Water is an elemental part of human existence, keeping us clean, hydrated and buoyant. We have manipulated it, polluted it, cleaned it and harnessed its power. Some live harmoniously with it while others usurp it.
I first became acquainted with the husband and wife team called DVA (two) when I saw their video "France Trance." "Quirky" did not adequately describe this humorous little gem, in which a balloon sings in faux French before "getting popped."
The massive Colours of Ostrava Festival books major (and less major) acts from the world over. This year, there was a special opening night entitled "Crossroads" dedicated solely to currents in Czech music.
Cynical music fans like to talk about the things that aren't happening today; things that aren't happening in jazz, that aren't happening in R&B. A few months ago, I was invited to witness what was happening at New York's Joe's Pub, in the person of recording artist, Somi.
Though she is uncomfortable with the label, Bebel Gilberto is, for many folks, bossa nova royalty: Her father, Joao Gilberto is arguably the founder of the quiet sophisticated distillation of samba, and her mother is the singer Miucha
The World Cup lets us non-Brazilians (and some Brazilians) bask for a moment again in the mythical Brazil -- land of dazzling futbol, beautiful beaches, sultry supermodels and supernatural jungles, all moving to a samba beat.
I expected a somewhat bare bones acoustic presentation from this, but as soon as I walked into sound check, I heard a fully electrified band warming up. The signature cavaquino (Portuguese ukulele) was there, but so was a synthesizer and a full kit.
Amira is certainly one of the best known of the new generation of Sevdah artists. Raised in Bosnia-Herzegovina, she learned most of the songs in her repertoire from her mother. She also displays the kind of bel canto interpretation that characterizes the form.
Without a chance to brush up on my poor speaking or understanding of French, I was whisked away from LA to Montréal, Canada after an invite came into my inbox to attend the 3rd annual world music conference/festival Mundial Montréal.
The sounds of the world are just that, and Saltarello's haunting harmonies from the Middle-Ages crossing into contemporary compositions, threw us into their Northern French Canadian region of Abitibi, cold and far, far away!