Category Archives: General News

The Recording Academy Announces World Music Nominees For The 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards

Bokanté – Photo by York Tillyer

The Recording Academy unveiled today the nominees for the 62nd GRAMMY Awards. The Nominees in the Best World Music Album category are:

Gece by Altin Gün

What Heat by Bokanté & Metropole Orkest conducted by Jules Buckley

African Giant by Burna Boy

Fanm D’ayiti by Nathalie Joachim with Spektral Quartet

Celia by Angelique Kidjo

For a complete nominations list, go to www.grammy.com

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Southbank Centre in the UK Announces Shankar 100, a Celebration of Ravi Shankar’s Centenary

Anoushka Shankar

The year 2020 will mark 100 years since the birth of groundbreaking Indian musician, composer, educator and sitar master Ravi Shankar. Shankar’s association with Southbank Centre in London (UK) started with his first performance in Royal Festival Hall in 1958. Shankar formed a lifelong relationship with the venue, including a number of performances and important premieres over the years. To celebrate his remarkable life and legacy, Southbank Centre will present Shankar 100, a special program of concerts and projects throughout his centenary year, developed in consultation with his wife Sukanya and daughter Anoushka Shankar.

Highlights include:

Gala concert on April 7, 2020, the actual centenary of Ravi Shankar’s birth, with a star-studded line-up of family and friends including his daughters Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones, Nitin Sawhney and Olivia Harrison;

Akram Khan Company presents Kaash, originally premiered at Southbank Centre in 2002 and revived in tribute to Ravi Shankar;

London Philharmonic Orchestra performs Ravi Shankar’s final work, the opera Sukanya in January 2020, and his only Symphony in April 2020;

Sitarist and composer Anoushka Shankar features as a Southbank Centre Associate Artist throughout the 2019/20 season;

BFI Southbank screens a selection of films scored by Ravi Shankar, curated by Anoushka Shankar;

An exhibition featuring significant archive objects belonging to Ravi Shankar on display from April 2020 in the Royal Festival Hall Archive Studio;

A specially-commissioned film to be displayed in Royal Festival Hall’s public spaces and online, featuring archive footage and interviews with contemporary artists who have been influenced by Ravi Shankar’s work;

Interactive music workshops and performances for primary schools;

Plus more programming to be announced.

Sukanya Shankar commented: “The centenary celebrations for my husband by the Southbank Centre will bring back some of the magic I have experienced at all the concerts of this amazing musician!”

Anoushka Shankar stated: “I feel deeply grateful to be able to begin celebrations of my late father’s centenary year with a series of special events at London’s Southbank Centre, before we continue the celebrations in various cities worldwide. It feels ambitious to the point of being unrealistic, to somehow put together anything that can fully showcase all the varied aspects of his incredible career, creativity, musicianship and humanity. However with the multiplicity of events that Southbank Centre is putting on, we may stand a chance!”

Akram Khan noted: “Pandit-Ji is one of the most iconic artists to have come out of India, and one that has truly inspired many generations of music and dance lovers all around the world.”

More at Southbank Centre

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Folk Alliance International Announces Ethno USA Project Manager

Jay Gilman

Folk Alliance International has hired Jay Gilman in the role of Ethno USA Project Manager. Ethno is JM International’s 30-year-old program designed to revive and keep alive global cultural heritage through international peer-to-peer music camps.

Working from the Kansas City office as a member of the Folk Alliance International staff, and reporting to JMI’s Belgium-based Global Ethno Program Coordinator Suchet Malhotra, Jay will be responsible for coordinating all of the logistics related to producing an annual two-week long international music camp for young adults in the United States.

A Kansas City native, Jay grew up immersed in music, theater, and dance. An M.Sc. graduate of Nonprofit Leadership at UPenn, and an MPA Social Enterprise Fellow of the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore, Jay has been an independent arts consultant for over a decade, with a specific interest in cross-cultural collaboration. He spent five years as the Associate Director for Programs & Productions for Philadelphia Young Playwrights and most recently served three years as the Artistic Director of the Minnesota Fringe.

Regarding his new role, Jay said, “I believe that art remains one of the few forces that can truly change our world.”

More about JM International Ethno.

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World Music Expo 2019 Opened with Arctic Fire – Pohjoiset tulet Show

Pekko Kappi during the WOMEX 2019 opening ceremony – Photo by Jacob Crawfurd

The World Music Expo, WOMEX, opened its 2019 edition at the Tampere Hall in Finland on October 23, 2019. The opening show, titled  Arctic Fire – Pohjoiset tulet , was produced by Music Finland and directed by internationally-renowned choreographer and dancer Kaari Martin, along with composer, musician and producer Roni Martin. The concert featured four laudable performances from Pauanne, Pekko Käppi, Suistamon Sähkö, and Vildá, all representing this year’s host country, Finland.

Hanna Kosonen, Minister of Science and Culture of Finland, welcoming WOMEX 2019 delegates – Photo by Yannis Psathas

On hosting WOMEX in Tampere this year, Minister of Science and Culture of Finland, Hanna Kosonen, stated: “Finland can be considered as an example of the power of music; to help to construct and articulate national identities in the language of music, but also offer the most peaceful and natural way to fuse cultures together and express multi-culturalism…World music brings audible values such as equality, multi-culturalism, cultural diversity and easy access to culture. These values go extremely well hand in hand with the main goals and values of our Ministry.”

Johanna Loukaskorpi, Deputy Mayor of the City of Tampere at the WOMEX 2019 opening ceremony – Photo by Eric Van Nieuwland

Deputy Mayor of the City of Tampere, Johanna Loukaskorpi, expressed: “The value of music can be a personal emotion or on the other hand, its value can be the huge economic impact the music industry has. Cities and nations all over the world need you, the music professionals, to keep them going. Equality and diversity are things which have to be essential values in every decision and action we make…this is something to be celebrated.”

Vildá at the WOMEX 2019 opening ceremony – Photo by Eric Van Nieuwland

The evening reception was hosted by Music Finland where a special toast was raised to the all WOMEX delegates who have attended every edition of WOMEX’s 25 years of life.

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Fanfara Station Wins Andrea Parodi 2019 World Music Award

Fanfara Station

Fanfara Station, a band formed by musicians from Tunisia, Italy and the USA won the 12th Andrea Parodi Prize, the only contest in Italy dedicated to world music. The group performed the song “Rahil” in Tunisian. Additionally, Fanfare Station also won the critic’s award and the best arrangement as well. The contest took place October 10-12, 2019 at the Conservatory “Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina” in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. The winners were chosen by three different juries.

The prize for the best lyrics went to Federico Marras Perantoni’s song “Canzona di mari n.2 – Fóggu e fiàra”, in Sardinian language.

The best music award was given to Elliott Morris (United Kingdom) for “The End of The World Blues”, in English.

The best performance prize went to “Suspiro” by Suonno D’Ajere, from Campania, sung in the Neapolitan language.

The award for the best performance of a piece by Andrea Parodi was won by Setak, from Abruzzo.

Togolese band Arsene Duevi’s song “Agamà”, in Ewe language, won the upcoming artist award.

The Andrea Parodi Foundation decided to assign a special mention to Krzikopa (Poland) who performed “Hasiorki” in the Silesian language.

The competition this year featured a large presence of foreign artists, including Acoustic Tarab Alchemy (from Tunisia and Lazio) with the song “Fattouma”, in Arabic; Saly Diarra (Senegal) with “Musow” in the Bambara language; Maribop (Spain) with “Un munnu dintra un munnu” in Sicilian and Basque languages.

The Albo d’oro (Golden) Award went to Daniela Zedda, photographer and photojournalist of international importance.

All the prizes are made by Maria Conte, a Sardinian goldsmith artist renowned throughout the world.

The event also hosted important guests such as Moni Ovadia and AdoRiza (Friday), Simone Cristicchi, Tosca and La Maschera, the winner of last year’s competition (Saturday). On Saturday there was also an extract from the show “Lingua Madre, Pasolini’s songbook”, with Duo Bottasso, Elsa Martin, Davide Ambrogio. This is an original production of the Premio Città di Loano, the Mare e Miniere festival and the Andrea Parodi Prize, an idea by Enrico de Angelis.

Moreover, various artistic lineups from the Cagliari Conservatory performed in all the three evenings, led by artist director Elena Ledda and conducted by Gianmaurizio Foderaro and Ottavio Nieddu.

The festival was created to honor and enhance the art of the talented singer and musician Andrea Parodi, who evolved from making pop with Tazenda to a highly valuable solo career where he recreated traditional roots music, thanks to which he became an international reference for Italian world music.

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Sangjaru: Korean Gypsy Wins Sori Frontier Contest

The Sori Frontier with KB Bank contest took place October 5, 2019 during the annual Jeonju International Sori Festival at the Yeonji Madang stage. The contest has been running for 10 years and seeks to promote new Korean talent in the world music field. The winner of the final competition gets 18 million won. The winner this year was the trio Sangjaru: Korean Gypsy.

Gwon Hyochang – Photo by Angel Romero
Nam Seonghun – Photo by Angel Romero

Sangjaru: Korean Gypsy 이미지 intends to inject new creativity into ‘sangja (box)’, meaning tradition. The three artists combine traditional Korean music with Gypsy swing and improvisation. The band includes Jo Seongyun on guitar; Gwon Hyochang on janggu (drum); and Nam Seonghun on ajaeng (wide zither).

Sangjaru: Korean Gypsy – Photo by Angel Romero

Sangjaru: Korean Gypsy put on a visually fun and lively show. They changed costumes throughout the performance, switching from traditional Korean outfits to enormous white wigs.

Although I enjoyed Sangjaru: Korean Gypsy, my favorite act was Gaak Project 이미지. The group combines fascinating, finely-crafted traditional music from Jeollabuk-do province with subtle keyboards, processed guitars and electronics in an intimate setting.

Gaak Project – Photo by Angel Romero

Gaak Project performs music based on the traditions of Jeollabuk-do province. Band members include Park Hyeonyeong on vocals; ; Lee Dongjun on bamboo flute;  Seo Sujin on ajaeng; Kim Hansaem on percussion; and Park Dongseok on keyboards and guitar.

Gaak Project – Photo by Angel Romero
Gaak Project – Photo by Angel Romero

The last act was Hey String 이미지, a trio of three gayageum players who delivered a set of mesmerizing melodic and avant-garde musical pieces using gayaeums and water-filled glasses. Hey String includes Jihyo Kim on gayageum, glassharp, kalimba; Jihyeon Park on gayageum, glockenspiel, vocals; and Jihyeon Oh on gayageum, percussion, glokenspiel.

Jihyeon Oh , Hey String – Photo by Angel Romero
Jihyeon Park, Hey String – Photo by Angel Romero
Jihyo Kim, Hey String – Photo by Angel Romero

More about the Sori Festival

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World Music Expo WOMEX Reveals 2020 Host City: Budapest, Hungary

Piranha Arts, the producers of WOMEX, have announced today that the Hungarian capital, Budapest, will once again host the World Music Expo in 2020. This will be the second edition to be held in Central Eastern Europe. The dates for the 26th WOMEX are Wednesday, October 21 to Sunday, October 25, 2020.

The 2019 edition of WOMEX will be taking place in Tampere, Finland, October 23 – 27, 2019.

Piranha Arts have teamed up with Hangvető, WOMEX’s local partner in Budapest. On partnering for the second time, András Lelkes, CEO of Hangvető, declared: “It’s a great pleasure to welcome WOMEX back to Budapest, made even sweeter by receiving the role of the host from our Finnish sisters and brothers. You will find again the ingredients of the 2015 edition: good weather, great wines, a city rich with musical heritage, the blue Danube and great music. We also plan to open up new horizons, with a special focus on our neighbors; and bring closer the fascinating music of the Balkans.”

Panoramic view of Budapest – Photo by Fanni Szegezdi

WOMEX Director Alex Walter stated: “The WOMEX team is happy to go back to Central Eastern Europe after our successful edition there in 2015, and once again to team up with Hangveto, now a regular partner for other cultural projects in recent years. The city will provide the convenient setting of venues, accessibility, and plenty of accommodation and delicious food options already known to WOMEX delegates!”

More information at WOMEX

headine photo; Budapest chain bridge – Photo by Federico Chiesa, courtesy of BudapestInfo.hu

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The Latin Recording Academy reveals 20th Annual Latin Grammy Awards Nominees – World Music Categories

Rosalía – El Mal Querer

The Latin Recording Academy has announced the nominees for the 20th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards. The Album Of The Year category is composed of a diverse group of artists including Paula Arenas (Visceral), Rubén Blades (Paraíso Road Gang), Andrés Calamaro (Cargar La Suerte), Fonseca (Agustín), Luis Fonsi (Vida), Rosalía (El Mal Querer), Alejandro Sanz (#ELDISCO), Ximena Sariñana (¿Dónde Bailarán Las Niñas?), Tony Succar (Mas De Mi), and Sebastián Yatra (Fantasía).

Rubén Blades – Paraíso Road Gan

The final round of voting to determine Latin GRAMMY winners will begin Oct. 3. Winners will be revealed by The Latin Recording Academy on Nov. 14 at the 20th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards’ Premiere and telecast ceremonies. The telecast will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on the Univision Network from 8–11 p.m. ET/PT.

Following is a list of the nominations in the world music-related categories.

Best Salsa Album

  1. CUBA LINDA – Maite Hontelé (Merlín Producciones/Egrem)
  2. 55 ANIVERSARIO – Mario Ortiz All Star Band (All Star Music Productions Inc.)
  3. MI LUZ MAYOR – Eddie Palmieri (Uprising Music)
  4. NUESTRO HOGAR – Quintero’s Salsa Project (Quintero’s Record)
  5. MAS DE MI – Tony Succar (Unity Entertainment)

Best Cumbia/Vallenato Album

  1. CHECO ACOSTA 30 (EN VIVO) – Checo Acosta (Codiscos)
  2. ESTO QUE DICE! – Diego Daza y Carlos Rueda (ONErpm)
  3. PARA MIS MAESTROS CON RESPETO – Juan Piña(Vibra Entertainment S.A.S)
  4. YO ME LLAMO CUMBIA – Puerto Candelaria & Juancho Valencia (Merlín Producciones/Peermusic)
  5. RAÍCES(Varios Artistas) – José Gaviria & Fernando Tobón, producers (Babel Discos)

Best Traditional Tropical Album

  1. ANDRÉS CEPEDA BIG BAND (EN VIVO) – Andrés Cepeda (Sony Music)
  2. VEREDA TROPICAL – Olga Cerpa y Mestisay (Ediciones Mestisay/Egrem)
  3. LO NUESTRO – Yelsy Heredia (Bis Music)
  4. A JOURNEY THROUGH CUBAN MUSIC – Aymée Nuviola (Top Stop Music)
  5. LA LLAVE DEL SON – Septeto Acarey (Septeto Acarey S.A.C)

Best Contemporary/Tropical Fusion Album

  1. BARRIOS DE MI TIERRA (CANCIONES DE RUBÉNBLADES) – Iván Barrios (Hb Music Corp)
  2. CANDELA -Vicente García (Sony Music Entertainment Colombia S.A)
  3. LITERAL – Juan Luis Guerra 4.40 (Universal Music Latino)
  4. TROPICALIA – Ilegales (Dotel Productions Inc)
  5. MILLY & COMPANY – Milly Quezada (Los Vecinos Enterprises, SRL)

Best Instrumental Album

  1. BALANCE – Gustavo Casenave (Fula Records)
  2. SAXOFONES LIVE SESSIONS – Cuban Sax Quintet (Egrem)
  3. FOLIA DE TREIS – Edu Ribeiro, Fábio Peron, Toninho Ferragutti (Blaxtream)
  4. UNBALANCED CONCERTO FOR ENSEMBLE – Moisés P. Sánchez (Uno Música)
  5. YO SOY LA TRADICIÓN – Miguel Zenón Featuring Spektral Quartet (Miel Music)

Best Folk Album

  1. 48 AÑOS DESPUÉS – Eva Ayllon (Aylloncito Producciones)
  2. DE MAR Y RÍO – Canalón De Timbiquí (Llorona Records)
  3. ORINOCO – Cimarrón (Independent)
  4. ¡VA POR MÉXICO! – Luis Cobos Con The Royal Philarmonic Orchestra & El Mariachi Juvenil Tecalitlán (Blanco y Negro Music, S.A)
  5. TIEMPO AL TIEMPO – Luis Enrique + C4 Trio (Chazz Music/ Empire Records)

Best Tango Album

  1. MARRÓN Y AZUL – Daniel Binelli y Nick Danielson (Bell Ville)
  2. ROTO – Enrique Campos (Acqua Records)
  3. ATÍPICO – Bernardo Monk (Bernardo Monk)
  4. REVOLUCIONARIO – Quinteto Astor Piazzolla (East 54 Entertainment, Inc.)
  5. RADIOTANGO – Pablo Ziegler Chamber Quartet (Zoho Music)

Best Latin Jazz/Jazz Album

  1. TURNING PAGES – Claudia Acuña (Delfin Records)
  2. ELEMENTAL – Branly, Ruiz & Haslip (Blue Canoe Records)
  3. TERCER VIAJE – Dos Orientales (Montevideo Music Group)
  4. RIO – SÃO PAULO – André Marques (Blaxtream)
  5. JAZZ BATÁ 2 – Chucho Valdés (Mack Avenue Music Group)

Best MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) Album

  1. O AMOR NO CAOS – Zeca Baleiro (Onerpm)
  2. CANTA TITO MADI – Nana Caymmi (Biscoito Fino)
  3. TUDO É UM – Zélia Duncan (Biscoito Fino)
  4. TEMPO MÍNIMO – Delia Fischer (Nomad Música)
  5. OK OK OK – Gilberto Gil (Biscoito Fino)
  6. BESTA FERA – Jards Macalé (Zilles Produções)

Best Portuguese Language Roots Album

  1. AJO – Foli Griô Orquestra (Foli Griô Orquestra/Tratore)
  2. MACUMBAS E CATIMBÓS – Alessandra Leão (YB music)
  3. HERMETO PASCOAL E SUA VISÃO ORIGINAL DO FORRÓ – Hermeto Pascoal (Scubidu Music)
  4. O OURO DO PÓ DA ESTRADA – Elba Ramalho (Deckdisc)
  5. REI CAIPIRA – Zé Mulato E Cassiano (VBS Produções)

For the complete list of nominees, visit Latin GRAMMY

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International Songwriting Competition Deadline on September 18, 2019

Musicians interested in submitting songs to the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) have until September 18, 2019. The ISC is one of the most appealing songwriting competitions and includes a world music category. It has great prizes and judges, and the global reputation and benefits that winning ISC produces. ISC gives away more than $150,000 (US dollars) in cash and prizes, shared by 71 winners in 23 music genres.

ISC’s main objective is to provide an outlet and platform for artists and songwriters to achieve their goals and further their careers. ISC is open to amateur and professional songwriters and offers them the unique opportunity to have their music heard by the decision-makers in the music industry, including iconic celebrity artists and high-profile industry executives.

For more information and to enter your original songs, go to International Songwriting Competition.

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Second World Music Networking Conference Held in Russia

Tavrida Art festival – Photo by by Anna Sadovnikova

The biggest Russian festival Tavrida Art hosted Russian Ethno-Music Conference MusiConnect Russia — the second five-day showcase conference of its kind held in Russia.

Tavrida Art festival – Photo by by Anna Sadovnikova

The gathering was aimed at the development of the Russian ethno-music (world music) industry and organized by Daryana Antipova and Alyona Minulina.

Danya Voronkov – Photo by by Anna Sadovnikova

The conference took place during August 21 — 26, 2019 and it brought together 12 directors of ethnic (world music) festivals in Russia and one special guest from Hungary.

Vera Kondratieva – Photo by by Anna Sadovnikova

The participants included: Mikhail Chashchin of Festival Heaven and Earth (Tyumen); journalist Emil Biljarski of the Hungarian Ritmus és hang (Budapest); Natalia Ulanova of the international festival Voice of Nomads» (Ulan-Ude); Marina Gulyaeva of Kupalskaya skazka festival (Moscow); Daryana Antipova, co-director of the Russian World Music Awards (Moscow); Stanislav Drozdov, former director of the international festival Folk Summer Fest (Sevastopol); Ilya Shkurinsky of festival White Noise (Petrozavodsk); Irina Shuvalova of the the creative bureau Selsovet (Moscow), Yuri Pavlov of WAFest festival (Nizhny Novgorod), Irina Palekhova of Alatyr festival (Yekaterinburg), Alexei Polyakov of Call of Parma festival (Perm), and Olga Sitnikova of Protoka (Samara).

Festival directors – Photo by by Anna Sadovnikova

Tavrida Narodnaya is a compilation CD of the best musicians presented at the showcase festival. Festival directors listened to more than 25 participants who applied to perform and were chosen among 50 applicants. All musicians are under 35 years old. If you want to get more information about these projects please contact the compiler and showcase organizer Daryana Antipova (scythianhorn@gmail.com)

Zoya Strekalovskaya

Four groups were chosen to participate at the festivals:

Staritsa from Belgorod is going to play at Kupalskaya skazka» festival in 2010; Volya from Voronezh to participate at WAFest festival in 2020; Zoya Strekalovskaya from Yakutsk will go to Nebo i Zemlya festival in 2020; and Daniil (Danya) Voronkov from Moscow is going to perform at Voice of Nomads festival in 2020.

Festival directors meeting – Photo by by Anna Sadovnikova
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