Ahlam (dream in Arabic) is the beautifully-sculpted new album by NES, a trio of virtuoso musicians based in the beautiful Mediterranean city of Valencia, Spain. The ensemble includes multidimensional Spanish percussionist David Gadea, eclectic French cellist Matthieu Saglio and captivating French-Algerian cellist and vocalist Nesrine Belmokh.
combination of artful cello, light percussion and diverse vocal forms is intensely
satisfying. On Ahlam you’ll find masterfully-constructed songs influenced by
Arabic music, flamenco, classical music and jazz.
Belmokh shifts with ease from American-influenced jazz songs with English
vocals to traditional Arabic and flamenco modes.
The lineup includes Nesrine Belmokh on vocals and cello (on tracks 3 & 7); Mathieu Saglio on cello and vocals; and David Gadea on percussion.
Whorls is the debut album of a superb string band led by fiddler Jeremy Kittel, who was a member of the renowned Turtle Island Quartet. The ensemble features 5 talented musicians who deliver an exquisite mix of American and Celtic roots music, jazz and classical music.
The majority of the tracks on Whorls are instrumental, showcasing the instrumentalists’ virtuosity, improvisatory skills and melodic creativity. Mesmerizing vocals are featured on two tracks, provided by Kittel and Sarah Jarosz, who adds spellbinding ethereal harmonies.
The lineup on Whorls includes Jeremy Kittel on violin, viola and vocals; Josh Pinkham on mandolin; Quinn Bachand on guitar; Nathaniel Smith on cello and organ; and Simon Chrisman on hammered-dulcimer. Guest: Sarah Jarosz on vocals.
Whorls is a masterfully-crafted with stellar violin, cello, mandolin, guitar and hammered dulcimer performances.
Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal will be touring the West coast of the United States this fall.
Malian kora maestro Ballaké Sissoko and French cellist Vincent Segal released the acclaimed album Chamber Music in 2011. The duo released a second recording titled Musique du Nuit in 2015.
Ballake Sissoko & Vincent Segal Fall U.S. Tour Dates:
10/22: Plestcheef Auditorium at Seattle Museum of Art, Seattle, WA
10/24: The Old Church, Portland, OR
10/26: Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA
10/27: Vanderhoef Studio Theatre – Monday, Davis, CA
10/28: Vanderhoef Studio Theatre – Monday, Davis, CA
10/30: Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz, CA
11/1: Temple of Israel, Los Angeles, CA
11/2: Museum of Making Music, Carlsbad, CA
11/3: MIM Music Theater, Phoenix, AZ
This compilations contains material by European Czech duo Tara Fuki collected from earlier albums except for one previously unreleased song. The group’s sound is difficult to categorize. It’s characterized by the remarkable sound of two cellos and vocals where you’ll find elements of classical chamber music, jazz and Eastern European folk music.
The Tara Fuki is lineup includes classically-trained cellists and vocalists Andrea Konstankiewicz (Poland) and Dorota Barova (Czech Republic).
The Best of Tara Fuki showcases the talent of two skilled musicians and songwriters who delight the listener with the mesmerizing sound of the cello and voice.
Jerez Texas is a fascinating trio from Valencia (Spain) that has developed a unique combination of musical genres and instruments. ‘Clar de lluna’ is their new live album, recorded at the ancient Roman Theater ruins in Sagunto, north of Valencia.
Frenchman Matthieu Saglio and Spaniards Ricardo Esteve and Jesús Gimeno are three virtuoso musicians who clearly demonstrate the genuine chemistry in their live performances. Jerez Texas’ alluring sound brings together passionate flamenco guitar, graceful classical music cello, and drums rooted in jazz and flamenco, along with additional world music influences.
Clar de lluna features fiery chamber flamenco performed by three remarkable musicians. Jerez Texas has released several music videos from this live concert that showcase their talent.
Although most of the material on this album are original compositions by members of Jerez Texas, Clar de lluna contains a great version of Joe Zawinul’s jazz fusion classic “Birdland” along with a recreation of Serge Gainsbourg’s Couleur Café retitled in Spanish Color Café.
The lineup includes Ricardo Esteve on flamenco guitar; Matthieu Saglio on cello; and Jesús Gimeno on drums and flamenco cajón.
Malian kora maestro Ballaké Sissoko and French cello virtuoso Vincent Segal are set to perform on Tuesday February 28 at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina.
The two musicians have developed a distinctive hybrid musical style that mixes traditional West African and European Baroque music.
The duo released a remarkable debut album titled Chamber Music, released in North America in 2011. Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal continued the collaboration in 2015 with Musique du Nuit.
Tuesday February 28 at 8 PM
The ArtsCenter, 300-G E. Main Street, Carrboro, NC.
Tickets for this show are $22. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit artscenterlive.org or call the Box Office at (919) 929-2787.
Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal will start their North American tour tomorrow. Tour dates:
Feb. 23, Berea College, Berea KY
Feb. 24, University of VT, Burlington VT
Feb. 25, Palais Montcalm, Quebec
Feb. 26, Le Gesu, Montreal
Feb. 28, The Arts Center, Carrboro NC
March 1, The Barns at Wolftrap Vienna
March 3, French Institute Alliance, New York NY
March 4, Villa Victoria, Boston, MA
March 5, North Beach Band Shell, Miami Beach
March 8, Old Town School of Folk, Chicago IL
March 9, Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis MN
Cellist and composer Beata Söderberg was born in 1976 in Linköping, Sweden. As a child, she learned piano from her mother and sang in a children’s choir. At the age of eight, she began to play the cello – the instrument that would soon become her most important means of expression and a constant companion in life.
During her school years, Ms Söderberg divided her time between music, acting and her studies, but after high school she decided to focus on music and attended the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. On receiving her Bachelor’s degree in 1998 she moved to New York City with a full scholarship to study at the Manhattan School of Music where she received her Master of Music degree in 2002.
In New York, she discovered Argentine tango music and dance. Her passion for the genre resulted in various collaborations with New York tango musicians, playing both traditional tango, Astor Piazzolla and Tango Nuevo – the newest form of the genre.
After finishing her studies, Söderberg wanted to try something she had not yet done: to write music. In her music for quintet (cello, piano, bass, bandoneon and drums) she presents a new tango sound, with the cello as the leading voice.
Beatitudes, her début CD, was recorded in the legendary Estudios Ion in Buenos Aires in June 2004 together with some of the greatest tango musicians in the world: Walter Ríos (bandoneon), Juan Esteban Cuacci (piano), Roberto Tormo (bass) and José Luis Colzani (percussion). The disc received outstanding reviews from all major magazines and radio stations in the country, and in April 2005 it was nominated for the Argentinean equivalent of the Grammy Awards in the category “Mejor Album/Artista-Tango Nuevas Formas” at the “Premios Carlos Gardel.”
In November 2005, Söderberg recorded BeSo – her second full-length album of original tango composition, accompanied by her band JusTango: Christian Zarate (piano), Roberto Tormo (bass), Horacio Romo (bandoneon) Jose Luis Colzani (percussion).
Bailata was released in 2008. It is an album dedicated to the devoted crowd of tango dancers around the world.
Yo-Yo Ma was born to Chinese parents living in Paris. He began to study the cello with his father at age 4 and soon moved with his family to New York, where he spent most of his formative years. Later, his principal teacher was Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School. He sought out a traditional liberal arts education to expand upon his conservatory training, graduating from Harvard University in 1976. He plays two instruments, a 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice and the 1712 Davidoff Stradivarius.
Yo-Yo Ma maintains a balance between his engagements as soloist with orchestras throughout the world and his recital and chamber music activities. He draws inspiration from a wide circle of collaborators, creating programs with such artists as Emanuel Ax, Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Pamela Frank, Jeffrey Kahane, Kayhan Kalhor, Ton Koopman, Jaime Laredo, Bobby McFerrin, Edgar Meyer, Mark Morris, Mark O’Connor, the late Isaac Stern, Kathryn Stott, Wu Man, Wu Tong and David Zinman. Each of these collaborations is fueled by the artists’ interactions, often extending the boundaries of a particular genre.
One of Ma’s goals is the exploration of music as a means of communication, and as a vehicle for the migrations of ideas, across a range of cultures throughout the world. To that end, he has taken time to immerse himself in subjects as diverse as native Chinese music with its distinctive instruments and the music of the Kalahari bush people in Africa.
Taking this interest even further, Ma established the Silk Road Project to promote the study of the cultural, artistic and intellectual traditions along the ancient Silk Road trade route that stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. By examining the flow of ideas throughout this vast area, the Project seeks to illuminate the heritages of the Silk Road countries and identify the voices that represent these traditions today.
Yo-Yo Ma is strongly committed to educational programs that not only bring young audiences into contact with music but also allow them to participate in its creation. While touring, he takes time whenever possible to conduct master classes as well as more informal programs for students-musicians and non-musicians alike.
In 2004, Ma won his 15th Grammy for Obrigado Brazil, his best-selling release that celebrates the music of Brazil. The success of that recording and a subsequent international tour inspired a sequel disc, released in 2004, entitled Obrigado Brazil Live in Concert, which went on to win a Latin Grammy.
Yo-Yo Ma formed The Silk Road Ensemble in 2000. It is a collective of internationally renowned performers and composers from more than 20 countries. Many of the musicians first came together under the artistic direction of Yo-Yo Ma at a workshop at Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts in 2000. Since then. in various configurations. Ensemble artists have collaborated on a diverse range of musical and multimedia projects, presenting innovative performances that spring from Eastern and Western traditions and contemporary musical crossroads. The Silk Road Ensemble has recorded several albums and performed to critical acclaim throughout Asia. Europe and North America.
The Silk Road Project acts as an umbrella organization and common resource for a range of cultural and educational programs, participating in more than a dozen festivals, including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 2002. To learn more, visit the Silk Road Project website at silkroadproject.org.
In 2011, Yo-Yo Ma participated in the acclaimed The Goat Rodeo Sessions, a collaboration that brought together four string virtuosos: Yo-Yo Ma, fiddler Stuart Duncan, bassist Edgar Meyer and mandolinist Chris Thile. The cross-genre album combined classical, jazz and American roots music. A DVD titled The Goat Rodeo Sessions Live followed in 2012.
Yo-Yo Ma’s classical music discography is quite extensive. An enormous boxed set titled Yo-Yo Ma: 30 Years Outside the Box contains 90 CDs that include his classical works as well as the albums focused on tango, the music of Brazil and other traditions.
American musician Abby Newton first brought her cello into the folk music scene in the mid 1970’s as a member of The Putnam County String Band, with Jay Ungar, John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers and Lyn Hardy. Her partnership with Scottish singer Jean Redpath introduced her to the music of the British Isles, and they toured the US and Scotland, and made 16 albums together.
Abby’s first solo recording of new and traditional Scottish and Irish music, Crossing to Scotland, brought the cello front and center and included a stellar group of supporting musicians. Her second recording, Castles, Kirks, and Caves, featured 18th Century Scottish traditional and Baroque music, recorded on location in the ancient spaces in Scotland where the music has its roots.
A new trio, Ferintosh, evolved out of those recording sessions, and features Abby, fiddler David Greenberg, and Celtic harper Kim Robertson. Their first CD, Ferintosh, presented a unique sound, described by some as chamber-folk. Abby was the featured artist in an hour-long interview by Fiona Richie on National Public Radio’s The Thistle and Shamrock, and she has also made several appearances on A Prairie Home Companion.
In addition to many workshops conducted in Scotland promoting the use of the cello as both a melodic and rhythmic instrument in traditional music, Abby has also taught at Gaelic Roots, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, National Strings Workshop and Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle School. Abby has been featured on over a hundred recordings by a variety of folk artists including Jean Redpath, Priscilla Herdman, Bonnie Rideout, Al Petteway, David Greenberg and Puirt a Baroque, and the Jay Ungar/Molly Mason duo.
[Biographical information courtesy of the Swannanoa Gathering].