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The University of Hartford

Music Review from the Rest of the World
By Brian Grosjean

Sharon Katz and The Peace Train
Appleseed Recordings

Imbizo marks the first international release of South Africa’s activist and composer Sharon Katz and The Peace Train. She collected 70 musicians from South Africa, West Africa and the United States to record an inspiring mix of high-energy modern township jive, folk rock and rap over African rhythms and horns. She addresses personal and political statements including her involvement with the political evolution of South Africa, the nation’s AIDS epidemic, and issues of the heart such as love and relationships. On the album are several “Graceland” veterans and Malo-D providing bass and backing vocals. Sharon’s work on a peaceful transition to Democracy in South Africa has been recognized by Nelson Mandela for her project “When Voices Meet”, her exciting 1993 rail tour carrying a 150-voice choir including Ladysmith Black Mambazo and subsequent international tour. Imbizo is only the latest of Sharon’s musical extravaganzas. Earlier projects included the National Theatre of Ghana, an album with Sting and Elton John, and one with 200 African performers and South Africa's Philharmonic Orchestra

Qalam Kar
Harmonia Mundi

The zarb is a hand drum with a pedigree in Iranian classical music. It has a very long tradition of accompanying vocal performers, but only developed its own body of performance music in the twentieth century mainly through the efforts of Master Hossein Teherani. Djamchid Chemirani was one of his most gifted students. He moved to Paris in 1961 where he held court as renowned percussionists played alongside him before going on to pursue their own musical careers. This album presents Djamchid with his sons Keyvan and Bijane. The sons were both accomplished masters of Iranian percussion with a catalog of crossovers into Oriental and Mediterranean music before joining their father in 1988. They accompany their father’s zarb and the beautiful vocals on one track with bandir and Spanish Cajon. In Iranian classical music there is a scholarly bent, which keeps the traditions alive, and promotes the refinement of the art. However, the adventurous can be stifled and ignored. So it is with pleasure that a compromise is found in the Chemiranis playing and enjoying themselves. Also included is a Quicktime video.

Soneros de Vardad presents Pio Leiva
Pimienta 176 160 516-2

Out of the seemingly bottomless golden age of the classic generation of Cuban Soneros, another Cuban star has surfaced to our great pleasure. You know Pio Leiva as the sonero for The Buena Vista Social Club. He also tours by himself, with the Afro Cuban All Stars and Sonoros de Verdad. He was a singer for Compay Segundo. This album, recorded in Havana and mixed in Germany, showcases some of his greatest hits, including Francisco Guayabal, the bolero Cuando Ya no me Quieras, and Pio Mentiroso.
Joining him, as additional vocalists are Luis Frank from Sonoros de Verdad on Sonoro de Verdad and Pare Bailar mi Son. Using his 60 years of experience, Pio Leiva improvises with the band. His aged voice still goads them on, jousts with them. His stage presence is all smiles and graciousness, making it a pleasure to see this 84-year-old master finally gets his due. Includes photos and liner notes in English and Spanish

Eduardo Durão Timbila Ensemble
Naxos World 76015-2

Ancestor to the xylophone and marimba, the mbila (singular for timbila) is the central instrument of the Bantus of the Southern African continent. The timbila has wooden slats and a sweet, clappy, jangly sound, very earthy and reminiscent of gamelans. The instrument is meant to be played in an orchestra, but it has been played solo as well. Delayed by the devastating floods in 2000, Finnish producer Eero Koivistoinen went back to Mozambique to record the Eduardo Durão Timbila Ensemble for the Naxos World label. He is not only an instrumentalist of first rate, but also makes the instruments in his backyard. He lives on the outskirts of Maputo where he founded a school for traditional Mozambique music. On this CD, Eduardo Durão can be heard as a composer, timbila player, singer, and occasionally percussionist. Masso a Ticerto and M’Tshitso are instrumental pieces and they represent the traditional style. Besides the timbila section, singers and percussion, there are drums and an electric bass, saxophone and synthesizers added in production. But at all times, Durão keeps the traditions alive, to the delight of his many fans around the world

Adam Tully
Nueva York

American guitarist Adam Tully became infatuated with Argentinean Music after receiving his musical training in the US. He studied Argentinean folk music and folklore before immersing himself in Latin American roots music – flamenco roots, chacarera and tangos. He has recorded tangos as part of the Eduardo Parra Group and contributed to three other albums dedicated to Latin American music. Adam Tully has appeared at numerous festivals including the Changüí Festival of Guantanamo in Cuba and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in his native Washington, DC. He spends much of his time now performing in Argentina, to appreciative crowds. His tone is beautiful and his virtuoso technique is polished and clean. Nueva York is a diverse album featuring works by Bach, Albeniz, and Villa-Lobos, along with several originals. His passion for the authentic styles of Latin America are combined with sounds of his native New York

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Copyright©WWUH: November/December Program Guide, 2002

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