BKO Quintet is a journey into the heart of contemporary Malian music, combining two of the West African nation’s most well-known traditions, and bringing together four of Mali’s finest veteran musicians: Ibrahima Sarr, Fassara Sacko, Nfali Diakité, and Abdoulaye Kone with French percussionist Aymeric Krol.
The project began when Krol travelled to Bamako to study the djembefola drum under the tutelage of master drummer Ibrahima Sarr — who’s travelled the world alongside Oumou Sangare. Together, they assembled the core group of musicians that would become the BKO Quintet, combining the very distinct musical traditions of the Mandinka griots—jelis—with that of the Bambara hunters— donso— to create a completely new sound.
Singer Fassara Sacko transporting voice brings griot magic, while YNfali Diakité — grandson of legendary donso master Yoro Sidibé — sings and plays the six-stringed donsongoni harp. Abdoulaye Kone, is a genius of the smaller djelingoni lute,andhas developed a unique, almost psychedelic style, while touring with such artists as Tiken Jah Kafoly and Salif Keita.
BKO Quintet’s first album, Bamako Today, was a long time coming. It was initially recorded as a live EP in January, 2012, as Mali was engulfed in the chaos of a coup d’etat and armed rebellion in the North of the country. Despite these crises, the quintet persevered, and was able to record more tracks in Paris in January of 2013, finally releasing the album internationally on the Buda Musique label in March, 2015.
Afropop’s Banning Eyre wrote of that album: “BKO Quintet literally formed and made their first recordings amid crisis, and whatever the song lyrics might say, these performances exude a sense of urgency. The ensemble creates an engaging blend of rural and urban sensibilities. Prominent in the mix is the sound and feel of hunters’ music, with the heavy thrumming tones of the donsongoni (hunters’ harp) played by Nfali Diakite, who adds rap-like incantations that evoke ancient days when hunters were the storytellers and reporters of their village societies. At the same time, we have the sharp, nimble sound of the djelingoni (Abdoulaye Kone and Mbaba Sissoko) and portentous blasts of Mande griot oratory from Fassara Sacko.”
Since 2015, BKO Quintet has gone on to tour the world, and the group returns in 2017 with a new album, Mali Foli Coula, which translates as “New Music of Mali”, due for worldwide release on Nov. 17th on the Buda Musique label.
Recorded at the Friche Artistique Lamartine studio in Lyon, France, and directed by the trio of David Kiledjian, Yoan Jauneaud and America Krol, this album is more visceral and instinctive than their first release and explores the intersection of traditional music with rock, electric trance, and even French chanson.
Though anchored in centuries-old traditions, BKO's music will transport you to the heart of today's urban Mali as well as to the ritual and mystical depths of animist hunters.
New Video: "Tangwanana"
【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.
For over four decades, the Award-winning , Spanish-born pianist, composer, bandleader, educator Chano Dominguez has synthesized the blues-based, African-American improvisations of jazz with the dynamic, duende-flavored, Afro-Gitano/Moorish inventions and dimensions of flamenco into a profound and personal artistic expression than combines the best of those musical worlds.
With over twenty recordings as a leader, and his collaborations with a wide variety of stars including Paquito D’Rivera, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Joe Lovano, Chucho Valdes, Martiro, and Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Dominguez has extended, elaborated and redefined the artistic boundaries of jazz and flamenco, performing his own compositions, as well as the music of Harold Arlen, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and the Spanish classical composer, Joaquin Rodrigo.
Born Sebastian Dominguez Lozano on March 26, 1960 in Cadiz, in Andalusia in southern Spain, the birthplace of flamenco, Dominguez’s first instrument was the guitar, which he started playing at the age of eight. He listened to his father’s extensive recordings of flamenco LPs, and taught himself the rudiments of the instrument and the genre. He later took up the piano, and his first major gig was with the Spanish rock group, CAI (a slang word for a native of Cadiz) where he played keyboards.
They recorded three LPs from 1978 to 1980, Mas Alla de Nuestras Mentes Diminutas, Noche Abierta and Cancion de Primavera for the Columbia label. His interest in jazz came from listening to the influential fusion bands, Weather Report, Return to Forever, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and he also studied other jazz greats including Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Chick Corea, and Herbie Hancock. But it was the legendary guitarist Pace de Lucia’s trailblazing, jazz-based improvisations that served as an inspiration for Dominguez. After CAI broke up in the early 1980’s, Dominguez joined the local, Cadiz-based jazz ensemble, Hixcadix.
All through that fertile period, Dominguez was fusing jazz and flamenco musical genres, from buleria to solea to straight-ahead swing and ballads. In 1992, he formed his first jazz trio, and won First Prize in the National Jazz Competition for Young Performers that same year, and released his first recording as a leader, Chano, in 1993, followed by Diez de Paco.
From there, Dominguez recorded a number of impressive projects, including Coplas de Madruga, with the Spanish flamenco singer Martiro.
He released a number of important recordings, mostly for the New York-based Sunnyside label including, Hecho a Mano, Directo a Piano Solo, Iman, Flamenco Sketches, his 2011 tribute to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and Bendito, with singer Blas Cordoba, AKA “El Keijo” (which was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Flamenco Album in 2015).
His latest CD, Over The Rainbow, is a live date, recorded in Barcelona in 2012, featuring compositions by John Lewis, Eliseo Grenet and the Chilean and Argentinean folk singers ViolettaParra and Atahualpa Yupanqui. In Dominguez’s hands, the plectral, percussive guitar strains, hand claps, castanets, foot-stomps, and the impassioned cries of Ole are seamlessly transmuted across the pianos eighty-eight keys as fluidly as a flamenco dancer glides across the stage, where Beale Street meets Barcelona.
In 2000, Dominguez performed on Siegfried Loch’s Jazzpana II, a jazz-meets-Flamenco recording that also featured guitarist Gerardo Nunez, saxophonist Michael Brecker and bassist Carlos Benavent, and he also performed in Cuba at the Havana Jazz Festival. But his greatest exposure came courtesy of his impassioned performance of his original composition, “Oye Como Viene,” in the Fernando Trueba’s Grammy Award-winningLatin jazz documentary, Calle 54, which also featured Elaine Elias, Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band and Tito Puente.
Five years later, he recorded Cuentos del Mundo, which featured sixteen stories, narrated by the Spanish actor Constantino Romero. In 2006, Dominguez performed with Cuban saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera the Teatro Real in Madrid, which was recorded as a DVD/CD, entitled Quartier Latin in 2009. In 2010, Dominguez served as the musical director for the film, Flamenco Hoy by Carlos Saura.
Alternating between Spain and New York, Dominguez also enjoys an equally impressive career as an educator, and has taught in a number a workshops, master classes and residences at Barcelona’s Taller de Musics, Julliard, the University of Washington’s School of Music, and the Music Conservatory of Bogota.
Although his trio, with bassist Horacio Fumero and drummer David Xirgu is his preferred mode of expression, Dominguez distills his flamenco jazz in a myriad of musical contexts. He occasionally performs as a solo pianist, and he currently plays in three duets: one with the exceptional bassist Javier Colina – and association that dates back twenty years, another duo with flutist Hadar Noigber, and another twosome with pianist Steffano Bolani. Dominguez’ s Flamenco Quartet performs the classic compositions of Manuel de Falla, Isaac Albeniz, Enrique Granados, and Federico Mompou, with percussionist Pablo Dominguez and singer Blas Cordoba and dancer Daniel Navarro.
His NY Flamenco Quintet includes vocalist Ismael Fernandez, dancer Sonia Olia, bassist Alexis Cuadrado and Jose Moreno on percussion. His latest group, the Spanish Brass Quintet, debuted at the Spanish Brass Alzura Festival in July, 2017.
With his brilliant reimagining of jazz and flamenco, Chano Dominguez continues to create timeless art that knows no bounds.
Chano Domínguez Trío 2016
Chano Dominguez [Piano], Javier Colina [bass], Guillermo McGill [Drums] at Café Central, 2016.
Jazz Flamenco Concert, 2016
Chano Dominguez, solo piano.
Chano Dominguez Quartet with WDR Big Band, Leverkusener Jazztage 2013
Chano Dominguez [piano], Blás Cordoba [vocals], Israel Suarez [percussion], Daniel Navarro [dance].
Chano Dominguez 2010 Flamenco Jazz
Chamo Domínguez with Tomasito, El Piraña and El Kejío.
"El Puerto": 2007 flamenco arangement based on a composition by Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz.
Chano Dominguez with Wynton Marsalis and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra 2009
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 acclaimed Polish musician, composer and researcher whose work lies at the intersection of European classical music, new music and the folkloric traditions of Poland.
Her career is the stuff of legend: 21 solo albums, collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, studying the Sarangi in India under the tutelage of P. Ram Narayan, teaching violin to members of the Japanese Imperial family and founding the first Ethnic Music Department at the Academy of Music in Krakov. But her greatest achievement might be the resurrection of some of her homeland’s lost medieval stringed instruments.
Based on only a few centuries-old images and texts, Pomianowska painstakingly reconstructed the Biłgoraj suka —a lost medieval ancestor of the modern violin played with an unusual fingernail technique —as well as the Płock fiddle, and the Mielec suka, all long-forgotten instruments dating to the Middle Age
The Biłgoraj suka is a traditional string instrument originating from the town of Biłgoraj in southeastern Poland. A long-lost medieval ancestor of the violin, the suka has a crude pegbox and a wide neck, and unlike modern string instruments, is played vertically, using the fingernail technique. The Płock fiddle originated in the city of Płock in central Poland. Dating to the 15th century, the Płock fiddle—a box-shaped instrument with six strings and no fingerboard—is even more primitive than the suka. Pomianowska was the first modern musician to play and reconstruct these instruments.
Together with her band Reborn, Maria been crafting a new repertoire for these instruments, Founded in 2015, ReBorn consists of Aleksandra Kauf, Iwona Rapacz, and Patrycja Napierała. Kauf studied cello at the Krakow Academy of Music from 2009 to 2012, then took up the suka under Pomianowska’s tutelage. Rapacz (bass suka) also studied cello and has worked with the Polish Radio Orchestra and the Polish Chamber Philharmonic. Napierała (frame drum) works as a session musician with the Euro Acoustics recording studio in Vienna.
In 2016, the group released Reborn: Voice of Suka (2016), which blends the plaintive melodies of Polish folk music with the flavors Maria has absorbed in her musical travels across North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. With earthy vocals and this powerful instrumental ensemble, Maria Pomianowksa spins a hypnotic musical experience that invokes ancient spirits.
Maria Pomianowska & ReBorn: "Wind"
Maria Pomianowska & ReBorn: Live at Kennedy Center Millennium Stage (August 2, 2017)
Maria Pomianowska & ReBorn: Voice of Suka Live
Maria Pomianowska & ReBorn: "Sawana" Live
Mokoomba is one of Africa’s most exciting young bands, dazzling audiences worldwide with their knockout live shows and potent blend of traditional Tonga, Luvale, & Nyanja sounds laced with international styles from soukous to soul.
Mokoomba is based in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The band’s six members, Mathias Muzaza (lead vocals), Ndaba Coster Moyo (drums, backing vocals), Trustworth Samende (lead guitar, backing vocals), Donald Moyo, (keyboards, backing vocals), Miti Mugande, (percussion & backing vocals) and Abundance Mutori (bass, backing vocals) grew up as friends in the Chinotimba township.
Living in a border city that attracts tourists from all over the world gave Mokoomba’s music an international perspective from the beginning, incorporating everything from reggae to afropop to soul alongside their own local musical traditions.
The group’s members began playing together as teenagers in 2001, and Mokoomba was officially formed in 2008. Their first major success came that same year, when they won the Music Crossroads Inter-Regional Festival Competition in Malawi.
In 2009 Mokoomba recorded its first album, Kweseka — Drifting Ahead, which generated a local hit “Messe Messe”, and the group’s first European tour. Mokoomba recorded a second EP, Umvundla, in 2011. But their big break came in 2012, when the band released Rising Tide produced by pioneering Ivoirian bassist Manou Gallo (Zap Mama) for the Belgian label ZigZag World.
The success of Rising Tide led Mokoomba to tour over 40 countries worldwide, including performances at Denmark’s Roskilde festival, the UK’s WOMAD festival, Belgium’s Couleur Cafe´ festival, Morocco’s annual Gnawa World Music festival and New Orleans' storied Jazz and Heritage Festival.
In February 2017 Mokoomba released its self-produced third album Luyandoon Germany’s OutHere label, a stripped down, mostly acoustic album that took their sound in a whole new direction, and took critics by storm.
Since then, Mokoomba has become one of Zimbabwe’s most popular bands, playing with such icons as Hugh Masekela, Baba Maal and the Talking Head’s Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz. They’ve rocked legendary rooms and stages worldwide, from NYC’s Apollo Theater, and The Kennedy Center is Washington, D.C., to London’s 100 Club and Amsterdam’s Melkweg, to WOMEX and SXSW, sealing their reputation as one of Africa’s best young live bands.
“Mokoomba is quite simply the most impressive band Zimbabwe has produced in recent memory.” — Banning Eyre, Afropop Worldwide
“There’s an irrepressible energy, spectacular guitar work and a lot of soul” — Simon Broughton, London Evening Standard
"One of the most entertaining young bands in Africa … A natural entertainer, wearing a black hat and demonstrating some slick dance routines with the band, lead singer Mathias Muzaza has a powerful, soulful voice that is at times reminiscent of his great compatriot Oliver Mtukudzi, but also capable of hoarse, driving effects. He was backed by two percussionists, bass, a keyboard player who at times imitated the likembe thumb piano, and guitarist Trustworth Samende, who switched from South African township styles to funk. They were all impressive singers.” **** — Robin Denslow, The Guardian
"It was the fourth annual Africa Now! concert, presented by the Apollo and the World Music Institute; the public-radio program Afropop Worldwide recorded it for eventual broadcast. The quadruple bill squeezed the time for the other artists. Mokoomba a band from a border town in Zimbabwe, draws its music from across the continent, particularly southern Africa; its 2012 album, “Rising Tide” (Igloo), includes 12 songs in eight languages. So three songs were only a glimpse of Mokoomba’s capabilities— a glimpse that included a modal ballad with riveting, griot-strength lead vocals from Mathias Muzaza; a song rooted in the thumb-piano patterns of Zimbabwean tradition; and one that started with sweet, Congo-style vocal harmonies and grew into a crisp, irresistible soukous workout, complete with some synchronized dance steps. A full-length set would have been welcome." — Jon Pareles, The New York Times
“Saturday’s Highlight [of the Africa Oye Festival] was Mokoomba who stunned with their high energy, dancing together with joy and an infections rhythm. Mathias Muzaza's voice sounds like something between pebbles washing on a beach and a deep, guttural growl giving his emotional song to his parents an overwhelming potency. An outstanding finish to the first day.” ” — Anita Scott, Songlines
“Mokoomba has grown in the past five years, and whether the group goes back to a more high-energy sound in the future or stays here at its source, Mokoomba does its country’s music scene proud.” — Adriane Pontecovro, Pop Matters
"Mokoomba don’t rest for a second. They dance as if they are possessed by the vibes and grooves they play. Their performances are so cohesive that it looks like you’re participating in a music ritual … The gig was steadily upbeat and dance-inducing.” — Marco Canepari, Rhythm Passport
“The band's robust vocals, hypnotic harmonies and surprising guitar riffs leave a strong impression.” — T.L. Testerman, Taos News
“You have no choice but to dance when this Zimbabwe-based group performs their innovative mix of traditional Tonga and pan-African music with hints of rap, ska and Afro-Cuban music. Their infectious good vibes have long-lasting effects.” — Nancy Flores, Austin 360.com
Mokoomba (left to right): Ndaba Coster Moyo, Donald Moyo, Trustworth Samende, Mathias Muzaza, Abundance Mutori and Miti Mugande
(Photo by Eric van Nieuwland, courtesy OutHere Records)
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.