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Borderless Sounds: The New North Africa

North African music receives very little coverage in the United States. There are no high-profile mixes of recent Tunisian underground dance music from hip DJs, and no young Algerian musicians with major distribution deals in the U.S. So we decided … Read more »

Blog »

Tweets »

Blog A Look at What’s New in Raï
Blog HUMANBEING: Raja Kassis on Mbalax, His New Album and Touring the World
Blog This Is New Africa: New Single From Fuse ODG Featuring Angel
interview Berber Metal and Acid Tamazgha: Black Spring’s Christophe Hancox
Blog Gnawa Reggae: A Primer
Blog Featured Artists: Borderless Sounds–The New North Africa

Reviews »

  • Siria-Mestre-Cupijo-e-Seu-Ritmo-Artwork
    Siriá

    Slavery was legal in Brazil for almost 400 years. From the early 1500s until the practice was abolished there in 1888, some 4.5 million African men and women were shipped across the Atlantic to Portuguese settlements in the Amazon, where … Read more »

  • Benyoro_KairaBa_web
    New Music From Mande America: “Benyoro” and “The Great Peace” ,

    The U.S. continues to produce bands composed of West Africans and Americans performing electric music at ever mounting levels of proficiency and musicality. Two particularly impressive examples—Benyoro out of New York City, and Diali Cissokho and Kaira Ba out of … Read more »

  • CongoX3
    Three From the Congo! ,,

    Three new CD releases attest to the ongoing vitality and diversity of contemporary music connected with the Democratic Republic of Congo.  These releases—one by expatriates in Paris, one by a U.S.-based singer/bandleader skilled in fusing Congolese and Latin music, and … Read more »

  • Frikstailers - Crop Circles EP Cover Art (Still)
    Frikstailers: Crop Circles

    Frikstailers, the Argentine DJ duo Rafa Caivano and Lisandro Sona, have once again proven their title as the “indisputable galactic emperors of tropical futurism.”  Their new EP Crop Circles demonstrates the ways in which cumbia has transformed itself to meet … Read more »

Siriá

Slavery was legal in Brazil for almost 400 years. From the early 1500s until the practice was abolished there in 1888, some 4.5 million African men and women were shipped across the Atlantic to Portuguese settlements in the Amazon, where … Read more »

NYC Events »

  • Wed Aug 20

    Location: Barbes (Google Maps)

    Time: 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm

    THE MANDINGO AMBASSADORS. Every Wednesday
    In the 1960's and 1970's, the government of Guinea engaged in a campaign known as Authenticité. It was a drive to create a new musical movement that would be specifically Guinean, but would include the modern wonders that were the electric guitar, the electric bass and the drumset. Musicians were given instruments and orchestras were formed. Surprisingly, the results proved mesmerizing and a myriad new bands were born. Many of them would go on to have a profound and lasting impact on African music. Mamady Kouyate was one of those pioneers. He played in various bands - his own band, Les Ambassadeurs du Mandingue, being one of them - but is probably best known as the guitarist in the the classic Bembeya Jazz National. Kouyate, who now lives in NY, has reformed the Mandingo Ambassadors, updating the sound of his youth, but keeping it very close to the standard of Authenticité. The new All-Star band includ es Ismael Kouyate - vocals; Mamady Kourouma - guitar; Oran Etkin - tenor sax & clarinets; Sylvain Leroux - flute, tambin and alto sax; Andy Algire - drums; Nick Cudahy - bass and Mamady Kouyate - guitar. “dazzling vocal and guitar patterns over a rhythm section that is like a perfect system” Ben Ratliff, NY Times.

  • Thu Aug 21

    Location: Zinc Bar, West 3rd Street, New York, NY, United States (Google Maps)

    Time: 11:59 pm to 2:00 am

    The essence of AfroCuban music is expressed in the Rumba: intoxicating polyrhythmic percussion, played on multiple drums, accompanied by call and response singing. Master percussionist Roman Diaz, the leader of the Abakuá society brought to Cuba from Calabar, West Africa, is regarded as a “living repository” of Cuba's folkoric music. As a member of the seminal Cuban rumba ensemble Yoruba Andabo, he continued the work of the legendary percussionist Pancho Quinto in creating a new definition of traditional Cuban rumba.

    Román Díaz left Cuba in 1999 to come to New York City. Since then he has been featured alongside Orlando “Puntilla” Rios in the critically acclaimed documentary Calle 54, and in ‘Dame La Mano’ the film that documents the life and times of Union City’s Esquina Habanera, the Grammy-nominated rumba ensemble Raíces Habanera and their followers.

    His mastery of the batá drum is present on countless recordings along with his rock solid groove on congas. He has always been sought after for his artistic sensibility, charisma and signature sound. As a producer, he has brought together some of the finest interpreters of Rumba from the island as documented on the CD, Wemilere. In the U.S., Diaz has collaborated with many musicians including the New Orleans jazz great Donald Harrison, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Paquito D’Rivera, Juan-Carlos Formell, Oriando “Puntilla” Rios and AfroHORN.

  • Fri Aug 22

    Location: B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, New York, NY, United States (Google Maps)

    Time: 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

    Showtimes @ 7pm & 9pm
    Doors Open @ 6pm & 8:30pm
    Tickets $12 in advance, $15 day of show

    Ze Luis (Jose Luis Segneri Oliveira) is a composer, arranger, producer and multi-instrumentalist, playing woodwinds, guitar and percussion. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, he relocated to New York City where he is an in demand composer and producer.

    A leading saxophonist in Brazil in the 1980s, Ze Luis has performed and recorded with--and arranged and composed for--many of the biggest names in Brazilian music, such as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Tania Maria and Cazuza to name a few, and has been featured as a composer, arranger, producer and instrumentalist on hundreds of recordings, including albums, film soundtracks and advertisements. He worked with Gilberto Gil on the original score of director Carlos Diegues' film Subway to the Stars, which was nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes and was the Brazilian entry at the Academy Awards in 1987.

    Ze Luis continues his longtime association with Bebel Gilberto on her latest album, All In One (Verve), nominated for the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album, on which Ze is credited as flautist and arranger. In 2011, he was co-producer and arranger with Bebel Gilberto of the song "Samba de Orly", which appeared in the motion picture Rio and on its soundtrack album.

    As a solo artist, Ze Luis produced the self-titled Ze Luis EP and two albums of his compositions, Guarani Banana and Caiapo. He has also written the soundtracks for "Beyond The Streets", a short movie selected at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and "Color Thief" awarded best short film at the 2013 Madrid Film Festival, and contributed four songs to the ecology-themed Green Heart compilation. Acclaimed in the American press, Ze Luis and his work have garnering enthusiastic coverage in DownBeat, Saxophone Journal, Rhythm and Jazziz, among many other publications. - See more at: http://www.bbkingblues.com/bio.php?id=4074#sthash.cYANotfe.dpuf

  • Fri Aug 22

    Location: Zinc Bar, West 3rd Street, New York, NY, United States (Google Maps)

    Time: 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm

    “The Afro-Peruvian Sextet is writing a new chapter in the history of Latin Jazz” --Rifftides
    “Trumpeter Gabriel Alegria stands poised to introduce Afro-Peruvian Jazz to the world.” –All About Jazz
    “deeply funky 12/8 rhythm!” –Hartford Advocate

  • Fri Aug 22

    Location: Best Buy Theater, Broadway, New York, NY, United States (Google Maps)

    Time: 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm

    Showtime: 9:00 PM
    Doors open: 8:00 PM
    Ages: 16 & Over
    Ticket Prices*: $95.00

    He is considered Jamaica’s greatest practicing singer/songwriter and anyone who has listened to his CDs or experienced the fervor elicited by his live performances would undoubtedly agree with that top-ranking assessment. His recent appearance at Jamaica’s premier music festival, Reggae Sumfest, was unanimously hailed as the finest of the three-night event as he tore through hit after hit, some dating back to the mid 70s, consistently captivating an audience of nearly 20,000 who sang along so loudly to his beloved songs, they sometimes threatened to drown him out. That Sumfest 2008 performance was but another special moment in time within this adored artist’s enduring and truly exceptional career.

    The passionate singing, superb songwriting and consummate showmanship displayed by Beres Hammond at Sumfest, which has distinguished his music over the past 35 years, brilliantly shines throughout his latest release, the aptly titled “A Moment In Time”. Estimated by Beres to be his 25th album, “A Moment In Time” offers organically crafted rhythms, created by Jamaica’s finest musicians, ranging from sultry R&B to rousing gospel accents, avant-garde jazz to mesmerizing roots reggae. An almost entirely self produced effort recorded at Beres’ Harmony House studio in Kingston, “A Moment In Time” features fourteen new selections including the devotional “I’ll Live Again”, a percussive driven homage to the motherland “Talking Africa” and several lovers rock tunes reflecting the vicissitudes of romantic relationships for which Beres sets the standard in contemporary (Jamaican) music. “Reggae is my foundation so I give much respect and love to it, but I don’t call myself a reggae singer, the Father would never forgive me for that,” says the 53 year old singer/songwriter/producer. “I sing what feels good, so any which form the music comes in, a hard-core reggae vibe or a little more subtle, you find a rhythm that complements what you are saying. When I started out, I never saw R&B, reggae, ballads, no, I just knew I had a voice and I wanted to make music that fits the voice.”