Tag Archives: world music

Artist Profiles: Sultan Khan

Sultan Khan

Sultan Khan was known as one of the world’s most talented sarangi players. Sultan’s virtuosity on this difficult instrument was apparent in his eloquent phrasings and rhythmic ornamentations. A representative of the Indore gharana, his models were his grandfather Ustad Azim Khan and his father, Ustad Ghulab Khan. Originally from Kathiawar, he later lived in Bombay where he was actively involved in live concerts and film scoring. He traveled and performed internationally, and his music is available on various Indian, European and American labels.

Ustad Sultan Khan gave his first performance at the All-India Conference at the age of 11, and since then has become to be recognized on an international scale.

In November 1974, George Harrison and Ravi Shankar collaborated with some of the greatest Indian musicians of this century on an American concert tour. During their stay in San Francisco, the Indian performers were invited to do an informal concert at The Stone House, a granite room in Fairfax, California. Ustad Sultan Khan recorded an album titled Sarangi : The Music Of India.

He won numerous musical awards, including being a recipient twice of the Sangeet Natya Academy Award, also know as the President’s Award, as well as being a recipient of the Gold Medalist Award of Maharashtra, and the American Academy of Artists Award in 1998.

Sultan Khan

Ustad Sultan Khan also composed and recorded music for films, such as In Custody, and Ghandi. But, his true devotion and love was playing the classical music of India.

sultan Khan died November 27, 2011 in Mumbai, India.


Jugalbandi (His Master’s Voice, 1971)
Young Tabla Wizard – Sarangi Maestro (Chhanda Dhara, 1987)
Sarangi The Music Of India (360° Productions, 1988)
Singing Sarangi Of Sultan Khan (Chhanda Dhara, 1988)
Sur Taal (Super Cassettes Industries Ltd., 1991)
Sarangi (Moment Records, 1991)
Sarangi (Navras, 1992)
Ragas Kaushi Kannada, Bhairvi (Navras, 1993)
In Custody – A Film By Ismael Merchant (Angel Records, 1993)
Raga Pour La Saison Des Pluies (Adès, 1993)
Thought ‘N’ Beats (T-Series, 1994)
Jugalbandi Duet Series Vol.1 (Navras, 1994)
The Art Of Sarangi (Seven Seas, 1994)
Virtuoso (Chhanda Dhara, 1995)
Raga Marwa / Bhairavi (India Archive Music, 1995)
Raga Bhoop & Dhun (Navras, 1996)
Pukaar The Echo (Navras, 2001)
Sonorous Sound of Sarangi (Chhanda Dhara, 2002)
A Drop Of The Ocean (Karuna Music, 2003)
Maestro’s Choice – Sarangi (Music Today, 2004)
Alap, Morning & Afternoon Ragas (India Archive Music, 2004)
Taras – The Longing (Navras, 2006)
Umeed (Sense World Music, 2008)
Live Programme at Savai Gandharva Music Festival, Pune (Fountain Music Company, 2008)
Mesmerizing Maestros (Saregama, 2009)
The Legacy (Worldwide Records, 2011)
The Master, with Warren Cuccurullo (Six Degrees Records, 2014)
Piya Basanti (Sony Music, 2000)


Woven Threads, a Remarkable Connection of Cutting Edge Jazz and Chilean Folk

Stu Mindeman – Woven Threads (Sunnyside Records, 2018)

Pianist and composer Stu Mindeman intertwines the sounds of North and South America in Woven Threads. The Chicago-based musician spent his childhood in Chile when his father played with the Santiago Symphony. At the time, Stu was exposed to South American folk music and he celebrates Chilean music with various collaborations with Chilean artists. He returned to South America to record some of the sessions in Santiago, Chile.

Musically, Woven Threads takes the listener to a marvelous voyage where contemporary jazz, Chilean folk music, Latin American beats and Latin jazz fusion come together.

The highlights of the album are the songs that feature outstanding Chilean singer Francesca Ancarola; Stu Mineman’s fine piano and electronic keyboard work, soundscapes and delightful string arrangements; Kurt Elling’s exquisite vocals, Matt Gold’s fabulous guitar, and Marquis Hill’s trumpet solo. The album flows beautifully, except for the tiresome rapping by Ana Tijoux.

Woven Threads showcases masterfully-crafted world fusion by talented jazz musician and musical explorer Stu Mindeman.


Multifaceted Indian Musician Babu Kishan Releases 32 Albums on GooglePlay

GooglePlay has just released 32 albums from acclaimed award-winning music composer of Baul, Bollywood, folk, Indian Classical and world music Babu Kishan, also known as Krishnendu Das.

The recordings include 50 years’ worth of music composed and now re-released including world music, folk, Bengali, Baul, Indian spiritual kirtan, bhajans to top Bollywood acts, including Kumar Shanu, Udit Narayan, Anuradha Paudwal, Kavita Krishnamurty, Shaan, Sadhna Sargam, Poornima and many more.

Babu Kishan is a multi-instrumentalist, who plays 15 instruments, has produced 60 albums, composed 150 musical scores for Indian Cinema, and has released more than a thousand albums working for India’s top music companies including manager A&R/ Consultant at India’s popular music & film companies like CBS, Tips music, Gramophone Company, Time, ABCL.

He is the eldest son of the legendary Purna Das Baul who introduced Baul to India and the world more than 70 years ago. Babu been preserving his mystical tradition of Baul from Bengal for 45 years. Others follow him and his lineage, they do not follow anybody. He recorded and composed the music for most of his father’s Baul music and has performed since the early 1970s traveling around the world with his father.

Raised by his grandfather, the legendary Nabani Das Khyapa Baul, who was Rabindranath Tagore’s Baul Guru, what the Bauls are singing today is the music of his renowned family.

Born an oral Sanskritist and musician, he speaks many languages and has composed music in 12 languages, traveling to more than 100 countries and collaborating with Bob Dylan and The Band whom he toured the United States of America 40 concerts in the mid 1980’s. He has jammed with The Rolling Stones, Third World, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, George Harrison of the Beatles and many more. He has toured with Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan, Sultan Khan, and Zakir Hussain.

Babu Kishan is a prolific poet and has written thousands of songs and composed music for most of India’s top legends. The 32 albums released on GooglePlay are focus on some of his compositions.
Babu Kishan’s new book on his world of music be released later this year, Baul to Bollywood to the World, historical Baul, who made a Greatest platform and preserved so can be much easier for new Bauls and the world.

He has a master in Indian Music from Calcutta University and has been a Indian Cultural Ambassador and world music pioneer since the 1970s. Babu Kishan was awarded the youngest Music Composer in Bengal in the 1970s at just 11 years of age. Bollywood lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

More at www.BabuKishan.org


First World Music Networking Conference Held in Russia, a Success

The Kamwa International Ethno-Music Conference was the first three-day conference of its kind held in Russia. The gathering was aimed at the development of the Russian ethno-music (world music) industry and organized by the Kamwa festival, Natalia Shostina and Daryana Antipova.

The conference included a series of round tables on current topics of the ethno-music industry such as “Features of ethnic festival organization in Russia. The best form of legal registration for festivals”, “Folk Music Industry in Russia” and others. The main goal of the event was to foster professional industry partnerships, business contacts, opportunities for exporting Russian ethnic music, and international cooperation.

Kamwa International Ethno-Music Conference 2018


The conference took place during July 27 – 29, 2018 at the grounds of the Architectural and Ethnographic Khokhlovka Museum, located 40 km from Perm on the picturesque banks of the Kama River. It brought together directors of ethnic festivals in Russia, managers working with world music groups, tour agents, representatives of ethnic labels and journalists ranging from Siberia and Moscow to France and Hungary.


Tatiana Fokina (Nebo i Zemlya festival), Tatiana Lambolez (Altan Art agency, France), Marina Gulyaeva (Kupalskaya skazka festival, Moscow), Denis Davydov (Myrkr label, Ekaterinburg), Emil Bilyarski, Daryana Antipova, Glafira Utyomova and Angelina Abdulova at Kamwa International Ethno-Music Conference 2018


Denis Davydov of the Myrkr record label in Ekaterinburg said: “I am very glad that I was able to take part in the Kamwa ethno-music conference. It was a new and useful professional experience for me. Finally in Russia there is a platform where you can meet and talk with the organizers of ethno – and folklore festivals, representatives of groups, publishers and journalists. I hope that the conference will be an annual one. Thanks to its organizers, and, in particular, Daryana Antipova and Natalia Shostina for the invitation“.

Tatiana Lambolez of booking agency Altan-Art (France) expressed: “The atmosphere was wonderful at the conference. We had interesting topics for discussion and all members actively participated, which is important. The Kamwa festival itself is wonderful, with a very rich and varied program in a wonderful place and nature. I enjoyed the full program and the choice of artists as well as communicating with conference participants and organizers. Thank you!

More at www.kamwa.ru


Extraordinary Southern Hemisphere Island Music Fair Trade Connections

Various Artists – Small Island Big Song (Small Island Big Song, 2018)

Small Island Big Song is a remarkable musical project envisioned by Australian music producer and filmmaker Tim Cole and his partner BaoBao Chen.

Concerned about the rising seas due to climate change and how this alteration will have a devastating effect on the inhabitants of many islands that have managed to live a sustainable existence, Cole and Chen spent three years recording the music of various cultures and indigenous groups from countries and island nations in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

The fascinating musical voyage traces ancient migration and trade routes that connect the islands. The producers captured an enormous amount of film footage and audio recordings, featuring over 100 musicians from 16 countries.

The collection on Small Island Big Song contains multi-tracked performances and jams between musicians from diverse cultures. Some of these include the sape lute from the Dayak people of Borneo (Malaysia) with a bamboo ensemble in Papua New Guinea; Maori music combined with Taiwanese Indigenous harmonies; Easter Island Jaiwaian reggae along with a Kompang group from Singapore; and the mesmerizing water music of Leweton Village in Vanuatu.

The extensive list of artists includes:

Madagascar: Bosco Rakoto, Clara Andrianaivo, Monja Manitsindava, Sammy Andriamalalaharijaona, Rajery, Ankivio Village Band, Nofy Be, Belo sur Mer, Saroba and Sandro.
Taiwan: Piteyo Ukah, Ado Kaliting Pacidal, Siao-Chun Tai, Djanav Zengror and Luona Cultural Group
Singapore: Kompang Hut
Indonesia: Gus Teja
Vanuatu: Leweton Village
Tahiti: O Tahiti E and Poemoana
Malaysia: Alena Murang, Arthur Borman, Tepu’ Doo’ Ilah, Pahin Lusang and Uko Usun
Solomon Islands: Charles Maimarosia
Papua New Guinea: Airileke, Ben Hakalitz, Markham Galut, Koyawa, Yumi Yet Bamboo Band, Richard Mogu and Mongal String Band.
Hawaii (USA): Kekuhi Kealiikanakaoleohaililani and Kuana Torres Kahele
Rapa Nui/Easter Island (Chile): Yoyo Tuki
Torres Strait Australia: Mau Power, Will Kepa, Gabriel Bani and Tommy Billy
Aotearoa/New Zealand: Waimihi Hotere and Horomona Horo

The physical edition is beautifully packaged and designed with lyrics, numerous photos and credits. It’s fair trade music, where 50% of the net profit goes back to the musicians and communities.


Ammar 808 Tops the Transglobal World Music Chart in August 2018

The album Maghreb United (Glitterbeat) by Ammar 808 is the number one album on the August 2018 Transglobal World Music Chart. Ammar 808 is the cutting edge global electronica project of Sofyann Ben Youssef, the leader of acclaimed Tunisian act Bargou 08.

The rest of the list:

2. Fatoumata Diawara – Fenfo – Montuno / Shanachie / Wagram
3. Dobet Gnahoré – Miziki – LA Café
4. Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita – Soar – Bendigedig
5. Samba Touré – Wande – Glitterbeat
6. The Turbans – The Turbans – Six Degrees
7. Toko Telo – Diavola – Anio
8. Hermeto Pascoal – Hermeto Pascoal e sua Visão Original do Forró – Scubidu
9. Bombino – Deran – Partisan
10. Shadi Fathi & Bijan Chemirani – Delâshena – Buda Musique

11. Monsieur Doumani – Angathin – Monsieur Doumani
12. Amsterdam Klezmer Band & Söndörgő – Szikra – Vetnasj
13. Anandi Bhattacharya – Joys Abound – Riverboat / World Music Network
14. Invisible System – Bamako Sessions – Riverboat / World Music Network
15. Rahim AlHaj Trio – One Sky – Smithsonian Folkways
16. Nancy Vieira – Manhã Florida – Lusafrica
17. Koum Tara – Koum Tara – Odradek
18. Angelique Kidjo – Remain in Light – Kravenworks
19. Barcelona Gipsy balKan Orchestra – Avo Kanto – Satélite K
20. Solju – Ođđa Áigodat – Bafe’s Factory


Captivating and Stylish Opium Moon

Opium Moon – Opium Moon (Be Why, 2018)

Descriptors like enchanting, elegant and hypnotic just don’t seem to do justice to Be Why Music’s recent self-titled release of Opium Moon. It is indeed enchanting, elegant and hypnotic, but it’s more. Surely, this is the music drunk bees must hear lolling inside a flower, captives to the warm summer sun and soothing breeze surrounded and infused by drugging fragrance. Finding your inner drunk bee is no further than a listen to this extraordinary CD.

The musician masterminds of Opium Moon are Iranian santoor master Hamid Saeidi, Israeli bassist Itai Disraeli, American percussionist MB Gordy and the Canadian-American violinist Lili Haydn. Delving deep into a sound that draws on trance and sacred musical traditions of both East and West, Opium Moon is sultry and meditative. Produced by Ms. Haydn and Opium Moon, this is musician’s recording in the best of all possible ways where composing and execution is collaborative, where each thread of music is more than its parts or participants.

Ms. Haydn remarks, “In this era of ‘fake news,’ I began to feel that words no longer seemed to matter. I lost my faith in my protest songs and threw myself into creating an album without words, one which was imply an embodiment of the peace and inclusiveness I wanted to see in the the world. In these polarized and frightening times, simply making beauty – and loving across boundaries – is a revolutionary act.”

Mr. Disraeli insists that the music, “is not about opium! It’s about mindfulness, clarity of vision and heart. This world is so filled with hate and division; this is peace music, about connection and deep humanity. For each of us, there is some of our best work on this record – because it was born out of love, humility and respect for each other’s rich cultural legacies.”

I feel it prudent to mention to listeners to settle in because where you are going on this musical landscape isn’t a wild ride but a slow, sensual surrender. The opening notes of the lush “Gravity = Love” sets up another worldly space where the music seems to have traveled through space and time by way of steady drum beat, thrumming bass and the exoticism of santoor with violin lines rising like threads of smoke.

Each track of Opium Moon is as good as the last on this recording with tracks like the elegantly airy dip and soar on “Drunk With the Great Starry Void,” it title borrowed from Pablo Neruda, the deeply hypnotic “How Can I Pray When the Beloved Is All I See?” and the moving play of violin over santoor, frame drum and bass on “When I see You Naked I Smell the Earth.”

Closing out with the equally delicious “Caravan,” marked by some truly plumy bass lines, Opium Moon proves potent in its languid grace in gently propelling listeners to a place that is as old as time and still right around the corner.



Buy Opium Moon


Invigorating Cross-Genre Expressions by Kiran Ahluwalia

Kiran Ahluwalia – 7 billion (Kiran Music, 2018)

Composer and vocalist Kiran Ahluwalia is an explorer and innovator in the field of modern Indian music. On her 6-track album 7 Billion she incorporates the energy of electric guitar, organ and bass, along with drum set, tabla and global percussion.

7 billion is progressive world fusion, where fascinating South Asian traditions and Indian-language vocals are combined with irresistible funk, powerful rock, and tasty Saharan desert blues.

The band on 7 Billion includes her producer husband Rez Abbasi on guitar; Louis Simao on organ, accordion and synthesizer; Rich Brown on electric bass; Davide Direnzo on drums; Nitin Mitta on tabla; and Mark Duggan on jembe and hand percussion.



7 billion is a beautifully-crafted album where various global music traditions are connected impeccably.

Buy 7 billion


Captivating Sounds from the Greek Melting Pot

Loxandra Ensemble – In Transition (Dalit-Music, 2018)

Loxandra Ensemble, one of the finest world music acts from the eastern Mediterranean, has released a flavorful album titled In Transition. The Greek band delivers a superb mix of traditional Greek music, Turkish influences, Gypsy swing, Sephardic, salsa, Middle Eastern and Balkan sounds.

The band features an outstanding, delightful vocalist Ria Ellinidou and world class musicians who use a wide range of musical instruments from the Mediterranean, Middle East, and beyond.

Loxandra Ensemble includes new members. The album lineup includes Nikos Angousis on clarinet and vocals; Foibos Apostolidis on riqq, cajon, darbuka and davul; Makis Baklatzis on violin, lead and backing vocals; Ria Ellinidou on lead vocals; Thanasis Koulentianos on kanun and backing vocals; Loukas Metaxas on acoustic and electric bass and backing vocals; Dimitris Panagoulias on darbuka and riqq; and Kyriakos Tapakis on oud.



In Transition is a beautifully-crafted album that illustrates the fascinating multiple musical influences that meet and combine in the eastern Mediterranean.

Buy the digital download or the CD from www.dalit-music.com


The First World Music Networking Conference to Be Held in Russia in July 2018

Kamwa international world music conference is the first three-day conference in Russia, aimed at the development of Russian ethno-music industry, and organized by Kamwa festival. The gathering will take place on July 27 – 29, 2018.

The conference will include a series of round tables and lectures on current topics of the world music industry such as “Features of the ethnic festivals organization in Russia. The best form of legal registration for the festival”, “How to promote your folk group abroad?”, “Music folk industry in Russia” and others.

Main aim of work: professional industry partnership, business contacts, opportunities for Russian ethnic music export, international cooperation. The conference will take place on the territory of the architectural and ethnographic Khokhlovka museum, located 40 km from Perm (Ural region) on the picturesque banks of Kama river, and will bring together the leading directors of ethnic festivals in Russia, managers of clubs working with world music groups, tour agents, representatives of ethnic labels and journalists.

Participants: the organizer of the Tyumen festival “Nebo I Zemya” Tatiana Fokina; director of the French art-agency “Altan-Art” Tatiana Lambolez; host of radio program “Folk Room” in “Svoyo radio” and director of the music label “FireStorm Production” Lev Belyakov from Moscow; musician of the group Meszecsinka and curator of the Hungarian ethno festival Babel Sound Emil Bilyarsky; director of the international festival “Voice of nomads” Natalia Ulanova (Ulan-Ude); director of the Novosibirsk festival “WhatEthno” Yuri Romanov; director of the ethno-festival “Midsummer tale” Marina Gulyaeva; co-director of the Russian World Music Awards Daryana Antipova from Moscow; director of the international Kamwa festival Natalya Shostina (Perm); art directors of the Orenburg promo-group “Wonderland” Iskander Marat and Milakova Alexander; and director of the music label “Myrkr” from Ekaterinburg Denis Davydov.

More at www.facebook.com/KAMWAfestival