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2010 Festival

The Performers:

Rahim AlHaj & Little Earth Orchestra
Khaïra Arby
Susana Baca
Cellicion Zuni Dancers
The Flatlanders with Tom Russell
Kenge Kenge
Los Martinez
Mariachi Mystery Tour
Melody of China
Emeline Michel
Bill Miller
Non Stop Bhangra
Oreka Tx
Simon Shaheen
Líber Terán


This SlideShowPro photo gallery requires the Flash Player plugin and a web browser with JavaScript enabled.


This SlideShowPro photo gallery requires the Flash Player plugin and a web browser with JavaScript enabled.

Photos in both slide shows (taken on Friday, top, and Saturday, bottom) by Alan Mitchell.

More photos, by Kevin Yatarola:
Friday: Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3
Saturday: Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4

Here are a few photos taken at the festival by Jade Leyva. Click on a photo to enlarge it. You can see more photos on Jade's Facebook page.

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We have created a ¡Globalquerque! 2010 video channel and will be adding new videos as they become available.

Visitor/Artist Feedback:

"My two favorite things about New Mexico are the weather and ¡Globalquerque!."
—Glenn Meizlesh

"Globalquerque continues to be THE music event I consistently look forward to every year."
—Greg Poulter

"I have been to a number of festivals in the last year, including some big ones, and I NEVER have seen the care and consideration that you all invested in making the event a success.  I NEVER have seen organizers personally welcoming vendors and then following up, on numerous occasions, to make sure everything were going right.  Those extra touches really make a difference and set the tone for a really good vibe."
—Sahara Scrubs (vendor)

"Susana loved the festival and the whole community vibe.  It was a pleasure to work in such a friendly and laid back atmosphere."
—Greg Landau (Susana Baca's manager)

"I want to congratulate you both on a wonderful event.  I heard no unhappy comments and only saw smiles and raves from everyone.  ... I was thrilled with my image on the program.  That alone was wonderful exposure.  I am sure that everyone who participated is as happy as I am.  Thank you so very much."
Jan Jackson (Festival Poster Artist)

I can't thank you guys enough for creating such an amazing experience over this past weekend. I saw so much happiness, togetherness and celebrating life that my faith in the power of music was restored once again. Dancing to the sounds of Kenge Kenge, being mesmerized by Rahim AlHaj's ensemble, and feeling absolutely blissed out as Olodum had us all singing together are just a few of the memories I'll take away from Globalquerque 2010.

The world is a better place because of Globalquerque! You give people an opportunity to experience some of the most beautiful music in the world, and you provide an amazing venue for gifted artists to do what they do best. Maybe you didn't intend on starting a revolution, but that's what it feels like. The messages of peace and love, harmony and understanding, transcending walls and barriers were consistent throughout the performances. If there is anything that will bring us all a little closer together, it's experiences like Globalquerque.

The goal of my radio program has always been to show the connections between people, despite political, religious, geographical and linguistic barriers. Radio is one thing, but the live music experience is far more powerful. Being at Globalquerque 2010 was like watching my own dream come true. Our shared vision is inspiring, beautiful, and I know it makes a difference in the lives of everyone involved. For that, I thank you.
—Matt Moon (KXCI Tucson)

OK - just decided that the premier world music shit in the #US is #Globalquerque. Had to call my friends in NY and tell 'em #ABQ #NM

Going fr #SusanaBaca to #Flatlanders is most amazing musical transition I've ever made #Globalquerque

#SusanaBaca can sing Negra Presentuosa a gazillion times, never gets old #Globalquerque #ABQ #NM - elmolestoso

"This event is such a signature event for NHCC and reflects such a great partnership."
—Estevan Rael-Galvez (Director – National Hispanic Cultural Center)

"I had a wonderfull experience at the festival and my musicians also, it was really magical and emotional!!!"
Líber Teran (Festival performer)

"Thank you for another incredible celebration of the world in which we live.  The weekend was such a treat and remains an absolute highlight for the year and encouraged me to put it on the calendar for next year."
—Norty Kalishman

"Globalquerque was magnificent. Thanks so much to you and your team. A tour de force!"
—Summers Kalishman

"Globalquerque was an enjoyable event, and the volunteer staff was wonderful.  Jean and Joseph were super-helpful, and it's so much less stressful when the organizers are really and truly organized.  Globalquerque is the best-run show we've participated in."
—Dynamic Organix (vendor)

"It was great - all of it!!  thank you for creating such a fabulous music event and it's a bargain price considering all the entertainment you provide."
—Barbara Earley

"Globalquerque was AWESOME this year!!! We have gone the past three years, but this year was amazing, the music was sublime!! The Portuguese group and the two guys from Spain provided some real jewels, so was the Haitian group, okay, all of them. Thank you for ABQ's best music event of the year!"
—Mary Dolch

"Foi maravilhoso, particpar do festival!!!"
Banda Olodum (Festival peformer)

"Thank you for making the Consulate part of Globalbuquerque! this year, and let us celebrate and share part of Mexico with visitors at this  great Festival. Congratulations again for such a successful and inspirational event, Albuquerque is very privileged of having such Festival each year. Personally, every Globalbuquerque is a discovery of new worlds, the Haitian magic with Emeline Michel, the innovation of Oreka Tx...the list goes on..."
—Emy Kameta (Adjunct Consul for Cultural, Political & Commercial Affairs, Consulate de México in Albuquerque)

"Loved it! I lived in the Los Angeles area for many years and this festival ranks up there with the ones I saw in California. Only complaint, which you have probably heard before many times, it was very hard to choose which group to see. Parking was good (unlike in LA). My husband and I really enjoyed every minute and even stayed late for Liber Teran to dance and we're in our late 50's!"

"This was my first time attending ¡Globalquerque! and it was such a treat.  The Flatlanders (whom I knew back in college) were just delightful.  Rahim AlHajj's music was inspiring and very uplifting.  Those were the two acts I focused on hearing.  All the other music that was on the outside stages was fabulous and exciting.  What a great production!  Kudos."
—Eddy B.

"Globalquerque is a treasure for people who love music and world culture.  I'm grateful you're here to bring it to us and that the National Hispanic Cultural Center hosts the event.  Looking forward to Globalquerque 2011!"
—Phil M.

"We moved to ABQ from LA just about a year ago and this was our first Globalquerque event. It was a wonderful experience: the site was magnificent (each venue provided a unique backdrop to enjoy the music); the staggered schedule ensured a dynamic rhythm to the experience as we flowed in and out of events; the food experience was very tasty and satisfying (I'm glad we finally found some wine in the courtyard!); the artist selection was varied and truly talented providing something for everyone and then some!"


Rahim AlHaj & Little Earth Orchestra (Iraq/USA)

CD launch concert - with special guests

picIraqi oud virtuoso, composer and two-time Grammy® nominee Rahim AlHaj formed Little Earth Orchestra in 2009 to expand his musical vision and develop compositions that utilize both western instrumentation and Arabic modes. Rahim performs on oud alongside an octet featuring Souhail Kaspar and Issa Malluf (Middle Eastern percussion), Carla Kountoupes and Gail Robertson (violin), Jason Parris (viola), Katie Harlow (cello), and Michael Glynn (acoustic bass), to create a mesmerizing new music rooted in the traditions of the east and west. The project is captured on a 2-CD set featuring guest artists from a variety of cultures and genres, including two debut recordings from Little Earth Orchestra. 

We are thrilled to welcome Rahim back to ¡Globalquerque! to celebrate the release of the Little Earth CD.  He'll be joined by the Little Earth Orchestra as well as special guests from the CD project performing their tracks including Hossein Omoumi (Iran), Stephen Kent (Australia), Roshan Jamal Bhartiya (India) and maybe a few more.  The new CD will officially go on sale Tuesday, September 28, but we will have them early and be able to sell them at ¡Globalquerque!.

Watch a video:


Khaïra Arby (Mali) - Debut US Tour!

- "Khaira Arby Loves Timbuktu", Music & Interview on PRI's The World
- "This will go down as one of my dozen or so all time favorite afropop concerts in over 20 yrs living in NY", Sean Barlow, Afropop Worldwide
- "Khaira Arby's Mission From God Moves From Mali to America",
- Performance at the Festival in the Desert 2010
- Performance and interviews at Festival in the Desert 2003

deolindaKhaïra Arby, the Nightingale of the North, was born in the village of Agouni in the Sahara Desert north of Timbuktu. Khaira's parents came from different ethnic backgrounds: mother Songhai and father Berber. You can hear these cultures in her music; she sings in several languages, including Songhai, Tamashek, French, Arabic. Her instrumentation and rhythms are just as varied, with electric guitar and bass, calabash, ngoni, traditional violin, and percussion creating a complex mixture of sound and structure. Some people compare the effect to the rhythms of the camel caravans crossing the Sahara.

Khaïra won her first singing contest while just a young schoolgirl. Her prize was the chance to represent her city of Timbuktu at the regional contest in the city of Gao. It took a long time to convince her conservative father to let the little girl go. He had not known about her entering the first contest. Finally, he relented and Khaïra won first prize in Gao and a spot representing the region at the national Biennale of Mali in Bamako, at that time the country's main cultural event, where all the top Malian artists, actors, musicians, dancers and comedians came to perform, compete and collaborate. To no one's surprise Khaïra won first prize and was chosen to travel to Tunisia to represent Mali internationally. But her father objected to the idea of an 11 year old girl making such a trip and since she was so young, the government agreed.

Khaïra returned to Timbuktu and by the age of 14 was married. She tried to continue singing but was forced to stop until 8 years into her marriage, when she sought a divorce. At the age of 22 Khaïra had struck out on her own. She made her first recording with the Orchestre Regional de Tombouctou. After a short time she was invited to sing with the famous Orchestre Badema in Bamako. She continued to earn her stripes beside such Malian stars as her cousin, Ali Farka Touré and the influential Fissa Maïga. Since the 1980s Khaira has focused all her energies on her music. With three albums in her own name she is the Voice of Mali's North. Khaïra still lives in Timbuktu with her family, and performs at concerts and festivals throughout the world.

Watch a video:


Susana Baca (Peru)

- Performing "Valentin" with David Byrne at Joe's Pub!

picSusana Baca was born in Lima but grew up in the small black coastal barrio of Chorrillos, "populated with fishermen and cats," she says. Since colonial times the town has also been the home to an enclave of African slave descendants. Baca was immersed in music and flooded by the smells from her mother's kitchen from an early age. Both gifts were passed on to her. Her father made a living as a driver and was the go to guitarist for neighborhood street parties and impromptu musical gatherings. As a child Baca listened to Cuban musicians like Pérez Prado and Beny Moré. But seeing her sister stand behind a radio station microphone to sing was a defining moment in her life. Then and there she caught a glimpse of her destiny.

Baca's talent as a singer got her noticed in school and at the same time she began to develop an interest in the poets of Peru. She formed an experimental music group combining poetry and song and through grants from Peru's Institute of Modern Art and the National Institute of Peruvian Culture, she began performing. At the prestigious international Agua Dulce festival in Lima, she took top honors. But it wasn't until after meeting Chabuca Granda that Baca was given her first real opportunity to record professionally in Peru. However the composer's sudden death left Baca in limbo. She continued to work, especially in her role as historian and preservationist of Afro-Peruvian culture through music and dance. In 1992, alongside her husband Ricardo Pereira, she founded the Instituto Negrocontinuo, dedicated to researching the dances and songs of her ancestors and passing on that knowledge to a new generation of Peruvian artists. Baca's own voice finally found the outlet to reach a global audience in 1995 with the release of The Soul of Black Peru, a compilation disc that led to the recording of four solo albums under Luaka Bop.

It's been said before that Baca's voice is like a quiet storm. But it's worth repeating. Like all storms in their myriad manifestations, Baca's restrained tempest transcends Chorrillos. It transcends her people's history, Peru, her personal story, and even language. Baca's universal sound enthralls the listener no matter where they're from.

Watch a video:


Cellicion Zuni Dancers (Zuni, New Mexico, USA)

non stop bhangra in albuquerqueFounded by their late parents in 1983, the Cellicion Zuni Dancers (pronounced seh lih see ahn) dance group consists of 15 family members and is made up of 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation performers. Under the direction of Fernando Cellicion, the group has become one of the top professional touring native Dance companies in the performing arts. World renowned for their performances of traditional Zuni social songs & dances, the group has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. So far the dance group has been to 32 countries. In 2007 the Cellicion Zuni Dancers became the first native Tribe to perform in the country of Mongolia. Notable performances include the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.; the Library of Congress, where their songs were placed in the national archives; and Carnegie Hall in New York City. Director Fernando Cellicion is also an internationally renowned flutist and recording artist. The group are all fluent in the Zuni language and participate year round in their cultural community activities.

Watch a video:


Deolinda (Portugal)

- Enjoy live footage and videos on Link TV

picDeolinda is a project from Lisbon inspired by fado and its traditional roots in order to create original songs based on Portuguese traditional and popular music. In the short time since the Portuguese release of their debut Canção ao Lado (The Song Next Door) in 2008, the band has shot into the Portuguese charts and the album has achieved Platinum status.

An intriguing concept album, Canção ao Lado is delivered live in a series of wildly flamboyant concerts that have drawn audiences in Portugal that range from the 30-something age group of the musicians to grandparents and small children. The secret to their popularity comes in equal parts from their exuberant, often comic performances, the sweet and catchy melodies, and lyrics loaded with emotive references to fado and other lesser-known Portuguese musical traditions.

The album's 14 songs of Deolinda, the band, are built around the character of Deolinda, the fictional character, a young woman who lives with her cats and goldfish in a Lisbon apartment and watches through her window as the world go by. The songs are delivered by a dynamic, charismatic singer who goes by the name Ana Bacalhau (literally, Ana Salted Cod). Deolinda and the passing characters she introduces us to are the creations of the project's songwriter and guitarist, Pedro da Silva Martins, and are performed with the other musicians: conservatory-trained Luis José Martins on guitar, ukulele, viola and Portuguese cavaco and guitarlele, and double bass player Zé Pedro Leitão (meaning Suckling Pig), who brings a classical and jazz background.

Watch a video:


The Flatlanders with Tom Russell (U.S.)

flatlandersOld fashioned Texas guitar pull. 4 singers, 4 guitars. Classic songs and voices.

The legendary Flatlanders feature three of Texas' most respected singer/songwriters: Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock. The Flatlanders have been friends and sometime collaborators for over 35 years, releasing their first work in 1972 as an eight-track tape only and then on vinyl that was only available in Europe. The band gained a cult following but, with the recordings rare and hard to find, went their separate ways, each becoming successful musicians on their own but most importantly remaining friends. They reunited in 1998 when asked to write a song for "The Horse Whisperer" soundtrack—which they wrote together (for the 1972 recording they wrote individually recording each other's songs). The collaborative effort paid off, leading to the critically acclaimed Now Again (May '02) and Wheels Of Fortune (Jan '04); their latest release, Hills and Valleys, has been called "relaxed and natural, like a record made on holiday by three guys with nothing left to prove to themselves or anyone else. Free of expectations, they casually spin off real magic." (Texas Music)

They will be joined by Tom Russell, whose songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Doug Sahm, Nanci Griffith, Joe Ely, Iris Dement, Ian Tyson, k.d. lang and many others; he is credited, along with Dave Alvin, of inventing the Americana radio format. The Columbus Other wrote: "Russell seems to have invented, and keeps re-inventing, American roots music... He's the strongest live performer we have seen in years."

Watch a video:


Kenge Kenge (Kenya) - Debut US Tour

- Kenge Kenge Rocks Womex (on Link TV)
- Kenge Kenge bring Kenuyan Luo roots to Lincoln Center (from Afropop Worldwide)

kenge kengeKenge Kenge (their name means "fusion of small, exhilarating instruments") explore the origins of benga, a style popular in Kenya the way rumba is in Congo or highlife is in Nigeria. This is roots music from the JoLuo community of Western Kenya, with lyrical arrangements that reflect influences from the popular Benga pop-music style. Dense textures of rhythm and chant are overlaid with an unusual assortment of self-made traditional instruments: Nyatiti lyre, Bul drums, the Nyangile sound box, Ongeng'o metal rings, Asili flute, and the Oporo horn. But the singing is in fact the central event, and it is strong and generous, full of character and contrast. In addition to tremendous popularity in their home region, Kenge Kenge have toured to Norway, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, and will continue bringing their irresistible dance music and celebration to the world.

Watch a video:


Los Martinez (New Mexico, USA)

photoFronted by Lorenzo Martinez and his brother Roberto Jr., Los Martinez preserve, promote and treasure the sound of Northern New Mexico. Through the ages, the guitar and violin have become the instruments of choice for generations of New Mexicans living in the mountains, tools to express the emotions and experiences lived as Spaniards, Mexicans, and U.S. citizens for over four centuries. The brothers Martinez grew up performing traditional music with their father, Roberto Sr. (Los Reyes de Albuquerque), and on their own. Lorenzo Martinez is a master folk violinist and a NEA National Heritage Fellow for preserving and promoting New Mexico's violin tradition. He has recorded two seminal albums—the first when he was 15!—of this rapidly fading repertoire. Roberto Martinez Jr. accompanies Lorenzo on guitar and vocals, performing inditas, polkas, redondos, and musical forms from New Mexico and the Western U.S. Creating a unique blend of music which draws from the diverse cultures of New Mexico past and present, Los Martinez are an authentic New Mexican musical experience.


Mariachi Mystery Tour (New Mexico, USA)

photo"Mariachi Mystery Tour doesn't just make classic songs fresh, the group makes them new... makes you wonder what would have happened if John, Paul, George and Ringo had spent some time with Pedro Infante." —Dan Mayfield, Albuquerque Journal

Mariachi Mystery Tour founder and musical director Lorenzo Martinez is an accomplished composer, arranger, mariachi and traditional New Mexican folk musician. He is also a dyed-in-the-wool fan of four lads from Liverpool who made an unprecedented impact on not only Anglo music and culture, but whose influence was—and is still—felt in every corner of the globe. In 2009, Lorenzo had a far out idea. What if he re-imagined the music of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr through the lenses of mariachi? After arranging the material—and his selection of songs and styles is as wide-ranging as the catalogue from which it comes—he recruited his brother Roberto Martinez, Jr. and some of the finest young mariachis from his native New Mexico (including his son Larry and niece Sheila) to record what would become Mariachi Mystery Tour, a tour-de-force artistic and cultural collision that flows together seamlessly while remaining true to both sides music and unique stylistic contributions. The CD and their live show—a visual as well as aural adventure—takes a trip up the Mersey and down the Thames, all the while staying close to the banks of the Rio Grande.

Watch a video:


Melody of China

skaidiYangqin (hammered dulcimer) Soloist Yangqin Zhao, prophetically named after the instrument she has become famous for playing, has established herself as one of the foremost yangqin (Chinese dulcimer) performers in the world, having been elected to the prestigious Chinese Musicians Association and the Chinese Nationalities Orchestra Society. Showing promise at an early age, she studied yangqin under professor Qian Fang-Ping of the Nanjing Arts College. In 1982, she graduated with honors from Nanjing Normal University's Music Department and eventually became head of the faculty of instrumental music of that university.

Gangqin Zhao, younger sister of Yangqin Zhao, studied the yangqin under her father ever since childhood. She was on stage performing when she was eight. At age 14, she began to learn the guzheng (Chinese zither) and percussion instruments under the well-known music educator and the board director of the China Musician's Association, Jiangsu Branch. Since 1991, she has been teaching the guzheng and yangqin in the Nanjing Children Music & Dance School.

Watch a video:


Emeline Michel (Haiti)

flatlandersEmeline Michel is the reigning Queen of Haitian Song: a captivating performer, versatile vocalist and one of the premier Haitian songwriters of her generation. She has recorded and appeared on concert stages throughout the Caribbean, Europe, and North & South America for over 20 years. Singing both in French and Haitian Creole, her nine albums have catapulted her to international acclaim.

Emeline Michel is beloved by Haitians for combining traditional rhythms with social, political and inspirational content. She is a member of a unique generation of Haitian musicians that emerged in the late 1980s and also includes guitarist/vocalist Beethova Obas and the bands Boukman Eksperyans and Boukan Guinen. This wave of artists emphasized complex themes, conscious lyrics, and a broad palette of musical styles, including the native Haitian compas, twoubadou and rara.

Born in Gonaives, Haiti, her first experience in music was singing gospel music at the local church. After completing her education, Emeline accepted an opportunity to study at the Detroit Jazz Center and returned to Haiti as a professional musician; she was soon hailed as the "new goddess of Creole music." Relocating to France, she became a leading musical icon, making numerous appearances on French television and gracing the covers of many music and culture magazines. After being signed with several record labels in France, Canada and the U.S., Emeline formed her own production company (Production Cheval De Feu) in 1999 to gain full control of her career and artistic vision. Haiti's leading daily paper, Le Nouvelliste, has observed: "Just as every citizen has a national identity card, every Haitian should have one Emeline CD at their home."

Want to get to know Haiti a little better? Come to the FREE Global Fiesta on Saturday! Emeline will be leading An Introduction to Haitian Culture and Racine Kreyol will be teaching a Haitian dance class.

Watch a video:


Bill Miller (Mohican Tribe, USA)

pietraWhether painting a picture with his carefully chosen words or wielding a brush to place colors on canvas, Bill Birdsong Miller always creates from a vibrant emotional palette. Drawing from his own life experiences as well as centuries of tradition, Miller is an artist of considerable depth. A three-time Grammy winning singer/songwriter as well as an acclaimed speaker and gifted painter, Miller is the quintessential American artist. His artistry not only reflects his Native American heritage, but personifies the American experience. Miller's most recent work is Chronicles of Hope, a powerful collection of songs that simultaneously entertains and inspires.

Miller's list of accolades is lengthy and impressive. He has won six Native American Music Awards, including a 2007 Lifetime Achievement honor. He's earned three Grammy Awards, among them his most recent win for Spirit Wind North, which was named Best Native American Album at the 2010 ceremony. He's received international acclaim for "The Last Stand," an original symphony he composed with Joshua Yudkin and Kristin Wilkinson. Some of the top names in the music community have sought out Miller as a collaborator, among them Michael Martin Murphey, Nanci Griffith and John Carter Cash, and he's toured extensively, sharing the bill with a diverse slate of acts such as Tori Amos, Eddie Vedder and Arlo Guthrie. Well known for his beautiful performances on the flute, Miller was chosen to play flute on "Colors of the Wind" from Disney’s Pocahontas.

Watch a video:


Non Stop Bhangra (India/USA)

non stop bhangra in albuquerqueNon Stop Bhangra (NSB) is a unique experience that celebrates the beautiful and vibrant spirit of bhangra, a traditional Punjabi folk music and dance.

Imagine a scene from a Bollywood movie smack in the middle of a thumping nightclub—swirling colors, the rhythm of pounding feet, and the relentless energy of brilliant beats—that's Non Stop Bhangra. Non Stop Bhangra is a non-stop party, featuring dance lessons with the dance troupe Dholrhythms, followed by dance performances, live music sets, visuals, live painting, and DJs spinning an eclectic mix of bhangra, hip hop, reggae, and electronica.

Non Stop Bhangra was founded in 2004 when DJ Jimmy Love teamed up with Dholrhythms founders Vicki Virk & Suman Raj, with the goal of bringing bhangra to a wider audience. The first Non Stop Bhangra night was hosted to celebrate the one year anniversary of Dholrhythms by providing a dance space for students of Dholrhythms bhangra classes. Since then, Non Stop Bhangra has made this traditional style a serious dance floor craze in San Francisco, drawing the Bay Area's most diverse crowds to join in the frenzy. NSB is a destination creating sold out nights and write-ups as one of the best dance floor nights in San Francisco.

Members of Dholrhythns/Non Stop Bhangra will be leading a Bhangra dance class during the FREE Global Fiesta on Saturday.

Watch a video:


Olodum (Brazil) - First US Tour in 10 Years!

- Great profile in the Boston Globe highlights the bands history and social relevance.

olodumOlodum is an internationally acclaimed Afro-Brazilian cultural group from Bahia, Brazil. Olodum (pronounced oh-lo-doon) was founded in 1979 as a bloco afro (African Bloc), a Bahian Carnival association highlighting African heritage and black pride through music, dance theater, and art. From their home city of Salvador da Bahia in Northeast Brazil (often described as the most African city in the Americas), Olodum has dedicated itself to cultural activism in the struggle against racial discrimination and socioeconomic inequality.

Olodum takes its name from the Yoruba deity Olodumaré. They focus their yearly Carnival themes on controversial issues such as black power and socialist movements in Africa and the African Diaspora. In the mid 1980s, the head drummer in the group—Mestre Neguinho do Samba—experimented with Afro-Caribbean rhythms and mixed them with the Brazilian samba. He divided the large surdo bass drums into four interlocking parts and layered the high-pitched repique drums in additive rhythms on top. The result was a new style of music dubbed samba reggae that quickly dominated Bahian Carnival. In the late 1980s Olodum assumed premiere position among the blocos afro in Bahia and became internationally known. They formed a professional musical band, Banda Olodum, which has now recorded over ten CDs. Olodum musicians have worked with international luminaries such as Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, and Spike Lee.

During Carnival season the group now parades with some two hundred drummers, singers, and thousands of costumed members. But the group's activities go well beyond Carnival and music. Throughout the year they sponsor seminars, speeches, and conferences on social and political issues and publish a monthly news journal, Bantu Nagô. They operate a factory where they make drums, costumes and other items which they sell to the public. Olodum also runs an inner-city school for Salvador's underprivileged children in which they teach a full array of academic and arts courses in order to build self-esteem and encourage economic ascension among Salvador's younger generation.

Watch a video:


Oreka Tx (Spain)

oreka txMost musical instruments are made to be played by only one musician at a time. But from Spain's Basque Country comes an instrument built for two. The txalaparta, third cousin to the vibraphone, has entered world music circles through the efforts of the Basque duo Oreka Tx. Seeing their chosen instrument as a metaphor of musical encounters, their latest CD is a set of collaborations with musicians from India, Lapland, Mongolia and North Africa. The results are melodic, intriguing and organic, as if the duo has tapped into forgotten currents of culture that traveled the world's trade routes in the early centuries of history.

Oreka Tx began traveling the world in 2004, using the txalaparta as their vehicle and home, meeting musicians and discovering the reality of far away peoples, from Mongolia to Sahara, from Lapland to India. During their travels, they compiled visual and audio materials with a clear goal in mind: to share this music, these sounds, these images, and these experiences. Their dream became a reality and the result was the astounding documentary, "Nömadak Tx," which won multiple awards at international film festivals. Their touring show takes the film's concept to the next level. With the film projected onto a giant screen behind them, the Oreka Tx Band is joined on stage by the Saharawi and Mongolian singers featured in "Nömadak Tx." The soundtrack evolves from the blending of live and film music, and performance pieces emanate from an impossibly-expanded ensemble, the people on stage combined with the multitude of musicians all over the world on screen, an extravagant multi-ethnic sound montage. The screen itself becomes a huge window onto the world, through which the audience is offered a particularly intimate glimpse into lives, music and landscapes across the globe.

Oreka Tx will be showing clips from and discussing the making of the film Nömadak Tx during the FREE Global Fiesta on Saturday.

Watch a video:


Simon Shaheen (Palestine)

shaheenSimon Shaheen dazzles his listeners as he deftly leaps from traditional Arabic sounds to jazz and Western classical styles. His soaring technique, melodic ingenuity, and unparalleled grace have earned him international acclaim as a virtuoso on the oud and violin. Shaheen is one of the most significant Arab musicians, performers, and composers of his generation. His work incorporates and reflects a legacy of Arabic music, while it forges ahead to new frontiers, embracing many different styles in the process. This unique contribution to the world of arts was recognized in 1994 when Shaheen was honored with the prestigious National Heritage Award at the White House.

In the 1990s he released four albums of his own and contributed selections to soundtracks for "The Sheltering Sky" and "Malcolm X," among others. For the past several years, though, Shaheen has focused many of his energies on his band Qantara, whose name means "arch" in Arabic. Qantara brings to life Shaheen's vision for the unbridled fusion of Arab, jazz, Western classical, and Latin American music, a perfect alchemy for music to transcend the boundaries of genre and geography.

In addition to performing with his two bands, Qantara and the Near Eastern Music Ensemble, Shaheen tours as a solo artist internationally and as a lecturer throughout the academic world promoting awareness to Arab music through numerous lecture and workshop presentations.

Simon will be giving an Introduction to Arabic Music talk during the FREE Global Fiesta on Saturday.

Watch a video:


Líber Terán (Mexico) - US Concert Debut

liber teranOn his new solo album Tambora Sound System, former Los de Abajo singer and guitar player Líber Terán mixes music from Sinaloa with Balkan, country and electro. The album includes collaborations with some of the most prominent DJs on the Mexican scene, including Panoptica (Roberto Mendoza) and Toy Selectah.

Líber Terán's influences include classic rock 'n' rollers, such as Gene Vincent, Johnny Cash, Lou Reed, and The Beatles. He has also been influenced by typical popular and norteña Mexican music such as Los Tigres del Norte, Los Cadetes de Linares and José Alfredo Jiménez, whose songs describe and interweave intimate feelings with the harsh urban reality of Mexico City, and show sensations from melancholic sobriety to nostalgic romance, mixed with violent chilanga reality that make this rock 'n' roll crooner "the urban country-man within us all."

Terán started his solo career after 14 years of playing and touring Europe, USA, Canada, Asia and Oceania with Los de Abajo, as well as recording two albums for David Byrne's label Luaka Bop: Los de Abajo (1998) and Cybertropic Chilango Power (2002). Two independent recordings, No Borrarán (2005) and Latin Ska Force (2002), followed, along with the live album Complete and Live (L.A./04) (2004) and LDA v The Lunatics (2006); the latter was produced by Temple of Sound for Real World, Peter Gabriel's label. In 2008 Líber Terán launched El Gitano Western, his debut album as a solo artist.

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