Wednesday, December 1, 2010



Harry Gruyaert
Chefchaouen, Morocco


bill withers ~ ain’t no sunsihine

bill withers, jr. (born july 4, 1938) is an american singer-songwriter and musician who performed and recorded from 1970 until 1985. withers was born the youngest of six children in the small coal-mining town of slab fork, west virginia. raised in nearby beckley, west virginia, withers was thirteen years old when his father died. he enlisted with the united states navy at age eighteen and served for nine years, during which time he became interested in singing and writing songs. soon after his discharge from the navy in 1965, he relocated to los angeles for a musical career. withers worked as an assembler for several different companies, including douglas aircraft corporation, while recording demo tapes with his own money, shopping them around and performing in clubs at night. when he debuted with the song “ain’t no sunshine” he refused to resign his job because of his belief that the music business was a fickle industry and that he was still a novice compared to other acts. (quotation)


brenna maccrimmon ~ evlerine varagele usandim

brenna maccrimmon is a canadian folk singer from toronto, ontario, who has been performing, studying and teaching balkan and turkish music since the late 1980s. she speaks and sings perfect turkish and is internationally acclaimed as a turkish folk singer. her interest in turkish music started with a trip to a local library in burlington, ontario when she was still a teenager. she describes this incident: “i came across these turkish albums, and I was really intrigued, there was just an emotional communication.” while taking an ethnomusicology class at university of toronto in the early 1980s, maccrimmon sought out local turkish musicians and was inspired to learn a folk instrument called the baglama. she then began playing and singing in a turkish community band. (quotation)

kara deniz ~ i told you

this is kara deniz – the musical project that was initiated by savvas pavlidis, a greek-born and cologne-based musician and composer. eastern mediterranean rhythms and sounds meet pop songwriting and electronic ambiences. traditional instruments such as oud, saz, bedir and pontic lyra melt together with electronic sounds, electric guitar and sequencer programming. (quotation)


yasmin levy ~ porque

yasmin levy, born on december 23, 1975 in jerusalem, is an ısraeli singer-songwriter of judaeo-spanish music. her late father, ısaac levy, was a composer and cantor, pioneer researcher into the long and rich history of the ladino music and culture of spanish jewry and its diaspora, being the editor of the ladino language magazine aki yerushalayim. with her distinctive and emotive style, yasmin has brought a new interpretation to the medieval ladino/judeo-spanish song by incorporating more “modern” sounds of andalusian flamenco and turkey, as well as combining instruments like the darbuka, oud, violin, cello, and piano. ın her second album, la judería (sp: “the jewish quarter”), she also covered the popular songs gracias a la vida by violeta parra and nací en alamó from the film vengo, directed by tony gatlif, which in its original version won the 2001 césar award for best music written for a film. (quotation)


ayup ogada ~ kothbiro

ayub ogada is a musician from kenya. ogada is one of the luo people of western kenya, and he received his first exposure to western culture early on. when he was six, his parents (also musicians), toured the college circuit in the u.s. ogada then returned to kenya with his parents, and was educated in a catholic school, then an english boarding school. after finishing school, he played for several years in a kenyan group called african heritage band, which fused traditional music with the sounds of rock and soul that ogada and bandmates heard regularly on the radio. in 1986, he decided to take his talents abroad. armed with his nyatiti (a lyre-like stringed instrument), he went to the u.k., and played on the streets for money. after the better part of a year, he was approached and asked to play at peter gabriel’s womad festival. (quotation)


farid farjad ~ golha

farid farjad is an ıranian descended american violin virtuoso. he was born in tehran (iran) in 1938. farjad, who has profound knowledge on persian folk music, also worked on classical western music with violin. his works on western classical music have had a large influence on the development of persian music. he left iran in 1978 and became citizen in the usa. (quotation)


ane brun ~ to let myself go

ane brun, real name ane brunvoll is a songwriter, guitarist and vocalist, born in molde, norway in 1976. since 2003 she has recorded six albums, three of which are studio albums, a live dvd and a collection of duets. she has lived in stockholm, sweden since 2001, where she writes, records and runs her own label (balloon ranger recordings) when not on tour. she moved from her home town in 1995 and spent the next few years moving between barcelona, oslo and bergen. ın bergen she began writing her own material while at university (jumping between courses in spanish, law and music) as well as making a living working in record shops and bars. after playing a few minor shows and recording her first demos in bergen in 1999, she moved first to uppsala and then to stockholm in 2001, where she started to take her musical career seriously. (quotation)


lena chamamyan ~ ya mayla al ghusson

lena chamamyan is a syrian singer of armenian descent. born in damascus, she started singing at an early age giving her first concert when she was five years old. was born in damascus city where she finished her elementary and secondary education through which she held many school concerts. the first of which she held at the age of five. she started to studying music at the age of nine, she graduated from the economics management department at damascus university in 2002. while she was studying at the higher institution of music in damascus , she graduated as a classical vocalist in 2007. (quotation)


tracy chapman ~ broken

tracy chapman was born in cleveland, ohio, where she was raised by her mother. despite not having much money, her mother recognized tracy’s love of music and bought her a ukulele at the age of three. tracy chapman began playing guitar and writing songs at the age of eight. she says she may have been first inspired to play the guitar by the television show hee haw. chapman was raised baptist and went to an episcopalian high school. she was quickly accepted into the program a better chance, which enabled her to attend wooster school in connecticut; she subsequently attended tufts university. at tufts she graduated with a b.a. degree in anthropology and african studies. (quotation)


forro in the dark ~ nonsensical

forro in the dark is a new york-based collective of brazilian expatriates that formed in 2002. the group combines the musical style of forró (pronounced “fo-ho”), “the percussion-heavy, rhythmic dance music” of their native brazil, with elements of rock, folk, jazz, and country. in celebration of his birthday, refosco invited some friends over for a forró-style jam session at nublu, a nightclub located in the east village district of new york city. the group was such a hit that they started a weekly residency at the club. their public prominence increased due to their extended residency at nublu, where they came into contact with prominent new york influence david byrne, who helped propel further recognition for the band when they collaborated on forro in the dark’s 2006 album bonfires of são joão. (quotation)


al andaluz project ~ morena

al andaluz project is a collaboration between the musicians of the german group estampie and the valencian l’ham de foc. after a estampie concert a visitor presented michael popp, musical director of the group estampie, with a recording and said: “this will probably find favour in your critical ears…”. it was a record of the band l´ham de foc from valencia (spain) who have put a name on the map of world music with their typical mixture of mediterranean, oriental and medieval music. with a smaller by-project focussing on sephardic music, amán amán, the band was to guest just a few weeks later in munich, estampie´s homebase. enthusiastic about the record, michael popp took the chance and proposed a mutual project to the spanish musicians. it didn´t take long to find out that they were birds of a feather, like-minded in musical as well as in human views, and the project made quick progress during several visits to valencia and munich. (quotation)

nim sofyan ~ straight jacket

nim sofyan is a word with many meanings: in anatolian music it is the term for 2/4 time. in the central european world music scene it is the name of an exceptional band as it can only evolve in the multicultural climate of the northernmost balkan metropolis, vienna. the sextet manages to combine lyrical elegance and unforgiving drive and with this mixture hits the nerve of time. electrifying music of the balkans and asia minor, garnished with the most interesting elements of mediterranean and western european world music plus an occasional pinch of funk and jazz. the first reddish brown wave of balkanic brass bands has just rolled over central europe, while a new wave of luminous emerald colour emerges from the south east and nim sofyan rides on it’s edge. the stable centre of this band is guitarist and lead vocalist alp bora from ankara with his seductive purple oriental-soul-voice, which has the power to tattoo the songs from armenia to greece and macedonia into the listeners’ hearts. (quotation)


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