Ialma is responsible for the increasing influence of Galician folk music in Belgium. The group features five cantareiras (singers), who are descendants of Spanish immigrants from Galicia, as well as Belgian instrumentalists. Ialma also has strong Wallonian and Flamenco influences.
The vocalists are: Verónica Codesal, Marisol Palomo, Nuria Aldao, Natalia Codesal and Magali Menéndez
Tradicional Galician instruments such as gaita (bagpipe) and pandereta (tambourine) are combined with accordions, bass, and piano.
Ialma has evolved into of the finest exponents of contemporary Galician folk music. The core of the group are four women based in Belgium who have Galician ancestry. Galicia is the northwest region of Spain, where there is a rich tradition of female ensembles who sing and play tambourines (pandeiretas in Galician).
The album’s title indicates their musical route: Camiño de Bruxelas a Santiago (the trail from Brussels to Santiago). The group’s style revolves about strong vocal harmonies backed by tambourines, guitar and accordion.
Camiño de Bruxelas a Santiago features traditional lyrics and melodies as well as original compositions by members of the ensemble and a few other authors. Although the majority of the pieces have deep Galician roots, Ialma has brought in other traditions such as flamenco palmas (handclap percussion), Basque chalaparta and a song by Italian songwriter Lucilla Galeazzi.
The lineup includes Verónica Codesal on vocals and pandeireta; Magali Menéndez on vocals and pandeireta; Natalia Codesal on vocals and pandeireta; and Marisol Palomo on vocals and pandeireta.
The band’s regular instrumentalists are producer and arranger Quentin Dujardin on guitars, bass, bodhran, percussion and backing vocals; and Didier Laloy on diatonic accordion.
Guests: Esteban Murillo on vocals and palmas; Ross Ainslie on whistle; a children’s choir; Jonathan De Neck on diatonic accordion; Olivier Hernández on chromatic harmonica; Sebastien Taminiau on violin; Rémi Decker on bagpipes; Raf De Backer on Hammond organ; Iñaki Plaza on chalaparta; Boris Schmidt on double bass; Fred Malenpré on percussion; Stephan Pougin on percussion; Philippe Mobers on snare drum; and Nicolas Scalliet on drums.
Camiño de Bruxelas a Santiago is a superb album rooted in Galician music traditions performed by one of the finest Galician music ensembles in the current music scene.