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Entrancing Modern Celtic Sounds of Scotland and Brittany

Alain Genty and Joanne McIver – Eternal Tides (Buda Records, 2017)

Eternal Tides is a beautiful and mesmerizing album by two masters in the Celtic music field. Frenchman Alain Genty is a bass virtuoso, multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer who has been involved in Breton music for many years. Joanne McIver is a Scottish singer-songwriter from Arran Island who also plays the Scottish smallpipes.

Together, Alain Genty and Joanne McIver celebrate Scotland’s traditions through songs in Gaelic and English plus short instrumentals. It’s contemporary Celtic music, mixing tradition with tasteful modern electric bass, North African rhythms, jazz trumpet, and soundscape electronics. Some of us would call some the pieces progressive Celtic music.

Along with the remarkable vocals of Joanne Mciver and the outstanding bass lines of Alain Genty, you’ll also find an impressive list of well-known guest instrumentalists from the Breton Celtic music scene who add Breton and world music instruments into the mix.

Some of themes of the songs include the uncertainty of distant fishing; a longing of childhood summers on the beach; dockworker songs; and references to Scottish history.

 

 

The lineup includes Alain Genty on bass, guitars, keyboards, drums and electronics; Joanne McIver on vocals and Scottish smallpipes; Patrick Molard on biniou; Jean-Michel Veillon on bombard; Nicolas Giraud on trumpet and berimbau; Christophe Saunière on harp; Thierry Garcia on guitar; Kouider Berkane on violin; and Bachir Mokari on darbuka, bendir and karkabas.

Eternal Tides is an exquisitely-crafted, enchanting album by two giants in the contemporary Celtic music field who masterfully bring together Scottish and Breton traditions.

Buy the Eternal Tides CD or the digital download version.

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Jenny & The Mexicats’ Fresh Mestizo Sound

Jenny & The Mexicats – Mar Abierto (Mexicat Records, 2017)

Globetrotting mestizo music band Jenny & The Mexicats has a new album titled Mar Abierto (Open Sea). The multinational group is led by British vocalist and trumpet player Jenny Ball. Originally based in Madrid, the band later moved to Mexico.

Mar Abierto includes catchy Spanish and English-language songs featuring flamenco rumba, pop, cumbia, reggae, merengue, swing, son veracruzano and pop influences. The English-language set includes Jeny’s neo-soul vocals.

The lineup includes Jenny Ball (UK) on vocals, trumpet and guitar; David González Bernandos (Spain) on percussion and vocals; Alfonso Acosta “Pantera” (Mexico) on guitar and vocals; and Luis Díaz “Icho” (Mexico) on bass.

With Mar Abierto, Jenny & The Mexicats demonstrate that it’s one of the most exciting roots music acts currently based in Mexico.

Buy Mar Abierto

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Captivating and Edgy Reggae

Morgan Heritage – Avrakedabra (CTBC Music Group, 2017)

Modern reggae masters Morgan Heritage continue to dazzle the listener with its irresistible rhythms and masterfully-constructed vocals and harmonies. The award-winning group is at its best when it focuses on roots reggae, adding the admirable vocal mix that characterizes their sound: outstanding lead vocals, equally good backing harmonies, call and response, and edgy Mr. Talk Box electronic vocals.

As a crossover band, Morgan Heritage also features radio-friendly pop, R&B and rock influences that help the band reach larger audiences.

Guests include Kabaka Pyramid, Dre Island, and Stephen and Ziggy Marley.

 

 

 

Next concert dates:

May 27 – Tortola Pier Park – Road Town, British Virgin Islands
Jun 10 – Camfest – East Orange, New Jersey, USA
Jul 19 – Theatre of Living Arts – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Jul 20 – Ocean Mist – Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
Jul 21 – Wellfleet Beachcomber – Wellfleet, Massachusetts, USA
Jul 22 – Trumansburg Fairgrounds – Trumansburg, New York, USA
Dec 31 – The Trusts Arena – Auckland, New Zealand

Buy Avrakedabra

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Artist Profiles: David Krakauer

David Krakauer – Photo by Selmer Paris

Clarinetist David Krakauer has mastered a wide-range of styles, including classical chamber music, Eastern European Klezmer music, the avant-garde, rock and jazz. He is a natural storyteller who has dazzled colleagues and the public.

Krakauer is in demand worldwide as a guest soloist with the finest chamber music groups. Collaborations have included the Tokyo String Quartet, the Eroica Trio, the Kronos Quartet, the Lark Quartet, the Mendelssohn String Quartet, and the Empire Brass Quintet. Programs ranged from Brahms and Bartok to Schoenberg and Golijov.

As one of the leading musicians of the new wave of Klezmer music, David Krakauer tours the globe with his celebrated Klezmer Madness! Ensemble. While firmly rooted in traditional Klezmer folk tunes the band also pays homage to R&B jazz classical and funk.

His first release on the prestigious French jazz label Label Bleu A New Hot One garnered France’s prestigious Diapason d’Or Prize.

Discography:

Klezmer Madness (Tzadik 711, 1995)

Klezmer NY (Tzadik 7127, 1998)

A New Hot One (Label Bleu 6617, 2000)

The Twelve Tribes (Label Bleu, 2002)

Johannes Brahms – The New York Philomusica Chamber Ensemble (New York Philomusica Records, 2002)

Klezmer Concertos and Encores (Milken Archive of Jewish Music, 2003)

Music From The Winery (Tzadik, 2004)

Krakauer Live in Krakow (Label Bleu, 2004)

Bubbemeises: Lies My Gramma Told Me (Label Bleu, 2005)

David Krakauer (Naxos, 2007)

Moravec: Tempest Fantasy / Mood Swings / B.A.S.S. Variations – Trio Solisti & Tweet Tweet – Abraham Inc. (Table Pounding Records, 2009)

The Best of David Krakauer (Label Bleu, 2010)

Pruflas: The Book of Angels (Tzadik, 2012)

Dreams & Prayers (Dreams & Prayers, 2014)

The Big Picture (United For Opportunity, 2014)

Ancestral Groove: Checkpoint (United For Opportunity, 2016)

website: www.davidkrakauer.com

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Reggae Star Max Romeo to Appear in Africa Oyé’s 25th Anniversary Festival

Max Romeo

Music festival Africa Oyé has announced that roots reggae legend Max Romeo will be performing at its 25th Anniversary festival. Africa Oyé 2017 takes place Saturday, June 17-18 at Sefton Park, Liverpool. Admission is free.

Max Romeo has had top 10 hits throughout Europe and has been sampled by artists like Jay Z and The Prodigy. Max Romeo’s career started when he signed a contract with Bunny Lee, one of the biggest producers of his time in Jamaica in the 1960s. Hits such as ‘Chase The Devil’ lead to international success and to performances across the world.

After working with producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Romeo’s style evolved from a typically Jamaican ska towards to pop reggae.

Other artists scheduled to perform include Mokoomba (Zimbabwe), Jupiter & Okwess International (DR Congo), Dobet Ghanore (Ivory Coast).

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Campaign Started to Build Pianos in Rwanda

A group of three friends has gotten together to build pianos in Rwanda. After the closure of the only piano factory in South Africa years ago, there are currently no piano makers in Africa. The Rwandan workshop intends to build upright pianos with an African twist, using local materials to make it affordable.

There is an Indiegogo campaign running until June: indiegogo.com/projects/kigali-keys-building-pianos-in-rwanda-piano-africa#/

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Artist Profiles: Tomasz Kukurba

Tomasz Kukurba at Forde in 2010 – Photo by Angel Romero

Tomasz Kukurba was born in Cracow, Poland in 1969. He started playing the violin in elementary school. At the age of ten he sang in the Cracow Philharmonic Choir and toured Germany and France, performing the works of Krisztof Penderecki.

During his time in high school, at the age of fourteen, he started to play the viola, which became his main instrument. Kukurba worked with the avant-garde jazz ensemble Mixtura. Like the other members of Polish band Kroke he studied classical music at the Music Academy of Cracow.

He was member of the Academy’s String Quartet and various other chamber orchestras, playing primarily the music of Penderecki, and joined, along with Tomasz Lato, the Sinfonietta Cracovia and an experimental jazz group.

Discography

* Klezmer Acoustic Music Trio (Oriente Musik, 1996)
* Eden (Oriente Musik, 1997)
* Live at The Pit (Oriente Musik, 1998)
* The Sounds of the Vanishing World (Oriente Music, 1999)
* Ten Pieces To Save The World (Oriente Music, 2003)
* East Meets East (EMI classics, 2003)
* Quartet – Live At Home (Oriente Music 2004)
* Seventh Trip (Oriente Music 2007)
* Out of Sight (Oriente Music 2009)
Live in Førde, with Tindra (Talik, 2011)
* Feelharmony (EMI Music Poland, 2012)
* Ten (Oriente Musik, 2014)
* Cabaret of Death: Music for a Film (Oriente Musik, 2015)
* Traveller (Universal Music Group, 2017)

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Artist Profiles: Oisin Mac Diarmada

Oisín Mac Diarmada

Oisín Mac Diarmada was born in 1978 in County Clare, Ireland. He learned how to play the fiddle at a young age. Oisín later moved to Co. Sligo where he developed a deep interest in the playing style of the North Connacht region. He won various competitions for young musicians.

His first solo album, “Ar an bhFidil” (Green Linnet) was released in 2003. Oisín is one of the founders of acclaimed contemporary Irish folk music group Téada. Oisín is also a regular solo performer and appears as guest soloist with various other acts.

Oisín was awarded a Research Studentship by Dundalk Institute of Technology, pursuing postgraduate studies under the direction of Dr. Fintan Vallely in the area of “Political Identity & Movement to Music”.

Discography

* Ar an bhFidil (Green Linnet, 2003)
* Teada, with Teada (Ceol Records CEOCD 002, 2003)
* Give us a penny and let us be gone, with Teada (Green Linnet 1228, 2004)
* Inne Amarach (Yesterday Tomorrow), with Teada (Gael Linn/Compass Records, 2006)
* Ceol & Cuimhne (Music & Memory), with Teada (Compass Records, 2010)
* Le Chéile / Together, with Seamus Begley (Ceol Productions, 2012)
* An Irish Christmas Soundscape, with Seamus Begley (Ceol Productions, 2012)
* Ainneoin Na Stoirme (In Spite of the Storm), with Teada (Ceol Productions, 2013)
* The Green Branch / An Géagán Glas (Ceol Productions, 2015)

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Artist Profiles: Mats Eden

Mats Edén

Mats Edén was born October 30, 1957 in Södertälje, Sweden. has his roots in the rich soil of Värmland. A member of acclaimed Swedish folk ensemble Groupa since its inception in 1980, he also writes the majority of the band’s material.

Having studied composition at Norway’s Musikkskole in Oslo, it comes as no surprise to those familiar with Mats’ playing that he is a nationally recognized master accordionist, having earned the distinguished title of ‘Riksspelman’ (master musician).

His violin work is at once elegant and jagged and distinguishes the band’s sound with his own combination of the sounds of Värmland and of Norway. Mats’ third solo album Milvus (with Jonas Simonson) was released on the ECM label. He has also toured the United States of America and Europe with Ale Moller and Lena Willemark in the ECM project Nordan.

Discography

* Unga Värmlandsspelmän (Caprice, 1977)
* Lika många fötter i taket som på golvet, Oktober (1978, Amigo)
* Höppesving (Amigo, 1980)
* Av bara farten, with Groupa (Amigo, 1983)
* Vildhonung, with Groupa (Amigo, 1985)
* Utan Sans, with Groupa (Amigo, 1988)
* Månskratt, with Groupa (Amigo, 1990)
* Struling (Amigo, 1992)
* Imeland, with Groupa (Amigo, 1995)
* Nordan (ECM, 1996)
* Agram, with Nordan (ECM, 1997)
* Läckerbiten (Amigo, 1998)
* Milvus (ECM, 1999)
* Tokpolskan, with Ellika Frisell (Giga, 1999)
* Lavalek, with Groupa (Xource, 1999)
* Avtryck (Amigo, 2001)
* Träd, with Niss Kerstin Mattsson (Amigo, 2001)
* Fjalar, with Groupa (Xource, 2003)
* Vägen In, with Tina Quartey (Amigo, 2004)
* Crane Dance, with Jonas Simonson m.fl. (Nordic Tradition, 2006)
* Milvus (ECM, 2008)
* Frost, with Groupa (Footprint, 2008)
* Apple Blossom (2015)

web site: http://www.matseden.se

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Artist Profiles: La Barberia del Sur

La Barberia del Sur

La Barberia del Sur was a Madrid-based group formed by some of the foremost talents of the 1980s Flamenco scene, descendants of the purest dynasties. The youngsters dared to venture out and experiment with their traditional music combining it with a variety of musical forms: pop, jazz, salsa, etc.

The members of were:

Pepe Luis Carmona, nephew of the well known flamenco guitarist Pepe Habichuela Pepe Luis is a flamenco singer in the strictest sense of the word: a master of all the traditional forms of the art.

Enrique Heredia: another heir to a family tradition, that of the Montoyita dinasty, who throughout the years have demonstrated their mastery of all sides of flamenco: guitar, song and dance. He has worked with both the most esteemed flamenco artists and some of Spain’s leading pop musicians.

Juan Jose Suarez in the son of Ramon El Portugues, nephew of Porrina and a first cousin of Gypsy rumba group Los Chunguitos. During his youth, he already served his dues as guitar player in the top tablaos of Madrid. He was also, together with Enrique Heredia, the usual accompanist of one of the great masters of the flamenco cante: the late Enrique Morente.

The group reunited in 2009 for a series of concerts.

Discography

* La Barbería del Sur (Nuevos Medios, 1991)
* Algo pa nosotros (Nuevos Medios, 1997)
* Historias de un deseo (1993)
* Túmbanos si puedes (Nuevos Medios, 1995)
* Arte Pop (1998)
* Una noche en el 7º (2000)
* Negri y Paquete (2002)

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