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Boomtown Festival Announces Copper County, a District Dedicated To Folk, Acoustic and World Music

British music festival has announced the lineup at Copper County, the area dedicated to folk, acoustic and world fusion. The festival will take place August 7 – 11, 2019 at Matterley Estate – Winchester, UK.

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, one of the world music stars scheduled to perform at Boomtown – Photo by Thomas Dorn 2017

Copper Town will include a new stage called The Forge, an icon of the industrial revolution where this global fusion of folk and traditional music will take place.  It’s an essential part of the festival’s immersive all-embracing storyline, and Copper County is set in the year 1905 where a new age of industry brings with it soot and grime but also skyscrapers and finery.

Xavier Rudd

Topping the bill is multi-instrumentalist Xavier Rudd from Australia; contemporary folk from Winchester’s own This Is The Kit;  blends of funk, reggae, jazz, folk from Michael Franti & Spearhead; politically charged acoustic roots from Malian virtuoso Bassekou Kouyate; serene folk rock from Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit  as well as the broad ranging sounds of Dreadzone, Breabach, Seth Lakeman, BCUC, San Salvador, Elephant Sessions, Emmanuel Jal & Nyaruach, Skinny Lister, She Drew The Gun, Grace Petrie, Stella Donnelly, Showhawk Duo and Mik Artistik.

This is the Kit

Elsewhere in the district is Foggers Mill the one stop shop for bluegrass, folk and Americana all day long. Featuring Neck, Graveyard Johnnys, Pronghorn, Funke & The Two Tone Baby and more.

Tickets available from www.boomtownfair.co.uk.

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Haitian-Canadian Artist Wesli Wins the 2019 World Music Album of the Year Juno Award

Wesli during the Juno award ceremony

Haitian-Canadian artist Wesli is the winner of the 2019 Juno Award (Canada’s top music award) in the World Music Album of the Year category, for his impressive 21-song album Rapadou Kreyol. The album focal point is keeping the Haitian traditional music and instrumentation alive and well.

“I have two hearts,” said Wesli. “One is in Haiti, and the other is here in Canada, my chosen second homeland. Every time I do a new project, I have to approach it in two ways, one specifically dedicated to Haiti and our roots and culture, and another one dedicated to the welcome society that I am living in and that I’m grateful to.”

Wesli – Rapadou Kreyol

Upon receiving the award, an overjoyed Wesli said, “I really didn’t think I’d win, because everyone in the category [some of whom he’d worked with before over the years like Boogat and Cuban artist Telmary] are all so great, but I’m so thankful and grateful that I can represent Haitian artists in this way.” He’d been nominated once before, in 2007, as album Producer for Senaya, his band at the time, but this is his first win for his own music.

Named for rapadou, the tasty bamboo-wrapped fermented sugarcane often added to coffee, “This album is designed to revive our beautiful rhythms like Petro, Congo, Rada, Nago, Rara, the troubadour and voodoo rhythms, and our music in Yoruba language. These styles have almost no support from the mainstream media to keep them alive in the commercial society that we are living in,” Wesli notes. “Haitian music is the African Bible of the Caribbean. Our traditional percussionists know all the old ways and keep them. We can’t afford to lose them now. I have decided to do this roots revival album to remind us of who we are, where we are coming from, and what unites us.”

Sung entirely in Kreyol, Rapadou Kreyol features his own respectful take on the Haitian rituals of Lakou Dahomé and Lakou Congo, fusing rolling rara beats, bursts of brass, and just the precise electronic elements.

Each of the tracks is a different Haitian genre, like Congo and Daomé to represent joy, Nago and Djouba to represent contemplation and sadness. Each Haitian roots rhythm reflects different situations and requires different drums and instruments. Wesli adds, “One unique thing we do in all these genres is dance! We dance to everything in Haiti.

More information at wesliband.com/en/

headline photo: Wesli by Josué Bertolino

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Guitarist Cañizares Wins Best Flamenco Album Award at Spanish Independent Music Awards 2019

The album “El mito de la caverna” by acclaimed flamenco guitarist Cañizares is the winner of the Best Flamenco Album Award at Premios MIN 2019, Spain’s independent music awards.

El mito de la caverna is Cañizares’ 14th album and he describes it as a heartfelt tribute to his roots and traditions.

Cañizares is a classically-trained flamenco guitarist who bridges the worlds of flamenco and classical music.

More about Cañizares.

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Anoushka Shankar to Perform in Durham and Miami

Celebrated sitar player Anoushka Shankar is currently touring the United States. The tour includes concerts in Durham, North Carolina (Carolina Theater & Duke Performances) and Miami (South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center & Rhythm Foundation).

Anoushka Shankar is a leading performer of the Indian classical tradition. Her legendary father Ravi Shankar introduced Indian classical music and the sitar to the West.

Anoushka Shankar

Anoushka studied sitar under her father from a very young age, and like him continued on to broaden Indian musical horizons. A world music pioneer, Anoushka Shankar continues her father’s legacy of crossing cultural and musical boundaries, with collaborations with the world’s leading classical orchestras, flamenco, jazz and world music acts, and pop artists as diverse as Sting, M.I.A., and her half-sister Norah Jones.

Accompanied by a remarkable ensemble for these performances, Anoushka Shankar returns to her roots with an intimate concert of meditative Indian classical ragas.

Anoushka Shankar’s discography includes Anoushka (1998),
Anourag (2000), Live at Carnegie Hall (2001), Rise (2005),
Breathing Under Water (2007), Traveller (2011), Traces of You (2013), Home (2015), Ravi & Anoushka Shankar Live In Bangalore, 2 CD + DVD ( 2015), Land of Gold ( 2016) and the anthology Reflections (2019).

More about Anoushka Shankar.

South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center & Rhythm Foundation
Sunday, March 17th, 2019, 7:00 p.m.
South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center
10950 SW 211 St, Cutler Bay, FL 33189
https://smdcac.org/events/anoushka-shankar

Carolina Theater & Duke Performances
Thursday, March 21, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Carolina Theatre of Durham
https://dukeperformances.duke.edu/events/anoushka-shankar/

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Umut Adan’s Psychedelic Folk-Rock Vibe

Umut Adan – Bahar (Riverboat Records, 2019)

Crafting a kind of homage recording can be tricky business, especially if you is paying reverence to a dated sound and applying that sound to your own compositions.

Walking that fine line where adoration doesn’t cross over into parody or a pale copycat effort has to come with some true convictions, not only to the original sound but also to your own musical chops and whether you have anything new to add. Well as luck would have it Turkish singer, songwriter and guitarist Umut Adan proves rightly he’s got the chops and can kick some ass on his international debut recording Bahar (meaning Spring), out on the Riverboat Records label.

Diving deep into the Anatolian rock movement of the late 1960s, Mr. Adan has revived a sound familiar to devotees of the Turkish rock scene and musicians like Cem Karaca, Fikret Kizilok and Erkin Koray. While I am sometimes skeptical about claims of retro-sounding recordings, Mr. Adan has indeed captured the psychedelic rock sound; so much so it’s a little eerie and wholly satisfying.

Umut Adan – Bahar

Teaming up with producer and musician Marco Fasolo and producer and engineer Liam Watson, who just happens to be London’s Toe Rag studio founder where Bahar was recorded, Mr. Adan breathes a renewed musical life into Anatolian rock’s heyday by recording magic and good old fashioned rock compositions. Divvying up the work load, Mr. Adan plays acoustic and electric guitars, percussion, Mellotron and belts out the vocals on Bahar, while Mr. Fasolo takes care of electric and acoustic guitars, bass, drums, percussion, mellotron and piano.

While the political messages of Bahar might be lost on those who don’t speak Turkish, the music is meaty and entrancing enough to cross any language barriers. Proof is opening track “Bembeyaz Cananım” Dedicated to Turkish folk musician and composer Muhlis Akarsu, this track embodies all the goodness of 60s Anatolian rock.

Following up with a meaty beat and dishy guitar lines “Şeytanın Aklını Çeldim,” Bahar perfects that electrified folk/rock sound. And it just gets better with tracks like “Ortasından Gel,” “Güneş” and the folksy love ballad “Zaman Zaman” by Fikret Kizilok.

Bahar get another hit of folk with “Arabam Kaldi’a” by Mahsui Serif. Tracks like “Dünyalardan Şen Bahar” and “ Sevdiğimi Seçtim” are as close to time travel as you are likely to get. Closing with a song about “the possibilities for humankind to better itself,” “Ana Baba Bacı Gardaş” sticks neatly to not only the sound of the 60s but also the roots of political message in Anatolian rock and folk music, and that’s no comfortable feat today in President Erdogan’s Turkey.

Bahar‘s blast from the past psychedelic/rock vibe might seem out of place, but the state of world right now might just feel the need for some solid rock rhythms and protest vocals, dig it? Also, kudos go to Ramazan Can for the wildly rich cover art. The description far out comes to mind.

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2019 Unsigned Only Music Competition Adds World Music Category

Unsigned Only Music Competition has announced the addition of World Music to its line-up of eligible categories. Unsigned Only Music Competition is designed for all independent artists (including solo artists, groups, and vocalists) who are unsigned to a major label record deal. Unsigned Only’s goal is to give artists exposure, recognition, and validation for their artistry and is the premier music competition in the world for indie and unsigned artists.

“”We are very pleased that World Music artists will now be able to enter the competition and have their music heard by such an esteemed panel of judges,”” said Candace Avery and Jim Morgan, Co-Founders of Unsigned Only. ““We are strongly committed to providing exposure to the different music traditions of the world, and we look forward to providing World Music artists the opportunity to showcase their music on a global platform.””

Oumou Sangare, one of the judges

Judges Include Toots Hibbert (Toots & The Maytals), Mariza, Oumou Sangaré, Tinariwen, and Angel Romero (Founder and Sr. Editor, World Music Central)

Unsigned Only awards more than $150,000 in cash and prizes split among 38 winners, including a $20,000 cash prize to the overall Grand Prize winner. The Grand Prize winner is also awarded one-on-one mentoring by an elite group of record company executives. This is a unique opportunity for an artist to directly network with the highest level of record company professionals and get guidance, advice, and feedback. First Place and Second Place winners will also be selected in each category and awarded prizes.

Since its inception in 2002, Unsigned Only has become an important source for discovering new talent, with five Grand Prize winners having been signed to record deals. Additionally, winners have seen major benefits including securing licensing and publishing deals, getting better gigs, increasing their media coverage, and expanding their fan base.

Categories include: AAA (Adult Album Alternative), AC (Adult Contemporary), Americana, Blues, Christian, Country, EDM, Folk/Singer-Songwriter, Instrumental, Jazz, Latin, Pop/Top 40, R&B/Hip-Hop, Rock, Screen Shot (songs suitable for placement in film/TV/advertising/gaming), Teen (artists 18 years old or younger), Vocal Performance, and World Music.

Entry information is available at www.unsignedonly.com.

Unsigned Only is sponsored by Berklee College of Music; Eventric; Hybrid Studios; Lurssen Mastering; Merch Cat; Musicians Institute; Musician Wellness; Pro Tour Nutrition; Radio Airplay; Shubb Capos; Symphonic Distribution; The Music Business Registry; and Vocal Eze.

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Delicately-crafted Contemporary and Traditional Visions of the Kora

Dawda Jobarteh – I Met Her By The River (Sterns Africa, 2019)

Denmark-based Gambian kora maestro Dawda Jobarteh showcases the many faces of the kora and his multidimensional influences on I Met Her By The River. The album includes delightful original and traditional solo kora pieces such as “I Met Her By The River”and “Karang Folo”.

On the song “Begging Boys”, Jobarteh decries a certain type of Quranic school found throughout Gambia and Senegal where part of the daily occupation is to beg on the streets. The boys are found dirty, hungry and with worn-out clothes.

Another side of Jobarteh is showcased through modern, charming ensemble pieces with lead kora, bass and West African and global percussion.

Jobarteh provides a tribute to Denmark by transforming “Jeg Gik Mig U Den Sommerdag” (“I Went Out On A Summer’s Day”), a well-known Scandinavian melody into a lovely tune with skillfully-crafted kora overdubs and cymbals.


Dawda Jobarteh – I Met Her By The River

There is also a cutting edge electric kora version of Mongo Santamaria’s “Afro Blue,” bringing together jazz fusion, Afro-Cuban and Gambian music.  

The lineup includes Dawda Jobarteh on electric and traditional koras and vocals; Souleymane Faye on vocals; Preben Carlsen on bass; Jacob Andersen on percussion; Salieu Dibba on percussion; and Stefan Pasborn on drums.

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Interview with Oud Maestros Le Trio Joubran

Le Trio Joubran is an acclaimed ensemble featuring the Joubran brothers: Samir, Wissam and Adnan. The three musicians are oud (Arabic lute) maestros and play a superb fusion of Arabic music and global music influences.

Le Trio Joubran’s most recent recording, The Long March is the number one album on the March 2019 Transglobal World Music Chart. Adnan Joubran talked to World Music Central about the trio and the Long March.

Le Trio Joubran – Photo by Karim Ghattas

What do you consider as the essential elements of your music?

Depth of emotions, is one of the essential elements of our music, Le Trio Joubran do their best to understand why they use a note better than another, how a melody becomes a melody, an image first, a direction, a feeling, and a message, some melodies start with a moment of a life for one of the group, and this develops into a concept, and then a melody.

As composers, we aim to bring back or revive emotions that we human beings began to put a side, unfortunately, media, social media has made us numb, and made us live an illusionary life of strength, beauty, power and glory, which isn’t much of a reflection of reality.

Other musical element such “Improvisation” which we always make sure that the album has, or the performance has, to keep our musicality on alert, and or brotherhood on motion, us improvising means alive, means changing, from concert to another, means discover yourself, and let the other discover you better.

Who can you cite as your main musical influences?

Lately, quiet few! Hard not to mention the career of Paco de Lucia and Keith Jarrett for Adnan, and classical artists such as Abdel Wahab for Samir, and the influence of traditional Arabic singing for Wissam.

In the same time, we all listen to different music, jazz, tango, pop, rock, tango and classical Western and Eastern! I believe one should listen and keep listening to all types of music, we find elements that inspire in every genre of music.

Le Trio Joubran – Photo by Luc Jennepin

How did the ensemble evolve from your first recordings?

The first recording I reckon was experimental in a way that we were trying to see if it works, and it did!

To have three oud players, composers, virtuosos, is a big challenge. We achieved success because we are brothers and we could handle this quiet tough mission well because we allowed ourselves to unveil hidden sides of us, others could like or dislike, but trust, which is another meaning of “brotherhood” could allow this.

At that period, the composition was a secondary target, although today, we have proved to ourselves that it works, that there should be no limit in composition, and there isn’t always a need to prove our technical skills. Today, we stop by the title, and we stop by the message. We make sure that the message is there and the composition should serve it, by complexity, length, directivity, sounds and instruments, and notes.

Le Trio Joubran – The long March

Tell us a little about your new album The Long March.

Two years of discussions and two other years of recordings! Not that it should take that long! But we have been busy touring with previous album, and small projects on the side, such as music for films and important shows, and also because we live apart now, each with his growing family, and each in a different country. We get to meet in tours and discuss and then dedicate a period of recording. But this time has given maturity for the tracks and the ideas.

In this album, we tried to achieve a wider listeners, and introduce the oud to a bigger public, also we tried to introduce new sounds to the listeners of the oud. We have electronics, orchestral, tribal sounds, and vocals. The oud is the singer, and all the other elements support the singer to represent the story.

The body of the album is the poem of Mahmoud Darwish, which says the message of the album. The tracks titles are extracted from this text that is trying to tell this world of industry and world of power, that we are humans. Before and after all, our humanity should remain, despite the reality of wiping it away, and before this power can wipe it away, we will defend everything we have, even our final songs.

We have collaborated with the musical producer Renaud Letang, which an amazing experience, to hand over our baby (composition) and another musician and master of production looks at it and takes the essence of it.

Also we had the privilege to collaborate with Roger Waters for two tracks: one single which we released as a video clip under the title “Supremacy” before the album; and another track, “Carry The Earth” in the album as a dedication to four boys killed on the beach of Gaza by the Israeli forces.

As well with Mohammad Motamdi, an amazing vocalist and singer from Iran; an oriental orchestra from Turkey; as well as a western orchestra from Macedonia; and many other talented musicians!

We have succeeded to color the album. Each title to have a different color and influence, and in the same to have a one message uniting the while tracks.

The three brothers play oud, the Arabic lute. Where did they get the training?

We come from family blended with music and oud making, our father is the third generation in the family who builds the instrument.

Samir, the eldest, had his elder brother the Oud in the house! He studied with a local teacher, and then went to Cairo to learn music.

Wissam started at a young age learning music and violin, and then took the oud as his language as well as studying in Italy (Antonio Stradivari Institute) violin making.

Adnan, had two brothers that are oud players and one father oud maker, so he had no choice to escape this world! Only at the age of 16, he took the instrument in his hands and tried to play, and by the age of 18 he was on stage touring after self-training and listening to his brothers and many other music and musicians.

Who makes your ouds?

Wissam Joubran.

Where are your currently based?

Adnan in London, Samir between Paris and Ramallah, and Wissam in Paris.

Le Trio Joubran – Photo by Louise Feugier.jpg

Do you have any initiatives to transmit Palestinian and Arabic music traditions to new generations?

Of course, in each album we make sure there is a track that is a traditional way of composing and playing, and we make sure the on stage we have one traditional improvisation. Still, there is more initiative for a more dedicated album only for traditional music.

If you could gather any musicians or musical groups to collaborate with, whom would that be?

Some of them died. Many of them are alive! Hard to mention names, because there are too many! Me, personally, I’d love to play with Keith Jarrett.

Do you have any upcoming projects to share with us?

We are very proud of our last album, we have just finished it and glad to share it with you and the rest of the world. There will be soon a very big collaboration with a mainstream artist, but we are not to uncover this surprise now 🙂

More about Le Trio Joubran and its discography.

headline photo: Le Trio Joubran – Photo by Myriam Boulos

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Le Trio Joubran Tops the March 2019 Transglobal World Music Chart

The Long March by Le Trio Joubran is the number one album in the March 2019 Transglobal World Music Chart. Le Trio Joubran features three Palestinian brothers who are ud masters: Samir, Wissam and Adnan.

The March 2019 Chart

  1. Le Trio Joubran – The Long March – Cooking Vinyl
  2. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba – Miri – Outhere
  3. Urna Chahar-Tugchi featuring Kroke – Ser – Urna Chahar-Tugchi / UCT
  4. Dhafer Youssef – Sounds of Mirrors – Anteprima
  5. Belonoga – Through the Eyes of the Earth – NarRator Records
  6. Vardan Hovanissian & Emre Gültekin – Karin – Muziekpublique
  7. Ukandanz – Yeketelale – Buda Musique
  8. Tartit – Amankor / The Exile – Riverboat / World Music Network
  9. Salif Keita – Un Autre Blanc – Naïve
  10. Rodopi Ensemble – Thraki: Thrace, the Paths of Dionysus – ARC Music
  11. Kel Assouf – Black Tenere – Glitterbeat
  12. Leyla McCalla – The Capitalist Blues – Jazz Village / PIAS
  13. Alfredo Rodríguez & Pedrito Martínez – Duologue – Mack Avenue
  14. Oratnitza – Alter Ethno – Fusion Embassy
  15. Kitka – Evening Star – Diaphonica
  16. Debashish Bhattacharya, Hubert Zemler & Wojtek Traczyk – Joy!Guru – Unzipped Fly
  17. Kelly Thoma – Ama Kopasoun oi Kairoi (As the Winds Die Down) – Kelly Thoma
  18. Moonlight Benjamin – Siltane – Ma Case
  19. Ali Hassan Kuban – From Nubia to Cairo – Piranha
  20. Shooglenifty & Dhun Dhora – Written in Water – Shoogle

More about the chart: www.transglobalwmc.com

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Voice of the Steppes: Interview with Urna Chahar-Tugchi

Urna Chahar-Tugchi, an artist from Inner Mongolia, recently released an album titled Ser, a collaboration with Polish group Kroke. Urna discusses her musical background and her latest projects with World Music Central.

What do you consider as the essential elements of your music?

I grew up in the steppe and the infinite diversity was always a great enrichment for me as a child. The indescribable diversity of nature…The unimaginable spaces between heaven and earth…The invisible energies of the universe…

As a child, I have always been curious about the visible and the invisible. When I sing, I’m in my music (melodies) and live the connections effortlessly and gladly share that with everyone. These moments of being are indescribable and quite simply many of my compositions and lyrics are born even in such moments.

Who can you name as your most important musical influences?

My greatest musical influences are the endless nature! All the beautiful things in the world, my home, the roots of my birth earth, my wonderful grandmother, my parents and of course the always enriching life experiences …

Tell us about your first recordings and your musical development.

My very first recording was in 1991 during my studies in Shanghai Music Conservatory. We had National Folksong lessons and our teacher Ms. Bai once asked me after a lesson, if I would sing some traditional songs from my home Ordos for her, and she would record.

So we started once and she has recorded really many of my songs that I sang, I think … like hundreds? Anyway, a whole book with hundreds of pages every song I sung, all recorded with a pretty old tape recorder. It took many, many, many days.

At the beginning of the 90s, for many students and even many of my friends at the conservatory I was somehow the strange girl of the Inner Mongolian steppe. Because during my studies I was very interested and visited all possible concerts of traditional music, classical music and many other concerts. I also listened to all the different exams, from voice to violin, cello and piano…
It was a nice opportunity to experience many different music and cultures. It was my great bridge from the steppe to the world with my music.

Urna Chahar-Tugchi

What attracted you to work with the Polish group Kroke?

There are levels when making music you can communicate with the souls. This is simply wonderful.

Kroke are great musicians and I’m lucky enough to work with such wonderful musicians, as Kroke, the Chemirani’s and others. I’m very grateful for my wonderful musician friends. Thank you!

Urna and Kroke – Ser

The result of your collaboration with Kroke is Ser. How was the composing and recording process?

My basic philosophy for cooperation with people for music: free and peacefully, so will the music swing boundlessly in life. It was beautiful, we have always a lot of fun and joy working together, so we had a lot of joy in the studio. The result can be heard on my Ser CD and I wish really you all can feel it.

You currently live in Europe. Do you keep in touch with Mongolian culture?

Of course I visit my home country and spend time with my parents and family.

Do you have any initiatives to transmit Mongolian music traditions to new generations?

Unlimited music flow is timeless and touches the hearts of people. Today we have incredible possibilities to open our mind. If we look closely, the young generations are expanding great open and fast. That’s wonderful!

Free and Peacefully, we humans need the profound vibrations and frequencies of music.

I enjoy always to touch the hearts of people with my music.

If you could bring together musicians or music groups, who would you work with?

Very interesting question; it sounds like you have perhaps certain ideas? Of course I wish to do many great and different projects. It is fantastic to working with great musicians and music groups from small to big all over the world. That brings me a lot of fun and joy and is always fascinating.

Do you have any upcoming projects to share with us?

Yes, at the moment I have some different projects in Asia that one or the other needs something to plan and we are thereby. Therefore, I can not tell you yet publicly 😉

And about my next concert dates, when you’re interested in booking concerts, and also with new great projects to realize with me together, I’m glad if you contact my manager Oliver, call +49 172 543 2207.

More about Urna and her discography.

Headline photo: Urna Chahar-Tugchi by Kerstin Stelter

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