Category Archives: New CDs

Angelique Kidjo to Release Celia Cruz Tribute Album

Angelique Kidjo – Celia

African music star Angelique Kidjo is set to release her new album Celia (Verve/Universal Music France) on April 19, 2019. The new recording reimagines and celebrates “The Queen of Salsa,” Cuban artist Celia Cruz. Guests on the album include Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen on drums, Meshell Ndegeocello on bass, Sons Of Kemet, and Gangbé Brass Band.

Angelique Kidjo is currently touring the United States, presenting songs from her 2018 album Remain In Light, which reconceptualized the music of influential rock band Talking Heads.

She will be at the Savannah Music Festival on April 6th, 2019 and at Carolina Theatre in Durham, North Carolina on April 8th. Other tour dates include:

April 11
Ulster Performing Arts Center
Kingston, NY

April 12
McCarter Theatre Center
Princeton, NJ


Mahoran Musician M’Toro Chamou to Release Sika Mila

M’Toro Chamou – Sika Mila

M’Toro Chamou, a vocalist and guitarist from Mayotte in the Indian Ocean, has a new album titled Sika Mila (Le Cri de l’Océan Indien).

Sika Mila means preserve your culture and is scheduled for release on April 26, 2019. The album showcases Mahoran culture on an island experiencing a transformation ever since it became the 101st department of France in 2011.

To M’Toro Chamou, appreciating his culture, his roots, and identity is a necessity that must not be lost to the detriment of a culture that is not his own, or else fall into oblivion.

Sika Mila contains ten tracks that include traditional percussion from Mayotte, such as the taris and the n’goma, along with electric guitars, banjo and the harmonica.

M’Toro Chamou released Punk Islands in 2016.


Kronos Quartet to Release an Album with Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat

American chamber music ensemble Kronos Quartet has recorded an album titled Placeless (Kirkelig Kulturverksted) with Iranian artists Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat.

This recording is a milestone for us,” says Mahsa Vahdat. “The wonderful musicians in Kronos Quartet have given our music new dimensions. By performing poems from Persia’s classical era, we have been coming closer to finding an organic connection between what we express in our art and the way we live.”

Kronos’ artistic director, founder and violinist David Harrington adds “We’re always trying to learn as much as we can, and now, recording with Mahsa and Marjan, we sometimes are able to make sounds we have never before heard from our instruments.”

The release date is March 1, 2019.


Strut to Release Nigeria 70 No Wahala: Highlife, Afro-Funk & JuJu 1973-1987 Compilation

Various Artists – No Wahala: Highlife, Afro-Funk & JuJu 1973-1987

Strut Records will release another volume of its Nigeria 70 series titled No Wahala: Highlife, Afro-Funk & JuJu 1973-1987 on March 29, 2019. Compiled by DJ Duncan Brooker, this collection returns to a highly productive era in Nigerian music when well-known styles like highlife and juju were combined with Western jazz, soul and funk, and musicians conveyed a proud new message post-independence.

The producer highlights the extraordinary Ukwuani musicians from the Delta State region, including guitarist Rogana Ottah, Steady Arobby’s International Brothers Band and Don Bruce.

In addition, No Wahala: Highlife, Afro-Funk & JuJu 1973-1987 reveals the tight connection between Nigeria and Benin’s music, most prominently through Sir Victor Uwaifo and Osayamore Joseph.

Other artists Prince Nico Mbarga, the Nigerian-Cameroonian star; reggae singer Felixson Ngasia; Etubom Rex Williams;  and Jacob Lee’s Saxon Lee & The Shadows International Band.

Nigeria 70: No Wahala will be available on CD, 2LP and digital.


The Rough Guide to the Music of Eastern Europe Out in February 2019

Various Artists – The Rough Guide to the Music of Eastern Europe

The latest edition of The Rough Guide to the Music of Eastern Europe will be released February 22, 2019.

The compilation includes Polish act Chłopcy Kontra Basia, Serbia’s Boris Kovač, Hungary’s Söndörgő, Croatian ensemble Kries,  Serbian/English duo Faith i Branko,  Hungarian gypsy band Romano Drom, Bulgarian artists Eugenia Georgieva and vocal ensemble Perunika Trio, Romania’s  Shukar Collective,  the Klezmer sounds of Don Kipper and She’Koyokh, and Bela Lakatos & The Gypsy Youth Project.


Refugees for Refugees Announce New Album

Belgium-based world music ensemble Refugees for Refugees has announced the release of its second album ‘Amina.’ The ensemble will present the new recording at Ancienne Belgique (Brussels) on Saturday, February, 16, 2019.

Refugees for Refugees brings together acclaimed musicians from Syria, Tibet, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Belgium who are united by their yearning to intertwine links between their music.  The group has developed an original repertoire at the crossroads between their different traditions.  

Following two years of collaboration, this second album writes a new chapter in the Refugees for Refugees story. It represents reconstruction, the fresh energy needed to map out a new trajectory after being uprooted.

Breaking down musical barriers, the group offers a rich menu of sounds, from lively Afghan traditional songs to the refinement of the classical tradition from Aleppo and Baghdad, through the pure power of nomadic Tibetan chants, the weightless sounds of the Pakistani sarod, the subtleties of the Turkish ud and eastern percussion.

The ensemble’s debut album Amerli hit the top of the Transglobal World Music Chart in 2016.


Asad Qizilbash (sarod) (Pakistan-Belgium)

Aren Dolma (voice) (Tibet-Belgium)

Fakher Madallal (voice, percussion) (Syria-Belgium)

Kelsang Hula (dramyen, voice) (Tibet-Belgium)

Mohammad Aman Yusufi (dambura, voice) (Afghanistan-Belgium)

Simon Leleux (percussion) (Belgium)

Souhad Najem (qanun) (Iraq-Belgium)

Tammam Al Ramadan (ney) (Syria-Belgium)

Tareq Alsayed Yahya (ud) (Syria-Belgium)

Tristan Driessens (ud) (Belgium)


Paolo Angeli’s Sardinian Take on Radiohead

Paolo Angeli – 22.22 Free Radiohead

Italian guitarist Paolo Angeli has a new album titled 22.22 Free Radiohead (AnMa RER megacorp, 2019) where he showcases his extraordinary extended Sardinian guitar. The instrument is larger than a standard guitar and augmented with two banks of sympathetic strings, a set of foot operated hammers (each linked to a primary string) and a series of motorized propellers.

22.22 Free Radiohead features Angeli’s recreations of songs by Radiohead as well as traditional Sardinian music.


Rocky Dawuni To Release Beats Of Zion in March 2019

Rocky Dawuni

Rocky Dawuni, the international world music and reggae star, global ambassador and humanitarian activist, has announced the release of his 7th studio album Beats of Zion, out March 8th, 2019 through Six Degrees. The thirteen-song recording follows the acclaimed Branches of the Same Tree, and expands Rocky’s “Afro Roots” sound to include the diversity of the Ghanaian music scene and its current global outreach.

“Beats of Zion was born out of my desire to use my diverse global musical influences and exposure to various traditions to paint a multi-cultural musical vision of the world that I perceive,” says Rocky. “The beginning of the year saw me visit Ethiopia and India. In Ethiopia, I visited Lalibela, witnessing ancient Christian rites and my journeys in India also exposed me to its diverse spiritual culture and the shared similarities I saw to Africa.” He adds, “The title Beats of Zion is inspired by a vision of the drumbeat of awareness and elevation of consciousness; a musical call to arms for my audience to be proactive in this day and age as to each person’s responsibility to be an active instrument for positive change.”

The album was recorded in various studios in Accra, Nairobi and Los Angeles. The title track and lead single “Beats of Zion” came out well from the Village Studios session in Los Angeles, but was missing something on the drum tracking. Rocky states, “We traveled to Zanzibar for a concert shortly after the recording session. At the time, I was still wanting the full African tribal effect that I had imagined. On the eve of my concert at the amazing Sauti za Busara Festival, we saw Batimbo Percussion Magique of Burundi mount the stage and blow the minds of everyone in the audience. I turned to my manager; Cary Sullivan who was also watching and we thought the same – ‘these are the guys for Beats of Zion’ and so the story unfolded.”

The lead single will also have an accompanying video due out January 25th. “Wickedest Sound” is another song that speaks volumes, featuring Ghanaian dancehall star Stonebwoy. The track combines elements of modern Afrobeats with Reggae music. With production paying homage to the organic recordings of classic Highlife music, it also combines a groove driven melodic approach with the traditional call and response style of singing.


The Music of the Bushinengé of French Guiana

Les Bushinengé – Nèg Mawon de Guyane

Nèg Mawon de Guyane is the title of the album from Les Bushinengé (Buda Musique, 2019)

The Bushinengé people are descendants of slaves who escaped into the Amazonian Jungle of French Guiana.

They have maintained deep connections with their African cultural roots through music and dance, often with a symbolism that takes on significance whithin the context of a specific place, event or object.

The music includes call and response singing, accompanied by drums, rattles, flutes and stringed instruments.