A celebration of the Divine Feminine in Song This Friday in San Francisco

Sixteen of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most captivating voices in early, ethnic, and new music will gather together to celebrate nearly 1000 years of female creativity in San Francisco’s majestic Grace Cathedral. The concert will take place Friday, January 18, 2019 at 7:30 pm, on the Eve of the 2019 Women’s March!

Kitka

This contemplative, immersive program showcases Vajra Voices and Kitka singing works by the 12th century mystic Hildegard von Bingen, alongside traditional and contemporary settings of melodies in praise of the divine feminine from Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, and Russia. Kitka recently released Evening Star.

Vajra Voices

The show will also unveil new works inspired by the writings of the 12th century Taoist woman poet Sun Bu’er and Hildegard by Bay Area composer-performers Theresa Wong and Shira Kammen.

Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com

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Charming Vocal Works by Shirish Korde


Shirish Korde – Ka

“Ka” (Svrasa Records, 2012) is a vocal work for soprano and chamber ensemble. Here, Indian vocal forms intersect western contemporary classical music. Shirish Korde is a United States-based composer who was born in Uganda to Indian parents.

The vocals are provided by neuroscientist and masterful Indian classical vocalist Deepti Navaratna. On two of the pieces, Deepti Navaratna is joined by Boston Music Viva ensemble.  On “Anuswara” we find Deepti interacting with Jan Müller-Szeraws’s versatile cello.

“Ka” has a deeply percussive feel, presenting Deepti on evocative vocals and konakol (Indian vocal percussion). This outstanding piece features Deepti on overdubbed vocals and tabla maestro Amit Kavthekar on konakol and tabla. The konakol interaction between the two musicians is truly fascinating.

“Pilu” is a solo vocal composition with spellbinding vocals overdubs and drone.

The Ka album is deeply satisfying and highly original.

Buy Ka

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Artist Profiles: Azarbe

Azarbe

Azarbe is a folk music group that was formed in Murcia in 1999 with a classic format of the traditional bands of the Spanish Southeast.

The majority of its members come from the traditional music scene, and they had experience performing in well-known groups such as Cuadrilla Maquilera, directed by Manuel Luna.

The group has a wide repertoire rooted in the strength of traditional Murcian tunes (aguilandos, jotas, malagueñas, marches, etc.) and original songs that incorporate influences from the entire Mediterranean musical arch.

Musicians:

Oscar Esteban: cajon, darbuka, drums, percussion.

Pedro J. López: Spanish guitar, acoustic guitar.

Carmen María: voice, tambourine, percussion.

Emilio Mateos: Spanish lute, classical guitar, flamenco guitar.

Eugenio M. Concepción: violin.

Paco Morales Nicolás: fretless bass, 5-string Spanish guitar, tenor guitar, percussion.

Discography:

Acuarela de mi tierra Producciones (Trenti, 2001)
Cuerdeando (B. Producciones, 2003)
De la huerta al noroeste (Sonopress, 2007)
Vengo de la romería (Discmedi, 2010)
Murcia por Navidad (Surefolk, 2012)
15 años de folk (El Sr. Guindilla Records, 2015)

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Artist Profiles: Atlántica

Atlántica

Atlántica was formed in 1988, months after Marcos Bárcena and Kate Gass met in France, at the Saint Chartier International Traditional Music Festival. After that, they worked in the field of traditional music, first as a duo and later as a quartet with percussionist Miguel Cobo and accordionist and keyboard player Ramón Bueno.

The band’s versatility was one of their principal assets. The sheer variety and quantity of the instruments Marcos Bárcena and Kate Gass played in their concerts was remarkable, because both musicians share a multi-instrumental approach and a knowledge of the music of Celtic roots from many countries.

Their first album, called simply Atlántica, appeared in 1996. While working together as a duo, Marcos Bárcena and Kate Gass also found time to be members of Luétiga, a group devoted to research, arrangement and interpretation of Cantabrian folk music (Cantabria is a region in the north of Spain located between Asturias and the Spanish Basque Country).

With Luétiga, Marcos Bárcena and Kate Gass recorded three albums: La Ultima Cajiga (1992), Nel el Vieju (1994) and Cernula (1996). They also took part in the Misa Popular Cántabra, a folk mass composed by Nobel Samano, which was performed by Luétiga with two choirs and a group of dancers.

In 1998 Marcos Bárcena and Kate Gass decided to leave Luétiga to follow their own musical direction and put all their energies into their own projects, mainly recording the second Atlántica album, Transitus and arranging a live repertoire as a quartet, combining Celtic pieces from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and North America with music from Cantabria, Galicia and Asturias

Atlántica also performed concerts with conferences about Cantabrian folk music for senior citizens and high school students, they animated ceilidhs with the aid of two callers, and participated, together with the Markab Theatre Company, in La Leyenda de los Besos, a musical play based on a short story by Manuel Llano.

The band had a show for kids called Atlántica con el Medio Ambiente, where they combined music with dances, games and stories about the environment. During the 1990s Atlántica was present in most folk festivals in Cantabria and the band played in many other places throughout Spain, as well as in Portugal and Wales.

Atlántica’s performances in more than sixty schools in Cantabria gave it extensive experience with kids.

Transitus includes dance tunes and songs from Cantabria and other Celtic regions, together with their own compositions in traditional style. By Transitus they meant to define a meeting point between the musical traditions of different places sharing common roots. It is a musical journey where they try to give their own vision of Celtic music, a global vision born out of their own experiences and contacts with this world. Transitus means a transit both through space, since they took the listener to the music of different countries, and through time, reflecting several periods, with a nod to the Iron Age men and a wish for the survival of traditional roots and the union of the nations.

The group disbanded in January of 2006. Ramón, Miguel and Jorge stayed together and formed another band named Garma.

Kate rested from music for 2 years for various reasons including the stress of working in a men’s world and being a single mother with 2 adolescents, and a sick mother. Marcos went on a spiritual adventure for a year and a half from which he returned in 2007 and later released an album of his own compositions, titled Marcos Barcena.

In May 2007 Kate took up her musical career again, this time as a solo artist working on a project called “Solistas Internacionales” with Paco Diez (Spain), Wafir (Sudan), Magali(Peru), Yoshie (Japan) and Laurent (France).

Discography:

Atlántica (Several Records, 1996)
Transitus (Resistencia, 1998)
La luz del iviernu Lugas (El Tripulante, 2000)
Lugas (El Tripulante, 2001)
En directo (RTVE Música, 2002)
Desde esta orilla (RTVE Música, 2004)

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Artist Profiles: Anxo Lorenzo

Anxo Lorenzo

Anxo Lorenzo was born in Moaña (Spain) in 1974. He commenced his musical life at the age of 5 and 3 years later he entered the Conservatorio Superior de Música in Vigo. His teachers were Patrick Mollard, Fred Morrison, Antón Corral and Moxenas among others.

From the age of 12 he has played in traditional music groups such as Xarabal, Duos Pontes, Semente Nova and Lembranzas Galegas. His experience covers such varied matters as music research, teaching, concerts and tours throughout Spain, Ireland, Scotland, England, France and the United States.

Anxo Lorenzo has managed to fuse the unadulterated natural sound of the gaita (Galician bagpipes) with a wide variety of alternative music styles such as: Flamenco Chillout (Chambao), SKA (Skape), (Poncho Ka), Rock (Los Feliz), Pop (Amistades Peligrosas) converting the gaita into an avant-garde instrument without giving-up his Celtic roots. As a musician, soloist and composer Anxo continues with his research into various fields of music.

Discography:

La Sombra Del Lobo, with Spiritu 986 (BMG España, 2000)
Tirán (2010)
Confuxon (Zouma Records, 2014)

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Artist Profiles: Arcángel

Arcángel

While in his early twenties, Arcángel became part of a select group of flamenco singers. He maintains this position because he wants to, because he can and because he knows how to do it.

Francisco José Arcángel Ramos, better known as Arcangel, was born in Huelva in 1977. His family was originally from the town of Alosno, known as the birthplace of fandango and the main source of the province’s rich folklore. At a mere 10 years of age, Arcángel demonstrated an unprecedented command of the local fandango when he took First Prize in a children’s competition organized by a flamenco association in Huelva called “La Orden” (“The Order”). This trophy was the prelude to a long series of honours that would eventually encourage Arcángel to dedicate himself professionally to his passion for singing flamenco.

Arcángel is capable of maintaining control of his singing technique, including compás, voice tuning and musical structure, while broadcasting an endless reverberation of perfectly rounded tones. That’s how you connect! And we’re not talking about his influence in the feminine arena, which we know nothing about, but to his amazing ability to present a cante (flamenco song) in one go, at a slow radiant pace while barely taking a breath.

Without a doubt, he has an Olympic temperament, comparable to the bullfighter’s ability to ‘moderate, adjust and control’ a charging bull. One of Arcángel’s outstanding characteristics is the intelligent way that he updates the traditional styles from his homeland. He revives them by adding infinite melodic overtones and by minimizing constraints.

In 2012, along with Fahmi Alqhai, he received the Giraldillo for Best Music at the Flamenco Biennial of Seville for the show Las idas y las vueltas. In 2015 he released his album “Tablao”. In February 2017 he was awarded the Medal of Andalusia.

[Translated by Rita Granda]

Discography:

Arcángel (Virgin, 2001)
La Calle Perdía ‎(Ediciones Senador, 2004)
De Oscura Llama ‎(Anemos, 2009)
Quijote De Los Sueños (Sony Music, 2011)
Las Idas Y Las Vueltas ˙ Músicas Mestizas ‎(Alqhai&Alqhai, 2012)
Tablao ‎(Universal Music, 2015)
Al Este Del Cante (Universal Music, 2018)

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Artist Profiles: Amparo Sánchez

Amparo Sánchez

Amparo Mercedes Sánchez Pérez was born in Alcalá la Real (Jaén) on September 24, 1969. She grew up in Granada.

While in Granada, Amparo Sánchez joined her first band, the Correcaminos (Roadrunners) at 16.

In 1993 she moved to Madrid where she recorded her first album titled “Haces bien” (Fábrica Magnética). Later, she formed the group The Gang.

In 1995, accompanied by her guitar, she performed her own songs and some covers in Madrid’s famed Malasaña neighborhood. Together with La Vacazul, she formed a group called Ampáranos del blues, with which he toured parts of Spain and made her way to France.

Manu Chao and Radio Bemba were living in Malasaña at the time. Amparo married Manu Chao and they stayed married for several years.

Amparo served beer in a bar called Tio Vinagre, a place where musicians jammed on guitars, cajones and bongos. This led to the creation of Amparo’s celebrated mestizo music band Amparanoia.

Amparanoia’s 1997 debut album, El Poder de Machin, had deep Latin American influences.

In 2000, she discovered Mexico’s diverse art and its people: music, painting, Frida Kahlo, Chiapas and the revolutionary movement.

Amparanoia suffered a tragedy in 2004. On Saturday, October 9th, 2004, Amparanoia’s piano player, Caridad Borges, died in a car accident in Camaguey, Cuba. She was driving with her husband, Jose Alberto Varona, Amparanoia’s trumpet player, and her daughter Carirosa. Both Jose and Carirosa were critically injured and fighting for their lives.

In 2005, accompanied by her three musicians, she stayed for one month in the Zapatista community La Realidad. There, she recorded the song Somos viento.

In 2008, she disbanded Amparanoia and decided to continue her career as a soloist.

In 2010, Amparo released her first solo album, Tucson-Habana with an acoustic repertoire composed entirely by herself, with the exception of the song “La Parrandita de las Santas”, by the Cuban composer and singer Mane Ferret. It was recorded in two stages, one in 2007 in Tucson, Arizona and the other in 2009 in Havana, Cuba. The album includes a collaboration with Omara Portuondo.

In 2012 she released Alma de Cantaora, 13 songs that featured various high profile guests: Caléxico; Baby; De Pedro; Mane Ferret; Arianna Puello; Muerdo; Howe Gelb; and Charlat’58 and Bongo Botrako.

In 2014 she released the album Espíritu del sol. That same year Amparo published the book La niña y el lobo.

Amparo ractivated Amparanoia in 2017. The band released ‘
El Coro De Mi Gente ’, a reinterpretation of ‘El Poder de Machín’, the record she released exactly 20 years earlier, and was a landmark in the Spanish music scene of the 1990s.

Discography:

With Amparanoia:

El Poder de Machín (Facedown, 1997)
Feria Furiosa (Facedown, 1999)
Somos Viento (EMI Hispavox, 2002)
Enchilao (EMI Hispavox, 2003)
La Vida Te Da (Via Lactea, 2005)
Seguire Caminando 1996-2006 (Via Lactea, 2008)
El Coro De Mi Gente (Warner Music/Calaverita Records, 2017)

Solo albums:

Tucson-Habana (Via Laceta, 2010)
Alma de Cantaora (Kasba Music, 2012)
Espiritu del Sol (World Village, 2014)

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Artist Profiles: Amalgama

Karnataka College of Percussion

Amalgama was the amazing result of the collaboration between Spanish Flamenco and Jazz musicians and the renowned Karnataka College of Percussion, from India.

The idea behind the project was to blend two cultures with a common background: Gypsy Flamenco (it is believed that Gypsies originally came from India) and Indian music. Flamenco vocals (which have some similarities with Indian vocals), rhythms (especially the palmas or hand clappings) and guitars were mixed with Indian vocals and percussion.

The musicians involved were: T.A.S. Mani (mridangam), Ramamani (Indian vocals, konakol), Sheshikumar (kanjira), Tunsi Beyer (ghatam, tabil), Xavi Turull (tabla, ghatam, berimbau), Juan Parrilla (flute), Jesús Losada (Flamenco guitar), Antonio Ramos (bass), Pau Martinez (congas) and Charo Manzano (Flamenco vocals).

The group only recorded one album titled Encuentro.

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Rocky Dawuni To Release Beats Of Zion in March 2019

Rocky Dawuni


Rocky Dawuni, the international world music and reggae star, global ambassador and humanitarian activist, has announced the release of his 7th studio album Beats of Zion, out March 8th, 2019 through Six Degrees. The thirteen-song recording follows the acclaimed Branches of the Same Tree, and expands Rocky’s “Afro Roots” sound to include the diversity of the Ghanaian music scene and its current global outreach.

“Beats of Zion was born out of my desire to use my diverse global musical influences and exposure to various traditions to paint a multi-cultural musical vision of the world that I perceive,” says Rocky. “The beginning of the year saw me visit Ethiopia and India. In Ethiopia, I visited Lalibela, witnessing ancient Christian rites and my journeys in India also exposed me to its diverse spiritual culture and the shared similarities I saw to Africa.” He adds, “The title Beats of Zion is inspired by a vision of the drumbeat of awareness and elevation of consciousness; a musical call to arms for my audience to be proactive in this day and age as to each person’s responsibility to be an active instrument for positive change.”

The album was recorded in various studios in Accra, Nairobi and Los Angeles. The title track and lead single “Beats of Zion” came out well from the Village Studios session in Los Angeles, but was missing something on the drum tracking. Rocky states, “We traveled to Zanzibar for a concert shortly after the recording session. At the time, I was still wanting the full African tribal effect that I had imagined. On the eve of my concert at the amazing Sauti za Busara Festival, we saw Batimbo Percussion Magique of Burundi mount the stage and blow the minds of everyone in the audience. I turned to my manager; Cary Sullivan who was also watching and we thought the same – ‘these are the guys for Beats of Zion’ and so the story unfolded.”

The lead single will also have an accompanying video due out January 25th. “Wickedest Sound” is another song that speaks volumes, featuring Ghanaian dancehall star Stonebwoy. The track combines elements of modern Afrobeats with Reggae music. With production paying homage to the organic recordings of classic Highlife music, it also combines a groove driven melodic approach with the traditional call and response style of singing.

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Artist Profiles: Aljibe


Aljibe

Aljibe plays contemporary folk based on the traditional music of Castile, La Mancha and other parts of Spain.

Aljibe has been working since 1985, investigating and reworking traditional songs to make them attractive to all types of audiences.

This veteran group has the classical instrumentation of the Castilian groups, supported by contemporary instruments and influences from other cultures as well. The style has evolved over the years, pure compilation to developing new material based on traditional forms such as seguidillas, fandangos, torrás.

Musicians:

Juan Rodríguez Tembleco: Solo voice, accordion, bagpipes, charro bagpipes, saxophone, bandurria and lute. Founder of Azada y Aljibe. He has collaborated with Paco Díez and La Bazanca. He also participated in other groups such as the Captain Street Big Band and the Municipal Band Joaquín Rodrigo de Aranjuez.

Luis Ramón Martín: Bandurria, lute and Spanish guitar. He began with the group La Picota de Yepes and later joined Aljibe. He is one of the best plectrum musicians of Castilian music.

José Manuel Rodríguez Tembleco: Voice, bandurria, lute, electric bass and percussion. A member of Aljibe since the very beginning, he stands out for his enormous rhythmic capacity in Spanish and Arabic percussion. Sound technician of the group.

Domingo Martínez: Spanish and acoustic guitar, manchego guitar. Started in music in the Orquesta de Plectro y Púa Vicente Aleixandre. He has performed with several jazz, classical, and country acts always as a string player, playing lute and banjo.

Luis Miguel Novas: Flutes, clarinet, dulzaina and bagpipes. He completed the recorder flute degree with Professor Álvaro Marías at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Madrid, obtaining an graduated with honorable mention. He has worked and collaborated in bands such as the Real Capilla de Madrid and La Bazanca.

Manuel Marcos: Voice, piano, keyboards, guitar and percussion. He studied piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Madrid with José Luis Fajardo. He has been a member of the Dioptrías Blues Band, and the group Algarabía. He has collaborated in recordings such as Mañana de Navidad, with the group La Berza.

Teodomiro Rodríguez: Electric bass, flutes and percussion. Founder of the Nueva Castilla group and later, of Aljibe, he left the group twice to work in Warsaw and Prague at the Cervantes Institute.

Teresa García: Voice, violin and percussion. Classically-trained, she collaborated with several Galician bands before joining Aljibe.

Discography:

Temas Infantiles Tradicionales de la Comunidad de Madrid (Saga, 1987)
Surco arriba, surco abajo (Saga, 1987)
Felices Nusotros (Tecnosaga, 1989)
Gañanes, gancheros y otras faenas (Several Records, 1991)
La Marca del Oricuerno (Several Records, 1997)
El Motín de Aranjuez (Several Records, 1998)
Penas y Alegrías (Sonifolk, 2002)
Al lado del Mediodía (Galileo, 2002)
Enea (self-released, 2011)
Agua. Músicas Tradicionales de la cuenca del Tajo (Doce Calles, 2018)

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