In 2016, violinist Jitka Šuranská brought together an ensemble of string instrument maestros from various countries, representing diverse traditions. The concert at Festivalu Folkové prázdniny (Festival Folk Holidays) in Náměšť nad Oslavou by the Oslava River in 2016 was recorded and released under the title Strunk Nad Oslavou – Strings over the Oslava River 2016.
The festival team invited Germán López, one of the leading timple (a small Spanish guitar from the Canary Islands) players in the Canary Islands, Spain; talented guitarist Antonio Forcione from Italy; Senegalese kora virtuoso Seckou Keita; and Czech mandolin maestro Martin Krajíček.
The headliner quartet was enhanced with the addition of Spanish guitarist Antonio Toledo, violinist Juraj Stieranka, bass player Juraj Valencik from Slovakia, mandolinist Wolfgang Meyering and Jitka Šuranská on vocals.
The concert program included a set where each musician took the lead and then various pieces where the full ensemble played together. The result is a wonderful mix of solo work, dazzling interplay and superb ensemble creations. The musical influences include traditional folk music from the Canary Islands, Senegalese music, Czech folk tunes and world fusion, where various genres met and delivered a deeply satisfying mix.
The CD version includes a booklet with photos, liner notes and biographical profiles of the musicians in Czech and English.
Strunk Nad Oslavou – Strings over the Oslava River 2016 is an extraordinarily expressive album featuring superb timple, guitar, kora and mandolin performances.
The album Soar (Bendigedig), the new collaboration between Welsh harp player Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora virtuoso Seckou Keita has reached the Number 1 position at the The Transglobal World Music Chart in June 2018.
The rest of the June list:
2. El Naán – La Danza de las Semillas – El Naán
3. Toko Telo – Diavola – Anio
4. Monsieur Doumani – Angathin – Monsieur Doumani
5. Nancy Vieira – Manhã Florida – Lusafrica
6. Koum Tara – Koum Tara – Odradek
7. Dobet Gnahoré – Miziki – LA Café
8. The Turbans – The Turbans – Six Degrees
9. Solju – Ođđa Áigodat – Bafe’s Factory
10. Shadi Fathi & Bijan Chemirani – Delâshena – Buda Musique
11. Djénéba & Fousco – Kayeba Khasso – Lusafrica
12. Arat Kilo, Mamani Keïta, Mike Ladd – Visions of Selam – Accords Croisés
13. Sonido Gallo Negro – Mambo Cósmico – Glitterbeat
14. Samba Touré – Wande – Glitterbeat
15. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – Black Times – Strut
16. Amsterdam Klezmer Band & Söndörgő – Szikra – Vetnasj
17. Rahim AlHaj Trio – One Sky – Smithsonian Folkways
18. Grupo Mono Blanco – ¡Fandango! Sones Jarochos de Veracruz – Smithsonian Folkways
19. Eva Salina & Peter Stan – Sudbina: A Portrait of Vida Pavlović – Vogiton
20. Sopa de Pedra – Ao Longe Já Se Ouvia – Sopa de Pedra
Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita – Soar (bendigedig, 2018)
Two exceptional musician representing distinct traditions and harps celebrate the magnificent osprey bird on their album titled Soar.
Welsh musician Catrin Finch plays the Welsh harp and contributes the Celtic and western classical traditions. Senegalese kora player contributes the musical influences of West Africa and his world music collaborations. The result is a superb set of musical pieces where the two forms of harps engage in a beautiful genre-defying dialog.
The song Fatiliku by Cuban pianist Omar Sosa and Senegalese kora player is the winner of the 2017 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) in the world music category. Daby Toure won second place and Gawurra (Australia) came in third.
The Grand Prize winners this year are Nicholas Miller (better known as Illenium), Annika Wells, Kate Morgan, and Michael Biancaniello for the song Crawl Outta Love Ft. Annika Wells. Illenium (along with co-writers Keeley Bumford, Henri Lanz, and William Rappaport) is also the First Place winner in the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) category for his song Fractures Ft. Nevve. The Grand Prize consists of $25,000 in cash (USD) and over $35,000 in additional prizes.
Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita recently released a highly acclaimed album titled Transparent Water.
ISC honors 71 winners total, with prizes awarded to First, Second, and Third Place in 23 categories, plus an overall Grand Prize winner and the Peoples’ Voice winner, selected by public vote. An additional 274 winners are recognized with an Honorable Mention. Prizes include more than $175,000 in cash and merchandise.
Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, one of the leading jazz pianists and Senegalese kora maestro Seckou Keita, along with Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles, are set to perform on Tuesday, March 20th at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina at 8:00 p.m.
The trio will present the US debut tour of their Transparent Water album. Transparent Water was the number 1 world music album in March 2017 at the Transglobal World Music Chart.
We announce the list of best world music albums of 2017. The selection was made by a panel of editors and contributors from World Music Central and its affiliate Spanish-language world music magazine Músicas del Mundo.
The list includes 11 albums because 5 recordings were tied for 7th place.
Top World Music Albums in 2017
1. Trio da Kali & Kronos Quartet – Ladilikan (World Circuit Records) – USA/Mali
2. Raúl Rodriguez – La Raíz (Boa Musica Editorial) – Spain
“Our list reflects the diversity of the world music scene and our panelists. Our writers are based in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia,” says World Music Central’s Managing Director Angel Romero.
World Music Central is an international online publication with readers worldwide that includes news, reviews, artist biographies, glossaries and other resources. Genres featured include traditional and contemporary folk music, world fusion, global electronica, flamenco, tango, bluegrass, salsa, reggae and any other genre rooted in traditional music.
World Music Central’s 2017 panel includes Daryana Antipova, Tom Orr, Rafael Mieses, Madanmohan Rao, Dorothy Johnson-Laird and Angel Romero Ruiz.
Renowned world music presenter Robert Browning has announced the artists that are scheduled to perform in New York City during the winter/spring 2018 season.
The 2018 winter/spring program includes guitarist and vocalist extraordinaire Paolo Angeli, who mixes jazz and other genres with the music of his native Sardinia (Jan 26); masterful flamenco with guitar virtuoso José Antonio Rodríguez, who will be making his first New York appearance since 2010 (Mar 3); the fiery Gypsy flamenco vocalist Antonio Montoya presenting Versos olvidados (Forgotten Verses), a tribute to the women poets of the Generation of 1927 (Mar 16).
Also scheduled: ‘ud (lute) and violin virtuoso Simon Shaheen, Qantara, and the Qantara Berklee Ensemble performing a remarkable program of Arab film music (Mar 17); two celebrated artists, Cuban pianist Omar Sosa and Senegalese kora (harp-lute) player Seckou Keita, combining jazz, Latin and African influences (Mar 22).
The great multi-instrumentalist Omar Faruk Tekbilek, a brilliant interpreter of Sufi, folk and contemporary music of the Middle East (Apr 14); and the Fourth Annual A World in Trance Festival featuring the music of Afghanistan with Homayoun Sakhi, the outstanding Afghan rubab (lute) player of his generation (Apr 27); the music of India with Ustad Shahid Parvez, one of the world’s leading sitarists (Apr 28); and spiritual and mystical Persian classical music with virtuoso Hossein Omoumi, one of the leading Persian ney (flute) players (Apr 29).
Fri Jan 26, 8:30pm, Zankel Hall – Sardinia’s Paolo Angeli, vocals & guitar***
Sat Mar 3, 8:00pm, Roulette – Flamenco Festival: José Antonio Rodríguez, Flamenco Guitar Maestro**
Fri Mar 16, 8:00pm, Roulette – Flamenco Festival – Flamenco Eñe: Angelita Montoya, Versos Olvidados (Forgotten Verses): A Tribute to Women Poets**
Sat Mar 17, 8:00pm, Roulette – Musical Gems of the Arab Cinema: Simon Shaheen & Qantara with guest group Qantara Berklee Ensemble *
Sat Apr 14, 8:30pm, Zankel Hall- Sufi, Folk & Contemporary Music of Turkey & the Middle East: Omar Faruk Tekbilek***
Fri Apr 27-Sun Apr 29 Roulette – 4th Annual A World in Trance Festival
Fri Apr 27, 8:00pm, Roulette – A World in Trance – Afghanistan: Homayoun Sakhi*
Sat Apr 28, 8:00pm, Roulette – A World in Trance – India: Ustad Shahid Parvez*
Sun Apr 29, 7:00pm, Roulette – A World in Trance – Persia: Hossein Omoumi*
*Presented by Robert Browning Associates with Lotus Music & Dance
**Presented by Robert Browning Associates in partnership with Flamenco Festival
***Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Robert Browning Associates
Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita’s album Transparent Water (Ota Records, 2017) is the Transglobal World Music Chart’s number one album for March 2017.
Transparent Water elegantly combines world music and jazz. The album features Omar Sosa (Cuba) on piano and Seckou Keita (Senegal) on kora along with traditional Chinese flute player Wu Tong, Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles, and Japanese koto player Mieko Miyazaki.
Music fans should settle in and enjoy the sumptuous ride that is Transparent Water. Co-creator Omar Sosa, the Cuban-born composer, bandleader and pianist, has such recordings as Eggun – The Afri-Lectric Experience, Jog, Ile and Calma under his belt, while Seckou Keita, the Senegalese kora master, has released albums like 22 Strings/Cordes, Afro-Mandinka Soul with his own Seckou Keita Quartet and Clychau Dibon. Joining forces under the Ota Records label, Transparent Water, set for release on February 24th, pairs Mr. Sosa’s Afro-Cuban and jazz sensibilities with the lush African traditions of Mr. Keita’s long musical legacy of his griot family.
Transparent Water is where world music meets world jazz, where tradition meets improvisation and where the lines of spiritual and earthy meet. The result is stunningly evocative.
With Mr. Sosa on piano, Fender Rhodes, sampling, microKorg and vocals and Mr. Keita firmly enticing listeners with his kora mastery, as well as talking drum, djembe, sabar and vocals, listeners are treated to the interplay between these two musicians and composers. But as luck would have it, Mr. Sosa and Mr. Keita turn the music on its ears with the additions of Chinese musician Wu Tong on sheng and bawu; Japanese koto master Mieko Miyazaki; Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles on bata drums, culo’puya, maracas, guataca, calabaza and clave; Korean geojungo player E’Joung-Ju; and Rajasthani nagadi player Mosin Khan Kawa.
Cuban rhythms, African melodies and Asian influences pile up, separate and mesh together in an expansive musical tapestry where it’s impossible to pull at one musical thread and undo the lot.
Like water, Transparent Water flows easy from the jazzy opening track “Dary” into the delicately piano and kora interplay of “In the Forest.” Lush track flows into lush track with goodies like the sheng laced “Black Dream,” the catchy African influenced “Mining-Nah” with Mr. Keita’s vocals warming up the track and mysteriously moody “Another Prayer.”
Listeners can’t help but be charmed by tracks like sassy offering “Fatiliku,” the dreamy musical landscape of “Oni Yalorde” with Mr. Tong on the bawu or the piano lines of “Zululand.” Transparent Water is one of those recordings that requires listeners stop and really listen and it’s best if you just go with its flow.
Mr. Sosa, Mr. Keita and company have conjured up a truly brilliant collaboration on Transparent Water. Mesmerizing, evocative and sophisticated, Transparent Water begs for a listen.