Kentfield, USA – World Music Network has released The Rough Guide To Highlife (World Music Network RGNET1102CD). Highlife music conjures up images of African nightclubs, shiny dance floors, champagne, fine clothes and the spirit of hope and expectation that marked the end of the colonial era.
The heyday of highlife was in the 1960s and 1970s, and the name describes and defines the popular guitar-led dance music of West Africa, primarily from Ghana and Nigeria. The Rough Guide To Highlife surveys this vibrant scene, featuring classic tracks of the era and the biggest artists within the genre.
London, England – ARC Music has put together a compilation of international love songs for Valentine’s Day. Love Songs Of The World (ARC EUCD1699) features Márta Sebestyén (Hungary), Valentina Ponomareva (Russia), Dolores Keane (Ireland), Esma Redzepova (Macedonia), Galina Durmushliyska (Bulgaria), etc.
Feelings of love and longing expressed in many different languages and in different rhythms accompanied with varied authentic and modern instruments. This collection includes songs from Bulgaria, Ireland, Portugal, Turkey, Hungary, Scotland, Macedonia, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt and Israel.
San Francisco, USA – “Tremendo Vacilon” is the title of a new film dedicated to the eclectic panorama of music and dance in Cuba today. The film, produced by Boogalu Productions, consists of 18 intimate performance events, some formal and others spontaneous, that display the range of Cuban genres including: Son – Changüí – Orisha music and dance – Rumba – Caberet – Jazz Cubano – Casino – Carnaval Comparsa – and many more
On the www.boogalu.com/generic103.html website are pictures, video clips, mp3 audio, and commentary on the film.
Yair Dalal is one of the top instrumentalists in Israel. He is a master of the ud and violin. On Asmar he performs his own modern compositions, as well as pieces by other composers and one Iraqi folk song. Dalal’s music is inspired by Iraqi and Persian classical and folk music. He is accompanied by an all-acoustic ensemble of singers and musicians that play Arabic and Indian percussion, ud, viola and accordion.
(Prensa Latina) Havana, Cuba- Today there are more than a thousand rap groups in Cuba, 200 out of which are in the capital. Hermanos Saiz Association National President, Alpidio Alonso Diaz, commented that the music genre, which started 10 years ago in the world’s great cities, has rapidly established itself in Cuba and continues to draw new followers, mainly among the youth. Diaz noted that an International Rap Festival takes place each year and in the last edition 64 bands from different provinces and a dozen foreign groups participated. He added that a rap promotion agency was created and a rap recording label is being planned, along with a magazine called “Movement.” Another project will be the promotion of festivals in the western and eastern regions of Cuba.
Cristina Branco is one of the finest new fado singers. Her prodigious voice is passionate and elegant. The collection of fado classics, traditional songs and modern compositions have the characteristic melancholic feeling and feature traditional style arrangements with vocals accompanied by Portuguese guitar, guitar and bass guitar.
Artistic supervisor and arranger Custódio Castelo has created an intimate atmosphere for delightful intimate music.
The Cultural Organization “En Chordais” in cooperation with the “Byzantine Festival in London” are organizing a Symposium on the History of Music, within the framework of the MediMuses Project, whose field of action includes research, educational and artistic activities in countries of the Mediterranean. MediMuses is part of the broader European Union supported Euromed Heritage II program and has also received the financial support of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture.The Symposium will take place on the 31st of January, 1st & 2nd of February 2003 in London and refers to the neighbouring musical traditions of the Mediterranean, like the Greek, the Turkish, the Jewish, the Persian and the Arabic. It aims to reveal the common elements of the above mentioned traditions, studying the way they were formed and developed throughout time.
Experts and musicians, representing all musical traditions, will discuss the history of Mediterranean music, the progress in the field of research and methodology.
Some of the participants in the Symposium are: Dr Bulent Aksoy, Dr. Thomas Apostolopoulos, Prof. Ruhi Ayangil, Dr Walter Feldman, Dr. Mahmoud Guettat, Dr Toufic Kerbage, Prof. Grigorios Stathis, Dr. Dariush Talai, Kiya Tabassian, Kyriakos Kalaitzides, Markos Skoulios, Sakher Hattar, Sheherazade Qasim Hasam, Fikret Karakaya, Omar Mettioui, Saifallah Ben Abderrazak, and others that have not yet confirmed.
The Symposium will take place in the Hellenic Centre (16-18 Paddington Street, Marylebone, London W1U 5AS)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Eusebia Silva de Oliveira, the founder of Rio de Janeiro’s famous Mangueira samba school, died in her sleep on Wednesday, January 22nd. She was 89 years old and better known as Dona Zica. She was the inspiration for some of Cartola’s biggest samba hits.
(Prensa Latina) Bridgetown, Barbados – Cuban pianist Hernan Lopez-Nussa substituted for his fellow Cuban Jesus “Chucho” Valdés at the opening of the 10th Barbados Jazz Festival. Valdés, winner of various Grammy awards in United States, recently underwent emergency surgery in one of his knees in Havana, the festival organizers explained. However, the company producing the festival, GMR International Tours, stated that the absence of the famous Cuban musician would not dampen the opening night, since his substitute has great international prestige. Lopez-Nussa is a graduate of the Cuban Higher Institute of Arts and started his career in the 80’s with the group Afrocuba, highlighted the local tourism agency. The young pianist also worked with famous Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez in the production of the albums Causas y Azares and Oh, Melancolía. Clubs such the Ronney Scott of London and New Morning of Paris and venues in cities including Chicago, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Madrid and Rome have witnessed his virtuosity.
(Prensa Latina) Havana, Cuba – The musical project Habana Abierta is back home, after having worked abroad for seven years. Nonetheless, the young musicians had remained in contact with Cuban reality. Kelvis Ochoa, Vanito Caballero, Boris Larramendi, José Luis Medina, Alejandro Gutierrez and Pepe del Valle are the members of the band.
Their work abroad resulted in a wealth of recordings with different labels: Habana Oculta (Nubenegra, 1995), Habana Abierta (BMG, 1997), produced by Gema and Pavel, and 24 horas (BMG 1999). Kelvis recorded a solo album -“Kelvis”- with BMG, 2000, while Boris recorded one in 2003 with Zomba Records, entitled “Yo No Tengo la Culpa.”
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