Barranquilla, Colombia- Cuban pianist, arranger and orchestra director Chucho Valdés, Grammy award winner this year at Latin Jazz category, was given the title of president for life of the festival of orchestras in this city, a distinction that in the opinion of the main organizer of the carnival, Colombian musician Roberto de Castro, honors the city. De Castro said that Barranquilla gets prestige with Valdés’ designation, whom he classifies as one of the most relevant figures on the Caribbean-rooted music cultural values.
Very famous celebrities have performed on the festival such as Rubén Blades, Willy Colón, Celia Cruz, Andy Montánez, Oscar D’León, Chucho Valdés, Tito Puente, Larry Harlow, Eddie Palmieri, Manolito Simonet y su Trabuco, Adalberto Alvarez y su Son and many other. The awards of the Festival of Orchestras, the “Congo de oro”, granted by a jury are very sought-after and have been achieved by Chucho Valdés, Rubén Blades, Willy Colón… among others. It is a very prestigious award and there is no salsa orchestra which does not wish to achieve one, said De Castro.
New York City, USA- The first two releases on the new Indigedisc label will be out the first week of April. One of the releases will be Sound Time, a retrospective of Highlife icon Chief Stephen Osadebe of Nigeria.
The other recording is a late 1960s/early 1970s look at the sounds of Haruna Ishola, also from Nigeria, and one of the masters of Apala music.
New York City, USA- On April 17, Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan will release his self-titled album, Rahat, in the United States, bringing qawwali music to a whole new audience. The album will be released by American/Legacy Recordings and was produced by Rick Rubin.
Chicago, USA – For the first time, the Inter-American Conference on Black Music Research will be held outside the United States. The conference will examine and experience the musics of the Caribbean region, and the main topics that will be discussed will be the interconnections between musics in the Americas, ways to bridge the boundaries in research and writing; and diasporal unities in the Circum-Caribbean. The event will take place in Port of Spain, Trinidad, May 23-27, 2001. To register go to: www.cbmr.org or call: +1(312) 344-7559, Fax: +1 (312) 344-8029.
Barcelona, Spain – Peret, the undisputable master of the Catalan rumba (a combination of Spanish Gypsy rumba with Caribbean and rock elements) is back with Peret, Rey de la Rumba (Narada). After a long retirement, Peret recorded an album with updated versions of his greatest hits.
Several special guests appear on the album: David Byrne, Sergent García and Professor Angel Dust.
Madrid, Spain – Three flamenco dancers, Tacha, Manuela Vega and Ana Romero have opened a new Flamenco club in the Spanish capital. The name of the tablao is Las Carboneras and it is located in an area that is already known for its flamenco activity, at the Plaza del Conde de Miranda 1, Madrid.
Holguin, Cuba – Faustino Oramas Osorio, artistically known as El Guayabero, celebrated his 90th birthday last week with the same enthusiasm that he has sung his “sones” and “guarachas” throughout the world. The popular musician, who is known for his “tres” (a typical Cuban guitar with three double strings) and his straw hat, is a personality in Cuban music due to his delicate way of singing double meaning songs.
A maestro of this style, this old-fashioned man is the composer of songs such as “Marieta”, “La yuca de Casimiro” and “El palito de la alcancia”. These songs are today included in the repertoire of the Island’s famous musical groups and artists from many other countries.