Tag Archives: world fusion

Remarkable Latin American and Bluegrass Alchemy

Che Apalache – Rearrange My Heart (Free Dirt Records, 2019)

Che Apalache is a fascinating band from Buenos Aires (Argentina) that brings together Argentine, Mexican, East Asian, Spanish, Gypsy swing, and American bluegrass influences.

The group is led by American vocalist, fiddler, musical instructor and global traveler Joe Troop, born and raised in North Carolina.

In Argentina, Troop came into contact with three outstanding musicians from Hispanic America, guitarist Franco Martino (Argentina), mandolinist Martin Bobrik (Argentina) and banjoist Pau Barjan (Mexico).

Rearrange My Heart was produced by the great banjo innovator Béla Fleck. “I love to work with music that intrigues, excites and inspires me,” Fleck says, “and that describes Che Apalache to a T! We first met at my Blue Ridge Banjo Camp last year. They had come from Buenos Aires and asked to play for me. I was blown away and they blew away the crowd a few days later. It’s been a blast to get to know them in the creative environment; together we’ve come up with what I believe is a truly striking album. I hope you’ll enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed producing.”

Che Apalache – Rearrange My Heart

The vocals are in English and Spanish, with Troop on lead vocals and his colleagues on Appalachian-style vocal harmonies. Troop’s lyrics reflect his social justice concerns: anti-immigrant rhetoric in the USA coming from the White House, the building of the border wall in the United States’ southern border with Mexico and the drama of the Dreamers (undocumented immigrants taken to the USA when they were young children).

Che Apalache is an exciting rising talent in the world music scene, an example of skillful hybridization and impeccable acoustic music craftsmanship.

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Global Chaos Theories from the The Souljazz Orchestra

The Souljazz Orchestra – Chaos Theories

The Souljazz Orchestra – Chaos Theories (Strut Records, 2019)

Canadian jazz collective The Souljazz Orchestra, led by songwriter and arranger Pierre Chrètien, combines a wide range of musical with sociopolitical messages. On the music side, The Souljazz Orchestra presents an extraordinary kaleidoscope of sound that includes Afro-Caribbean beats, jazz, disco, captivating Afrobeat, funk, reggae, and soul.

With insistent energy, the lyrics address issues that are close to band members: insincerity of modern day politics, police rough treatment and income inequality.

The Souljazz Orchestra will be touring North America and Europe in the next weeks.

Tour dates:

Sep 20 – Ottawa, ON – Babylon
Sep 27 – Montpellier, FR – Rockstore
Sep 28 – Rambouillet, FR – Usine à Chapeaux
Sep 29 – Chelles, FR – Les Cuizines
Sep 30 – Paris, FR – New Morning
Oct 01 – Gent, BE – Vooruit Balzaal
Oct 02 – Madrid, ES – Café Berlín
Oct 04 – Granada ES – Planta Baja
Oct 05 – Zaragoza ES – Las Armas
Oct 06 – Barcelona ES – La Nau
Oct 09 – Dusseldorf DE – Zakk
Oct 10 – Mainz DE – KUZ
Oct 11 – Athens GR – Gagarin 205
Oct 12 – Thessaloniki GR – WE Complex
Oct 13 – Berlin DE – Gretchen
Oct 14 – Dresden DE – Tonne
Oct 16 – London UK – Jazz Cafe
Oct 17 – Dublin IE – Sugar Club
Oct 18 – Épinay-sur-Seine – PMO
Oct 19 – Nancy FR – Nancy Jazz Pulsations
Nov 16 – Gatineau QC – Le Petit Chicago
Nov 21 – Sherbrooke QC – La Petite Boîte Noire
Nov 22 – Montréal QC – Groove Nation
Nov 23 – Québec QC – L’Anti
Nov 28 – Waterloo ON – Starlight
Nov 29 – Hamilton ON – This Ain’t Hollywood
Nov 30 – Toronto ON – Velvet Underground

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Artist Profiles: Roman Bunka

Roman Bunka

Roman Bunka is one of the most prominent German ud players and guitarists. He was born in 1951. Bunka was a founding member of several of the most influential German rock bands, including avant-garde rock bands like Embryo and Aera. He impressed fellow musicians with his oriental style of guitar playing.

In 1976 he gave his first concert with Trilok Gurtu in India. While searching for a second stringed instrument more suited to his musical development in the direction of modal and microtonality, he discovered the Arabic lute, the fretless mother of the guitar, the ud.

His first solo album, Dein Kopf ist ein schlafendes Auto, recorded in 1980 (re-released by ATM-records) presented a blend of avant-garde rock with Oriental melodies. Released in the same period was the more jazz / rock fusion oriented album Live!, recorded in 1979 with the group Aera. After concerts with Okay Temiz in Turkey, Bunka chose Cairo as his musical refuge in the Arab world during the 1980’s.

Bunka was so immersed in Egyptian music that he even represented Egypt with the Nubian singer Mohamed Mounir as arranger and ud-soloist at the Mediterranean Culture Festival in 1992 in Nimes, France. With solo-concerts in Tunis (Festival de la Medina), Cairo, Damascus, Aleppo and Beirut as well as in Lanzarote with the group Vox and his performance at the Jazz Festival in Granada he was able to bring his vision of Arabic music closer to an interested World-music audience.

For the feature film Al Oud, directed by Fritz Baumann, which won the Gold Hugo at the 1992 Chicago International Film Festival, he was responsible for the musical direction and for composing the film music. While shooting, Bunka became involved with the Ensemble of the violin virtuoso Abdou Dagir from Cairo, with whom he made the CD Malik-a-Taksim. The films Warshots and Ende einer Reise by Heiner Stadler (Bavarian Film prize 1992) and the music to the film based on three short-stories by Paul Bodies entitled Halbmond by Frieder Schlaich and Irene von Alberti introduced him as a composer who uses his oriental style of sound collages to cleverly transport the drama.

Along with Grace Yoon, he produced several radio-plays for the Bavarian Radio, one of which, Tunguska-Guska, was awarded the Prix Futura 1993 by the BBC. Tunguska-Guska and their latest radio-play ”Earborn” are both available as CD.

A live-recording of his project Color Me Cairo featuring the Fathy Salama Ensemble from Egypt and Malachi Favors from the legendary Art Ensemble of Chicago has appeared on the ENJA label and received the German Record-critics Prize. In 1998 he composed and recorded with the Spanish Flamenco guitarist ‘Tomatito” the music for the cinema movie Bin ich schön!?, directed by the famous German film director Doris Dörrie.

Ever the musical pioneer, in 1999 Bunka and his group, featuring Indian percussionist Ramesh Shotam and Japanese violinist Hiromi Nishida, performed at the first Oriental-Jazz-Festival in Beirut. To celebrate the new millennium, he participated with Mal Waldron, Jeanne Lee, Tri-O, Peter Dicke and Blixa Bargeld in Grace Yoon´s multimedia-event Illusion des Endes.

The year 2000 was launched at a live concert event in front of the Great Pyramids at Giza with Egyptian singer Mohamed Mounir.

Discography:

We Keep On, with Embryo (1973)
Surfin, with Embryo (1975)
Bad Heads, Bad Cats, with Embryo and Charlie Mariano (1976)
Aera Live, with Locko Richter, Klaus Kreuzeder, Lutz Oldemeier, Helmut Meier-Limberg, Freddy Setz (1979)
Reise, with Embryo (Schneeball, 1980)
Germanistan, with Dissidenten (1990)
Malik a Taksim, with Abdo Dagir (Enja, 1992)
From Spain to Spain, with Vox (Erdenklang, 1992)
The Jungle Book, with Dissidenten (Exil, 1993)
Color Me Cairo, with Malachi Favors and Fathy Salama (Enja, 1995)
Enshaallah, with Rahala (United One Records, 1997)
Freedom in Music, with Embryo (2008)
Abadan, with Hammond Schneider (2010)
40, with Embryo (Trikont, 2010)


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Artist Profiles: Hà Nội Duo

Hà Nội Duo

Hà Nội Duo started as a collaboration between two Vietnamese musicians, Nguyên Lê and Ngô Hồng Quang. The two artists come from different traditions. Nguyên Lê is a renowned jazz guitarist and composer while Ngô Hồng Quang is a vocalist, plays various Vietnamese traditional musical instruments and is a composer as well.

The two artists’ first album was Hà Nội Duo (Act Music, 2017), a masterful combination of acoustic and electric jazz, ambient electronic sounds and Vietnamese traditional music.

The collaboration continued with international tours under the name Ha Noi Duo, connecting Vietnamese music and audiences with modernity without forgetting the past.

Discography:

Hà Nội Duo (Act Music, 2017)

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Itamar Erez’s Jazz and World Music Conversations

Itamar Erez – Mi Alegri

Itamar Erez – Mi Alegria (Itamar Erez, 2019)

Israeli multi-instrumentalist and composer Itamar Erez is currently based in Canada. On his new album Mi Alegria, Erez put together an ensemble with some of the finest jazz and world music artists in Vancouver.

Mi Alegria (my joy in Spanish) combines exquisitely-crafted contemporary jazz intertwined with Brazilian, Flamenco, Middle Eastern and various additional global music influences.

Although the guitar is Itamar’s primary musical instrument, he plays the piano as well. Throughout Mi Alegria, Erez engages in captivating, spirited guitar and piano interplay with the clarinet, percussion and a diverse set of other instruments.

“I’ve been playing and composing on the piano for years, but this album is the first to feature my piano playing so prominently,” Erez clarifies, “It’s an interesting process to write on piano and shift to guitar, or vice versa. You need to find creative solutions to solve difficulties.”

The band on Mi Alegria includes Itamar Erez on guitar and piano; Francois Houle on clarinet; Hamin Honari on percussion; James Meger on bass; Kevin Romain on drums; Ilan Salem on flute; Dani Benedikt  on percussion; and Celso Machado on percussion.

Mi Alegria is dedicated to Itamar’s daughter, Mia.

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Artist Profiles: Karsh Kale

Karsh Kale

Tabla Player, Drummer, Producer, Composer, Remix Artist and D.J. Karsh Kale combines the music of ancient India and cutting edge electronica. His solo work is an expedition into the uncharted sound of South Asian America. Being an Indian born in the U.K and brought up in the United States the fundamentals of jazz, rock, hip hop and modern electronica play as much a role in Kale’s style as Indian classical and folk music does.

It is this amalgam of sound that is Kale’s trademark “Classical Science Fiction From India… The Urban Raag”. Numerous artists from all over the world have employed Karsh’s hybridized styles. In a few short years Karsh has worked and performed with artists such as Bill Laswell, Sting, Paula Cole, Hassan Hakmoun, Sussan Deyhim, Gigi, Talvin Singh, Ustad Nishat Khan, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Ustad Sultan Khan, Arto Lindsay, Will Calhoun, Rakesh Chaurasia, Ramesh Misra, Clevland Watkiss, Shankar Mahadevan, Jojo Meyer and many others.

Karsh Kale – Photo by Suraj Warrier

Karsh’s Bi-weekly event Futureproof finds him pleasing the New York City underground with his DJ and live electric tabla sets. Indian classical dub drum and bass jungle reggae and ambient influences come together to create the Futureproof aesthetic. The event features a live band led by Kale which has been recognized as one of the leading live drum and bass events in New York.

Karsh has transplanted his sound to other arenas as well. He has produced remixes for artists ranging from Paula Cole to DJ Spooky and can be heard performing on works by Sussan Deyhim, Talvin Singh, Amel Larrouex, DJ Logic and Ming & FS. He has composed scored and performed for film theatre and television including works for Paramount NBC and Seneca Falls. The breadth of Karsh’s performance abilities is wide. In addition to performing on both drum kit and electric tabla in Europe and Canada he has toured the country with DJ Spooky and EBN.

Karsh Kale

Aware of the effect of live music as well as DJing Karsh has performed at many festivals. In 2002 Kale visited Paris performing alongside Iranian vocalist Sussan Deyhim and did a string of dates with the breakbeat jam band Sound Tribe Sector 9.

In 2011 Karsh Kale released Cinema his fifth and most ambitious album to date. Kale’s forays into scoring films for India’s growing Bollywood film industry provided the greatest influence to hisusual palette of progressive electro-rock and Indian classical music. In the two years of writing the album on piano and guitar Karsh challenged himself to write songs with a Western ear, further blurring the boundaries between rock world and electronic music.

Discography:

Realize ( Six Degrees Records, 2001)
Redesign: Realize Remixed ( Six Degrees Records, 2002)
Liberation ( Six Degrees Records, 2003)
Broken English ( Six Degrees Records, 2006)
Breathing Under Water, with Anoushka Shankar ( Manhattan Records, 2007)
Cinema ( Six Degrees Records, 2010)
UP (Six Degrees Records, 2016)

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David Broza & Friends Announce 2019/2020 Tour, From Haifa to Havana

David Broza and Trio Havana

Singer-songwriter David Broza, one of Israel’s most important recording artists, will embark on a coast-to-coast tour of the United States from September 2019 through March 2020. Broza will present an alternate side of his hit songs with a new Cuban twist.

Performing with Broza on stage is the New York-based Trio Havana, including: Manuel Alejandro Carro, also known as Mannya – Cuban-born singer-songwriter and master percussionist with a style firmly rooted in Latin pop; Yuniel Jiménez “El Guajiro” – master tres guitar player from Santa Clara, Cuba; and Jorge Bringas –celebrated from Havana, Cuba, who played previously with Albita Rodriguez and the late Celia Cruz.

Joining Trio Havana is Itai Kriss, one of the most exciting flute players in the Cuban music scene, with an eclectic style infused with jazz, Latin and middle eastern sounds. Special guests on select tour dates include flamenco singer and flute player, Alfonso Cid from Seville, Spain; and flamenco dancer Xianix Barrera.

David Broza brings together fingerpicking guitar, flamenco rhythms, global sounds and rock. Raised in Israel, Spain and England, Broza has performed worldwide since 1977, when his song “Yihye Tov” appeared on radio, promoting a message of peace.

David Broza is known for his commitment and dedication to several humanitarian projects, especially a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through dialogue, culture, music and tolerance.

Tour Dates 2019/2020:

September 6, 2019 New York, NY Naked Soul, The Rubin Museum
September 28, 2019 Mamaroneck, NY Emelin Theater
November 17, 2019 Philadelphia, PA City Winery
December 14, 2019 Brookline, MA Temple Ohabel Shalom
December 19, 2019 New York, NY The Streicker Center
December 21, 2019 Tucson, AZ Fox Theater
December 22, 2019 Santa Monica, CA The Broad Stage
January 12, 2020 Aventura, FL Aventura Arts & Cultural Center
January 13, 2020 Atlanta, GA City Winery
January 25, 2020 Richmond Hill, ON Centre for the Performing Arts
March 20, 2020 Port Washington, NY Landmark on Main Street
March 21, 2020 South Orange, NJ South Orange Performing Arts Center

More about David Broza

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Elegantly Modern Accordion Rooted in Portuguese Tradition

Danças Ocultas – Dentro desse mar (Galileo Music, 2018)

Portuguese accordion quartet Danças Ocultas recorded Dentro desse mar at Casa do Mato Studios in Rio de Janeiro, produced by celebrated cellist and producer Jaques Morelenbaum. Danças Ocultas is a group of talented accordion players who perform exquisite contemporary musical pieces rooted in tradition and classical music. It is a nuanced sound, creating a mix of laid back ambience and melody rather than flashy virtuosity.

Dentro desse mar is a set of charming, elegant songs and instrumentals featuring various musical guests.  Jaques Morelenbaum brought in Brazilian percussionists, highly expressive cavaquinho, several other instrumentalists and guest vocalists from Brazil and Portugal, who provided finely-crafted chemistry around the accordions. Morelebaum also contributed his own enchanting cello work.

Danças Ocultas – Dentro desse mar

The line-up includes Artur Fernandes on diatonic accordion; Francisco Miguel on diatonic accordion; Filipe Cal on diatonic accordion; and Filipe Ricardo on diatonic accordion; David Feldman on pinao; Marcos Suzano on percussion; Brazilian singer Zelia Duncan; Jaques Morelenbaum on cello; Rogério Caetano on 7-string guitar; Luis Barcelos on mandolin and cavaquinho; Marcelo Costa on percussion; Portuguese fado singer Carminho; Robertinho Silva on percussion; Dora Morelenbaum on vocals; Tiago Abrantes on cvlarinet; and Paulo Braga on percussion.

Dentro desse mar features a captivating amalgam of Portuguese and Brazilian influences under a modern prism.

Buy Dentro desse mar

More about Danças Ocultas

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Sunujazz, a Delightful Encounter Between West Africa and West


Lamine Cissokho – Sunujazz

Lamine Cissokho – Sunujazz (Sewa Music, 2019)

Senegalese kora player Lamine Cissokho mixes traditional sounds from West Africa with jazz and contemporary influences on Sunujazz.

Standout pieces include “Contre Vent,” an exquisite piece where the kora and electric guitar dance around each other over a layer of calabass; the irresistible rootsy “L’Amour” featuring lead vocals by Lamine Cissokho; the joyous interplay of Ousmane Ba’s guitar and Lamine’s kora on “Kaira;” and the lively “Sosolasso” a superb song highlighting the kora, electric guitar and call and response vocals.

Lamine Cissokho is a Mandinka jali (musician and storyteller, also known as griot) from Casamance in southern Senegal. He is based in Sweden.

The lineup includes Lamine Cissokho on kora and lead vocals; Alain Oyono on saxophone; Tobias Grim on guitar; Per-Olof Rylander on piano; Ousmane Ba on fula flute; Romi Christian Bonaban on bass; Ibou Calebasse on calabash; Diougouna Sissokho and Saga Björkling on backing vocals.

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Iranian Musician Kayhan Kalhor Wins WOMEX Artist Award 2019

Kayhan Kalhor – Photo by Todd Rosenberg

The World Music Expo (WOMEX) announced today that Iranian kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor (Iran/USA) is the winner of the WOMEX Artist Award 2019.

Kalhor is set to receive the prominent award at the 25th anniversary edition of WOMEX in Tampere, Finland, on Sunday, October 27, 2019. Kayhan Kalhor will perform as a duo together with Erdal Erzincan on bağlama in what will be the final concert of WOMEX 2019.

Kayhan Kalhor stated: “Receiving the WOMEX Artist Award means so much to me. The award is recognition of the rich culture of my homeland Iran and an ageless Persian art that thrives and is beloved throughout the world. As forces arise across the globe and push for divisiveness, borders and intolerance, music brings us together and reminds us of our common humanity. As a citizen of the world, I am humbled by this recognition and stand with artists whose music fosters unity.”

The WOMEX 2019 closing ceremony will also include the Award for Professional Excellence and the annual Label Award, both of which are yet to be announced.

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