Césaria Évora Remixed by International Contemporary Dance/Electronic Innovators

New York, USA – Club Sodade: Cesaria Evora is the follow-up to Évora’s critically acclaimed
2003
Bluebird/Arista Grammy-winning Voz D’Amor. It also marks the much-anticipated US
release
of the first-ever remix collection from the enduring Grammy winning artist.
Club Sodade pairs the internationally renowned Cape Verdean vocalist with an
assemblage of
contemporary dance / electronic music pioneers from around the globe, who have
re-envisioned
selections from The Barefoot Diva’s catalog of timeless songs. Orchestrated by
influential
French electronic and house music producer / DJ and Versatile Records label
founder Gilb’R,
Club Sodade resounds with 12 essential and unique reconstructions provided by
Carl Craig,
Pepe Bradock, Kerri Chandler, François K., Señor Coconut, 4 Hero, Osunlade,
Chateau Flight, and more. Since her auspicious 1988
debut La Diva Aux Pieds Nus (The Barefoot Diva) on Lusafrica, Cesaria Evora has steadily amassed a devout following. By the release
of her self-titled 1995 album, the illustrious singer had emerged as a certified
international star acclaimed for her signature compositions: an enrapturing
repertoire of “mornas” (slow-paced, blues-steeped songs with mournful and often
fatalistic lyrics) and “coladeras” (spirited up-tempo songs that share a kinship
with Brazilian samba). However, it was her distinctive vocals that transfixed
the world music community.

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South African Hip Hop personalizes the fight against AIDS

(PRWEB) – Local Hip Hop is waging a war against HIV/AIDS with the Abo’
m-Rapper Against AIDS (AMAA) initiative. BLK Storm Entertainment and 8 Bayce
Enterprises have taken up the challenge to use hip hop music to encourage sexual
responsibility and positive mindsets in conquering HIV/AIDS.

Abo’m-Rapper Against Aids will provide Aids education and awareness by hosting
open forums and providing entertainment across Gauteng.

AMAA aims to extend the genre to deal with real issues regarding the pandemic
through partnership with government and hip hop artists. The campaign will address discrepancies between urban youth culture and
traditional HIV/AIDS prevention methods, promote dialogue that encourages safer
sexual practices, and alter attitude and perception to influence responsible
decision making.

The artists intend using music videos, recordings, mini-magazines, radio, road
shows, films, billboards and graffiti as sources of information about safe sex.
They are also working on a CD compilation of the best of local hip-hop.

Spokesman Tumi Lehihi said, “the Abo’m-Rapper Against Aids calendar will work
to rotate signed and unsigned hip-hop artists, selecting an ambassador every
month
.”

The organization realizes that the hip-hop and poetry culture has tapped
into the youth market on a deeper level and aims to deliver information through
the culture because it’s a language that the youth is familiar with
,” said
Lehihi.

Some of the artists who have already committed themselves to the initiative
include Cashless Society, Nabunya, Concentration Camp, Relo, Godessa, Amu, Pitch
Black Afro, Audio Visual, Conscious, Bi Example, Fortune, 1Wonder, Selwyn, Afro,
Spex, 5th Floor, Hidden Force, Proverb, Zubz, the Kenya-based Gidigidi-majimaji,
Audio Visual, Hymphatic Tabs, Optical Illusion, and Trinity.

With this campaign AMMA believes that the youth will identify with the HIV/AIDS
prevention messages and that through the development of associative links
between their popular culture (Hip Hop) and health promotion AMAA will promote
these messages within their social circles.

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Isn’t it Good, Norwegian Wood

Maria Solheim - Frail
Maria Solheim – Frail

Maria Solheim – Frail (Kirkelig Kulturverksted)

Jan Eggum & Blatur – Everybody’s Doing It (Kirkelig Kulturverksted)

A plethora of singer-songwriters hail from Norway. And while the singers mentioned in this review do not perform traditional folk music, an argument can be made for the Norwegian tradition of singer-songwriters. To give a scope of this contemporary tradition, a long list including Sami songwriter-vocalist Mari Boine, jazz vocalist Agnes Buen Garnås, Kirsten Braten Berg as well as, the line-up of songwriters that appear on the Kirkelig Kulturversted label. This label boasts a prolific list that includes Kari Bremnes, Rebekka Neophyte, Ingrid Bjornov, Kari Iveland, Anita Skorgan, Katie Cardinal, Grethe Svensen.

Two other singer-songwriters that appear on the label, the youthful chanteuse Maria Solheim and the witty songster Jan Eggum are featured in this review.The waif-like Maria Solheim’s third recording Frail draws comparisons to the audacious Canadian singer-songwriter, Martina Sobara as well as, the ethereal Icelandic vocalist Bjork. Maria sings in soft, breathy voice that hovers near a whisper although she brings her vocals up a few notches on the rocker, Mr. Iceman and to an extent on Restless Girl. Her songs exude personal poetry that aspires to young college women. She sings of pain in her body, relationship issues as she musters up enough confidence to strike out on her own. Her songs also strike out on their own, often featuring lush arrangements of acoustic, electric guitar, various keyboards, guitar drones, dobro, banjo, strings, percussion, horns and instruments that have been resurrected from the 1970’s. The arrangements are dreamy, moody and slightly psychedelic.

She is joined by several of Norway’s innovative musicians with Emil Nikolaisen on piano, Tor Egil Kreken on bass, Torstein Lofthus handling percussion duties, Audun Haugeplass and David Wallumrod on keyboards and Kjetil Steensnaes on guitar. The label describes Frail, “Her interpretations and the original sound of Nikolaisen’s production create a unique poetic yet raw ambiance, simply in a world of its own.” The songs range from shattering personal laments to more sonic repertoire, Restless Girl and Mr. Iceman. Will You Say echoes Bjork’s girlie vocals and is set to a musical atmosphere that recalls chimes singing in the wind. My personal fave is the poignant Too Many Days because of its strong lyrical content. On first listen, the set of songs resemble folk-light. Then
after a few more listens raw emotions surface and the true power of the songs is released. Considered one of Norway’s most exciting female artists, perhaps her third CD, Frail will turn heads in the rest of the world.

Moving away from melancholic personal folk to something a bit more funky, Jan Eggum teams up with vocal septet Blatur. With this new set of songs, Eggum’s offering glimpses into a world of stretched, selfish and totally abandoned morals, which is most evident on the track Big Brother. This song includes news sound bites that revolve around the Bush administrations dualistic war on terror. However, since the songs are sung in Norwegian and no English translation is provided, listeners not steeped in the Norwegian language (such as myself) miss out on what the label cites as highly entertaining, world-weary, sharp and ironic.

The Beat Goes On and Oh, What a Morning recall African American soul. All of the songs feature lush harmonies reflective of the American a cappella group Honey in the Rock as well as Belgian a cappella group Zap Mama, even though those two groups feature only women vocalists. The Film features polyphonic vocals while Virtual Friends features a mirthful arrangement that is light on its toes. Acoustic guitar and light percussion frame a few of the tracks, yet it is the vocal talent, Tina Brandal Mork (soprano), Tone Merethe Vollen Sperrevik (soprano), Guro Havik (alto), Merete Brandal Godo (alto), Eivind Vatsaas (tenor), Per Gunnar Heltne (baritone) and Bjorn Holum (bass) along with Jan that delight the ears.

Compliments of Cranky Crow World Music.

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Eliades Ochoa Announces Forthcoming Album

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Santiago de Cuba, Cuba – Guajiro Sin Fronteras is the title for the latest album by Cuban singer Eliades Ochoa due on July, the artist stated for Prensa
Latina. One of the Grammy Award-winner members of the Buena Vista Social Club, Ochoa commented this is his fourth album for EMI, following Sublime Ilusión, Tribute to the Cuarteto Patria and Estoy Como Nunca. He has recorded a total of 16 albums, and he is the Cuban musician who collects most nominations for the award of the American Academy of Recording Art and Sciences (Grammy).

On Wednesday March 17, the famous singer and leader of the mythical Patria Quartet played at the Casa de la Trova’s Salón de los Grandes, in Santiago, 900 kilometers from Havana and cradle of trova, bolero and son. Soon to start a European tour, Ochoa will previously perform in Mexico -Mexico City, Veracruz, Guadalajara and Cancun- in April. Once in Europe, the artist will participate in the project Todo Grammy, along with Cuban music stars Tata Guines, percussionist Changuito and singers Haila and David Calzado.

The Buena Vista Social Club Ochoa sales -more than 500,000 copies- recently earned him a Gold Disc in Holland, where he also recorded a song with a rock group, for a production featuring various artists.

Eliades Ochoa recordings available: Buena Vista Social Club, Cubafrica (1998), Sublime Ilusión (1999); Tributo a Cuarteto Patria (2000) and Estoy Como Nunca (2002)

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rosette guitar duo on tour

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – The
Rosette Guitar Duo
is going on tour of Western Canada. Guitarists Kevin Marsh and Michael Lyngstad formed the Rosette Guitar Duo in
the spring of 2001. This collaboration demonstrates ability. Their diverse
appeal has allowed them to offer their music to such organizations as the Global
Visions Film Festival, G6B, Rooftops Canada, the Edmonton Classical Guitar
Society, and the Syncrude Nextfest, for whom the duo was commissioned to write a
screenplay and music for a short film. They have performed live at numerous
private functions, in formal concerts, on A-Channel television, on CJSR radio,
and have a frequently-aired feature on Shaw cable television.The Rosette Guitar Duo will be touring extensively in support of their CD. They
are advocates of environmental and humanitarian causes, supporting these beliefs
through music. As educators, the duo seeks to enlighten other guitarists and
musicians about the finer aspects of the guitar and its endless possibilities.The dates so far are:

May 26 – Gas Station Theatre, Winnipeg
 May 28th – SCCHS Theatre, Swift Current
 June 2 – Medicine Hat Cultural Centre
 June 3 – University Of Lethbridge,
 June 6 – Engineered Air Theatre, Calgary
 June 7th – Powerhouse Theatre, Vernon
 June 8 – Rotary Centre For Arts, Kelowna
 June 11 – Telus Studio Theatre. Vancouver
 June 12 – Alix Goolden Hall, Victoria
 June 16 – Library Snell Theatre,  Red Deer

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Cuban Musicians Find it Hard to Travel to United States

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Los Angeles, Cuba – Cuban singer-songwriter Carlos Varela applied for a visa to travel to the United States to sing his powerful, amazing songs in Miami, New York and Los Angeles and the US government turned him down, an opinion
article published in The New York Times reported Monday.  Written by singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, the article criticized the visa-granting process to Cuban artists because their visits are “detrimental to the interests” of the US.  “In essence, the government says that if Carlos Varela plays concerts in the United States, the money he makes would go to Fidel Castro´s government.  This is untrue,” Browne indicates.

The Bush administration used the same reasoning to keep award-winners Ibrahim Ferrer and Manuel Galban from attending the Grammy award ceremony in Los Angeles last month.  “In a profound way, the US government takes on the role of oppressor when it tries to control which artists will be allowed access to our minds and our hearts. We may think we are isolating Cuba with our embargo and our travel restrictions, but it is we Americans who are becoming isolated. People travel to Cuba from Australia, Britain, Canada, Italy and Spain – countries we consider staunch allies,” Browne stated.

The White House foreign policy on Cuba is unpopular in the US for a good reason. “It stops [US citizens],” the folk singer continued, “from coming into Cuba and Cubans from traveling to the United States.  It stops us from sharing medicine with the ill and restricts our ability to sell food to the hungry.”  Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, Jackson Browne thinks this policy is an outdated relic of the cold war and exists only as a political payoff to Republican-leaning Cuban-American voters in Miami.

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Cuban Rock Musicians Play in Concert for Peace

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – Cuban rock bands joined to the world protests against war and
terrorist acts and organized a concert Friday night at Havana´s John Lennon
Park.  Titled Concert for Peace, the show presented the bands Agonizer,
Combat Noise and Chlover, as part of the 27th Culture Week in the Plaza de
la Revolucion municipality, from March 15 through 21. Dedicated to the
memories of the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Madrid and New York´s World Trade Center, and the victims of the US invasion to Afghanistan
and Iraq, the concert represented the Cuban rock scene´s voice to protest
against terrorism.  "The concert is especially dedicated to the victims of
terrorist attacks in Cuba during the 45 years of revolution and for peace in
the world
," stated Lazaro A. Ceballos, leader of the thrash metal band
Agonizer.

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Peter Tosh Commemorated in a Benefit Album Featuring Some of Reggae’s Biggest Artists

Controversial Jamaican reggae artist Peter Tosh is being commemorated in a benefit album featuring some of reggae’s most prominent artists. The CD is being released in both CD and on-line formats. Put My Faith In Jah is a compendium of songs donated by such notable performers as Joe Higgs, Half Pint, Edi Fitzroy, Toots & the Maytals, Lehbanchuleh, Bob Andy, Natty Remo, Mikey General and others. The album also features a rare live track of Tosh performing his trademark anthem “Get Up Stand Up” at the 1982 Jamaica World Music Festival. It is the first of a series of albums to be released by the Tosh Foundation, including the upcoming Peter Tosh Tribute album, which will feature Tosh songs performed by Jerry Garcia, Eric Clapton, Cypress Hill, and others.

In a unique twist, many of the tracks from the album are being released first for on-line distribution via the new WeedSM format from Shared Media Licensing, Inc. of Seattle (“SML”). Weed files can be freely shared, with both artists and the people responsible for spreading the files getting a share of on-line sales revenue. Subsequently, a limited-edition (1,000-copy) collector’s CD will be available from the Tosh Foundation.

Jeanette Smith, owner of Stone Tiger Entertainment (http://www.stonetiger.net)
and the reggae download web site JahWeed.com,
is collaborating on the project. She says “Peter Tosh was a giant of 20th
Century music. We’re excited to be helping to immortalize his work while aiding
a worthy cause
.”

About Peter Tosh and the Tosh Foundation

Peter Tosh was, with Bob Marley and Bunny Livingston, a founding member of
the seminal reggae group The Wailers, and became known as that band’s more
militant spokesman for equality and justice. After leaving the Wailers, Tosh
found success as a solo artist, culminating in his 1987 Grammy-winning album
No Nuclear War
. While planning a tour to back the album, he was killed by
gunmen who invaded his house.

The Tosh Foundation was established by veteran rock promoter Mike Malott and Tosh’s son David; its mission is to preserve the musician’s legacy and continue his social activism. Proceeds from the benefit album will go toward building a museum, medical clinic, and library for the people of Jamaica.

About SML and Weed

SML’s WeedSM service was begun in 2003 to
solve the problem of illegal music file sharing on the Internet. Weed files can
be played three times for free; after that, the recipient is invited to purchase
them. A portion of each purchase is paid to file sharers as an incentive to
respect artists’ rights. Weed obtains content via a network of Independent
Content Providers (ICPs). Daniel House, the ICP in charge of “Weedifying” the
Tosh album, says “My experience working with SML has introduced me to a lot
of great music; this album will be truly exceptional whether you obtain it on CD
or download the files
.”

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Persian poetry & spiritual intoxicants

Safa - Alight
Safa – Alight
Safa

Alight (Songlines)

Safa (Farsi): means inner purity, sincerity and sincere affection. The Vancouver ensemble Safa comprised of Puerto Rican percussionist Sal Ferreras, Quebecois jazz clarinetist Francois Houle and
Iranian vocalist and tar/setar player Amir Koushkani compose music that would bring delight to the master Persian Poet Jelaluddin Rumi’s ears. The bulk of Safa’s recording, Alight focuses on Persian classical music, often recalling the California based Persian musical group, Axiom of Choice.

The tangy sound of the tar (lute) marries an emotive, throaty clarinet that is accompanied by a
vibrant palette of rhythmic textures and topped off with Koushkani’s stunning vocals. Safa with its varying musical influences, passion for Persian music and improvisational jazz creates a multicultural and spiritual space where anything can happen and usually does. Listeners will immerse themselves in Persian poetry that speaks of various kinds of intoxication as well as, dissonant elements found in experimental music. The whimsical Turkish Nihawend Lunga, masterful traditional Persian Chahar Mezrab and the Judeo-Arabic Ninavae promise to intoxicate listeners’ ears.

The music on Alight breaks through cultural and language barriers, despite the multicultural musicians’ origins. According to the CD liner notes, speaks about the origins of Safa. “After several years of study and work in Persian music, fate took me far away from my homeland and roots of my music. I found myself in a country where various cultures and traditions come together and I was given the opportunity to perhaps communicate with others through the language of music.”
Fate also played a part when Ferreras, Houle and Koushkani met and blended elements of improvisational jazz, Latin and Persian musical traditions. And all three musicians have released several recordings, performing with other musical artists.

This trio of master musicians honor the Persian tradition, but you can also find tracks on the CD that feature a duo with clarinet and a variety of percussive instruments (Peruvian cajon, udu, bata drums, and Philippine kulintang). The compositions, Aurora and Shadi fall on the dissonant side of the tracks and aren’t too pleasing to the ears. Epilogue showcases Ferreras percussion performing along side Koushkani’s tar and this track feels less experimental than Aurora and Shadi. However, I favor the Persian compositions, especially the opener, Chahar Mezrab and also, Sufinameh, Saghinameh, Drunk and Whisper of Love.

In honor of the Iranian new year. Compliments ofCranky Crow World Music.

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Folk Singer Rick Fielding Dies of Cancer

[image1_left]Rick Fielding passed away Saturday evening March 20 after a lengthy and
courageous battle with cancer.

Originally a native of Montréal, Quebec, Rick was smitten by the music of
Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie as a teenager. After leaving school, he moved to
Toronto and began his career as a professional musician. For over thirty years
he toured extensively throughout Canada, Great Britain, and the United States,
and recorded albums for Folk Legacy and Borealis. He happily managed to finish
his latest album Acoustic Workshop while struggling with his illness.Apart from touring and playing his own music Rick taught acoustic techniques on
guitar, banjo, mandolin, and dulcimer, ran workshops on songwriting and
professional development for musicians, did custom leather work, and hosted the
radio show Acoustic Workshop on CIUT-FM 89.5.

Above all Rick was a giving person as a performer, teacher, and friend. He will
be missed deeply by all who knew him. A celebration of Rick’s life and music
will take place Saturday June 5 at the Tranzac Club in Toronto, ON. For details,
visit http://www.borealisrecords.com/news_fielding1.html .

[Obituary courtesy of the

Folk Alliance
. Photo courtesy of Borealis Records].

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