(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.”
Lisbon, Portugal – The 2003 edition of the Cantigas de Maio festival has been suspended. The popular folk and world music festival suffered a 50% reduction in the sponsorship funds provided by the Seixal city council. According to the organizers, this does not mean the end of the festival. They are currently looking for an alternative location with the intention of celebrating the annual festival in 2004.
(Prensa Latina) Santa Clara, Cuba.- The Longina Festival, which gathered trova artists from almost all Cuban provinces and paid tribute to Manuel Corona, one of the greatest figures of the genre, concluded recently. The event included famous figures from the trova scene and others starting their careers, who were evaluated by a professional jury.
USA – The North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance (Folk
Alliance) and the European Forum of World Music Festivals (EFWMF) are collaborating to present Strictly Mundial in Montreal February 24-27, 2005. Strictly Mundial will be held in conjunction with the 17th Annual International Folk Alliance conference. The February 2005 event will be the first North American presentation of Strictly Mundial.
(Prensa Latina) Havana, Cuba – Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez received the Pablo de la Torriente Brau Cultural Center award in Havana, bestowed to celebrities and institutions of national and international culture. Foundation director Victor Casaus said the award for the author of “El Unicornio Azul” and “Rabo de Nube” was granted for his songs, ideas, persistence and courage. The delivery concluded with a concert by Silvio, attended by cultural figures including Havana City Historian Eusebio Leal, and Argentine moviemaker Fernando Birri.
(Prensa Latina) Havana, Cuba – The band Los Jubilados, from Santiago de Cuba, will attend a Cuban culture festival at the Mexican locality of Tlanepantla starting January 22. The band’s latest release full of Cuban flavor and rhythm is the CD Alma de Santiago, currently a 45th Grammy Award nominee. Los Jubilados is formed by 10 members and has recorded three CDs with the label CoraSon S. A. Founded in 1994, Los Jubilados performs Cuban “Son” from the most traditional style to its contemporary versions.
Atlanta, Georgia – New Age Voice permanently closed its doors January 10th, 2003. There wasn’t enough ad revenue to maintain the publication due to the record industry crisis. New Age Voice was the main source of information for new age music. It also featured sections dedicated to electronic music, world, folk and Celtic.
Madrid, Spain – La Fábrica de Ideas, a world music booking agency and marketing company, in Spain is requesting the support of world music festivals, artists, the media and other organizations and individuals. They are organizing a benefit festival in Madrid to aid the victims of the Prestige oil spill off the coast of Galicia (Northwestern Spain). La Fabrica de Ideas would love to receive an e-mail message declaring solidarity with the victims. Please send any correspondence to: firstname.lastname@example.org
British world fusion band Baka Beyond has a new recording out, East to West (Narada).
Martin Cradick, leader of the band, returned to the Congo rainforest to record the Baka people. The album also presents a strong Celtic influence with a reel from Cornwall and songs from Scotland.