Artist Spotlight, Featured, Interviews, Latin, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Ibrahim Ferrer: “The Older Chicken Makes a Better Soup”

Posted January 18, 2017 by | 0 Comments

I’ve been poking around my interview archives and thought it would be nice to select a few to share again. The first one, apropos of the recent focus on Cuba, is an interview with the late Ibrahim Ferrer (1927-2005), who finally won fame late in life when he joined the all-star Buena Vista Social Club. I first heard about the now-celebrated Buena Vista Social Club (BVSC) …

brazilian music, Classical, Featured, Jazz, Performances & Events »

January Concerts to Catch

Posted January 4, 2017 by | 1 Comment

Above, top row: Thalma de Freitas, Steve Reich, Andy Summers. Bottom row: Anoushka Shankar, Harold Mabern, Billy Childs.
As we recover from the busy holidays and regroup ourselves for 2017, I wanted to alert Rhythm Planet readers to a number of upcoming January concerts that I thought might be of interest (and worth the effort to catch).

Anoushka Shankar will perform her father Ravi …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, Middle East, New Releases, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #189: Showcase: Lebanese Oud Master Marcel Khalife

Posted December 16, 2016 by | 0 Comments

I first heard the music of Marcel Khalife, the Lebanese-born oud virtuoso, when a guest host on Morning Becomes Eclectic brought in a bunch of Arab LP’s, including a beguiling song for oud and voice. I had it on a cassette air check for years, but didn’t know what exactly it was until recently. The song was “Land of the South,” from an album called Al Mayadine: Of All the …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Middle East, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP, world music »

Remembering Samir Hachem and His Gift of Arabic Music

Posted December 14, 2016 by | 0 Comments

During my “Morning Becomes Eclectic” days, I used to invite many guest hosts to come in and share their musical knowledge. Charlie Haden was the most frequent visitor, bringing in sweeping classical albums as well as old-timey mountain music that he grew up with in Missouri. Don Cohen, a busy attorney and passionate fadista–follower of Portugal’s great fado music–turned me onto Amalia Rodrigues, Carlos do …

Classical, Featured, Performances & Events »

L’Arpeggiata brings “Teatro d’Amore” to the Walt Disney Concert Hall

Posted November 15, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Last week, the world watched, stunned, as America elected Donald Trump to succeed President Obama. Around noon on Election Day here in the US, L’Arpeggiata posted to their Facebook: “Today: watching elections on American TV in the hotel room in Los Angeles… Tomorrow: concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall…” Still bubbling with my own Election Day optimism, I ’Liked’ and commented, “So excited for …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Latin, New Releases, Performances & Events, world music »

Diego El Cigala’s Hot New Release: Flamenco Meets Fania

Posted November 7, 2016 by | 1 Comment
Image courtesy

Flamenco singer Diego El Cigala‘s career exploded when he recorded Lagrimas Negras with legendary Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés in 2003. By “legendary” I mean patriarch of the Valdés piano clan (with Chucho and Chuchito) as well as his regular employ as music director and pianist of the swank, pre-Castro Havana nightclub, The Tropicana. Never has a duet album travelled so far so fast. El Cigala …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Performances & Events, world music »

A Beautiful Evening with Flamenco Legend Tomatito

Posted October 26, 2016 by | 1 Comment
Photo by Sari Makki Phillips

Flamenco guitarist Tomatito and his group performed for the first time in Los Angeles last Friday night at the Wilshire Ebell Theater as part of the LA Flamenco Festival. I was thrilled to have been there to enjoy this passionate, intense, and beautiful concert.
Tomatito has the singular distinction of being the late singer Camarón de la Isla‘s guitarist. He took over Camarón’s guitarist mantle after Paco de Lucia …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, French, Middle East, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries, world music »

Artists You Should Know: Thierry “Titi” Robin

Posted October 17, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Thierry “Titi” Robin is a French musician and composer. Mostly, however, he is an intrepid musical traveler. He plays guitar, Arabic oud, Turkish buzuq and other instruments of both European and Moorish origin. He has collaborated with Rajasthani gypsy, Indian, flamenco, and Pakistani musicians. He is a musical polymath equally at home in a variety of musical environments and cultures.
I discovered his work years ago on …

Classical, Featured, French, Jazz, Latin, Performances & Events »

France/Russia/Colombia/Cuba/New York: A Musical World Tour in DTLA

Posted October 10, 2016 by | 0 Comments
Photo by Guido Herrera-Yance

While many L.A. residents probably headed to Oldchella this past weekend to see the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Neil Young, I trekked downtown and enjoyed two very different concerts.
The L.A. Philharmonic presented a French-Russian program at Disney Hall on Friday night. On the bill was Maurice Ravel‘s gorgeous Piano Concerto in G, followed by Igor Stravinsky‘s rousing Firebird. Ravel only wrote two piano …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, Jazz, MBE Archive, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #179: Michel Petrucciani: Amazing Virtuosity Despite All Odds

Posted October 7, 2016 by | 2 Comments

In the summer of 1981, I went to Paris on vacation. I squeezed in a few visits to record labels as part of my job as KCRW’s Music Director. The station was known in Paris and other French cities because we always sent various record companies our playlists, and I frequently sent my interviews to Jazz Magazine and other music publications there.
One of the labels I …

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