Thursday, 21 April 2011

Nomad's Calendar: This Weekend

Be sure not to miss some of the great shows coming up this weekend! Can't make any of them? Then, check out Nomad's Calendar for details on other upcoming shows.
  • April 22nd Friday 1:00pm: Teymour Housego @ Clore Ballroom (Southbank Centre Belvedere Road SE1 8XX) FREE Teymour Housego has established himself as one of the UK's leading multicultural flautists. He has collaborated with numerous musicians, including Nitin Sawhney, Talvin Singh and Jethro Tull amongst others, and co-founded the flamenco fusion group Alcazaba. For this Alchemy appearance, he previews some tracks from his new album Haunting Bazaar, with co-composer the brilliant French guitarist and singer Yves Mesnil and a selection of other musicians.
  • April 22nd Friday 7:45pm: Melissa Laveaux @ Purcell Room (Southbank Centre Belvedere Road SE1 8XX) £17.50 Twenty-four-year-old Haitian singer Mélissa Laveaux came to world attention in 2009 with music that evokes the spirit of her homeland. The music is drawn from a deep and intimate knowledge of the global musical milieu, a bilingual raw mix of acoustic soul/jazz and percussive Creole folklore - a fresh offering to the folk scene. Her lyrics, recited in her soulful and original voice, evoke Joni Mitchell, Macy Gray, Nina Simone and Rokia Traoré. 
  • April 23rd Saturday 8:00pm: Fernado's Kitchen @ Rich Mix (35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA) £8/11 Fernando’s Kitchen presents a Nu World music night, featuring Fernando’s Kitchen band, performing as a 6 piece line–up of spanish guitar, double-bass, oud, flamenco cajon, percussions, vocals, and trumpet.  Fernando’s Kitchen is a group of multi-cultural musicians, performing their very own modern Flamenco Latin and North African music, also called Nu world music. A fusion of passionate guitar and oud melodies, exciting rhythms and mesmerising vocal
  • April 24th Sunday 8:00pm: Afri-Kokoa @ Rich Mix (35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA) £7/10 On this great occasion we have the pleasure of featuring a truly innovative musical fusion of contemporary Afro-jazz (a mix of Afro-Funk and jazz) that is ‘Helele’ – a live six-piece outfit, composed of the balafon, saxophone, bass, guitar, drum and percussion. Founded in 1994 by founder Alphonse D Touna from Cameroon. A multi-skilled talented musician, composer, performer and musical instrument designer.
  • April 24th Sunday 8:30pm: Talvin Singh and Niladri Kumar @ Queen Elizabeth Hall (Southbank Centre Belvedere Road SE1 8XX) £11/14 A breathtaking evening of music created by two uniquely innovative musicians. Talvin Singh is known for his groundbreaking style, creating original sounds by juxtaposing Indian traditions and modern European aesthetics. He is primarily a tabla player, as well as a producer and composer, based in London. Niladri Kumar is a fifth generation sitar player with a fresh, experimental approach to his instrument known for his exploratory style of performance.

Did I miss a gig coming up this weekend? Let me know and I'll be sure to post it. 

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Wednesday's Reader Picks

Have you recently heard a great track that you would like to share? Send in your review of a track for our weekly "Reader's Picks" series. Here, we want to know what you listen to.

And come on readers! I'm sick of hearing my own picks!!

How do I get my review posted?
Send the review you've written and a link to the track on YouTube to our email. Please include the name you would like us to use as the author of the review (it can be your full name, first name, or user name). We will post up to three tracks in a given week.

I have a great track I would like to share, but I don't want to write a review. Can I still share it?
Of course! Please send us an email with a link to the track on YouTube and we might include the track in our "This Week's Picks" series.

Monday, 18 April 2011

This Week's Picks (#39)

A slightly brief version of "This Week's Picks" for you this week, but I hope you enjoy none-the-less!

"Untitled" - Mumford and Sons

While these guys have become giants on the folk/rock scene mainly for their ability to make folk more accessible to the younger generation, I came across a great list of 10 of their lesser known songs. Ever since stumbling across this, I've had this track stuck in my head and I love it. I have to admit that one of my weaknesses is great harmony. If you have a track with fantastic harmony, I love it. And I just melt to the harmonies in this track. Plus, I still think you can't go wrong with electric banjo.

"Pesebre"- Axel Krygier

This song features bleating sheep. How can you not love it? I used to like this song just because it was so weird, but it really grows on you. Even better, I saw the Argentinian Axel Krygier live last night at KOKO, and boy can that guy put on a live show!? He is amazing live, always moving and so incredibly full of energy. It makes me love this track even more.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Machester's Cultural Collage World Music Festival

For those of you who live in or around Manchester, here is a fantastic festival coming your way in a few weeks. Mark your calendars!

The Manchester Cultural Collage World Music Festival will celebrate it's second year this May. The festival was started last year by a group of volunteers and attracted almost 10,000 people at the various events.

This year the festival will take place various venues around Manchester between May 5th and 14th, 2011. There are 25 events across 14 different venues and it will feature some fantastic acts including the multimedia drumming band Djembekan (Ivory Coast, Guinea, Argentina, France, UK), Kanda Bongo Man Band and Dancers (DR Congo), Alejandro Toledo & The Magic Tombolinos (Balkan), Niko Paterakis (Greece), Gorilla Chilla (Bangladesh),  Ska Cubano (Jamaica, Cuba, UK) and the world premiere of Ano Throsko:A Musical for the 21st Century featuring over 30 musicians.

For a detailed list of the festival's events, please visit their programme.  
To see photos from last year's festival: 

I would love to see and hear about how much fun you had attending this festival. If you plan on attending any of the Cultural Collage World Music Festival, please email me a letter or send me photos and I will post them on a "Festival Fun" follow-up.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Meet the Musicians: Dominik Johnson

In this new series, we get to hear from the musicians themselves. This month, I have interviewed Manchester multi-instrumentalist and virtual session musician Dominik Johnson.

Dominik Johnson
Dominik is multi-instrumentalist, session player, composer and producer based in Manchester and specialises in plucked instruments. His passion is creating Instrumental World Music for Film, TV and Media productions and creates 'Library Music' for one of the top production music companies, such as London's 'Felt Music Library'.

1. How long have you been recording and what inspired you to get into music?
I've been recording professionally, both as an recording artist and session player, for around five years now. My passion lies in recording productions rather than performances, but I love collaborations with other musicians and producers in the studio. My early years of music began with a keen interest in the Spanish/Classical guitar and the Renaissance lute. It's from this repertoire an that my interest in 'World Music' evolved.

2. What or who are your influences?
My musical influences range from all kinds of traditional folk music from all over the world...
I take a keen interest on Spanish, Indian, Latin, Mediterranean and Chinese traditional music, but I'm not a purist. I like to create my own style using influences from these traditions. One of my biggest musical influences is Julian Bream - I consider him to be one the finest musicians and spanish guitarists around - I'm surprised how many UK 'spanish guitarists' have never heard of him!

3. What are your all-time favourite albums?
Titi Robin - Un ciel de cuivre
Julian Bream - The Woods So Wild
Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba- Segu Blue

4. What are you listening to right now?
I'm currently listening to a lot of pipa music from Liu Fang.
(Click here to hear a pipa solo by Liu Fang)

5. Have any upcoming gigs/shows we should know about?
I very rarely do any live performances as I've not found the right musicians yet to be on stage with.  I'm also never quite happy with the sound quality of a lot of venues.

But I have been involved with a World Music project called 'Ano Throsko' run by Greek artist Niko Paterakis. The show is on May 7th 2011 in Manchester and it involves over 30 musicians, playing all kinds of instruments. If you have an interest in fusion music - the show is for you.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Nomad's Calendar: This Weekend

Summer is certainly on its way and the concerts are starting to pile up. If you're looking for something fun to see and hear this weekend, just check out all the great gigs coming up in London. 
  • April 14th Thursday 6:00pm: OuterIndia: Susheela Raman @Rich Mix (35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA) £8adv/£11door Outerindia weaves a web of intense links between London, the Subcontinent and the world, showcasing visionary artists in the musical, visual and written arts. Celebrating the variety and influence of South Asian culture, OUTERINDIA is all about channeling the breadth of work by artists born in the Subcontinent, the Diaspora or drawn to the culture from outside, and offering it to the eyes and ears of London in new and magical ways.
  • April 14th Thursday 7:00pm: Orkestra Del Sol @ Dingwalls (Camden Lock, NW1 8AB) £6/11 "The swagger of a Balkan wedding with the riotous energy of a Latin carnival!" The 9-piece brass band from Edinburgh is back with a new album! "Magnificent!" The Independent "The genius of the Orkestra is the way they hide serious musicianship inside tongue-in-cheek humour. It's a winning combination" The Scotsman
  • April 15th Friday 7:45pm: Bolivian, Latin American, Italian and French Music @ Purcell Room (Southbank Centre Belvedere Road SE1 8XX) £14 Marcos Puña is undoubtedly one of the best young Bolivian classical guitarists. In his debut concert at Southbank Centre, he performs a programme of Latin American and Bolivian music including masterpieces by Abel Carlevaro (Uruguay), Dilermando Reis (Brazil) and Manuel Ponce (Mexico). Bolivia is represented in his recital by composers Eduardo Caba, whose Kollavina is inspired by ancestral indigenous rhythm, and Matilde Casazola, whose five pieces are rooted in rich Bolivian folklore.
  • April 15th Friday 8:00pm: Raghu Dixit Project @ Queen Elizabeth Hall (Southbank Centre Belvedere Road SE1 8XX) £10-20 Raghu Dixit's remarkable rise has been nothing short of spectacular. The former Bharatanatyam dancer's rousing folk rock is not only the symbol of metropolitan India's blossoming alternative music
    scene, but is also making waves internationally. Alchemy 2011 marks the beginning of an exciting two-year collaboration with Southbank Centre Resident Artists, dance artist Gauri Sharma Tripathi and British folk band Bellowhead, in collaboration with the British Council.
  • April 15th Friday 8:15pm: Jahan E Khusrau: Anjuman E Dil @ Royal Festival Hall (Southbank Centre Belvedere Road SE1 8XX) £15-35 A rare opportunity to experience the renowned devotional and Punjabi folk music exponent Hans Raj Hans, with Sufi lyrics selected and composed by Muzaffar Ali. A vocal artist who effortlessly encompasses these traditions and has worked alongside other renowned artists such as the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Hans Raj Hans has a unique ability to present Sufi music in its truest form. The evening is shared with Sufi Kathak exponent and devotional dance specialist Manjari Chaturvedi.
  • April 17th Sunday 6:00pm: Soumik Datta's Circle of Sound @ Purcell Room (Southbank Centre Belvedere Road SE1 8XX) £13 An explosive audio-visual encounter between two virtuoso stars of contemporary British Asian music. London-born Soumik Datta is one of the UK's most brilliant South Asian musicians and is an artist in residence at this year's Alchemy festival.A spectacular player of the sarod, a muscular plucked instrument of the Indian classical tradition, Soumik collaborates with Austrian-born drummer Bernhard Schimpelsberger (Taalis) who plays a Western drum kit like a tabla virtuoso. 

Can't make it to any of these? Check out the Nomad's Calendar for a full list of upcoming events.

Know of a great gig/concert coming up that isn't listed? Email me and I'll post it on the calendar.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Wednesday's Reader Picks

This week reader Discobethan introduces us to some fantastic Latvian music. Enjoy!

"Likais" - Auli

The group Auļi take the deep musical heritage of their native Latvia and push the possibilities of using only drums and bagpipes to make amazing, loud, rhythmic music, blurring the lines between world and folk, between traditional and contemporary. It's part of the redefining of indigenous Latvian culture in the post-Soviet republic, after centuries of occupation.

Live, they're astonishing. Raw power and energy fills the room and infects everyone with sound and rhythm. Their music slips between definitions yet appeals to many, and they've played at darkwave, metal, medieval and folk festivals. It's world in the best sense - a group of passionate people bringing their culture to the global stage in a new way while never losing sight of what makes them unique. Their pulsing sounds infuse ancient music with modern, vital life.

The group formed in 2003 with nine Latvian men and one Estonian woman, who play drums, bagpipes and stringed instrument called a giga. The bagpipes are traditional to the Baltics, part of the great European-wide pipe culture. Historical records talk about drum and bagpipe troupes but no music has survived. So the group takes traditional melodies and plays with them as well as composing original pieces. In Latvian the word 'auļi' has two meanings: 'gallop', representing the rhythm of drums; and 'beehives on the tree' - the sound of drones. Auļi has released three critically-acclaimed albums and the latest, Etnotranss (Ethnotrance) won Best Folk Music Album 2010 at the Latvian Music Awards as well as the 2010 Folklore Award for 'Creativity based in traditional culture'.
(Written by Discobethan)

Monday, 11 April 2011

This Week's Picks (#38)

Wow, I just realized I'm approaching my 1 year anniversary! Just over a month to go. Exciting! In the mean time, I hope you enjoy this week's picks.

"O Ou Ni Sou" - Rokia Traoré

This track is from Rokia Traoré's killer album, Tchamantché released in 2008. This album was recently picked by Songlines magazine as one of their top 75 albums. This relaxed track makes it obvious why this album was chosen. A soft steel drum in the background perfectly accompanies Rokia's sophisticated voice. While this is definitely a contemporary sound, it is wonderfully and distinctly African at the same time.

"Lemba" - Muntu Valdo

I have spent a lot of time listening to and loving Muntu's music. This track is from his new album The One & The Many (out today!) but the video is of live performance, which is where Muntu shines. Using an elaborate pedal board, he pulls off an impressive one-man-band sound, playing everything himself. 

"Many Things" - Seun Kuti and Egypt 80

In tribute to the concert I will be missing on Wednesday, here's some funk from Seun Kuti, Fela Kuti's youngest son. Seun just released his newest album From Africa With Fury: Rise and is touring. On Wednesday he and the Egypt 80 will be performing at the Royal Festival Hall and I will sadly miss the show. It should be a great one, and if you go, please write a review and let me know how it was. This track however, is from an older album Many Things.

Enjoy these? Have some tracks you'd like to share? Let me know via Twitter and I'll post it on Wednesday's Reader Picks!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Wednesday's Reader Picks

This week's reader picks are coming at ya from DJ Socrates. Enjoy!

"Knyon Mun Sok Jet Te" - Cambodian Space Project

Cambodian Space Project was co-founded by Srey Chanthy and Julien Poulson and offers some great Cambodian music! This track is a cover of the hit by Pan Ron, who we've also featured.

Have you recently heard a great track that you would like to share? Send in your review of a track for our weekly "Reader's Picks" series. Here, we want to know what you listen to. 

Monday, 4 April 2011

This Week's Picks (#37)

I hope you enjoy this week's picks!

"Ndakuvara"- Oliver Mtukudzi

Oliver Mtukudzi is a Zimbabwean guitarist. He started began playing in the band Wagon Wheels with Thomas Mapfumo. He has since struck a name for himself, recording 59 albums. Though he was not as politically outspoken as Mapfumo, this particular track was directed at the Zimbabwe's president Mugabe, and the political violence organised by his party.

"Gypsy Part of Town" - J.U.F.

I can't help myself. I love this stuff. I have featured the band, Balkan Beat Box several times, but this is the collaboration of Gorgol Bordello and BBB. J.U.F. stands for Jüdisch-Ukrainische Freundschaft inspired by German industrial band Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft, who got their name from the GDR state organization Deutsch-Sowjetische Freundschaft (German-Soviet Friendship).

"Eddeaa" - Abjeez

These guys not only make some fun music, but fun videos! Abjee is Persian for "sister" as the two main singers Safoura and Melody Safavi are sisters. Abjeez is a "Persian world-pop" band, as they've deemed themselves, and write songs with often humorous lyrics and a lot of fun to listen to and watch.