Olivier Demers is an accomplished violin player and multi-instrumentalist with a history in classical and Quebecois folk music. He has performed with L’Orchestre des Jeunes Laval-Laurentides as well as many chamber music ensembles, and, in addition, has sung with the Chorale de la Basilisque Notre-Dame de Montreal.
Olivier also has freelanced with the award-winning French-Canadian band La Bottine Souriante, and toured in Belgium with Musa Dieng Kala, from Senegal. He has participated in numerous recordings.
In 2001, he teamed up with Nicolas Boulerice to produce a duo recording, which was the genesis of acclaimed Quebecois band Le Vent du Nord.
Buddy MacMaster was born October 18, 1924 in Timmins, Canada.
Buddy MacMaster was the undisputed master of Cape Breton fiddling. His reputation as a player grew since the 1940s when he started to establish himself, playing while working at the Canadian National Railway. Buddy recorded his first album when he retired from the CNR and went on to receive national and international acclaim and honors, including the Order of Canada.
“My uncle Buddy MacMaster is one of the greatest fiddlers Cape Breton has ever produced, and we’ve produced a lot of them! His fellow fiddlers owe him a huge debt, for he has greatly influenced and inspired all of us. He makes you want to dance; he can bring tears to your eyes,” said Natalie MacMaster.
Buddy recorded several albums, taught and played concerts and dances.
Buddy MacMaster died on August 20, 2014 in Judique, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Violinist Ricardo Steuer Herz was born in 1979 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Herz has plenty of experience as a classically-trained musician. He also received training in jazz from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.
In France, he studied with Didier Lockwood. “Ricardo Herz proposes us a music that is rich in emotion and is extremely happy at the same time,” said Didier Lockwood. “Brazilian music, his area of expertise, is magnificently represented by Herz’s talent and originality. He’s a great composer and improviser, both at the same time; his potential is extraordinary.”
Back home in Brazil, Herz won the popular jury at Visa Prize for Brazilian Music in 2004. Since then, he released his first solo album, Violino Popular Brasileiro (Brazilian Popular Violin) and has performed with talented artists such as Yamandu Costa, Hamilton de Holanda and the forro legend Dominguinhos. “He has a unique way of playing forro on the violin,” said Dominguinhos. “Ricardo plays a refined instrument and he is one of the best musicians out there lately.”
Herz’s repertoire is extremely rich in instrumental Brazilian melodies and ranges from Northeastern rhythms to choro, samba and its multiple variables. His research and in depth knowledge of Brazilian music inspired his second solo album, Brasil em 3 por 4, which will include famous popular waltzes by composers Milton Nascimento, Pixinguinha and Djavan.
Experimenting at his home studio, Ricardo recorded all the violins on this album. He plays the bases, the solos and everything else. He says: :I’ve always wanted to record a solo album playing in duos, trios and quartets, all by myself!”, he laughs. The album will be released in September 2007. Currently, Ricardo lives in Paris and, aside from his solo work, he performs with various other groups.
Violino Popular Brasileiro (Eldorado ELD-06-6049 2004)
Brasil em 3 por 4 (Scubidu Music, 2007) Para Crianças (Scubidu Music, 2009) Aqui é o Meu lá (Scubidu Music, 2012)
Novos Rumos (YB Music, 2015) Torcendo a Terra (Scubidu Music, 2017) Duo, with Nelson Ayres (Tratore, 2017)
New York-based Indian vocalist, violinist and composer Harini “Rini” Raghavan delivers an exquisite combination of Indian music with electronica, funk, rock and jazz.
The highlights of the album are Rini’s superb vocals, violin and electronic effects, along with the fabulous note-bending Southeast Asian guitar of Aleif Hamdan. On the down side, the smooth jazz saxophone seems out place within the band’s innovative sound.
The lineup on Maya includes Rina on violin and vocals; Aleif Hamdan on guitar; Achal Murthy on bass; Yogev Gabay on drums; and Iñigo Galdeano Lasheras.
Maya is a masterfully-crafted Indian-rooted world fusion album by a talented young Indian musician with a great potential.
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)
Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth started learning Carnatic music from her mother Smt. Rathna Srikantiah from the age of five. She then learned violin under Late Sri R.R Keshavamurthy the legendary seven stringed violinist. She gave her first performance at the age of nine. She is an all rounder who has given numerous Carnatic solo concerts jugalbandhi concerts jazz – fusion concerts apart from accompanying most of the stalwarts in Carnatic Music. Her violin playing has a nice blend of bhava [musical expression and emotion] & technique. She has been featured in all major festivals in India globally. She has received many awards & titles at National & International levels.
She is also an accomplished western classical violinist too. Jyotsna has played violin for nearly 2 commercial Indian films. She has composed music for teleserials dance ballets & albums.
She is a medical doctor a post graduate in Pathology. She is now into music completely & is presently based in London. Her workshops on Indian/Western violin techniques & Indian/Western Music – comparisons have been well received.
She has a fusion band of her own which performs contemporary Indian music. In her release with Times Music called Fusion Dreams she played violin in eight different styles.
Life (Earthnbeat, 2007)
Fusion Dreams (2008)
Insight (Fountain Music, 2008)
Carnatic Jazz (Swathi Sanskriti, 2011)
Chants for Children (Theme Musik, 2011)
Carnatic Lounge (Times Music, 2011)
Call of Bangalore (Riverboat, 2013)
One could say both: Poland is lucky to be loved by Nigel Kennedy and Nigel Kennedy is lucky to be loved by Poland. Polish audiences are particularly fond of the artist, and his fans are not limited to regular jazz listeners, a lot of them being also recipients of widely understood popular music and even World Music. Let us recall his joint album with Kroke “East Meets East” from 2003, which Poland simply fell for in seconds.
Kennedy possesses the Slavic spirit and understands Slavic musical aesthetics, further even – he understands, or is somehow able to aesthetically sense, the tangled combination of cultural inspirations at work in Eastern and Central Europe. The album “East Meets East” is remembered chiefly as a journey into the cultural tradition of Polish Jews, especially those from pre-war generations. This is not a record about the Israelites, nor is it a record of American Jews or Jews in general – it is the spirit of Polish Jewish culture before the war, brought back by means of being sung out.
But the Polish have yet another reason for their appreciation of Nigel Kennedy – his fabulous and passionate rendition of the csárdás. He yet again proves himself to be nothing short of comfortable in European musical tradition, rooted in folk and though originally Hungarian, popularized by the Gypsies and presently an integral part of national identity in many European countries.
Kennedy has tied his life to Poland and Cracow for good a while back. This world-famous artist lives in the very center of the “City of the Kings of Poland”, often performs at the Cracow Philharmonic, and in 2002 assumed the artistic direction of the Polish Chamber Orchestra. Kennedy can then be said to have become another strong point on the long list of incentives for those leaning towards the idea of choosing Poland as their next destination.
On July 12, 2017, we will host Nigel Kennedy at the Jagiellonian University’s Auditorium Maximum during the celebrations of the 22nd Summer Jazz Festival in Cracow. This concert will undoubtedly be an opportunity to admire the talent, charisma and virtuosity of the artist, all of which have been admired both in the field of contemporary interpretations of classical music and in the mainstream of jazz worldwide. Let us recall that the album released in 1989 containing a rendition of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” has sold over two million copies and is by far the best-selling classical music record in the world.
The magnificent success of classical music in Kennedy’s artistic life contrasts with his inspirations drawn from – among others – the works of Jimmy Hendrix and The Doors, the influence of which has often been referred to by the artist himself. Kennedy doesn’t seem to notice these contrasts as clearly as an average recipient of music – he is a firm believer in the notion common among musicians that music should not be categorized and such action does not serve any compelling purpose in world of music and its creators.
About his work and passion, he says: “I love getting up in the morning and playing. It’s almost like meditation. Through music I get to communicate with other musicians and the audience. This contact is the real reason for playing. … Bringing down the barriers, connecting with people on one common level, the level of music, is my reward. Music occurs within the framework of time, it’s here and now. What do we have here on the wall? A mirror? Wallpaper? Someone once made these and now we can look at them. Music is the only art that happens at a given time and then disappears. That’s the way it is during concerts. It’s fantastic. That is what I love about music.”
As has been announced by the organizers, the concert program will mostly include works dedicated to Kennedy’s most important mentors, namely Yehudi Menuhin, Stephane Grappelli and Isaac Stern, immortalized on the artist’s latest album “My World”. The Concert in the Auditorium Maximum will be enriched by the results of the musician’s last project, an interpretation of Krzysztof Komeda’s works, the spirit of which Nigel Kennedy has managed to capture brilliantly, reaffirming his strong emotional bond with Poland. The author of “Polish Spirit” comments on his attitude to what Polishness is in one of his interviews: “The Polish spirit is … this rare extraordinary ability to express emotions, your contagious sentimentality you infect the rest of the world with.”
The Summer Jazz Festival in Piwnica pod Baranami was first organized in 1996 alongside the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the venue. Year after year, the Festival expanded both its repertoire and its scope by moving beyond the scene of Piwnica pod Baranami to concerts at the Philharmonic, the Cracow Opera, Radio Kraków, the Manggha Center, ICE Kraków, Kijów Centrum and every jazz club in Cracow, rounding up to almost 100 concerts every year.
Since the year 2000, Cracow has seen many sizable outdoor concerts and events, such as the New Orleans Sunday and the Jazz Night. In recent years, both the leading Polish jazz stars and many foreign stars (including Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, Jean Luc Ponty, Branford Marsalis, Joe Lovano, Maria Schneider, Richard Bona, Al Jarreau) have graced these events with their presence and artistry.
Violinist, composer, producer and educator Darol Anger is at home in a number of musical genres some of which he helped to invent. With the jazz-oriented Turtle Island String Quartet Anger developed and popularized new techniques for playing contemporary music styles on string instruments. The masterful Chambergrass groups Psychograss and Newgrange and the plugged-in Anger-Marshall Band feature his compositions and arrangements. His acclaimed folk-jazz group Montreux was the original musical model for the New Adult Contemporary radio format. The David Grisman Quintet forged a new genre of acoustic string band music with Darol’s creative use of the violin.
Working with some of the world’s great improvising string musicians, among them Stephane Grappelli, Mark O’Connor, Bela Fleck, David Grisman and Vassar Clements, has contributed to the development of Anger’s signature voice both as player and composer. His published works include jazz originals and arrangements a fiddle tune collection and of course recordings. Anger has produced dozens of critically praised recordings since 1977 which have featured his compositions and performances. Highlights include the Heritage Folk Music project that brings together some of the most important voices in the traditional contemporary folk and bluegrass music scene; the Anger-Marshall Band’s JAM and Brand New Can which set new standards for the Newgrass/jazz genre; and his release Diary Of A Fiddler which sets Anger in duet with the most prominent and innovative fiddlers of our time.
Anger holds the String Chair of the International Association of Jazz Educators. He has led seminars at the Stanford Oberlin and Amherst Jazz Worshops regularly teaches at the Berklee School of Music and the Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp and at workshops and clinics from Campo Do Jordao Brazil to the Music Conservatory at Bremen Germany. He is a Contributing Editor for Strings magazine and is on the ASTA Editorial Board.
The recipient of a 1995 California Arts Council Composer Fellowship, Anger was nominated in 1997 for the CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts. He has been a featured soloist on a number of motion picture soundtracks and he wrote and performed the score for the Sundance Award-winning film Best Offer. He was the winner of the Frets Magazine Readers’ Poll for Best Jazz Violinist for four years running.
Anger’s work has expanded not only the acoustic violin’s boundaries but has contributed to the development of violin synthesizer repertoire and technology. His writings on these subjects and string education issues appear regularly in prominent music periodicals and on the Web. His current projects include Darol Anger and His Jazz Guys is a working group featuring fellow S.F. Bay Area residents a duet recording with pianist Phillip Aaberg and Fiddlers 4 with Michael Doucet, Bruce Molsky and Rushad Eggleston in 2002; and a collaboration with Swedish group Vasen.
Alfredo De La Fe is a Cuban-born and New York-based violinist who lived in Colombia for more than 16 years, responsible for transforming the violin into an important sound within salsa and Latin music.
The first solo violinist to perform with a Salsa orchestra, De La Fe has toured the world more than thirty times, appearing in concert and participating in more than one hundred albums by such top-ranked Latin artists as Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Jose Alberto “El Canario”, Cheo Feliciano, The Fania All Stars and Santana.
His second solo album, Alfredo, released in 1979, received a Grammy nomination as “Best Latin album”.
A child prodigy, Alfredo’s father who was a singer (a tenor of opera) in Havana, Cuba and sang on Cuban radio with Bienvenido Leon and Celia Cruz in the 1940s recognized his son’s skills and encouraged his musical talent. De La Fe began studying violin at the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory in Havana in 1962. Two years later, he received a scholarship to attend the Warsaw Conservatory in Poland.
In 1965, he performed compositions by Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in Carnegie Hall. A scholarship to Juilliard Arts enabled him to further his studies. De La Fe launched his professional career, at the age of twelve, when he switched from classical music to Salsa and accepted an invitation to join charanga legend Jose Fajardo’s Orchestra.
In 1972, he joined Eddie Palmieri’s Orchestra. He remained with the group for a very short period, moving temporarily to San Francisco where he joined Santana. Returning to New York, De La Fe joined Tipica ’73 in 1977. Two years later, he released his debut solo album, Alfredo.
In 1980, De La Fe signed with Sars All Stars, and produced thirty two albums for the Latin record label. His second solo album, Charanga ’80, was released the same year.
In 1981, De La Fe became musical director of Tito Puente’s Latin Percussion Jazz Ensemble. The following year, he resumed his solo career, signing with Taboga, for whom he recorded the album Triunfo.
Relocating to Colombia in 1983, De La Fe signed with Philips and released three albums – Made in Colombia, Dancing in the Tropics and Alfredo De La Fe Vallenato – by the end of the 1980s.
In 1989, De La Fe switched to the Fuentes label. Although he joined the Fania All Stars in 1995, De La Fe continued to pursue a solo career. He signed with Sony Music in 1997. Two years later, he toured with his own band, appearing at festivals in Denmark, Holland, France, Turkey and Belgium, and reunited with Eddie Palmieri’s Orchestra for a European tour.
In 2002, after spending several years in Europe, Alfredo moved back to New York and toured the United States with his New York-based band.
* Para Africa con amor (Sacodis Records, 1978)
* Alfredo (1979)
* Charanga (Sacodis Records, 1980)
* Triunfo (Toboga Records, 1982)
* Made in Colombia (Phillips Records 1984)
* Alfredo De La Fé Vallenato (Phillips Records, 1985)
* Dancing in the Tropics (Phillips Records, 1988)
* Salsa (Fuentes Records, 1990)
* Los Violines de Alfredo De La Fé (Fuentes Records, 1990)
* Salsa y Charanga (Fuentes, 1993)
* The Violins of Alfredo De La Fé – Sentir de Cuba (Fuentes, 1992)
* Con Toda la Salsa (Fuentes, 1993)
* Bailando en el Trópico
* Salsa Passion
* La Salsa de los Dioses (Fuentes, 1995)
* De La Fé y aché (Sony Music, 1997)
* Latitudes (Ryko Latino, 2000)
* La Llave de Oro, with Fruko (2006)
Paul Anderson an acclaimed virtuoso in the time honored tradition of Scottish fiddle music. Paul Anderson has won most of the fiddle championships in Scotland. His crowning glory was the Glenfiddich Scottish Fiddle Championship at Blair Castle in 1993.
Paul Anderson, from the heart of rural Aberdeenshire, is one of Scotland’s most respected traditional musicians. His album Land of the Standing Stones is really a love letter to Paul’s native Aberdeenshire as all but a couple of the 51 tunes on the album are inspired by the people, landscape and history of the North-East of Scotland.
The music on the album has all been composed by Paul himself and at 70 minutes in length, it’s a considerable achievement. The music, though rooted in the traditional Scots fiddle idiom, is also contemporary in style. He has been ably supported in this by a superb group of musicians, which includes Shona Donaldson (Scots singer of the year 2009), Swedish cittern master Ale Carr, Ali Napier (Dougie MacLean band) and Scottish acting star Kevin McKidd on guitar and vocals.