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RIP: Latin Music Loses 2 More Giants

Posted April 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Cheo-Feliciano

We have lost 2 great Latin musicians that will be missed. First, there was percussionist Armando Peraza, who played bongos and congas for Carlos Santana for over 20 years. Once a homeless orphan on the streets of Havana: “I was sleeping on the street…I grew up with a lot of violence,” he told Latin Beat magazine, an LA-based publication.
Peraza taught himself drums and rose …

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Show #48: Celebrating Cesaria Evora

Posted April 18, 2014 by | 1 Comment
cesaria-evora

A few days ago, I was in Cape Verde for the Atlantic Music Expo and Kriol Jazz Fest. At this music conference, I met up with a bunch of presenters and journalists and we drove all day up the coast of Santiago, Cape Verde. The driver played nothing but various Cesaria Evora albums all the way. It was a perfect soundtrack to the dry …

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Show #47: The Bass

Posted April 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments
barre phillips

I love basslines and good bass players, whether upright, Ampeg “baby basses” as used in tropical latin music, or electric basses used in most pop, blues, and rock music. In hip hop, basslines have given way to synth bass samples which you can hear a mile away. Musicians listen to the basslines when hearing a group.
The old joke goes like this, “A couple goes …

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Karol Conka Hits São Paulo, Brazil

Posted April 7, 2014 by | 2 Comments
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Karol Conka, né Karoline dos Santos Oliveria, is the leading exponent of a new Brazilian style, called, “Funk Ostentação”, also called, “Funk Paulista”, and “Funk of Ostentation”. Conka was born in Curitiba, Brazil in 1987. I just came across her music the other day. I didn’t know quite what to make of it.
I consulted with Robert Rogness, my go-to expert on all things Brazilian, …

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Show #46: The Hang

Posted April 4, 2014 by | 1 Comment
hangdrum

Some instruments when you see them don’t look like what you had thought. The steel pan from Trinidad and Tobago is one. The Jew’s harp is another. And then there is the hang.
It was invented a decade or so ago by a Swiss pair, Felix Rohner and Sabina Scharer in Bern. The hang is made of two pieces of metal, then tuned by heating …

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RIP: Frankie Knuckles, Godfather of House Music

Posted April 2, 2014 by | 2 Comments
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The world of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) was shocked to learn today of Frankie Knuckles‘ death at just 59 years of age of complications from diabetes.
Knuckles moved from New York and started deejaying in the late 1970s in Chicago. His influence has been enormous and spread worldwide. Electronic Dance Music superstars like Daft Punk, Paul Oakenfold, the Dutch duo Kraak and Smaak, DJ Cam, …

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New and Rediscovered Tunes

Posted March 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I listen to a fairly big number of albums each week. First I audition, then if I like the music I listen again, maybe in the car, and then if an album really grabs me, I listen with the reference system.
Here are 5 albums I’ve listened to repeatedly and enjoyed a lot.
1.    Valérie Milt & Les Violons du Roy / Concertos for Harp …

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Show #45: The Kora, Africa’s Beautiful Harp Lute

Posted March 28, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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The 21-string kora is West Africa’s traditional harp lute. It is part of West African musical history in Senegal, Guinea, Mali, and other countries.  It is a beautiful hand-crafted instrument: a large gourd is fashioned, a round neck is added, and the gourd part is covered in goatskin and ornamented with patterned beadwork. Kora players typically wear the flowing robes that make up traditional …

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World Music Teaches You Everything

Posted March 26, 2014 by | 2 Comments
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I majored in Humanities as an undergraduate because it was broad-based and I could take many courses, from California Geography to Entomology to history, philosophy,  languages and literature. Later, I took an MA in Comparative Literature for similar reasons: I could read the great writers from around the world, learning from epistolary novels (novels of letters e.g. Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Goethe’s Sorrows of Young …

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Remembering Ronald Shannon Jackson

Posted March 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Jazz drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson passed away in October of 2013. He was a powerful drummer in a band that broke down a lot of barriers and blended many genres of music: The Decoding Society. The Decoding Society was more edgy, funky, driving. Looking in my KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic archives and there is my aircheck of an interview I did with him on September …

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