The San Francisco Jazz Festival Features World Music

omara_portuondo_9San Francisco, USA (PRWEB) — SFJAZZ is proud to announce the line-up for the 21st Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival presented by Target Stores, a two-and-a-half-week extravaganza featuring the best in jazz today, from October 23 through November 9, 2003.  The Festival presents a phenomenal array of concerts: legendary masters alongside groundbreaking newcomers, time-honored traditions mixed with bold exploration, and players and sounds from around the globe as well as from our own Bay Area backyard.

Featuring concert hall shows at Masonic Auditorium and Oakland’s Calvin Simmons Theatre, intimate performances at Herbst Theatre and Florence Gould Theatre at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, a swinging Bay cruise, and a rousing tribute at Grace Cathedral, the 2003 Festival continues its tradition. As always, proceeds from the festival will benefit SFJAZZ’s music education programs in Bay Area schools.This year, the Festival kicks off with a very special evening with McCoy Tyner, a member of John Coltrane’s “classic quartet” of the 1960’s, in a rare solo piano engagement at the Herbst. Also at the Herbst, hot young piano star Peter Cincotti makes his Festival debut and soul-stirring singer Mavis Staples presents a tribute to gospel great Mahalia Jackson at the Festival’s annual Sacred Space concert at Grace Cathedral.       

Other Festival highlights include world music singing sensations Omara Portuondo (Cuba) and Virginia Rodrigues (Brazil) at the Masonic; “A Taste of Umbria”: a series of intimate concerts with some of the brightest new talents and forward-looking figures in Italian jazz; the long-awaited return of R&B great Ruth Brown; an evening with jazz great Dave Holland and his Quintet at the Palace of Fine Arts; legendary piano master Cecil Taylor in a solo performance, also at the Palace of Fine Arts; powerhouse singer Etta James and her Roots Band at the Masonic Auditorium; local legends Maria Muldaur and Dan Hicks share a double-bill at the Palace of Fine Arts; and the Bay Area jazz scene comes together to celebrate the life and work of esteemed jazz critic Phil Elwood in the annual SFJAZZ Beacon Award celebration.

The Festival’s extraordinary lineup continues with Spanish flamenco piano phenomenon Chano Dominguez; the “Rematch” of Hammond B-3 icons Jimmy Smith and Joey DeFrancesco at Bimbo’s 365 Club; guitar master Bill Frisell and his Intercontinentals, sharing a bill with innovator Marc Ribot; a members-only
concert with Marian McPartland; an elegant evening with Nancy Wilson and Ramsey Lewis at the Masonic; the 20th anniversary celebration of the Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette trio; the ever-popular Bay Cruise, and much more.


October 23 – November 9, 2003
Thursday, October 23, noon
Union Square
Youth in Jazz
SFJAZZ All-Star High School Ensemble

Thursday, October 23, 7:30pm
Herbst Theatre, Van Ness & McAllister Streets, SF
Solo Piano: McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner

Friday, October 24, 8pm
Herbst Theatre, Van Ness & McAllister Streets, SF
New Sensation: Peter Cincotti
Peter Cincotti;
Julian Lage

Friday, October 24, 8pm
Grace Cathedral, California & Taylor Streets, SF
Sacred Space
Mavis Staples Sings Mahalia Jackson

Friday & Saturday, October 24 & 25, 8pm
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, Lyon & Bay Streets, SF
Sun Rings
Kronos Quartet

Saturday October 25, 2pm
Florence Gould Theatre, Palace of the Legion of Honor, SF
Best of Italy I
Gabriele Mirabassi/Luciano Biondini Duo;
Gianluigi Trovesi/Gianni Coscia Duo

Saturday, October 25, 8pm
Masonic Auditorium, California & Taylor Streets, SF
Buena Vista Social Club presents
Omara Portuondo;
Virginia Rodrigues

Saturday, October 25, 8pm
Herbst Theatre, Van Ness & McAllister Streets, SF
From Broadway to the Bay
Ann Hampton Callaway

Sunday, October 26, 7pm
Herbst Theatre, Van Ness & McAllister Streets, SF
Miss Brown Comes to Town
Ruth Brown
Joe Louis Walker

Sunday, October 26, 7pm & Family Matinee 3pm
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, Lyon & Bay Streets, SF
An Evening with
Dave Holland Quintet

Thursday, October 30, 7:30pm
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, Lyon & Bay Streets, SF
Solo Piano II
Cecil Taylor, solo

Friday, October 31, 8pm
Herbst Theatre, Van Ness & McAllister Streets, SF
Best of Italy II
Enrico Rava & Paolo Fresu “Play Miles Davis”;
Doctor 3

Saturday, November 1, 2pm
Florence Gould Theatre, Palace of the Legion of Honor, SF
Best of Italy III
Enrico Rava/Stefano Bollani Duo;
Danilo Rea/Stefano Di Battista Duo

Saturday, November 1, 8pm
Masonic Auditorium, California & Taylor Streets, SF
Let’s Roll
Etta James & the Roots Band

Sunday, November 2, 2pm
Florence Gould Theatre, Palace of the Legion of Honor, SF
Singing On Sunday I
René Marie

Sunday, November 2, 7pm
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, Lyon & Bay Streets, SF
Local Legends Sing All-Time Favorite Classics
Maria Muldaur “Remembering Peggy Lee”;
Dan Hicks & Jazztet Noir

Monday, November 3, 7:30pm
Herbst Theatre, Van Ness & McAllister Streets, SF
SFJAZZ Beacon Award: A Salute to Phil Elwood   
Mel Martin’s Bebop & Beyond Quartet; Kim Nalley; Leon Oakley’s Friends of Jazz;
Denise Perrier; Larry Vuckovich’s Young at Heart Band; Denny Zeitlin Trio with
Mel Graves & George Marsh; (more TBA)

Wednesday, November 5, 7:30pm
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, Lyon & Bay Streets, SF
Flamenco Jazz
Chano Domínguez
With special guest Jerry Gonzales

Thursday, November 6, 7:30 & 10pm
Bimbo’s 365 Club, 1025 Columbus Ave., SF
B-3 Summit: The Rematch
The Jimmy Smith Group
The Joey DeFrancesco Trio

Friday, November 7, 8pm
Calvin Simmons Theatre, Ten 10th St., Oakland
Intercontinental Guitar
Bill Frisell & The Intercontinentals
Marc Ribot y los Cubanos Postizos

Friday, November 7, 8pm
Herbst Theatre, Van Ness & McAllister
SFJAZZ Members Only Concert: Piano Jazz…Live!
Marian McPartland

Saturday, November 8, 8pm
Masonic Auditorium, California & Taylor Streets, SF
Simple Pleasures
Nancy Wilson & Ramsey Lewis

Sunday, November 9, 11am
Signature Yacht Events’ San Francisco Spirit; Pier 9
Swingin’ on the Bay
Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers
Swing Fever featuring Denise Perrier

Sunday, November 9, 2pm
Florence Gould Theatre, Palace of the Legion of Honor, SF
Singing on Sunday II
Kitty Margolis

Sunday, November 9, 7pm
Masonic Auditorium, California & Taylor Streets, SF
The Trio at 20
Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette

TICKETS:    (FREE to $75) On sale now to SFJAZZ members, on sale to the public August 3, 2003; available in person (without service charge) at the SFJAZZ Box Office, 3 Embarcadero Center, Lobby Level, SF; on SFJAZZ’s web site, (service charge applied); and via (service charge applied) by phone at 415/776-1999 [outside CA
800/225-2277]. Tickets for Herbst Theatre concerts are only available by calling City Box Office at 415/392-4400

INFO:    415/788-SFJF (7353) [outside CA 800/850-SFJF (7353)] or


Ghanaian drummer Yacub Addy & Wynton Marsalis on BET

New York, USA – This season’s JOURNEY WITH JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER television series on the BET Jazz Chanel includes two programs in which Ghanaian drum master Yacub Addy provides an engaging tutorial in African drumming interspersed with live footage from his stellar performance last May in New York with his group Odadaa! and the world-renowned Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (LCJO) with Wynton Marsalis. The first U.S. broadcasts of the two programs will be on the BET Jazz Chanel on October 9 and 16 at 1 pm, 9 pm and Midnight ET.Amina Addy

The following is the telecast schedule on BET Jazz and BET:

Africa Jazz, Part 1  Learn about the sacred connection of the drums to music. This special concert will feature the LCJO with Wynton Marsalis joined by African drum master Yacub Addy and Odadaa! This program will be an intriguing mixture of interviews, musical performance and demonstration.
BET Jazz, 10/09/03, 01/08/04, 04/08/04, 07/08/04 @ 1 p.m., 9 p.m., Midnight ET

BET, December 21 @ 1 p.m. ET/PT

Africa Jazz, Part 2
BET Jazz  10/16/03, 01/15/04, 04/15/04, 07/15/04 @ 1 p.m., 9 p.m., Midnight ET

BET, January 18 @ 1 p.m. ET/PT


Rumbón Tropical, New Cuban Video

Rumbón Tropical
Rumbón Tropical
San Francisco, USA – Boogalu Productions has announced the release of a new film  of Cuban rumba  called Rumbón Tropical  featuring the Cuban music and dance group “Rumberos De Cuba” in an intimate party-performance.  The setting is a lush outdoor patio garden near the river Almendares in
Havana, Cuba.  Available on video and DVD. To check out Rumbón Tropical go
to this link:

Rumberos De Cuba is a newly formed group of some of the best and most engaging musicians and dancers from the barrios of Havana. The group was created not only to preserve the profound and always relevant Cuban rumba and folkloric traditions but also to invent forms which add live elements from contemporary music and dance.Featured at the Rumbón Tropical party are nine sections:

1 – the dance of Ellegua, Orisha of the crossroads
2 – Rumba Yambú
3 – Rumba Guaguancó
4 – Rumba Columbia
5 – Abakuá music and dance
6 – Interview with Maximino
7 – Rumba Guaguancó with cajón drums
8 – Rap Bata-Songo (Orisha music with Rap Hip-Hop vocals and dance)
9 – “La Negra Pancha” (Rumba Drama)

The video is filled with energy and spontaneous dramatic scenes that reflect the diverse and charismatic personalities of the artists who range from 20 to 60 years old. Length: 63 minutes.

Other Cuban music and dance videos available on the Boogalu website:

Casino Cubano, with Lázaro Noriega  – learn to dance Cuban style salsa
Rueda de Buen Ache,  rueda de casino from Santiago
Tremendo Vacilón,  an eclectic panorama of  music and dance in Cuba today.
Rueda Fresca,   fresh rueda de casino from Santiago


Brazilian Classics and the Post-Bossa Generation

Nova Bossa Nova
Nova Bossa Nova
London, England – This compilation brings together the singers, songwriters and musicians from all over Brazil who grew up listening to bossa nova, even played it themselves, but who had an agenda of their own – a desire to speak for the ordinary people.

By the mid-1960’s the elegant cool of bossa-nova was beginning to seem out of touch with the realities of a country where a military junta had taken control of the government. And so to the backlash: a more politically aware music with a desire to speak for the ordinary people. The artists here were at least as conscious of what had gone before, as to what was to come. They include Elis Regina, Jorge Ben, Caetano Veloso and Chico Buarque.

All sound as fresh and as relevant today as when they first stepped into a studio. Nova Bossa Nova is a perfect snapshot of the past, the present and the future of popular Brazilian music.


US Debut for one of Ireland’s Hottest New Groups

Téada - Téada
Téada – Téada
Danbury, Connecticut, USA – Today is the US release date for Téada, the debut album by Irish band Téada. Their debut CD features the unique fiddle-playing and vocals of Sligo musician, Oisín Mac Diarmada, the flute and harmonic guitar playing of London-born John Blake, rhythmic bouzouki and banjo-playing from Seán McElwain of Monaghan, and Tristan Rosenstock on bodhrán. Téada (tay-da): means ‘strings’ in the Irish language. The group was recently voted “Best Traditional Newcomers” of 2003 in the Irish Music Magazine Readers’ Poll. Teada embarked on a major American tour recently.


Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – a sufi supreme

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - A Sufi Supreme
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – A Sufi Supreme
London, England – British label Manteca has added a new title to the growing collection of
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan recordings. A Sufi Supreme (MANTCD046) is sensitively selected and sequenced to show the breadth and passion of his work.

I ate my heart out. I felt a rush of adrenaline in my chest, like I was on the edge of a cliff, wondering when I would jump.” So wrote the late Jeff Buckley about hearing Nusrat for the first time.“ During his comparatively short life Nusrat was not short of famous fans and his was the voice that helped elevate a centuries old Islamic Sufi tradition of ecstatic Qawwal (lit: utterance) singing, to a popular art.  It includes key lyric translations and an informed introduction to the music.

Notes by Bhagwant Sagoo and Compilation by Iain Scott.

Bhagwant is a Broadcaster and Producer of the Asian Network at BBC Three Counties Radio (UK) and also writer and visiting lecturer on the origins and development of Hindi Film Music.

Iain first stumbled on Qawwali by accident. Probably in a field somewhere, or maybe at a late-night concert in an obscure town hall. He can’t remember. What he can remember is his utter disbelief at the skill and artistry involved. Transfixed.

1. Pyar Ka Diya Jalta Rahe
2. Meri Bukkal Wich Chor Chor
3. Ag Ishq Di (Bossa Mix)
4. Alif Allah Chambe Dee Booti (edit)
5. Sanware Tore Bin Jiya (from ‘Bandit Queen’)
6. Bari Bari Iman
7. Jhoole Jhoole Lal (Tabla Mix)
8. Mere Nabi Pyare Nabi
9. Funeral Pyres (from ‘Bandit Queen’)


Grey Larsen and Paddy League: the Essence of Irish Flute

Grey Larsen and Paddy League - The Dark of the Moon
Grey Larsen and Paddy League – The Dark of the Moon
Bloomington, Indiana, USA – Irish Flutist Grey Larsen has teamed with Paddy League to record a new CD titled. The Dark of the Moon.

Any bird expert will tell you, there is no such thing as a cuckoo’s nest. The cuckoo is one of the few birds that lays its eggs in another bird’s nest and leaves its young to be raised by someone else. Grey Larsen learned the old traditional Irish tune called “The Cuckoo’s Nest” when he himself had fallen into a surrogate nest rich in Irish tradition. Larsen learned the tune in Ohio and transcribed it for his unprecedented 450-plus-page tome The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle to be released on November 3, 2003 by Mel Bay Publications.

Beginning in the ’50s, a dozen blue-collar immigrants met weekly in Cleveland to play Irish music. Once farmers or coalminers, they came to America for a better life. The Cleveland Irish Musicians’ Club was not a public affair, so it was a bit of a surprise in 1974 when a few longhaired Oberlin students appeared.

When we walked in, there was this stone cold silence,” remembers Larsen. “Politically we were miles apart, but once we started playing together, we became great friends.” The weekly 40-mile trip to Cleveland was when Larsen—whose CD with Paddy League, Dark of the Moon, will be released on Sleepy Creek Music on November 3, 2003—first began his musical migration to the Irish
flute. The cuckoo’s nest is like a metaphor for Larsen’s own musical rearing, as if dropped into a nest of Irish immigrants and given the task of preserving old melodies and playing techniques.

Larsen learned one tune on Dark of the Moon in 1979 at the home of County Sligo flute player Josie McDermott. “That was my first trip to Ireland and I wanted to learn everything the same way traditional musicians had in the old days,” recalls Larsen. “So I didn’t bring a tape recorder. I thought I could be so focused I would remember it all. Josie McDermott played me these great tunes. But, in the end, I only remembered one. I hummed it to myself over and over as I got a lift on the back of a tractor.” For years Larsen called the tune “Ride on the Tractor.” On the new CD, it is listed as “Josie McDermott’s Reel.”

Larsen learned other tunes on the new CD from melodeon player Michael J. Kennedy (1900-1978), a former Irish farmer who settled in Larsen’s hometown of Cincinnati. He gave Larsen his first taste of “crooked tunes” or melodies with extra beats added to their structure. “Crooked tunes are very uncommon in Ireland today,” Larsen explains. “Some of the older players had a lot of tunes like that. I think there was a lot more crooked Irish music 100 years ago. Somehow the music got kind of tamed.”

A highlight of Larsen’s new book is the final chapter of 27 transcriptions from some of the most important flute and tin whistle players. Interestingly, both the earliest and latest transcriptions are crooked. The first one, “The Corry Boys” (also on Dark of the Moon), was transcribed from John McKenna’s 78-rpm record issued in 1925. “Fire Patrolman McKenna”—as he’s listed on the first of 30 recordings he made in his adopted home of New York City—established the flute as a prominent instrument in Irish music. The last transcription is of Grey Larsen’s own playing of “The Cuckoo’s Nest”—which he learned from Michael Kennedy.

Larsen’s book covers everything from history to playing techniques. But the bulk of it is dedicated to ornamentation, a major element of Irish music critical to the flute player’s unique expression. These embellishments descend from the Irish bagpipes. Since a bellows powered these pipes, the only way to initiate a repeated note was with a special finger articulation. This led Irish pipers to evolve an elaborate vocabulary of fingered embellishments. This language was inherited by the Irish flute and whistle, and never before Larsen has anyone so thoroughly explained on paper the complete range of these ornaments and how to play them. One chapter is dedicated to the artistry of knowing when to take a breath, since, as the only human-blown Irish instruments, the flute and whistle must create breathing places by thoughtfully omit notes. Larsen combines the highly technical and his spiritual tie to the instrument.

The flute is really magical,” Larsen exclaims. “Your breath is producing the sound. Not wood. Not a metal string. You can’t see what is making the sound. It is very ethereal. It’s such a direct route into your soul.”


Sahrauis, Music of Western Sahara

Sahrauis (Saharawis)
Music of Western Sahara
(3 CDs and a book)
Nubenegra and Intuition Music & Media (1998)

In 1998, four European producers set out on an arduous journey and transporting recording equipment to the Sahara Desert to record traditional music of yesterday and today as interpreted by the Saharawis (also known as Sahrawis, Saharauis and Sahrauis) people of the exiled nation, Democratic Arab Republic of Sahara. Arriving at various locations in Algeria, the producers (Luìs Delgado, Alberto Gambino, Zazie Wurr and Manuel Domìnguez) spent 14 days traveling between Rabouni, Dakhla, Es Semara, Aswerd refugee camps and finishing their recordings in Madrid. They recorded some of Western Sahara’s finest musicians as well as, documenting the plight of the Saharawis through photographs and video footage.

This journey and the music are commemorated in a 3 CD box set and book. (The original 1998 release of Sahrauis also included a CD-ROM). However, only the two of the CDs, Despite All Wounds (featuring women vocalists) and Sahara My Land (featuring both men and women vocalist) derive from this 1998 journey to the Sahara Desert.

The third CD was actually produced in 1982 by Mohammed Tammy and released on the Spanish folk label, Guimbarda. Simply titled Polisario Will Win, this recording showcases the talent of the group, Màrtir Luali (named after the founder of the Polisario Front). The group was comprised of 14 vocalists, t’bal (large animal skin drum), guitar (lead and rhythm) and Saharawi drum. Other vocalists featured wereMariem Hassan, Teita Leibid, Mahfoud Aliyen and Hadhoum Abeid (all of them appear on the 1998 recordings). The ten tracks marry traditional Hawl with contemporary Western sensibility and all of the tracks revolve around the political struggle the Saharawis face and their hope for liberation. They are battle cries sung in Hassanija (Arabic dialect) and following Hawl structure.
Even so, the songs will sound familiar to non-Arab listeners, and at times, resembling rock music modulations. The songs might even take people back to a time when revolutionary anthems were imbedded in rock music. Yet, because these songs are based on traditional music structure, the appearance of the electric guitar only adds volume and does not adopt the Western idiom of rock music.

Fast forward to 1998, the Saharawis still reside in refugee camps while pursuing all diplomatic channels to return to the Western Sahara as liberated people. The songs that appear on Despite All Wounds and Sahara My Land could be called heart shattering poetry embellished with sonic guitars and wailing vocals, but on the other hand, ethereal songs featuring vocals and t’bal also
appear on the CDs. The songs revolve around hope for the future and despair for current strife. However don’t mistake these musicians for poster children for the cause of the day because anyone who could endure years of suffering and still keep their dreams in focus couldn’t be called victims nor would anyone think that after listening to this collection of songs. However the international community could pressure the Moroccan government to return the Western Sahara to the Saharawis.

My personal favorite is Despite All Wounds featuring women vocalists; backed by men and women musicians. One can hear the respect that the men have for the women who organized the camps and whose generosity has fueled hope in the men. And I also enjoy the acoustic duo, Aziza Brahim (vocals) and Tarba Bibo (t’bal and harmony) as well as, a Saharan Janis Joplin, Mariem Hassan backed by electric guitar compliments of Nayim Alal. However, other vocalists also provide impassioned vocals on this disc. Some of my favorite tracks are My God (a duet with Aziza and Tarba) a
devotional acoustic song, the ambient The Grave featuring Teita Leibid on vocals and producer Luis Delgado on e-bow guitar and The Earth Spills Tears, another duet with Aziza and Tarba.

Sahara My Land possesses similar musical qualities to Despite All Wounds, but mostly features male vocalists. Electric and acoustic guitars have replaced the traditional tindit (you will find that throughout the CDs, although the tindit does make appearances too) and bass guitar, keyboards and saxophone also augment the songs. By the time listeners have spun each CD a few times, they will begin to recognize the talent behind each song and distinct personalities and musical
preferences. This CD box set provides songs that could interests a broad audience, but especially a young audience. Although the song structure, rhythmic patterns, poetry and vocals derive from Saharawis tradition, Western instruments have seeped into the recording. As the Saharawi men and women struggle to preserve their culture through music, art and dance, they are slowly losing their old way of life. And in fact, many of their traditions that were tied into their former nomadic lifestyle have atrophied under former Spanish colonialism and after 28 years of exile where the Saharawis have resided in refugee camps. To further complicate matters, younger generations have studied and brought back influences from the outside (Latin America, Algeria, Europe) and this has also brought modern sensibilities to the Saharawis’ music.

The writers of the book that accompanies the CD set state. “The use of modern electric guitars, the constant trips abroad of the younger generation, the provisional living conditions on one hand and the extreme tenderness with which the Sahrauis maintain their form and traditions on the other, leads to a very peculiar situation within the sphere of their music as well as in other areas. Only time will tell what direction this development is going to take.”

Because the traditional music is so beguiling, I hope this music will be preserved for future generations and created at the Saharawis’ true home, the Western Sahara.

Buy Music of Western Sahara.


Javier Ruibal’s Sahara, Andalusian Music and Poetry

Javier Ruibal - Sahara
Javier Ruibal – Sahara
San Francisco, USA – Riverboat/World Music Network will release Javier Ruibal’s latest CD, Sahara, on October 21st.

Javier Ruibal is an exceptional singer-songwriter from Cádiz, Spain, who forges a new sound out of Flamenco and North African influences. A modern-day, quintessentially Spanish troubadour, Ruibal’s songs of love and women are poetry, his vibrant music honoring centuries-old traditions as he breaks new ground with his own vision. A slice of inspired life from southern Spain that can see Morocco on a clear day.

Sahara comprises material from his first two releases, Contrabando (1997) and Las Damas Primero (2001), together with a new recording especially for this release, Ruibal’s international debut.

Buy Sahara


Cuban Documentary Film Awarded at Festival in Bahia

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – The Cuban short film “El son te salio redondo,” by producer Senobio Faget (Puri), won the Tatu de oro for the best documentary film at the 30th International Film Fest of Bahia, Brazil. Recorded in natural scenarios in Old Havana, the film merges poetry, song, dance, music, fine arts, and historical renovation. It is homage from the Cuban Television to the birthplace of national poet Nicolas Guillen, born July 10, 1902, in Camagüey. Besides his poetry it also includes poems sung by Osdalgia, Jovenes clasicos del Son, and Septeto Chocolate Caliente.


Your Connection to traditional and contemporary World Music including folk, roots and various types of global fusion