California Worldfest 2004

California-worldfestGrass Valley, California, USA – California
Worldfest has announced some of the artists that will perform at its 8th edition. The event will take place July 15-18, 2004, Grass Valley, California. at this time, the following artists are scheduled to play: Youssou N’Dour & the Super Etoile, Tommy Emmanuel (Australia), Les Yeux Noir (Francet), Alasdair Fraser (Scotland), Badi Assad (Brazil), Joe Craven (USA), Radim Zenkl (Czech
Republic), Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum (USA), Bluehouse (Australia).

The festival will also include vocal, instrumental, dance and percussion workshops, the renowned children’s program, international artisans and food from around the world. Camping tickets are going to be available from today until March 31, 2004 at the same price as last year; 4-day camping tickets are $90 and 3-day camping tickets are $80 per person, a savings of $20 per ticket off the
gate price. (A youth ticket, age 13-16, with camping is $45 for the whole festival and a child’s ticket, age 5-12, with camping is $25. Children under 5 are free.) Early ticket buyers receive a free CD from Putumayo.Tickets can be purchased online or at +1 530-891-4098.

For information or to purchase tickets via phone, the office is open Monday-Friday, 10am to 5pm. RV
(recreational vehicles) sites with full hook-ups are available in the camping area ($60 all Festival for full hook-ups and $40 all Festival for water/electricity only) with the purchase of 3-day or 4-day tickets.


Life of the Worlds: Journeys in Jewish Sacred Music

San Francisco, USA – Five Souls Music has released
Richard Kaplan‘s second album, Life
Of The Worlds
(FSM CD 510). The noted cantor, teacher, and ethnomusicologist
has embarked upon a spirited exploration of sacred music from throughout the
Jewish Diaspora. Fans of the late
will revel in his treatments of Sephardic, Mizrachi, and Ashkenazic
material from Yemen, Afghanistan, Morocco, Andalusia (Spain), and Eastern Europe
– songs of exultation, grief, love, and longing for the divine. Fronted by Mr.
Kaplan’s high baritone, the tunes are  interpreted by a hand-picked
ensemble of master musicians via acoustic arrangements with a slight jazzy edge.
The CD is accompanied by a 32-page booklet, which includes detailed song
descriptions. All lyrics are provided in the original languages with
transliteration plus complete English translationsWhile every selection on the album has intense personal meaning for Mr. Kaplan,
he is especially passionate about the 4th track, Kinah Lekhurban Gan Eden. In
it, ancient laments about the destruction of the Two Temples are transformed
into a modern prayer for the endangered larger temple that is Gaia, or Mother
Earth. “I re-sculpted this piece over a period of years,” he says, I describe
this genre of song as an “eco-lament

Richard Kaplan lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been successful as a
R&B singer, stand-up comedian, college professor, jazz pianist, early music
practitioner, and narrowly avoided superstardom as a member of Michael Janusz’s
“Morning of the World” group. In 1997, following years of intensive study, Mr.
Kaplan was named cantor of Temple Beth Abraham, a Conservative synagogue in
Oakland, California, a position he still occupies. Mr. Kaplan’s debut CD,
Tuning The Soul
, (1999) received rapturous print reviews and major radio
airplay, selling thousands of copies despite a lack of formal distribution. He
is currently giving workshops and concerts, and making bookstore appearances,
throughout Cthe United States.


Zoë/Rounder Releases Tangle Eye: Voices from the Past, Grooves for the Present

Cambridge, MA, USA – With its debut release, New Orleans-based Tangle Eye
brings a fresh approach to the art of the remix, creating music, beats and
sounds that bring new light to original vocal performances sampled from Alan
Lomax’s Southern Journey field recordings. The result is one of the most soulful
and satisfying roots-based albums in some time.

A few years ago, the word “remix” most likely would have indicated a club
version of a pop hit, strictly meant for dancing. However, such recent
recordings as Verve Remixed and Bird Up: The Charlie Parker Remix
have established the remix genre as a creative new music style with
seemingly boundless possibilities. Tangle Eye’s ringleaders, Scott Billington and Steve Reynolds, began creating
remixes of roots music in the early 1990s, with versions of zydeco songs by such
artists as Beau Jocque and Chris Ardoin released as 12″ vinyl singles for the
Houston dance market. In seeking a more ambitious project, the duo approached
the Alan Lomax Archive and began working with Lomax’s superb field recordings
made in the American South from the 1940s to the 1960s (released on Rounder as
the Southern Journey series).

Many listeners first heard Lomax’s recordings on the multi-platinum selling O
Brother, Where Art Thou?
, or on recent albums that use Lomax samples. The
John Travolta film, The General’s Daughter, used samples from Lomax’s
Library of Congress recordings, and Moby had a hit with “Natural Blues,” which
sampled Vera Ward Hall’s “Trouble So Hard.” There’s a difference, however, in
Tangle Eye’s approach, for their music is ultimately about the voices sampled.
It can be astonishing to hear the raw beauty and passion of these voices, most
of which were original a cappella performances, in the new settings created by
Tangle Eye.

The opening track, “John Henry’s Blues,” samples a vocal by Ed Lewis, a convict
at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, and the listener can still hear the sound
of Lewis’s axe chopping a tree as he sang. Against a chugging groove, pianist
Henry Butler reharmonizes the traditional song, making Lewis’s vocal seem all
the more immediate and poignant. “Chantey,” which uses a vocal by The Bright
Light Quartet, a group of Atlantic Coast fishermen, is re-interpreted with a
rock steady reggae beat, with solos from teenaged New Orleans brass band
musicians Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and James Matthews. “Soldier,” which
samples the hymn, “I’m a Soldier in the Army of the Lord,” is a full-blown house
mix, with fast-fingered keyboard work from Davell Crawford.

Other contributing contemporary musicians include Meters bassist George Porter,
Jr., Galactic guitarist Jeff Raines, old-time fiddler Dirk Powell, bluesman
Corey Harris, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and bluegrass Dobro virtuoso Rob

Between them, Billington and Reynolds have produced or engineered hundreds of
albums, including numerous Grammy winners and Grammy nominees. As Tangle Eye,
they offer American roots music with a new spin. Even for music fans who are
familiar with the original Lomax recordings, these remixes may be a revelation,
like hearing these voices for the first time.

Alan Lomax’s Southern Journey Remixed


BBC World Awards For World Music 2004 on CD

London, England – This double CD contains tracks from all nominees for, and winners of, the
BBC Radio 3 Awards For World Music of 2004. Now in their third year, the
Awards a double CD set featuring a track each from the winners and nominated artists from categories are: Africa, Americas, Asia / Pacific, Europe, Middle East / North Africa, Newcomer, Boundary Crossing, The Critics’ Award organized by world music magazine fROOTS for Album Of The Year and a new category – Club Global – that recognizes the growing tide of beat driven music inspired by club culture – whether that club is in Recife, Johannesburg or New York.
The compilation and sleeve notes are by Rita Ray. She co-founded London’s legendary Mambo Inn and today appears around the globe with the Shrine Synchrosystem, the Afrocentric roots and digital club that she has similarly co-founded. She is a BBC World Service presenter.


Sampling, Much More than Vocal Tricks

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Madrid, Spain – After half an hour of concert, the
peaceful atmosphere of Madrid´s Calle 54 club – the hottest European Latin jazz
spot, created by moviemaker Fernando Trueba- was totally forgotten. By voice,
talent, wit and heart,
achieved what no band had been able to do: make everybody dance
without playing an instrument. The recent Spanish tour by the six-voice strong
Sampling has received raving reviews as the audiences become familiar the songs
off their latest album Cambio de Tiempo (Decca, 2002). Vocal Sampling is a band where all the instruments are sung instead of
played. In addition to the lead vocals and the background choruses, all the
instruments of the Cuban orchestra are vocally reproduced: percussion, horns,
keyboards, bass, and all the other instruments. There is no technical
manipulation and no other instruments are used.

The group is comprised of six young Cuban men in their twenties, all
accomplished instrumentalists and arrangers, who met at music school. What began
as an amusing after-school game has become their full-time career.


Serbia Served Hot

Earth Wheel Sky Band – Waltz Rromano
Earth Wheel Sky Band

Waltz Rromano (Asphalt Tango Records, CD ATR 0303, 2003)

The recently-created Asphalt Tango label made an impressive double splash last year with their Besh o Drom and Jony Iliev releases. Their Gypsy/Balkan focus is still fresh, as these wild and wonderful songs by Serbia’s Earth Wheel Sky Band show. Gypsy music has no problem turning up the heat in its bigger, brassier incarnations, but the stripped-down format heard here is incendiary as well.

Guitarist, vocalist, composer, activist and Boris Kovac sideman Olah Vince is joined by a standup bassist, violinist, cymbalom player and percussionist to create music so jauntily rousing that the slower moments (like the sweet “Music Rroman”) make you marvel at the group’s versatility.

Let’s be clear, though. Most of this is intended to get your blood racing, and it succeeds like nobody’s business. The kicker is that even at breakneck tempos, the pure beauty of the music shines through as the feel moves easily from ominous to evocative to lamenting to party-hearty. Hammered cymbalom
strings form the backbone of melodic mood, creating a rich gumbo alongside the bass and galloping dumbek drum with guitar, violin and recurring vocal exhortations circling the action.

“Listen to this music, dance, shout, be Gypsy, be free” is the advice the liner notes give, and by golly, you can’t think of a reason not to. The singular free spirit that Gypsies seem to embody is set to music on this disc, captured for all to enjoy.

Buy Waltz Rromano.


Once Again US Denies Visas for Cuban Grammy 2004 Contenders

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha – Insider’s Music) Havana, Cuba – Once again, the
United States government denied visas for a prestigious delegation of Cuban
musicians to attend the Grammy Awards ceremony, February 8, in Los Angeles. In a
situation similar to what happened with the Latin Grammy in Miami, the Recording
Academy sent the invitation letters demanded by US government procedures to
travel to the US. The required documents were immediately presented by the Cuban
institutions to the US Interests Section in Havana.

It is even more outrageous that the denial of visas for the Cuban delegation
is justified under section 212 (f) of the US Immigration Law related to
terrorists, assassins, drug-dealers and everyone who is considered a menace to
US national security. Inside and outside Cuba, the ethical, moral and human
values of guitarist

Manuel Galbán
, Eugenio Rodríguez, leader of the
Nacional Ignacio Piñeiro
, lute player Barbarito Torres, excellent percussionist
Amadito Valdés, and the Cuban music glories

Ibrahim Ferrer
and Guillermo
Rubalcaba are a known quantity. Their fame is in Cuba and abroad, as well as
their sense of loyalty, patriotism and their extraordinary artistic talent. More than 13,000 professional musicians of revolutionary Cuba cultivate these
values, and that is precisely why this attempt to besmirch the nation’s culture
is made. The Cuban Music Institute denounces this new insult to Cuba’s culture
and its people, while it thanks the organizers for trying to help the Cuban
musicians attend the Grammy ceremony. Unfortunately – it said – the US people
were deprived of enjoying these honorable exponents of universal Cuban music.
Someday, when there is no blockade, manipulations, or threats, both countries’
peoples will enjoy each other’s music in peace.

[Other related stories published at
World Music Central:

Security proposes increases in fees for immigration applications

Homeland Security Forces Cancellations of Paco de Lucía Concerts

Slamming The Door Shut

Director of “Los Van Van” Says US Embargo Affects Music

State Department Insists Time Ran Out for Latin Grammy Nominees

US Processing Visas for Cuban Latin Grammy Nominees

Zimbabwe Group Black Umfolosi Denied Entry in Israel

Austrian-Palestinian Musician Deported by Israeli Authorities

[Photo of Ibrahim Ferrer].


Georgia Music Industry Research Project

Atlanta, USA – The  Society of Future Recording Artists & Songwriters (SOFRAS),
a program sponsored by 501c(3) non-profit org, Express H.O.M.E. Program, Inc.
(Helping Others Magnify Education), announced this week the launch of a critical
study to seize the opportunity to establish a needed Georgia music industry
resource directory.  This comprehensive, independent study will collect a
variety of related data from eligible, talented Georgia-residents and
Georgia-based music-affiliated organizations, associations, businesses, product
and service providers all across the state. “We have witnessed tremendous
talent that virtually goes unheard, even on a local level, because of the lack
of awareness of industry resources and professionals that are available
said Mill Davis, Director of SOFRAS, who is leading the research study.  “Highly
sought after education about the industry overall, talent exposure opportunities
and career development resources are plentiful in Georgia, especially in
Atlanta, with it being a major entertainment hub.  However, there is currently
not a resource that brings the state’s music and talent resources together in
one central directory (online or print), so we are working to fill this void.
This in turn, creates a tremendous market opportunity for providers targeting
the hundreds of individuals that often seek these solutions, based on the
numerous inquiries we receive. This will help to further stimulate Georgia’s
music industry economy
,” added Kevin Odom, co-founder of SOFRAS.  Through this study, the vast resource of major and independent music industry
provider submissions and research materials will be used to:

  • Develop a Georgia music resource directory (online and print) and a talent
    registry database (online and print) with proposed semi-annual email updates

  • An event announcement submission and posting service
  • Other industry-focused educational awareness activities and publications

To join the official research mailing list, send an email to:
  More information about participation as a
researcher (open to high school and college students) and/or being considered
for inclusion in the project can be obtained by contacting SOFRAS (in Atlanta)
at +1 770-281-7286 (press 2#), via email:
or via postal mail at SOFRAS, PO Box 930274,
Norcross, GA  30003-0274. The website is

Other sponsors of the research study include En*Spirations Christian Networt, a
Black Clan, Inc., HDQTRZ Digital Music Studios,Har-Bal (World’s First Visual Music Mastering System -) and Muziq World, along with team research analysts Shannon Leon, Tanya Redding, and Juz Cooper.

About Society of Future Recording Artists & Songwriters (SOFRAS):

SOFRAS serves the southern US Region as a source of independent music business
education, research and referral.  They develop and offer projects and events
that foster personal career development inside and outside of the music
industry, provide career-consulting services and talent promotional
opportunities.  Their mission is to offer these resources where exposure to them
is limited or non-existent, with plans to expand internationally.

About Express H.O.M.E. Program, Inc. (a 501c(3) non-profit organization):
For over 22 years, Express H.O.M.E. Program, Inc. Executive Director, Jacqueline
Bosby has utilized her skillful negotiation, organization, proposal writing and
compassion to assist various communities, primarily at-risk youth.

Headquartered in neighboring Athens, GA., Express H.O.M.E. Program, Inc. has
secured forty-eight, 30- minute spots for community programming per month on
Charter Communications Cable Network which shows in 3 counties and 9 neighboring
towns during prime time slots.  Express H.O.M.E. Program has dedicated Saturday
programming – 16 spots – to youth/teen programs, produced by a Teen Advisory
Committee.  The staff continues to sponsor educational programs and most
prominent to date are the annual Black Youth Heritage Expos which have grown
from 1000+ attendees and participants to over 5000 in a five-year period. 

Express H.O.M.E. also does holiday safety programs for the Athens Board of
Education and a number of youth programs within the metro-Atlanta and Athens
communities, offering activities to foster academic enrichment and youth
empowerment.  The organization has numerous commendations from local government
officials (in Georgia and Illinois) and other business supporters that express
their gratitude of the organization’s enthusiasm and concern for today’s youth.


The Essential Cuba on Manteca

Cuba - the Essential Album
London, England – Cuba – the essential album (ESNDCD222) in the title of a double CD produced by British label Manteca.

It includes a long list of well known Cuban musicians: Compay Segundo, Desi Arnaz, Pérez Prado, Orquesta Aragón, Sierra Maestra, Ibrahim Ferrer, Graciela Machito y sus Afro-Cubans, Lecuona Cuban Boys, Beny Moré, Chapottín y su Conjunto, Enrique Jorrín, Bebo Valdés, Los Van Van, Irakere, NG La Banda, Afro-Cuban All Stars, Mongo Santamaría, Orquesta América, Celina González, Havana All Stara, Pablo Milanés, James Moody & His Bop Men feat. Chano Pozo, Don Azpiazu & his Havana Casino Orchestra, René Touzet, Omara Portuondo, Celia Cruz, Alegría All Stara, Lázaro Ros con Mezcla, Yerba Buena, and Orlando `Cachaíto’ López.

The mid-price compilation was produced by Rick Glanvill. He is a London-born writer, author, DJ and broadcaster.


Renowned Violinist V. G. Jog Dies at 89

Kolkata, India – Several Indian news sources reported the death of renowned violinist and Padma Bhushan awardee, V.G. Jog.
He died in Kolkata on Saturday, January 31st, after a prolonged
illness. He was 89. Jog is survived by wife, a son and two daughters.

Family sources said Jog was suffering from respiratory problems for the past few years.

Born in Maharashtra in 1922, he studied with Sri Shankar Rao Athavela, Ganapat Rao Purohit, and the great master Allauddin Khan.

Since 1999, Pandit Jog had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The disease had not only crippled the elderly maestro by taking away the violin away from his hands, but was also draining away all his resources. Without music, his only source of income, the high cost of medical care became an unbearable burden for the Jog family. Moreover, the untimely death of his son added a blow to the ailing artist and his

family. In recent years, several benefit concerts were held to provide
him and his family with urgently needed financial assistance.

Besides the Padma Bhushan, Jog also received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award, West Bengal government’s Rajya Natak award, the Kalidas Samman, the Bhuwalka Puraskar and the Hafiz Ali Khan award.

Jog had a long association with the All India Radio’s Kolkata center
as music composer and producer, besides being member of the AIR’s
audition board.


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