Salsa Star Andy Montañez to record with Pablo Milanés

(Prensa Latina) San Juan, Puerto Rico.- Andy Montañez
stated that recording an album along with Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo
Milanes, which he expects to be ready by early 2005, was a dream come

A Cuban music fan, the popular singer has started to work
with Milanes in the preparation of the album, to include famous songs,
as well as to previously unreleased, as he disclosed in exclusive for
the local newspaper El Nuevo Dia.We have already chosen the songs and now we only need to agree where
we are going to record. It will probably be in Santo Domingo or
Venezuela. We will have a little bit of everything: boleros, guaracha
and, of course, the salsa Pablo loves. I think the two voices are going
to fit very well together and it will be a very nice project
,” he explained.

[Photo: Pablo Milanés].


Shikar, double CD by Bamboo Flute Master Hariprasad Chaurasia

Leicester, UK – Hariprasad Chaurasia, the bamboo flute master,
has a new 2-CD set on the Sense
World Music
label entitled Shikar. The
concert performance was recorded on January 2003, at the Saptak Festival in
Gujarat, India, where HariPrasad Chaurasia has been a regular performer since
this annual musical celebration began some twenty five years ago.He begins with Raga Jaijavanti, an evening melody which has been a great
favorite of many vocal masters of the past, including Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. The
performance begins with the traditional alap, a slow, meditative elaboration of
the main phrases of the raga played in a free improvised style. In instrumental
music and dhrupad, the alap is followed by jor and jhalla, with the introduction
of a gentle tempo. For this part of the performance HariPrasad Chaurasia is
accompanied by Bhavani Shankar on the pakhawaj, an ancient, majestic sounding
barrel shaped drum.

The second half of the recital begins with the popular Raga Jog, an evening raga
which has emerged as a favorite with both artists and listeners over the last
fifty years. Hariprasad begins with a short alap, before playing a composition
set to a nine beat rhythmic cycle (Matta taal) played by Vijay Ghate on the


Cuban City to Unveil First Sculpture of Singer Benny Moré

(Prensa Latina) Cienfuegos, Cuba – A sculpture of Benny
Moré, one of the Cuban popular music icons, will be unveiled here
Saturday, it was announced Monday. Provincial government official José
Ramón Garcia explained the sculpture, made by artist José Villa, will
be placed in the most central intersection of the city, 250 kilometers
southeast Havana.

Anchored and without pedestal, the 1.83-meter bronze statue shows
the figure of Benny (1919-1963) walking as one more passer-by in
Cienfuegos´ Paseo del Prado, the longest promenade in Cuba. It will
also show his inseparable attributes: wide-brimmed hat and the
baton-like walking stick he used to lead the musicians of his famous
Banda Gigante (Giant Band).

Melted at the workshops of Havana´s Higher Institute of Art, the sculpture
will be donated by its author to the harbor city also know as La Perla del
Sur (The Southern Pearl).
In one of his most famous songs, Moré, born in Santa Isabel de las Lajas, a
municipality of this province, stated that Cienfuegos was the city he liked
the most.

Every two years, Moré is paid tribute in this, his home town, by colleagues
and dancers with an International Festival of Popular Music named after him.
The fame of the Havana sculptor Villa grew in the last years due to
sculptures he made of former Beatles star John Lennon, US novelist Ernest
Hemingway and the popular street celebrity known as The Knight of Paris, all
of them in the Cuban capital.

The pieces are characterized by being at the reach of the people, conveying
a sense of closeness.


The Essential Tin Whistle Toolbox by Grey Larsen

American flautist
continues his worthwhile investigation of flutes and other wind
instruments with The Essential Tin Whistle Toolbox (Mel Bay Publications
ISBN 0-7866-6891-1, 2004). The in-depth book is basically a guide to play the
tin whistle, a popular Irish folk instrument.

Although there are other books on the subject, Larsen has written a detailed
compendium that is a must-have for tin whistle players. The Essential Tin
Whistle Toolbox
begins with an orientation for tin whistle players and a
history of the instrument. There are sections dedicated to the positioning of
the whistle, with photos that demonstrate the positions of the fingers.
Larsen also discusses tonguing, phrasing and the use of the breath. There is a
fingering chart and a lot musical notation.As in his previous works, Larsen’s book comes accompanied by a CD [buy
The Essential Tin Whistle Toolbox now

Practitioners may want to read Larsen’s other book,

The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle
(Mel Bay Publications
ISBN 0-7866-4942-9 , 2003)[Buy
The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle now


Haydamaky participate in protests in Kyiv, Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine – Ukrainian world music band

is participating in the protests that are tasking place in Kyiv
(Kiev) against the disputed presidential election results. A band spokesman
said: “All Ukrainian intelligence, all progressive forces are joined in
a multi-thousand demonstration on the central square and the main street of
Ukrainian capital. People of all regions of Ukraine are coming to Kyiv to protect
democracy and struggle against the criminal regime which invited foreign troops
to spill the blood of their own people
!”Haydamaky, in honor
of the historical Haydamaky rebellion/revolution which took place in Ukraine in
the 18th century. This rebellion was a reaction of Ukrainian peasants and serfs
against repressive foreign occupation.

Recently, the band released their second album, Boguslav. This time the
group searched even deeper into Ukrainian folk music for material, ideas, and
textures. The ensemble invited violinist Vasyl Hekker, perhaps the foremost
authority on authentic Ukrainian folk violin style, to collaborate on the


Gema and Pavel to Play Recital in Puerto Rico

Gema y Pavel - Art Bembe
Gema y Pavel – Art Bembe
(Prensa Latina) San Juan, Puerto Rico – Touring the world to sow the seeds of Cuban music, the Cuban duo Gema y Pável returns to the stage, bringing a recital to the Puerto Ric oArt Museum´s Raul Julia Hall, November 26.

In a concert sponsored by Producciones Febea, Gema Corredera and Pavel Urquiza will play a gig revisiting the repertoire they have been playing since they joined in 1990. Their latest double album Art Bembe (2003), the fourth in the Madrid-based
duet´s discography, includes a repertoire which pays tribute to Cuban music while fuses it to jazz, funk, feeling and flamenco.

Moreover, Gema and Pavel not only collaborate as singers and producers in the works by artists such as
Ketama, Pedro Guerra, La Union, Omara Portuondo and the members of the music project Habana Abierta, but also participate in the soundtracks of the films Guantanamera (1995) and Perdona bonita, pero Lucas me querra a mí (1997).


Interview with Lhasa


World Music Central’s interview with the increasingly popular singer and world traveler Lhasa:

How did growing up in different places and countries affect your music?

It was growing up in different places and on the road, but also growing up without television and for many years without school, so we were pretty isolated from the culture at large both in Mexico and the States. And this was a choice that my parents made. They were interested in who their children were and at the same time forced us to deal with complex situations very early. They lived by their ideals as much as they could.

As adults my sisters and I all became traveling performers with very high standards as far as not bullshitting ourselves and other people and trying with all our might to do work that’s really alive, charismatic, brave, and beautiful.

When did you realize you wanted to become a singer?

I always, always sang constantly, from the time I was four. But I decided to be a singer when I was 12.

Why do you think an album in Spanish by an artist based in Canada became so popular in countries such as France?

France is incredibly supportive of the arts; the government, the record companies, the theatres, the media, the audience, the record stores are all so used to music that comes from all over the world. So when my album came along there was a place for it. It was easy for people who might be interested in it to find out about it and find it. So it was like having the wind in my sails, my music arrived in France and found its audience, which turned out to be bigger than anyone expected. In other places sometimes we’ve had to get out the oars and paddle. But that’s ok too.

Your previous album was only in Spanish. The new  album has songs in  French and English. What motivated you to sing in  other languages?

I live in three languages…In a way, the question I ask myself is, why was the first album in one language? And the answer is that singing in Spanish gave me courage, gave me guts, helped me to get off the ground. It helped me in a lot of ways; the language, the whole world of images and memories that I associated with Spanish, my childhood. Also, singing in French or English I would have immediately found myself in a “market”. Because I was singing in Spanish in Canada, I seemed to be coming out of nowhere, and I was allowed to find my own voice. Now I feel I’ve found my own voice, and I can sing in English and French too.

Many modern musicians are digging into their roots.  Are you planning  to work with Mexican or other Latin musicians in the future?

I don’t know yet what I’ll be doing for the next album. I do have the lifelong dream of singing with mariachis. But you know, my roots are very tangled! I have Lebanese, Panamanian, Polish, Russian, French, Scottish and Spanish blood. So I consider I have been digging into my roots already. Working with mariachis would be like choosing one root and unraveling it. But really I would do it because I love Mexican music so much and it would be like flying to be backed up by mariachis. Still I guess my priority is to make my own music, whatever that may be. There’ll be time to make cover albums when I’m 70!

What other artists do you listen to?

Right now I’m listening to Devendra Banhart who is a wonder of the world in my humble opinion. Also recently I discovered Cat Power, who is amazing. Camarón, the great flamenco singer; Oum Khoulsoum [Um Kulthum] the Egyptian virtuoso; Anouar Brahem, the Tunisian ud player who writes beautiful poetic simple and profound music…Nina Simone…Radiohead…Bob Dylan…Fairuz, the beautiful gentle and passionate Lebanese singer…Simón Díaz from Venezuela, who is another wonder of the world…

You’ve traveled and moved quite a bit. Where is your home now?


Buy The Living Road and her previous CD La Llorona


Electronic Griots

Frederic Galliano & The African Divas

Sacré Live (F Communications F199, 2004)

French electronic music wiz and the African divas return with infectious dance
grooves recorded live. Galliano has been working with several West African
singers for several years. Sacré Live includes pieces recorded during the
worldwide African Divas tour throughout 2002. Galliano’s approach is to create dance music, reproducing the feel of a live
concert, mixing each track and interaction with the audience. The scorching
singers that appear on Sacré Live are Hadja Kouyate and Fanta Diabate
from Guinea on vocals and Kaba Kouyate, also from Guinea, on bala and guitar

Sacre Live
and Galliano’s previous CD,

Frederic Galliano & The African Divas


Cross Cultural Latin Rock

Los Lonely Boys
Los Lonely Boys
Los Lonely Boys

Los Lonely Boys (Or Music OR803052, 2003)

The self-titled debut CD, Los Lonely Boys, has garnered this trio from a tiny town in West Texas some good reviews and plenty of media attention. Brothers Henry Garza on guitar and vocals, JoJo Garza on bass and vocals and Ringo Garza on drums and vocals make up Los Lonely Boys.

The CD opens with a track entitled “Señorita.” Slick guitar licks, a driving rhythm and catchy lyrics in English and Spanish speak to the possibilities of this group and the cross cultural rock influence made famous by Carlos Santana. So thick is the influence, the group paid homage to Santana in the liner notes.

There’s plenty to like about this CD, tracks like “Heaven,” “ Real Emotions,” “Crazy Dream” and “Nobody Else” with their easy harmonies and guitar work reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughn (he got a mention in the liner notes as well). But there’s a kind of playing-it-safe quality to some of the tracks that masks
some of the musicianship, where sweet harmonies juxtaposed against some of the harder guitar licks veer off too far in the pop direction for my taste.

Fortunately there enough of that borrowed feel-good funk sound from the 70s with Reese Wynans on organ to make up for it.

The best Los Lonely Boys offers up has to be the track “Onda.” Steeped in the influences of Carlos Santana and Stevie Ray Vaughn, “Onda” is a kick-ass rock piece that pays its respects without being too much of a copycat. “Onda” has to be next on the list for air guitarists everywhere and it actually has a drum solo and when was the last time you heard a drum solo?

There’s no doubt Los Lonely Boys are good, but I think with some age (the brothers are still in their twenties) and some experience they’ll get better, better than they already are

Buy Los Lonely Boys and the DVD Los Lonely Boys – Texican Style (Live from Austin)


Cuba Pays Tribute to Compay Segundo\’s 97th anniversary

(Prensa Latina) Santiago de Cuba, Cuba – The birth of famous Cuban musician Francisco Repilado, 97
years ago here, is recalled this month with different tributes, having the
performance of the group named after him as main attraction.

Compay Segundo died on July 14, 2002, arguably in the peak of a career that
saved him the sweetest glory for last, when, older than 80, he captivated
half a world with his charm and artistic authenticity.One of the key places for the tribute is the grave where, as he wished, his
remains lay at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery, the last stop of the mass march
of the people in his funeral.

Led by one of his sons, Salvador Repilado, the band Los muchachos de Compay
Segundo has performed in different parts of the city lately and accompanies
Santiago inhabitants on behalf of all the Cubans in this tribute.
Author of Cuban popular music classics such as “Chan chan” and “Macusa,”
including other popular Son and Guaracha songs, Compay Segundo was one of
the Los Compadres duet, a landmark in mid-20th century.

Pasion y realidad de Compay Segundo” is the second volume of a biography of
the artists by musicologist Lino Betancourt, who based the research in 20
interviews to one of the most charismatic Cuban singers and composers.


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