Africa/India Series: Innov Gnawa with Brooklyn Raga Massive All Stars – Podcast 179

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itunes-button1Of all the concerts I’ve produced this was one of the most exciting and meaningful.  This installation of Africa/India Series live at ShapeShifter Lab was a synergy of the Morrocan trance tradition embodied by Hassan Ben Jaffer and Innov Gnawa as we combined forces with the musicians of the Brooklyn Raga Massive All-Stars.

Thanks to Sameer Gupta for mixing this Mutha!

INNOV GNAWA
Maalem (Master)Hassan Ben Jaafer (Sintir, vocals)
Samir Langus (Sintir, Vocals)
Ahmed Jeriouda (Vocals, percussion)
Amino Belyamani (Vocals, percussion)
Said Sayed (Vocals, percussion)
Nawfal Atiq (Vocals, percussion)

BRM ALL-STARS
Guy Mintus (Piano, Melodica)
David Ellenbogen (Guitar)
Adam Maalouf (Percussion)
Kevin Nathaniel (mbira, percussion)
Hany ElDiwany (Surbahar)

 Michael Gam (Bass)

Sitting in: Pawan Benjamin (Sax), Aaron Shregge (trumpet) Ken Shoji (violin) Vin Scalia (percussion) Jessica Lurie (Sax)
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Africa Meets India premiers the Africa/India Concert Series (Pt.1) – Podcast 128

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NYC Radio Live is collaborating with Brooklyn Raga Massive and Afro Roots Tuesdays to present a new monthly live event: The Africa/India Series at Art Cafe.

It couldn’t have gone better. The premier concert was last night,  with Afrika Meets India.   The line-up of Eric Fraser, bansuri; Kevin Nathaniel, mbira; Salieu Suso, kora; Giancarlo Luiggi, Hosho: Neel Murgai, sitar and Sameer Gupta, tabla.  I joined the band on the last song.  Despite being 10 degrees out, Art Cafe was packed and the band rewarded the audience with this great performance.

The jam session with Kensuke Shoji, Michael Gam and Shivalik Ghoshal, was also stunning…that will be the next podcast.

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brm-logo-copy-1Brooklyn Raga Massive, an artist collective dedicated to the Indian Classical Musicians of Brooklyn, hosts weekly concerts followed by jam sessions every Wednesday at 8pm  at Art Cafe, 
884 Pacific st at Underhill, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Art Cafe is a bar and venue connected to The Village @ Gureje, an arts center and creative community that brings together artists, teachers and leaders from Brooklyn and beyond.

BRM All Star Party Band – Pan-Global Flute Solstice Celebration (pt.2) Podcast 127

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Kevin Nathaniel, Eric Fraser and Neel Murgai of the BRM All-Star Party Band

These two performances from members of the Brooklyn Raga Massive All Star Party Band  started off the 6 hour Pan-Global Flute Solstice Celebration broadcast on the radio throughout New York City on 12/21/2014.  In this podcast not only was the bansuri featured, as  played by Eric Fraser, in the last set Kevin Nathaniel puts down the mbira and plays a Mbuti style African reed flute.   They were joined by Michael Gam on bass and Neel Murgai on Sitar and frame drums.

The Brooklyn Raga Massive All Star Party Band will perform in its full line-up this New Year’s Eve! 
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At the end of this program I play a recording of a song I wrote to play with the BRM All Stars on New Years.  It was recorded last weekend with Michael D’Agostino on drums and myself on kamale ngoni and guitars.

The Pan Global Flute Solstice celebration featured players from Indigenous Colombia traditions, Turkish Ney, West African Fula, Indian Bansuri, Japanese Shakuhachi and more.
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 In Podcast 126 we heard Tom Chess performing on Ney and Oud  with Dan Kurfirst on percussion.
In later episodes we’ll hear from the other musicians who partipated KenYa Kawaguchi, Sylvain Leroux, Sebastián López, Laura María Calderón, Robert Puesaquiyo.

Trilok Gurtu and Christopher Janney -Podcast 123

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itunes-button1London Jazz Festival 2013 - Day 10

 

 

Trilok Gurtu is one of the most inventive percussionists of all time. I was thrilled to have a chance to sit down and talk with him and renaissance man Christopher Janney.

A world class, virtuoso percussionist, now in his mid fifties, Trilok has attracted a world class set of collaborators over a long career; these started with John McLaughlin in whose trio, Trilok flourished as the featured soloist for 4 years, other jazz greats continued this path – Joe Zawinul, Jan Garbarek, Don Cherry, Bill Evans, Pharoah Sanders, Dave Holland were all attracted to Trilok’s burning sense of rhythm. Of course he is deeply rooted in the Indian tradition, so it is no surprise to see that collaborations also took place with the glitterati of Indian musical society – his mother, Shobha Gurtu, Zakir Hussain, L. Shankar, Shankar Mahadevan, Hariprasad Chaurasia, The Misra Brothers and Sultan Khan. World music has become an established genre in which Trilok has further “ploughed his own furrow” with his own group, to great effect, performing and recording with Salif Keita, Oumou Sangare, Angelique Kidjo, Neneh Cherry, Omara Portuondo, Tuvan throat singers, Huun Huur Tu, to such effect that . Rita Ray of BBC Radio described him as “a serial collaborator”.

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Christopher Janney  is an American composer/artist/architect known for his work on the interrelation of architecture and music. Sometimes he attempts to make architecture more like music as in his sound sculptures titled “Urban Musical Instruments” of which “Soundstair” (musical stairs)and “Sonic Forest” are examples. Other times, he develops performance projects which make music more like architecture as in his “Physical Music” series which includes “HeartBeat,” a piece danced by Mikhail Baryshnikov. Much of Janney’s permanent work has sought to create “permanent participatory soundworks for public spaces,” including installations for airports in Dallas, Boston, Miami and Sacramento, Atlanta and the New York City Subway.

Janney has toured his “Sonic Forest” in both the US and Europe at major music festivals including Bonnaroo and Coachella as well as Glastonbury and Hyde Park Calling in the UK.

A book on his work, titled Architecture of the Air was released in February, 2007.

Kane Mathis (Kora) and Brandon Terzic (Oud and Ngoni) Live! – Podcast 111

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Kane Mathis and Brandon Terzic performed live sets of incredible beauty of the NYC radio airwaves.  First Kane Mathis played solo  (on the 21-string Mandinka Harp) and then he was joined by Brandon on the Oud and later the Ngoni.

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Kane began taking trips to The Gambia, West Africa in 1997 and has continued rigorous study of the Mandinka Kora. Over the past ten years his performances have earned him recognition by the Gambian president, The Gambian minister of culture, and both national television and radio of The Gambia.

Kane’s primary kora teachers are Malamini Jobarteh of Brikama, The Gambia and Moriba Kouyate of The Gambia. The Jobarteh family remain one of The Gambia’s most important musical legacies. Tata Din din Jobarteh, Pa Bobo Jobarteh, and Siffai Jobarteh are the families current most visible exponents touring the world.

Brandon Terzic has performed in the states and Internationally, traveled to Morocco, Senegal and Egypt studying music, and playing with many incredible Musicians, amongst them Tomchess, Matt Kilmer, Matt Darriau, Rufus Cappodocia, Shane Shanahan, Luke Notary, Hassan Houkmoun, Peter Slavov, John Shannon, Gilad Dobrecky, Mal Stein, George Stathos, Sylvain Leroix, Tom Rossi, Max ZT and many many more. He currently teaches and performs in his band Xalam Project amongst other projects.

Both Kane and Brandon also perform on the Oud. 

 

 

 

 

Noura Mint Seymali live with Jay Gandhi, Jeiche Ould Chighaly and Ehren Hanson – Podcast 108

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Podcast DownloadNoura Mint Seymali and Jeiche Ould ChighalyFresh from the inspiration of Ragas Live Festival, we tried our hand at a novel combination of styles an instruments.  Mauritania’s greatest singer, Noura Mint Seymali and her husband/guitarist, Jeiche Ould Chighaly performed live in studio with two Brooklyn-based Hindustani musicians Jay Gandhi (bansuri flute) and Ehren Hanson (Tabla).  They met at the ASAMAAN Festival of Music & Astronomy in the Gorée Island – Dakar, Sénégal on April 2013 but had never performed together until this day.

We also got a chance to share a track from Noura’s burning new album Tzenni.

Noura Mint Seymali is a nationally beloved star and one of Mauritania’s foremost musical emissaries.  Born into a prominent line of Moorish griot, Noura began her career at age 13 as a supporting vocalist with her step-mother, the legendary Dimi Mint Abba.  Trained in instrumental technique by her grandmother, Mounina, Noura mastered the ardine, a 9-string harp reserved only for women.  Seymali Ould Ahmed Vall, Noura’s father and namesake, sparked her compositional instincts, himself a seminal scholar figure in Mauritanian music; studying Arab classical music in Iraq, devising the first system for Moorish melodic notation, adapting the national anthem, and composing many works popularized by his wife, Dimi.  Reared in this transitive culture where sounds from across the Sahara, the Magreb, and West Africa coalesce, Noura Mint Seymali currently drives the legacy forward as one of Mauritania’s most adventurous young artists.

Fueled by the exploratory sound of her husband Jeiche Ould Chighaly’s emotive psych guitar lines, Noura and Jeiche formed their first “fusion” band in 2004.  Jeiche, a master of the tidinit (aka. ngoni, xalam), brings the force of yet another important line of Moorish griot to bear, translating the tidinit’s intricate phrasing to a modified electric guitar with heroic effect.  His unique sound, mirroring vocal lines and then refracting their melodies into the either, was born out of years presiding over wedding ceremonies, directing the dance often as the sole melodic instrument.  In addition to his work with Noura, Jeiche remains one of Nouakchott’s most sought after guitarists for traditional ceremonies.

After two albums – Tarabe (2006) & El Howl (2010) – released locally in Mauritania and years of experimentation adapting Moorish music to various pop formations, Noura Mint Seymali’s current band is a concise return to the roots, a light formation led by the “azawan,” a word in Hassaniya that refers to the collective ensemble of traditional instruments; the ardine, tidinit, guitar.  Backed by a declarative, funk-speaking rhythm section, composed of Ousmane Touré (bass) and Matthew Tinari (drums), the band has made a formidable debut on the international stage, releasing two EPs – Azawan (2012) & Azawan II (2013) – and touring widely.  The band’s first full-length album for the international market – TZENNI –  is set for release via Gliiterbeat Records on June 20, 2014 and to be followed by an extensive North American tour.

Though performances at events like globalFEST (USA), Festival-au-Desert (Mali), Hayy Festival (Egypt), Jeux de Francophonie (France) and Festival Timitar (Morocco) and collaborations with artists like Tinariwen, Bassekou Kouyaté, and Baaba Maal, the band is actively exposing Mauritanian roots music to the world.  In a rare merger of cultural authority and experimental prowess, Noura Mint Seymali applies the ancient musical traditions of the griot with a savvy aesthetic engagement in our contemporary moment, emerging as a powerful voice at nexus of a changing Africa.