Tag Archives: Germany

Artist Profiles: Lulo Reinhardt

Lulo Reinhardt

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, a formation 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 Manuel Dominguez, Nubenegra.

Discography:

I suni (1994)
Ab I Reisa ‎(Nubenegra, 1998)
Project No. 1 (2002)
Project No. 2 (2005)
Lulo Reinhardt & Uli Krämer (2006)
Live in Melbourne (2008)
Lulo Reinhardt & Gerd Stein (2009)
Katoomba Birds (2011)
Bawo (2013)
Lulo Reinhardt & Daniel Stelter: Live in der Stadtkirche (2016)

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Artist Profiles: Kerstin Blodig

Kerstin Blodig

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.

Discography:

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)
Trollsang
Nordisk Sjel
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)

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Artist Profiles: 17 Hippies

17 Hippies

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).

Discography:

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)

DVD

Live in Berlin (Rent a Poet, 2005)

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Artist Profiles: Marika Falk

Marika Falk

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.

Discography:

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)

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Bavarian Klezmer

Andrea Pancur – Alpen Klezmer: Zum Meer

Andrea Pancur – Alpen Klezmer: Zum Meer (Galileo MC, 2016)

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.

Buy Alpen Klezmer: Zum Meer

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Flamencos from Hamburg

Selva Negra – Mar lleno

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.

Buy Mar lleno

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A Taste of Rudolstadt Festival

Various Artists – Rudolstadt Festival 2016

Various Artists – Rudolstadt Festival 2016 (Heideck, 2016)

You can catch up with the latest in world music acts with this double CD compilation from Germany’s Rudolstadt Festival. This compilation features artists from various countries that appeared in the 2016 edition of the festival.

Rudolstadt Festival is one of the most significant world music festivals in Europe.

Stylistically, the artists range from traditional to contemporary forms of world music. The album comes nicely packaged in a hard cover digibook with liner notes in German and English.

Although some of the artists are familiar names to the world music community, there are also quite a few discoveries, featuring acts that don’t tour North America.

Rudolstadt Festival 2016 is an excellent sampling of the great world music you’ll find at the annual festival.

The album is available from shop.rudolstadt-festival.de

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Enthralling Tenbur and Zaza Music

Cemîl Qoçgîrî – Zalâl (Ahenk, 2016)

Zalâl is the fifth album by German multi-instrumentalist and composer Cemîl Qoçgîrî. Cemîl is one of the finest performers of the tenbur (tenbûr), a Kurdish long-necked lute that is related to the saz.

On Zalâl, Cemîl Qoçgîrî combines ancient Anatolian musical influences with western chamber musical forms. He also uses rare Zazaki vocals. Zazaki (also known as Zaza, Kirmanjki and Dimli) is used by the Zaza Kurds in eastern Turkey and is one of the oldest languages in Mesopotamia. The Zazaki language has been classified by UNESCO as a “language threatened with extinction“.

When language, music, art and culture are lost, the understanding and communication between peoples are lost as well,” says Cemîl Qoçgîrî.

The lineup on Zalâl includes Cemîl Qoçgîrî on tenbur, guitar, and percussion; Mikaîl Aslan on qirnata; Susanne Hirsch on cello; Manuel Lohnes on bass; Eser Baki on tenbur; Nure Dovlanî on violin; Ben Neubrech on guitar; Andre Nendza on bass; Kadir Doğan on percussion; Elif Gökdemir on flute; and Tolga Keleşm on zirne.

The CD booklet contains lyrics in Zazaki with English-language translations as well as biographical information about Cemîl Qoçgîrî.

Zalâl is a beautifully-crafted album that contains mesmerizing performances on the tenbur and the warm vocals of Cemîl Qoçgîrî.

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Artist Profiles: Cemîl Qoçgîrî

Cemîl Qoçgîrî

Composer and tenbur maestro Cemîl Qoçgîrî was born in 1980 in Duisburg, Germany. He’s part of a Kurdish-Alevi (Qizilbash) family from the region of Qoçgîrî in northern Dersim in eastern Anatolia. Cemîl Qoçgîrî currently lives in Mainz, Germany.

Alevism/Qizilbash is considered to be the continuation of ancient Anatolian-Mesopotamian belief systems, primarily Zoroastrianism. The tenbur (long-necked lute), the principal instrument played by Cemîl Qoçgîrî is fundamental to this musical heritage, not just as a musical instrument, but it is also deemed sacred by the Alevis.

Cemîl Qoçgîrî has incessantly worked on his own music projects and in 2004 published his first solo album “Ask-i Pervaz”.

In 2005, Cemil travelled throughout Dersim to capture on film perhaps the last living authentic dervishes. These travels were portrayed in a musical documentary titled “Sarraf.”

Cemîl Qoçgîrî released his second album “Heya – Songs of the Qizilbash” in 2007.

The third album “Hiva Zeri – Golden Moon” came out in 2012 and the fourth album, Tembur & Harp, was released in 2015 by Sony Music Classical.

Cemîl Qoçgîrî also took part in the acclaimed Hawniyaz project with Aynur, Kayhan Kalhor and Salman Gambarov. This album was released by Harmonia Mundi Latitudes in July 2016 and received the German Record Critics Award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik).

In addition to his solo projects, Cemil Qocgirî also produces and arranges film music as well as audio CD-productions with various renowned artists. He has collaborated with Aynur , Kinan Azmeh, Kayhan Kalhor, NDR Bigband, Morgenland Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Blazers Ensemble, Mikail Aslan, Erkan Ogur, Salman Gambarov, and Tara Jaff.

Cemîl Qoçgîrî’s fifth solo album Zalâl was released in 2016. It features songs in the endangered Zaza language.

Discography

Ask-I Pervaz (Etno Music, 2005)
Heya – Songs of the Qizilbash (Kalan Music, 2007)
Rewend, with Aynur (Sony Music, 2010)
Hiva Zeri -Golden Moon (Ahenk Music, 2012)
Tembur & Harp (Sony Music, 2015)
Hawniyaz with Aynur, Kayhan Kalhor, Salman Gambarov (Harmonia Mundi Latitudes, 2016)
Zalâl (Ahenk, 2016)

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Artist Profiles: Dissidenten

Dissidenten

Uve Müllrich, Marlon Klein and Friedo Josch founded Dissidenten in Berlin, Germany, in 1980.

Following a one-year tour of Asia, the group decided to move from Berlin to India. Upon invitation from Maharaja Bhalkrishna Bharti of Gondagaon they spent a year at his palace in Madja Pradesh in central India. There, Dissidenten’s first album Germanistan was written in collaboration with the Karnataka College Of Percussion and the female singer Ramamani from Bangalore.

This project with the American saxophonist Charlie Mariano received attention far beyond the borders of India. Performances at a series of the most prestigious festivals in the world followed.

In 1983, after a tour of North Africa, the group set up camp in Tangier, Morocco. The American composer and author Paul Bowles introduced them to many Moroccan musicians.

The Dissidenten studio was established at the Sultan’s Palace in Tangier with the help of Abdessalam Akaaboune, one of the most influential powers behind the Arabic music scene. (The Rolling Stones work at his place since the days of Brian Jones). Dissidenten’s second album Sahara Elektrik was produced at his palace.

The track ‘Fata Morgana’ took off in Spain, South America and Italy and became a top dance-floor hit in 1985. Over 250,000 Spaniards saw and heard the band during a three-week-tour alone.

After the British DJ John Peel repeatedly featured the group in England, the euphoria that had originally started in southern Europe spread via England to North America, especially Canada. Sahara Elektrik made the top of the Canadian Independent Charts. A European tour followed.

In 1986, having established themselves as intercontinental contemporary world music pioneers with a worldwide reputation, Dissidenten moved back to Tangier to concentrate on film-scores to relax from extensive touring.

Unfortunately their success in the Arab World soon took such psychotic dimensions that they decided to shift their headquarters to Madrid, Spain to record the album Life at the Pyramids.

In 1987/88 they played the most important cities in Canada and the United States of America. Their final breakthrough came with their concert at the opening gala of the New Music Seminar in the New York Palladium.

During 1989, Dissidenten worked in Morocco, India, the United States of America and Spain on their album Out of this World released worldwide by Sire/Warner Brothers in New York.

Some of the most prominent North African musicians collaborated in the recording-sessions. Besides the string section of the Royal National Orchestra of Morocco, the album also features Cherif Lamrani and Mahmoud Saadi, members of the legendary groups Lem Chaheb, Jil Jilala and Nass El Ghiwane.

in 1990, after nearly a decade absence, Dissidenten’s home-base was moved back to Berlin. From there, they set out to promote Out of this World with concerts around the world. In Canada they started filming and recording for a project involving Native American music.

The album Live in New York was released in 1991, recorded live during their legendary concert at the Opening Gala of the New Music Seminar in New York’s Palladium. The rest of the year the group spent recording in Canada.

The year 1992 finds Dissidenten traveling between Berlin, Mumbai Bombay and Bangalore in South India to complete works on the album The Jungle Book which brought back many friends from their first Indian works in the early 1980s. Many of them have become renowned artists of their own, like Trilok Gurtu or Ramesh Shotham of the group Oregon.

The Jungle Book was released worldwide in 1993 and Dissidenten toured to promote the album around the globe. Top European radio DJ’s voted the album into second place amongst 800 productions in their annual World Music Charts Europe.

In 1994 Dissidenten topped various dance charts around the world – this time not their own production but through the Rave-remixes of Germany’s techno-Guru Sven Väth. This was the ideal opener for the world tour which lasted into 1995.

The rest of this year and 1996 the group spent traveling between recording studios from Los Angeles, Maui, Hawaii (where drummer Marlon Klein produced an album for Gary Wright and George Harrisson), Casablanca and Bombay where Uve Müllrich worked on soundtracks for Hindi Movies, while Friedo Josch was turning the knobs in native Berlin.

The resulting album, Instinctive Traveler , was released in 1997. More than forty musicians were involved in the production of Instinctive Traveler. The most outstanding discovery is the voice of BAJKA, then 18 year old daughter of Dissidenten bassist Uve Müllrich. No real surprise for insiders, Bajka, born in Dissidenten’s founding-place at the maharaja’s palace in Central India, spent most of her lifetime traveling with the group around the world and therefore knew the clues of Dissidenten.

After Bajka left the band to work on her own projects, Izaline Calister of Curacao, former singer of Holland`s world fusion pioneers Pili-Pili, joined the group.

The rest of the year Dissidenten spend touring around the world, mainly playing Festivals in Europe. Amongst them the prestigious Stuttgart Jazzopen Festival in Germany, Festa De La Diversidad in Barcelona (Spain) and the Leverkusen Jazztage in Germany.

During 1998 the band made occasional appearances at various festivals around the world- among them a concert at the Glastonbury Festival in England, the World Roots Festival in Amsterdam and the famous Enzimi Festival in Rome and the Sunsplash Festival in Leverkusen, Germany.

As a result of all these concerts, in November 1998 the album “Live In New York” was published, featuring long-time Dissident and American jazz legend Charlie Mariano on saxophone.

The turn of the year Dissidenten’s Müllrich and Klein spent in India and Brazil, preparing new projects for their label Exil Musik.

Marlon Klein produced the album Ten. A project of the Spanish composer Tomas San Miguel with the chalaparta and the 40 member Basque choir Coro Samaniego.

In 1999 Dissidenten played at various festivals around Europe, amongst them the Tollwood-Festival in Munich, Germany, the Montreux jazz-festival and another appearance at the Jazz-World-Stage in Glastonbury, England.

Marlon Klein was invited by jazz keyboardist Jasper van’t Hof to South Africa. In Durban he recorded the Zulu Choir Phikelela Sakhula and the Real Happy Singers and produced the Pili-Pili album Love Letter.

In 2000 Dissidenten took a new step into another musical world. Together with 70 year-old classical American composer Gordon Sherwood they worked on an opera about the river Danube, performed together with various classical orchestras in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine in 2000.

 

Discography

Sahara Elektrik (Exil, 1990)

Life At The Pyramids (Exil, 1990)

Out Of This World (Sire / Warner Bros., 1990)

Live In New York (Exil, 1991)

Germanistan (Exil, 1992)

The Jungle Book (Exil, 1993)

Love Supreme Remix (Exil, 1994)

Mixed Up Jungle (Exil, 1996)

Instinctive Traveler (Exil, 1997)

Live In Europe (Exil, 1998)

2001, a Worldbeat Odyssey (Exil, 2001)

Tanger Sessions (Exil, 2008)

Web site: /www.dissidenten.com

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