Banning Eyre and Thomas Mapfumo talk Lion Songs – Podcast 176

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itunes-button1In this very special podcast we speak with Banning Eyre and Thomas Mapfumo.  Eyre’s critically acclaimed biography Lion Songs: Thomas Mapfumo and the Music That Made Zimbabwe  has recently hit shelves and Banning takes us through the companion CD, providing a deep musical education of this towering figure.   Later we’ll hear an interview I recorded with Thomas Mapfumo in Brooklyn in 2011.

This episode will broadacast on WKCR 89.9 FM-NY 11pm December 6, 2016 and stream at www.wkcr.org.

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Thomas Mapfumo, the Lion of Zimbabwe, stands beside Fela Kuti, Youssou N’Dour and Franco as one of Africa’s greatest and most consequential composer/bandleaders. For over 40 years, he has merged ancient African traditions—especially that of the sacred, metal-pronged Shona mbira—into the currents of international music, from rock to reggae to rap. Mapfumo’s artfully barbed lyrics have targeted the racist regime of Ian Smith and the corrupt one of Robert Mugabe with equal resolve and courage. That’s the essence of chimurenga—the music of struggle: past, present and future.

 

 

Randy Weston Interview part 1 Podcast 172

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One from the archives:  There was much talk about Randy Weston on the last few episodes about Gnawa music.  I thought I’d broadcast part 1 of an interview I did with him a few years back.  This was first broadcast as a podcast that I never really got going with.  If you haven’t checked him out, I hope this will inspire you to check out some albums or see him in concert.

Part 2 coming soon…we hung out and spoke for hours that day.

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Offical Bio:

After contributing seven decades of musical direction and genius, Randy Weston remains one of the world’s foremost pianists and composers today, a true innovator and visionary.

Encompassing the vast rhythmic heritage of Africa,
his global creations musically continue to inform and inspire.
“Weston has the biggest sound of any jazz pianist since Ellington and Monk, as well as the richest most inventive beat,” states jazz critic Stanley Crouch, “but his art is more than projection and time; it’s the result of a studious and inspired intelligence…an intelligence that is creating a fresh synthesis of African elements with jazz technique”.

Jay Gandhi and Yacouba Cissoko with Shiva Ghoshal and David Ellenbogen, Ragas Live Festival 2015 #19 Podcast 163

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Jay Gandhi (bansuri) and Yacouba Cissoko (kora) bring their duo project accompanied by  Shivalik Ghoshal (tabla) and David Ellenbogen (guitar) from 6-7pm during the Ragas Live Festival 2015

Tom Rossi brings it. Podcast 143

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Jump  six and half minutes into this podcast and you’ll hear music as organic as it gets: a group of children playing traditional rhythms on pots and pans as they sing the songs of their village.  Tom Rossi recorded this  25 years ago as he was biking from from Lome, Togo to Accra, Ghana.

The podcast continues with Tom’s recordings with the all-star world musicians of New York City, Yacouba Cissoko, Dave Eggar, Matt Kilmer, Rob Garcia and many others and to top it off Tom performs live on the Kora of his own invention.

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Tom Rossi is a composer, producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, whose musical style is indeed a global mosaic, a border-dissolving symphony of tones and beats and harmonies from Africa and Asia and the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean and Brooklyn, USA.

Rossi himself was born in Texas, raised in Massachusetts, and went to college in the Pacific Northwest, but a moment of transformation came in a village of unpaved roads and mud huts in Togo, where Rossi grasped the raw psychotropic power of music in voodoo ceremonies.

Already an accomplished guitarist, Rossi kicked his polyglot education into a high gear. He went to Ghana to enroll in a drum and dance school run by the master percussionist Mustapha Tetty Addy.
After returning from further expeditions to Brazil, Cuba and Turkey, Rossi released his world music debut record, Salma Har, in 2005.

Hospice Work

Drawing from his talents as a musician and his love for humanity, Tom Rossi gives peace and serenity to those facing the most difficult time in their lives… their death.

His travels around the globe have not only given Tom a broad musical education, but a unique perspective on humanity as well.

During six months of arduous recovery from a surgery to remove a debilitating blood clot, Tom taught himself the kalimba, a South African thumb piano. Through music, he created an atmosphere which helped to facilitate his healing process and alleviate much of his stress and pain.

Upon his recovery, Tom immediately enrolled at the IM School of Healing Arts in Manhattan where he spent six years studying the art of healing and developed ways to channel it into his music. He now plays for terminally ill patients in Hospice care several days a week.

“I sing softly and play either the kora, kalimba or guitar. The music is not performance, but creating an atmosphere for the patient and family to relax, savor the passing moments or to bring new energy into what can easily become a dark place. The patients and families remind me of how precious life is, how important it is to keep growing towards fulfillment and to enjoy, and how something so simple and sincere can touch so deeply.”

Tom’s efforts have helped literally hundreds of families, prompting many of them to write poignant, moving letters of gratitude…

“Thank you again for being such a warm, shining light – showering others with the peace that is so obviously within your heart and soul. You will always be in my heart, Tom, and I will never forget the gift you gave to my mom… and to me.”

“It’s been difficult to be with my Mom these days, but listening to your heavenly sounds puts a totally different perspective on things. I know that you will always be remembered in my heart as someone who was ‘there’ through these times.”

“David loved the music. He said it relaxed him. He passed away today and he was listening to your music when he did. I feel that you led him peacefully toward his light, and I am forever grateful.”

Steven Sogo Podcast 138

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11084047_819900308063440_2928062909842179069_oWe’ll speak with one of outstanding members of the Nile Project,  Steven Sogo.  Steven Sogo was born in 1983 in Kamenge, a popular area of Burund´s capital Bujumbura, and started to play the guitar and to sing at an early age. Rapidly music became a passion and in 1997 he became an active member at the Kamenge Youth Center where he started to work with different bands before forming his own band “Hope Street” in 2005. Today Steven is a leading bass player in Burundi and recently he has been selected by the World Bank Institute to be Burundi’s music ambassador. Sogo sings in Kirundi, Swahili and in French.

We spoke backstage after the Nile Project performed in New York City.