Amala – Gypsy Music, Dance & Language Summer School

Valjevo, Serbia – The Amala School for Roma (Gypsy) and Serbian music, dance and language presents the unique opportunity to discover Romani and Serbian culture in an authentic setting. Located in the picturesque Serbian hills in the town of Valjevo, 100 kilometers southwest of Belgrade, the school offers 7, 10 and 14day sessions throughout the summer. While at the school, students benefit from the unforgettable experience of total immersion into the culture. Students live in a Romani-Serbian household, see daily life and dine on traditional cuisine.

The days are filled with lively local music, excursions and trips to family celebrations in nearby villages. Local professional teachers and performers conduct the lessons. The school’s faculty uses traditional teaching methods, and music and vocal students learn by ear.Serbian language and dance classes are designed for all levels Romani (Gypsy) language classes are designed for beginners and give the extremely rare chance to learn this beautiful language.

Roma dance in the Balkan style is taught for all levels. Galbeno d.o.o., Stevana Filipovica 28/20, 11000 Beograd, Yugoslavia. Phone: +381 (0)11 64 88 75, Fax: +381 (0)11 652 391.

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Buenos Hermanos – Ibrahim Ferrer

Ibrahim Ferrer – Buenos Hermanos
Ibrahim Ferrer

Buenos Hermanos (Nonesuch/World Circuit, 2003)

If someone told me that Ibrahim Ferrer possessed the ability to charm a bird out of a tree with one song I’d believe him. The proof is in Buenos Hermanos, Ferrer’s latest CD on World Circuit-Nonesuch Records. Of Buena Vista Social Club fame, Ferrer, in his mid 70s, sings with a mature voice that’s still smooth and silky, with none of the cheap gimmicks overused by other singers intended to demonstrate to an audience how hard they work. It is Ferrer’s charisma and love a good song that shines through that makes each song on Buenos Hermanos sparkle.

On  Buenos Hermanos, Ferrer teams up with recognized Cuban greats Chucho Valdés on piano, Orlando “Cachaito” López on bass and Manuel Galbán taking turns on piano, organ and guitar. Producer and famed musician, Ry Cooder, slips in some slick licks of his own on electric guitar, while his son, Joachim Cooder, plays drums. As an added surprise, the Blind Boys of Alabama lend their lovely sound to the track entitled No Tiene Telaraña. All in all it is still Ferrer’s show.

Title track “Buenos Hermanos” doesn’t disappoint with Galbán on organ, Cooder on electric guitar, punctuated by some pretty fabulous saxophone playing and the call of a Chinese cornet. “La Musica Cubana” is a tribute to the fathers and mothers of Cuban music with a delightful call and response ending, honoring the likes of Orestes López, Lilí Martínez and Tito Gómez. Slow, dreamy numbers like “Naufragio,” “Perfume de Gardinias,” “Mil Congojas” and “Fuiste Cruel” are sure to entice the most reluctant dancer out onto the dance floor. “Hay Que Entrarle A Palos A Ese” is a lively number with an organ solo by Manuel Galbán and a brass section that demand mention, and the English lyrics of this song printed on the liner notes are well worth a read.

With the political climate such as it is and Ry Cooder on the U.S. government’s bad boy list for violating the Cuban Trade Embargo with the Buena Vista Social Club project, this might be the last we hear of these kinds of U.S.-Cuban musical collaborations for a while. Buenos Hermanos and Cooder’s recently released Mambo Sinuendo with Manuel Galbán might just have to hold us until we find ourselves in saner times. The shame is that the artists that appear on CDs such as  Buenos Hermanos and Mambo Sinuendo are good, too good to be held as political hostages.

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Festival Ethnoambient Salona 2003, Croatia

Salona, Croatia –
Festival Ethnoambient Salona 2003
will take place August 1-3, 2003. This year the festival will present Lo Cor de la Plana (France), Zoe (Italy), Lot Lorien (Bulgaria), Companyia Electrica Dharma (Spain), Kries (Croatia) and several Croatian groups that present famous Mediterranean “klapa” singing.

The oldest world music festival in Croatia tends to promote different cultures through fusion of the traditional and contemporary music. Since 1998 this festival has welcomed artists from Israel, Italy, Mongolia, Canada (First Nations), England, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Catalonia (Spain), Ireland, Pakistan, Hungary, Australian aboriginals, Iran, and Croatia.This open air festival is held at the magical ancient Roman archeological site of Salona which is located in Solin, near Split at the Adriatic Coast. The main idea of festival Ethnoambient is to promote different cultures, tolerance and understanding for cultural diversity, tradition, nature. Music is the main focus, but visitors also get a chance to explore the fair of organic/eco farming, traditional crafts and souvenirs and also enjoy the natural beauty of the area – the rivers, the mountains, the Adriatic sea and beautiful Mediterranean atmosphere. More info: management@acroanima.hr

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New World Music Venue in Budapest

Budapest, Hungary – Budapest has a new venue, the A38 ship on the  Danube.

After two years of planning, permits and construction,  a fantastic “building” was born: the A38 ship. The venue is the reincarnation of a Ukrainian stone carrier (built in 1967)  – with a great concert hall (capacity: 700), bars, terraces, a studio and a restaurant.The king of funky saxophone, Maceo Parker will bring the audience  back to the golden era of Funk on the 30th of April and the party continues with one of the greatest European funk bands, the Hot Pants Road Club on the 1st of May.

Below is the May program. The club’s ambition is to become Budapest’s most interesting international cultural venue concentrating mainly on music, with special emphasis on collaboration with colleagues abroad and facilitating
collaboration and dialogue between foreign and Hungarian musicians.

May Program:

30 April 21:00 – Maceo Parker (USA)
01 May 21:00 – Hot Pants Road Club (A) + Badihali (H)
02 May 21:00 – Tara Fuki (CZ) + Babsley (RU) + DJ Erizo (H)
03 May 21:00 – Walter Trout & the Radicals (USA)
07 May 21:00 – DJ Sanyi & DJ Pedro (H)
08 May 21:00 – Johnny Ferreira & the Swing Machine (CAN)
09 May 21:00 – Ripoff Raskolnikov (A) & Kiss Tibor (H) + Hank Shizzoe & Loose Gravel (CH)
10 May 21:00 – Apocalyptic Night: Boris Kovac & Ladaaba Orchest (Yu) + DJ
Aki Nawaz (Fun-Da-Mental) (GB)
14 May 21:00 – DJ Andrew J. & DJ Hotta (H)
15 May 18:00 – Cultural Networking in Europe
15 May 21:00 – Dub Club: DJ Gümix & Sweet Susie (A) + Bosi & Dermot (H)
16 May 22:00 – Zagar (H) + Karuan (A)
17 May 21:00 – Romano Drom (H) + Tekameli (F)
18 May 20:30 – Manfred Paul Weinberger Septett (CAN/A)
21 May 21:00 – DJ Haze (H)
22 May 21:00 – Másfél (H) + DJ Palotai (H)
23 May 22:00 – Sound On Ultra Loud: Poets of Rhythm (Ninja
Tune/Quannum –GB/D)-live + Tom Wieland (Les Gammas/Compost Records – A),
Keyser & Shuriken (H) +  Suhaid feat. Mango (H)
24 May 22:00 – Sound On Ultra Loud: Jazzanova (JCR Records – D) + DJ Marcel
(H) + DJ Erik Sumo (H) + DJ Lee n’gum (H)
28 May 21:00 – Tibor Szemz?: Örvény Oratorio (H)
29 May 21:00 – NEO (H)
30 May 22:00 – E-Z Rollers (GB)
31 May 20:00 – BudaPPPest

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Slamming The Door Shut

Is the U.S. slowly sliding off the musical map of the world? In a word, yes. Newly tightened visa regulations, set up by the government to keep out terrorists, are being used to keep out musicians and performers. The consequences of the new rules suggest that the U.S. is no longer interested in keeping alive an international cultural exchange with the rest of the world, but prefers a path of irrational paranoia and cultural ignorance.

Groups and artists recently denied entry in to the U.S. include: Cuba’s Afro-Cuban All Stars; Desandan, a Cuban-Haitian group; Najwa Gibran, a Palestinian singer from Canada and the Whirling Dervishes from Syria, who had planned to perform at the World Festival of Sacred Music in Los Angeles last September. Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes was denied a visa, even though he was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award.

Iranian musician Hossein Alizadeh obtained a visa to the U.S. only after members of Congress and concert promoters pleaded with officials. Unfortunately, the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (the former INS) added insult to injury by fingerprinting and photographing Alizadeh upon his arrival. Kayhan Kalhor, a Canadian musician from Iran performing with Alizadeh, angered over being fingerprinted and having his luggage rummaged through has suggested he’s done with performing in the United States.

The trend of denying visas hasn’t been limited to traditional world music groups. Cousteau, a rock band from Great Britian, toured without their Lebanese-born band member and songwriter. Marduk, a black metal band from Sweden, has felt the new regulations retard their planned tour. Even the American-Russian Youth Orchestra faced visa problems.

The worst aspect of this war on culture can be summed up with the incident concerning Yugoslav classical pianist Aleksander Serdar, who was denied a visa because according to the INS he was not “an artist of extraordinary ability or achievement.” The last thing Americans, with open eyes to the world, desire is Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) officers deciding which musicians bear “extraordinary ability or achievement.” Putting aside the fears of some in the State Department that there are musician terrorists out there, are we now subject to the personal tastes of middle-management BCIS officers or bureaucratic fear mongers?

The problem isn’t just a threat against touring artists within the U.S., but will also have serious effects in the recording industry and the world music CDs available in the U.S. Many records labels won’t take the chance on releasing a CD by international musicians without the prospects of a tour to increase sales. For some time now, the U.S. record industry has bombarded with the world with the likes of Britney Spears and Eminem and profited from it, but what if one day, the world just stopped buying what we were peddling? What if the rest of the world said no to American musicians touring overseas? Right now, we’re the ones slamming the door, but what if the rest of the world did the same and slammed their door shut?

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NWEAMO Call for Works

USA – The Northwest Electro-Acoustic Music Organization (NWEAMO) is seeking electro-acoustic works for its fifth annual international festival of electronic music.

Works may be representative of all styles and aesthetics, from the classical avant-garde to the fringes of experimental pop.MAIN THEME: This year we are hoping to spotlight audience-interactive electro-acoustic works. These works should employ some form of audience participation to complete their execution. Interaction may be physical, intellectual, sensory, and/or other type, and it may be achieved through technological, entirely human, or other means. To facilitate electronic interaction, NWEAMO will provide a wireless access point (802.11) with a connection to the Internet.

PLEASE NOTE: NWEAMO also welcomes submissions of electro-acoustic works that DO NOT involve audience interaction. Preference will be given to works that feature a live performance element.

Composers must attend the festival. There is a $15 submission fee. NWEAMO is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization and all money raised goes toward promotion and production.

NWEAMO 2003: The Exploding Interactive Inevitable
October 3-5, 2003: Portland, Oregon (B-Complex)
October 10-12, 2003: San Diego, California (San Diego State University)

To view the full version of this call for works (including submission guidelines) and to access further information about NWEAMO 2003: The Exploding Interactive Inevitable, please visit www.nweamo.org.

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Les Tambours de Brazza, 3rd CD

Les Tambours de Brazza  - Tandala</a Les Tambours de Brazza – TandalaTandala” across Europe on the 29th of April, release in Canada will be scheduled to coincide with their summer tour there. The French tour starts in May and will include festival dates at the Docks des Suds, Nuit d’Afrique and the Paléo Festival, dates have been scheduled through to July with more gigs to be confirmed. The group was brought together in 1991 by drummer, percussionist and author/composer, Emile Biyaenda who had been working in reggae, jazz and traditional music ensembles. Les Tambours fuse heritage with modernity: traditional instruments give the bass-guitar and congas a jazz-like resonance.

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Matato’a from Easter Island, European Tour

Belgium – Easter Island group Matato’a will be touring Europe June 3 through September 15.

This unique group will attract special attention because it’s the first time a group from Easter Island will be touring Europe.

The musicians promote and preserve the ancestral traditions, the dances, the costumes, and the body paintings of Easter Island through traditional and modern music. Acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards and bass are mixed with traditional percussion, ukulele, harmonica, and traditional instruments such as stones, horse jaws, big drums, etc. For more information you can contact the tour organization ‘The World Festival of Folklore Schoten – Belgium.’ Patrick Beauquesne. Phone: +32 479 47 24 20.

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Rough Guide To Scottish Music 2nd Edition

Rough Guide To Scottish Music 2nd Edition
Rough Guide To Scottish Music 2nd Edition
San Francisco, USA – Rough Guide To Scottish Music 2nd Edition. This entirely new Rough Guide collection explores Scotland’s vibrant music scene. With a wonderfully rich and diverse heritage, Scottish music is constantly evolving while remaining deeply rooted in the past. Traditional instruments, such as the clàrsach and fiddle, are being embraced by a new generation eager to build on the skills of their forebears.

Focusing on what is clearly a living tradition, The Rough Guide To Scottish Music rounds up some of the key artists and talent in Scotland today.

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Non-traditional Record Label R2 Lets Traditional Artists Profit

Calasaig - Near and Far
Calasaig – Near and Far
Toronto, Canada – R2, a new record label specializing in the promotion of music from the Celtic world, has just made it easier for European Union artists to tap into the North American market. Founded by Patrick Smyth in May 2002, R2 offers its artists a profit-sharing business model and its consumers a timely source of Celtic music at competitive prices.

The label’s roster, dubbed The Celtic Connection, includes previously released Celtic favorites, as well as new recordings by emerging artists.“There’s a wealth of outstanding Celtic music that never gets heard on this side of the ocean,” said Smyth, President of R2. “Typical business agreements in the industry have made it extremely difficult for EU artists to break into the North American market. At R2, our objective is to ensure the artists can thrive here so that we keep this magnificent musical tradition alive.

What sets R2 apart from other record labels is its profit-sharing business model. R2 offers its artists a much greater percentage of the profits with the sale of each disk than is customary in the industry. For the fans, R2 is able to reduce the costs and delays often associated with importing, by manufacturing locally. With a network of contacts across the U.S. and Canada, R2 offers a range of services, including distribution to retail, direct-to-consumer internet sales, marketing and tour management.

The Celtic Connection launched with recordings by Scottish performers Calasaig (Near and Far), The Easy Club (Chance or Design), Maggie MacInnes (Spirit of Life) and Kirsten Easdale (Be Not Afraid). Additional releases, due out in July 2002, include Jimi McRae (Earthdance), Peatbog Faeries (Mellowosity), The Easy Club (Skirlie Beat) and Finn MacCuill (Sink Ye, Swim Ye).

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