Tag Archives: United States of America

Artist Profiles: Beth Nielsen Chapman

Beth Nielsen Chapman

Beth Nielsen Chapman was born on September 14, 1958 in Harlingen, Texas (USA). Her musical eclecticism found its roots in her childhood. The middle child of five in an Air Force family, she moved six times before she reached adolescence. At that time, she started playing guitar and piano and writing songs.

During her developmental years, Chapman was attracted by the compositional richness of greats like Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter, and George and Ira Gershwin. She memorized songs from Broadway musicals as well as soaking up the sounds of everything from Stevie Wonder, Sting and Joni Mitchell to Ella, Paul Simon and The Beatles and honed her skills as a performer in small clubs throughout Alabama and the South.

Beth Nielsen Chapman has become one of the leading singer-songwriters of her generation. Her music shows up regularly not only at the top of the charts, but on television (ER, Dawson’s Creek, Providence, Felicity) and in movie soundtracks, including The Prince of Egypt, Message In A Bottle, The Rookie, Where The Heart Is and Practical Magic.

Among her biggest successes as a writer is This Kiss, a huge international hit for Faith Hill and ASCAP’S 1999 Song Of The Year. The song was co-written by Beth with Annie Roboff and Robin Lerner. That same year Beth was chosen as Nashville NAMMY’S Songwriter of the Year and was inducted into The Alabama Music Hall Of Fame.

Beth’s songs have been covered by a wide selection of artists including Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Neil Diamond, Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Ute Lempter and many more.

As an artist, Beth has released several albums, four of which were on Warner Brothers Records including her groundbreaking Sand and Water album, written and recorded following the death of her husband from cancer in 1994. This record is often used as a tool for healing through grief. As Beth toured during the release of Sand & Water she often taught workshops on creativity and working through grief.

Just as she was putting the finishing touches on her subsequent release Deeper Still (to which John Prine, Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt, Kimmie Rhodes and Andy Bey all contributed background vocals) Beth was diagnosed with stage-two breast cancer. Successfully treated over the next twelve months, she went on to release the record and made it a point to speak about her experience and encourage women to be vigilant in caring for their health. Deeper Still was Beth’s first release for Sanctuary Records.

 

Beth Nielsen Chapman

 

Look, her second release for Sanctuary in 2004, marked a new turning point in a life touched by both great happiness and great sorrow, and just as sadness and love shape a soul as surely as sand and water shape the earth, we see this artist’s heart emerge strong, happy and still tender.

In 2005 Beth released Hymns, a fascinating side-project of a cappella hymns sung in Latin, produced by Beth and featuring beautiful harmonies, with her son Ernest singing the tenor parts and her father doing some of the bass parts.

Hymns is an important milestone in the journey of Beth as an artist. A project which has been her intention to complete for many years is finally going out into the world. Here is what Beth has to say about this amazing collection of songs:

I was raised in a Catholic family and the beautiful melodies on Hymns, sung mostly in Latin, were the ‘hit parade’ for all of us born before Vatican II. I came to record this CD while I was in the midst of recording a different CD of World Hymns, each in a different language and from a different religion. During that process, I was having trouble making up my mind which Latin hymn I would choose to include.

When I searched for a collection of my favorite Latin hymns I couldn’t find one anywhere. That’s when I decided it might be a good idea to go deep into the roots of my own spiritual beginnings as part of the journey of recording all these other hymns from around the world. This detour has taken me the better part of a year, and has made my Mama very happy! Here, in these songs, are the roots of my spiritual journey. They center me, even while I have come to believe that faith is something beyond the boundaries of any one religion.

My belief has always been that God is light, and humanity, like a diamond. Imagine each spiritual perspective, or path of faith, as an angle cut into that diamond. The light shines through and reflects off of all these angles in so many directions. If you were standing on one face of the diamond, it might seem as if the light is only shining on you. But I’ve always believed that God shines through all of humanity, and just as the sun breaks up and flies in every direction when it’s light hits a diamond, every voice of praise, in every spiritual language comes from and goes back to the same source of light.

The stories and teachings of my childhood have certainly shaped my way of feeling connected to this light. But I feel that someone of the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, or any other faith, has just as much a right to define and to celebrate, from each of their perspectives, the beauty and sureness of the love of God.

I have for a long time wanted to use my voice like a thread winding through all these languages and melodies. Some of these melodies are very old, some new with ancient text. I’ve tried to be conscious of choosing lyrics that speak of devotion and faith whose meanings do not seek to separate or condemn any other voice of devotion. World Hymns will be completed early in 25. Meanwhile I’m enclosing Hymns, a collection of the old favorites I grew up listening to, along with my deep wish for peace.

Drawing influences from the fields of folk, country, pop and jazz, her songs address such timeless themes as loss, renewal, mortality, spirituality and grace under pressure.

 

 

Back To Love, released in 2010, generated two hits on BBC Radio 2, and in 2012 Beth released, The Mighty Sky, a collection of songs about the marvels of astronomy.

 

In 2014 she released Uncovered, a set of songs that have been covered by other artists, but she had never recorded herself. Many were Top 10 hits, seven of which topped the charts at #1. Uncovered was recorded in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and her own “Tree House” studio in Nashville. It features well-known American and Scottish musicians.

Discography:

Beth Nielsen Chapman (Warner Brothers Records, 199)

You Hold the Key (Warner Brothers Records, 1993)

Sand and Water (Warner Brothers Records, 1994)

Beth Nielsen Chapman – Greatest Hits (Warner Brothers Records, 1999)

Deeper Still (Sanctuary Records, 2002)

Look (Sanctuary Records, 2oo4)

Hymns (Sanctuary Records, 2005)

Prism (BNC Records, 2008)

Back to Love (BNC Records, 2010)

The Mighty Sky (BNC Records, 2012)

Uncovered (2014)

Liv On (2016)

website: bethnielsenchapman.com

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Artist Profiles: Toubab Krewe

Toubab Krewe

Toubab Krewe is an instrumental quintet based in Asheville, North Carolina, that fuses West African music with American rock. The five members, who are childhood friends and long-term musical collaborators who joined up in 2005, have spent extended periods studying with musical masters in Mali, Ivory Coast, and Guinea and learning traditional instruments such as the kora (a 21-string harp) and the kamel ngoni (a lute).

Their recording ‘Live At The Orange Peel’ (2008) features eight previously unreleased tracks and continue to mix American rock with the West African musical traditions the band fell in love with on their travels. Along the way, they explore the worlds of surf and zydeco. Live At The Orange Peel features collaborations with legendary spoken word artist Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets and fiddler Rayna Gellert of Uncle Earl. It was produced by Grammy winning producer Steven Heller, who also produced the band’s debut.

With many friends, teachers, and collaborators living in Mali and affected by the 2012 Malian crisis, the band felt called to do something to help. Inspired by the encouragement of Toumani Diabate, Toubab Krewe’s Luke Quaranta envisioned and launched “Musicians for Mali,” an initiative to increase awareness about the current crisis in Mali, and raise money for refugees.

Teal Brown – drum set
Drew Heller – electric guitar and soku
Justin Perkins – kora, kamelengoni, and electric guitar
David Pransky – electric bass guitar
Luke Quaranta – percussion

Discography

* Toubab Krewe (Upstream Records, 2005)
* Live At The Orange Peel (Upstream Records, 2009)
* TK2 (Nat Geo Music, 2011)

Web sites: www.toubabkrewe.com

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Artist Profiles: Tito Puente

Tito Puente

Tito Puente was born Ernest Anthony Puente, Jr. on April 20, 1923 in New York City. His parents had just arrived from their native Puerto Rico and young Tito was nurtured in East Harlem’s “El Barrio” neighborhood that served as a cultural crossroads for Hispanic youth.

Surrounded by the urban sophistication of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, Puente and his friends were none-the-less strongly influenced by an island culture that maintained its love of tropical music and the mother tongue.

Puente’s father, Ernest Sr., was a foreman in a razor blade factory. His mother called her son “Ernestito”, Little Ernest, then shortened the name to Tito. “Ernestito” grew up with one ear tuned to boleros and rumbas while the other one strained to hear the great swing bands of the day and an emerging jazz tradition.

Puente’s mother noticed his musical talent and enrolled him in a piano class at 7. He studied drums for years before switching to timbales. His musical education began with twenty five cent piano lessons, followed by a study of the drum set.

Singing with a local barbershop quartet followed, as did dancing lessons. With his younger sister Anna, Puente performed in a child song and dance team in the early 1930’s. “I pride myself on being one of the few band leaders who really knows how to dance,” he said. The background in dance cemented his sense of rhythm. It also encouraged the development of the extroverted personality and flamboyant stage presence, for which he would soon be known, traits that helped lift him from the ranks of sidemen to star status by the late 1940s.

It was clear from an early age that percussion would become Puente’s dominant form of musical communication. He learned the basics from the Afro-Cuban drummer of a band called Los Happy Boys. His first big break came when the United States of America entered World War II and the regular drummer of Machito’s famous big band was drafted into military service, allowing Puente to take his place.

Tito’s skill and technical competency paid off right away. For perhaps the first time in Latin music history, the timbales were brought to the front of the bandstand, and Puente played the drums standing, not seated, as it had been the custom. That simple change of routine liberated the rhythm section and opened the door for the flashy style of performance that in time would become the norm.

Puente spent three years in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He returned to Manhattan (New York City) and studied conducting, orchestration and theory at the famous Julliard School of Music from 1945 to 1947 thanks to the G.I. Bill (a bill that provided college or vocational education for returning World War II veterans, who were referred to as GIs).

Prolific as he was famous, Tito Puente’s hit records and compositions became classic gems to Latin music aficionados. ‘Oye Como Va’ and ‘Para Los Rumberos’ have been recorded by the rock music legend, Carlos Santana. His albums Top Percussion, Dance Mania, Puente in Percussion, Cuban Carnival, El Rey and El Número Cien are essentials on any collectors list.

Throughout his illustrious career Tito Puente was awarded 5 Grammies as well as 8 nominations. In addition, Puente received a Presidential Commendation for his tour of duty in World War II, the Eubie Blake Award from the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, the ASCAP Founders Award and the Washington D.C.’s Hispanic Heritage Committee Award for the Arts.

Puente had the honor of performing for 4 Presidents of the United States and countless foreign heads of state. In July 1996, Tito performed before the largest gathering in history of the International Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.

Puente has a “Star” on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and four honorary doctorate degrees, one from each of the following: State University of New York at Old Westbury, Long Island University, Bloomfield College in New Jersey and Hunter College in New York City. The Caribbean division of the United States Postal Service put out a cancellation stamp in honor of Puente in response to requests made by the Unión De Músicos De Puerto Rico.

The Smithsonian National Museum presented Tito Puente with the Medal of Honor and their Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony entitled “Oye Como Va” on October 9, 1996. During this ceremony, Tito donated the timbal he used at the 1996 Olympic Summer Games in Atlanta to the museum. His instrument is displayed with their collection of Cultural History.

On September 29, 1997, Puente was awarded the Medal of the Arts by the National Endowment For The Arts of the United States of America. This ceremony took place at the White House where President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton presented this prestigious award to the “King of Latin Music.” Jane Alexander, Chairperson of the National Endowment For The Arts, said: “The individuals we honor today, have enlightened us with their vision. They have uplifted us with their art, music, dance, and theater, and strengthened America with their extraordinary contributions to our culture.”

On November 20, 1997 Tito Puente was inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame. Among the elite inducted during the ceremony were: Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, and Anita O’Day.

To the general public, Tito Puente was well known for his various television and motion picture appearances. He was featured on television programs like: The Bill Cosby Show, The Simpsons, The Late Show with David Letterman, New York Undercover and Sesame Street. He also appeared in the feature film based on the award winning novel by Oscar Hijuelos, “The Mambo Kings” and in Woody Allen’s “Radio Days.”

After reaching his 50 year career milestone, which was rewarded with proclamations from New York Governor George Pataki, Mayor Rudolph Giulianni and Borough President Ruth Messinger, and achieving an endless list of recognitions and awards, Tito Puente showed no signs of creative fatigue.

Puente’s last concert appearance was in Puerto Rico, on April 29, 2000, completing the last of his series of performances with Puerto Rico’s Orquesta Sinfónica. After finishing that show, he was rushed to a nearby hospital due to breathing problems. Puente left the hospital and returned to New York to continue his treatment. He died May 31st, 2000.

Discography:

* Abaniquito (1949)
* El Timbral (1949)
* The Best of Tito Puente: El Rey del Timbal! (1949)
* Babarabatiri (1951)
* Mamborama! (Tico LP-1001, 1955)
* Goza Mi Cha Cha Cha (1955)
* Dance the Cha Cha Cha (1955)
* Cuban Carnival (1955)
* Cha Cha Cha, Vol. 3 (1955)
* Puente in Percussion (1956)
* Puente Goes Jazz (1956)
* Top Percussion (RCA Victor LSP-1617, 1957)
* Night Beat (1957)
* with Puente (1957)
* Basic Cha Cha Cha (1957)
* Tito Puente Swings/Vicentico Valdes Sings (1958)
* Puente’s Beat/Herman’s Heat (1958)
* New Cha Cha/Mambo Herd (1958)
* Dance Mania, Vol. 1 (RCA, 1958)
* Cha Cha Cha at the El Morocco (Tico, 1958)
* Puente in Love (1959)
* Mucho Cha Cha (RCA Victor LSP-2113, 1959)
* Mambo with Me (Tico LP-1003, 1959)
* Dancing Under Latin Skies (RCA Victor LSP-1874, 1959)
* Tambo (1960)
* Revolving Bandstand (1960)
* The Exciting Tito Puente Band in Hollywood(1961)
* Pachanga con Puente (1961)
* Dance Mania, Vol. 2 (1961)
* Vaya Puente (1962)
* Tito Puente y Parece Bobo (1963)
* Tito Puente Bailables (1963)
* More Dance Mania (1963)
* In Puerto Rico (1963)
* Excitante Ritmos (1963)
* El Rey Bravo (1963)
* Mucho Puente (RCA Victor LSP-1479, 1964)
* Latin World of Tito Puente (1964)
* El Mundo Latino de Tito Puente (1964)
* De Mi Para Ti (1964)
* Tú Y Yo (1965)
* Tito Puente Swings/The Exciting Lupe Sings (1965)
* The Best of Tito Puente (RCA, 1965)
* Homenaje a Rafael Hernandez (1965)
* My Fair Lady Goes Latin (Roulette 25726 , 1965)
* Combinacion Perfecta (1966)
* Carnaval en Harlem (1966)
* Cuba y Puerto Rico Son (1966)
* What Now My Love (1967)
* El Rey y Yo (1967)
* 20th Anniversary (1967)
* The King (El Rey) (1968)
* Etc, Etc, Etc (1969)
* Tito Swings, The Exciting Lupe Sings (Tico, 1969)
* Tito Puente en el Puente (On the Bridge) (1969)
* Ti Mon Bo (1969)
* Quimbo Quimbumbia (1969)
* Mambos by Tito (Palladium PLP 121, 1969)
* Lo Mejor de Tito Puente (1969)
* Bossa Nova (Roulette 25193, 1969)
* Pa’lante! (1970)
* Presenta a Noraida (1971)
* En España (1971)
* Tito Puente and His Concert Orchestra (1972)
* Algo Especial Para Recordar (1972)
* Para Los Rumberos (1972)
* Grandes Exitos de Tito Puente (1975)
* Los Originales (1976)
* La Pareja (1978)
* Homenaje a Beny Moré (1978)
* The Legend (Tico, 1978)
* Homenaje a Beny, Vol. 2 (1979)
* Ce’ Magnifique (1981)
* The Concord Jazz Heritage Series (1982)
* Oye Como Va: The Dance Collection (1982)
* On Broadway (Concord Picante, 1982)
* Puente Now! The Exciting Tito Puente Band (1984)
* El Rey (1984)
* Mambo Diablo (1985)
* Hits Candentes (1985)
* Un Poco Loco (Concord Picante, 1987)
* Sensacion (1987)
* Salsa Meets Jazz (Concord Picante, 1988)
* Goza Mi Timbal (Jazzyvisions, 1989)
* Out of This World (1990)
* The Mambo King: His 100th Album (1991)
* Mambo of the Times (1991)
* The Best of Tito Puente, Vol. 1 (1992)
* No Hay Mejor (1992)
* Lo Mejor de 12 Exitos (1992)
* Live at the Village Gate (1992)
* Dance Mania 80’s (1992)
* Cuando Suenan Los Tambores (1992)
* Royal ‘T’ (1993)
* Nuevo Mambo (1993)
* Night Beat/Mucho Puente Plus (1993)
* More Spanish Songs That Mama Never Taught Me… (1993)
* Master Timbalero (1993)
* Mambo Gozon (1993)
* Blue Gardenia (1993)
* Top Percussion/Dance Mania (1994)
* Tito Puente’s Golden Latin Jazz All Stars (1994)
* Barbarabatiri (1994)
* The Best of Dance Mania (1994)
* Mambo Y Cha Cha Cha (1994)
* Mambo Beat: The Progressive Side of Tito… (1994)
* Cubarama (1994)
* 3 Grandes Orquestas E Interpretes de La… (1994)
* Yambeque: The Progressive Side of Tito Puente (1995)
* Tito’s Idea (1995)
* The Complete RCA Victor Revolving Bandstand… (1995)
* Tea for Two (1995)
* More Mambos on Broadway (1995)
* Mambos with Puente (1949-51) (1995)
* Mambo Mococo (1949-51) (1995)
* Jazzin (1995)
* Fiesta Con Puente (1995)
* Fania Legends of Salsa Collection, Vol. 3 (1995)
* 20 Mambos/Take Five (1995)
* The Very Best of Tito Puente & Vincentico.. (1996)
* Special Delivery (1996)
* El Rey del Timbal (1996)
* El Rey de la Salsa (1996)
* Cha Cha Chá: Live at Grossinger’s (RCA Victor LSP-2187, 1996)
* Jazz Latino, Vol. 4 (1997)
* Greatest Hits (1997)
* Percussion’s King (1997)
* Selection of Mambo & Cha Cha Cha (1997)
* 50 Years of Swing (1997)
* Tito Meets Machito: Mambo Kings (1997)
* Cha Cha Cha Rumba Beguine (1998)
* Dance Mania ’98: Live at Birdland (1998)
* The Very Best of Tito Puente (1998)
* Timbalero Tropical (1998)
* Yambeque (1998)
* Absolute Best (1999)
* Carnival (1999)
* Colección original (1999)
* Golden Latin Jazz All Stars: In Session (1999)
* Latin Flight (1999)
* Latin Kings (1999)
* Lo mejor de lo mejor (1999)
* Mambo Birdland (RMM, 1999)
* Rey (2000)
* His Vibes & Orchestra (2000)
* Cha Cha Cha for Lovers (2000)
* Homenaje a Beny Moré. Vol. 3 (2000)
* Dos ídolos. Su música (2000)
* Tito Puente y su Orquesta Mambo (2000)
* The Complete RCA Recordings. Vol. 1 (2000)
* The Best of the Concord Years (2000)
* Por fin (Finally) (2000)
* Party with Puente! (2000)
* Obra maestra (2000)
* Mambo Mambo (2000)
* Mambo King Meets the Queen of Salsa (2000)
* Latin Abstract (2000)
* Kings of Mambo (2000)
* Cha Cha Cha for Lovers (2000)
* The Legends Collection: Tito Puente & Celia Cruz (2001)
* The Complete RCA Recordings, Vol. 2 (2001)
* RCA Recordings (2001)
* Puente caliente (2001)
* The Best of the Concord Years, double CD (Concord Picante 4391, 2001)
* King of Mambo (2001)
* El Rey: Pa’lante! Straight! (2001)
* Cocktail Hour (2001)
* Selection. King of Mambo (2001)
* Herman Meets Puente (2001)
* Undisputed (2001)
* Fiesta (2002)
* Colección Diamante (2002)
* Tito Puente y Celia Cruz (2002)
* Live at the Playboy Jazz Festival (2002)
* King of Kings: The Very Best of Tito Puente (2002)
* Hot Timbales! (2002)
* Dr. Feelgood (2002)
* Carnaval de éxitos (2002)
* Caravan Mambo (2002)
* Tito’s Idea (Verve, 2005)
* We Love Salsa (2006)

Bibliography

* Tito Puente: When the Drums Are Dreaming
* Tito Puente’s Drumming With the Mambo King
* Tito Puente – King of Latin Music
* Tito Puente and the Making of Latin Music
* Recordando a Tito Puente

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Bluesmen Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ Announce New Album and Tour

Celebrated blues musicians Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ have announced an extraordinary, full-band tour in support of their first album as a duo, ‘TajMo’ (Concord).

‘TajMo’ is a historic collaboration between two generations of blues masters, joining their remarkable talents for the first time ever on an album of original songs and covers, featuring guest appearances from Bonnie Raitt, Joe Walsh, Sheila E. and Lizz Wright. The album was self-produced by the duo.

TajMo Tour Dates

May 30 – Fort Collins, CO – Lincoln Theater
Jun 1 – Denver, CO – Denver Botanic Gardens
Jun 2 – Boulder, CO – Chautauqua Auditorium
Jun 4 – Salt Lake City, UT – Red Butte Gardens
Jun 6 – Tucson, AZ – Fox Theatre
Jun 7 – Scottsdale, AZ – Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Jun 10 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl (Playboy Jazz Festival)
Jun 13 – Modesto, CA – Gallo Center for the Arts
Jun 15 – Napa, CA – Uptown Theater
Jun 16 – Saratoga, CA – Mountain Winery
Jun 18 – Seattle, WA – Benaroya Hal
Jun 20 – Sunriver, OR – John Gray Amphitheater
Jun 22 – Chico, CA – Laxson Auditorium
Jun 23 – Berkeley, CA – The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall
Jun 24 – Tahoe, NV – Montbleu Casino Resor
Aug 9 – Washington D.C. – Lincoln Theatre
Aug 10 – Wilkes-Barre, PA – The F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts
Aug 16 – Portsmouth, NH – Prescott Park
Aug 17 – Albany, NY – The Egg
Aug 18 – Hyannis, MA – Cape Cod Melody Tent
Aug 19 – Cohasset, MA – South Shore Music Circus
Sept 6 – Minneapolis, MN – Hennepin Theatre Trust
Sept 7 – Skokie, IL – North Shore Performing Arts Center
Sept 9 – Kettering, OH – Fraze Pavillion
Sept 10 – Ann Arbor, MI – Michigan Theater
Sept 12 – Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theater
Sept 14 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater
Sept 17 – Santa Fe, NM – Santa Fe Opera House
Sept 20 – Dallas, TX – Strauss Square – AT&T Performing Arts Center
Sept 22 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater
Sept 23 – Houston, TX – House Of Blues
Sept 24 – New Orleans, LA – Orpheum Theater
Sept 29 – La Grange, GA – Sweetland Amphitheater
Oct 1 – Charleston, SC – Gaillard Center
Oct 3 – Wilmington, NC – Cape Fear Stage
Oct 4 – Durham, NC – Durham Performing Arts Center
Oct 6 – Boone, NC – Schaefer Center
Oct 7 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
Oct 21 – 28 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise

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Virtuosic Jazz Explorations of Afro-Latin and World Music

Duende Libre – Duende Libre (2017)

Duende is the self-titled debut album by a Latin jazz trio featuring three talented Seattle-based musicians. The project is led by keyboardist, composer and producer Alex Chadsey, who has a background in jazz and classical music, and salsa bands as well. Chadsey connected with Uzbek bassist Farko Dosumov and percussionist Jeff “Bongo” Busch.

The three musicians share a passion for Afro-Caribbean music and this shows in the band’s music that is a well-crafted combination of contemporary jazz and Latin American traditions. In addition to the Caribbean influences, the album also shows Brazilian rhythms and funk.

Duende Libre goes beyond the Americas too. Salif is a tribute to Malian world music star Salif Keita, which is a new direction for Chadsey that he’d like to explore further.

On Duende Libre, Alex Chadsey, Farko Dosumov and Jeff “Bongo” Busch deliver a richly textured set of Latin and African grooves and melodies under a jazz perspective.

Buy the digital download version of Duende Libre.

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Artist Profiles: String Sisters

String Sisters

The String Sisters is a collaboration of the Celtic and Nordic music world’s top female fiddlers: Annbjørg Lien from Norway; Catriona Macdonald from Shetland; Liz Carroll and Liz Knowles from the United States of America; Mairead ni Mhaonaigh (Altan) from Ireland; and Emma Härdelin from Sweden.

The String Sisters began at Celtic Connections in January of 2001, when Catriona Macdonald saw one of her dreams become a reality by assembling some of the world’s top leading female fiddlers. Colin Hynd at Celtic Connections grabbed the chance to premiere the event at his festival, and the experience was nothing short of earth shattering for all who participated. The Glasgow concert was a great success and the project was rebooked for the following year. However, despite the repeated success, the Sisters were not since been able to reunite prior to undertaking a grand tour of Norway in 2005.

During the winter of 2005, the sisters went on tour in Norway, in cooperation with the Norwegian National Concerts, and Grappa Music Group. The tour was Annbjørg Lien’s initiative.

A live album and DVD recorded in Norway, titled Live, was released in 2007. The String Sisters were joined by David Milligan on piano, Conrad Ivitsky on double bass, Tore Bruvoll on guitar, and James Mackintosh on drums and percussion.

Discography

Live (2007)

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Artist Profiles: Shemekia Copeland

Shemekia Copeland – Photo by Carol Friedman

Charon Shemekia Copeland was born April 10, 1979 in Harlem, New York City. She is the daughter of famed blues guitarist and vocalist Johnny Copeland

At only 19, Shemekia Copeland released her debut recording, Turn the Heat Up! (1998). A year later, she appeared in the movie Three To Tango, while her song “I Always Get My Man, was featured in the film Broken Hearts Club.

Her second album, Wicked, released in 2000, received three Handy Awards (Song of the Year, Blues Album of the Year, Contemporary Female Artist of the Year) and a GRAMMY nomination. Two years later, New Orleans R&B legend Dr. John stepped in to produce her third recording, Talking To Strangers (2002). Afterwards, Copeland released The Soul Truth in 2005. The album was produced by celebrated Stax guitarist Steve Cropper (who also played on the CD), and featured a mix of blues, funk and Memphis-style soul.

Shemekia Copeland joined Telarc International for the February 2009 release of Never Going Back. This new chapter in the Shemekia Copeland story represents a crossroads on her ongoing artistic journey – a place where numerous new avenues are open to her. While she will always remain loyal to her blues roots, Never Going Back takes a more forward view of the blues, and in so doing points her music and her career in a new direction.

I’ve had success in my career, and I’m happy with that,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to continue to grow. In order for an artist to grow – and for a genre to grow – you have to do new things. I’m extremely proud to say I’m a blues singer, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only thing I’m capable of singing, or that’s the only style of music I’m capable of making.”

She added: “I want to keep growing. My main goal when I started this was that I was going to do something different with this music, so that this music could evolve and grow. I got that idea from my father. He didn’t do the typical one-four-five blues. He went to Africa and worked with musicians there. He was one of the first blues artists to do that. I want to be the same way. I want to be innovative with the blues.”

Discography:

* Turn the Heat Up! (Alligator Records, 1998)
* Wicked (Alligator Records, 2000)
* Talking To Strangers (Alligator Records, 2002)
* The Soul Truth (Alligator Records, 2005)
* Never Going Back (Telarc International, 2009)
* Shemekia Copeland – Deluxe Edition (Alligator Records, 2011)
* 33 1/3 (Telarc, 2012)
* Outskirts of Love (Alligator Records, 2015)

Web sites: www.shemekiacopeland.com

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Artist Profiles: Salar Nader

Salar Nader – Photo by Bobby Aazami

Salar Nader, of Afghan origin, was born in 1981 in Hamburg, Germany and migrated to the United States at the age of three . It was in his early months of life when his mother and father noticed his passion for the tabla. No matter where Salar was, he had to bring along his personal tabla set that his father bought for him when he was 6 months old.

At the age of 7, Salar attended his first tabla class in Berkeley, California. The instructor of the class, Ustad Zakir Hussain, who is now Salar’s guru, is a world renowned master of the tabla.

Sooner than expected, Salar was making public appearances on nationwide television screens including; “Nowrooz” festival TV, Nima TV and Jaam-e-Jaam TV. One of his memorable appearances was with Ustad Mawaash (notable Afghan vocalist), when Salar was only 11 years old.

As time progressed Salar became more and more devoted to his tabla training and has since played internationally with renowned masters such as Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, world famous sarangi virtuoso Ustad Sultan Khan, Rob Wasserman, Pandit Chtresh Das and participated at the famous Monterey Music Festival at 18.

With a deep passion for Afghan classical music traditions but also Indian Kathak dance and music, he also enjoyed collaborating with the Dj Cheb i Sabbah and Fareed Haque Group, improvising on an Indian jazz fusion style of music.

He has performed with Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Ustad Mawaash, Rahul Sharma, Ahmad Wali, Homayun Sakhi, Fareed Haque Group, Ustad Shujaat khan, Ustad Rashid khan, Kala Ramnath, Ghulam Ali Khan and Riffat Sultana. He has also performed with ensembles such as the Rumi Ensemble (Shahram Nazeri and Hafez Nazeri), Rumination (Farzin Farhadi, Cheb I Sabbah) and Niyaz.

Discography:

Live In Osnabruck, with Tehran Symphony Orchestra and Hassan Riahi (Dreyer Gaido, 2007)

Fie Ma Fie II – Moulana (Dreyer Gaido, 2009)

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Artist Profiles: Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder

Ryland Peter Cooder (Ry Cooder) was born in Los Angeles, California, on March 15, 1947. He is a guitarist well-known for his slide guitar style.

Ry Cooder first attracted attention in the 1960s, playing with bluesman Taj Mahal in The Rising Sons, The Seeds, and Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band.

Cooder played a role in the new appreciation for traditional Cuban music thanks to his collaboration as producer in the Buena Vista Social Club (1997) recording that became a worldwide hit.

German filmmaker Wim Wenders directed a documentary film of the Cuban musicians involved, titled Buena Vista Social Club (1999) that was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000. Cooder also produced Ibrahim Ferrer’s Buenos Hermanos, and Mambo Sinuendo, all Grammy winners.

Ry Cooder’s solo work has been an eclectic mix on american roots music, including dustbowl folk music, tex-mex, soul, gospel, rock and other genrese. He has collaborated with many influential musicians, including the Rolling Stones, Little Feat, the Chieftains, John Lee Hooker, Hawaiian master Gabby Pahinui, and the late Ali Farka Toure. Cooder also formed the Little Village supergroup with Nick Lowe, John Hiatt and Jim Keltner.

 

 

Cooder’s 1978 album Bop Till You Drop was the first popular music album to be recorded digitally.

Ry Cooder’s Chávez Ravine, released in 2005 is a tribute to the long-gone Los Angeles Mexican-American enclave known as Chávez Ravine. Using real and imagined historical characters, Cooder and friends created an album that recollects various aspects of the poor but vibrant hillside Chicano community that was razed by developers in the 1950s in the interest of “progress.” The Dodgers Stadium (The Dodgers are a famous American professional baseball team) eventually was built on the spot. Cooder said at the time, “Here is some music for a place you don’t know, up a road you don’t go. Chávez Ravine, where the sidewalk ends.”

Chávez Ravine features various musical genres found in Los Angeles, including conjunto, corrido, R&B, Latin pop, and jazz. The 15-track album is sung in Spanish and English/ Cooder is joined by East Los Angeles legends like Chicano music patriarch Lalo Guerrero, Pachuco boogie king Don Tosti, Thee Midniters front man Little Willie G., and Ersi Arvizu of The Sisters and El Chicano.

Los Angeles was paved over, malled up, high-rised, and urban-renewed, as fortunes were made, power was concentrated, and everything got faster and bigger,” explained Cooder. “But there is a lot I miss now. The texture of certain older neighborhoods, like Bunker Hill, a rural feel in urban places, like Chávez Ravine and the timbre of life there, and just peace and quiet,” he said.

Chavez Ravine was the first recording of a California trilogy. The second volume was 2007’s My Name Is Buddy.

 

Ry Cooder – Photo by Susan Titelman

 

The last recording of the California trilogy is I, Flathead, an album of music by the fictional musician Kash Buk and his band the Klowns, characters in Cooder’s 95-page tale. The album and novella were released together on June 24, 2008, by Nonesuch / Perro Verde Records.

The novella tells the story of Kash Buk and his friend Shakey the alien, together with various friends, lovers, enemies, and associates in a long-gone California filled with deserts, salt-flat racing, Native Americans, seedy dance halls, amusement parks, and sinister plots. The album includes fourteen songs by Buk, a hard-edged salt flat racer and roadhouse musician. With the story and the music, Cooder creates a world where “strange people are the norm,” inspired by country western music, Popular Mechanics magazines, and science fiction movies.

Flathead reflects change and disruption in a young, post-war, do-it-yourself culture of outsiders obsessed with racing cars fashioned from military surplus parts and flathead engines. As Kash Buk explains, “You got your hard times, your good times, a dog story for you animal lovers, and a forbidden-race love song, which every record ought to have at least one of.”

Cooder produced I, Flathead and wrote or co-wrote all the songs. He sings and plays mandolin, guitar, and bass on the album, alongside Mariachi Los Camperos; Joachim Cooder, and Jim Keltner on drums; Rene Camacho on bass; Francisco Torres on trombone; Ron Blake and Jon Hassell on trumpet; Anthony Gil on bass sax; Flaco Jiménez on accordion, Gil Bernal on tenor sax; Jared Smith on keyboards; Martin Pradler on electric piano and drums; and Juliette Commagere on vocals.

 

Ry Cooder – Photo by Susan Titelman

 

Ry Cooder has composed soundtracks for more than twenty films, including Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas, and The End of Violence.

 

 

Discography

* Ry Cooder (Reprise, 1970)
* Performance, soundtrack (1970)
* Into the Purple Valley (Reprise, 1972)
* Boomer’s Story (Reprise, 1972)
* Paradise and Lunch (Reprise, 1974)
* Chicken Skin Music (Reprise, 1976)
* Showtime (Warner Brothers, 1977)
* Jazz (Reprise, 1978)
* Bop Till You Drop (Warner Brothers, 1979)
* Borderline (Warner Brothers, 1980)
* The Long Riders, soundtrack (Warner Brothers, 1980)
* The Border, soundtrack (1981)
* Southern Comfort, soundtrack (1981)
* The Slide Area (Warner Brothers, 1982)
* Paris, Texas, soundtrack (Warner Brothers, 1985)
* Music from Alamo Bay, soundtrack (1985)
* Blue City, soundtrack (1986)
* Crossroads, soundtrack (Warner Brothers, 1986)
* Why Don’t You Try Me Tonight, compilation (Warner Brothers, 1986)
* Get Rhythm (Warner Brothers, 1987)
* Pecos Bill (Windham Hill, 1988)
* Johnny Handsome, soundtrack (1989)
* Rising Sons, with Taj Mahal(recorded 1965/66, released 1992)
* A Meeting By The River, with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Water Lily Acoustics, 1993)
* Trespass, soundtrack (Warner Brothers, 1993)
* Geronimo: An American Legend, soundtrack (Sony, 1993)
* River Rescue – The Very Best Of Ry Cooder (1994)
* Talking Timbuktu, with Ali Farka Touré (Hannibal, 1994)
* Music by Ry Cooder, film music (1Warner Brothers, 1995)
* Last Man Standing, soundtrack (Polygram Records, 1996)
* The End of Violence, soundtrack (Outpost Records, 1997)
* Buena Vista Social Club (World Circuit/Nonesuch, 1997)
* Primary Colors, soundtrack (1998)
* Mambo Sinuendo, with Manuel Galbán (Nonesuch, 2003)
* Chávez Ravine (Nonesuch Records, 2005)
* My Name Is Buddy (Nonesuch Records, 2007)
* I, Flathead (Nonesuch Records,2008)
* The Ry Cooder Anthology: The UFO Has Landed (2008)
* San Patricio, with The Chieftains (2010)
* Live On Air (2010)
* Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down (Mobile Fidelity, 2011)
* Election Special (Nonesuch, 2012)
* Live in San Francisco, with Corridos Famosos (Nonesuch, 2013)

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Riyaaz Qawwali to present the Sufi Music of Pakistan & India at ‘A World In Trance’ Music Series

Riyaaz Qawwali

American qawwali music ensemble Riyaaz Qawwali is set to perform on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 7:00 pm at Roulette in New York City.

Riyaaz Qawwali performs the trance-like improvisational Sufi vocal tradition made famous in the West by the late Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, enthralling listeners with its lively rhythms, joyous melodies and inspirational poetry.

In addition to performing traditional qawwali that has been in existence for over 700 years, the ensemble also adds various songs and poetry of South Asia into the qawwali framework, using qawwali as a universal message of oneness that transcends religious boundaries.

Most qawwali ensembles are composed of Muslim family members, but Riyaaz Qawwali, which is based in Texas, is composed of musicians who represent the diversity of South and Central Asia; they are of Indian, Pakistani, Afghani, and Bangladeshi descent, and come from various spiritual backgrounds, including Islam, Hinduism, and Sikhism.

The ensemble’s discography includes Kashti and Ishq.

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