Hugh Masekela – Podcast 239

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This week we revisit a classic interview with Hugh Masekela from 2013.

Hugh Masekela is the most well known jazz musician from Africa.  His first big hit was in 1968 and he has sold millions of albums, won multiple Grammys and worked with everyone from Stevie Wonder to Dizzy Gillespie. Fresh off a tour with Paul Simon, he and his band are super-refined, with perfect vocal harmonies, deep grooves, and inspired improvisations.    Masekela is considered a legend of South African Music and the apartheid struggle, but that’s not how he see’s it.

I got to spend sometime backstage with him and now so do you!

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Here’s one quote from the interview:

“I never had a career, I had an obsession with music.  And my obsession with it, and maybe a little gift that I had, threw me into the area, but my aim, even when I came overseas, was to learn and to study and everything else is a coincidence.  But I didn’t plan to make it for myself.   If you look at anybody who is out there to make it for themselves they self-destruct.  They become very big and then they self-destruct. As long as you’ve got the “me” thing in your head you’re doomed.” – Hugh Masekela

 

 

 

Blick Bassy – Podcast 238

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Hailing from Cameroon, but living now in France, singer and multi-instrumentalist,  Blick Bassy is creating a fresh, new sound with stunning vocals, banjo and luscious soundscapes from his bandmates.  His new album, Akö with his comrades Clément Petit on cello and Johan Blanc on trombone, are raising eyebrows with their totally original tribute to Skip James.    Blick sings in his native tongue,  Bassa, one of very few.  We caught up with Blick Bassy and hung backstage after an incredible show at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium.

 

 

Field Recordings from Mali! (Oumar Konate, Noura Mint Seymali and more) Podcast 237

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This is a remaster of a broadcast I did in 2012 when I had just returned from almost a month in Mali making field and studio recordings. Very special stuff:

Here’s the original intro:

I’m back from the Sahara, and, as promised, have a ton of recordings to share with you.  This special show was originally broadcast on WKCR on 89.9 FM-NY and features rough mixes of studio recordings with up and coming guitarist and pop star Oumar Konate, Griot Royalty Noura Mint Seymali from Mauritania recording exclusively for us in her flat in Timbuktu, artists from Niger informally jamming in their tents and the Festival Au Desert and much, much more. We’ll hear this Takamba band in the photo above- they use a car battery and a PA and the flute ends up sounding just like Jimi Hendrix…

 

 

Jean-Claude van Itallie Podcast 236

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Jean-Claude van Itallie, is a creative force across many genres.  Norman Mailer called one his works “possibly the best one-act play I have ever seen.” He’s a poet, meditator, health-guru, translator, writer and it doesn’t stop there.  We sit on the porch with Jean-Claude van Itallie at his inspriring retreat center, Shantigar.

 

Fari di Future, Yaadcore Podcast 235

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Yaadcore is a cultured selector that has already began making waves on Jamaica’s music scene. Also the Dj for reggae artist Protoje.
Biography
More and more youths, seeking to connect with their cultural roots, invariably come across particular names in the field of music. No doubt they eventually stumble upon Yaadcore. As his name suggests, he is at the center of Jamaica’s Reggae Revival.

His role in the movement is cemented by the fact that he was the first person ever to play the music of Kabaka Pyramid and Chronixx on Jamaican radio. In addition to that, he is Protoje’s touring DJ and has toured California & opened for Protoje’s band performances on his European fall tour, touching places like Italy, France, Portugal, Switzerland & Belgium. Also just recently opened for Protoje on an extensive tour of the west coast of US with reputable brand sponsorship from Leafly.

Growing up observing his father operate a sound system, Yaadcore naturally gravitated toward the same profession. As an adult, maturity urged him to decide what kind of music he would play at public events. He naturally opted for spiritually healing, organic reggae music and soon stopped accepting work in other genres.

Yaadcore settled into a weekly groove of selecting tunes at his increasingly popular Dubwise Jamaica event in Kingston on Wednesdays that has grown to become and international brand. Dubwise features a weekly vibration in Miami, Florida and have been to states like Washington DC, Atlanta, New York and California and has also sown the Dubwise seed in other countries like Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Bermuda, Hungary, Romania, Malta, Germany, Kenya, & Ethiopia.

Those unable to have the Yaadcore experience in person need not go further than their computers. His SoundCloud page is a treasure chest of his globally acclaimed mixes, including the Reggae Aroma’s Volume 1 – 3 which have gained listens up to 210+ plays plus his official Protoje mixtapes that have over 100k+ hits along with a marijuana themed mix collaboration with the well renown VP Records that hits 240+ plays.

 

Fari Di Future

Upcoming Roots & Reggae vocalist Kemani Ifari Powell, was born on Dec 29, 1986. Rightfully known as Fari Di Future, he hails from the beautiful island of Jamaica. Raised in Kingston, within the peaceful community of Cooreville Gardens, Fari is no stranger to the arts, having been brought up in a musical family. His parents- Winston Powell and Maizy Powell, are both singers and founding members of the Reggae trio Midnight Rider. Known for classics such as ‘Wanted’, ‘Clash in a Rhythm’, and ‘Youthman Invasion’, they gained a massive following in Jamaica’s festival scene, which propelled them to tour most of Europe throughout the 70’s and 80’s.

As a child, he was exposed to the big stage performing alongside his parents any chance he could. This is where he harnessed his confident and engaging approach. Following his passion at a young age, Fari attended The Jamaica School of Music, in which he learned the many aspects of music and performance, and gained knowledge on how to play instruments in the Percussion family, and Acoustic Guitar.

Fari Di Future can easily be identified through his mellifluous, tuneful voice and insightful lyrics. Deeply rooted in Rastafari beliefs and principles, the singer has manifested the philosophy of the “H.O.W.K.L.E.A.R Movement”, an acronym which stands for Heights Of Wisdom-Know, Learn, Execute & Rise. Consisting of musical colleagues Jermaine ‘Autarchii’ Joseph and Ryan ‘Skull’ Morgan, the rapidly growing movement aims to instill the positive message: In all aspects of development, in order to gain the Heights of Wisdom, one must first Know, Learn, Execute And then Rise, exemplifying the words of H.I.M. Haile Selassie.

Upcoming projects for Fari include a lineup of live performances, features and dubs, soon to be available. An anticipated EP entitled “ALKEBULAN”, also visuals for the re-release of his anthem ‘Farmer Man’; a song highlighting the necessity and importance of agriculture, as self-preservation is vital to his livity. (From IRIE Magazine)

BRM’s Coltrane Raga Tribute – Podcast 234

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Brooklyn Raga Massive’s Coltrane Raga Tribute are about to drop their New Album – and the release party will be a free concert in Prospect Park at Celebrate Brooklyn June 23rd with Pharoah Sanders headlining!

We hang with Sameer Gupta, the tabla upstart, drummer and musical director of the project and listen to a live performance from Pioneer Works. If you want to hear it all you’ll have to get the album though!

This podcast will air on WKCR 89.9 FM-NY on Sunday June 18th at 7pm.

The all-star ensemble in the set we hear includes:
Sameer Gupta – Drumset/Tabla (musical director),
Brandee Younger – Harp,
Jay Gandhi – Bansuri,
Arun Ramamurthy – Violin,
Pawan Benjamin – Sax,
Trina Basu – Violin,
Neel Murgai – Sitar,
Ben Tyree – Guitar,
Rashaan Carter – Bass
Michael Gam – Bass

Special Guests:

Roopa Mahadevan – Vocal

Pyeng Threadgill- vocal

Anupam Shobhakar – Sarod
Jessica Lurie – Sax
Ken Shoji- Violin
Dawoud Kringle – Dilruba
Giancarlo Luigi – Chekere and Percussion

Recorded by James Clark and mixed by Sameer Gupta