Tag Archives: world fusion

The Better Musical Paradises of Javier Ruibal

Javier Ruibal – “Paraísos mejores” (Nuba Records, 2018)

Javier Ruibal, one of Spain’s finest musical poets delivers another gem titled Paraísos mejores (better paradises). Ruibal has a highly expressive, captivating vocal style that matches his poetic lyrics perfectly. His lyrics talk about love, flamenco dreams, recent historical events, the hopes of African migrants, Egypt travels, imaginary places and the aspiration of humanity despite war mongering. All songs are in Spanish except one in which Ruibal sings in Arabic.

Musically, Javier Ruibal, takes you on a fantastic musical trip around the globe, incorporating flamenco, Cuban music, Middle Eastern music, bolero, contemporary jazz, rock, and chamber classical music.

The album was produced by Javier’s son, percussionist Javi (Javier Jr.) Ruibal. Paraísos mejores includes two high profile singers, Dominican star Juan Luis Guerra and the great Brazilian artist Chico Cesar.

The line-up includes Javier Ruibal on vocals and guitar together with some of Spain’s best players: Jose Recacha on electric and acoustic guitars, ud, bouzouki, Portuguese guitar, electric bass and keyboards; Javi Ruibal on drums and percussion; Manuel Machado on trumpet; Federico Lechner on piano; Victor Merlo on acoustic bass; Diego Villegas on saxophone, flute, clarinet and harmonica; Frederick Hogue on trombone; Daniel Escortell on bass; Jorge Arribas on accordion; Diego Galaz on violin, mandolin and saw; Laure Gaudrom on viola; José Inés Guerrero on cello;  Faiçal Kourrich on violin and viola; and José Carlos Roca on cello.


Jajouka Meets New York at A World in Trance 2019

Master Musicians of Jakouka

The concert Jajouka Meets New York will take place Saturday, March 30, 2019 at Roulette in New York City. This concert is part of the A World in Trance series.

Inspired by the captivating sounds of the legendary Master Musicians of Jakouka, this ensemble of musicians from both sides of the Atlantic – Morocco and the US – explore the potential for sound to trigger a state of ecstasy.

Bachir Attar is a multi-instrumentalist well-known for his mastery of the ghaita, a double reed oboe-like instrument that is essential to the sound of the Master Musicians of Jajouka, the group that he leads. His brother, Mustapha Attar, also a member of the group, plays drums as well as ghaita.

Saxophonist and clarinetist Ned Rothenberg, acclaimed throughout the world for his solo concerts and collaborations with diverse musicians, is particularly noted for his virtuosity of multiphonics and circular breathing.

Arrington de Dionysio, a saxophonist, vocalist and visual artist who has collaborated recently with Attar and Mustapha, draws on a variety of traditions, including Tuvan throat singing and Indonesian trance music, for inspiration. Innovative percussionist Ben Bennett has developed a commanding synthesis of extended and traditional techniques on the drums, and worked with cutting-edge improvisers around the world.

The Master Musicians of Jajouka, from the Rif mountains of Morocco, are noted for their trance-inducing ceremony that predates Islam and is thought to evoke the ancient rites of Pan, the goat-legged fertility god of ancient Greece. Embraced in the 1950s by artist Brion Gysin and writer Paul Bowles, the village of Jajouka became a popular spot in the 1960s and ‘70s for celebrities such as the Rolling Stones, Ornette Coleman, and Timothy Leary.

Recordings available include Brian Jones Plays With The Pipes Of Pan At Joujouka (1971), The Primal Energy That Is The Music And Ritual Of Jajouka, Morocco ( 1974), Tribe Ahl Serif: Master Musicians Of Jajouka ‎(1975), Apocalypse Across The Sky (1992),
Jajouka Between The Mountains (1995), Master Musicians Of Jajouka (2000), Boujeloud’s Cave – 1974 ‎(2002), Live Volume 1 ‎(2009), The Source ‎(2010), The Road to Jajouka ( 2013) and Apocalypse Live ‎(2017).

Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue at 3rd Avenue, Downtown Brooklyn
Box office: 917-267-0363


Bandadriatica’s Musical Odyssey

Bandadriatica – Odissea (Finisterre, 2018)

Bandadriatica, the mighty brass band from southern Italy explores various musical regions beyond its native southern Italy on Odissea (Odyssey).

The succulent, explosive mix incorporates the mesmerizing percussive tambourine sounds and accordion of Salento (southern Italy), high energy Balkan brass, rock guitars inspired by Saharan desert blues, and trance-like North African Gnawa rhythms plus fascinating spoken word.

The ensemble includes Claudio Prima on organetto (accordion), vocals; Emanuele Coluccia on alto, tenor and soprano saxophone; Andrea Perrone on trumpet; Vincenzo Grasso on clarinet; Gaetano Carrozzo on trombone; Morris Pellizzari on electric guitar, mandolin and saz; Giuseppe Spedicato on electric bass and tuba; and Ovidio Venturoso on drums.

Guests: Giovanni Chirico on baritone saxophone; Antonio Castrignano on vocals and tamburello; Redi Hasa on cello; Simone Giorgino on spoken word; Roberto Chiga on tamburello; Lioness Afreeka, Federico Buttazzo, Alessandra Ferrari, Aldo Orlando and Maria Scogna on backing vocals.

Previous recordings include Contagio ‎(Finisterre, 2007), Maremoto (2009), Casa (2012), Arriva La Banda! (2012) and Babilonia ‎(Finisterre, 2015).


Artist Profiles: Manglis

Luis Cobo Manglis

Guitarist, composer and producer Luis Cobo Manglis was born in Sevilla (Spain). At 13 he began to learn guitar and at 17 he became a professional musician, performing at the joint Spanish/US naval base in Rota (Cadiz).

He was one of the pioneers of Rock Andaluz (Andalusian Rock) in the late 1970s as the leader of legendary band Guadalquivir. He was also a guitarist for the stars of Rock Andaluz, Triana, between 1981 and 1983.

In 1990 he founded Arrajatabla, together with Raimundo Amador. They won the gold award at the “Band Explosion” festival in Tokyo, Japan. Arrajatabla recorded a now classic album called Sevilla Blues, which features a marvelous collection of Flamenco, Jazz, Blues and other fine herbs.

In 1996 he formed world music band Manteca, with which he recorded two CDs, Pa Darte Gloria and Bailando Con Cabras. Both albums were released in Europe and Southeast Asia, featuring high quality instrumentation and well known guests, including saxophonist Jorge Pardo.

With the new millenium, in 2002, Manglis founded Manglis Compas Machine. He met Singaporean (of Indian origin) percussionist and tabla player Nantha Kumar. Together they recorded the CD Mandala.

Manglis Compas Machine has participated in numerous festivals. It?s been over thirty years dedicated to world music hybrids


Guadalquivir, with Guadalquivir (EMI Harvest, 1978)
Camino Del Concierto, with Guadalquivir (EMI Harvest, 1980)
Después Del Silencio, with Guadalquivir (Caskabel, 1983)
Sevilla Blues, with Arrajatabla (Fonomusic, 1992)
Escalera Al Cielo (Movieplay, 1981)
Dandy (Movieplay, 1983)
Pa’ Darte Gloria (Fonomusic, 1996)
Bailando con Cabras (Fonomusic, 1998),
Mandala (Factoría Autor, 2006)


Artist Profiles: L’Ham de Foc

L’Ham de Foc

The band L’Ham de Foc was iniciated by Efrén López and Mara Aranda in 1998. After composing their first material they were invited by the INJUVE (Institute for Spanish Youth Culture) to participate in the yearly tour through various Spanish cities. The live setup required more musicians so L’Ham de Foc was founded after the band grew up to 7 members.

Shortly after that, the musicians got in contact with the independent label Sonifolk and in August of 1999 the first CD “U” (Sonifolk, 2001) was released. With the help of the new album, the band participated in several important Spanish world music and folk festivals.

After a long tour throughout Spain Efrén López and Mara Aranda continued their musical investigation and moved to Greece for 6 months in order to learn more about traditional Greek music and to meet important musicians. The knowledge obtained during this trip was used in their second album, Cançó de Dona i Home (Sonifolk, 2002).

L’Ham de Foc was one of the leading groups of a new Folk movement in Spain, that works the traditional roots into a new, modern music concept. But L’Ham de Foc’s work is not just a superficial look at its roots. The musician’s intention is to go back to where things originally came from, to learn how to play instruments, techniques and interpretations from first hand. Mediterranean folk music, including their own Valencian music, Greek music and also music from India or Northern Africa, are main influences for L’Ham de Foc. This mixture was responsible for a widespread acceptance of their music.

To understand the group’s work, one needs to know ome things about the special cultural situation of the Valencian region. During the history of the southern Spanish coast, different cultures settled down, imposing their cultural roots. Due to its harbors, southeastern Spain was an important place for trading and the result was a permanent cultural exchange.

Musically spoken, three different zones have the strongest influence: The Arabic countries in the south. The tradition from Aragon and Castille in Spain, France and Italy denominated as the European zone. The central zone that is identified by a fusion of the north and the south. Hereto belong countries and regions like Greece, Andalusia, Yugoslavia, Albania, the Balearic Islands, Malta, Crete, Valencia, etc. These cultures are characterized by melismatic melodies, polyrhythms, double stringed instruments, wind instruments, quarter tone harmonies, and by the presence of the Arabic culture throughout 700 years.

The Musicians:

Diego López (Darbuka, Rig, Didjeridu, Bendir, Snare Drum, Cántaro and Tabla) – He started his career as a drummer in various rock, folk and singer-songwriter bands and found his interest more and more in traditional percussion instruments. He studied Indian tabla with Sazed Ul Alam and took part in workshops given by Glen Velez.

Eduardo Navarro (Dulzaina Gralla, Tarota, Baguet, Galician Bagpipe, Bulgarian Bagpipe, Chirimía, Crumhorn, Flute, Violin and Mandolin) – He started playing the laúd (Spanish lute) in traditional music groups and studied violin at the conservatory. Later, at the age of 16, rs he specialized in the Dulzaina reaching a master level. He was founder of traditional Valencian and Mediterranean groups like Llisa folk, Urbália Rurana, Tres Fan Ball and la Banda del Agredolç. He was also engaged in the cultural magazine “La Canya”. He later worked with the group Capella de Ministrers playing early music and was a permanent member of L’Ham de Foc.

Paco Bernal (Bendir, Crótalos, Snare Drum, Cajón and Cántaro)
He specializes fundamentally in Afro Cuban music and flamenco. He participated in several recordings with singer songwriters, Pop bands, Jazz artists, Salsa, Flamenco and African artists. He worked regularly with groups like Salpico, Burguitos, Miquel Gil, Ximo Tebar, Big Band Sedajazz, Sedajazz Latin Ensemble, Joan Soler and Ramón Cardo. He studied with Horacio “el negro” Hernández and Luís Dulzaides. He teaches percussion at the Conservatory in Valencia and at the Escuela de Música Creativa de Benimaclet.

Efrén López (Ud, Zanfona, Dulcimer, Bouzouki, Saz, Lauto, Trompa Marina, Gümbüs and Archilaúd) – He was one of the founders of L’Ham de Foc together with Mara Aranda. After playing the guitar in several projects he started to get into traditional music. As a session musician he recorded for more than 40 projects of different music styles. He’s switching now from guitar to traditional Mediterranean and antique instruments like double stringed instruments. With these instruments he recorded music for ads, documentaries and short movies. He studied the Zanfona with Pascal Leffevre, Maurizio Marttinotti and Nigel Eaton, Indian music with Krisna Mohann Batt, Sazed Ul Alam and Ajo y Chakrabarti and Turkish music with Ross Daly. Now he is sharing his time between L’Ham de Foc and the antique music ensemble Capella de Ministrers, which is touring continuously throughout Spain, Italy, France, Egypt, Croatia, Portugal, etc.

Mara Aranda (Tampura, Percussion, Classical Guitar, Vocals) – Mara was the composer of most of the music of L’Ham de Foc and also responsible for all lyrics. From the age of 16 she became a singer songwriter, fundamentally influenced by roots music and early music.


U (Sonifolk, 1999)
Cançó De Dona I Home (Sonifolk, 2002)
Cor De Porc (Galileo MC, 2005)


Artist Profiles: La Bruja Gata

La Bruja Gata

La Bruja Gata was a world music band that performed traditional Spanish folk music with global and innovative sounds. All the musicians had experience in various folk and rock bands Rafa Martín was founder of La Musgaña, in 1987; José Ramón Jiménez was a member of Suburbano; Javier Barrio recorded with La Bazanca (Valladolid) and many other acts, and Javier Palancar had collaborated with La Frontera and is one of the most renowned accordion teachers in the Spanish capital.

La Bruja Gata was founded in Madrid at the end of 1999 and, in a short time of existence, it managed to become an important phenomenon within Spanish folk. The group was selected, among more than 1,100 candidates, for the Strictly World festival that was held in Zaragoza in November 2000. In addition, La Bruja Gata was proclaimed by popular vote “best new band” at the Festival de Ortigueira in 2000.

The first album of the group, Manual de Pociones (Potions manual), included 15 songs (including 11 instrumentals) composed by Javier Palancar and José Ramón Jiménez with the exception of a polka from Julián Romanos.

The members of La Bruja Gata liked to define their music as “stateless folk”, “folk from nowhere” or “folk from their father and mother”, a remarkable variety of styles. “Our sound combines in some way Castilian airs, Balkan rhythms, African percussion, progressive jams and a bit of Celtic vertigo. We are not traditionalists or recreators. We have tried to make La Bruja Gata look just like La Bruja Gata”, explained Palancar.

La Bruja Gata won the Villa de Madrid 2002 award for the best traditional music album for its debut album, Manual de Potions.

The Bruja Gata lineup included: Javier Palancar (Madrid, 1964: accordion, vocals); José Ramón Jiménez (Madrid, 1975: clarinets, flutes); Rafa Martín (El Escorial, 1961: zanfona, lute); Antonio Melero (Madrid, 1974: percussion, drums); Javier Barrio (Segovia, 1960: guitars, guitarrillo, dulzaina); Roberto Ruiz (León, 1965: bass, cello).


Manual de Pociones (La fábrica de ideas, 1999)
Baile de Libélulas (Resistencia, 2004)
Fugaz (La Bruja Gata, 2010)


Artist Profiles: Ketama

Ketama – Photo by Mario Pacheco

Ketama was a Madrid-based flamenco fusion band formed in 1985, taking the name from a Moroccan town famous for growing some of the best “weed.” The band was initially formed by guitarist Juan José Carmona Amaya “El Camborio”, guitarist José Soto “Sorderita” and vocalist Ray Heredia https://worldmusiccentral.org/2017/11/10/artist-profiles-ray-heredia/, all members of some of the finest Gypsy flamenco performers: the Habichuelas from Granada, the Sorderas from Jerez and the Heredias from Madrid.

In the early days, Ketama rehearsed in a chicken yard, preparing themselves for their nightly performances at the famous flamenco club Los Canasteros in Madrid. This allowed the group members to meet flamenco legends like Paco de Lucía, Enrique Morente and Camarón de la Isla

Ray Heredia left the group first. Vocalist Antonio Carmona Amaya and guitarist José Miguel Carmona Niño “Josemi”, Juan’s cousins, replaced Ray. Some time later, José Soto also left to pursue a solo career. The Carmonas then went to develop one of the most brilliant careers in Nuevo Flamenco.

Ketama received international acknowledgement with their third record, Songhai, a combination of flamenco with jazz and Malian music, featuring English bassist Danny Thompson and Malian kora master Toumani Diabate.

Initially, Ketama kept to its Flamenco roots unlike most of the other young Gypsy groups. Later, the band started to combine roots flamenco with diverse influences such as salsa, reggae, pop, funk and jazz. They went on to play with some of the world’s greats: Celia Cruz, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Michel Camilo to mention a few.

In 1994, Ketama released Songhai 2. The album included Toumani Diabate, bassist Danny Thompson and balafon virtuoso Keletigui Diabate.

The group disbanded in 2004.


Ketama (Nuevos Medios, 1985)
La pipa de Kif (Nuevos Medios, 1987)
Songhai, with Toumani Diabate and Danny Thompson (Nuevos Medios, 1988)
Y es ke me han kambiao los tiempos (Universal, 1990)
Karma (recopilatorio) (Nuevos Medios, 1990)
Canciones hondas (recopilatorio) (Nuevos Medios, 1992)
Pa´ gente con Alma (Polygram, 1992)
El Arte de lo invisible (Universal, 1993)
Songhai 2, with Toumani Diabate and Danny Thompson (Nuevos medios, 1994)
De akí a Ketama (Universal, 1995)
Konfusión (Universal, 1997)
Sabor (Mercury Records, 1998)
Toma Ketama! (Universal, 1999)
Dame la mano (Universal, 2002)
Nuevos Medios Colección (Nuevos Medios, 2002)
20 pa’ Ketama (Universal, 2004)


Artist Profiles: Jorge Pardo

Jorge Pardo in 2014 – Photo by Manuel Naranjo

Jorge Pardo was born in Madrid in 1955. He started his studies at the Conservatory of Madrid at the age of 14. From very early on in his career he immersed himself in jazz and was one of the founding members of the group Dolores (together with Pedro Ruy-Blas). Today, Jorge is regarded as one of the true leaders of a style of music that fuses flamenco with jazz. In fact, he is among the elite group of jazz figures from Spain with an international following.

Introduced to the world of professional flamenco at the hands of groundbreaking flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, he has acquired a new hybrid language between jazz “de raiz” (“from the roots”) and flamenco.

Jorge Pardo in the late 1980s – Photo by Mario Pacheco

Jorge Pardo’s style and technique on both flute and the sax is blazing new trails in this constantly developing music. In addition to his work in Sexteto by Paco de Lucia, he has collaborated with nearly every major figure in the world of flamenco; his resume includes concerts with Chick Corea and Astrid Gilberto, and Jorge is also a longtime collaborator with flamenco rock bands Ketama and La Barberia del Sur, further exploring the outer reaches of the rhythms of flamenco.

In 2013, Jorge Pardo received the award for Best European Jazz Musician, by the French Academy of Jazz.

In 2016, Pardo released the Djinn Metaflamenco project that delved into the essence of flamenco, takinge it beyond the confines of its current borders. The album featured Hammond organs, keyboards with acid sounds, powerful drums, electric bass and flamenco guitars joined by saxophoness and flutes (sometimes processed) and the contributions of Dj’s and producers working with samples of vintage singing.

In 2017, Djinn Metaflamenco won the Best flamenco album award at the Premios MIN, the elading indepedne t jusic awards in Spain.


Jorge Pardo (Blau, 1982)
El Canto De Los Guerreros (Linterna Música, 1983)
A Mi Aire (Nuevos Medios, 1987)
Las Cigarras Son Quizá Sordas (Nuevos Medios, 1991)
10 De Paco, with Chano Domínguez (Nuevos Medios, 1994)
De Dos En Dos (Nuevos Medios, 1995)
2332 (Nuevos Medios, 1997)
Music For Ebbe: Live In San Sebastian (El Delirio, 1999)
El Concierto De Sevilla (Nuevos Medios, 2000)
Directo (Satchmo Jazz Records, 2001)
Mira (Nuevos Medios, 2001)
Bouderbala, with Nass Marrakech and Omar Sosa (World Village, 2001)
Quid Pro Quo (Satchmo Jazz Records, 2003)
Vientos Flamencos (Manantial De Músicas, 2005)
3dd’3 (Quadrant Records, 2006)
Desvaríos (RTVE Música, 2007)
Entre (MusiMagic, 2008)
Sin Precedentes (Nuevos Medios, 2008)
Vientos Flamencos 2 (Flamenco World Music, 2009)
Sobre la Marcha (CQuadrant Records, 2011)
Huellas (Cabra Road, 2012)
Puerta Del Sol (Nuba Records, 2013)
Historias de Radha y Krishna (Fol Música, 2014)
Djinn (Karonte, 2016)


Live At The Auditori Pau Casals, El Vendrell (Quadrant Records Q00002V 2007


Refugees for Refugees Announce Amina Release Tour

Refugees for Refugees

World music ensemble Refugees for Refugees has announced an upcoming European tour to celebrate the release of its new album Amina.

Tour Dates:

16/02/2019 – Ancienne Belgiumlgique (Brussels, Belgium)
17/02/2019 – De Roma (Antwerpen, Belgium)
01/03/2019 – Salle Philharmonique de Liège (Belgium)
02/03/2019 – Maison Culturelle d’Ath (Belgium)
09/03/2019 – HandelsBelgiumurs (Gent, Belgium)
13/03/2019 – C-Mine (Genk, Belgium)
28/03/2019 – CC Brugge (Belgium)
29/03/2019 – Espace Ronny Coutteure (Grenay, France)
03/04/2019 – CC de Comines-Warneton (Belgium)
06/04/2019 – Centre culturel régional Action Sud (Viroinval, Belgium)
10/05/2019 – Ferme du Biéreau (Belgium)
16/05/2019 – Ter Vesten (Belgiumveren, Belgium)
28/05/2019 – Teatro do Trindade (Lisbon, Portugal)
29/05/2019 – Teatro Garcia de Resende (Evora, Portugal)
17/05/2019 – Quintet – Archipel 2019 (Brussels, Belgium)
13/07/2019 – Brosella Festival (Brussels, Belgium)
26/07/2019 – Glatt & Verkehrt Festival (Krems, Austria)