“Progressive Mandinka? Medieval blues?” (RFI, 2014). The classic story of the Malian djembefolla and its student from France has morphed into an atypical meeting of cultures, sliding along the strings of the griots’ djeli ngoni and of the hunters’ donso ngoni, coming from distinct traditional worlds that never cross. Driven by hybrid drums “to create grooves more understandable to the West,” BKO Quintet’s music is “a mystical and electrical association, for a unique style” (France Inter, 2014).
【BKO】 "Comment ça va ?"
I love this track from BKO Quintet CD asking "how are you?"
This takes me right back to the Festival au Desert, and the myriad musical experiences I had on my visit to Mali in 2003. You can just imagine the camel's pace in this music, or a leisurely ride in a pirogue down the Niger River. So evocative!
Honduran guitarist Guayo Cedeño is one of the finest guitar players in all of Central America, and is known to international audiences through his work with Aurelio Martinez and Andy Palacio & the Garifuna Collective, among others. Guayo learned his chops at an early age from watching his father’s legendary band Los Robbins playing at the bars in La Ceiba, Honduras. With a slinky, romantic, Latin lounge sound, reminiscent of Ry Cooder and Calexico, Guayo’s first solo album Coco Bar will appeal to hipsters, world music fans, jazz fans and guitar freaks of all persuasions.
Chano Domínguez is one of the most celebrated of jazz pianists and composers. His singular work is defined by his flamenco origins.
In more than 40 years of his career, he has dazzled all kinds of audiences, including other musicians spanning both worlds of jazz and flamenco. His interpretive talents are highly sought after for his authentic integration of both jazz and flamenco traditions, working with an extensive range of colleagues such as Paco de Lucía, Enrique Morente, Jorge Pardo, Carles Benavent, Martirio, Wynton Marsalis, Paquito d'Rivera, Jack DeJohnette, Herbie Hancock, Jerry Gonzalez, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Michel Camino, Chucho Valdés, Joe Lovano, and George Mraz, among others.
Chano has achieved an unusual integration between the rhythms and languages of jazz and flamenco, creating a unique style that places him among the top musicians practicing this artform. Internationally acclaimed, he has influenced and changed the history of flamenco-jazz.
His music has been played by many different ensembles and orchestras such as the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, WDR Cologne Big Band, Orquesta Nacional de España, Orquesta Nacional de Latvia, Orquesta de Cámara del Vallés, and the Orquesta Nacional de Costa Rica.
In 2016 he's been nominated for his fourth Grammy, this one a Latin Grammy for his latest release "Bendito". This recording features Chano as producer, composer and pianist with his preferred 'cantaor' (flamenco singer) Blas Cordoba aka "El Kejio".
Chano is currently living in New York. He will have a new solo release coming out in January 2017 on Sunnyside Records. Chano is also a seasoned educator, available for master classes, workshops and residencies. He has previously taught at Taller de Músics in Barcelona, The Music Conservatory of Bogotá, the Julliard School in New York and at the School of Music at the University of Washington.
Paulo Flores is a legendary Angolan singer-songwriter keeping the flame of semba music alive in the 21st century. Semba is the elegant, earthy, African ancestor of Brazilian samba -- and the root of today's kuduro and kizomba dance crazes.
Flores' poetic compositions focus on everything from love and life to history and politics, tapping the roots that make semba the repository of decades of Angolan wit and wisdom. In a country where the deep wounds of civil war are plastered over with new oil money and a beachfront building boom, Paulo Flores keeps a nation's conscience and memory alive.
Garifuna Collective featuring Umalali
The Garifuna Collective promises to carry the torch of cultural innovation and promotion passed on by Andy Palacio far into the future and expands on the story of this fascinating community, which is struggling to retain its unique language, music, and traditions in the face of globalization.
The band consists of the best musicians in the fertile Garifuna music scene. They bring 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 lead singers of the current incarnation of the group reflect an intergenerational approach, women with striking voices and engaging personalities, whose songs echoed with the joys and sorrows they had experienced during their lives.
Stonetree founder Ivan Duran says, “Since Wátina came out, there isn’t any more fear that Garifuna music is going to die out. Andy’s biggest legacy is just showing the way, proving that the world is interested in this culture’s music. It helped children in small villages to understand that their culture is just as important as anybody else’s. That sense of self-pride is a potent message that continues to echo across Belize and inspire new musicians to keep their traditions thriving.” The Garifuna Collective carries on that mission and reveals that the well of Garifuna musical talent is deep and continues to be refreshed by new generations.
Since they first got together in 1982, in a tiny village near Angiers, France, Lo’Jo have been one of the most eclectic, eccentric and mesmerizing musical collectives that Europe has ever produced. Like their British contemporaries, The Mekons, Lo’Jo are globetrotting legends and musical shapeshifters who’ve gone through many incarnations, and they’ve incorporated theater and visual art into their music since the beginning.
Led by charismatic songwriter Denis Péan, Lo’Jo’s travels have taken them from collaborations with street theater groups and circuses to concerts in West Africa and the Sahara (including the very first edition of the now-legendary Festival au Desert), festival stages in Europe and North America and even a residency at Paris’ venerable Cabaret Sauvage.
Along the way they managed to record several iconic albums — from their 1993 debut recording Fils de Zamal and their 1998 breakthrough Mojo Radio to their latest album, Fonetiq Flowers (set for release on September 1st, 2017 on World Village/PIAS).All have shaped Lo’Jo’s unique sound, which reimagines classic French chanson spiked with sounds and instruments from all over the world. With over 30 years of musical vagabondage behind them, Lo’Jo shows no signs of slowing down yet, and continues to tour and record into their third decade.
Lo'Jo - Chabalaï (Audio)
From the album Fonetiq Flowers, available September 1st on World Village Records.
Maria Pomianowska is an outstanding musician dedicated to the promotion of stringed instruments including those of an historical nature applied in 21stc performance. Initially a cellist by training, she took a year to study the sarangi in India, becoming a masterful sarangi player, and is now also renowned for resurrecting the suka and the Plock fiddle (traditional Polish instruments dating back to the Middle Ages).
Maria has established herself as a player and composer of note, whether interpreting Chopin’s folk tunes with instrumentalists from a variety of cultures, or composing a piece commissioned by Yo Yo Ma, for cello and suka, which she subsequently performed with him in Japan. There is no limit to her imagination and ability to plumb the depths of musical history to uncover new inspiration for the 21st century. She has released over 20 recordings, and been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Silver Medal from the Polish government (2012).
Mokoomba (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe) is setting dance-floors ablaze with their unique mix of traditional Tonga, Luvale, & Nyanja rhythms combined with other pan-African music cultures and generous dashes of Rap, Ska, Soukous and Afro-Cuban music. Since winning the Music Crossroads Inter-regional Festival Competition in Malawi (2008), Mokoomba has toured more than 40 countries on 5 continents, and performed at internationally known festivals and venues, including the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Mokoomba - Full Performance (Live on KEXP)
Mokoomba performing live in the KEXP studio. Recorded July 22, 2014.
Songs: Kum Kanda Ngikhumbula Njoka
Host: DJ Rythma Audio Engineer: Kevin Suggs Cameras: Chrispy Harrison, Scott Holpainen & Justin Wilmore Editor: Luke Knecht
Thumbnail photo by Allyce Andrew
Brazilian tap dancer Leonardo Sandoval, described by the Chicago Sun-Times as “strong yet fine-boned, capable of authority and nuance”, and praised by the New York Times for his “spontaneous aura of thinking”, is quickly gaining a reputation in the tap world and beyond for his musicality and for adding his own Brazilian flavor to tap dancing. He began his dance studies at age 6 in Piracicaba (São Paulo State). When he was 11 years old, he began appearing on Brazilian TV, and at 18, he was invited to Los Angeles to attend the Debbie Allen Dance Academy for the Summer Intensive program, as well as the L.A. Tap Festival. Leo also co-founded the Cia Carioca de Sapateado in Rio de Janeiro with the aim of bringing tap dance to a wider audience in Brazil by incorporating Brazilian rhythms, music, and dance styles into tap.
In 2013, Leo moved to New York and was invited to perform and teach at the Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World, America’s largest festival of tap and percussive arts. In New York, he is working with Michelle Dorrance’s acclaimed company, Dorrance Dance, performing across the United States and abroad, including at the Jacob’s Pillow and Fall for Dance festivals, the Lincoln Center, the Joyce Theater, and the Danspace Project in New York. In addition to this, Leo is also in demand as a solo performer and as a choreographer. Since September 2014, he has been an artist in residence at the American Tap Dance Foundation. His first full-length choreography, Music from the Sole, an hour-long show created with American bassist and composer Greg Richardson, premiered in 2015 at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore, to a sold-out audience. Excerpts from the show were also presented in New York and Massachusetts, in collaboration with the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. Other recent credits include a guest appearance with Jazz at Lincoln Center's Michael Mwenso & The Shakes, performances at the National Folk Festival, ATDF's Rhythm in Motion, and interviews on MSNBC, the CW channel, and Fox. Upcoming projects include US and international tours with both Dorrance Dance and Music from the Sole, as well as new choreographic work.
Leo’s choreography and performing style are rooted both in America’s great tap dance heritage, and in Brazil’s rich rhythmic and musical traditions, with additional influences from jazz and contemporary dance.
Leonardo Sandoval and Gregory Richardson met while performing with Michelle Dorrance's acclaimed company Dorrance Dance. After a summer street performing and experimenting with the combination of tap and upright bass, they created Music from the Sole, a unique fusion of the quintessential American form of tap with Brazilian rhythms, and original music. Since its 2015 sold-out premiere, excerpts have been presented at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and the American Tap Dance Foundation.