Rebecca Pidgeon, the acclaimed American actress has also displayed her gift as a singer-songwriter on her several well-received albums with Chesky Records. Pidgeon’s style includes elements from folk, pop, jazz and Celtic traditions.
Rebecca Pidgeon was born October 10, 1965 in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA). While a teenager in Scotland, music came as naturally to Pidgeon as breathing. She sang along with the radio and her parents’ Beatles and Joni Mitchell records as a light escape from her demanding acting studies. In Edinburgh, a friend asked her to sing on his demo tape. “I didn’t know I was a singer at all,” she recalls. “At first I felt ridiculous because I hadn’t trained to be a singer hadn’t even planned it. I didn’t feel like a genuine singer and the first songs I wrote didn’t feel like real songs. It was only when people started saying to me ‘That’s a wonderful song’ that I finally began believing I was a singer and a songwriter.”
Pidgeon made two celebrated British albums with the folk-pop band Ruby Blue, shared the stage with Lyle Lovett and Van Morrison and played a series of New York gigs with Anthony Coote while she was starring in the New York stage production of Oleanna.
By the age of 23 the actress had found work in theater film and on BBC television starring with Anthony Hopkins, David Warner, Ian Holm and Dame Peggy Ashcroft. She had just played a lead in a star-strewn BBC production of Uncle Vanya when she moved to the United States in 1990 and married playwright David Mamet. “Coming to America was a huge change. I didn’t have a plan in my head and I had to start all over again with both my acting and my music,” she says.
After returning to the United States, Pidgeon happened to hear a Kenny Rankin album that was released on Chesky Records, the New York-based audiophile record label. “It was recorded without overdubbing and the sound was so beautiful and natural that I knew it was what I wanted. I wished to get away from the over-produced approach I’d known in England.” So began Pidgeon’s relationship with Chesky Records.
Her first Chesky release, The Raven featured Pidgeon’s striking version of “Spanish Harlem.” The Raven went on to become an audiophile classic thanks to Pidgeon’s crystalline voice and Chesky’s high-fidelity recording techniques. Her second album, New York Girls Club brought her unique singing and songwriting to more music lovers. “Songwriting became a very important form of self-expression for me a rich part of my life,” Pidgeon explains.
While growing up in Scotland Pidgeon’s father knew many Scottish songs in addition to American and British music. Pidgeon’s third, Four Marys showcases Rebecca’s unique interpretations of timeless Celtic folk songs.
Between album projects, Pidgeon has starred in the Mamet plays Oleanna, Speed the Plow, The Old Neighborhood and the motion pictures The Spanish Prisoner, The Winslow Boy and State & Main.
Peter Gabriel has earned a worldwide reputation for his support of world music, his groundbreaking work as a progressive rock pioneer, his innovative recordings as a solo musician and writer, and for and his creative video productions.
Gabriel was born February 13, 1950 in Cobham (Surrey, England). While at school in 1966 he was a member of two bands The Spoken Word and The Garden Wall. The latter included two schoolmates, keyboardist Tony Banks and guitarist Anthony Phillips. In 1967 Gabriel, Banks, Phillips and bassist Mike Rutherford formed Genesis which would later become one of the most famous progressive rock bands of all times.
Initially, Peter Gabriel was a flute player but soon became the lead vocalist. He also became the main lyricist for Genesis. Gabriel also introduced theatrical elements to the band’s shows. He used makeup and various costumes during the band’s live performances. Genesis became a legendary band thanks to its charismatic vocals, its elaborate lyrics, outstanding music and innovative visual effects. Progressive rock fans worldwide consider the band one of the finest in the history of the genre and numerous groups and singers were heavily influenced by Genesis and Peter Gabriel.
In 1975 after tensions during the recording of the double LP The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Peter Gabriel left and started his solo career. Soon, Peter Gabriel reached success with a series of pop hits such as “Solsbury Hill,” “Here Comes The Flood,” “Games Without Frontiers” and the anthemic “Biko,” a tribute to slain South African activist Steven Biko.
In 1980 he got together with a group of people to found word music organization WOMAD (World of Music Arts & Dance). In a series of international festivals held in various countries and continents each year WOMAD brings together traditional and modern world music as well as arts and dance from every corner of the globe. Peter Gabriel is currently an advisor on the board of WOMAD.
Shortly afterwards Peter Gabriel established Real World Studios in Wiltshire England designed as an ideal environment for performance. It also became the base for Real World Records a label that is dedicated to recording and promoting a wide range of world music and eclectic artists.
Gabriel has released over 1 albums and in 1986 he won his first Grammy with his seventh album So. The videos from this project established him as a leader in video production and included ‘Sledgehammer ‘ which won the most music video awards ever including a No. 1 position in Rolling Stone’s top 1 videos of all time.
Peter Gabriel has been involved in a broad spectrum of human rights and environmental issues. His song,Biko, was the first pop song which talked about the effects of apartheid and in 1988 and 199 he was involved in the Nelson Mandela concerts at Wembley. In 1988 he also worked with Amnesty International to set up the Human Rights Now tour visiting many countries with Sting Bruce Springsteen Tracey Chapman and Youssou N’Dour.
Following this he initiated the,Witness” program which was launched in 1992 in conjunction with the Reebok Foundation in the USA. The organization aims to arm human rights activists from around the world with hand-held video cameras and other tools of mass communication. To date they have supplied hundreds of cameras to over fifty countries and have also set up a bi-weekly Witness web broadcast via Macintosh’s Quicktime Channel.
In 1989 Gabriel visited the USSR to help launch Greenpeace and also contributed to the One World One Voice album – a collaborative project which featured artists from all over the world.
The first two-CD anthology of Peter Gabriel’s solo career Hit (Geffen/Universal Music) was released November 4 23. Simultaneously the record company released Growing Up Live a long-form concert DVD from Gabriel’s most recent tour up to that point. Hit was compiled with Gabriel’s full participation. It featured 29 recordings each newly remastered. Three of the selections were previously unreleased: Burn You Up Burn You Down, the radio edit of “Blood Of Eden” (the original is on the Us album) and a live “Downside Up” (the original is on Ovo).
At the end of 1997 Gabriel was invited by Mark Fisher to help create a show for the central space of the London Millennium Dome. 1998 was spent brainstorming ideas on the narrative and visual concept. In 1999 while continuing to be involved with the show’s development Gabriel composed the music. The show was opened on January 1st 2000.
Peter Gabriel’s music was censored after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Clear Channel Communications one the largest radio networks in the United States sent out of a list of 15 songs that were recommended to be pulled from airplay. One of the songs on the list was When You’re Falling, a collaboration between Gabriel and Afro Celt Sound System.
In the year 2000 Peter Gabriel entered the world of digital music distribution. He founded On Demand Distribution (OD2) together with Charles Grimsdale. The objective of the company is to sell and promote the music that the company manages through a diverse set of on-line retailers and to find new channels for music sales. These services will allow record labels and artists to securely distribute digital music and get paid.
The album Scratch My Back was released in 2001 and consists of cover songs written by David Bowie Lou Reed Arcade Fire Radiohead Regina Spektor Neil Young and others. The concept for the record was that Gabriel would cover songs by various artists and those artists in turn would cover Gabriel’s on a future follow-up album. The follow-up finally came out in 2013 titled And I’ll Scratch Yours.
Folk singer Paul Frederic Simon was born October 13, 1941 in Newark New Jersey. His music career started in Forest Hills High School when he and his friend Art Garfunkel began singing together as a duo occasionally performing at school dances. In 1964 Simon and Garfunkel got signed by Columbia Records. Their first LP, Wednesday Morning 3 AM was released in 1964.
The first album didn’t do very well so Simon moved to England where he released The Paul Simon Song Book in 1965. He returned to the United States to reunite with Garfunkel. They recorded several albums that had considerable commercial success, including Sounds of Silence (1965); Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966); Bookends (1968); The Graduate soundtrack (1968); and Bridge Over Troubled Water (1969).
Paul Simon’s early relationship with world music was clearly visible in Bridge Over Troubled Water which featured an Andean song called “El Condor Pasa.”
Simon and Garfunkel disbanded in 1971. Simon released a solo album titled Paul Simon in 1972. Subsequent albums included “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon” (1973) that contained the hit songs as “Something So Right”, “Kodachrome”, “American Tune” and “Loves Me Like A Rock.”
In 1975 Paul Simon released “Still Crazy After All These Years” featuring the hit single “5 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” The next albums were “Greatest Hits Etc.” (1977) and “One Trick Pony” (1980). The One Trick Pony recording, Simon’s first album with Warner Bros. Records was also paired with a major motion picture of the same name, with Simon in the starring role. The hits dried up by the time he released Hearts and Bones (1983).
Paul Simon’s commitment with the USA for Africa project led him to perform on the famine relief fundraising single ‘We Are the World.” The Africa connection continued in 1986 with the Grammy-winning “Graceland”, which featured South African vocal ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo. His fascination with rhythm continued in 1990 with “The Rhythm of the Saints” that included Brazilian sounds.
On May 9 2006, Warner Bros. Records released “Surprise,” Paul Simon’s first release since 2000, which was produced by Simon, and in collaboration with Brian Eno. Said Paul Simon: “Working with Brian Eno opens the door to a world of sonic possibilities; plus he’s just a great guy to hang with in the studio”, or for that matter in life. I had a really good time.” Surprise includes contributions from musicians including Steve Gadd, Herbie Hancock and Bill Frisell.
During his distinguished career, Paul Simon has been the recipient of many honors and awards including twelve Grammy Awards three of which (Bridge Over Troubled Water, Still Crazy After All These Years and Graceland) were albums of the year. In 2003 he was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as half of the duo Simon and Garfunkel.
He is an inductee of The Songwriters Hall of Fame and is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame both as a member of Simon and Garfunkel and as a solo artist. He was a recipient of The Kennedy Center Honors in 2003.
Of Simon’s many concert appearances he is most fond of the two concerts in Central Park in New York (with his partner and childhood friend Art Garfunkel in 1981 and as a solo artist in 1991) and the series of shows he did at the invitation of Nelson Mandela in South Africa-the first American artist to perform in post-apartheid South Africa.
Paul Simon’s philanthropic work includes the co-founding of The Children’s Health Fund (CHF) with Dr. Irwin Redlener. The CHF donates and staffs mobile medical vans that bring health care to poor and indigent children in urban and rural locations around the United States. Simon has also raised millions of dollars for worthy causes as varied as AMFAR, The Nature Conservancy The Fund for Imprisoned Children In South Africa and Autism Speaks. In 1989 The United Negro College Fund honored him with its Frederick D. Patterson Award.
On May 23rd 2007, Simon was the recipient of the first annual Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Named in honor of George and Ira Gershwin, this newly created award recognizes the profound and positive effect of popular music on the world’s culture and will be given annually to a composer or performer whose lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins.
Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., with Simon & Garfunkel (Columbia Records, 1964)
The Paul Simon Songbook (CBS, 1965)
Sounds of Silence, with Simon & Garfunkel (Columbia Records, 1966)
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, with Simon & Garfunkel (Columbia Records, 1966)
Bookends, with Simon & Garfunkel (Columbia Records, 1968)
Bridge over Troubled Water, with Simon & Garfunkel (Columbia Records, 1970) Paul Simon (Columbia Records, 1972) There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (Columbia Records, 1973)
Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin’ (Columbia Records, 1974) Still Crazy After All These Years (Columbia Records, 1975) One-Trick Pony (Warner Bros. Records, 1980)
The Concert in Central Park, with Simon & Garfunkel (Warner Bros. Records, 1982)
Hearts and Bones (Warner Bros. Records, 1983) Graceland (Warner Bros. Records, 1986) The Rhythm of the Saints (Warner Bros. Records, 1990)
Paul Simon’s Concert in the Park (Warner Bros.Records, 1991)
Songs from The Capeman (Warner Bros. Records, 1997)
You’re the One (Warner Bros. Records, 2000)
Live from New York City, 1967, with Simon & Garfunkel (Columbia Records, 2002)
Old Friends: Live on Stage, with Simon & Garfunkel (Warner Bros. Records, 2004)
Live 1969, with Simon & Garfunkel (Columbia Records, 2008)
Surprise (Warner Bros. Records, 2006) So Beautiful or So What (Hear Music, 2011)
Live in New York City (Hear Music/Concord, 2012) Stranger to Stranger (Concord Records, 2016) Paul Simon – The Concert in Hyde Park (Sony Legacy, 2017)
Although British singer-songwriter Boo Hewerdine is considered a folk singer in the UK, Swimming in Mercury doesn’t show much of a trace of traditional music. Instead, it’s a set of pop songs, with plenty of hooks that should appeal to British pop music fans.
Music criticism does not derive from musical censorship; it is based on conventional rules. Ive Mendes performed in Krakow at a jazz festival; criticism, according to convention, is based on the fact that Ive does not sing a jazz; therefore, in accordance with the same neat convention, I assert that the organizers acted… unconventionally.
The world music scene, like many other spheres of culture and art, is created basically in one of two ways: bottom-up or top-down. The story of a typical bottom-up musician begins somewhere in the home, a school, a small town, a musical family, often poor and devoid of cultural roots; this is the story of many masters of jazz, as described in biographies and memoirs. The story of typical musicians whose careers are built top-down usually starts a little later, not in childhood but in early adulthood. Wherever a business, a manager, or ready-made material for a record appears, it’s only a question of finding someone to perform the material on stage.
About Ive Mendes, one thing can be stated with certainty: she is a typical product of the global policies of the music scene, the product of interventions by an entire staff of managers, arrangers, and other members of a “shadow cabinet” who stand proudly (not without reason!) behind her success. This time it was Kevin Armstrong, the producer of Mendes’s latest album, who was promoted to the head of this cabinet. Nothing like this is possible in the jazz field, where musicians make their choices strictly according to musical criteria, and a stage-managed career is an absolute contradiction in terms.
Ive possesses a powerfully crafted charm and grace in the visual sphere. It is precisely her superficiality that affirms the misleading conviction that she comes from Brazil, yet it is indeed difficult to perceive any connotations from the musical culture of the region from which she originated. The artist herself does not conceal her inspirations, mentioning a fairly wide range of essentially pop music styles: “… I learned that I have a natural facility for moving from bossa nova to smooth pop, drum & bass, and even alternative country. After all, I’m a farmer’s daughter.” [www.newsweek.pl]. Unfortunately, in the same breath she adds bossa nova to this eclectic mix. The problem is that even if we can (though we need not) think of smooth pop, drum & bass, or “alternative country”—whatever that is—as mere categories of arrangements, that is, for the creation of hybrid sound forms (as Ive basically has made use of these styles, though in a different way than, e.g., jazzmen do, using groovy or funk rhythms and R&B just for some kind of dance fun, likewise “ontic background” for improvisation, etc.), bossa nova itself cannot be treated so freely. Indeed, the concept of bossa nova encompasses a deeper philosophy. It is a unique combination of samba and jazz.
The self-proclaimed comparison of Ive to João Gilberto smacks—to put it politely—of immodesty. And indeed, if Ive actually had something in common with bossa nova—apart from “reciting” a few standards—it might salvage her image as an artist fit to share a stage with artists of improvisational music. This, however, is not the case. Ive, in essence, does not understand bossa nova at all.
These are not the only reasons why I state that Ive Mendes is largely a phenomenon of the modern music industry, in which vocal talent is exploited for the benefit of a mass audience. A mass audience at the Jazz Festival? This is, of course, possible, thanks to, among others, Ive. The boundaries of jazz in Poland are not clearly visible to a public which accepts a rather pop Kenny G performance, often with just as much satisfaction as it would Kenny Garret or Nigel Kennedy, and similar case with Ive Mendes vs Kurt Elling. The Polish, indeed European, and perhaps even global (in the era of globalization) mass audience, while occasionally needing to commune with elegance, is thoroughly democratic. And that is a shame, because democracy does not serve the cause of high art. Thus my criticism concerns not Ive Mendes herself, but her presence on a jazz stage.
As a vocal star, Ive obscures the musical potential of the songs with “literary” quality and linguistic content. I am not thinking here at all of the lyrics (which play a less essential role in jazz in any case) of the songs, but of her stage presence. That is, Ive greatly expands the entr’actes, I mean the never-ceasing patter between songs, which at times took the form of motivational coaching, gave the impression of being an integral part of the artistic performance, whereas the songs seemed merely to supplement her verbal tirades, which many of the ladies present in the hall received with blushes of embarrassment.
Thus, Ive’s performance consists of, first and foremost, a kind of refined dance-calling; second, songs; and, in the background, arranging and musical potential, which usually remain strictly in the realm of the potential. For Ive, music seems to be effortless; it is not an area of great concern or creativity. Sounds, for her, are primarily a matter of a fixed esthetic framework of correctness in which her emotions occur (even if they are exploited extramusically). Ive sings safely within proven registers beyond which she consistently refuses to venture, avoids improvisation (or feigns it), while the band (and after all, Ive has a live band on stage: a smooth rhythm section, violin, cello, etc.), apart from the correct performance of sometimes arduously executed arrangements, is reduced to the role of a karaoke backing track.
There is no room here for improvisation and musical freedom; Ive does not play at all with her voice, with sounds, or with rhythm in the sense of musicality (as deeply understood). Instead, her show is reminiscent of harvest festivals, but obscured by a snobbish veil of supposedly higher culture, while deprived of the vibrancy and unpretentious naturalness of country bands. Ive’s performance is so smooth that she loses, in the correctness of the performances, a whole range of expressive musical possibilities, substituting non-musical stage theatricality, whereas the songs themselves, differing very little from studio recordings, are so safe that they sound like something played on a boombox in an adjoining room. I also have the compelling impression that Ive often sings out of tune, slightly below the correct note. Perhaps this is a question of wrong stage listening monitor setup, but the effect is permanent: she sings consistently sharp.
Ive, however, has several patented theatrical devices up her sleeve to exert a narcotic effect on the emotion-seeking audience. She possesses the ability to stimulate the emotions of a large crowd with two or three stage tricks. Undoubtedly, she also possesses an original voice, with a characteristically deep, rather low, vibrating, sensual color. There is a distant similarity to Sade, and, still more distant, to Cassandra Wilson, but without their musical consciousness, personality, or charisma. Other aspects which attract attention include her stage image, exotic beauty (probably the most authentic aspect of her Brazilian heritage), outfits, mysterious gestures, movements, dances, etc. This is essentially a good recipe for the conquest of the unsophisticated heart of a standardized, democratic listener.
In Krakow, the singer performed the repertoire from her latest album, Bossa Romantica, about which she says in one of many interviews: “This is music characterized by complex chords and rhythm guitar in a free samba rhythm. I made this music in the same way that João Gilberto created bossa nova: trying to create versions of American songs in a specific way, in a Brazilian atmosphere.” [www.polskatimes.pl]. The album was supposedly created under British (Ive recently obtained British citizenship) and Brazilian influence, which Mendes often mentions (although the comparison to Gilberto is lip service as well as an exaggeration) along with the musical inspiration of smooth jazz (or rather, perhaps, smooth pop), with which the singer is also identified. These were, I believe, her intentions, but their effect can be described simply as free eclecticism. Her album is not a very good example of World Music; no matter whether it draws from Brazil, England, or “smooth,” the esthetic and artistic effect of this album was a foregone conclusion before Ive entered the studio. It betrays her superficiality, the excessive esthetization of her style, idealized romanticism, and the renunciation of harsh or folk-derived elements.
Among other songs from the album Bossa Romantica, Ive performs covers like “The Girl from Ipanema.” This performance, however, blends in with the overall character of her music, blurring in places the expressive syncopation of bossa nova which we associate even with the singing of Astrud Gilberto. Freshness, lightness, and the aforementioned unpretentiousness are also lost. Another cover, “Killing Me Softly,” is played for no apparent reason, or, as already mentioned, as a sure-fire heartbreaker, completely devoid of expression or of any ideas.
In jazz, performing standards makes some sense, if only in terms of musicians making use of familiar themes for further musical exploitation. Themes are only pretexts, or gateways to great adventures on the verge of beginning. With Ive, everything starts and ends with the theme. This would make sense, of course, if the artist proved the value of her contribution to the work, if the listener at least discovered individual hallmarks of musical expression. With Ive, this never happens. This is not another beautiful rendition, as we hear with Perry Como, Roberta Flack, or even the pop Fugees. Instead, Ive turns it into hack work, potboiler gig, potboiler gig, a number trotted out for shows like The X Factor.
Ive Mendes says that her voice works in many styles. Certainly the concert at Krakow’s ICE Arena was a good showcase of her vocal abilities and her typical stage esthetics. Her emotions are expressed primarily extramusically; they are naively feminine, romantic … which means that her repertoire appeals to the taste of many—but not to fans of jazz, improvised music, or (as widely understood) world music.
Ive Mendes deserves a much more favorable review, on the condition that we evaluate her in terms of pop music, though here I am not referring to great pop music artists such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, or female celebrities to which Mendes might be compared, such as Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, the quasi-Latino Shakira, or even Lady Gaga. She is not in that league, but rather in a class with festivals of the Eurovision type, connoisseurs of soap operas … in Poland, Ive can also count on fans with a sentimental attachment to the old Brazilian serial feature A escrava Isaura [Isaura the Slave Girl], whose main heroine recalls Ive to mind.
In the press there are many extremely passionate positive opinions about the work of Ive Mendes; thus the present critical opinion, expressed here with the conviction of its justice, may serve as a badly-needed counterbalance in contemporary reflections on music.
Although Wake Up features celebrated South African ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Carlos Santana as guests, this new album by singer-songwriter Jennifer Saran is a pop effort, seeking a mass audience. It includes familiar songs, has sing along pop hooks and dance beats. The album wants to bring awareness to inequality and poverty throughout the globe.
The highlight of the album is Saran’s interplay with Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Wake Up includes covers of pop hits by Patty Page, Doris Day, Bill Withers, and George Michael.
Funds from Jennifer Saran’s musical projects go to various entities, including the Kuldeep Saran Memorial Trust, the Hong Kong Women’s Choir and the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in South Africa.
Gingger, an extraordinary gifted virtuoso violinist, singer and songwriter, toured since 1996 as a member of the pop duo, “Shankar & Gingger”, and as a solo and guest performer in many shows, winning over fans and critics alike. She has also lent her voice, violin and compositions to several album projects.
Born in Los Angeles, Gingger spent her beginnings studying within one of India’s most acclaimed musical families. Her initial training began with her mother, an accomplished singer, who toured the world and won many awards as a classical star. She began teaching Gingger from the time she was a baby.
Between the coaching from her mother and grandfather (violin), and her extensive training in classical Indian violin, opera, western classical music, piano, pop and world music, Gingger has developed a musical style all her own, yet one that encompasses all of these genres and creative experiences.
Enlightenment, with L. Shankar, Zakir Hussain, Vikku Vinayakram (2003)
Anywhere But Here (2010)
Composer, arranger, producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer, Pedro Aznar is one of the most prestigious and respected artists to emerge from South America in recent times.
His far-reaching experience includes being a founding member of Seru Giran, one of the most influential rock (classic rock, progressive rock) groups in Argentina, and his three-time Grammy Award winning work with the internationally acclaimed Pat Metheny Group. He’s also a celebrated pop singer.
The writer of several movie scores, he has also published a book of poetry, Pruebas de Fuego Ordeals by Fire.
Pedro’s virtuoso bass playing and unmistakable vocal style, explores the roots of Argentine and South American music from a broad base, as respectful of old traditions as it is open to new directions.
On his 2006 recording, A Roar of Southern Clouds, Pedro Aznar led the listener on a journey through a rich musical tradition ranging across three continents: the ancestral song of the Andean peoples, the rhythmic legacy of Africa, and the European musical heritage, all seen through a contemporary prism with many facets.
Pedro worked with David Lebón in 2007, releasing an album titled Aznar-Lebón. That same year he was appointed as Musical Director of Estudio Urbano, the first institution to teach all things related to the music industry, with free of charge access to all courses and facilities. He also co-produced with Shakira two songs for the Love in the Time of Cholera soundtrack. The film is based on the novel by the same name by Gabriel García Márquez.
Also in 2007, Aznar performed “Canterurías”, by Chabuca Granda, for “Folklore por los chicos”, a benefit album for Garrahan Pediatric Hospital .
In 2008 Aznar recorded and co-produced with Roger Waters a song for the Alas Foundation, a not-for-profit organization created to improve education, nutrition and health programs for Latin American children. The recording also features Gustavo Cerati and various guest artists.
Aznar won the Gardel Award in 2008 the Sound Engineering category for the Aznar-Lebon album, with Ariel Lavigna and Andrés Mayo.
He formed a new band that same year with Federico Dannemann and Julián Semprini, and played a concert at Alas – The concert for children. The festival, which took place in Buenos Aires and Mexico City simultaneously, was heard live by over 400,000 people, and seen on TV by 200 million. The featured artists were, among others: Shakira, Alejandro Sanz, Gustavo Cerati, Ricky Martin, Calle 13, Fito Páez and Jorge Drexler.
Quebrado, a double album featuring new songs written by Aznar, came out in 2008 with pieces by Pedro and versions of songs by some of his favorite songwriters.
Aznar composed music for the film No mires para abajo (Don’t Look Down), by Eliseo Subiela.
He presented his book Pruebas de Fuego at the 2008 Santiago de Chile Book Fair, mixing poetry reading with songs.
In 2009 he records with Mercedes Sosa (who died later that year), Suna Rocha, Aca Seca, Power 3, Gabo Ferro, Cuban singer Haydée Milanés, Spanish Basque musician Kepa Junkera and Brazilian singer-songwriter Paulinho Moska.
Aznar won three Gardel Awards for his album Quebrado, in the categories Best Male Pop Singer, Production of the Year and Sound Engineering (the latter, with Ariel Lavigna and Andrés Mayo). The album also reached Gold Record status.
Quebrado Vivo, a live double album recorded at Teatro Coliseo, Buenos Aires, was released on CD and DVD.
Aznar published in 2009 his second book of poetry, Dos pasajes a la noche, presenting it at the Buenos Aires International Book Fair and the Santiago de Chile International Book Fair, alternating poetry reading with songs.
In Spain, she is known as La Niña Pastori, a much-beloved, superstar flamenco and crossover pop vocalist who has sold more than 1 million units over a stellar career since 1995.
Maria Rosa Garcia Garcia was born in San Fernando (Cadiz) in 1978. Taking her artistic name from her mother La Pastori (therefore, La Niña Pastori), the always passionate singer learned the art of flamenco from her mother as she accompanied her to shows around her hometown.
It was pop singer Alejandro Sanz and celebrated Spanish singer-songwriter and producer Paco Ortega who discovered Pastori and launched her career when she was 17 years old with her album Entre Dos Puertos (Between Two Ports). The album sold 100,000 units to a broad range of fans who have stuck with her ever since.
In 2002 Niña Pastori married flamenco percussionist and producer Julio Jiménez ‘Chaboli’.
Esperando Verte and No hay quinto malo are two of the albums that are more flamenco-oriented.
In 2014, Niña Pastori recorded Raiz (Root), a collaborative album with Mexican-American vocalist Lila Downs and Argentine singer Soledad Pastorutti.
Gustavo Santaolalla has been a force in Latin American music since the 1960s. He is one of a small group of musicians who created the hugely popular “Argentine Rock” movement, which included very creative bands that played progressive rock, jazz fusion, and other genres, sometimes combined with Latin American melodies and rhythms.
Santaolalla’s professional music career started in 1967 at the age of 16, when he founded the seminal group Arco Iris, making history as the pioneer in the fusion of rock and Latin American folk. Santaolalla’s work as bandleader (Arco Iris, Soluna, Wet Picnic); solo artist (Santaolalla, GAS, Ronroco); and record producer (Cafe Tacuba, Kronos Quartet) showcases his expertise in a wide variety of other musical styles.
For a few years, Santaolla lived between Buenos Aires and Los Angeles. Eventually, he settled in Los Angeles in the 1980s.
He has since become the most important name in Latin Alternative music in North America, having won Grammy awardss for his work with Cafe Tacuba and Juanes and has also produced critical and commercial successes for million-selling Mexican group Molotov, as well as Julieta Venegas, Maldita Vecindad, Caifanes, Leon Gieco, Los Prisioneros and Divididos, amongst others.
After the launching of his label Surco, he also played a major role in producing music for his label’s roster of artists, including Bersuit, Erica Garcia, Arbol and La Vela Puerca. Gustavo later entered the world of film music by scoring the music and producing the soundtrack for the Oscar-nominated and Cannes Film Festival-winning film Amores Perros, and again teamed up with Amores Perros director Alejandro Gonzalez Izarritu to work on his film, 21 Grams. Since then, he has composed numerous scores for film, TV and video games.
Santaolalla is the producer of Carnabailito, by Gaby Kerpel, the third Nonesuch project with which he has been involved. Proving once again his versatility, Santaolalla co-produced Kronos Quartet’s Nuevo, which pays homage to the rich musical styles of Mexico.
Gustavo Santaolalla’s musical style fuses rock, soul, African rhythms, and Latin American folk.