While in his early twenties, Arcángel became part of a select group of flamenco singers. He maintains this position because he wants to, because he can and because he knows how to do it.
Francisco José Arcángel Ramos, better known as Arcangel, was born in Huelva in 1977. His family was originally from the town of Alosno, known as the birthplace of fandango and the main source of the province’s rich folklore. At a mere 10 years of age, Arcángel demonstrated an unprecedented command of the local fandango when he took First Prize in a children’s competition organized by a flamenco association in Huelva called “La Orden” (“The Order”). This trophy was the prelude to a long series of honours that would eventually encourage Arcángel to dedicate himself professionally to his passion for singing flamenco.
Arcángel is capable of maintaining control of his singing technique, including compás, voice tuning and musical structure, while broadcasting an endless reverberation of perfectly rounded tones. That’s how you connect! And we’re not talking about his influence in the feminine arena, which we know nothing about, but to his amazing ability to present a cante (flamenco song) in one go, at a slow radiant pace while barely taking a breath.
Without a doubt, he has an Olympic temperament, comparable to the bullfighter’s ability to ‘moderate, adjust and control’ a charging bull. One of Arcángel’s outstanding characteristics is the intelligent way that he updates the traditional styles from his homeland. He revives them by adding infinite melodic overtones and by minimizing constraints.
In 2012, along with Fahmi Alqhai, he received the Giraldillo for Best Music at the Flamenco Biennial of Seville for the show Las idas y las vueltas. In 2015 he released his album “Tablao”. In February 2017 he was awarded the Medal of Andalusia.
[Translated by Rita Granda]
Arcángel (Virgin, 2001) La Calle Perdía (Ediciones Senador, 2004) De Oscura Llama (Anemos, 2009) Quijote De Los Sueños (Sony Music, 2011) Las Idas Y Las Vueltas ˙ Músicas Mestizas (Alqhai&Alqhai, 2012) Tablao (Universal Music, 2015) Al Este Del Cante (Universal Music, 2018)
Amparo Mercedes Sánchez Pérez was born in Alcalá la Real (Jaén) on September 24, 1969. She grew up in Granada.
While in Granada, Amparo Sánchez joined her first band, the Correcaminos (Roadrunners) at 16.
In 1993 she moved to Madrid where she recorded her first album titled “Haces bien” (Fábrica Magnética). Later, she formed the group The Gang.
In 1995, accompanied by her guitar, she performed her own songs and some covers in Madrid’s famed Malasaña neighborhood. Together with La Vacazul, she formed a group called Ampáranos del blues, with which he toured parts of Spain and made her way to France.
Manu Chao and Radio Bemba were living in Malasaña at the time. Amparo married Manu Chao and they stayed married for several years.
Amparo served beer in a bar called Tio Vinagre, a place where musicians jammed on guitars, cajones and bongos. This led to the creation of Amparo’s celebrated mestizo music band Amparanoia.
Amparanoia’s 1997 debut album, El Poder de Machin, had deep Latin American influences.
In 2000, she discovered Mexico’s diverse art and its people: music, painting, Frida Kahlo, Chiapas and the revolutionary movement.
Amparanoia suffered a tragedy in 2004. On Saturday, October 9th, 2004, Amparanoia’s piano player, Caridad Borges, died in a car accident in Camaguey, Cuba. She was driving with her husband, Jose Alberto Varona, Amparanoia’s trumpet player, and her daughter Carirosa. Both Jose and Carirosa were critically injured and fighting for their lives.
In 2005, accompanied by her three musicians, she stayed for one month in the Zapatista community La Realidad. There, she recorded the song Somos viento.
In 2008, she disbanded Amparanoia and decided to continue her career as a soloist.
In 2010, Amparo released her first solo album, Tucson-Habana with an acoustic repertoire composed entirely by herself, with the exception of the song “La Parrandita de las Santas”, by the Cuban composer and singer Mane Ferret. It was recorded in two stages, one in 2007 in Tucson, Arizona and the other in 2009 in Havana, Cuba. The album includes a collaboration with Omara Portuondo.
In 2012 she released Alma de Cantaora, 13 songs that featured various high profile guests: Caléxico; Baby; De Pedro; Mane Ferret; Arianna Puello; Muerdo; Howe Gelb; and Charlat’58 and Bongo Botrako.
In 2014 she released the album Espíritu del sol. That same year Amparo published the book La niña y el lobo.
Amparo ractivated Amparanoia in 2017. The band released ‘ El Coro De Mi Gente ’, a reinterpretation of ‘El Poder de Machín’, the record she released exactly 20 years earlier, and was a landmark in the Spanish music scene of the 1990s.
Amalgama was the amazing result of the collaboration between Spanish Flamenco and Jazz musicians and the renowned Karnataka College of Percussion, from India.
The idea behind the project was to blend two cultures with a common background: Gypsy Flamenco (it is believed that Gypsies originally came from India) and Indian music. Flamenco vocals (which have some similarities with Indian vocals), rhythms (especially the palmas or hand clappings) and guitars were mixed with Indian vocals and percussion.
The musicians involved were: T.A.S. Mani (mridangam), Ramamani (Indian vocals, konakol), Sheshikumar (kanjira), Tunsi Beyer (ghatam, tabil), Xavi Turull (tabla, ghatam, berimbau), Juan Parrilla (flute), Jesús Losada (Flamenco guitar), Antonio Ramos (bass), Pau Martinez (congas) and Charo Manzano (Flamenco vocals).
The group only recorded one album titled Encuentro.
“Playing With Fire” (7D Media, 2918) by Deep Energy Orchestra is a great example of electric fusion, where Indian classical, progressive rock and jazz find a common ground. The Deep Energy Orchestra is characterized by the mesmerizing sounds of the Warr guitar, exquisite electric violin and masterful tabla.
The Deep Energy Orchestra lineup includes bassist and composer Jason Everett (Mister E), progressive rock virtuoso Trey Gunn (King Crimson), Indian percussion maestro Selvaganesh (John McLaughlin, Masters of Percussion), 7-string violin wonder Radhika Iyer and a Seattle-based classical string ensemble featuring Rachel Nesvig on violin, Aleida Gehrels on viola and Phil Hirschi on cello.
“Playing With Fire” is cutting edge, forward-thinking fusion at its best.
The debut of
Nitin Sawhney’s ‘Brexit’ – A rational anthem for a national tantrum, is
scheduled for Saturday, February 23, 2019 at Barbican in London. Admission is free.
The show reflects
the highs and lows of ‘Brexit Britain’, composed and performed by British
Indian musician and composer Nitin Sawhney, members of his band, the National
Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO) and London Community Voices, conducted
by Jonathon Heyward.
In this new
commission, Sawhney considers the state of the nation, focusing on its
modern-day elements of multiculturalism, diversity and people. Using his
findings from a tour of UK towns and cities, Sawhney will showcase a new
‘anthem’ that he has devised to look away from the past and truly reflect our
current society – both in its lyrics and music. Sawhney decided that the piece
would be brought to life by the teenage musicians of the NYO – who represent
those who will shape the society of tomorrow.
The performance will also feature material from Nitin Sawhney’s back catalogue of 11 solo studio albums: Spirit Dance (1994), Migration (1995), Displacing the Priest (1996), Beyond Skin (1999), Prophesy, Human, Philtre (2005), London Undersound (2008), Last Days of Meaning (2011), OneZero (2013), and Dystopian Dream (2015).
Vardan Hovanissian & Emre Gültekin recently released Karin, an album that reached number 1 on the January 2019 Transglobal World Music Chart. Emre Gültekin discussed his musical background and Karin with World Music Central.
How did Vardan Hovanissian & Emre Gültekin meet?
One of the first meetings was when we were looking in Brussels for a duduk player for a recording. It was an album project with my father Lutfu Gultekin…So he came, we met and recorded; it was wonderful.
At that time, I was studying sound
engineering and there was a class named “soundscape” or something
like that. One of our exercises was to put a poem in sound without using
I was often the first student to present my works because we had a home studio in our house.
So I presented the work which was a
poem of Nazim Hikmet and asked Vardan to play duduk.
So the Poem (20th century) was
presented with just a voice and duduk in front of the class and the
A lot of students were laughing, etc…Then the teacher said ‘Ok! You forgot the main instruction for this work (no music) but your work touched me so much that I will give you 18/20 and if you correct this part by doing this, I will make it 19/20.’
I answered something like “I am ok with 18/20”. After that it was obvious that we would keep in touch through music.
What attracted a Belgian with Turkish roots and an Armenian to collaborate?
There is no point for us not to collaborate because of so many common things from food to music.
For me, the “modern Turkish
identity” they wanted to create doesn’t mean so much or it is not
relevant. Turkey is a mosaic of more than 40 ethnic groups with several
languages, which includes Kurdish, Aramaic, Pontos Greek, Armenian, Laz… so much!
Unfortunately, a lot of blood and
tragedies accompany their stories.
As in Europe with Bretons, or all
the “little communities” which are actually so big for me as the
Baul, in India for giving just one example…Sorry for my English.
For Vardan and me particularly, the music is the common language we want to express our feelings… and I think in this attempt the goal is quite appreciated for that we are so grateful to our respective masters… you have some interviews where their names are noted.
For me, Lutfu Gultekin, my father
then so lot of so nice musicians. Specially and first from Turkey (one of my
main roots), Talip Özkan, Mustafa Karaçeper, Neşet Ertaş, Muharrem Ertaş,
Tamburi Cemil Bey, Cengiz Özkan, Engin Arslan, Ertan Tekin.
I want to apologize because there are so many.
Then also here in Europe or India or
Africa, America, Far East, Middle-East.
Actually, Muziekpublique based in Brussels or De Centrale based in Gent can give a good idea about the diversity of musical cultures we exchange in Belgium.
My second root is related with Belgium, where I was born.
So it means through Brussels more
than 170 countries… so much diversity who can give so much perspective in the
way of musical exchange creations, etc.
At the end, the world is like a
Very soon, I hope we can effectively
understand the absurdity in so much ideas like borders, papers. Music has to
remember that as an artistic point of view of life.
Then there is no point of defining music by “nationality” which is also nonsense. Of course, territorial geographical particularities is relevant. Sometimes even between two neighboring village stylistic differences exist…Particularly for Armenian and Turkish folk music we can say that there is a so large common background through the centuries of living together than we can hope to collaborate with Vardan all our life. As long as breathe, we will perform!
What do you consider as the essential elements of your music?
Soul and spirit…feelings…fluidity… all
our respective lives in a way… get in our music our hopes to transmit all of
this through our music
Whom can you cite as your main musical influences?
I already mentioned some earlier, my
father Lutfu Gultekin, and a lot of his colleagues or friends, Talip Özkan,
Mustafa Karaçeper, and a lot more.
Recently I met after 20 years Aynur,
for a Kurdish folk project. Through the platform muziekpublique I get the
chance to meet a lot of musicians from “world music.” I dislike this
categorization of music. A big mistake;-) the categorization.
Vardan has also his own masters (I don’t have the names in memory but you can find through muziekpublique.be His roots related to Armenia so old and deep traditions…so the sound of duduk is printed by all of this…
Tell us about your previous album Adana and your musical evolution.
Adana is before all the idea to
combine some examples from Armenian and Turkish musical cultures. Through this
friendship we developed with Vardan. Musically it is a mix I made as I am sound
engineer…One of the rules I learned through years it is: less rules or
indication or scores…to the musicians…
Just feelings… even the musician cannot
understand the deep roots the expression he is giving to the music my role is
to catch them and then put together.
And for this process I am so
grateful to people with ears so fined tuned as my father Lutfu Gultekin, Cengiz
Özkan, Talip Özkan…and many others.
The ear is our main tool; as musician or sound engineer which has to be in fusion (the two functions) if we want to give a chance to the music…to be heard. Music coming first and before sound engineering (modern way to broadcast “diffuser.”
After Adana and in parallel a lot of
There is no impossibility in music
if you are open mind and if you want to share and find a common way. So it is a
permanent journey. These are some of the projects: www.amusicjourney.com,
A lot of recordings we have also to share, but in this very troubled period in the way they are diffusing consuming music sometimes it is very difficult to find it. Then you give up to think about and continue to play record. Making music is our life.
You play two traditional Turkish musical instruments, the saz and the baglama. What’s the difference between the two instruments?
Saz is a generic term for all the lute
family we can find in Turkey. There is no standard format of this
instrument. Each instrument maker has his signature… initially it was like
that. Today, industrial mood and process can be used. But I like
So baglama is one of the format but
in different regions it can represent different instruments.
Baglama in Aegean part (west) is a
cura in another part…More than 40 different ethnic group in Turkey;-)
Complicated a bit, but if you change
the perspective to analyze music, it becomes quite ok.
We can make music with spoon in
Greece or Turkey:-)
Who makes your musical instruments?
I never bought instruments. Till
today, my father had a very good approach of restoring old saz (as wine it is
better older) and we have not this idea of mine, my instrument. Every material
things for music is shared as it has to be through music, so in that way we
Also I received some gifts from very
good masters. The instrument makers are in Turkey, Central Asia, Iran…Difficult
to find here in Europe.
Are you involved in any form of musical education?
After years of “teaching,”
you understand if you can go further that there is no point to teach, and maybe
we have more to call it sharing…
Also as “teacher,” I
learned a lot because new things generally can come also from
“students” if the “teacher” is attentive.
So in that way I was involved a lot
but neither in academy or conservatory where they cannot teach the spirit of
the saz…Some cultural association.
The masters as considered like were
never in institutions or conservatory or academy. Some have opened their own
school and sometimes they also the same impact as institutions for music…
they empty the music from its own soul or spirit.
That is one of the thing I heard
from Talip Özkan and then I experiment in my own musical trip.
So it is continuing like that…Some
young people interested they can follow you, then it will depend of their own
intention, to be or not actor in musical developments. And how… a lot of
questions of course.
If you could gather any additional musicians or musical groups to collaborate with, whom would that be?
There is no impossibility. We
can make music with anyone who is close to our feelings. You cannot cheat in
music. In that way if the person is sincerely involved to share and express
something which is above us, the music, then this one can emerge.
For Adana and Karin it is with
double bass percussion and a lot of other instruments. For Karin we invited
also a lot of guest: Iranian, Kurdish, Georgian, French, Belgian, and Indian.
Do you have any other upcoming projects to share with us?
Baul meets saz (Indian Baul); Aynur Kurdish; Osuna Trio Silk Road folk; Gultekinler (kalan music); Guo Gan “lune de jade.” And so much more in hard drives 🙂 Easy to get info through internet…
Chansons Pour La Fin D’un Jour (Homerecords.be, 2011) L’exil, Refuge Du Barde, with Lütfü Gültekin (Homerecords.be, 2013) Adana, with Vardan Hovanissian (Muziekpublique, 2015) Lune De Jade, with Guo Gan (Homerecords.be, 2016) Karin (Muziekpublique, 2018)
Ahlam (dream in Arabic) is the beautifully-sculpted new album by NES, a trio of virtuoso musicians based in the beautiful Mediterranean city of Valencia, Spain. The ensemble includes multidimensional Spanish percussionist David Gadea, eclectic French cellist Matthieu Saglio and captivating French-Algerian cellist and vocalist Nesrine Belmokh.
combination of artful cello, light percussion and diverse vocal forms is intensely
satisfying. On Ahlam you’ll find masterfully-constructed songs influenced by
Arabic music, flamenco, classical music and jazz.
Belmokh shifts with ease from American-influenced jazz songs with English
vocals to traditional Arabic and flamenco modes.
The lineup includes Nesrine Belmokh on vocals and cello (on tracks 3 & 7); Mathieu Saglio on cello and vocals; and David Gadea on percussion.
Vladiswar Nadishana is a Russian multi-instrumentalist and composer, who creates his own path in music, design, dancing, rites and other life processes.
His music style is ethnic fusion, ethnic jazz or world fusion – the creative synthesis of different musical traditions of the world on the basis of contemporary technologies.
In 1990, along with studying at the Cinema Engineers Institute in Saint Petersburg, Vladiswar Nadishana began his self-education in playing guitar. Then he mastered other instruments like fretless bass guitar, sitar, mandola, chanzy, jew’s harp, ethnopercussion (darbuka, jembe, kalangu, udu, frame drums); winds (bansuri, quena, kalyuka, zhaleyka, gayda). In addition, he has created some experimental musical instruments: dzuddahord, pruzhingum, plastrimbaphon, rablorrum, ghostcatcher, pin-sansa, spring-pivot-gamelan, banbang (beer and coffee-tins), etc.
In 1991 he founded his first group Soulbuilding Society together with Lavrenty Mganga, then he played in Ensemble Ri,with Lavrenty and Youl (1996). He also launched two other projects with Youl: phonic Duet (1994) and The Fourth Race (2001).
2000 -was the foundation year of a trio Russian-Tuvan Karma Knot with a throat singer from Tuva, Ayas Holazhyk. Vladiswar also played in the group Capercaillies at the Treshold of Eternity.
In Berlin he worked with famous ethno DJ Genetic Drugs and with Ramesh Weeratunga, a musician from Sri Lanka . All these groups and artists create music based on an experimental synthesis of musical traditions from all over the world (ethno jazz, ethno fusion, new world music etc.)
Since 2000 Vladiswar lives in Tibercul, the biggest ecovillage of the world. There he established The Department of Sound Microsurgery (DSM) . DSM is a creative research laboratory, tackling a wide variety of project: from mastering unknown ancient musical instruments to investigating the influence of modern sound electronics on the human energy structure. The Department researches also how musical instruments influence the consciousness and inner organs of the human body (the project Move Your Chakra!).
V. Nadishana created several solo albums in his own studio, recording with a computer, using a multi-track overdubbing method. Vladiswar possesses a big collection of musical instruments (more than 100) from different parts of the world.
He is laureate of the international festivals Ustuu-Huree, The Sayan Ring and New Songs of the Old Lands, and he is also the founder of the ethnofestival Free of Karma Zone.
Written in Water is a fascinating collaboration between Scottish music innovators Shooglenifty and acclaimed Rajasthani ensemble Dhun Dhora. It’s a captivating fusion that brings together the Celtic traditions of Scotland and the music of Rajasthan (India). The album was recorded at the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur and in Craigrothie, Scotland.
and Dhun Dhora had been collaborating for a few years and decided it was time
to make an album together. The plan was to record at Mehrangarh Fort in 2016.
The fort is one of the wonders of the world. It’s the former palace of the
Maharaja of Marwar-Jodhpur that includes one of the most important museums in
member of each band passed away so plans were postponed. Shooglenifty’s fiddler
Angus R Grant died on October 2016 of cancer. Then in February 2017 the band
was informed that Dhun Dhora’s dholak player Roshan Khan had died in a traffic
With assistance from Divya Bhatia of Jodhpur Riff, a music festival held in the Fort each year, Shooglenifty got the permits from the Mehrangarh Museum Trust and HH Maharaja Gaj Singhji to record in the Fort.
arrived to India in September 2017 with producer Ben Seal and met with their
Indian colleagues Dhun Dhora. Both ensembles contributed melodies and songs. They
rehearsed and recorded in the 17th century Chokelao Palace, previously the
Maharaja’s guest quarters.
pays tribute to the two musicians who died before the recording by featuring performances
on two tracks recorded earlier.
on the album includes:
Angus R Grant on fiddle (track 1); Ewan MacPherson on mandolin, tenor banjo,
jaw harp; Garry Finlayson on acoustic and electric 5-string banjos, EBow; James
Mackintosh on drums, percussion, bass; Kaela Rowan on vocals; Malcolm Crosbie on
guitars; Quee MacArthur on bass; and Laura Jane Wilkie on fiddle (tracks 2 – 8).
Dhun Dhora: Chanan Khan Manganiyar on dhol, dumbek; Dayam Khan Manganiyar on vocals, harmonium; Ghafoor Khan Manganiyar on khartal; Latif Khan Manganiyar on bhapang, morchang; Pyaru Khan Manganiyar on dhol; Roshan Khan Manganiyar on vocals (track 3); Sardar Khan Langa on sarangi, vocals; Sattar Khan Manganiyar on dhol; and Swaroop Khan Manganiyar on dhol, dholak.
Written in Water is an innovative and refreshing album where the music of two ancient and distant cultures come together with ease.
Julio Montoro y Alma Latina – Black Roots (Tumi Music, 2018)
and composer Julio Montoro and his band Alma Latina dedicate Black Roots to the
African-rooted music of South America , the Caribbean and North America.
Black Roots features
one of the rising stars in Cuban music, vocalist Dayana Botello as well as
guest appearances by Congolese guitarist Papa Noel and vocalist Nolita Golding.
The album is a multifaceted set that includes an effervescent mix of reggae, Afro-Cuban, funk, hip-hop, Cuban son and salsa. Unfortunately, a very melodic smooth jazz saxophone appears throughout the album. It may make the music more accessible to wider audiences, but it also makes it less appealing if you are seeking fiery Cuban music.
includes Dayana Botello on lead vocals and chorus; Julio Montoro on guitars,
chorus and keyboards; Roger Reina on bass; Yosvany Betancourt on drums, congas and timbales; Ivan Reyes on percussion; Juan
Lázaro Pompa Zamora on piano; Abel Hernández on alto and soprano saxophone; Juan
Kemell on trumpet and chorus; Raul Hernandez on congas; Amaury Balzan on double
bass; Leonardo Milian on piano; Javier Chacon on piano and keyboards; Osmel Cuellar on tenor saxophone; Osmel Cruz
on tres; Nolita Golding on vocals; Papa Noel
on guitar in Sambembere; Jose Luis Hernandez (El chewi) on tenor saxophone; and
Esteli Roz and Maydenis Palomino on chorus.
Your Connection to traditional and contemporary World Music including folk, roots and various types of global fusion