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RIP: Latin Music Loses 2 More Giants

Posted April 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments

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

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 …

Cultures, Featured, Music History »

The Musical Culture of Cape Verde

Posted April 16, 2014 by | 0 Comments

I have never seen so much music come from so small a country. There are only eight small islands in this West African archipelago, but there is an enormous amount of music that comes from them. I am in Praia, capital city of Santiago, the biggest commercial capital of the islands. The other islands are Brava, Santa Luzia, Sal, Boa Vista, Maio, Fogo, Sao Nicolau, …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History, Recollections »

Cape Verde’s Cesaria Evora

Posted April 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments

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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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 …

Cultures, Featured, Rediscoveries »

Cape Verde: The Spirit of Morabeza

Posted April 9, 2014 by | 1 Comment
cape verde beach

A few years ago, one of my favorite Cape Verdean artists, Boy Ge Mendes, released an album called Noite de Morabeza. I never quite knew what the word “morabeza” meant.
But now, on just my second day in Praia, on the island of Santiago in Cape Verde, I do.
Morabeza is both a word and a concept, a lifestyle, a way of seeing and understanding things …

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Karol Conka Hits São Paulo, Brazil

Posted April 7, 2014 by | 2 Comments

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

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 …

Featured, Music Evolution, Music History, RIP »

RIP: Frankie Knuckles, Godfather of House Music

Posted April 2, 2014 by | 2 Comments

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, …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, New Releases, Recollections, Rediscoveries »

New and Rediscovered Tunes

Posted March 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments

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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