Yair Dalal Releases Asmar

Yair Dalal - Asmar
Yair Dalal – Asmar
Yair Dalal

Asmar (MagdaMGD039, 2002)

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.

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Number of Rap Groups in Cuba Increases

(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.

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Cristina Branco Releases Corpo Illuminado

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Cristina Branco – Corpo Iluminadoe
Cristina Branco

Corpo Iluminado (Decca Records/Universal, 440 014 151 2, 2002)

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.

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1st Symposium on the History of the Mediterranean 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)

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Lopez-Nussa Fills in for Chucho Valdés in Barbados 

(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.

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Habana Abierta Back Home

(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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Cantigas de Maio Festival Suspended

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.

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Longina Trova Festival

(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. 

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EFWMF and Folk Alliance will present Strictly Mundial in Montreal

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.

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