Artist Spotlight, Classical, Jazz, Music History, RIP »

David Baker (1931-2016): Musical Polymath Succeeded Despite Racism

Posted April 4, 2016 by | 0 Comments
David Baker practicing the trombone in the 1950s.

David Baker was a true polymath: writer, educator, trombone and cello virtuoso, conductor, composer. When I read his recent obituary in the New York Times, I was also reminded of Nina Simone.
After earning both bachelor and master’s degrees, Baker auditioned for the trombone chair in the Indianapolis Symphony. He was told, “You’re probably the best one we’ve heard, but we can’t employ you because …

African, Blues, French, Jazz, Middle East, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #152: Musical Potpourri Part 2

Posted April 1, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Sometimes I just feel like sharing music I love regardless of whether it’s new or old and no matter the genre. There are plenty of others crowing about what’s new, but often what is older is better since it’s stood the test of time.
That’s certainly true for Howlin’ Wolf (né Chester Burnett). He’s a Mississippi-born blues shouter I’ve always loved. I …

African, music phenomena, world music »

Overcoming Albinism in Africa – Two Stories

Posted March 30, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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An article earlier this week in the LA Times told the tale of a Tanzanian girl named Bibiana who was attacked because she was albino. Bibiana and Tindi Mashamba (also albino) had already lost their mother to asthma and their father to AIDs. Then somebody broke into their house and amputated Bibiana’s right leg and two of her fingers. A local foundation generously brought Bibiana to …

Artist Spotlight, Blues, Latin, music phenomena, Performances & Events »

The Rolling Stones in Cuba: Better for the Oldies than the Youth?

Posted March 28, 2016 by | 13 Comments
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The thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations is finally happening, and I am glad and grateful for it.
On the musical front, I heard NPR’s recent story on the Stones’ free concert in Havana before hundreds of thousands. Apparently only the older people will know the band; many of the younger folk interviewed had never heard of them. It isn’t surprising, given the embargo as well as limited …

African, brazilian music, Classical, Jazz, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #151: Musical Potpourri

Posted March 25, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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This week I just want to play deejay and lay down some tracks I’ve liked for a long time. Here are my picks:
Jhelisa had a number of hits as a member of The Shamen in the early 90′s, but I didn’t discover her until later. I love this cut from her 2006 CD A Primitive Guide to Being There.
The positive …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, New Releases, Performances & Events »

Peter Erskine’s Dr. Um Record Release Concert: Total Fun

Posted March 23, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Last Sunday afternoon, I had the most fun I’ve had at a concert in some time: Peter Erskine’s Dr.Um record release party at the Ann and Jerry Moss Theater at the New Roads School in Santa Monica. I ran into old friends like pianist Mike Lang, Robert Kraft, composer Vince Mendoza, and Julio Ledesma, who performed so brilliantly Ariel Ramirez’ moving Misa Criolla at …

African, Artist Spotlight, Asia, brazilian music, Performances & Events, world music »

Rhythm Planet Recommends: More Upcoming World Music Events

Posted March 21, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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There is a wealth of world music coming to Los Angeles soon. Let’s look at these terrific events — three of which are happening this Saturday, March 26!
1. Sounds of LA: Riyaaz Qawwali: Saturday, April 9, 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 10, 4 p.m. at Harold M. Williams Auditorium, The Getty Center.
From deep in the heart of Texas, this Austin-based sufi devotional music group features musicians …

Asia, French, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #150: New and Noteworthy Releases

Posted March 18, 2016 by | 2 Comments
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It’s once again time to showcase choice new releases.
We begin by reprising French singer Lou Tavano’s cool version of the Mongo Santamaria classic, “Afro Blue.”  Then we check out the Haitian band Lakou Mizik’s new CD on the Cumbancha label, a reliable curator and purveyor of good world music.
A new jazz singer, Jackie Gage, follows with the wonderful, witty standard “Comes Love.” …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Asia, Music History, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries, world music »

Anoushka Shankar’s “Land of Gold”: A Musical Response to Refugees and Victims of War

Posted March 16, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Countless singer-songwriters write and perform songs about love lost, heartbreak, or other personal issues. Anoushka Shankar has opted for the road not–or at most seldom–taken with her new album, Land of Gold.
In some ways it echoes her father Ravi Shankar’s and George Harrison’s 1971 The Concert for Bangladesh, a benefit concert, subsequent album, and documentary film to help seven million refugees displaced by the Bangladesh Liberation …

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

Rhythm Planet Recommends

Posted March 14, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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I’d like to recommend some upcoming shows you might enjoy if you’re not heading to SXSW. Good reasons to stay here in LA!
1. I’ve mentioned this concert in a previous post, but it is worth repeating: Vicente Amigo at the Wilshire Ebell Theater this Friday, March 18, 8 p.m. Paco de Lucia is no longer with us, but if you are a …

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