Posts Tagged ‘roberto fonseca’

BT River of Music Preview

Posted on May 31st, 2012 in News, Recent posts by .

Illustration by Vesa Sammalisto

Thankfully the sun has finally had the courtesy to grace us with its presence, and so marks the start of an unforgettable British summer. With the thrills and spills of handball and modern pentathlon to look forward to, one can be forgiven for perhaps being unaware of the vast array of art and music from around the world that is arriving on our shores soon. BT River of Music is a prime example of what’s in store.

Held over the weekend of July 21-22, the two-day free event is jam-packed full of artistic superstars and musical debutants. Peppered across six iconic sites along the River Thames, each venue will possess its own continental flavour. The six sites are the Tower of London (Americas stage), London Pleasure Gardens (Africa stage), Trafalgar Square and Somerset House (Europe stage), Battersea Park (Asia stage) and Greenwich Royal Naval College (Oceania stage). Keep an eye out for our indepth look at each stage in the coming weeks.  

The event will include sights and sounds from all 204 competing nations, from Khyam Allami to Penguin Cafe, Roberto Fonseca to The Barons of Tang; the extent of musical breadth is outstanding.

In the #85 issue, released June 8, we highlight three very different musical offerings playing at BT River of Music: Ondatropica, Mario Galeano and Will ‘Quantic’ Holland celebrate cumbia; Sing Sing, David Bridie project brings together 24 musicians from 18 different nations in the Australasian region; In Transit, a brand new collaboration featuring some of the most exciting artists from across the Gulf States.

Songlines HQ is very much looking forward to the summer ahead and we hope you all are too. For all the excuses being given to escape the capital, there are equally as many reasons to stay!

Sign up for your free* entry at Ticketmaster (*a £3 per ticket processing fee)

For the latest updates visit the BT River of Music website

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Top of the World Review: Roberto Fonseca – YO

Posted on April 28th, 2012 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Words by Jane Cornwell

No shirt, but plenty of ideas

A visual and aural treat from Havana’s proudest son, who lays himself bare on YO (that’s ‘I’ in Spanish) with impressive and often breathtaking results. Over the years, innumerable musicians have set out to trace Cuba’s African roots; very few have done so with such skill and flair, such daring and imagination as Fonseca. The pianist has come a long way from the talented kid who stepped in for the late and brilliant Rubén González in the Buena Vista Social Club and went on to woo the world with his singular blend of classical, jazz and Afro-Cuban music. His clutch of solo albums – including 2008’s Zamazu – and scorching live shows hinted at a pending masterwork.  YO is it. Fonseca’s decision to pose shirtless – and remarkably buff – on the album’s cover is a signifier of his musical rebirth, of his decision to move onto the next phase of his musical life. So we have the party-fied opener, a joyfully unhinged plunge into several genres at once, and a taster of YO’s 15-strong line-up of musicians and singers.

Singers such as Malian chanteuse-about-town Fatoumata Diawara, who lends her crystalline vocals to ‘Bibisa’, a track that features ngoni and kora and contrasts Cuban motifs (such as the clave) with African elements. This time Fonseca’s palette is large. Here is both electro and acoustic; the griot and Gnawa traditions; rock and funk; blues and jazz. The artist’s deep grounding in the Afro-Cuban Santéria religion is evident on ‘Mi Negra Ave Maria’, a Gilles Peterson-produced track originally composed by Fonseca and his mother but granted extra luminosity with a spoken-word ode by hip-hop MC Mike Ladd. Highlights like this are many. Phase two of Fonseca’s career, you feel, has only just begun.

Listen to a choice track from YO on the Top of the World CD included with the current issue (#84 June 2012). 

Subscribe now and receive this album for free (new subscribers only). To order, please click here

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Acclaimed actor Simon Russell Beale playlist and the 10 best new releases in the June issue of Songlines (#84)

Posted on April 26th, 2012 in News, Recent posts by .

The June 2012 issue of Songlines – on sale April 27 – features a free covermount CD packed full of the best new sounds from around the world, plus 5 tracks selected by acclaimed actor Simon Russell Beale.

The issue also features the second free CD Back2Black Festival Sampler.

The Top of the World CD includes tracks from Irish folk legends The Chieftains; Cuban jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca; Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars; Solomon Islands pan-pipers Narasirato; Cajun supergroup The Band Courtbouillon; and the Angolan street sound of Batida, among others.

Pick up your copy here on the website, at selected WHSmith’s and at all good record retailers. Feast your ears on these all-new tracks:

* Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars ‘Gbara Case’ on Cumbancha
* Roberto Fonseca ‘Quien Soy Yo’ on Jazz Village
* The Chieftains ‘The Frost is All Over’ on Concord
* Diabel Cissokho ‘Karambaya’ on World Village
* Soumik Datta & Bernhard Schimpelsberger ‘Orion’ on Baithak Records
* Cathy Jordan ‘The Bold Fenian Men’ on Blix Street Records
* The Band Courtbouillon feat. Wayne Toups, Steve Riley & Wilson Savoy ‘The Bosco Blues’ on Valcour Records
* Batida ‘Alegria’ on Soundway Records
* Dulsori ‘The Beat’ on ARC Music
* Narasirato ‘Mane Paina’ on Smash

Plus Simon Russell Beale’s playlist:

* Mzetamze ‘Suliko’ on Wergo
* Kapela Eugeniusz Wilczek Band ‘Nuty Sabalowe, Pre Zielone Jare Zytko, Sabalowe’ on Polskie Radio
* Anatoli Kuular ‘Borbangnadyr with Stream Water’ on Smithsonian Folkways
* Tenores di Bitti ‘Anghelos Cantade’ on Real World
* Philip Koutev National Folk Ensemble ‘Kaji, Kaji, Angjo’ on JVC/Victor Entertainment

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World music gigs around the UK

Posted on January 18th, 2012 in Recent posts by .

Before the end of January creeps up on us, we’ve put together a short list of gigs happening around the UK (particularly outside of London)!


29 Jan – Orchestra Baobab
The Sage Gateshead, Gateshead
Catch the Senegalese super group, Orchestra Baobab, before they head to London. They’ll be fusing Afro-Cuban rhythm and Portuguese Creole melody with Congolese rumba, high life and local styles.

5 Feb – Vieux Farka Touré
The Arches, Glasgow
One of Mali’s biggest guitarists will be playing as part of Glasgow’s Celtic Collections festival at the Arches. The night will bring desert blues, rock, jazz and Malian sounds.

8 Feb – An Evening of Indian Classical Music
Colston Hall, Bristol
The Asian Arts Agency will be presenting a night of classical Indian music, with Kiranpal Singh Deoora on the santoor, Sri Surjeet Singh on the sarangi and Manjeet Singh Rasiya on the tabla. There’ll also be a pre/post talk and workshop so that you can get to know more about the music, musicians and instruments.

10 Feb – Sura Susso
Jam Café, Nottingham
Gambian kora player, musician, griot and virtuoso, Sura Susso, will be playing once again in the town where he is based in. This is an excellent chance to see him in a very intimate venue!

19 Feb – Julaba Kunda
Kitchen Garden Café, Birmingham
For a cross-cultural collaboration, the Kitchen Garden Café will be hosting two traditional fiddle players, one from West African and the other from Northern Europe. Who are these fiddle players? Juldeh Camara and Griselda Sanderson. Expect to see traditional folk music with a twist.

3 March – Martin Alvarado
Bishop Grosseteste University College, Lincoln
One of the most significant Argentinian Tango artists will be playing in Lincoln, accompanying himself on the acoustic guitar with a repertoire of tangos. He will also be playing in other cities around the country, such as Warrington, Brighton and Leominster.

24 March – Maniere des Bohemiens
Nottingham Contemporary’s Café bar, Nottingham
If you’re a fan of Gypsy Jazz, pop down to Nottingham Contemporary’s Café bar for a mix of energetic eastern European Gypsy-folk.

30 March – Roberto Fonseca
St George’s Bristol, Bristol
The Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca is one of the biggest names in world jazz. He’ll be presenting his latest ensemble, where Afro-Cuban dance music will meet improvisation.

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