (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7132, 1997)
* Vossaspel (Talik TA160CD, 2017)

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They’re Happy Days

Lone Piñon – Días Felices (Living Music Duplication, 2017)

This new release from New Mexico, the self-professed “land of enchantment”, is sure to get you dancing. Acoustic trio, Lone Piñon’s second album, (literally translated Happy Days), is a fiesta of music that pays homage to the borderland’s cultural roots. The band members hail from different geographic, cultural, and musical backgrounds but have come together since 2012 to revive the New Mexican Chicano string band style. According to the band’s bio, they “bring a devoted and explosive musicianship to Northern New Mexican… and Mexican music”.

It’s a challenge not to clap, tap, or sway along with these rhythms. Catchy melodies abound, the vocal harmonies sung in Spanish, English, and Nahuatl. The instruments also sing: violin, accordion, guitar, guitarrón, and upright bass. Multiple themes recur and duel. Some are upbeat and some are dark and mesmerising. Some songs sound like soundtracks, some a wedding jig, some a square dance.

The opening instrumental track, “El Borrachito”, is a celebratory introduction and heralds the party to follow. Another fifteen tracks of dance music and crooning ballads demonstrate Lone Piñon’s complex repertoire.

Standout tracks are: “Estas Lindas Flores”, a duet of vocals and accordion in a jolly hoedown; “El Querreque”, a toe-tapper in huapango style; and “La Llorona”, alternating brisk fiddle and doleful lament that tells a clear narrative with or without lyrics.

 

 

Listening to this album highlights the pleasure to be derived from cross-cultural relationships. These Días Felices are uplifting.

 

 

Buy Días Felices in the Americas and rest of the world

Buy Días Felices in Europe

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Artist Profiles: La Shica

La Shica

Elsa Rovayo, “La Shica”, was born in Ceuta, Spain, in 1972. La Shica learned flamenco, Spanish dance and classical ballet. She performs a hybrid form of flamenco and copla (Spanish song) with pop and urban influences.

Her unique style blends traditional dance with a more modern aesthetic. She received two Music Awards as Upcoming Artist for her second album, Supercop (2010).

 

La Shica

 

La Shica has collaborated with various Spanish and international artist, including the following albums: El Evangelio según mi jardinero (2005) by Martín Buscaglia; De ayer a mañana (2005) by Eliseo Parra; Adelantando (2007) by Jarabe de Palo; Agua misteriosa (2010) by Javier Limón’s Mujeres de agua; El vecindario (2010) by Macaco; ¿A dónde vas? (2014) by Jarabe de Palo and Ximena Sariñana; Ome – Dos (2014) by Jenny and the Mexicats.

 

 

 

Discography:

Trabajito de chinos (Warner Music Spain, 2008)
Supercop (Warner Music Spain, 2010)
Esa (2014)

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Artist Profiles: Lars-Ante Kuhmunen

Lars-Ante Kuhmunen

Lars-Ante Kuhmunen was born in 1979. He is a musician and reindeer breeder from Rensjön in Kiruna, a small town in the territory of Swedish Lapland (also known as Samiland). Lappland is the region inhabited by the Sami, geographically distributed throughout northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

Kuhmunen specializes in yoik, the traditional vocal style of the Sami. In 2006 Kuhmunen released his debut album titled Birrasis, which won a national award that same year for best folk album. Birrasis includes a booklet with lyrics in the Sami language and Swedish as well as a comprehensive explanation in English of each song.

His second release was Somas Muittut, an album with strong political lyrics as well as subtle and poetic songs. In 2016, Lars-Ante Kuhmunen released Riihmagállis (A Legend), where he mixed Sami traditions and American roots music.

Discography

Birrasis (Singing Frog, 2006)
Somas Muittut (2012)
Riihmagállis (2016)

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Artist Profiles: Lars Underdal

Lars Underdal

Lars Underdal was born in 1971 in Vinje in Telemark (Norway), has studied with several fiddlers and at the renowned Ole Bull Academy in Voss. He has performed at a number of folk music competitions and at concerts in Norway and abroad. His performance style is vibrant and emotional.

His album “Gullfakse” is a fine selection of fiddle tunes from Telemark, in the tradition of such legendary fiddlers as Myllarguten and Gibøen.

Lars Underdal also performs folk music as a member of the groups Fire Feler (Four Fiddles) and Blåmann Blåmann.

Discography

Fjøllmanntonar, with various artists (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7083, 1993)
Gullfakse (NOR-CD 9827, 1998)
Brudlaupsgarden
Fjøllmanntonar
I boks

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Artist Profiles: Lan-e Tuyang

Matthew Ngau Jau (Lan-e Tuyang) – Photo courtesy of Rainforest World Music Festival

Lan-e Tuyang (meaning among friends) was initially a duo from Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo, consisting of Matthew Ngau Jau and his late uncle Uchau Bilung. Both musicians play the sape, a long indigenous Borneo lute carved from solid wood. They play music based on Kenyah (Orang Ulu) traditional music. The duo performed many international concerts as well as in Sarawak tourism promotional events in Europe, Australia and Asia.

In 2009, Uchau Bilung passed away and the group continued under the leadership of Matthew Ngau Jau. Lan-e Tuyang re-formed with a new format, featuring three sape players and one percussionist. They performed with this new lineup at the 2009 Rainforest World Music Festival.

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