Multi-instrumentalist, composer, vocalist, author and ethnomusicologist Ozan Aksoy was born in Turkey and currently lives in New York. As a young boy, growing up in Turkey, he first learned to play the saz (lute) from his father, and soon established an extraordinary scope as a multi-instrumentalist. He became proficient in many of the string, woodwind, and percussive instruments of the region, including saz, oud, ney, and various drums.
Ozan acquired a passion for the music of ethnic and religious minorities in his country including the Kurds, Armenians, Laz, and Alevi, among others.
Afterwards, in college, as an early member of the critically-acclaimed ensemble Kardeş Türküler (meaning Ballads of Solidarity), Ozan and his colleagues performed the songs of these unrecognized and suppressed peoples, pushing the boundaries of inclusion in Turkey.
During his time with Kardeş Türküler, the group released four albums and toured extensively throughout Europe, spreading their message of diversity and acceptance.
Ozan subsequently relocated to the United States to complete a doctorate in ethnomusicology and further develop his multicultural repertoire.
In 2018 he released his long-awaited first solo album, Ozan, with lyrics in Turkish, Kurdish, and Armenian. Ozan performed most of the instruments and vocals on the album himself, although Ozan also features collaborations with acclaimed musicians, including Jeremy Brown, Ani Kalayjian, Richard Miller, and Shyam Nepali among others.
Ozan Aksoy has performed with various ensembles, including Columbia Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, CUNY Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, Ozan Aksoy Trio, Nour and Kardeş Türküler.
With Kardeş Türküler:
Kardeş Türküler (Kalan Müzik, 1997) Doğu – The East (Kalan Müzik, 1999)
Roj û Heyv (Kalan Müzik, 2000) Hemâvâz (Kalan Müzik, 2002)
Arturo O’Farrill, born June 22, 1960 in Mexico City, is the son of renowned Cuban composer Chico O’Farrill (whose works have been recorded by Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton, Dizzy Gillespie, the Machito Orchestra, and Mario Bauza).
Arturo pursued studies at the Manhattan School of Music and the Brooklyn College Conservatory, and played in the award-winning jazz band at New York’s High School of Music and Art with future luminaries Marcus Miller and Omar Hakim. He then went on to develop as a solo performer and an ensemble member on recordings and performances with a spectrum of artists: Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Noel Pointer, Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band. In 1987 he became musical director for Harry Belafonte. He currently directs the Chico O’Farrill’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band.
Arturo O’Farrill leads the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. the ensemble exemplifies the best that Latin jazz culture offers: rich tradition through music and timeless appeal around the world. Latin jazz is a general term given to music that combines rhythms from African and Latin American countries with jazz harmonies from the United States. Afro-Cuban Latin jazz includes salsa, merengue, songo, son, mambo, bolero, charanga and cha cha cha. Originated in the 1940s, Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Kenton began to combine the rhythm section and structure of Afro-Cuban music. Latin jazz employs straight rhythm, not swung rhythm and the conga, timbale, guiro and claves are used in this unique music.
O’Farrill also directs the band that preserves much of his father’s music, the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. He has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Fort Apache Band, Carla Bley, Lester Bowie, Harry Belafonte, Freddy Cole and Wynton Marsalis. The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra became a resident orchestra at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2002 and has toured internationally, bringing the rhythms and heat of Latin jazz to places as far away as China. Performing the very best of traditional compositions in the canon of the Afro-Latin genre, the large ensemble commissions new work and leads education events when on the road and at Frederick P. Rose Hall. Ultimately, it seeks to provide an opportunity for a new generation of composers, arrangers and instrumentalists to further explore and define the music.
Carlos Santana was born on July 20, 1947 in Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico. His father, José, an accomplished mariachi violinist, introduced Carlos to ‘traditional music’ at the age of five. The family moved to the border boom town of Tijuana in 1955, where Carlos seriously took up guitar, studying and emulating the sounds of B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, T. Bone Walker and other blues greats he heard on the radio.
As much as he was inspired by the early training he received from his father in traditional musical form and theory, Carlos soon realized his dream was to break free and play rock and roll. He began performing with local bands like The T.J.s, adding his own personal flair to the popular songs of the 1950s.
As he continued playing with different bands up and down the bustling ‘Tijuana Strip,’ Carlos Santana began to hone his considerable skills and invent his inimitable sound. In 1961, he moved to San Francisco, in the United States, joining his family, who had relocated there the previous year.
Destiny had most certainly brought Carlos to the right place at the right time, planting him right in the middle of the burgeoning and hugely influential San Francisco Bay Area music scene. The Bay Area in the 1960s was a melting pot of cultural, political and artistic change. In this climate, Carlos continued to evolve his unique, genre-bending style, and in 1966, he took his music to the people with the debut performance of the Santana Blues Band.
For the next two years, the group was swept up in a whirlwind of acclaim and popularity that carried them from Bill Graham’s historic Fillmore West venue to the main stage at the Woodstock ‘Peace, Love, Music’ Festival. There, on August 16, 1969, the Santana band’s Latin-flavored rock was delivered to the masses.
The world embraced Carlos Santana with passion, captivated by music that was always changing, heralded by a guitar prowess that today remains among the most distinctive. Each new release – including several platinum and gold albums – emerged as a reflection of Carlos’s personal growth and artistic evolution.
Fans also reveled in his humanitarian messages and spiritual affirmations – subtle urgings towards peace, joy, acceptance, compassion and understanding – that have been consistently communicated in a gentle, heartfelt manner at live performances around the globe.
The Santana Band achieved double-platinum status their first time out with the 1969 Columbia debut album, Santana, featuring the hit single ‘Evil Ways,’ and quadruple-platinum with Abraxas, the classic 1970 follow-up which boasted among its tracks ‘Black Magic Woman’ and the incomparable Tito Puente composition “Oye Como Va.”
A period of experimentation with fusion jazz and non-Latin world sounds began with the supern Middle Eastern flavored fusion album Caravensarai in 1972. Santana also collaborated with John McLaughlin, leader of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, one of the top jazz-rock fusion bands at the time.
A musical family reunion took place in 1994 with the album Brothers, which featured collaborations with Carlos’s sibling Jorge and nephew Carlos Hernández.
In 1995, the comprehensive Legacy boxed-set retrospective came out. This was followed in 1997 by a 2-CD collection, Live At The Fillmore, featuring performances from Santana’s historic 1968 shows.
Significant filmed repertoire include the 1988 video retrospective Viva Santana, the 1993 South American concert video Sacred Fire, and 1997’s CD-ROM A History of Santana: The River Of Color And Sound. Fox Television aired the gala special A Supernatural Evening with Santana, a celebration of the record-setting album featuring performances with Rob Thomas, Lauryn Hill, Dave Matthews and Sara McLachlan, among others. This passion also paved the way for ventures into the new musical and geographic territories, including the scoring of the feature film La Bamba, participating in 1987’s Rock ‘n Roll Summit, the first-ever joint US-Soviet rock concert and embarking on a 1988 tour with great jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter.
Carlos Santana has also contributed his talents tot he benefit of numerous charitable causes, among them Blues for Salvador, San Francisco Earthquake Relief, Tijuana Orphans, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and education for Latin youth in association with the Hispanic Media &Education Group. He’s received numerous civic and humanitarian commendations over the years. In 1998, Carlos Santana and his wife Deborah started the Milagro Foundation.Its mission is to help underprivileged youths.
On Thursday, June 5, 2003, Carlos Santana pledged the profits of his 2003 Shaman tour to fight AIDS. The 23-show Shaman tour was estimated to bring in between 2.5 and 3 million dollars to the cause.
Supernatural Live – An Evening with Carlos Santana and Friends (2002)
Santana – Live by Request (Arista, 2005)
Jam with Carlos Santana with CD with CD (Audio). Publisher: Warner Brothers Publications (2000). ISBN: 1843285371
Santana Easy Guitar Anthology. Publisher: Alfred Publishing Company (2001). ISBN: 0757902200
In Session with Carlos Santana. Warner Bros Pubns; Book & CD edition (1999). ISBN: 1859096220
Carlos Santana: Back on Top by Marc Shapiro. Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (2002).ISBN: 0312288522
Soul Sacrifice by Simon Leng. Publisher: Firefly Publishing (2000). ISBN: 0946719292
Extra Golden is an international collaboration between Kenyan and American musicians. Americans Ian Eagleson and Alex Minoff were formerly of the band Golden; Kenyans are Otieno Jagwasi, Opiyo Bilongo and Onyango Wuod Omari joined in collaboration.
Since 2000, Otieno had been assisting Ian in documenting benga, a guitar-heavy kind of dance music (similar to Congolese rumba) that has been popular in Kenya since the 1960s. In 2004, Ian was in Kenya for a year-long visit to do research for his doctoral thesis on benga, and again was working closely with Otieno. This time, they had a portable laptop studio at their disposal, and did several recordings of Otieno’?s latest band, Orchestra Hit Sounds International, as well as many other groups that Otieno helped arrange. Alex and Ian had already planned on meeting up in Kenya to do some recordings, so this offered them a unique opportunity to explore some of the benga-inspired ideas that had been present in some of Golden’s music. In April of 2004, following a UK tour with his other group, Weird War, Alex visited Nairobi, and Extra Golden came to be.
The group’s future was uncertain after the unfortunate loss of singer/guitarist/co-founder Otieno Jagwasi in 2005. The release of the band’s debut, Ok-Oyot System, in 2006 seemed to be a posthumous affair, but an invitation to perform at the 2006 Chicago World Music Festival presented an intriguing opportunity for a US concert debut and a return to the studio. The group called on Opiyo Bilongo to fill the void, a singer/guitarist who has been a dangerous presence on the Kenyan Benga scene for over a decade. Guitarist Ian Eagleson had helped Bilongo record two albums with his group Bilongo Golden Stars back in 2004, sessions that are highlighted on Bilongo’s debut U.S. release, What Do People Want? released on Kanyo Records. Onyango Wuod Omari, whose singular drumming punctuated Ok-Oyot System, would also make the trip.
For several months and through almost interminable hassles, Eagleson and guitarist Alex Minoff worked feverishly with Onyango Jagwasi (brother of the late Otieno) to make Extra Golden’s concert debut a reality. After countless international phone calls, a great deal of hustling and some help from people in high places (the office of Illinois Senator Barack Obama helped the group clear their final visa hurdles), Opiyo Bilongo and Onyango Wuod Omari got their visas just a few hours before their scheduled departure. This would be the first journey outside of East Africa for both benga stars.
Six weeks of memorable performances followed at both rock venues and private Kenyan functions. Afterwards, Extra Golden retreated to an isolated location on Lake Wallenpaupack in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. As with Ok-Oyot System, the band recorded using their ?Nyathi Otenga Flying Studio,? but the session for Hera Ma Nono couldn?t have been more different. Instead of three hours in an open-air Nairobi nightclub, the group had five days in a private house. They had access to a variety of guitar amplifiers and effects, and perhaps the biggest difference was the drumkit. The set that Onyango used on Ok-Oyot System was, to be kind, broken. In Pennsylvania, he had a fully-functional kit with a large assortment of tom-toms. These new amenities helped to take the band?s sound in a new direction.
Hera Ma Nono is Luo for Love in Vain, is one theme that reverberates throughout the album. While on “I Miss You,” “Love Hijackers” and the title track, it refers to the love that exists between two people. This same theme applies in less traditional ways in other songs. “Jakolando” and “Brothers Gone Away” illustrate the cruelty of prematurely losing family members and friends. “Street Parade” praises the citizens and culture of New Orleans, who despite a passionate allegiance to their home are punished by its harsh ecology. In a more upbeat lyrical turn, “Obama” is in thanks to the senator and others who helped Extra Golden reunite to make this recording. Such songs of praise are benga custom, and in keeping with that custom. Obama’s wife and mother received thanks as well. Finally, “Night Runners” contemplates the jajuok, the creepy, nocturnal creatures of Luo folklore.
Through it all, Hera Ma Nono shows that, while the defining element of Extra Golden may be its cross-cultural cooperation, styles of rock and benga are not quite as disparate as some may believe. Both arose from people cranking up electric guitars and singing melodic songs over propulsive rhythms in an attempt to entertain an audience. Though they may have to cross seas and petition governments just to play a few shows, the members of Extra Golden go about their work with a few simple goals in mind – to write songs that tell stories of life, love and loss; to praise people and places that are dear to their hearts; and, most of all, to create a sound that people of different backgrounds and generations can enjoy.
A masterful guitarist, Randal first garnered international attention on Green Linnet’s landmark recording with Irish fiddle phenomenon Martin Hayes. Rooted in both Irish and jazz traditions, as fiddler Randal is blessed with a wonderfully light touch on the bow and a rhythm and lift that bounces the tunes along without ever feeling hurried. He frequently appears with Dáithí Sproule, guitarist of the Irish supergroup Altan.
Celtic Music Of The Northwest (1982)
The Rashers (1988)
Pigtown Fling, with Joel Bernstein (Foxglove Records, 1996)
Out Of The Woods (Foxglove Records, 1997) The Salmon’s Leap (Foxglove Records, 2000)
House To House, with Roger Landes (Foxglove Records, 2004)
Overland, with Dáithí Sproule (Foxglove Records, 2004)
Katy Bar The Door (Foxglove Records, 2006)
Fingal, with Dáithí Sproule and James Keane (New Folk Records, 2008)
Dig With It, with Dave Marshall (Foxglove Records, 2009) Oyster Light (Foxglove Records) The Quiet Pint (Foxglove Records, 2014)
A Rake Of Tunes (Foxglove Records, 2014)
The Irish “supergroup” Patrick Street began with four recognized masters – Kevin Burke (ex-Bothy Band), singer/bouzouki player Andy Irvine (ex-Planxty), Jackie Daly (ex-De Dannan), and multi-instrumentalist Ged Foley (formerly of the Battlefield Band, and now in The House Band)-joining forces for a tour in 1986. Over a decade later, the group reached “legendary” status.
Fiddler Kevin Burke was born in London, England to Irish parents who came originally from Sligo, an area renowned for its traditional music, particularly that of the fiddle. As a teenager he played in music clubs throughout England and Ireland, but in 1972 a chance meeting with Arlo Guthrie brought him to the USA to play on Arlo’s album, Last Of The Brooklyn Cowboys (he would eventually make the country his home).
At Christy Moore’s beckoning, Kevin moved for a period to Ireland to join what would become one of the most influential Irish groups of the 1970s, The Bothy Band. After the band’s breakup, he recorded two classic duo albums and toured with Bothy Band guitarist Míchéal O’Domhnaill. He has also made his presence felt as a member of both The Celtic Fiddle Festival (with Johnny Cunningham) and the leader of the Irish-American outfit Open House.
As a founder of Patrick Street, Kevin gave the band’s sound and repertoire a highly ornamented Sligo fiddle style that is both “in the tradition” and full of multi-cultural surprises. “My style is a definite composite,” he said. “The old Sligo players provided the building blocks but I’ve borrowed bits and pieces from all sorts of musicians along the way.”
Andy Irvine (vocals/bouzouki/mandolin) is one of the great balladeers of Irish music. His voice is one of a handful of truly great ones that gets to the very soul of Ireland. He was a member of two other groundbreaking groups, Sweeney’s Men (with Johnny Moynihan) and Planxty (with Christy Moore) and has worked closely with Paul Brady. Album collaborations include work with De Danann, Maddy Prior, June Tabor and Dick Gaughan.
If his voice explores an aching Irish romanticism, his remarkable bouzouki playing has brought a Balkan edge to his musical collaborations. Andy was one of the first to bring bouzouki and Bulgarian music to the Irish tradition. His collaborative album East Wind with Riverdance composer Bill Whelan featured Hungarian singer Marta Sebestyen.
Accordionist Jackie Daly comes from North Cork and plays in the style of Sliabh Luachra, the area bordering Kerry and North Cork and encompassing such towns as Castleisland and Jackie’s home, Kanturk. Sliabh Luachra is a regional style known for its lively slides and lovely, spirited polkas (of which Jackie is a master). He was a member of the famous Irish group De Dannan and has toured or recorded with the likes of Dolores Keane, Buttons And Bows, Kevin Burke (as a duo), John Faulkner and Seamus Creagh.
Ged Foley (guitar/fiddle) was born in County Durham in the North East of England. Ged (pronounced “Jed”) was a one-time member of Scotland’s The Battlefield Band and is a founding member of The House Band. For a time, he worked in a duo with the excellent English singer/songwriter Jez Lowe. He replaced original Patrick Street member Arty McGlynn in 1996. Ged is a superb guitarist, a singer of distinction with a dry, spare, unornamented style (once heard never forgotten) and a player of both the fiddle and the Northumbrian smallpipes. He currently lives in the USA.
In 2007, multi-instrumentalist John Carty joined Patrick Street. That same year, Jackie Daly left the band. Ged Foley left Patrick Street in 2009, and was replaced on a temporary basis by guitarist Arty McGlynn.
A member of the American Psychological Association, Naser Khorasani (daf) is a Psychologist specializing in music therapy and meditation.
He was born in Tabriz, Iran in 1971. He is a highly respected master of Persian Classical Music Theory and Practice, and especially of the daf, which is the musical instrument most used in Persian spiritual practices, as well as the tanboor.
Born in Iran, Mamak Khadem was part of the Children’s Choir for National Radio and Television, and immigrated to the U. S. as a teenager in 1976. After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, her passion for singing and learning traditional Persian vocal styles grew.
“When I think of my childhood, my memories are inseparable from the melodies that touched my soul when I was growing up. It was through establishing this personal relationship with music as well as my training at the children’s choir for National Radio and Television of Iran that my musical education began. But it was not until the late 1970s and after the revolution that I truly became inspired to learn Persian traditional vocals.” Thus Mamak Khadem sums up her musical background.
She was inspired by works of master musicians in the 1980s and regularly traveled back to Iran to study with prominent vocalists and musicians. She also studied classical Indian singing at Ali Akbar Khan College of Music in northern California and Eastern European singing with the Los Angeles-based women’s choir Nevenka.
In 1992, Mamak joined Axiom of Choice, and over the next ten years created three albums with the group. Khadem embarked on a solo career and in 2007 released a new solo recording, Jostojoo (Forever Seeking). Inspired by her travels throughout the Middle East, Khadem adapts Persian poetry to rearranged traditional melodies from various regions of Iran, Baluchistan, Armenia, Turkey, Greece and Kurdistan.
Mayookh Bhaumik was born on November 14, 1977 in New Jersey. He began performing on television, radio and various stages from the age of five. He was acknowledged as a child prodigy by Ali Akbar Khan in 1981 at the age of four. At seven, he won the “Ny State Under 18 Science Award” for creating an original string instrument.
Mayookh returned to India to train under Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh and later from Ustad Sabir Khan of the Farukhabad Gharana. He also studies with Kathak legend, Padmabhushan Pandit Birju Maharaj. He is presently under the able tutelage of Pandit Kumar Bose of the Benares Gharana.
Mayookh entered the music industry very early and was a recording studio musician at the age of twelve. He has played with various artistes of global repute includingUstad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit V. G. Jog, Pandit Monilal Nag, Pandit Ramesh Misra, Tarun Bhattacharya, Niladri Kumar, Prattyush Banerjee, Arnab Chakraborty, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Ustad Farukh Fateh Ali Khan, Snehashish Mozumder, Jean Michel Pilc, and Ustad Sabir Khan.
He is featured on over fifteen released and internationally marketed albums including his solo album “The Beginning” on Gathani Records and also with Pandit V.G. Jog, Smt. Purnima Chaudhari, Ustad Sabir Khan, Pandit Ramesh Misra. Mayookh has worked on film music in India and the United States as a composer and recording artist.
On My Tab (2014)
Requiem for a Tillana (2014) FZCK (Take one) (2015)
Teri Soorat- Aziz Miyaan Homage, with Kinan Azmeh (2017)
Ambi Subramaniam was born August 5, 1991 in Los Angeles, California, the son of violin maestro L. Subramaniam.
Ambi gave his first performance at the age of seven and has already performed in India and abroad. He was part of a special performance at the Gateway of India in 2003, featuring the violin greats L. Subramaniam and Jean Luc Ponty.
Ambi plays Western and Karnatic violin with equal ease. Ambi accompanies his father for Karnatic concerts including a concert at the prestigious Dussehra Festival at the Mysore Palace and during the Centenary Celebration of the Banglaore Gayana Samaj.
Violin Virtuoso (Navras, 2008)
Live at Neues Gewandhaus Germany (2009)
Violin Maestros (2009)
Visions of India (2010)
Violins for Peace (2010)
Global Symphony (2011)
Aadi Ganesh (2012) Indian Violin (Viji Records, 2012)
Global Traditions (2013)
SaPa Baby Vol. I, II, III (2014) Just Playing (Viji Records, 2016) Live at Krishna Gana Sabha (Viji Records, 2017)
You Were There, with SubraMania (2017) Bhajans for Kids (Viji Records, , 2017)
– featured soloist
Your Connection to traditional and contemporary World Music including folk, roots and various types of global fusion