Sarband The group’s name Sarband stems from Persian and Arabic, and denotes an improvised coupling of two parts within a musical suite. Bulgarian musician Vladimir Ivanoff founded Ensemble Sarband in Germany, in 1986 and has been pursuing an archaeology of complex connections ever since.
Above all, Sarband endeavors to show all possible connections between European music, and Islamic and Jewish music-culture. Both sensitively and intensely, Sarband celebrates the symbiotic relationship between the Middle East and the West.
Roman Bunka is one of the most prominent German ud players and guitarists. He was born in 1951. Bunka was a founding member of several of the most influential German rock bands, including avant-garde rock bands like Embryo and Aera. He impressed fellow musicians with his oriental style of guitar playing.
In 1976 he gave his first concert with Trilok Gurtu in India. While searching for a second stringed instrument more suited to his musical development in the direction of modal and microtonality, he discovered the Arabic lute, the fretless mother of the guitar, the ud.
His first solo album, Dein Kopf ist ein schlafendes Auto, recorded in 1980 (re-released by ATM-records) presented a blend of avant-garde rock with Oriental melodies. Released in the same period was the more jazz / rock fusion oriented album Live!, recorded in 1979 with the group Aera. After concerts with Okay Temiz in Turkey, Bunka chose Cairo as his musical refuge in the Arab world during the 1980’s.
Bunka was so immersed in Egyptian music that he even represented Egypt with the Nubian singer Mohamed Mounir as arranger and ud-soloist at the Mediterranean Culture Festival in 1992 in Nimes, France. With solo-concerts in Tunis (Festival de la Medina), Cairo, Damascus, Aleppo and Beirut as well as in Lanzarote with the group Vox and his performance at the Jazz Festival in Granada he was able to bring his vision of Arabic music closer to an interested World-music audience.
For the feature film Al Oud, directed by Fritz Baumann, which won the Gold Hugo at the 1992 Chicago International Film Festival, he was responsible for the musical direction and for composing the film music. While shooting, Bunka became involved with the Ensemble of the violin virtuoso Abdou Dagir from Cairo, with whom he made the CD Malik-a-Taksim. The films Warshots and Ende einer Reise by Heiner Stadler (Bavarian Film prize 1992) and the music to the film based on three short-stories by Paul Bodies entitled Halbmond by Frieder Schlaich and Irene von Alberti introduced him as a composer who uses his oriental style of sound collages to cleverly transport the drama.
Along with Grace Yoon, he produced several radio-plays for the Bavarian Radio, one of which, Tunguska-Guska, was awarded the Prix Futura 1993 by the BBC. Tunguska-Guska and their latest radio-play ”Earborn” are both available as CD.
A live-recording of his project Color Me Cairo featuring the Fathy Salama Ensemble from Egypt and Malachi Favors from the legendary Art Ensemble of Chicago has appeared on the ENJA label and received the German Record-critics Prize. In 1998 he composed and recorded with the Spanish Flamenco guitarist ‘Tomatito” the music for the cinema movie Bin ich schön!?, directed by the famous German film director Doris Dörrie.
Ever the musical pioneer, in 1999 Bunka and his group, featuring Indian percussionist Ramesh Shotam and Japanese violinist Hiromi Nishida, performed at the first Oriental-Jazz-Festival in Beirut. To celebrate the new millennium, he participated with Mal Waldron, Jeanne Lee, Tri-O, Peter Dicke and Blixa Bargeld in Grace Yoon´s multimedia-event Illusion des Endes.
The year 2000 was launched at a live concert event in front of the Great Pyramids at Giza with Egyptian singer Mohamed Mounir.
We Keep On, with Embryo (1973) Surfin, with Embryo (1975) Bad Heads, Bad Cats, with Embryo and Charlie Mariano (1976) Aera Live, with Locko Richter, Klaus Kreuzeder, Lutz Oldemeier, Helmut Meier-Limberg, Freddy Setz (1979) Reise, with Embryo (Schneeball, 1980) Germanistan, with Dissidenten (1990) Malik a Taksim, with Abdo Dagir (Enja, 1992) From Spain to Spain, with Vox (Erdenklang, 1992) The Jungle Book, with Dissidenten (Exil, 1993) Color Me Cairo, with Malachi Favors and Fathy Salama (Enja, 1995) Enshaallah, with Rahala (United One Records, 1997) Freedom in Music, with Embryo (2008) Abadan, with Hammond Schneider (2010) 40, with Embryo (Trikont, 2010)
German-Spanish musician Amir-John Haddad, better known as El Amir, was born in 1975 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. He moved to Spain in 1997.
El Amir is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, musical director, and producer. He‘s considered one of the best concert guitarists in today‘s Spanish scene, defined by his personality, maturity, sound and style.
El Amir has been playing flamenco guitar and the Arabic oud since he was seven years old, and has been performing on stage for 30 years. In addition to his extensive career, he has learned how to play traditional Mediterranean instruments including the Greek bouzouki and Turkish saz, being a virtuoso in all of them.
El Amir has collaborated with a long list of artists including Radio Tarifa, Chambao, Marcus Miller and Juno Reactor.
In 2010, Amir-John presented his show “From East to West,” combining all the instruments he plays, Arabic lute, Turkish saz, Greek bouzouki, flamenco guitar and the triple-necked electric guitar to expose a wide range of traditional music. A trip through several regions of the Mediterranean, through different instruments and original compositions mixed with modern and contemporary sounds, fired through effects processors.
Amir-John Haddad was part of a Madrid-based world music superband called Zoobazar. Group members included El Amir on oud and saz; La Musgaña’s fiddler, Diego Galaz on fiddle and mandolin; La Shica’s and Eliseo Parra’s drummer and percussionist, Pablo Martin Jones on drums and percussion; and the bassist of rock band GN3, Hector Tellini.
Zoobazar’s debut album, Uno (2011), was a mesmerizing journey across the musics of the Mediterranean countries, including Iberian folk music, Turkish, Balkan, Greek, Middle Eastern and North African grooves and tunes combined with rock, funk and jazz.
In 2017, Amir John Haddad played Vivaldi’s Concerto in C major for Mandolin for the first time on Greek bouzouki. The debut took place on the 6th of November at the National Auditorium of Music in Madrid accompanied by outstanding musicians from the Spanish National Orchestra.
Another project in 2017 was a collaboration with Paco de Lucia’s nephew, José María Bandera. The two guitarists performed material from Paco’s last album, Canción Andaluza, including María de la O, Señorita, I have to love you while you live, Chiquita Piconera, Romance of Valentía and Ojos Verdes, by Quintero, León and Quiroga and other great composers. The show also featured Josemi Garzón on double bass and Israel Katumba on percussion.
El Amir was one the featured solo artists of the Hans Zimmer’s Tour performing flamenco guitar, electric guitar, Greek buzuki and ukulele. “The World of Hans Zimmer – A Symphonic Celebration” presents the composer’s works arranged for a live symphony orchestra. Zimmer spent months working on transforming his soundtracks into opulent concert suites. interpreting a very special selection of soundtracks from the most famous films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Gladiator, Mission Impossible, The Holiday or Madagascar.
Daniel Stelter was born in Germany. His passion for music started early: he began playing the classical guitar at the age of eight, and was soon introduced to jazz, rock and pop music by his older brothers.
As a teenager he spent hours meticulously listening and playing to tunes from records and tapes. At the age of 17 he was a member of the Federal Youth Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Peter Herbolzheimer. During that time, Stelter toured for six weeks through Southeast Europe and recorded a CD.
After his graduation he studied jazz guitar with Norbert Scholly at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, but he never lost track of the classical guitar.
With Ulf Kleiner (piano), Tommy Baldu (drums) and Michael Pauker (bass) Stelter formed a quartet tha released several albums, including “Homebrew Songs” (2009) and “Krikelkrakel” (2012). The sound of the quartet is a symbiosis of classical guitar, mixed with a trace of electronic music, underlaid with a sound carpet of cool beats and a healthy dose of funk and soul.
In 2016 Daniel Stelter was recruited as guitar player for the NDR-BigBand and he accompanied jazz legend Al Jarreau on his tour through Europe, staging at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Olympia in Paris, Opera Garnier in Monte Carlo, Paradiso in Amsterdam, Performing Arts Center in Kristiansand, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Philharmonie in Berlin and Kongresshaus in Zürich.
Also in 2016, Daniel Stelter released the record Live in der Stadtkirche with acclaimed Gypsy Guitar and Latin Swing guitarist Lulo Reinhardt, which quickly made “Record of the month” in the German NDR Jazz Charts.
Stelter is also a permanent member of the Ringsgwandl band, with whom he tours regularly throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Daniel and Lulo Reinhardt toured North America in 2018.
Lulo Reinhardt is a gifted guitarist who was taught by his father since the age of five. At twelve, he was already playing with the Mike Reinhardt Sextet, an ensemble entirely dedicated to the gypsy swing of Django Reinhardt. In 1991, leaving the sextet to explore new musical experiences he founded I Gitanos with his father Bawo and cousin Dege. The first result of their new gypsy goes Latin was the release of I suni CD in 1994. After that, successful tours throughout Europe and release of next CD, Ab I Reisa, in 1998 followed.
In the meantime, Lulo Reinhardt has worked on various projects and has established himself an outstanding reputation as a composer and guitarist. He has played in major events and collaborated with Brazilian guitarist Zezo Ribeiro.
Along the way, he has gathered the best musicians around him to create his personal project. Lulo Reinhardt Project is the accomplishment of a maturing style and artistic creation, which you cannot classify. Swinging from tune to tune, Lulo Reinhardt brings into his music his gypsy roots as well as flamenco or Latin rhythms from Cuba to Brazil.
After the success of his CD Project No 1 (2002), Lulo Reinhardt released the awaited Project No 2 in July 2005.
“Lulo Reinhardt is a spontaneous and spirited musician who is led by the guitar into musical voyages of discovery. His curiosity has taken him to southern Spain in search of flamenco roots, and to South America, exploring various musical styles of Latin Jazz,” said Spanish producer Manuel Dominguez, founder of the Nubenegra record label.
In 2007, Saga Instruments of San Francisco, California made the first Lulo Reinhardt Model Gitane 310, modeled on the classic Gypsy guitars. This inspired Lulo to compose more Gypsy Swing material, which he combined with Latin music, and in 2007 changed the name of his group to the Lulo Reinhardt Latin Swing Project. They recorded their first CD in 2008.
In 2016, Lulo Reinhardt and fellow German guitarist Daniel Stelter released Live in der Stadtkirche, which quickly made “Record of the month” in the German NDR Jazz Charts. Daniel and Lulo toured North America in 2018.
Kerstin Blodig was born in Berlin and has Norwegian roots. She is a leading vocalist and guitarist in the German acoustic scene. Her band Touchwood, with Irish singer Cristina Crawley, has an album distributed in Ireland.
Kerstin studied musicology and Scandinavian languages and cultures in Berlin and in Bergen (Norway). She is involved in a wide variety of different projects, ranging from studio work, German folk-pop and theater music productions to the Celtic groups Norland Wind and Talking Water. She made a world music album, Valivann (with Mick Franke), combining her own Scandinavian/Celtic influenced compositions with traditional lyrics and modem grooves.
In her solo performances, Kerstin presents her arrangements of traditional Norwegian and Celtic songs as well as her own material.
In 2011 she released Trolldans, the debut album by Huldrelokkk, an all-female trio featuring acoustic folk music from Norway, Sweden and Denmark as well as their own material. The band includes Kerstin Blodig on vocals, guitar, bodhrán; Mia Gunberg Ådin (Sweden) on vocals, fiddle, nykkelharpa; and Liv Vester Larsen (Denmark) on vocals, fiddle, percussion.
Atlantic Driftood – Harp Music & Song From The Celtic Northwest, with Norland Wind (Slow Motion Records, 2000) December Journey, with Norland Wind (Alula Records, 2002)
Valivann (Alula Records, 2002)
Kelpie (Alula Records, 2002)
From Shore To Shore, with Norland Wind (Laika Records, 2004)
Var det du – var det deg? (2007)
Kelpie: Live! (2010) Trolldans, with Huldrelokkk (Westpark Music, 2011)
Desember måne – December Moon (2012) Storm in a Teacup (Laika, 2013)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00P08LJZW?ie=UTF8&tag=musidelmund-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B00P08LJZW, with Huldrelokkk (Westpark Music, 2013)
Out of the Woods (Stockfisch, 2015)
17 Hippies’ history parallels the progression of Berlin’s music scene since the 1980s; beginning with acoustic unplugged concerts and changing lineups of up to 20 musicians, and maturing into a vibrant 13-piece band: double bass, banjo, ukulele and guitar for a rhythmic base and violins, cello, accordion, clarinet, trumpet and trombone for the melodies.
Though actually only 13 band mates, nor hippies, 17 Hippies still mix traditional music from Eastern Europe, French chanson and American folk music with their own Berlin background to form their own traditions.
he Berlin-based group emerged after the Berlin Wall fell. “It was like someone had opened a hidden door,” explains vocalist and lyricist Kiki Sauer. “New and exciting music from Eastern Europe flooded into town with new grooves. All we could do was listen, learn, and try to find our own musical connections.”
“The band started with a simple concept,” says vocalist and musical mastermind Christopher Blenkinsop. “We said, “OK, so you play an instrument” Well, don’t bring it!”“ Christopher picked up the ukulele (after playing bass in rock bands); Kiki, who had been trained on classical piano, took up accordion; Dirk, the heavy metal drummer, had always wanted to play guitar; Antje switched to clarinet, after classical flute training; and off they went creating their own sound.
Twelve years and 1200 concerts later, this renegade acoustic sound is captured on Heimlich, released in North America by Buda Musique, and by the band’s own label Hipster Records through CD Baby.
From the beginning, the number of musicians was constantly changing. “In Berlin you’d call a person trying to do something in a nice way, but only half succeeding, a hippie,” Kiki explains. “So with their tongue in their cheek, people were referring to us as the five hippies, 24 hippies, or whatever amount of musicians that happened to be on stage.”
One day when in a trio format, the band opened for a friend’s British punk band. “The English lead singer asked for our band name, as he wanted to announce our appearance,” says Christopher. “On a lark, one of us said 17 Hippies, and since then it stuck. In German, “17” is pronounced zieb-t-zeen, and has a nice sound to it. It also has a somewhat magical appeal. It could never have been 16 or 18.” A the time of this writing, there were 13 band members in 17 Hippies. And they also played the Jew’s harp, the Indian tanpura, the Irish bouzouki, and assorted other string, brass, and wind instruments. Just what you would expect from 17 Hippies, regardless of how many of them are on stage.
“In Germany, and only in Germany, people tend to count musicians on stage,” chuckles Kiki, “and sometimes they say, “Why, there aren’t 17 of you!” One or two have wanted their money back! Same thing happens about the hippie thing: ‘Why, you’re not hippies’ we tell them, Well, the Rolling Stones aren’t exactly stones.”
Preparing for the new album Heimlich, Kiki was writing very personal lyrics, revolving around the feeling of losing what you thought was secure. One of the texts was Heimlich, a deep German word, meaning something like the secret way or top secret. The title song tells what happens when a strong feeling should be kept a secret, so as to keep that feeling alive and strong; whereas blaring it out would destroy it. “To keep the song from sounding too singer-songwriter-ish we started adding different sounds. One day Carsten, Dirk, Christopher, and I all coincidentally turned up with kalimbas [African thumb pianos]. We played” and it was just right!”
“When we started, our friends were organizing the Techno-heavy, musical-political celebration Love Parade,” says Christopher. “Techno was the thing everybody was into, while we were going acoustic. We had all grown up on Chuck Berry and the Beatles, and maybe Beethoven, and that ever since the 1970s, when David Bowie and Iggy moved here, the scene considered itself to be Europe’s rock city. There was no such thing as German folk, or world music, or whatever you might call it. When we started, everyone here thought we had gone mad.”
17 Hippies continues to use traditional tunes, and instruments, but rarely playing them the right way. “Our audience in Berlin learned about these new, old sounds by listening to us,” says Kiki. “The traddies hated us. After a while, people started referring to the way we played as a style. Now in other parts of Europe they call it Berlin style.”
At the same time, the rock and roll aesthetic is carried one step further with the 17 Hippies Real Book idea, which gets their tunes out to people so that everybody can play along. “Folk music in the sense of: music for folks!” says Kiki. The band has released two books with scores (17 Hippies Realbook I & II).
Rock’n’roll 13 (Rent a Poet, 1997)
Texas Radio (Rent a Poet, 1998)
Wer ist das? (Rent a Poet, 1999) Sirba (Buda Musique, 2002)
Halbe Treppe soundtrack (Rent a Poet, 2002):
17 Hippies play Sexy Ambient Hippies (Rent a Poet, 2003) Ifni (Rent a Poet, 2004)
17 Hippies Play Guitar (Hipster Records, 2006)
Live in Berlin (Hipster Records, 2006) Heimlich (Hipster Records, 2007) El Dorado (Hipster Records, 2009) Phantom Songs (Hipster Records, 2011)
17 Hippies chantent en français (Buda Musique, 2013)
17 Hippies für Kinder – Titus träumt (Rent a Poet, 2013) Biester (Hipster Records, 2014)
Anatomy (Rent a Poet, 2016)
Metamorphosis (Rent a Poet, 2016)
Marika Falk was born in Vienna, in a Hungarian family of musicians. She plays numerous percussion instruments such as frame drums and hand drums,inclufding the tombak, darbuka, riq, daf, daire, bendir, cajon, ghatam, tar, bodhran, and talking drum.
She completed her musical studies in Munich, where she lives. For over two decades she has been involved with the traditional music of Africa and the Middle East and learned percussive techniques from several well-known masters.
She has collaborated with various project relating to Early Music, jazz, theater, world music with groups like Vox, Sarband and Nunu.
Tigrib (Konnex Records KCD 5084, 1998)
Mariano (Konnex Records KCD 5087, 1998) Drumming Breath (NO-CD Rekords CDNO 24, 2000) Ahoi (Konnex Records KCD 5112, 2003) Breathing Colour (2008)
Munich singer Andrea Pancur has developed a fascinating new genre called Alpen Klezmer, an unconventional mix of Bavarian and Yiddish traditions. You’ll hear classic Bavarian brass, accordion and dances along with Klezmer melodies and instrumentation, tango, Middle Eastern rhythms and even flamenco palmas (handclap percussion).
Andrea Pancur researched in archives for ancient melodies and added her own lyrics. The CD booklet includes German-language lyrics and English-language translations.
The lineup includes Andrea Pancur on vocals along with a long list of talented musicians: Christian Dawid on clarinet and saxophone; Ilya Schneyveys on accordion, guitar, vocals ; Alex Hass on bass and vocals; Alan Bern on accordion and piano; Lorin Sklamberg on vocals; Johann Bengen on percussion and vocals; Michel Watzinger on dulcimer; Evi Heigl on violin; Stofferl Werl on trumpet; Hansjorg Gehring on trombone; Anja Gunther on clarinet; Szilvia Csaranko on grand piano; Hermann Haertel jun on violin; and Guy Schalom on drums, payk, washboard and palmas.
Selva Negra – Mar lleno (Trekel Records/ Selva Negra Music SNM003, 2016)
German duo Selva Negra (black forest in Spanish) draws its inspiration from Spanish flamenco, Latin American music and jazz. Selva Negra’s sound revolves around Björn Vollmer’s guitar and electric bass and Steffen Hanschmann’s percussion.
There’s a nice balance between lively pieces and laid back material. Björn Vollmer’s guitar style is inspired by current Spanish guitarists and does a very good job at staying true to flamenco. Meanwhile, Steffen Hanschmann uses percussion that is typically found in modern flamenco: cajón and palmas.
Guests include Omar Calvo on double bass and Illian Garnet on violin.
Mar lleno showcases the talent of two young German musicians from northern Germany heavily inspired by flamenco.