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Easter Island’s Only Concert Pianist

Posted April 23, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I recently saw a BBC feature by a Santiago-based correspondent on a young woman named Mahani Teave who is Easter Island’s only classical pianist. These are the type of stories I find truly inspiring.
When you think of this remote and isolated South Pacific island, you normally think of moai, those huge stone figures whose origins and presence have mystified people for a long time. …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, RIP »

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 #50: Celebrating Cesaria Evora

Posted April 18, 2014 by | 1 Comment
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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 …

Artist Spotlight, Cape Verde, Featured, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Cape Verde’s Cesaria Evora

Posted April 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I have spent the last week in Cape Verde, 300 miles southwest of Dakar, Senegal. The islands were discovered in 1460 by a Portuguese explorer named Diego Gomes, who was en route to Goa, India. All he found were volcanic islands uninhabited except for a few goats wandering around.
I have come to this country for the music. I featured Cape Verdean music by the …

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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, …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, MBE Archive, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP »

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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The Rare Beauty Of Susanne Abbuehl

Posted March 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Susanne Abbuehl is a Swiss born jazz singer who happened to live in Los Angeles for awhile in her earlier years studying music. After discovering the wondrous beauty of Abbuehl’s recent ECM album The Gift, I looked at this 2006 album, Compass.
Compass is a fascinating album taking you on a cerebral voyage. It draws on material perhaps even more eclectic than the Bronte / Dickinson / Teasdale poetry featured …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History »

Hampton Hawes: Jazz Great Pardoned by JFK

Posted March 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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 A few months ago, I read with interest a New York Times article a story about how a jazz pianist and a great American president’s lives coincided in a small bit of history. The article was called, The President of the Cool.
Hampton Hawes (1928-1977) was one of the great jazz pianists; fiercely independent, he learned everything, improvisation, technique, harmony, theory, music history, on his …

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Arabic Twist On The Theme From Shaft

Posted March 5, 2014 by | 0 Comments
malik adouane

Years ago on PRI’s The World’s end-of-program feature called Global Hit, Marco Werman featured a tantalizing version of the Isaac Hayes classic, complete with the wah-wah pedal and drum riff that opens the song. This version was by an French artist of both Algerian and Celtic parentage named Malik Adouane. The version of the song I got was on an collection called Beur-FM, a …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, RIP »

RIP: Flamenco Giant Paco de Lucia

Posted February 26, 2014 by | 1 Comment
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Paco de Lucia, a giant of flamenco, has died of a sudden heart attack. He passed away yesterday while on vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico with his children. He had several homes, both in Spain, Mexico, and other places.  He was 66.
“Paco lived as he wished and died playing with his children beside the sea,” a statement offered by the de Lucia family …

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