47SOUL is an Electro Arabic Dabke (Shamstep) band formed in Amman, Jordan, in 2013. The members are rooted in Bilad Al-Sham, spanning the divides from Amman to the Galilee to Ramallah and the rest of the Palestinian Diaspora.
The new sound of 47SOUL has rapidly amassed fans in the Arab World and Europe by blasting the electric Arabic Dabke sound through underground music scenes. On top of the beats that have been bumping in the Arab World for centuries, 47SOUL hypes it up with analog synthesizers, hypnotic guitar lines, and shattering verses from the four singers. Every show ends in relentless dance and trance from all parties involved. Their lyrics, mixing Arabic and English, call for celebration and freedom in the struggle for equality, inside Bilad Al Sham and throughout the world.
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Info Is For 2019 / 2021 Info Coming Soon
with The Guilty Ones (California/Texas USA)
Roots music legends Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore have been friends for 30 years, but only recently realized they had never played music with each other before. So in 2017, Grammy winner Alvin and Grammy nominee Gilmore decided to hit the highway to swap songs, tell stories, and share their life experiences. In these spontaneous shows, audiences enjoyed classic original compositions from the two, and also songs from a wide spectrum of songwriters and styles—from Merle Haggard to Sam Cooke to the Young Bloods. Mutually energized and inspired by these performances, Dave and Jimmie agreed to hit the road again… this time with a full band (Dave Alvin’s backing band, The Guilty Ones) and some new stories to share.
Dave Alvin, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and self-described “barroom guitarist,” is widely considered to be one of the pivotal founders of the current Americana music scene. Since forming the highly influential roots rock/R&B band The Blasters with his brother Phil in 1979, and throughout his long and critically acclaimed solo career, Dave Alvin has mixed his varied musical and literary influences into his own unique, updated version of traditional American music.
With his warm, warbling tenor voice and folksy, friendly approach to both his music and his audiences, Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s music is a rich blend of traditional country, folk, blues, and rock styles. His lyrics reflect both his philosophical interests and his inherent down-home nature. Since moving to Austin, TX, and reviving his career in the 1980s, Gilmore has in many ways come to represent the current Austin music scene—its rootsy mix of country, rock, and folk music.
Natu Camara (Guinea)
In 2006, Natu Camara led West Africa’s first all-female hip-hop group, The Ideal Black Girls. Their breakout album, Guineya Momonera (It’s Not a Shame to Be a Woman), a women’s rights anthem, sold over 2 million units and made the young group instant celebrities. The girls’ tiger-like stage performances and powerfully sung lyrics inspired a whole new generation, earning them respect across Guinea and beyond.
After Natu tragically lost her husband, she made New York her home and began writing and recording new material that drew on her musical roots and the influence of Guinean artists such as Bombino, Bembeya Jazz and Mory Kante. Now, Natu has woven the intense musical journey of her life into her first solo album, Dimedi (Child). Recorded in Mali at Salif Keita’s legendary Moffou Studio with many members of his band, Dimedi (Child) is a beguiling masterpiece of Afro-rock, pop and soul performed in 5 languages. Arriving in the studio alone with her guitar and a handful of songs, Natu has declared her presence once again on the world stage. Her inventive vocal arrangements give power and sweetness to the meaningful stories she shares throughout the entire breadth of the album. Her songs vibrate with memorable hooks and pulsating rhythms, taking on major social and political issues of our times.
Natu, known as “the beloved rap queen,” has transformed into a singer and songwriter of rousing strength and significance. Her work incorporates social and political issues, empowering women and children and encouraging everyone to break the mold and live free. Guitar in hand, Natu emerges on the world stage with heart and soul in her music, calling for unity.
Dat García (Argentina)
Born in Monte Grande, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Dat García was immersed in Argentine music from day one. This early education in traditional styles has since been channelled through a digital filter, resulting in the distinctive Dat García sound: a mix of chacarera, trip-hop, synth-pop, charango and more.
Signed to Argentina’s ZZK Records, one of the leading proponents of South America’s “folklorica” sound, Dat García recently released an album called Maleducada (un- or poorly educated). Described as a “way of expressing and exorcizing through song the bad emotional upbringing common among so many young people of her generation, the children of adults censored during the tough times of 1980s Argentina, when the military dictatorship silenced, oppressed and even murdered many of those dedicated to artistic or political expression,” the album cements Dat García as one of the spokeswomen and storytellers of the new women’s movement that questions traditional values and emphasizes body consciousness to construct a new more equal society.
Garifuna Collective (Belize)
Andy Palacio & The Garifuna Collective’s 2007 album, Wátina, is one of the most praised world music albums ever released. On the cusp of tremendous fame, Andy passed away suddenly a year after Wátina was released, leaving the world to wonder just how big he could have become. His band has continued where Andy left off, and continue to perform soul-stirring songs inspired by their unique Afro-Amerindian cultural heritage. With a lineup that consists of the best musicians in the fertile Garifuna music scene, The Garifuna Collective promises to carry the torch of cultural preservation and promotion passed on by Andy Palacio far into the future.
The Garifuna Collective brings together the deep cultural roots of Garifuna music, mixed with modern grooves, arrangements, and instruments. Unique hand drums, the “primera” and “segunda,” turtle shells and jawbones, guitars and bass. The musicians create a powerful energy on stage, building hypnotizing rhythms that form the backbone for the haunting melodies and powerful vocals that characterize the project.
The Itals (Jamaica)
The Itals are still vital and bearing ripe fruit. Out of Savana La Mar, Jamaica, for years Keith Porter and his band have been one of the hardest-working touring reggae acts in North America. These music messengers have the horsepower and perseverance to perform in some of the farthest North American outposts. For this sacrifice, they are greatly loved and respected by their fans. Keith Porter’s father was a minister in Jamaica, and with these roots, Keith has been bringing forth the message from an early age.
Known for their tight harmonies and uplifting songs, these reggae ambassadors have been touring fresh and strong since the early eighties. After many hard years on the road, they are still youthful and in good health. Keith Porter has proven himself to be one of the strongest men in the business. The Itals are living examples of the “Rasta Philosophy.”
The Itals continue to champion the roots reggae sound they helped to create. The band got their start in the late 1960s when friends Alvin “Keith” Porter and Ronnie Davis, then known as the Westmorelites (named after Jamaica’s Westmoreland parish), recorded the hit single “Hitey Titey” for Clement “Coxsone” Dodds’ esteemed Studio One label. Porter and Davis crossed paths again in 1975 and recorded their classic “Ina Dis Ya Time” as the Itals, taking their name from the Jamaican patois word meaning natural—pure and unprocessed.
The Itals are recognized as one of reggae’s premier “harmony groups.” The diverse seaside community of Westmoreland, where Keith grew up, greatly influenced his laid-back singing style, and the righteous outlook on life often described in the Itals’ music. In contrast to the violence and sexism that runs through some of dancehall’s most popular tunes, the Itals’ roots reggae sound remains to this day focused on positivity, love and harmony.
photo by James Holbrook
photo by James Holbrook
photo by James Holbrook
Lucibela (Cabo Verde)
Lucibela was born in Tarrafal on the island of São Nicolau in Cabo Verde in 1986. She began to show an interest in singing at a very early age. When her family moved to Mindelo on the island of São Vicente, it proved to be the perfect place for her to build on her childhood passion. On entering high school, she naturally joined a local group.
A few years later, she started to sing in the hotels of Santa Maria on the island of Sal and Sal Rei on the island of Boa Vista. She perfected her technique and became an immediate hit with the tourists, performing songs made famous by the great singers of Cabo Verde.
In 2016, Lucibela made her debut in Lisbon, where certain journalists compared her to Grammy-winning vocalist Cesaria Evora. “Cesaria is unique and there’ll never be another Cesaria,” she said. “My aim is to carry on the work Cesaria began. I want to sing Cabo Verdean musical genres–such as morna and coladera–pretty much anywhere in the world, and I want to succeed because of my own talent.”
Her first album, Laço Umbilical, was released in 2018. NPR Music called it “a joyful celebration of her homeland… [a] gorgeous debut.”
Born and raised in Hawai’i, Makana grew up on the shores of Waikiki amid the likes of legend Don Ho and young Elvis-impersonator Bruno Mars. Makana—whose name means “a gift given freely”—began singing when he was seven years-old, took up ‘ukulele at nine and began learning the ancient art of slack key at eleven. By fourteen, he was performing professionally, and before long playing five nights a week. His reputation as the youngest virtuoso of slack key spread like molten volcanic lava throughout the islands.
A protégé of the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar legends, including Bobby Moderow Jr. and the late master Uncle Sonny Chillingworth, Makana has dedicated his life to perpetuating as well as evolving the traditional Hawaiian art form. Slack key or Ki Ho’alu, nearly 200 years old and indigenous to Hawai’i, was created by ‘ohana (families) on the different islands as a very personal folk music expression of their beautiful surroundings and way of life. The style is characterized by “slacking” the strings to open chords, thus freeing the hands to alter the sound whilst self-accompanying with a triad of alternating bass patterns, faux rhythms and sweet melodies evocative of island atmospheres. Think “three guitars in one”! From this tradition Makana has evolved his own dynamic, high-octane style, coined “Slack Rock”: slack key infused with elements of bluegrass, rock, blues and raga. Makana’s playing has garnered praise from such guitar luminaries as Metallica's Kirk Hammett and Spanish flamenco guitar master Pepe Romero.
A contributor to the 2007 Grammy-nominated Hawaiian Slack Key Kings Vol. I and 2009 Grammy-nominated Hawaiian Slack Key Kings Vol II, Makana is considered one of the “greatest living players” (Esquire Magazine) whose “instrumental brilliance bears comparison with the work of such groundbreaking acoustic guitarists as John Fahey and Michael Hedges” (Maui News).
Lara Manzanares (New Mexico, USA)
Lara Manzanares is an award-winning bilingual singer-songwriter of Northern New Mexican heritage. In addition to singing the Mexican boleros, rancheras, and corridos of her sheep-ranching childhood, Lara also composes her own style of music in both English and Spanish. Through a combination of storytelling and songs both playful and sincere, Lara draws on her rural New Mexican roots and her urban experiences across the U.S. and abroad as she sings about love, loss, a sense of place, and her own connection to the land.
“Singer-songwriter Lara Manzanares won best album honors at this year’s New Mexico Music Awards for her album Land Baby. Here she carries out her mission with focus and drive, employing a voice both powerful and emotive, backed by instrumental conceits that reflect her deep, desert-borne connection to la tierra in Nuevo Mexico.
"From simple constructions like ‘Census Song’ to more fleshed-out productions such as ‘Rapunzel,’ Manzanares’ voice shimmers, shines and soothes. Her backing band is top-notch too; the recording is as shockingly clear as a summer, star-strewn night out in the wilderness… her range is magnificent and her overall tone as pure as the land itself.” — August March, The Weekly Alibi
Carlos Medina (New Mexico, USA)
Carlos Medina is a multi-instrumentalist with a DIY background, bootstrapping a career in remote roadside bars, serenading strangers at their tables with dark corridos from the heart. Known to many as “the Tom Waits of Mariachi,” Carlos has played in 38 states and sold tens of thousands of handmade CDs to individual fans across the country.
His latest album, El Cantador, pushes the boundaries of the Mariachi genre into the psych-pop realm, exploring themes of altered states, mystery and illusion.
“Overall, mariachi music is very well-accepted, but I’m reaching out to a different demographic to show just how cool it is in and of itself,” Medina told the Santa Fe Reporter. “[Mariachi music] is intrinsically cool, it’s intrinsically valuable because it’s culturally significant. It’s got tons of tradition. It’s been around hundreds of years, so it’s time to share it with another demographic.”
Mdou Moctar (Niger)
Mdou Moctar immediately stands out as one of the most innovative artists in contemporary Saharan music. His unconventional interpretations of Tuareg guitar and have pushed him to the forefront of a crowded scene. Back home, he’s celebrated for his original compositions and verbose poetry, an original creator in a genre defined by cover bands. In the exterior, where Saharan rock has become one of the continent’s biggest musical exports, he’s earned a name for himself with his guitar moves. Mdou shreds with a relentless and frenetic energy that puts his contemporaries to shame.
Mdou Moctar hails from a small village in central Niger in a remote region steeped in religious tradition. Growing up in an area where secular music was all but prohibited, he taught himself to play on a homemade guitar cobbled together out of wood. It was years before he found a “real” guitar and taught himself to play in secret. His immediately became a star amongst the village youth. In a surprising turn, his songs began to win over local religious leaders with their lyrics of respect, honor, and tradition.
His latest album, Ilana, is his most ambitious to date—taking the tradition into hyperdrive, pushing Tuareg guitar into an ever louder and blistering direction. In contrast to the polished style of the typical “world music” fare, Mdou trades in unrelenting grit and has no qualms about going full shred.
Sahba Motallebi (Iran)
Sahba Motallebi is a virtuoso on both the tar and setar, two related lutes at the heart of Persian classical music. As a teenager in her native Iran she pushed against patrimonial restrictions and emerged as a dynamo on her instruments; when she was only 14 she began her studies at the Tehran Conservatory of Music and between the years 1995-98 she was a four-time winner as best tar player at the Iranian Music Festival. She also studied abroad, in Russia and Turkey.
While still in school, she cofounded the boundary-breaking female music ensemble Chakaveh; in 1999 she was invited to join the prestigious Iranian National Orchestra, which initiated her global performance career, and eventually led her to settle outside of Los Angeles, where she’s lived and played for over a decade, and has worked fastidiously to preserve traditional Persian classical music. She also extended her education in performance practice at CalArts.
Performing with artists from all over the Persian Diaspora, she exhibits her profound grasp of classical and contemporary Iranian music by masterfully weaving classical Persian styling, folk and world fusion. She continues to perform worldwide, and has released a series of noted books and recordings, the latest of which is 2014’s A Tear At The Crossroad of Time. Sahba is also recognized as an innovator in the teaching of Persian music; her pioneering efforts to put instructional materials on the internet and to teach students online have inspired something of a renaissance in the transmission of this ancient art form, and reflect her abiding commitment to bring the gift of music to her community and the world.
Sahba is joined by Iranian percussion master Pezhham Akhavass, a modern day virtuoso of the Persian tombak and daf, who has performed with the likes of Hossein Alizadeh, Aliakbar Moradi and Yo-Yo Ma.
Vivalda NDula (Angola)
“The closest analogy for NDula’s powerhouse mix is Angelique Kidjo in the first flush of her earlier exuberance. Soulful, stirring, sharp and sassy, Dula is a new African voice to rank alongside the very best.” (Songlines)
Born and raised in Luanda, Angola, Vivalda NDula is considered “The Face of Angola Afro-Pop” and has become the voice of the new generation of Angolan musicians that have created a huge cultural and international impact on today’s Angolan music. This soulful singer, songwriter, percussionist, dancer, multi-award winner and AMA-Angola Music Award nominee has conquered the world music stage with her undeniable talent and the symbiosis between her traditional roots and world music. She is also raising social awareness against child labor, modern slavery, and human trafficking with her songs “Monandengue” and “MÁZUI (Voices).”
Vivalda NDula teamed up with Latin Grammy-winning producer Emilio D. Miler for her solo album Dula, released in 2018, featuring all original music by Vivalda, and performances by an international cast of stellar players recorded around the world.
Nohe & Sus Santos (Honduras/México/USA)
Featuring musicians from Honduras, México and the U.S., Nohe & Sus Santos is a band to watch! Formed in 2018 by celebrated Honduran vocalist and songwriter Nohelia Sosa, along with veteran guitarist Randy Sanchez, the band is rounded out by the heavy hitting rhythm section of drummer Rafael Herrera and bassist Justin Bransford.
From cumbia to alternative rock en espanol to pop grooves and beyond, accentuated with stabbing, sensual guitar lines, supple bass and percussion—and that voice! At once powerful, sultry, and alluring, vocalist Nohelia Sosa completes a group of fabuloso musicians that can only be described as excitingly fresh, possessing a distinctive style that is all its own. Nohe & Sus Santos delivers a fresh Latinx vibe full of soul, passion and attitude.
Nohe & Sus Santos finds its stride in creating songs that cross language and cultural borders, fostering a multicultural empowering experience. Along with positive messages of self-identification and respect for Latino heritage, the group also offers those unfamiliar with Latino culture and music a bridge on which to meet, a place where rock and pop interweave with Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms. It is a sound that is as universal as it is distinctive. A sound that moves people of all nationalities and ages—body, mind, and soul—as the enthusiastic audience response at their live shows attests.
Yandong Grand Singers (China)
The Yandong Grand Singers is a choir formed by farmers of the Dong ethnic group from Yandong township in Southwestern China’s Guizhou province. The group specializes in the Grand Song of the Dong people and has performed at the International Festival for Vocal Music—a cappella in Leipzig (2015), World Music Shanghai (2013), and Kokugakuin University of Japan (2011).
In bright voices and natural harmonies shaped by the unique environment of the area, the Dong people sing about nature and life. For the Dong people, Grand Song is an indispensable part of life, just as their saying goes, “food feeds the body—but songs feed the soul”.
The Grand Song of the Dong ethnic group is a unique polyphonic a cappella style that was proclaimed as a masterpiece of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009. The Dong people, who don’t have a written language of their own, transmit much of their history, culture and knowledge through songs. These songs accompany Dong people throughout their lives, and choirs of children, young and senior people are formed in every village.
Presented in partnership with the Institute for American Indian Arts
Pamyua (pronounced bum-yo-ah) is a Yup’ik Inuit word meaning ENCORE or DO IT AGAIN. Pamyua showcases Inuit culture though music and dance performance. The show is a platform to share indigenous knowledge and history. Their style derives from traditional melodies reinterpreted with contemporary vocalization and instrumentation. Often described as “Inuit Soul Music,” Pamyua has discovered their own genre.
The members are proud to represent Indigenous culture. The group believes unity is possible though music and dance and the members interpret Inuit traditions masterfully with joy and sincerity. The response to this message is tremendous as the group is a symbol of pride for Alaska’s indigenous people and to all who see them perform.
Le Vent du Nord (Quebec, Canada)
The award winning and highly acclaimed band Le Vent du Nord is a leading force in Quebec’s progressive francophone folk movement. The group’s vast repertoire draws from both traditional sources and original compositions, while enhancing its hard-driving soulful music (rooted in the Celtic diaspora) with a broad range of global influences.
Since its inception in August 2002, Le Vent du Nord has enjoyed meteoric success, performing well over 1,800 concerts over 5 continents and racking up several prestigious awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros, two Junos (Canada’s Grammys), a Félix at ADISQ, a Canadian Folk Music Award, and Artist of the Year at the North American Folk Alliance Annual Gala.
The group exhibits great finesse and flexibility, appearing regularly on Canadian, American, French, and UK television and radio, and participating in a wide variety of special musical projects. On stage these friends create intense, joyful and dynamic live performances that expand the bounds of tradition in striking global directions. This is the modern sound of tradition, a music of the here and now.
2019 Performance Schedule
Photo by James Holbrook