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  • richardmitnick 9:07 AM on July 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , World Music   

    From Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts: “Angélique Kidjo” 

    Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

    From Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

    No image credit

    World Venetian Theater
    $25, $30, $40, $50, $60, $70


    Time magazine has called her “Africa’s premier diva.” Beninese singer, songwriter, activist, and Grammy-award winner Angélique Kidjo makes her Caramoor debut, bringing her “canyon-filling voice” (Billboard) and an energy that can’t help but inspire you to get up and dance! “The power of Kidjo’s unflappable voice, the range of her emotional expression, the stellar, genre-bending musicians who back her and the infectious, activist energy that courses through her songs all transcend any native tongue” (NPR Music).

    “Village traditions, cosmopolitan transformations, female solidarity, African pride and perpetual energy have been constants in Ms. Kidjo’s recording career.” — The New York Times


    Angélique Kidjo, vocals
    Dominic James, guitar/vocals
    Michael Olatujo, bass/vocals
    Magatte Sow, percussion/vocals
    Edgardo Serka, drums


    Three-time Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo is one of the greatest artists in international music today, a creative force with thirteen albums to her name. Time Magazine has called her “Africa’s premier diva.” The BBC has included her in its list of the continent’s 50 most iconic figures, and in 2011 The Guardian listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World. Forbes Magazine has ranked Angelique as the first woman in their list of the Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa. She is the recent recipient of the prestigious 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

    As a performer, her striking voice, stage presence, and fluency in multiple cultures and languages have won respect from her peers and expanded her following across national borders. Kidjo has cross-pollinated the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America.

    With thirteen albums to her name, Angélique Kidjo has been named as the first woman in Forbes‘ list of the Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa, one of The Guardian‘s Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World, and is the winner of three Grammy Awards.

    The new year brings us Angélique’s newest project, her interpretation of The Talking Heads’ classic 1980 album, Remain in Light. She will record her version of the album with superstar producer Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Jay Z, Drake, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, and Taylor Swift), taking classic songs such as Crosseyed and Painless, Once in a Lifetime, and Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) and reinterpreting them with electrifying rhythms, African guitars, and layered backing vocals. Angélique will bring this musical extravaganza to concert halls and festivals across the globe including a premier performance at Carnegie Hall and U.S. festival debut at Bonnaroo in 2017.

    Her star-studded album DJIN DJIN won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Album in 2008, and her album OYO was nominated for the same award in 2011. In January 2014 Angélique’s first book, a memoir titled Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music (Harper Collins) and her twelfth album, EVE (Savoy/429 Records), were released to critical acclaim. EVE later went on to win the Grammy Award for Best World Music Album in 2015, and her historic, orchestral album Sings with the Orchestre Philharmonique Du Luxembourg (Savoy/429 Records) won a Grammy for Best World Music Album in 2016.

    Angélique has gone on to perform this genre-bending work with several international orchestras and symphonies including the Bruckner Orchestra, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the Philharmonie de Paris. Her collaboration with Philip Glass, title IFÉ: Three Yorùbá Songs, made its US debut to a sold out concert with the San Francisco Symphony in June 2015. In addition to performing this new orchestral concert, Angélique continues to tour globally performing the high-energy concert she’s become famous for with her four-piece band. Her rousing live show was recently captured at the revered Austin City Limits and made its television debut in January 2016.

    Angelique also travels the world advocating on behalf of children in her capacity as a UNICEF and OXFAM goodwill Ambassador. She created her own charitable foundation, Batonga, dedicated to support the education of young girls in Africa.

    149 Girdle Ridge Road
    PO Box 816
    Katonah, NY 10536
    p: 914.232.5035 f: 914.232.5521 e: info@caramoor.org

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts is a destination for exceptional music, captivating programs, spectacular gardens and grounds, and wonderful moments with friends and family. It enriches the lives of its audiences through innovative and diverse musical performances of the highest quality. Its mission also includes mentoring young professional musicians and providing educational programs for young children centered around music.

    Audiences are invited to explore the lush grounds, tour the historic Rosen House, enjoy a pre-concert picnic, and discover beautiful music in the relaxed settings of the Venetian Theater, Spanish Courtyard, Music Room of the Rosen House, and the magnificent gardens.

    The story of Caramoor, the Rosens, Lucie’s Theremin, the Art Collections and our History is rich and diverse.

    John Schaefer

    For new music by living composers

    newsounds.org from New York Public Radio


    For great Jazz

    88.3FM http://wbgo.org/

    WPRB 103.3FM

    Dan Buskirk Spinning Jazz Mondays 11:00AM-1:00PM
    Will Constantine Jr, Blues Bop and Beyond Thursdays 11:00-2:00 featuring Latin Jazz
    Jerry Gordon Serenade to a Cookoo Frdays 11:00AM-2:00PM with Jerry’s Room at 1:00Pm
    Jeannie Becker Sunday Jazz 10:00AM-1:00Pm

    Please visit The Jazz Loft Project based on the work of Sam Stephenson
    Please visit The Jazz Loft Radio project from New York Public Radio

  • richardmitnick 5:25 PM on May 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, Lisa Gerard, No real categories fit here, , World Music   

    From NYT: “An Unlikely Union Between an ’80s Rock Star [?, hardly apt] and a Folk Choir Blossoms in Bulgaria” 

    New York Times


    From The New York Times

    May 28, 2018
    Jim Farber

    Boryana Dimitrova Katsarova for The New York Times

    Thirty-one years ago, a recording by an all-female Bulgarian choir singing in a thousand-year-old style somehow wound up selling a startling 500,000 copies in the United States.

    The mysterious breakthrough of the group’s self-titled album, Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares (The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices), coupled with the release of Paul Simon’s Graceland, helped usher in a “world music” movement. A follow-up album from the women bagged a Grammy in 1989, and they toured to sold-out crowds around the world.

    “The whole appeal was in their a cappella singing,” said Robert Hurwitz, who paid only $8,000 to license the original Le Mystère album in America for Nonesuch, the label he then led. “The purity of their sound was thrilling.”

    Now, after more than two decades away from the studio, the choir is returning — but with a sound that isn’t quite so pure. Their comeback release, BooCheeMish, matches the choir’s folkloric harmonies to multitudes of instruments, not all of them traditional. It also includes collaborations with a singer and songwriter who comes from a wholly different style and culture: Australian-born Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance.

    Lisa Gerrard Circa 1980 by Sanvean

    Oh, and there’s a hip-hop beat boxer in the mix. (SkilleR, a.k.a. Alexander Deyanov).

    Lisa Gerard Circa 2018 by Boryana Dimitrova Katsarova for The New York Times

    The man who worked on arranging and composing the new music, Petar Dundakov, knows he’s about to face considerable skepticism from old fans, but he remains undaunted. “We want to broaden the sound to find a new audience,” he said. “We don’t want to stay in a museum. The deep question is, can you move folklore forward.”

    Ms. Gerrard emphasized that she, and the choir’s other new collaborators, took pains not to corrupt the women’s essential sound. “We’re walking toward them, not the other way around,” she said. “If anybody is changed by this, it’s me.”

    The choir actually began changing how Western listeners heard harmonies far earlier than the ’80s. In 1966, a recording from the choir, on which they performed updated arrangements of traditional folk tunes from the conductor Filip Kutev, was released on Nonesuch’s “Explorer” series and sold more than any other album on that imprint. Stars like Frank Zappa, David Crosby and Graham Nash repeatedly marveled over their vocal techniques in interviews, fueling interest in the release. Then, in 1975, the Swiss ethnomusicologist Marcel Cellier released a cassette of the choir on his own label, based on field recordings he had made since the 1950s. That’s the recording Mr. Hurwitz came across in a Parisian record store in the 1980s.

    “It took about 10 seconds to realize it was something I really adored,” he said.

    While he licensed the album for America, the edgy British label 4AD snapped it up for that country, where it promptly sold over 100,000 copies. Ms. Gerrard, who recorded for 4AD at the time, first heard the women with that release. “They were like lights, full of hope against any adversity,” she said. “They created a cathedral in the mouth.”

    While she couldn’t reproduce their complex sound (“I nearly broke my voice trying,” she said), the music influenced pivotal songs she wrote for Dead Can Dance like The Host of Seraphim. Despite all the exposure the women enjoyed at their peak, the collapse of the Communist government in Bulgaria at the end of the ’80s put them in a precarious position. Since 1952, the choir had been funded by the government, which gave them steady exposure on state-run TV and radio stations. “The government supported professional folk artists in order to build a community identity for a socialistic society,” Mr. Dundakov said.

    After more than two decades away from the studio, the choir is returning with an updated sound that even includes a hip-hop beat boxer.CreditBoryana Dimitrova Katsarova for The New York Times

    Forced to compete in the free market, many of the women had to take jobs teaching singing to scrape by. While the choir continued to tour over the last 20 years, there wasn’t money for a recording until funding was found by the album’s executive producer, Boyana Bounkova. To help flesh out the music, she hired Mr. Dundakov, who has written jazz and electronic music, as well as modern classical compositions. He contacted a host of Western singers about collaborating with the choir, which includes two women from the 1980s recordings. But only Ms. Gerrard proved suitable.

    In her work with Dead Can Dance, as well as on solo releases and soundtracks for films like Gladiator, she had sung in an otherworldly style, often employing a self-created language. Even so, Ms. Gerrard says, she had “a huge learning curve.”

    “I didn’t try to copy them, because I can’t,” she said. “With Western Bel Canto singing, it’s from the diaphragm, the belly and the head. With Bulgarian singing, it’s from the chest. It’s not a voice that’s trained. It’s a natural voice.”

    While other stars have used the sound of the choir in the past — from a collaboration with Kate Bush in the ’80s on three songs (Deeper Understanding Never Be Mine, and Rocket’s Tail) to a more recent sample in a song by Jason Derulo — Ms. Gerrard feels the women had previously been used “as wallpaper.” For his part, Mr. Dundakov worked hard to write, or arrange, songs for the choir that sounded strikingly different from those created by Mr. Kutev on earlier recordings. He retained many traditional instruments, like the kaval and gadulka, and also made the decision not to have any modern drums or electric instruments. He admits “there were a lot of doubts” about adding a beat boxer, but ultimately decided that the hip-hop technique is “part of the folklore of the 21st century” Also, “it all happens in the mouth,” like the choir’s singing.

    Given all the trial and error, it took three years to complete the album, which its creators named for a local flower that grows between rocks. They view the title as a metaphor for music they believe blooms between cultures. “There is something in the heart of human beings that desires to be understood, and not necessarily through words,” Ms. Gerrard said. “Language can trap you. We want to share this music with the world to show that we’re not so far away from each other.”

    [I myself must admit that this whole story takes me way back into my musical past. I have, I just counted, 23 albums with Lisa Gerard at their heart.]

    See the full article here .



    Stem Education Coalition

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