Recent Posts in world music - Page 2
July 26, 2013
photos by David Andrako
'Red Hot & Fela' @ Damrosch Park, 7/24/2013
Kronos Quartet isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind when the Nigerian bandleader Fela Anikulapo Kuti is mentioned. Afrobeat, funk, protest, defiance and dancing are a lot closer to the top of the list. Afrobeat, the style Fela (who died in 1997) forged from James Brown's funk, 1960s jazz, African drumming and finger-pointing lyrics about exploitation and corruption, was music for dancing all night in steamy clubs; it was far from the realm of the string quartet. So "Red Hot + Fela," at Damrosch Park on Wednesday night, made an unlikely starting point for Kronos at 40, five days of free concerts at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival celebrating the determined eclecticism of the Kronos Quartet over four decades. - [NY Times]The Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival kicked off Wednesday night (7/24) with the first installment of Kronos at 40, a tribute to Fela Kuti featuring Superhuman Happiness, Mickey Hart, Sinkane, Alex Toth, Fela's drummer and afrobeat legend Tony Allen and more. Pictures from Red Hot + Fela Live are in this post.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors and Kronos at 40 continues tonight (7/26) with "Romance of the Iron Bow" at Hearst Plaza (6 PM); Magda Giannikou performs at Josie Robertson Plaza (7 PM); and Kronos Quartet with special guests Magda Giannikou and Vân-Ánh Võ, as well as The Gloaming (which features Thomas Bartlet aka Doveman) are at Damrosch Park Bandshell (7:30 PM).
Lincoln Center Out of Doors runs through August 11. More pictures from Red Hot + Fela Live and its complete setlist, below.
July 18, 2013
Omar Souleyman at Central Park in 2011 (more by David Andrako)
Syrian pop musician Omar Souleyman has been gaining recognition here in America thanks to some compilations/live albums on Sublime Frequencies, the live shows he's been doing here over the last few years, and his association with Bjork. Now he's set to release his first official studio album, Wenu Wenu, on October 22 via Domino affiliate Ribbon Music. The record is being produced entirely by electronic mastermind Four Tet, who is openly a fan. Check out a song from the album in a recent Four Tet mix (around the 1:57:00 mark), the album trailer, and tracklist, below.
Omar Souleyman also has a number of upcoming dates, including a few US shows in August surrounding his appearance at LA's FYF Fest. One of those shows happens in NYC on August 31 at Issue Project Room for the venue's 10th Anniversary party which includes many other great experimental artists. Tickets for that are currently on sale to Issue Members.
All dates are listed, along with the video, stream, and album tracklist, below...
July 9, 2013
The annual Latin Alternative Music Conference is returning to NYC for its 2013 installment this week. It begins today (7/9), and runs through Saturday (7/13). It begins with two free, all ages hip hop shows: the first happens in Crotona Park today (7/9) with Joell Ortiz and RSVB; and then there's another in Central Park on Wednesday (7/10) a Summerstage show with Fat Joe, Cuarto Poder, and Los Rakas.
For the non-free shows, online registration is now closed, but there will be a $299 walk-up registration at The New Yorker Hotel from Wednesday to Friday. Check out the rest of the week's lineup, which includes shows at various venues like Mercury Lounge, SOBs, Propsect Park, and others, below...
May 20, 2013
Pharmakon at Drone Activity in Progress (more by PSquared Photography)
Pharmakon's tour schedule has increased a bit recently, including adding a string of dates with Swans (!), though not at the NYC appearance. However, Pharmakon is scheduled to play this weekend (5/25) at The Rink with Var and in middle June as part of a late night show during Northside Festival on 6/15 with Lust for Youth.
Pharmakon has released the new track "Ache" from the Abandon LP on Sacred Bones. Stream that along with a list of all tour dates, below.
February 26, 2013
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
Paul of Cynic with Death to All, June 2012(more by Justina Villaneuva)
Death to All returns for a second helping, gathering the crew of their 1991 Human LP (Paul Masvidal, Steve DiGiorgio, Sean Reinert but clearly sans mastermind Chuck Schuldiner, who passed away many years ago) for a set of carefully selected dates in North America. The tour will cover the first four LPs from the death metal giants, with a particular focus on the Human material. All shows will benefit the Sweet Relief charity and the dates include a stop at Irving Plaza on April 24. Tickets go on CITI presale at 10AM on Wednesday (2/27) with regular sale hitting on Friday (3/1) at 10 AM.
All tour dates and a stream of Human are below.
January 15, 2013
photos by Robert Altman
Oliver Mtukudzi / Fatoumata Diawara
Over the last decade Globalfest has presented 21st-century world music as an accelerating fusion, a recombinant free-for-all of local traditions meeting ideas and technologies from afar. It's a realistic view of how musicians work; very few are purists. And some hybrids have grown durable enough to feel like traditions of their own.globalFEST 2013 went down at all three stages of Webster Hall on Sunday (1/13). We checked out the main stage portion and caught sets by Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits, Fatoumata Diawara, Kayhan Kalhor & Erdal Erzincan, The Stooges Brass Band, and Mucca Pazza. More pictures of those artists and some videos from the fest are below.
That's how it was with this year's superb African contingent at Globalfest: Oliver Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe, who has been making albums since the 1970s, and Fatoumata Diawara, born in Ivory Coast to Malian parents and now living in France.
Mr. Mtukuzdi and his band, the Black Spirits, have perfected a family of light-fingered grooves. They translate traditional thumb-piano patterns into guitar picking that becomes the mainspring of three-chord rock songs, with Mr. Mtukudzi's hearty voice singing benign messages and prayers for better times. Ms. Diawara, who is both a singer and dancer, draws on her parents' regional heritage -- Wassoulou music -- for tightly wound, triple-time modal grooves that she pushes toward funk and rock. Songs like "Kele" ("War") took on a special urgency from the current civil war in Mali. [NY Times]
November 14, 2012
Annual NYC world music festival globalFEST, whose name was recently borrowed for a much bigger one-off event in Central Park, have announced the lineup for their 2013 festival which will go down on all three stages at Webster Hall on January 13. The lineup, now complete, includes A Tribe Called Red (Canada), Christine Salem (Reunion), Fatoumata Diawara (Mali), Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan (Iran/Turkey), La Santa Cecilia (Los Angeles, US), La Shica (Spain), Lo'Jo (France), Martha Redbone Roots Project (USA), Mucca Pazza (Chicago, US), Parno Graszt (Hungary), Stephane Wrembel and his Band (New York, US).. Tickets for the festival are on sale now.
NY Times reports that the organizers have also added Oliver Mtukudzi, "one of Zimbabwe's leading songwriters who created a signature sound out of several African styles," as a headliner for the event. The Times writes:
A veteran singer who began his career in 1977 in the band Wagon Wheels, Mr. Mtukudzi, 60, blends styles from across southern Africa and beyond without loosing the modal threads of Zimbabwean roots music. He possesses a deep, gutsy voice and writes about the daily struggles of people in his homeland, accompanying himself with hypnotic guitar lines.You can check out an Oliver Mtukudzi video below.
Unlike his old Wagon Wheels bandmate Thomas Mapfumo, Mr. Mtukudzi tends to shy away from direct political commentary about the Mugabe regime. Still, some of his songs have been interpreted as allegorical protests. In "Ndakuvara," some saw the story about an ox hurting a farmer as a condemnation of political violence. And his single "Wasakara,' which means "You're Getting Old," has been seen by many in Zimbabwe as a plea for Robert Mugabe to retire. Bonnie Raitt, who has recorded his songs, has likened his "raw, imploring vocals" to Otis Redding and Toots Hibbert.
October 17, 2012
Femi Kuti & The Positive Force @ Moody Theater in 2011 (AUS) (more by Tim Griffin)
Afrobeat authority Femi Kuti and his band The Positive Force are slated to tour the US in 2013. That tour kicks off in the beginning of January, and will hit NYC on January 26 at Webster Hall. Tickets for that show go on AmEx presale today (10/17) at noon with a general on-sale starting Friday (10/19) at noon.
Femi and co.'s most recent album, Africa For Africa, was released in 2010 in the UK and France, and in 2011 in the US. You can take a listen to that album in its entirety, via Spotify, at the bottom of this post.
In related news, Fela Kuti is being celebrated in NYC during CMJ with a show on Thursday at Littlefield with EMEFE, Mokaad, The Funk Ark, The Rainbow Children, and DJ Monk-One. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
In more related news, Brooklyn's Antibalas (a band modeled after Fela's band) has some upcoming dates this December, culminating ina hometown show on December 14 at Brooklyn Masonic Temple with Red Baraat. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (10/19).
Lists of all known Femi Kuti tour dates, all Antibalas dates, and a stream of Africa For Africa are below.
September 13, 2012
We previously posted about Justin Townes Earl's two-night Woody Guthrie tribute that's happening at PACE University's Michael Shimmel Center for the Arts on October 26 and 27. This is part of the university's "Pace Presents" 2012 / 2013 season which features "world-class performing arts and culture series with an emphasis on music superstars from around the globe, charismatic and crowd-pleasing dance performances, spectacular theatre and contemporary cabaret" The season kicks off Saturday, September 22 with Romanian gypsy folk act Fanfare Ciocalia and tickets are on sale now.
The full schedule is below but highlights include Malian actress/singer Fatoumata Diawara who'll perform on September 28. Tickets are still available. Her most recent album, Fatou, made a few Best of 2011 lists and is streamable at Spotify. The show is part of a North American tour and all tour dates are listed below.
The Pace Presents '12/'13 season wraps on April 20 up with South African horn player and vocalist Hugh Masekela. Tickets are on sale now.
The Pace Presents 2012 / 2013 schedule is below, along with a list of Fatoumata Diawara tour dates and videos.
August 27, 2012
Omar Souleyman at Summerstage in 2011 (more by David Andrako)
Omar Souleyman will be in North America this September for Bumbershoot and MusicFestNW, and while he's here, he'll stop in NYC for a show at new Brooklyn venue The Well on September 7 with Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang and DJ Hutz (aka Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello). Tickets for that show are on sale now. It happens the day before the rescheduled Slaughterhouse show (9/8) at the same venue.
Meanwhile, you can catch Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang even sooner when they play MoMA Nights on Thursday (8/30). That show starts at 6:30 and is free with museum admission.
All dates are listed below.