Blick Bassy (Cameroon)
Maria de Barros (Cape Verde)
Louie Gonnie (Diné)
Indian Ocean (India)
Mamak Khadem (Iran)
Kusun Ensemble (Ghana)
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (U.S.)
Little Cow (Hungary)
Robert Mirabal (Taos Pueblo)
Mono Blanco (Mexico)
Nation Beat (Brazil/U.S.)
Dwayne Ortega & The Young Guns (U.S.)
Saints & Tzadiks: Susan McKeown & Lorin Sklamberg (Irish/Yiddish)
Väsen with Darol Anger & Mike Marshall (Sweden/U.S.)
¡Viva la Pepa! (Spain/NM, U.S.)
Photos in both slide shows (taken at the daytime Global Fiesta, top, and the evening concerts, bottom) by Alan Mitchell.
Photos in slideshow above taken by Allen Ruttenberg.
2009 Poster Artist Jade Leyva with her original painting, "One Song."
Check out more photos by Jim DesJardins and Tom Frouge.
"My two favorite things about New Mexico are the weather and ¡Globalquerque!."
"Maybe even better than awesome!"
"Complete bliss for two solid nights of amazing music—it just doesn't get any better."
"Bravo, and congratulations for organizing it so well, and for expanding it with preview shows the way you have. Hope those worked well for you. I came yesterday, thoroughly enjoyed the Yiddish-Irish collaboration (inspired, I tell you) and was totally thrilled to see/hear the amazing Robert Mirabal. "
—Jane Blume (Host of KUNM's Folk Routes show)
"I loved Little Cow ... Gypsy ska ... oh yes! And of course the sweetness of Susan McKeown and Lorin from the Klezmatics ... their songs made cry, in a good way! And I loved Cava! But the best part? Dancing under Jupiter and the crescent moon with a zillion friends."
—Katie Stone (Host of KUNM's Children's Hour)
"Loved everyone, on every stage...you just can't go wrong with ¡Globalquerque!"
"¡Globalquerque! is a fantastic festival! Thank you thank you thank you for all you do! Folks, this festival is HIGHLY recommended."
—Polly Tapia Ferber (2009 Festival Artist with ¡Viva la Pepa!)
"Wow! I had some of the best times of my life during ¡Globalquerque!. It was so beautiful and great and magic was in the air! I met a lot of beautiful people from all over. It was a joy to be able to share a message of love as well as my culture with others through my art. I am very proud to have been a part of it and I have a feeling a lot of good things will happen in my art career thanks to you and Tom giving me such a great opportunity. I will always be thankful. Thanks again."
—Jade Leyva (2009 Festival Poster Artist)
"Seattle's venerable Bumbershoot, Texas' Austin City Limits and Chicago's adventurous Chicago World Music festival are all must-see, destination events for serious music lovers. While smaller regional "microfestivals," like Bloomington, Indiana's Lotus festival and New Mexico's ¡Globalquerque! festival give the big boys a run for their money. [...] Another great regional 'microfestival' that punches far above its weight, New Mexico's ¡Globalquerque! festival offers some of the most adventurous world music programming set against one of the Southwest's most beautiful cities . Now in its fifth year, the festival is becoming a destination in its own right."
—"2009 Fall Festival Roundup: Nat Geo Music Handicaps The Best Of This Falls Festivals" by Tom Pryor, Sept 1, 2009.
"Just came back from most amazing World Music Festival in Albuquerque! You all have to come next year. Great bands, very organized and educational and everything a good Festival can be."
"great music good friends tasty feijoada yummy enjeera and those awesome New Mexico skies!"
—Catalina Maria Johnson (Encanto Latino Productions, Chicago)
"We had a great time with the music. This year, we had the strongest 'fest moment' we've ever had at ¡Globalquerque! It's something we expect every year when we go to New Orleans for jazz fest, and we're coming to expect it at ¡Globalquerque!, too. It's a moment when you stumble onto something that is completely unknown and unexpected and completely overwhelming. For us this year, that was Mamak Khadem in the theater on Saturday. We went in with no expectations, just to hear a little, and we stayed for the entire set, had tears running down on our cheeks, and found ourselves clapping madly in a standing ovation or two. Then, a little later, whom do we run into as they're exiting the building but Mamak and her dulcimer player. We got to tell them how much their music touched us, and we experienced what that meant to them—how genuinely moved they were. This is how bridges get built."
"Just wanted to thank you guys for another fantastic festival. It's got to be one of the best in the country. This is the kind of thing that renews my love of the homo sapien(who can make you despair sometimes). This should be the format for the United Nations....oh say, 2 musical groups for every politician at least. Anyway, it's taken me 2 nights to be able to sleep with music whirling in my head all night. Thanks again!"
"my sister and I brought our granddaughters to the activities on Saturday afternoon. We participated in 7-8 activities (drumming, hula hoop, instrument making (x2), sidewalk chalk drawing, cookie decorating, and the instrument table), and enjoyed them all. Thanks for including these free fun family activities in the two day event."
—Ann White (festival volunteer)
"I believe this event is one of the most important in bringing visitors to the Center who otherwise would not venture down here."
—Doug Simon (NHCC Volunteer Coordinator)
"This was the best music festival ever!"
—Helen Viksnins (Host of Sophie's Parlor, WPFW, Washington DC)
"¡Globalquerque! was wonderful! Thanks for inviting us! Perfect weather. Great music. Nice moon. Lots of happy people. Crazy dancing and moms with strollers. What a treasure right in our own little town. How could I have missed it all these years?"
"Love This. We'll come back every year"
"This event is totally positive"
—Burt Poley, Network Manager, Native Voice 1
"¡Globalquerque! An amazing two days of music ... where white girls in cowboy boots dance to African music ... or ... Mexican, Bluegrass, Iranian, Irish-Yiddish, Peruvian, Indian, Pueblo, Dine, Latina-Mexican, Brazilian-Blues music! 'there is a God ... because music is still here ... & music has the power to change the world.' Robert Mirabal"
"So many people have such a great time during the weekend, and it's really a unique and beautiful phenomenon. And it gets better every year!"
—Matt Moon, Producer & Host, Global Rhythm Radio, KXCI-FM (Arizona)
"Congratulations to all involved! Excellent programming & production."
—Leigh Ann Hahn, Grand Performances (Los Angeles)
"Congrats to ¡Globalquerque! ABQ's 5th annual world beat music fest ended last nite at the Hispanic Cultural Center—great music and crowds"
—Mayor Marty Chavez via Twitter
"Congratulation on a FABULOUS, INSPIRING, FANTASTIC EVENT! Can't wait for next year...."
—Mara Holguin, Vice President, NHCC Foundation
"Mamak Khadem was SPECTACULAR—as was Maria de Barros—and Blick Bassy: ALL were great fun, and introduced me to much music 'new to me.' Thank you so much for your fabulous efforts to bring this occasion to us who are lucky enough to live in Albuquerque! Merci beaucoup, gracias..."
—Susanna de Falla
"It is the best event in Albuquerque, keep up the good work!"
"I've been raving about ¡Globalquerque! to friends and random folks the past 2 days.... this year it hit me what a very powerful thing you are doing for world peace by bringing all these international entertainers in to Albuquerque. Albuquerque is so lucky. It's as good as the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe...."
—Ginger Quinn (Festival vendor)
"Thank YOU for ¡Globalquerque!—it was great. Thanks for bringing Nation Beat out to NM—what a treat—I had suggested them after last year's event. It was all good. Indian Ocean was fantastic. Blick Bassy is a new favorite. Maria de Barros stole the show for me—incredible performer who really got the audience moving."
"Congratulations on a fantastic weekend. Many thanks to you for putting together a great show. The music was diverse and wonderful."
"It was a fabulous event! Thanks again for bringing this amazing festival to us here in Albuquerque. It is a major highlight of the Fall (far more so than the State Fair and Balloon Fiesta, in my opinion)."
"Great crowd, great festival!"
—Nation Beat (2009 Festival Artist) via Twitter
"Thank you for putting on one of the best music events I've ever been too. You two really have a lot of generosity and creativity to pull together such a singular event every year. Mighty fine listening. Loved it all!"
"The music was great, congratulations to the ¡Globalquerque! team for a great festival!"
—Alison Loerke, Alia Agency (Representing two festival artists)
"I always go each year to this event with my husband. It is like taking a trip around the world. This last Friday's artists were fantastic!"
"¡Globalquerque! is the best Festival with the best people"
—Lorena Waitszappa, Mundial Stage (Mexico City)
Blick Bassy (Cameroon)
Blick Bassy is the new soul voice of Cameroon—soul in the sense of vocals that come from within. Bassy says: "The soul of my music isn't so much in the words, it's in the way of singing. In fact, the melody is a mold for the words." The singer/ songwriter/ guitarist/ percussionist connects the music of Central and West Africa and mixes it with bossa nova, jazz and soul. Bassy's guitar playing and intoxicating, soft voice are enriched by the kora, calabash and a double bass resulting in a unique, haunting sound which is velvety with subtle harmonies, yet also raw with groovy rhythms.
Born in 1974, Bassy grew up with 20 siblings in Cameroon's capital Yaoundé, a city where people from all parts of the country come together, and the first languages are French and English. Bassy says: "People in Yaoundé lose their traditions and culture rapidly because they don't speak in their mother tongues with each other or their children. My family is part of the Bassa ethnic group, a nomad tribe that originally comes from Egypt and has descendents down in South Africa. But nowadays people stay in one place because they need visas to cross borders. The word 'bassa' means 'people from the earth'." At age 10, Bassy was sent to live with his grandparents for two years in Mintaba, a small village situated in the centre of Cameroon. His grandparents initiated him into traditional customs and culture, training him in a variety of tasks, such as hunting, fishing and agriculture. He was also educated in their musical traditions. In Mintaba, daily life is accompanied by music and it was there that Blick discovered the Bolobo (chant for fishing), the Dingoma (chant and percussion for the inauguration of Mbombock chiefs), the Bekele (chant and percussion for weddings), the Hongo (chant for funerals) and the Assiko (guitar percussion, chant and dance). "In Mintaba, people don't talk much but they sing a lot during their daily tasks. It's in the singing that they express their emotions and show their souls. My mother used to sing from morning till night. She's the one who fired my musical aspirations and taught me how to sing. Back at my parents' home, I started listening to Marvin Gaye, Gilberto Gil and Nat King Cole. I realised I wanted to blend the beauty of my Bassa culture and its musical traditions with other music that inspired me and create my own soulful sound."
CAVA is the stage persona of Claudia Tenorio, a native of Los Angeles rooted in the traditions of Mexican music, art, and customs. Her voice communicates a strong-willed feminine energy that is simultaneously sultry and maternal. Her ensemble features Walter Miranda on keyboard and bass, taiko master Maceo Hernandez on Japanese drums, Mark Cervantes on congas and percussion, Andy Mendoza on drums, and Franchot Tone on guitar.
Claudia has been a professional performer since the age of eight, when she landed a part on the sitcom "A.K.A Pablo" starring Paul Rodriguez. She grew up appearing in commercials, movies, and plays. She graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, majoring in dance.
In 2000 she released an independent album with DomingoSiete, a son group that she co-founded. The band opened for acts like Compay Segundo of the Buena Vista Social Club, Ozomatli, and Los Lobos. In 2004, Claudia broke from the band to pursue a more progressive, innovative sound. She toured with Beastie Boys keyboardist, Money Mark, across the U.S, and to Australia and New Zealand. In 2006, she joined the Texas-based artist Michael Ramos on tour with his band Charanga Cakewalk (¡Globalquerque! 2006) and opened for Lila Downs. The Los Angeles Times called Gonzalez "a bawdy, boisterous and blistering singer-songwriter... a shot in the arm for East L.A.'s moribund music scene."
Maria de Barros (Cape Verde)
Maria de Barros' music transcends taste, preference and even language. It travels through countries dense with culture, picking up pieces of each along the way, combining distinct inflections of Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean, France and Spain, while allowing the tradition and culture of Cape Verde to permeate.
Melodies melt off her tongue with the same richness and maturity of a contemporary Cape Verde club singing Ella Fitzgerald, except that this songstress's club is bursting with a taste of Latin spice, serving Portuguese and African cuisine with dancers to match and audiences swinging their hips to Maria's sensual Morna and Coladeira beats.
Although Maria was born in Dakar, Senegal and grew up in Nouackchott, Mauritania, her creative heart lies in the culturally rich Islands of Cape Verde, the birthplace of her parents. Maria takes inspiration from things which fuel her heart: The love of her family, nostalgia of her mother's voice around the house, the school children whom she sponsors in Cape Verde, the humbling of her fans and musicians and artists she admires, particularly godmother Cesaria Evora, "the barefoot diva", who put the music of Cape Verde on the global jukebox.
Maria seems to be following in her godmother's "barefooted" steps with her global appeal. Her achievements include the Cape Verdean Artist of the Year, awarded by Cape Verdean Radio/TV/Newspapers in US in 2005, the Miriam Makeba Award for Excellence in Music, given by Radio DJs in the United States in 2006, and the Cultural Certificate of Merit awarded by the Ministry of Culture in Cape Verde in 2008. She has also hosted the "Soul of Africa" programme on BET Jazz television since 2006.
Louie Gonnie (Diné)
My name is Louie Gonnie. I am a Zuni descendant, Táb??hí (Edge Water Clan), born for Tl'aashchí'í (Red Streak Under the Eye) clan. My maternal clan is the Todích'íi'nii (Bitter Water People) and my paternal clan is the Nát'oh Dine'é Táchii'nii (Tobacco People/Red Streak running in the Water Clan).
I was born in the Diné (Navajo) Nation at a place called Antelope Springs. Singing by the age of 5 under the guidance of my father and uncles, I was taught to respect my elders and the healing ways of my people. A major influence in my life is my grandfather, Haastíín Gonnie, a noted medicine man, for his never ending devotion to humanity. It is his teachings that guide me on this journey through life. The prayer is my canvas and the songs represent the colors that become my art. Music is the guide. The songs evoke spirituality. By listening to the words and their meanings you feel connected to the song and to nature.
Louie lives in respect for the values of the Native American Church while taking the songs for the peyote ritual to a new place. His song forms are rooted in tradition, but the means of producing them (extensive studio multi-tracking) is not. Louie’s compositions and layered harmonies are reverent, spiritual and transcendent.
The recording of peyote songs is always a controversial issue within the Native American Church. Some practitioners feel that the songs, as they are intrinsic to a sacred ritual, should never be recorded, while many others feel that recordings are important for disseminating their songs throughout the community.
Indian Ocean (India)
Indian Ocean are the biggest underground success in India. A cult band in its own right, the group has amalgamated Indian folk music with Western rock. Indian Ocean started in 1984 as an instrumental duo with Susmit Sen on guitars and Asheem Chakravarty on percussion; the lineup was later completed with bassist Rahul Ram and drummer Amit Kilam. Their breakthrough album, Kandisa, released in 2000, catapulted Indian Ocean to national stardom and became one of the biggest-selling albums ever by an Indian band. They have also written and recorded the soundtrack to a Bollywood film, "Black Friday" (2005). "It's easy to notice what clicked with Indian Ocean—a focus on East Indian folk music that quickly gained attention from youthful listeners, an almost unplugged sound that complements their cultural attributes, and a rigid compact lineup with each member bringing in his unique technical preeminence, all rolled into a perfect body of work," wrote the All Music Guide. Reviewing one of the band's live performance in the Seattle Times, Shawn Telford raved, "The song 'Kandisa' is based on an ancient Syrian Catholic hymn and translated literally means 'grace.' To know grace is one thing, but to feel its presence during that moment of unity between the band and the fans, when the room feels the rhythm and the melody emerges from everyone, singing the sound of suffering, of plight, of longing, this is the oneness, the magic, the grace of music."
Mamak Khadem (Iran)
- Interviewed on To The Best of Our Knowledge (9/6/09)
By nature, singer Mamak Khadem is a nomad, one who thrives on open spaces. By occupation, she is a bridge, one that connects geography to lore. In music, she is open to cultural influences, but she has chosen the classical Persian style as her base. She was born in Iran, at a time when tides were changing. She was part of the Children's Choir for National Radio and Television of Iran, but it wasn't until the late 1970s and after the Iranian Revolution of 1979 that her passion for singing grew. Inspired by works of master musicians in the 1980s, she seized every opportunity to further her vocal art, regularly traveling back to Iran to study with some of the finest Persian vocalists and masters. She benefited from classical Indian singing tradition at Ali Akbar Khan College of Music in northern California and from Bulgarian choir of Nevenka while exploring the traditional music of Greece, Turkey, and Armenia.
Mamak is best known as the singer of the cross-cultural Persian fusion ensemble Axiom of Choice, which was established in 1990 in Los Angeles. The ensemble broke grounds. With Axiom, Iranian musicians and artists realized that there was another way of looking at music. The singer herself started using the classical Persian repertoire with other musical traditions. In addition, Mamak is a regular voice trainer in the Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp held each year at Mendocino, CA. She is also a part-time faculty member in the math department of Santa Monica College, and has worked with children with learning difficulties for over 12 years.
Kusun Ensemble (Ghana)
- See them live at the Kennedy Center (2003 and 2004)
The Kusun Ensemble is an extraordinary group of musicians and dancers based in Ghana, West Africa. Founded by Nii Tettey Tetteh, the group includes past members of The National Ballet and The Pan African Orchestra. Although rooted in traditional music, the ensemble has developed a new brand of music and dance they have dubbed "Nokoko." They have created innovative rhythms and dances by fusing bass and lead guitar, electrifying jazz and African rhythms, and traditional Ghanaian instruments. In their quest to develop a new style of Ghanaian music, they have been dazzling audiences in Ghana and around the world.
With headlines reading "Kusun Electrifies Frenzied Audience" and reviews proclaiming the Kusun Ensemble's sound as a "revival of a vital art," the band is now considered one of Ghana's most innovative and powerful music and dance ensembles. By blending the authentic sounds of traditional instruments with the exuberance of hilife music and the complexity of African jazz, they are developing a unique Ghanaian sound and bringing the tropical passion of West African music and dance to the world stage.
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver nominated for the 2009 International Bluegrass Music Awards Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Gospel Record and Performance of the Year.
One of Bluegrass' most honored and revered talents, Doyle Lawson, has received numerous awards in his illustrious career—he was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts' National Heritage Fellowship, the Endowment's highest honor granted to traditional and folk artists for career accomplishments. Doyle and his band Quicksilver have also picked up the International Bluegrass Music Award for "Best Vocal Group" an unprecedented seven years in a row.
Born in 1944 in East Tennessee, where he still makes his home today, Doyle Lawson grew up enthralled by the singing he heard in church, the country, gospel and rhythm and blues he heard on the radio—and, above all, by the emerging bluegrass sound of Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys, Flatt & Scruggs, the Stanley Brothers and other first generation bluegrass artists. In 1963, he joined the legendary Jimmy Martin and His Sunny Mountain Boys. Still green, he worked only six months, but the experience was enough to prove that the musical life was in his blood, and when he had the chance a few years later to play guitar with banjo innovator J. D. Crowe, he took it.
Over the next decade and a half, Lawson became one of bluegrass's preeminent musicians, thanks to long stints as a member of Crowe's Kentucky Mountain Boys and then the internationally renowned Country Gentlemen. Noted not just for his immense talents as a lead and harmony singer and instrumentalist, but for his contributions to both groups as song finder, arranger and, with Crowe, as an on-stage spokesman, he was the consummate sideman. Yet Lawson also had a creative vision of his own, and in 1979 he left the Gentlemen to form Quicksilver. Building on Lawson's deep mastery of the bluegrass tradition and his keen eye for a wide range of songs from both within and beyond the genre, the quartet created a powerful kind of gospel music that had deep roots not only in bluegrass, but in the southern and African-American gospel quartet sounds that Lawson had followed since childhood. Admired, respected and beloved by gospel enthusiasts, long-time bluegrass followers and a growing number of newly-acquired fans from across the musical spectrum, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver have truly become a bluegrass band for the ages.
Little Cow (Hungary)
Little Cow is a fine mix of joy and melancholy, humor and lyricism. Dadaist dance music and classic ballad songs are performed by highly energized, charismatic musicians. The style is a crazy listening underground poetic pop. "Little Cow rocked. I loved it! The band sounded great and did a really good job. It was really everything I expected... a great band: unique, fun and interesting." (Joe's Pub, New York) "Hungary's hottest export since goulash." (Funkhaus Europa 103,3) "A fantastical gypsy-like pop rock group from Hungary. They are absolutely crazy, fun and lovely!" (Hide Out Festival Chicago)
Little Cow was founded by László Kollár-Klemencz. They have become one of Hungary's most popular bands, and have played festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe. Their song "Virágok a réten" (featuring their gypsy friends Romano Drom) was selected for the Top of the World album of Songlines Magazine UK and the Gypsy Grooves album released by Putumayo. The band started recording their new album in New York and San Francisco with American producer Ben Yonas; it is scheduled for release in Fall 2009.
Robert Mirabal (Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, USA)
Two-time Grammy winner Robert Mirabal lives with his family at the foot of sacred Taos Mountain in northern New Mexico. Maintaining a traditional life, keeping the centuries-old customs of the Taos Pueblo people, Robert has been described as a Native American "Renaissance man"—musician, composer, painter, master craftsman, poet, actor, screenwriter, horseman and farmer—and travels extensively playing his music all over the world. His first flute came when he was 18 with money he borrowed from his grandmother, and shortly afterwards he had the opportunity to meet Native American flute player R. Carlos Nakai, who greatly influenced him. In the years since, Robert has continued the evolution of his flute-making and has also become a concert performer and recording artist. His dozen albums of traditional music, rock and roll, and spoken word present a contemporary view of American Indian life that is unequaled. A leading proponent of world music, Robert has merged his indigenous American sound with those of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, tapping into a planetary pulse with a style that defies categorization. His 2002 breakthrough PBS special, "Music From a Painted Cave," is unsurpassed in Native American theatrical expression. His first novel, Running Alone in Photographs, the coming-of-age story of a young Native American musician who travels the world before returning to her ancestral home, was published in 2008.
At ¡Globalquerque!, this two-time Grammy Award winner and virtuoso of the Native American flute will be performing as a trio. With keyboardist extraordinaire Paul Fowler and guitar legend Larry Mitchell, they will perform material from Mirabal's "In the Blood" and "Totemic Flute Chants" CD's, blending an array of ancient and contemporary cross-cultural influences. In concert, Robert spreads 20 or more of his traditional flutes, drums, and percussion instruments directly opposite Fowler and Mitchell's modern sonic setups—featuring several guitars, keyboards, and computers—merging tribal rock, pop, jazz, classical, world beat and everything in between.
Mono Blanco (Mexico)- Fandangos at the Festival of the Candelaria
Grupo Mono Blanco (White Monkey) takes a progressive approach to preserving Son Jarocho, music of the southern Mexican state of Veracruz, by incorporating Afro-Caribbean flavor and presence and juxtaposing those aspects with traditional son guitars, vocals, and dance. Formed in 1980, Mono Blanco's members consist of families from the rural areas surrounding Veracruz. The group has toured throughout Asia, Europe, Central America, Mexico and the United States.
Making and playing the instruments; versada, the art of writing jarocho verses; and traditional dance are all aspects of the traditional music that Grupo Mono Blanco support directly by organizing informational workshops to continue the tradition of the Son Jarocho. Their ability to relate ancient tradition to new audiences is inspiring, and draws attention to the group's immense talent.
Nation Beat (Brazil/USA)
Combining the fiery rhythms of Brazilian maracatu with the soul of Southern country rock, Nation Beat's innovative blends have swept the world music scene. Formed as percussionist Scott Kettner became entranced by the beats of Brazil, the group features singer Liliana Araujo's deep expressive crooning and a classically trained violinist, Skye Steele, rounded out by guitarist Raphael McGregor, Mike Lavalle on bass, and percussionist Eduardo Guedes.
Maracatu rhythms stem from the songs of workers in Northeastern Brazil, enlivening celebrations and carnivals. The upbeat traditions meld seamlessly with the added twang and heart of blue-grass to create a magical crossing of cultures. As National Public Radio writer Banning Eyre describes, the band "connects the histories of different colonial societies in a way listeners can feel in their bones."
2008 brought Nation Beat a personal invitation to perform with Willie Nelson at Farm Aid Festival, introducing the group to a global audience. Shortly after their latest album, Legends of the Preacher, was released, lauded by fans and critics alike worldwide.
Novalima nominated for Best Alternative Music Album in the 2009 Latin Grammies!
- NPR's Weekend Edition: New Latin Music: Three Albums Not To Miss
- Novalima and the Meaning of "Coba" on LinkTV
- Photos, interviews and live footage from Nuits D'Afrique (July 2009)
Since its formation in 2001, Novalima has been breaking down boundaries, uniting seemingly irreconcilable genres, communities and generations to create an inspiring movement that has revolutionized the music scene in their native Peru. Founded by four friends from Lima with a shared passion for both traditional Afro-Peruvian music and modern DJ culture, Novalima searches for the common ground between past and future, between tradition and innovation. Their efforts have also helped bridge the divide between the Peruvian mainstream and the Afro-Peruvian community, a minority population that has struggled against discrimination and the threat of cultural dissolution for generations. While their sound is futuristic and cutting-edge, the roots of Novalima's music stretch back hundreds of years to the times of slavery and Spanish colonial rule. African slaves were brought to Peru as early as the 1500s until the middle of the 19th Century, establishing an outpost of African culture in South America. Over the years, the soul and rhythms of Africa blended with the melodies and instruments of Europe and the Andes. The result is rich musical repertoire that has existed for generations on the periphery of Peruvian popular culture.
The founders of Novalima, Ramon Perez-Prieto, Grimaldo Del Solar, Rafael Morales, and Carlos Li Carrillo, became friends while in high school in Lima. While they grew up listening to the popular and folk music of Latin America, they also shared a fascination for rock, pop, reggae, salsa, dance and electronic music. Indeed, without modern technology, Novalima might not have developed, as the group came together at a time when the four founders were each living in different parts of the world. From their homes in London, Barcelona, Hong Kong and Lima, they started emailing song ideas to each other. These long-distance experiments resulted in their 2002 debut album, the self-titled Novalima. The reception to the album exceeded their wildest expectations, eventually reaching platinum sales status in Peru, and for their next album they invited more Afro-Peruvian musicians to join their recording sessions.
With a fresh and innovative sound that stands on a centuries-old foundation of soul and heritage, Novalima promises to keep Afro-Peruvian expression thriving long into the future.
Dwayne Ortega & The Young Guns (Questa, NM)
The Young Guns band is based out of their hometown Questa, New Mexico. It is here where these "young" musicians began to study the art of New Mexico music while in high school. They began to learn Spanish music while participating with Mariachi Questa. Performing with Mariachi Questa proved to be a great learning experience for them. During this period of time Mariachi Questa was very successful and the group was also able to record two CDs. In the summer of 1998 some of the members decided to try and form a stage band that would perform a variety of music ranging from Spanish, to Rock, to Country. The Young Guns had their first performance at the Fiestas de San Antonio in Questa, New Mexico. Over the next four years the band continued to learn and have fun while performing in various locations. Many people were amazed with the age and the talent of these young musicians. Finally in the spring of 2003, after many requests, The Young Guns embarked on a new journey and began the recording of their first CD, Dos Cartas Y Una Flor. The CD was such a success the band was nominated for "Rising Stars of the Year" and "Cumbia Song of the Year" at the New Mexico Hispanic Music Association's annual awards show. Most recently, due to their popularity, The Young Guns were featured on KANW's New Mexico Music 2005 CD. The Young Guns continue to maintain a busy schedule entertaining crowds in many towns and cities including, Denver, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Leadville, and many other venues throughout the Southwest. The Young Guns have opened for artists such as Darren Cordova, Tobias Rene, and Gonzalo.
Saints & Tzadiks: Susan McKeown & Lorin Sklamberg (Irish/Yiddish)- Saints and Tzadiks CD due out August 11 on World Village (Click for info and music)
- The Celtic Jewish Connection: The Jewish Daily Forward (Interviews and music)
Following on the heels of their GRAMMY Award-winning work with the Klezmatics, vocalists Susan McKeown and Lorin Sklamberg have begun an exciting musical collaboration: an album of Yiddish and Irish song.
Culled from rare archive material and old recordings, McKeown and Sklamberg have selected songs on various themes from the Jewish and Irish traditions: love, death, betrothal, betrayal and the demon drink, as well as cumulative and macaronic songs are represented.
"We love singing together and started to explore the connections between Yiddish and Irish songs awhile ago," says McKeown. "Lorin is a true scholar and so he's come up with some beautiful songs. It's been both fascinating and fun to learn these Yiddish songs from him." In fact, the bulk of the Jewish material is being drawn from the papers of the legendary collector and performer Ruth Rubin, specifically from the recently published Yiddish Folk Songs from the Ruth Rubin Archive, drawn from her field recordings held at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, where Sklamberg serves as Sound Archivist. "Part of the thrill of this project is having the privilege of being the first to commercially record most of these treasures," enthuses Sklamberg. The Irish songs come from both the popular and the ancient Gaelic sean nós traditions.
When Sklamberg, the voice of the Klezmatics, decided with his band mates to seek an additional vocalist for their Woody Guthrie project Wonder Wheel, the choice was McKeown. The resulting album went on to win the 2006 GRAMMY for Best Contemporary World Music Album.
Mandolin virtuoso and festival favorite Mike Marshall and extraordinary fiddler Darol Anger team with Sweden's premiere acoustic string trio, Väsen. This spirited collaboration bridges the gap between the fiddle and dance tunes of Appalachia and the polskas of Sweden. You will discover just how small our Atlantic Ocean really is when you hear The Duo and Väsen weave together centuries old traditional forms from separate continents into such a natural fabric.
Väsen and the Duo have actually been fans of each other for many years before meeting at the Lotus World Music Festival in Bloomington, Indiana in 2004. Mike and Darol had already learned a few Väsen tunes from their earlier CDs and were dreaming of one day playing with these guys. So when they were thrown together on stage (at their own request, of course), it was obvious to all from the first few notes that something very special was being born here; a connection based on their love for traditional music and this quest for the answer to where it might be heading. With the Duo and Väsen, you have a similar mind set about the potential for creative musicians from separate worlds to work together with joy, understanding and open hearts. The creative and respectful birth of something with roots that reach way back in time to the fathers of their music, while at the same time, pushing ahead towards something new.
¡Viva la Pepa! (Spain/NM, USA)
¡Viva la Pepa! delves into medieval, renaissance and traditional music from Spain and France. The main members, Tom Lozano (Spain), Rima Montoya (Costa Rica), Sharon Berman (USA) and Juan Wijngaard (Argentina), have performed throughout Europe, Central and North America. They will be joined by special guest Polly Tapia Ferber (USA).
¡Viva la Pepa! uses a variety of instruments, including Spanish lute, guitar, psaltery, hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, tromba marina, accordion, woodwinds and percussion, combined with their voices. Their repertoire ranges from 13th century cantigas to contemporary village music of Spain and France and the Sephardic oral tradition, with special interest in their linkage to the musical heritage of New Mexico.