Spanish and Cuban singer-songwriters on Tour

Liuba Maria Hevia
Liuba Maria Hevia
(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – Cuban singers Liuba Maria Hevia and Reynier Mariño and Spanish singer-songwriter Nando Juglar perform Wednesday at Spanish city of Badajoz in a show ttiled “Travesia del Alma“, mixing the essence of trova and Cuban traditional music. The music project began in Havana in 2003 and is now in the Canary Islands, Extremadura and Madrid, Juglar commented. “Travesia del Alma” intends to be “an offering of Cuban music from the heart, trying to catch the audience with love stories and experiences.” It is “the opportunity to show Spanish people how Cubans are and embrace the mutual roots we have,” show director Yusnel Suarez stated. Singer Liuba Maria has released important albums featuring Silvio Rodriguez, Chucho Valdes as guest musicians and she also stands out for her work for children. Young Cuban musician Reynier Mariño, an artist who just released an album where he fuses flamenco with Cuban rhythms, will perform along with them.

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Sounding Out . . . The San Francisco Bay Area

Written by Jeff Kaliss

Lovely, charming, and irrepressible, San Francisco has long extended an enticing embrace to creative wanderers from other parts of the United States, as well as the wider world. The city helped spawn the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the Hippies of the 1960s and ‘70s, along with the jazz and rock with which these seekers celebrated themselves. Some sought roots in their new soil in the form of American
traditional music, and formed bands and venues to explore those roots; German expatriate Chris Strachwitz took that process further by setting up a label, Arhoolie, to preserve roots music, and a store, Down Home Music, across the Bay Bridge in El Cerrito, to sell his and others’ recordings. The spirit and setting of the late ‘60s also attracted international musicians such as Ali Akbar Khan of India, Hamza El Din of the Sudan, and Seiichi Tanaka of Japan, all of who moved here and began teaching students of all ethnicities. Crossover between world, jazz, and rock sounds was inevitable. Since then, the Beats and Hippies have aged, and there’s been no definable generation to take their place. But many of them have retained their region of residence and their musical preferences. And they’ve been supported in these preferences by an influx of new fans, festivals, venues, record labels, and resident world music artists who keep the sound of the San Francisco Bay Area eclectic and exciting.

LISTINGS

Alternative weeklies
sprouted in the Flower Power days and have bolstered their ad revenue and
respectability since then, but they remain a good source of information on cool
stuff. Check the music listings in the San Francisco Bay Guardian (online as
sfbg.com), San Francisco Weekly, East Bay Express, and the various regional editions of the Metro, including coverage of San Jose, Santa Cruz, and the North Bay. Listings and dollops of world music are heard on KPFA-FM (94.1 MHz), KUSF-FM (90.3MHz),
KALW-FM (91.7MHz), and KPOO-FM (89.5 MHz).

EVENTS
& FESTIVALS

The largest festival of Jewish music in Northern California is
presented in early Spring by the Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center, with
which you can connect at www.jcceastbay.org
and by phone at +1 510 848-0237. This Jewish Music Festival makes use of a
number of indoor venues around the Bay to showcase Yiddish, Sephardic, klezmer,
and other forms of world and classical music. In April, the Cherry Blossom US
Japan Taiko Festival, for which Seiichi Tanaka serves as Grand Master (see his
school’s site at
www.taikodojo.org
), sets its big drums up in the Kabuki Theater, 1881 Post Street in San Francisco’s Japantown neighborhood.

Outdoor events must deal with San Francisco’s unique climate.
Audiences in early May, aboard the venerable sailing ships docked at the
Hyde Street Pier for the Sea Music Festival, (+1 415 561-7100), may find themselves warmer than attendees at the summertime
Stern Grove Festival (19th Avenue & Sloat Boulevard, +1 415 252 6252), who must fortify themselves against possible seasonal fog with sweaters and blankets as well as picnic baskets. And the riotous annual Carnaval {sic} Parade through San Francisco’s Mission District had to be shifted from the days before Lent, when much of the tropical Christian-influenced world celebrates, to the warmer Memorial Day weekend at the end of May, for the comfort of participants scantily clad in the tropical fashions of South America and the Caribbean. For more about Carnaval, which this year reached its 25th anniversary go to www.carnavalsf.com, Even more eclectic is the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, which occupies the historic Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon Street, for three
weekends in June. Locally-based world music ensembles accompany the dancers, and
the array of sounds is as dazzling as the costumes. Several of the dance
programs are presented in partnership with Door Dog Music, which has also put
together the San Francisco World Music Festival at a variety of venues, with a special interest in Middle Eastern musics. In 2003, the Festival is set for the month of September in Yerba Buena Gardens, with entrances near Mission and Third Streets in downtown San Francisco.

VENUES
& PRESENTERS

A pair of places in Berkeley, in the East Bay, stand as survivors of
the halcyon ‘60s and ‘70s. The Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse (1111 Addison
Street, +1 510 548-1761, www.thefreight.org
) hosts traditional and new-crafted American folk music with a bit of ethnic
stuff from elsewhere. The latter is better represented at Ashkenaz (1317 San
Pablo Avenue, +1 510 525-5054, www.ashkenaz.com
), where you can not only hear live African, American roots, Balkan, Caribbean,
Celtic, Cajun/Zydeco, and Middle Eastern bands but also learn how to dance to
them before the sets begin. La Pena Cultural Center, also in Berkeley (3105
Shattuck Avenue, (+1 510 849 2568, www.lapena.org
), favors Caribbean, Latin American, and politically progressive acts.

The University of California’s Berkeley campus is the location of
the headquarters and halls where Cal Performances (+1 510 642-9988,
www.calperfs.berkeley.edu
) includes such world artists as Ravi Shankar, Cesaria Evora, Paco de Lucia, and
Baaba Maal in its 2003/2004 season. A more specialized learning institution, the
Ali Akbar College of Music ( www.aacm.org )
, is located north of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Rafael, not far from the San
Anselmo offices of Moment Records (
www.momentrecords.com
), founded by the College’s former head of percussion, Zakir Hussain. Both Hussain and College founder and sarodist Ali Akbar Khan were early pioneers in the sort of fusion of world music with jazz and rock which is still active in the Bay Area, but the College also produces concerts of North Indian classical music at various local venues.

For fans who don’t mind staying up late in a party setting, there are several smaller San Francisco clubs, including the Elbo Room (salsa, samba, reggae, newgrass, and world groove, 647 Valencia Street, +1 415 552-7788, www.elbo.com ). Earlier in the evening, and at Sunday brunches, you can drink and dine on South American specialities at Peña PachaMama (1630 Powell Street, near the historic North Beach center of the Beat culture, +1 415 646-0018. Sukay, the Andean recording artists who established this combined eatery and performance space, perform during and after meals, as do other Andean and world musicians.

RETAILERS

The unassuming building at 10341 San Pablo Avenue, in El Cerrito,
north of Berkeley, is something of a world music factory. Upstairs are the
offices of Flower Films, from which Les Blank has produced a bouquet of
documentaries showcasing Cajun, Zydeco, Tex-Mex, and blues artists and their
lifestyles. Out back is Chris Strachwitz’s Arhoolie, which continues to issue
valuable recordings of these and other genres. And for fans eager to peruse and
purchase Strachwitz’s and Blank’s output and other albums, books, and
hard-to-find magazines, there’s Down Home Music (+1 510 525-2129,

www.downhomemusic.com

), the retail spin-off store front opened by Strachwitz in 1976. Savvy staff
will guide you though new and used cd’s and vinyl, and give you time in the
listening booths.

Right near the heart of the hamlet of Mill Valley in the North Bay,
Village Music (9 East Blithedale Avenue, +1 415 388-7400) offers customers a
similarly knowledgeable approach to reggae, Cuban, and Hawaiian music and
collector-quality European lp’s, as well as the rhythm-and-blues for which the
store is best known. Look for seasonal discounts and displays of music
memorabilia.

Much Middle Eastern music on cd and cassette is sold alongside
exotic videos, publications, spices, and foodstuffs at Semiramis (2990 Mission
Street, +1 415 824-6555) in San Francisco’s Mission District. San Francisco
stores with a wider selection of world music range from the neighborhoody
Streetlight (3979 24th Street, +1 415 282-3550,

www.streetlightrecords.com

) in Noe Valley and the Record Finder (258 Noe Street, +1 415 431-4443,
www.recordfinder-sf.com
) in the Castro to the spacious Amoeba Records (1855 Haight Street, +1 415
831-1200,
www.amoebarecords.com

) in the Haight-Ashbury, where wizened and would-be Hippies are still in
evidence. All these shops sell used as well as new recordings, as does the
well-stocked Rasputin (2401 Telegraph Avenue, +1 510 848-9004,

www.rasputinmusic.com

) in Berkeley.

For a deeper and geographically broader look at the fertile world
music scene in Northern California, e-mail the writer, Jeff Kaliss, at

jefkal@jeffkaliss.com
.

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Shoghaken Ensemble

Shoghoken Ensemble
Shoghoken Ensemble
Shoghoken Ensemble
Seattle debut/US tour
Preview

The octet Shoghaken (Show-gah-ken) Ensemble from Armenia makes its Seattle debut on its second stop of its 17-city U.S. tour. Drawing upon Armenian ancient traditions, Shoghaken renders lullabies, folk dances and love songs from Armenia’s various regions. And the ensembles’ array of Armenian folk musicians promises to capture its audiences with virtuoso performances and music from the
famed Silk Road. Shoghaken will be performing at the Meany Theater at the University of Washington (Seattle) on Saturday, April 3, 2004 at 8 p.m. (Information is provided at the end of this preview).

The Shoghaken Ensemble has already captured the ears of North American audiences. The Ensemble made their debut U.S. appearance in 2002, on an invitation by cellist Yo-Yo Ma when they performed at an elaborate festival featuring music of the Silk Road, hosted by the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
At the same time, the ensemble released their debut CD, Armenia Anthology, which received the AFIM award. And the ensemble’s music was featured on the soundtrack of Atom Egoyan’s film, Ararat.

The Shoghaken Ensemble’s 2004 U.S. tour coincides with the release of two more CDs, Traditional Dances of Armenia and Shoghaken vocalist Hasmik Harutyunyan’s Armenian Lullabies. Both CDs chronicle the ancient history and more recent events associated with Armenia. Informative liner notes and archival photographs embellish the recordings. Equally important is the lush music performed on the recordings that features the kamanche (spike fiddle), ud (lute), duduk (double reed pipe), zurna (double reed obo), kanon (zither), dhol (drum), a shepherd’s flute and other traditional instruments. The music draws comparisons and influences from neighboring countries Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Iran and the Middle East in general.

The Shoghaken Ensemble features performances by renowned vocalist sister and brother, Hasmik and Aleksan Harutyunyan as well as, some of the finest Armenian instrumental talent, including the ensemble founder and duduk virtuoso, Gevorg Gourgeni Dabaghyan. Other members include, Tigran Ambaryan (kamancha), Artur Arakelyan (ud), Karine Hovhannisyan (kanon), Kamo Khachaturian (dhol, percussion), Grigor Takushian (second duduk, dham) and Levon Tevanyan (shepherd’s flute). Apart from the ensemble the musicians have released numerous solo recordings between them and have made several noted radio and movie soundtrack appearances.

According to the ensemble’s record producer and general manager of Traditional Crossroads, Harold Hagopian, “No group has done as much to preserve Armenian music. Though they perform folk music, they were trained in Soviet times with the same rigorous focus as any classical musician. Each member can read music and interpret any style of Armenian music. That training and discipline has helped them explore and develop their own style. As a classical music producer at RCA Victor for more than ten years, I never saw more inspired or virtuosic musicianship.”

Information about the ensemble’s Seattle appearance can be found at www.uwworldseries.org or calling the UW Arts Ticket Office (206) 543-4880.

The Shoghaken Ensemble 2004 U.S. Tour Dates:

April 1 Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA
April 3 Meany Hall, Seattle, WA
April 5 Oregon State University, Eugene, OR
April 7 Sacramento, CA
April 8 UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
April 10 UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
April 12 California State University, Fresno, CA
April 15 Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, MN
April 17 Old Town School of Music, Chicago, IL
April 18 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
April 20 Kimball Theatre, Williamsburg, VA
April 21 Kennedy Center (Millenium Stage), Washington, DC
April 22 Smithsonian Museum, Washington, DC
April 24 Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge, MA
April 30 Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
May 2 Symphony Space, New York, NY
May 4 Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
May 8 The Annenberg Center, Philadelphia, PA

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Ballet Flamenco Eva Yerbabuena

Eva Yerbabuena
Eva Yerbabuena
Ballet Flamenco Eva Yerbabuena
UW World Series
March 5, 2004
Seattle, WA

The scratchy sound of guitar and strings echoed from a Victrola while the feline-esque flamenco dancer, Eva Yerbabuena stretched out over a wooden chair, touching on nostalgia from a by-gone era. This dreamy space complimented by dim lighting and Yerbabuena’s angular moves, would later be replaced by polyphonic rhythms of drums, guitar, feet and hands, punctuated by impassioned vocals of three cantaores (Enrique Soto, Pepe De Pura and Segundo Falcón), all stars in their own right. However, the audience needed to warm up first. The cantaores appeared after Yerbabuena’s ethereal performance and they strutted out their vocal technique during the “Tona” (Singers) and prepared the audience for a
fiery evening that heated up an otherwise cold and damp Seattle night.

The lights rose up on a row of some of Spain’s top musicians, including, guitarist/composer Paco Jarana, guitarist Salvador Guitièrrez, saxophonist/flautist Ignacio Vidaechea and percussionist Antonio Coronel. The musicians lit into a cacophony strums and beats, while the troupe of dancers
including, three women (Marta Arias, Sara Vàzquez, Mercedes Ruiz) and two men dancers (Luis Miguel González, Juan Carlos Cardoso), responded with fancy footwork and synchronized movements that mesmerized audience members and left me speechless. All the jaleos (encouraging words such as “tome,” and “ole”) refused to leave my throat. Despite all of the excitement that the dancers provoked, the
audience remained oddly silent waiting for the star, Eva Yerbabuena to return to the stage.

As the black-clad dancers eloquently exited the stage, Eva made her grand entrance, dressed in a white gown with a long train. Her diminutive figure defied her large talent and she commanded my full attention with her elegant turns, arches, and zapateado (footwork). Her white gown often appearing like a cloud roaming across the sky with fringe and flounce adding to the beauty of her flores (hand movements) and braceo (arm movements). Although I was sitting too far away from the stage to catch the expressions moving across Eva’s face, I could feel her emotional palette and her spiritual connection to the vocalists and guitarists. This by far was the most enjoyable segment of an overall
magnificent performance. And the audience responded with hoots, hollers and a few jaleos thrown in for good measure.

Eva’s crowning glory was followed by the dancers performing, De La Cava (Seguirilla) and then the return of Eva in which the dancers glided off the stage in an imaginative fashion which highlighted Eva’s formidable choreography talent. Draped in an elegant black gown with purple flounce, Eva displayed her artistry during the Del Puente (Soleà) segment while sensual woodwinds and guitars left
punctuation marks hanging in mid-air. A percussive section entitled Tiempo Al Tiempo followed this beautiful sequence as the dancers matched beats with the percussionist and the musicians’ palmas. Then the company performed their grand finale (Chirrín-Malacatín), seducing the audience with Andalusian exoticism. The concert ended with Eva’s repeated performance of the introduction, alone in the
spotlight dancing to a scratchy recording of guitar and strings.

The performance swept by too quickly and I felt my head spinning from all of the excitement. As the stellar troupe of dancers and musicians prepared for their next performance and the completion of their lengthy North American tour, the primal beats and curvy movements will be remembered by those fortunate enough to witness Spain’s innovative flamenco talent far removed from its sunny origins.

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The Armenian Navy Band Presents Sounds of Our Life

Germany –
The Armenian Navy Band has a new recording. The title is Sound of Our Life – Part One: Natural
Seed
and it is a nearly 50-minute-long composition in eleven parts, which is
dedicated to nature. Natural Seeds takes the listener along part of the
path of life that Arto Tunçboyaciyan and his musicians have traveled. The
recording equally represents the return to the origins of the musical “seed” of
the The Armenian Navy Band; the tremendous joy and affection which the band’s
musicians feel with and for each other in the here and now of their life
together – also outside the recording studios and stages; as well as the
hopeful, self-confident view to the future. For Arto Tunçboyaciyan, the project
Sound of Our Life is a never-ending musical documentation of the future.Arto Tunçboyaciyan is featured as a composer and performer on several
hundred recordings in Europe, America and Asia. He also has 20 of his own albums for
which he composed all the music, wrote all the lyrics, and which he performed
himself and recorded with the support of musical companions such as his brother Onno, Ara Dinkijan, Joe Zawinul, Paul Winter or Serj Tankian.

In 1998, in the Armenian capital Yof erevan, in the country of his ancestors, Arto Tunçboyaciyan
invited eleven young, open-minded and enthusiastic musicians to join in a
session for the first time. With these musicians – who played traditional folk
instruments such as duduk, blul, zurna, kemanche and kanun, but also
contemporary western instruments such as trombone, alto, tenor and soprano
saxophone, trumpet, bass, drums, keyboards and piano – his “sound worlds”
finally became audible in the form he had wanted for a long time and which fit
his identity. Thus,
The Armenian Navy Band was formed.

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World Music in San Diego

San Diego is California’s second largest city and the seventh largest in the United States. It includes several attractive neighborhoods and communities, including downtown’s historic Gaslamp
Quarter, Little Italy, Coronado, La Jolla, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Escondido, La Mesa, Hillcrest, Barrio Logan, Chula Vista and more.

Balboa Park, the largest urban cultural park in the U.S., features a world music center, 15 museums, numerous art galleries, beautiful gardens, The Globe Theatres and the San Diego Zoo. The WorldBeat Cultural Center, located in Balboa Park, is a non-profit multi-disciplinary cultural organization. It is dedicated to promoting, presenting and preserving the Indigenous Cultures of the world through music, art, education, culture and technology. its programming includes world music concerts, dance and music workshops, exhibits, etc. Location: 2100 Park Blvd. Balboa Park, San Diego.The Center for World Music and Related Arts is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to foster awareness and understanding of the world’s performing arts traditions through programs of
performance, teaching, and cultural travel. Incorporated in San Francisco in 1963, the Center moved its headquarters to San Diego in 1979, and continues its long tradition of sponsoring leading
performers in concert and providing instruction by accomplished teachers in music, dance and theater from Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and North America. The center produces concerts, provides workshops and dance lessons and it also develops programs for schools. Location: Center for
World Music, 4417 Shade Road, La Mesa, CA 91941 USA. Phone: +1 619-440-7200, Fax: +1 619-447-4949. E-mail: rebrown@centerforworldmusic.org.

The Adams Avenue Roots Festival is free and held annually in May. it features Old Time Music, Traditional Folk, Appalachian, Bluegrass, Country, Celtic, Cowboy Music, and Conjunto. The festival takes place at Adams Avenue, 34th to 35th St., Normal Heights, San Diego.

Sadly, another important world music institution in San Diego disappeared in November of 2003. World Music Webcast was not a juke-box or “canned” audio programmed by a single person, but LIVE-hosted programs produced in the station’s own Webcast Studio.
It had a weekly schedule divided into Eclectic Programming and Specialty Shows. Launched on the Internet July 26, 1999, World Music Webcast developed a loyal base of listeners from more than 58 countries on earth.

Venues

The Viejas Casino includes world music concerts at the DreamCatcher Showroom. Location: 5000 Willows Road, Alpine, CA 91901. Phone: 1-800-847-6537. E-mail: ContactUs@viejas.com.

San Diego Folk Heritage preserves and promotes acoustic music, storytelling, and contra dances in greater San Diego.

Reggae

There are several reggae bands in the area: Stranger (Long Beach), the Tribe of Kings DJ collective (San Diego), and Vegitation (Ocean Beach). Ras Charles is an important personality. He has two stores, Yard Records and Earth Culture, at the 100 block of South Coast Highway, which he has turned into a thriving center of Jamaican culture.

Trade Roots Reggae is a great store for reggae in San Diego. Location: 3804 Rosecrans St., San Diego, CA 92110. Phone: +1 (619) 299-7824. E-mail: sales@traderootsreggae.com.

Flamenco

There is a small Flamenco scene that includes dancers, guitarists and Spanish restaurants and tapas bars. For more information about what’s happening in the area, the Flamenco San Diego Web site is the best source, provided by Sociedad
Flamenco Cultural, sociedadflamenco@aol.com.

Radio

The best reggae radio show in San Diego is on Sundays from 4 to 6 on 1000 am with host Ras Charles. For a nearly a year, he has run a broadcast on Palomar College’s 1320 AM KKSM. In early 2004 he started a show on Premium Radio’s AM 1000 KCEO.

Reggae Makossa plays Reggae music every Sunday night from 8 to 10 pm and has for the last 22 years on 91.1 XTRA FM. The show is hosted by reggae industry veteran Makeda Dread and is joined by Dangerous Dareka and Carlos Culture.

KCR College Radio has some world music programming. It operates primarily on cable radio systems since its beginning in 1969. This was the only option due to the FM
and AM bands being divided between the United States and Mexico, thus leaving no space for local non-commercial stations in San Diego. Along the way, the station added an AM transmission and Internet streaming, allowing its programs to be heard throughout the world.
San Diego State University,
5200 Campanile Drive,
San Diego, CA . Office: +1 (619) 594-7014,
Request: +1 (619) 594-6982,
Fax: +1 (619) 594-6092. E-mail:

pd@KCRlive.com
.

Jazz 88.3 FM has world music and Latin jazz shows. Check the Web site, http://www.ksds-fm.org, for updated schedules.

Record labels

Art Hurts Records has released African Highlife, Brazilian music and Afropop. Location: 3658 Louisiana St,. San Diego, CA 92104. Phone: +1 619 252 9700, Fax: +1 619 294 9491. E-mail: mail@arthurtsrecords.com.

Instruments

For music instruments there’s the San Diego branch of Guitar Center at Guitar Center La Mesa, 8825 Murray Dr.,La Mesa, California 91942.

There is also a place called Golden Hill Pawnbrokers at 1038 25th St. Phone: +1 (619) 234-5388. It has a very impressive inventory of instruments including accordions, cuatros, basses, etc.

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Sydney Carter

Sydney Carter, probably best known in the United States for his composition,
“Lord of the Dance,” died on March 16. He was 88.
 
Carter wrote Lord of the Dance as an adaptation of the Shaker hymn Simple Gifts,
saying that he saw Christ as "the incarnation of the piper who is calling us. He
dances that shape and pattern which is at the heart of our reality.”
A Londoner, he was educated at Montem Street School before winning a scholarship
to Christ’s Hospital at Horsham, Sussex. He loved community singing and later,
as a bluecoat boy at Christ’s Hospital school, he enjoyed the hymns in chapel.
He then read history at Balliol College, Oxford.At the outbreak of World War II, as a committed pacifist, he joined a Friends’
Ambulance Unit, serving in Egypt, Palestine and Greece alongside Donald Swann,
the future musical partner of Michael Flanders, who became a lifelong friend and
collaborator.
 
It was while they were in Greece that Carter came under the influence of the
traditional music and dance of the Peloponnese. It was in the aftermath of this
that Carter’s interest in English folk music was fuelled at a lecture given by
the folksong collector A L Lloyd on the transmission of songs between
generations in Romania.
 
He played a leading role in the folk revival of the 1960s and 70s, and it was
then that he wrote most of his songs, composed both to please and to shock. In
1965 Carter recorded his greatest success, the six-song EP, Lord Of The Dance,
with Martin Carthy on guitar, the Johnny Scott Trio, and the Mike Sammes
singers. In the sleeve note, he cautions purchasers about the religious content,
in case they should be misled by such earlier songs as “Down Below” and “My Last
Cigarette.”
 
Carter’s creative output touched many fields: he produced work for the London
revues for Flanders and Swann; performed with the Rev Denis Duncan’s Late Night
Songs during the early years of the Edinburgh Festival; and wrote songs for ABC
Television’s religious satirical series Hallelujah and its sequel Don’t Just Sit
There.
 
He remained a regular contributor to Christian journals, including the Roman
Catholic Tablet, where his wise and often humorous contributions were much
appreciated. Life, as he embraced it, was for dancing.

[Courtesy of the

Folk Alliance
].

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The Rough Guide to Gypsy Swing

Various Artists


The Rough Guide to Gypsy Swing (World Music Network RGNET 1138 CD, 2004)

The Rough Guide to Gypsy Swing is so crammed with such good stuff as to cause the listener to sweep invisible crumbs of a baguette off the table or search in vain for telltale circles of a café au lait or a glass of wine. The compilation is the work of series producer Phil Stanton and compiled by Guillaume Veillet for World Music Network. By traveling over to www.worldmusic.net, listeners can explore other rough guides that include Ethiopia, the Mambo, Asian Beat Box and African Rap, among many others.

This musical romp begins with the Romane Acoustic Quartet’s version of “Symphonie” and just gets better and better. “Fleur De Lavande” is covered by the Fapy Lafertin Quintet and Tim Kliphouse. Patrick Saussois and Alma Sinti tear through “Rhythmes Gitans,” with Jean-Claude Laudat on accordion. Moreno heads up the Moreno Trio on “Du Dja Yal.” The rough, mournful vocals in Rom in this piece are truly soulful. Bireli Lagrene’s guitar in his version of “Black Eyes” is noteworthy, not only for its virtuosity but also for the fact that it was recorded when Lagrene was only 14. The compilation also includes Swing Gadjé’s “Kriss Romani” with its passionate vocals relying heavily on an Eastern European and Oriental influences. And, let’s not forget Jo Privat and Matelot Ferret, whose version of “Java Manouche” is a must.

No gypsy swing compilation would be complete without the master Django Reinhardt. “Gallito,” “I’se A Muggin,'” “Improvisation 47” and “Echoes of France” all appear on the CD. Even my favorite, “Minor Swing” with the Quintette Du Hot Club De France, featuring Stéphane Grappelli on violin, Louis Vola on bass and Roger Chaput and Joseph Reinhardt on rhythmic guitar, is included.

The Rough Guide to Gypsy Swing is a first class compilation for Reinhardt and gypsy swing fans, as well as for the timid new listener looking to get his feet wet in the rich, jazzy sounds of the Manouche sound. With classic tracks and current innovators building on the foundations laid down by the masters, the CD is a true delight.

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Straight Ahead Jazz from India

Goa, India – Goa-based record label Angel AV
has released an album by Jazzy Joe. Joe Pereira popularly known as ‘Jazzy Joe’
has come a long way since he picked up a violin in Goa way back in 1934. Little
Jazzy Joe, all of seven, set off for his first music lessons under the
Portuguese solfegio system. Lessons that would see him through show business for
the next seventy years and more. Today, virtuoso saxophonist ‘Jazzy Joe’ is
India’s most popular and accomplished jazz musician. His long and eventful
career has spanned just about every live jazz avenue from clubs and hotels to
concerts and festivals worldwide. He takes the stage to enthrall audiences with
an exuberance that has to be seen to be believed. One of the pillars in the foundation of Indian film’s music industry and
featured soloist in countless commercial recordings, Jazzy Joe had yet to record
his own album for reasons that would not agree with his artistic sensibilities.
Angel AV, Goa’s own record label has taken the initiative to record Jazzy Joe
and launch India’s first straight ahead jazz album. Co-produced by Orlando
Fernandes and Colin D’Cruz, this album features some of the most popular jazz
standards laced with flavors of Goa. Over seventy years of Jazzy Joe is finally
recorded with strong support from virtuosos in their own right, George Fernandez
on piano, Colin D’Cruz on bass and Lester Godinho on drums. The CD is priced at
us $2.50.  For more information, go to
Angel AV
.

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Six Degrees Anniversary Compilation

San Francisco, USA – Six Degrees Records celebrates its 100th release with a
specially priced compilation.  Six Degrees 100 features all of the
label’s most popular tracks performed by such artists as Bebel
Gilberto, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Euphoria, Suba, dj Cheb i
Sabbah, dZihan & Kamien and many others.Since its first release in 1996, the label has made
its mark quickly, producing genre-bending records that explore world
music traditions, modern dance grooves, electronic music, and
overlooked pop gems.

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