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Bassekou Kouyati & Ngoni Ba Come to the Skirball Cultural Center—Thursday, July 30

Posted July 29, 2015 by | 2 Comments
Bassekou & Ngoni Ba

Bassekou Kouyaté and Ngoni Ba is authentic traditional Malian music at its best. Continuing a dynastic line of griot musicians, this exceptional family group has performed together for decades. This Thursday, July 30, the Skirball Cultural Center brings these artists to Los Angeles as part of their summer Sunset Concert series, which you won’t want to miss.
This group is one of my favorite bands from a stable of incredible …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, New Releases, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Me

Posted July 27, 2015 by | 2 Comments
Nusrat Forever

I first discovered Pakistani sufi maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in 1982 on one of Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD (World of Music and Dance) Festival benefit collection LPs, titled Music and Rhythm. It was the beginning of a 1980s phenomenon that would come to be known popularly as world music, right around the same time that King Sunny Ade would gain fame outside of Nigeria.
The most arresting track on the …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, Jazz, MBE Archive, New Releases, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #113: Branford Marsalis Quartet’s Tribute to John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”

Posted June 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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If I had to name a few of the greatest instrumental jazz records of all time, several artists would come to mind: Louis Armstrong, Ahmad Jamal, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis would be at the top of my list.
John Coltrane and his album, A Love Supreme, was music of an even higher order. It distinguishes itself from the rest by being not only …

African, Artist Spotlight, Interviews, Latin, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #108: The Spirit of Brazil Comes to Los Angeles—Saturday, May 30

Posted May 22, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Viver Brasil - Dancer

Los Angeles’s premier Brazilian dance company, Viver Brasil, will join forces with Sambaguru founder and singer-songwriter, Kátia Moraes, for a high-energy night of colorful rhythms and powerful movement at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo on Saturday, May 30. As the last of the 2014–2015 Aratani World Series performances, I promise you that it’ll be nothing short of an explosive season finale!
This week on Rhythm Planet, I was joined at the KCRW …

Art, Literature & Film, Asia, French, Interviews, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #107: Tom Interviews Director John Pirozzi of “Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock & Roll”

Posted May 15, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Don't Think I've Forgotten

For the past ten years, Director John Pirozzi has been traveling back and forth to Cambodia plumbing the archives in Phnom Penh, Paris, and elsewhere for his new documentary film, Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll, which screens this Friday and Saturday at the Laemmle Theater in North Hollywood. It’s a powerful musical journey through Cambodia’s Golden Age, the Vietnam War, and …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Performances & Events »

Quarter-Tone Trumpet Virtuoso Ibrahim Maalouf’s Debut in LA—May 21

Posted May 13, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Ibrahim Maalouf thumbnail

Ibrahim Maalouf, the Beirut-born, Paris-based quarter-tone jazz trumpet virtuoso, will make his LA debut at Le Lycée Français’s Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz on Thursday, May 21. Son of the great, classical Arabic quarter-tone trumpet player, Nassim Maalouf, the younger Maalouf won major classical trumpet competitions but chose not to follow in his father’s footsteps, instead pursuing his preferred studies in jazz.
For his U.S. tour debut, Ibrahim pays special tribute to the memory …

Artist Spotlight, Performances & Events »

Gurrumul’s L.A. Debut Tonight at the El Rey Theatre

Posted May 6, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Gurrumul

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu isn’t exactly a household name, but he is a singer you should know. He is a blind, aboriginal Gumatj singer from Elcho Island, a small island off the northern coast of Australia that is about a 100 square miles and has its own dialect, a language called Gumatj. With the voice of an angel, he sings songs about peace, love, and brotherhood with an …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

The Hi-Lo’s Amazing Album: And All That Jazz

Posted April 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments
HiLosMusical200

My flute teacher, Joe Nazzaretta, a great reed and wind player who studied at William Paterson University, and then privately with the great Joe Henderson, recently turned me onto a 1950s album by quartet The Hi-Lo’s And All That Jazz, on Columbia Records. The four vocalists: Gene Puerling, Don Shelton, Clark Burroughs, and Bob Morse named themselves The Hi-Lo’s because they sang both high and low notes in wonderful …

Artist Spotlight, Cape Verde, French, Jazz, Latin, Middle East, New Releases, Performances & Events »

Show #104: World of Music

Posted April 24, 2015 by | 0 Comments
artist-mamak-khadem

This week, I’ve got a trove of new releases of various styles. We start with Australian DJ/producer, Tim Sullivan, who goes by the moniker, This Soft Machine. His debut single, “On & On,” was first featured by fellow KCRW DJ, Mario Cotto, earlier this month and recalls former British rock band, The Kinks’s “You Really Got Me.” Then it’s Italian composer/pianist, Ludovico Einaudi, with his most adventurous album yet, the Taranta …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

April 24: Remembering the Armenian Genocide

Posted April 22, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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Last week, Pope Francis made international headlines when he publicly recognized April 24 as a day of remembrance of the Armenian genocide. Historically, the date marks the eve of these atrocities, beginning with the arrest and execution of several hundred intellectuals, professionals, civic and religious leaders, editors and other notables. The Ottoman Turks, in an effort to stave off the crumbling of their empire during The Great War, began …

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