Changüi to Invade the Cuban East

(Prensa Latina- Cumbancha) Guantánamo, Cuba – Chords from the “tres” guitar, marimba and maracas sound almost every day in different corners of Guantánamo city, venue for the First National Festival of Changüi to be held December 20 to 24, 2003. Helped by the “güiro,” the instruments identify this style of “Son,” created in the 19 century in the Eastern Cuban mountains; Changüi will be paid a deserved homage this year, along with its architect par excellence, late orchestra director Elio Revé Matos.

For two centuries, this rhythm has been the favorite dance music of farmers in the region that includes what are today the municipalities of Guantanamo, Baracoa, Yateras, El Salvador and Manuel Tames. The gatherings among musicians, dancers and experts will be a prelude to the theory workshop to be held during the Festival, dealing with different topics related to Changüi, the semantic and morphological aspects of the term, and the Loma del Chivo folklore.

Reve Matos (1930-1997) lived his childhood and most of his adolescence in a downtown neighborhood of Guantanamo, Cuba’s fifth biggest city. In his memory a monument will be raised during the celebrations. The versatile musician was the creator of the El Charangon orchestra, and he is considered the first to add kettledrums and unthinkable electronic elements to Changüí.


Automaton by Murat Ses

Murat Ses

Automaton (Clou Records, Clou-001, KALAN Music, Peacework Music)

Automaton is the first part of Turkish-Austrian synthetist/electronic musician Murat Ses’ trilogy that began in early 90s.
I listened to the second album Binfen first and then came to other two. Automaton is more Anatolian roots and wild compared to Binfen and Culduz.

Murat is telling wonderful musical stories from a part of the world with rich traditions (see booklets). His musical approach is neither “orientalistic’ nor ‘occidentalistic’… and difficult to categorize.His trilogy’s main theme “The Timeless and Boundariless Context of Culture and Civilization” possibly is something all we need these days be it west or east.
A fusion of ethnic self-programmed timbres (such as a synthetic zurna, mey, kaval, ney, kanun or sounds of mehter ensembles you might hear at the Topkapi Palace) in microtonal settings.
His sound possibly is a dialectic quantum leap from his earlier sound of the 70’s called Anadolu Pop. That style revolutionized Turkey’s music then.

As an enthusiastic student of this kind of music I liked: Dry Sun, Argus babe, Mehter and some kind of symphonic New Age Belt of Orion.

Murat’s official website:


Haila Releases New Album

Haila Live
Haila Live
(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – “Haila Live,” is the new Bis Music production. One of the characteristics of the album is that it is a live recording from a concert at Havana’s National Theater. Thus, the final result is the print of spontaneity and acceptance in the atmosphere created by the audience.

The special guests at the concert, now a CD, were Chucho Valdes, Isaac Delgado, Mayito Rivera and the voices of Charanga Habanera. Haila’s songs included La Sopa en Botella, by Senen Suarez; Sobre Una Tumba, Una Rumba, by Ignacio Piñeiro; Drume Negrita, by Emilio Grenet; Qué te pedí, by Fernando Mulens; and Pensamiento, by Rafael Gomez (Teofilito). Added to this, the “spice” of modern sounds with the songs mainly from prolific Manuel Limonta: Yo No Me Parezco a Nadie and Hoy Me Inclino y Te Doy las Gracias, which open and close the album.


‘Global Fusion’ Is The Name Of This Year’s Pestalozzi Festival

Battle, East Sussex, UK – Following on from the success of World Music, Crafts and Storytelling 2002, the Pestalozzi International Village will be hosting a second even more ambitious event to be held on the weekend of Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th June 2003.

This year the plan is to take the festival one step further to incorporate the idea of global fusion. The emphasis will be on celebrating the similarities between cultures hosting artists who share influences through their music, crafts, storytelling and puppetry.This year there will be three main marquees, one more than last year, housing: Music – Storytelling – and Interactive Workshops. Visitors will be able to listen to fabulous bands in one, watch and interact with stories, music and puppets in another or take part in African Drumming and learn Belly Dancing in the third.

The main Music Marquee headline band for the Saturday night is Transglobal Underground; as with the Twinkle Brothers last year this band has a major cult following. Mandy Curtis Festival Co-ordinator explains: “ If one band sums up what we mean by global fusion it’s this one. Natacha Atlas provides eastern vocals and chants to the raps of the Transglobal Crew. They are famous for their live performances – Balinese tribal masks and Natacha’s chiffon-draped belly dancing in a hypnotic, dazzling display, fusing together the sound of global music with the contemporary dance scene. This is a must see act.

“As If Transglobal weren’t enough, we have Celloman, North African and Arabic influences, he plays electric cello with loads of attitude – Sugarbeat a mix of Mauritians and Jamaicans performing traditional SAGA music – Bushfaya a local group led by Nana Tsiboe combining young DJ’s mixing poetry to a dance beat – Sujata Banerjee Dance Company with traditional North Indian music interwoven with Flamenco dance – Maambena a fusion of West African music. And a real coup we have Black Voices, the Birmingham based acapella group renowned for their African, Caribbean and gospel sound.”

The storytelling theme is puppetry but all working within the framework of fusion. Mandy Curtis continues: “We are going to have a lot more hands-on activities for the children this year. There will be a puppet-making workshop run by Radiator Community Arts Group where the kids can make their own puppets and participate in a final procession at the end of each day session. Fantastic Circus Skills workshops, Belly Dancing, African Drumming and DJ Mixing.

“Usifu Jalloh makes a welcome return to the children’s marquee, as always Usifu will have the entire audience from the youngest to the oldest participating in the stories, singing, dancing and shouting. Pat Robson makes her Pestalozzi debut; she is an English storyteller who illustrates her tales with the aid of her magic quilt – and the marvellous ‘KINTU’ a puppet theatre show produced by the famous Theatre Rotto Puppet Company. Intensely visual as well as physical ‘KINTU’ combines unique shadow and rod puppets

One very popular feature from last year to appear again in even bigger numbers will be The World Craft Market: South African handicrafts, Latin American music, African drums and clothes, health goods, herbal products, oils, homeopathy, jewellery, paintings, ornaments, Tibetan arts and crafts, African arts, musical items and much more help to create that authentic festival atmosphere. Many stallholders are very keen to return to Pestalozzi, they see the festival as a stepping stone to their next big venue Glastonbury.

Mandy Curtis sums up: “ Last year, despite the weather and the World Cup, we managed to take the enormous step up from an open day to a two day event with all the colour, sounds and activities of a real live festival. Those who came last year were full of praise for what we had achieved and have been very supportive of our future plans. We are confident that this year will be even better than last and who knows, if everyone comes back and we attract a few more we could hit four thousand attendance this year. If that happens we are on our way to putting this festival well and truly on the map.”

Tickets are now on sale at: £6 per session in advance – £8 per session on the gate Children 5 and under will go in free while 6 – 16 year olds will pay £5 per session. Session times are Saturday 11am – 5pm Saturday evening: 5pm- 11pm. Sunday: 11am – 5pm. Ticket booking and information is available on: 01424 870444 or alternatively by visiting the Pestalozzi website at:


The Klezmatics Rise Up!

The Klezmatics - Rise Up! Shteyt Oyf!
The Klezmatics – Rise Up! Shteyt Oyf!
Boston, USA – The Klezmatics have a new studio album, Rise Up! Shteyt Oyf!.

By rooting their music in the ancient modes and melodies of Jewish music and then expanding in contemporary directions, The Klezmatics produce art that is resonant with tradition and yet unbound by it. Rise Up, their first non-collaborative release in five years, continues the sonic journey begun on classic albums like Jews With Horns and The Well.

Samples from a 1948 Jewish archive combine with avant horn riffs. A homoerotic love song sits beside traditional Hasidic songs. And the CD title comes from a powerful gospel-tinged revision of Holly Near’s “I Ain’t Afraid” in both Yiddish and English. Not the repertoire of your grandmother, and yet it may be the very bridge connecting us to the past.

The Klezmatics began performing “I Ain’t Afraid” for their post 9/11 concerts. “We see it as part of our purpose to be a link in the chain of all the activists who work for a better world,” explains trumpeter Frank London. “This song is one way of expressing this.” Produced by Ben Wisch.


The Rough Guide To The Music Of Canada

The Rough Guide to the Music of Canada
The Rough Guide to the Music of Canada
San Francisco, USA – Canada is the focus of this new title of the Rough Guide series. Canada offers every imaginable kind of music, which somehow seems only fitting for such a vastly varied and rich land. As a new nation built on immigration and cultural mixing, it is one where artists bend and even defy traditional boundaries.

Including Celtic fiddle traditions of Cape Breton, Québécois chanson, Inuit throat singing and more, The Rough Guide to the Music of Canada.

focuses on some of the longer-standing roots music traditions created in established cultural communities, together with some of the newer hybrids those styles have brought forth.


Indonesian Music

Indonesia’s music is as diverse as its people. Best known abroad are the Javanese and Balinese orchestras generally called gamelan, which consist largely of gongs and other metallophones, but gamelan is only one aspect (albeit an impressive one) of the whole. Solo and group singing and solo instrumental music (played typically on flute, shawm, plucked or bowed lute, plucked zither, or xylophone) are found everywhere, as are ensembles of mixed instruments and ensembles dominated by instruments of a single type (most commonly flutes, drums, xylophones, zithers, or gongs).

Much of this music may be termed traditional in the sense that its scales, idioms and repertoires do not in any obvious way derive from European/American or Middle Eastern (or other foreign) music. Nevertheless, some of the most prominent and commercially successful genres of popular music definitely do derive from foreign sources but since these are sung in Indonesian, disseminated nationwide through cassettes and the mass media, and avidly consumed by millions of Indonesians, they must certainly be considered Indonesian, regardless of their foreign roots. Finally, along with the indigenous and the clearly imported, there are many hybrid forms that mix traditional and foreign elements in delightful and unpredictable ways.

Indonesian music description courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.


Natacha Atlas’ Something Dangerous?

Natacha Atlas - Something Dangerous?
Natacha Atlas – Something Dangerous?
New York, USA – World music diva Natacha Atlas is returning with a new album, Something Dangerous?, and a new sound.

Due for release in the US on May 20th and in the UK on May 19th, the recording has been produced by (amongst others) Sugababes producer Brian Higgins and features guest appearances by Sinead O’Connor, Princess Julianna, Abdullah Chhadeh and the late Sami El Babli. There’s also a So Solid Crew remix currently doing the rounds in the clubs.

With Something Dangerous?, Natacha Atlas zips Middle Eastern music straight to the heart of current UK pop, pulling in as she does so dance music, rap, drum’n’bass, R&B, Hindi pop, film music and French chanson. The success of her earlier work, both in the Middle East and in the West, including a top ten hit in France, has shown just how alluring a musical bridging of the divide can be.

Something Dangerous? not only combines more styles than ever, but for the first time on an Atlas album it features guest vocalists, and a great deal more singing in English than she’s done before. But it’s no abandonment of Arabic; she embraces and combines the two languages, as well as Hindi and French.

Buy Natacha Atlas’ albums:


BEE2 – Its All A Game

UK- As a follow up to the debut album Recorded Delivery, BEE2 has released the long-awaited follow-up album. Its All A Game was released through Metro Music in April 2003.

Its All A Game is the name of BEE2s new album. “The music industry is one big game,” explains BEE2. “You need more than talent to succeed, that’s how I see it. You need to balance your creative ability, the passion of your music, with the challenges of succeeding in a tough business.” BEE2 is no stranger to the game of music, after his strong debut release Recorded Delivery and amazing live shows around the world with his band; BEE2 is about to make some noise on the dance floors across the UK this year. BEE2 infuses his raw talent with a polished vocal style befitting a Punjabi folk star. His music can be best described as being a fusion of traditional Punjabi folk, jazz, soul, hip-hop, and classical with an acoustic edge. BEE2’s sound is made by an artist who has taken time to develop his many talents and Its All A Game reflects not only his ability to perform but his writing, composing, producing and musical capabilities

The album was recorded at The Sound Pipe, BEE2’s own recording studio. BEE2 handled production work and continues to push for new sounds with a live, raw acoustic feel using mandolin, Spanish guitar, flutes and a full live strings section, leading the way to an innovative blend. “I felt the need to experiment with digital and acoustic sounds to complete a more balanced album,” says BEE2. Appearing on the album are seven distinct tracks, each with its own definitive mood. BEE2 reflects his talent as a singer-songwriter in the danceable track of Billo and the hypnotic, quietly assured track Soni Mahiwal. The track Nach Bhabiyeh compels the listener to move to its lilting, uplifting beat, a guaranteed dance floor hit, while Mela and Daru are a testament to BEE2’s folk roots. Also appearing on the album are the razor-sharp vocals of Garage MC J-Maka who adds to the foot-tapping infection of the tracks.

For further information on BEE2, bookings, tour/live show schedule and Its All A Game call The Sound Pipe Press Centre at +44 07932 594135 or email:

BEE2 is the stage name of one of Britain’s most inventive bhangra musicians. His father’s family was heavily involved in music and his uncles were well-known singers of Punjabi folk songs. BEE2 began singing at an exceptionally early age, and by 14, he was touring around the world as a singer/musician for an established Bhangra team. BEE2 is a multi-talented musician, a talented tumbi virtuoso who also plays dhol, dholki, algozey, drums, keyboards, clarinet etc. He went on to study a degree in Music Technology then went to work in Kuljit Bhamras studio and now runs his own studio, The Sound Pipe. His first album received rave reviews for it’s innovative blend of bhangra with folk, reggae, garage, hip hop and rnb styles. Currently, BEE2 has finished touring America and Asia, and is busy working on projects at The Sound Pipe as well as working in the hit West End Musical Bombay Dreams.


New from Yuri Buenaventura

Yuri Buenaventura - Vagabundo
Yuri Buenaventura – Vagabundo
Yuri Buenaventura was the first salsa singer in France to achieve a gold disc with his 1998 album Herencia Africana including the cover of “Ne Me Quitte Pas”. For his third album, Vagabundo, Yuri worked with San Juan (Puerto Rico)musicians: Roberto Roena, leader of Appolo Sound, members of El Gran Combo, including singer, Jerry Rivas, and Cheo Feliciano, one of the mythical voices of the Fania All Stars, is special guest on two duets. The predominantly salsa style disc is further colored by the various influences of the collaborating artists. The Tango meets Caribbean music and Argentinean percussion. The album was released in France, Belgium and Switzerland last month.

Buy Vagabundo


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