The following artists will perform at the National Hispanic Cultural Center for ¡Globalquerque! 2015 (Sept. 25-26). Performances will take place on three stages, all located at the NHCC (1701 4th St SW, at Avenida César Chávez). Enjoy the intimate courtyard setting of the Fountain Courtyard, the state of the art 692-seat Albuquerque Journal Theatre and dance outside on the Plaza Mayor.
Grounds open at 4 PM and performances start at 6:20 PM (Friday)/6 PM (Saturday) and run until at least 11:40 pm. The Global Village will be open into the night. There will also be FREE day programming on Saturday for families and adults, including workshops on music and folklore, crafts, and live performances. Visit the Global Fiesta page for more info.
Lone Piñon (New Mexico)
Born in the tiny coastal hamlet of Plaplaya on Honduras’ Caribbean coast, Aurelio may be one of the last generations to grow up steeped in Garifuna tradition. These traditions encompass the African and Caribbean Indian roots of his ancestors, a group of shipwrecked slaves who intermarried with local natives on the island of St. Vincent, only to be deported to the Central American coast in the late eighteenth century.
Aurelio recalls his humble but highly musical beginnings in his remote hometown. “In the village I was born, there is still no electricity,” he told Afropop Worldwide. “When I was a child, I had very natural toys. My first toy was a guitar I built for myself from wood taken from a fishing rod. So that’s how I played my first chords.”
Aurelio credits his mother Maria, who dreamed of being a professional singer, with introducing him to the basics of Garifuna songcraft. Like many Garifuna, she composed her own songs based on community events and her personal experience. She would teach the verse and chorus of the songs to her son, who would then go on to build on the tale by adding another verse, in traditional Garifuna style.
Aurelio's first solo album Garifuna Soul explored his roots in both paranda and traditional rhythms. Aurelio’s richly resonant voice and soulful acoustic songs caught the attention of the global music press and put him on the map as a tradition-bearer with an innate musicality and subtle innovative streak.
A consummate singer, percussionist, and guitarist, Aurelio's passion flows not only from his love of music, but also from his commitment to the cause of raising awareness and appreciation for Garifuna music and culture, both at home in Garifuna communities and internationally. “We’re not going to let this culture die,” says Aurelio. “I know I must continue the culture of my grandparents, of my ancestors, and find new ways to express it. Few people know about it, but I adore it, and it’s something I must share with the world.”
From the cattle rearing, Llanos Orientales region of Colombia, Cimarrón performs the festive dance music of joropo, a fiercely virtuoso display of rippling melodies and powerful rhythms combining Andalusian, Indigenous Indian and African roots. Led by harpist Carlos Rojas, these musicians seek to explore and experiment with their rich heritage whilst retaining the essence of the tradition. They are immersed in the sounds of “los llanos” and the musical fireworks created by harp, bandola, cuatro, bass, cajon, maracas and high-pitched voices are simply breathtaking.
In creating and leading the group Cimarrón since 1986, harpist Carlos Rojas looks both backward and forward in time. Looking back to the joropo’s roots, he sees it fundamentally linked to dance, for in rural social occasions, the sound of the dancers’ feet became an essential part of the musical whole. In contrast, when the music is taken out of this social setting and placed on the concert stage, it loses the sounds of the dance and becomes “joropo chamber music,” changing the traditional musical intent. This approach, of making records and playing concerts, he says, “would seem to be more directed at magnifying the virtuosic, soloistic display of the musicians and to the nearly exclusive intense valuing of the joropo singer’s talents.”
Looking to the future, Rojas “redesigned” the basic musical ingredients of the joropo, bringing the rhythmic roots that resonate with the dance and that typically underpin the joropo’s melodies and harmonic accompaniment to the forefront of the sound. This meant both adding a rhythm box (cajón) to the instrumentation to evoke the rhythmic sound and spirit of the dance, and insisting that joropo dance (and song) be part of the performance whenever possible. This “new mix” creates “a new balance, a new relation among the acoustical weightings of percussion, strings, and voices within the joropo sound.”
This innovation has played well to national and international audiences, as the group was invited to perform at the WOMEX world-music showcase in Seville (2008), WOMAD in London (2009), the biennial flamenco festival in the Netherlands, the Shanghai Exposition (2010), and tours in Wales, Western Europe, and the United States. Cimarrón’s album Si Soy Llanero was nominated for a Grammy in 2005.
Germán Díaz (Spain)
Germán Díaz is a zanfona (hurdy-gurdy) virtuoso who travels through different styles with the Spanish folk instrument and moves musical borders. At his performances, he also uses music boxes, the looper and hand organ. His current project, Cardiophonic Method, is based on the rhythms of the human heartbeat, as recorded on vinyl by a doctor during the 1940s; the recordings were passed on to Germán by his father, who was also a medical doctor. With the help of these recordings and several mechanical instruments which play music from punch cards, Herman creates a unique performative soundscape, walking the line between free improvisation (the metaphorical heart) and the rigidity created by the music box and looped heartbeats (the physical heart).
Germán Díaz's novel approach to traditional music has led him to be called "the Jimi Hendrix of hurdy-gurdy." He has collaborated with numerous other musicians, including the Galician bass player Baldo Martinez and guitarist Antonio Bravo.
Ricardo Lemvo (Angola/Congo)
Ricardo Lemvo has established himself as a pioneer with his innovative music. Lemvo's blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms with pan-African styles (soukous, Angolan semba and kizomba) has been described by the Los Angeles Times as “seamless and infectious.”
This Congo-born artist of Angolan ancestry is the embodiment of the Afro-Latin Diaspora which connects back to Mother Africa via the Cuban clave rhythm. Lemvo is truly multi-cultural and equally at home singing in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Lingala, and Kikongo.
Since forming his Los Angeles-based band Makina Loca in 1990, Lemvo has refined his craft and vision, raising his joyous voice with strength, singing songs that celebrate life, and most importantly, inspiring his audiences to let loose and dance away their worries.
Through the years, Lemvo has performed countless shows in many festivals, night clubs, and performing art centers throughout Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Australia. His five CDs have been enthusiastically acclaimed by both print and broadcast media worldwide.
"Whether they're kicking out Cuban jams or taking Afro-pop to the bridge, Lemvo and company will make you sweat." (Time Out New York)
Lone Piñon (New Mexico)
Lone Piñon plays traditional New Mexican fiddle tunes and folk songs from the region of El Rio Grande del Norte. They are inspired by New Mexican musicians Cleofiz Ortiz and Cipriano Vigil, who have played this music in their communities and across the southwest. Lone Piñon also plays Fandango Son music from Mexico, having spent time in Veracruz and Oaxaca learning from local musicians. Along with these styles, they incorporate their love of high-lonesome two part harmony singing from classic country and old-time music. Lone Piñon is Greg Glassman on guitar and vocals, Jordan Wax on violin, accordion, and vocals, and Noah Martinez on guitarron.
"We feel very strongly about the value of regional music, and its role in its community," Glassman told the Columbia Daily Tribune. "Many of these tunes have specific dances that go along with them, and we've hosted several house parties where we’ve taught the dances to friends, and friends of friends. Most of the newer generation of New Mexicans aren’t playing this music anymore, or learning the dances, so in our own humble way, it feels good to us to be a part of keeping a true regional art form and expression of joy alive."
"Their southwestern folk flavor and Spanish lyrics had audience members smiling and salsa-ing for the entire performance." (Vox Magazine)
Emel Mathlouthi (Tunisia)
Tunisian vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist Emel Mathlouthi captivates hearts and minds with her intimate, lyrical style, fierce rock beats, and throbbing trip-hop and oriental influences. Mathlouthi tells the story of HER Tunisia: the dark years as a young rebel and dissenter; the strife of being a female musician; her artistic and ideological struggle after her songs were banned from the radio and TV; and the dual love and suffering that came from longing for home while living in a free country.
Emel began her artistic career at the age of 8 in Ibn Sina, a suburb of Tunis. At age 25, oppressed by the Tunisian government because of her music, she moved to France to pursue her career as a singer, and then in 2014 she took another step in her career and moved to New York City. She has been said to evoke the urgency of American folk singer, Joan Baez, with the devotion of a chanter of ancient sacred music and the presence of a soul diva. She has given concerts in Saudi Arabia and all over the Middle East, as well as Europe and North America.
Her passion and courage is evident in her deeply confessional music and powerful presence. Her song "Kelmti Horra" ("My Word is Free") was taken up by the Arab Spring revolutionaries and sung on the streets of Tunis. Her arrangements include electronically sampled sounds of the Arab Spring street protests, speeches from the deposed Tunisian president, and the announcement of resignation from Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak. But regardless of the words, her voice itself evokes a yearning for freedom and change. She has quickly become a voice of the revolution and a shining musical light for the future.
Otava Yo (Russian Federation)
Steaming out of St. Petersburg in white vests, a peasant dress, ushankas on head with ear-flaps akimbo, Otava Yo bring the proud traditions of Russian folk to the digital age, causing mass outbreaks of circle-dancing and Slavic pogoing on the dance floor. Lyrical gusli, global guitar, wailing bagpipes, energetically expert dual fiddle-scraping, pumping bass and pounding drums, driving songs of rural romance, heroic sailors, goats and pancakes, delivered with casual wit and bursts of ensemble choreography. Otava Yo have performed at major European folk festivals and as far afield as Mexico and India. They have met the President of Estonia and received an award from the Bratislava Humor Academy. They play Russian-Gothic R&B, among other things.
"Equal parts punk and Russian folk... With a lineup of lyre-like gusli, bagpipes, fiddles, guitar, bass and drums, they brought huge energy and serious fun to an outdoor WOMEX stage." (NPR, Top 10 Musical Discoveries From WOMEX 2014)
Nano Stern (Chile)
Nano Stern’s path as an artist follows richly crafted song lines laid by his family and his Chilean musical ancestry, and unites those with a sound utterly fresh and relevant. The grandson of Jewish refugees fleeing persecution, Nano’s childhood was painted vivid by not only his own family’s activism and musicianship but by the powerful legacy of the Nueva Canción movement lead by Chilean musical activists during Pinochet’s dictatorship a generation before. Legends like Inti-Illimani and Victor Jara—who suffered exile and even death during these troubling times—continue to inspire Nano’s breadth of sound and emotion. “I am extremely respectful of the tradition,” explains Stern, “It is an enormous gift we received from the people of the past.”
When only fifteen, Nano joined popular Chilean underground band Mattoral, and thus was initiated into the fresh, new sounds and socio-political pulse of the South American rock/punk scene. The thick rock-energy of Mattoral, his classical and jazz training, and the powerful influence of traditional, Chilean revolutionary music make for something purely Nano. What has emerged is a powerhouse artist, brilliantly layering indigenous, African, and European elements into a sound all his own, and humbly bringing audiences to tears, to their feet, and to reverie with a singular kind of emotion and soulfulness unlike any other South American artist performing today.
Folk legend Joan Baez remarked, “[Nano] may be the best young Chilean songwriter of his generation. With his lyrics, melodies, message, delivery, humor and heart, he gets my vote.” Agile across a range of instruments, Nano’s closest companions remain simply his guitar and staggering vocals, and with them come fluent, extraordinary musicianship and a wide-open heart.