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Moh ALILECHE (Algeria)
Moh Alileche is an Algerian-born, folk singer/songwriter who performs and preserves the music of the Berbers aka Imazighen, the indigenous people of North Africa. Singing in his native Tamazight language and playing an Algerian instrument called the mandol, Moh has captivated American and international audiences for decades. His repertoire includes authentic folk songs, original compositions, and interpretations of Algerian chaabi pop songs. He’s released six albums on his own, independent Flag of Freedom label since 1999.
Alileche (pronounced ALI-lesh), was born in 1959 and raised in a small village near the Djurdjura Mountains in the Kabylia region of Algeria — home to the Kabyle people, one of the largest indigenous groups in North Africa. At the age of nine, he taught himself to play music on a hand-made, single-stringed instrument, later graduating to a guitar and eventually the ten-stringed North African instrument called the mandol.
The mandol, or agember in the Tamazight language, is unique to North Africa, and is mostly played in the capital city of Algiers and in the Kabylia region. Though the agember shares a linguistic root with the Moroccan gimbri, it has more in common with a mandolin, but with a bigger body, flat back, and longer, fretted neck. It can have between 8 - 12 sets of double silk strings, and the tuning of a five string is usually: D A D G C.
Moh has performed around the world and he moves on to new projects, he continues to promote the music and culture of his Amazigh ancestors of North Africa, bringing their joys and struggles to consciousness of an ever growing international audiences.
Sage BOND (Diné / San Carlos Apache)
Her name is Bond...Sage Bond. She isn't licensed to kill, but she's been known to steal the show. At 23, she's already a veteran. She began playing guitar at nine years-old, cutting her teeth on Metallica and Megadeath covers and started performing in eighth grade.
Her original songs are autobiographical and she does not shy away from the personal.
“My first EP, I wrote five songs after my dad left and my songs are often about my dad. He was an alcoholic and he brought domestic violence into our house. Once he left, I was really angry and confused. I didn’t want to follow in his footsteps of alcoholism and drug abuse.” Sage says. "When I introduce my songs, I talk about the alcoholism and about the domestic violence a lot of the people out there can relate to because that's happened in their families.
She grew up in a musical family. Her dad played guitar and her mom would sing while her grandfather played guitar and harmonica.
"Yeah, I always wanted to be on stage" Sage continues. "Back in about second or third grade, the teachers gave us this project: 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' I put, 'I want to be in a band, and I want to be on stage.'"
Sage Bond was born and raised on the Navajo reservation. Aside from her music career, Sage is a motivational speaker, and a youth suicide-prevention activist.
“I want to be a good role model for youth and I don’t want to scare them. I want to show them there are these great ways to express yourself" enthuses Sage. "Don’t hurt yourself. Be open to creativity and be brave enough to start your own processes of creating and expressing yourselves through art.”
Photo by Tomas Karmelo
Maria De BARROS (Cabo Verde)
Maria de Barros' music transcends taste, preference and even language. 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 Creole and African cuisine with dancers to match and audiences swinging their hips to Maria's sensual Coladeira beats.
A native of Dakar, Senegal, Maria de Barros lived the first 13 years of her life in Nuakchott, Mauritania in northwest Africa. Her creative heart, however, ultimately lies in the culturally rich Cape Verde; a former Portuguese colony located 350 miles off the coast of Senegal, the birthplace of her parents.
Currently a resident Los Angeles, her love for Latin music flourished, triggering her to sing in Spanish, one of the six languages that de Barros speaks. Maria de Barros sings salsa-flavored coladeiras and bluesy mornas common to her culture’s music, while also introducing the intoxicating rhythm of the funana. An instrument called a ferro, which is simply a piece of metal played with a spoon, drives the funana rhythm.
Cape Verdean chanteuse Maria de Barros invites us into her culture's joyful musical tradition. She sings about the beauty of Cabo Verde and a longing for the island, and her songs are filled with stories of love and romance. "The stories told in the songs are poetic description of real and profound human emotions that are not just felt by Cabo Verdeans, but by the rest of the world," she says.Through song, Maria de Barros expresses the important influence that French culture and music had on her own life growing up in West Africa. In addition to the African and Latin flavored coladeiras and bluesy mornas common to her culture's music, de Barros introduces another intoxicating rhythm, the funana, which is undeniably danceable and joyful. "This rhythm is driven by an instrument called a ferro, which is simply a piece of metal played with a knife," she explains.Five-time Grammy® nominee Cesaria Evora, the "barefoot diva", helped to place the music of Cabo Verde on U.S. audiences' musical map. Evora's ongoing encouragement led to her god-daughter fashioning her own lively and vivacious interpretation of Cabo Verdean music. Together, Evora — the Queen of the Mornas — and Maria de Barros — Queen of the Coladeiras — paint a complete musical picture of this tradition-rich land.
Gingee (Philippines / California.USA)
Gingee is a producer, DJ, vocalist, poet and more from Los Angeles. Her eclectic dance music blends sounds from across the globe, with percussion and vocals. She is known for her unique take on global bass. Her work is a reflection of the sounds and cultures she has been exposed to growing up in Los Angeles as well as the musical world of her Filipino ancestors and beyond. Her live set incorporates diverse elements, from Philippine kulintang (gongs native to the Philippines) to kettle drum and cowbells to finger drumming with rap and poetry.
“I grew up going to raves, hip-hop shows and punk shows. That's my identity and I'm going to express it through my music,” Gingee says. “Then I'm going to filter that through my own Pinay (Philippine immigrant) experience.”
Gingee's 2015 EP "Tambol" made waves in the global music community and she recently created a 4-part yearlong EP series released on every solstice and equinox.
Gingee and her siblings are also presenters In 2006 the teens started Magic Garage, a community art and music show that began in her mom’s garage and recently celebrated its 15 anniversary
Kaethe HOSTETTER (USA/Ethiopia)
Kaethe Hostetter was born and raised in a musical household, within a community of artists and musicians in Santa Cruz, California. Both of her parents were professional, working musicians and culture workers. Her mother, Irene Herrmann, is a music educator at UC Santa Cruz, as well as the executor of composer Paul Bowles’ musical estate, and a frequent collaborator with composer Lou Harrison. Her father, Paul Hostetter was a luthier, internationally-known for restoration of rare stringed instruments, and his knowledge of folk music of the world.
Growing up, Hostetter was surrounded by artists in a communal, almost tribal environment, full of colorful role models -- touring musicians, storytellers, and artists of different ilks--- but mostly musicians, with music being the central magnet of our tribe. Her earliest memories are of being whisked away to concerts of all kinds several times a week, and she learned how to speak with my instrument alongside actually learning to speak.
Kaethe has been deeply invested in exploring, preserving, and expanding Ethiopian traditional sounds for over 15 years. A founding member of critically-acclaimed Debo Band, Kaethe has recorded many albums and toured the world, including a life-changing tour of East Africa in 2009. Soon after, she relocated to Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, immersing herself in the country's deep musical culture. In her eleven years there, she founded a music school, and started a new band, QWANQWA; which brought together some of the most accomplished players in Addis Ababa’s music scene. QWANQWA has recorded 3 albums and made several international tours, although their 2020 U.S. debut tour was postponed until 2022, due to the COVID pandemic. During the COVID lockdown, she relocated to her hometown of Santa Cruz, CA, to quarantine with her family. While there Kaethe released QWANAQA's third album, and recorded a solo album of Ethiopian-inspired violin compositions - which she will be sharng with the ¡Globalquerque! audience - as well as two other albums in collaboration with other artists. As as solo artist she has performed with Fred Frith, Butch Morris, Ava Mendoza, Henry Kaiser, and others.
Newpoli, plays folk songs and dance music from southern Italy, mainly from the regions of Campania and Puglia. Integrating a wide variety of styles such as tarantella-pizzica, tammuriata, villanella and the Neapolitan canzone, Newpoli encompasses music from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. the group's members are careful to highlight the joy and beauty of the music while explaining the rituals behind the dances and the ancient stories described in the lyrics.
Most of the members are graduates of the Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory, and are proficient on a wide range of folk and early instruments including bagpipes, flutes, drums, accordions, viols, and lutes. It all comes together in a contemporary sensibility they call "Mediterranean Pulse - Ritmi della Terra."
"...a brilliant outfit... who grab southern Italian traditional music by the neck and recast it in a dramatic style" - Songlines (UK)
Yacouba SISSOKO (Mali)
For centuries, djélis—also called griots in French—have been the musical storytellers in West Africa, respected as keepers of history, interpreters of current events, advisers to rulers, and connectors of social groups and families. Yacouba Sissoko was born in Kita, Mali to a well-known djéli family; his grandparents, mother, siblings, and many of his cousins are all djélis.
Djélis for centuries they have been the traditional musicians and keepers of the factual history and fables of past rulers, nobles, social groups and families. The kora was - and is - the traditional instrument that djélis play.
At the age of 9, Yacouba started learning the kora and the oral traditions associated with it from his grandfather until he moved to Bamako, Mali’s capital, to attend the National Institute of the Arts. Based in the capital, he caught the attention of the music world and began touring with noted international African artists which eventually led him to settle in the United States in 1998.
With the intention to introduce and share the stories of his people but also to learn from other musicians and cultures, Yacouba incorporates a variety of musical influences into his repertoire, and as such has developed his own unique style of playing the kora.
He has performed, toured and recorded with well known African musicians such as Baaba Maal, Sekou (Bambino) Diabate and Kerfala Kante. Yacouba, however, isnot limited to African music and has also recorded and performed cross-cultural collaboration with the likes of Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, Lauren Hill and one of ¡Globalquerque!'s good friends, Rahim AlHaj.
Committed to giving back to the community, Yacouba regularly performs for cultural programs and benefit concerts. In recognition of his commitment to education, he was selected as a 2007 Teaching Artist by the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall and returned again to Carnegie Hall in 2016 and 2019 as a featured artist in the Musical Explorers Program in New York, NY and Savannah, GA. He is also a recipient of the Sunshine Award for Performing Arts, African Music in 2016.
Yacouba continues to blend effortlessly with other musical styles, whether it is performing Indian ragas or Appalachian tunes. Yacouba can be seen regularly touring with Regina Carter, Rachel Brown, Jordana de Lovely, Oran Etkin, Kavita Shah, Benyoro and his own band SIYA.
Fely TCHACO (Ivory Coast)
For African women, singing can be a road of many challenges. The same road however can lead to personal power which can move mountains, inspire and win battles. Drawing from her own life's experience as well as folk wisdom, Ivory Coast singer-songwriter Fely Tchaco embodies the new generation of artists who remain attached to their African heritage, while at the same time maintaining a resolutely modern outlook on the world.
Fely Tchaco was born and raised in Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa. Her passion for music began in her early teenager years. She started out singing French ballads and popular songs in piano bars and music venues throughout the Ivory Coast to establish herself as a singer. Fely soon began recording her own compositions and in 1996 released her first album Amour Perdu and in 1998 had her first hit in the Ivory Coast with “Mon Espoir”.
In addition to her music, Fely is a dancer - specializing in the rhythms of the West African forest regions of Gbegbe, Gaou Alloukou and Zaouli - a visual artist and a fashion designer, elements of which she combines with her music and on stage resulting in a dynamic live performance.
Fely's new album Yita is tribute to the many African migrants who have died in the Mediterranean seeking a better life and a call for social justice and and a halt to police brutality against civilians.
Tuvergen Band (Mongolia)
Tuvergen Band is a Mongolian fusion-folk trio. Each member of the group brings his own musical tradition to the trio creating a blend of ancient Mongolian and Tuvan melodies with modern sensibilities and world music rhythms resulting in a modern take on this storied nomadic music.
Mongolian folk music draws heavily upon elements of the animals and nature of the region. The nomadic lifestyle has a deep spiritual connection with nature and the elements present in that land. Often there are imitations of animal sounds, weather, and the landscapes of the Mongolian steppe. The instruments used by Tuvergen Band include tovshuur, a two-stringed Mongolian lute, often used as an accompaniment for story telling and traditional Mongolian dance and doshpuulur, a three-stringed Tuvan lute, similar to a banjo, and mainly used to accompany khoomii singing and traditional folk songs. the group alsoplays the iconic morin khuur, also known as “horse-head fiddle”, a two-string bowed instrument, similar to cello, with string and bow constructed with horse hair. A horse head sits atop the instrument providing the character and spirit of the instrument.
Khoomii, or overtone singing is often utilized in traditional Mongolian music. It is a style of throat singing that produces a diversified harmony of multiple voice parts, including a continued bass element produced in the throat simultaneously by a single singer.
The ¡Globalquerque! Latin All-Stars
What do you get when you put together Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Raúl Pacheco (Ozomatli), Colombian accordion legend and vallenato king Beto Jamaica, guitar slinger Randy Sanchez (Nohe & Sus Santos), the keeper of the groove, Dennis Jasso (Nohe & Sus Santos), stellar Peruvian songstress Jackie Zamora (Calle 66 /Baracutanga), powerhouse vocalists Carlos Fontana and Glenn Contreras (Nosotros) Bolivian charango man Kilko Paz (Baracutanga), vibes phenom Jesse Parker (Nosotros), Ecuadorian Andean flute master and multi-instrumentalist Carlos Noboa (Baracutanga), New Mexico music master - and comedian! - Carlos Medina (Carlos Medina Trio) bassists extraordinaries Tanya Nuñez (Lone Piñon) and Gilbert Uribe (Nosotros) multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Jordan Wax (Lone Piñon), percussionist sensation Mike Trujillo (Nohe & Sus Santos), violin maestra Karina Wilson (Lone Piñon), the amazing Nosotros horns - Ziggy Garcia, Chadd James, Manuel Ramirez - y más? Why, the ¡Globalquerque! Latin All-Stars, a one-of-a-kind ¡Globalquerque! commissioned project that will certainly get you on your feet, of course! (Wear comfortable footwear!)
We are really excited to see what these fabuloso international and NM-based artists come up with, but you can expect reworked songs from the catalogues of Ozomatli, Beto Jamaica, Nosotros, Nohe & Sus Santos, Lone Piñon and more presented as a fun, enticing and unique Latin cross-cultural jam!