This was one of my favorite early episodes. Cosmas Magya is a master of the Mbira ( a type of thumb piano) from the Shona tribe in Zimbabwe. Here he performs and explains the way the instrument is used in ceremonies to contact ancestors. We’ll also hear a track he recorded with another powerful Mbira player and vocalist Beauler Dyoko. (Rebroadcast from 2011)
We get to hang at home with LADAMA! We recorded some songs and chat with Mafer Bandola (bandola llanera), Lara Klaus (percussion, drums), Daniela Serna (percussion) Sara Lucas (voice, guitar) and Pat Swoboda (bass).
LADAMA is an ensemble of women musicians (joined by Pat for this session) who combine the rhythms and traditional instrumentation of frevo and maracatu from Pernambuco, Brazil; joropo songs from the high plains of Venezuela; cumbia, gaita and champeta from the Colombian coast and contemporary strains of American pop and jazz.
Members of LADAMA specialize in, among other instruments, the bandola llanera from Venezuela, the tambor alegre from Colombia, and the pandeiro and zabumba from Northeast Brazil. Their performances include original compositions and traditional songs sung in Spanish, Portuguese and English combining disparate elements into a cohesive whole. The result is a sonic experience through which we can view our future as a world that communicates across continents and cultures, with sound and story.
Last September, we got sit down and hang with Vieux Farka Toure, talk to him and record a little acoustic music…AND record his entire live set at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan with his moking band! Many thanks to World Music Institute and Le Poisson Rouge for making that happen.
Often referred to as “The Hendrix of the Sahara”, Vieux Farka Touré was born in Niafunké, Mali in 1981. He is the son of legendary Malian guitar player Ali Farka Touré, who died in 2006. Ali Farka Touré came from a historical tribe of soldiers, and defied his parents in becoming a musician. When Vieux was in his teens, he declared that he also wanted to be a musician. His father dissaproved due to the pressures he had experienced being a musician. Rather, he wanted Vieux to become a soldier. But with help from family friend the kora maestro Toumani Diabaté, Vieux eventually convinced his father to give him his blessing to become a musician shortly before Ali passed.
Vieux was initially a drummer / calabash player at Mali’s Institut National des Arts, but secretly began playing guitar in 2001. Ali Farka Touré was weakened with cancer when Vieux announced that he was going to record an album. Ali recorded a couple of tracks with him, and these recordings, which can be heard on Vieux’s debut CD, were amongst his final ones. It has been said that the senior Touré played rough mixes of these songs when people visited him in his final days, at peace with, and proud of, his son’s talent as a musician. He know tours internationally with many acclaimed records to his name.
With stirring vocal harmonies and luscious arrangements, Miramar breathe life into the classic bolero tradition. We got to sit down with their music director and keyboardist, Marlyse Simmons and learn about the history of boleros and hear and learn about the muse of their new album Sylvia Rexach.
The world-renowned Moroccan Festival Gnaoua et Musiques du MondeEssaouira celebrates its 20th anniversary with a debut NYC collaboration. Great Maalems (masters) and all-stars of the festival trace a musical journey of the ancient music of Gnawa during a night of trance and tradition.
There will be events all week in NYC.
In this WKCR broadcast we get to speak with master drummer, Will Calhoun; Samir Langus and Nawfal Atiq of Innov Gnawa Meera Dugal of Lincoln Center, about what to expect and delve deep into this magical tradition
March 16th | Gnaoua Festival Tour 2017 Kickoff Concert at the David Rubenstein Atrium ft. Maalem Hamid El Kasri, Maalem Abdeslam Alikkane + special guest Maalem Hassan Ben Jaafer
March 17th | Gnaoua Festival Tour 2017 tradtional concert with Maalem Abdeslam Alikkane at The New School Jazz
March 19th | Gnaoua et Jazz at Pioneer Works with Maalem Hamid El Kasri, Maalem Abdeslam Alikkane, Will Calhoun, Marcus Strickland, Marc Cary, and Jamaaladeen Tacuma
Mitali Banerjee Bhawmik (vocal), Meghashyam Keshav (tabla), Ramachandra Joshi (harmonium) perform Raag Miyan Ki Malhar from 5-6pm at the Ragas Live Festival 2016 in Pioneer Works.