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10 mars 2007

New Angelique Kidjo/Peter Gabriel remix pack available

I was asked to do some singing and try a few things on a lovely track called 'Salala', by Angelique Kidjo. Her record company are now looking for some remixes and I just thought we'd throw it out to see if any of you were interested to try your magic hands on this material" Peter Gabriel

Even if you don't fancy your remixing skills you can take a trip over to the download page and hear the track - The album Dijn Dijn is due out on May 1st.

Details of the pack on the competiton page.

More on Angelique Kidjo at

"Her spirit is irrepressible, and she brings life to everything she touches."
- Peter Gabriel

"With DJIN DJIN Angelique Kidjo comes home." The four-time Grammy-nominated, much-celebrated singer, composer, and performer began in the Beninese port village of Cotonou, where she launched her career at the age of six. The political turmoil in her country led her to relocate to Paris, the capital of world music, and then ultimately to New York City, where she now resides.

For DJIN DJIN Angelique has pulled together musicans, along with Peter's contribution the record features: drummer Poogie Bell, known for his work with Erykah Badu and Chaka Khan; funk keyboard wizard Amp Fiddler, whose credits include Prince and George Clinton; Larry Campbell, whose multi-instrumental work has adorned the music of Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, and Paul Simon; Senegalese bass giant Habib Faye, a fixture with Youssou N'Dour; guitarists Lionel Loueke, from jazz legend Herbie Hancock's band; Romero Lubambo, a Brazilian wonder whose credits include Diana Krall and Dianne Reeves; Joao Mota, from Guinea-Bissau and kora master Mamadou Diabate.

Talking of Peter's contibution on "Salala" Angelique says:

"He's done so much for African music; in fact, there's something African in his way of singing, moving, and writing his songs"

Click Here To Read The Competition Terms & Conditions

Download The Sample Pack

Visit Angeliqu Kidjo's site for more on the album.

08 mars 2007

Yasmin brings Ladino to life

For Israeli singer Yasmin Levy, Womadelaide creates an atmosphere of "freedom, love and music" which is unique among festivals. It is her first visit to Australia, but the fifth WOMAD concert Yasmin has appeared at around the world since reviving the lost art of Ladino singing with her 2002 debut album. "There is something very special about WOMAD, because people come with open minds and open hearts," Levy, 31, said in Adelaide yesterday.

She will join more than 300 artists from 20 countries – including Nigerian singer-saxophonist Femi Kuti and Mali's Salif Keita – at Womadelaide in Botanic Park from tonight until Sunday. Yasmin was born in Jerusalem, surrounded by the Ladino songs of the Sephardi people – Jews who lived in Spain until they were exiled in the 15th century.

Her father Yitzhak Levy was a pioneering researcher of Ladino songs, which were passed orally from generation to generation. "He used to go from one Sephardi family to another with a big machine to record anyone who had anything to sing from this tradition," she says. "Then he wrote down the lyrics and the melody and saved those songs from dying, because the people he recorded have now passed away." Her father also died when Yasmin, the youngest of six children, was just a one-year-old.

"I never thought I was going to be a singer – I wanted to be a vet," she says. When she visited Spain at 17, a family friend discovered Levy could sing. It wasn't until she was 22, however, that she began to perform, introducing elements of Spanish flamenco to traditional Ladino songs. "I see myself like a butterfly that goes from one flower to another and gives those songs life," she says.

Tango with a twist

Sometimes it takes three to tango, writes Stephanie Bunbury.

Some of the tango musicians who have come into the studio to record tracks for the Gotan Project have been rather surprised by what they did with them, Christoph Muller says with a grin. "But I think they were agreeably surprised, even if it remained a little mysterious to them what we actually did with what they played. And, maybe, why people liked it."

What Gotan Project does with the sounds of the bandoneon, piano, guitar, a string quartet, clarinet, flute, trumpet and voices - the improbable combination that is the typical tango orchestra - is create music that has become, with almost no fanfare, the international dance downloaders' favourite.

Using programming technology, they lay the musicians' tracks across dance beats that give the familiar glide of tango an irresistible drive.

"Recording is like shooting a film," Muller says. "We end up with a lot of footage that we completely reconstruct."

Muller, an electronic composer who is one third of Gotan's core team, would fit any casting agency's idea of an experimental musician: Swiss, thin and serious, he sits in perfect counterpoint to the group's guitarist and genial paterfamilias, Argentinian Eduardo Makaroff.

We have been talking for nearly an hour when Philippe Cohen Solal, keeping rock'n'roll time, comes in with the sort of flourish he manages to project on stage from behind his keyboard. Somehow, the three of them fit together.

They met in Paris. The world music phenomenon might have come out of London, thanks to Peter Gabriel and the sheer number of South Asian musicians working there, but Muller says Paris is the real melting pot.

He and Cohen Solal began working together in 1995, producing music for commercials and films; salsa was a popular client choice, so they often found themselves South American musicians.

Makaroff was one of them; he had gone to Paris hoping to extend a new-found enthusiasm for traditional tango into something new. "I was looking not only to make acoustic tango," he says, "I wanted to make tango that was modern music. I think I dreamed to put tango again into the hearts and ears of young people who don't know it."

Tango, as Makaroff explains, is a kind of world music in its own right. Famously born in the brothels of Buenos Aires around the turn of the 20th century, its rhythms were set by black musicians hired to entertain the clientele. German sailors brought with them the bandoleon, a kind of accordion with a huge range designed to stand in for an organ in small churches.

Rachel Z Trio bring "Good and Evil" to the Beach

Gig Listing The Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society on Miramar Beach in Half Moon Bay, CA (45 minutes from SF and Silicon Valley) has never shied from experimentation. Thus, Rachel Z was invited to debut her CD Dept of Good and Evil in front of an intimate hip California audience in the SF Bay Area.

The album is really about taking great pop and Goth tunes to another unexpected level," says Rachel. "I loved the Good and Evil concept, which reflects everything going on these days not only in government but also in the music world, where over-hyped projects are often terrible and others which get no hype are great. The grooves are mostly swinging and upbeat and get people feeling positive. Those are balanced by my dark chords, which are influenced harmonically here by the 20th Century classical vibe mastered by Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. I balance these with the occasional pretty melody, but even those have darker colors underneath. It's definitely a cool balance."

Manhattan-born and raised Rachel Nicolazzo (aka Rachel Z) had music practically ingrained in her genetic code. Groomed to follow in her mother's operatic footsteps, she began voice lessons at two, started classical piano lessons at seven and attended the opera by age nine. "My first dollhouse was a Metropolitan Opera House complete with the stage and dolls which were the performers," she recalls. "Then I heard Miles Smiles when I was 15, started rebelling against the classical by improvising, and played with a band that covered Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan songs."

Listening to Herbie Hancock's harmonies over Wayne Shorter’s compositions helped her bridge the gap from her classical training to jazz."The way my jazz chops developed was twofold. I developed acoustic straight ahead and electronic fusion playing equally over time," she says. After launching a quintet called Nardis, she studied with Joanne Brackeen and Richie Beirach.

Rachel Z graduated from the New England Conservatory with a 'Distinction in Performance' award. Her connection to saxophone great Wayne Shorter grew from major influence to full-blown collaborator over the two years she worked on his hit comeback album High Life, for which she built a synthesized orchestral framework to crystallize his musical vision. Rachel Z also played acoustic piano on the album and was musical director for the tour that followed. The CD won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album.
Rachel Z bringing “Good and Evil” to the Beach

As fearless in her eclectic, ever evolving approach to jazz piano as she is bold in creating sweeping thematic concepts, Rachel Z has proven masterful over the course of eight solo releases in bridging both generations and genres. Stylishly blending her bebop and progressive jazz sensibilities with an equal affinity for the most exciting pop and rock artists of the past few decades, she's fashioned groundbreaking tributes to the female artists who have inspired her (A Room Of One's Own), saxophone legend and frequent collaborator Wayne Shorter (On The Milkyway Express), Joni Mitchell (Moon At The Window) and-on her most recent three recordings, which include occasional originals and vocals-fascinating re-workings of songs made famous by The Rolling Stones, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, U2 and Nine Inch Nails, among others.

Declaring to the world, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that "jazz is not dead, it is alive and right here!," Rachel's latest fascinating creative stop Dept. Of Good And Evil finds her in a slightly Goth state of mind, which complements the mix of popular and more obscure pop/rock covers and lyrical and soulful originals penned by her ("Moon And Sun," "Walking On Water," both of which feature her sensuous, romantic vocals) and longtime drummer and collaborator Bobbie Rae (the haunting elegy to the "Saint of New Orleans").

Rachel charts new territory for herself as the leader of the full-fledged ensemble (known collectively as the Dept. of Good And Evil), creating powerful jazzy mood swings on the piano over a shifting array of grooves driven by Rae (who also arranged and produced the project), 22 year old bassist Maeve Royce (making her recording debut here) and the legendary Tony Levin (a longtime Z collaborator who plays electric bass and Chapman Stick guitar parts). Dept. of Good And Evil also includes the emotionally resonant trumpet magic of Erik Naslund. Rachel discovered the talented, highly adaptable Royce, a native of Annapolis, Maryland, as a student in a theory and performance class the pianist teaches at New School University in New York. "She immediately reminded me of Bill Evan's great bassist Scott LaFaro and I love the way she can groove heavily the way Jimmy Garrison did with Coltrane," Rachel says.

The recording grew out of Dept. Of Good And Evil's extensive, 100-date world tour throughout 2006, a jaunt which took them everywhere from venues in Switzerland to stops in the Midwest, Pearl's in San Francisco, The Jazz Standard in NYC, the Blue Note in Milan and the Rochester Jazz Festival in New York. Rachel decided to formalize her band with a new name when she realized the level of collaboration that was happening when the ensemble was together.

Dept. Of Good And Evil draws from a unique mix of pop, alternative and Goth songs from well and lesser-known bands in creating tracks that carry on Rachel's tradition of redefining the songs she loves for a hip, adventurous audience of all ages and generations. Many of the tracks are, like the best jazz and classical movement, multi-movement in nature, with shifting moods and parts that come unexpectedly; Rachel and Rae like to think of the tracks as "suites" that transport the listener to different places over the course of a few minutes.

Listening to Herbie Hancock's harmonies over Wayne Shorter's compositions helped her bridge the gap from her classical training to jazz. After launching a quintet called Nardis, she studied with Joanne Brackeen and Richie Beirach and began hanging out at the Vanguard where she saw masters like Dexter Gordon and Bill Evans. Z graduated from New England Conservatory with a "Distinction in Performance" award while working professionally in the Boston area with performers like Bob Moses, Miroslav Vitous, and George Garzone.

Returning home to New York in 1988, she toured with New England Conservatory schoolmate turned rhythm and jazz superstar saxman Najee and later co-wrote the title track for his #1 Billboard album Tokyo Blue. While performing and recording steadily with the classic fusion band Steps Ahead from 1988 through 1996, she also worked with Al Di Meola, Larry Coryell, Special EFX and Angela Bofill, and began a fruitful association with producer/vibraphonist Mike Mainieri, head of NYC Records. Mainieri produced her Columbia Records debut Trust the Universe in 1993.

1996 saw the release of her NYC Records debut A Room of One's Own, which she dedicated to the many women artists who have played an influential role in her life. Among the many inspirations Z celebrated were contemporary dancer Judith Jameson, African-American novelist Zora Neal Hurston and Billie Holliday. A throwback to the days when jazz musicians would travel 350 days a year, the constantly gigging Z toured for this recording with bassist Tracy Wormworth and drummer Cindy Blackman. Her love for art of all kinds has also led Z to embrace the worlds of fashion design, fashion photography, and theatrical performance art.

In a radical departure from that strictly acoustic direction, Rachel took a memorable turn into the electric driven smooth jazz realm in 1998 with her acclaimed hip-hop/ electronica influenced offering for GRP Records, Love Is The Power. That same year she also played and programmed synths for Al Di Meola's album The Infinite Dream, and in 1999 she joined Vertu, a fusion supergroup formed by Stanley Clarke and his Return Forever bandmate, drummer Lenny White; she appeared on the band's 1999 self-titled debut for Epic Records.

Since 2000, Rachel has established with each successive album a foothold in the realm of modern jazz artists discovering fresh new ways to interpret classic standards in their own realm, as well as those by classic pop singer/songwriters and edgy modern rockers. She launched this period with her acclaimed piano trio outing On The Milkyway Express: A Tribute to the Music of Wayne Shorter, her debut on Tone Center Records, then followed in 2002 with Moon At The Window, her tribute to the songwriting artistry of Joni Mitchell.

While touring around the globe from 2002-2004 with pop/rock legend Peter Gabriel-which included a 2003 South African stint and a gala performance for Nelson Mandela-Rachel recorded and released First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (2003) for a Japanese label, Everlasting (featuring Tony Levin on bass) for Tone Center (2004) and Grace (2005) for Chesky, which featured five original vocal tunes performed by Rachel.

"I just love the process of finding new songs that excite me and working with new musicians that give me that fresh light and inspiration from time to time," says Rachel. "Dept of Good and Evil is the best of everything for me, exciting material to work with, and an incredible ensemble of players which I just love vibing with. We'll probably expand more into groove-oriented music in the future, but the fun is never knowing what the next great thing is going to be. What I love most about the band is that we can play a whole night of jazz standards and then turn around the next and do a strictly rock and groove thing. It's going to be exciting to see how it progresses from here."

Written by: Michael Bloom Media Relations

Daby Touré, deux en un

Stereo Spirit, c’est ainsi que Daby Touré a baptisé son nouvel opus comme une allégorie de sa propre vie. Fils de l’Afrique, grandi entre Mauritanie et Sénégal, et enfant du monde moderne, il est le griot de ses propres humeurs et élans qu’il couche avec délicatesse et talent sur des musiques aux arrangements "pop". Rencontre.

Daby Touré sera l'invité de l'émission Musiques du monde le mardi 27 mars : + d'info

Un passé chargé. Un père médecin et musicien qui ne souhaite pas que son fils le devienne. Une enfance tout en aller-retour entre le désert mauritanien et la Casamance, au sud du Sénégal. Un passage à l’âge adulte marqué par une transplantation sur le sol français, quand son père Hamidou Touré, rejoint ses frères Sixu et Ismaël au sein des déjà légendaires Touré Kunda. Voilà en quelques phrases, le profil de ce musicien "fils de", qui a su se faire un prénom, trouver son propre son.

"Je suis né en plein désert, confie Daby Touré, mais c’est réellement à Djéole, en Casamance, au contact des cultures soninké, toucouleur et wolof que s’est forgée ma personnalité. A l’adolescence, je suis revenu à Nouakchott avant de m’envoler en 1989 pour la France avec mon père" relate Daby Touré avant de tracer une sorte d’itinéraire bis, plus musical. "Très jeune, j’ai baigné dans un environnement traditionnel, bercé par les instruments de mes ancêtres. Ce n’est qu’à l’adolescence que j’ai été attiré par la guitare et que j’ai commencé à m’intéresser aux autres musiques. Mais le véritable déclencheur a été mon arrivée en France. C’est là que j’ai pu commencer à jouer avec des musiciens d’autres cultures".

Laddé, un premier album enregistré avec son cousin Omar sous le nom de Touré Touré sort en 1999. Convaincu qu’il n’avancera bien que seul aux commandes, Daby s’enferme dans sa chambre et compose, arrange et fignole sur son home-studio le squelette de Diam, un premier solo signé par Realworld, le label de Peter Gabriel, en 2004. Les fondations sont déjà profondément ancrées en terre pop.

Un bon traitement

"Depuis, je n’ai pas arrêté de composer, explique Daby Touré. De manière spontanée, serai-je tenté d’ajouter. Même si j’ai parfois prévu des choses, anticipé des constructions, je les ai souvent modifiées. C’est en fait un album assez spontané où les couleurs se sont imposées d’elle-même comme par évidence. Simplement. Parce qu’elle me faisait du bien. En cela, je peux dire que la musique est une thérapie pour moi" précise celui qui affirme avoir besoin de cela pour vivre. "En fait, la musique me permet d’unifier ou plutôt de mettre en relation, de faire le pont entre les différentes cultures qui sont les miennes. Stereo Spirit, reflète tout à fait cela".

Effectivement, la douzaine de plages de ce nouvel album tisse des liens entre son héritage culturel pastoral et son quotidien, son urbanité actuelle. "J’ai réalisé lors d’une tournée aux Etats-Unis, que je pouvais aussi bien vivre à New York qu’à Paris ou dans mon village en Afrique, que j’étais à l’aise dans tous ses pays, dans toutes ses cultures. Sentiment que je ressens exactement de la même manière lorsque que je rentre en Mauritanie ou au Sénégal. Je suis bien partout en fait… " avoue ce "terrien qui n’a pas peur d’évoluer" comme il se définit lui-même.

"Tout resserrer sur moi…"

Auteur, compositeur, arrangeur et réalisateur de ce Stereo Spirit, Daby Touré a choisi d’occuper tous les postes clés dans la conception de cet album. "J’espère avoir été au plus loin de ce que je pouvais. J’ai travaillé plusieurs années comme musicien au sein de formations. J’ai aussi bossé en duo avec mon cousin (Omar Touré avec qui il forme les Touré Touré - NDR), je sais par expérience que si je veux pouvoir affirmer mon son, j’ai besoin de tout faire. A l’époque des Stones ou des Beatles, les groupes étaient fixes sur plusieurs années. Les musiciens s’y consacraient pleinement. Un groupe avait de fait, le temps et les moyens de parvenir à une certaine maturité, à une certaine maîtrise du son.

Je n’ai jamais eu ce temps, jamais eu la possibilité de pousser à plusieurs cette recherche de cohérence, ce travail de laboratoire. C’est pourquoi j’ai décidé de tout resserrer sur moi" confie-t-il avant de revenir sur le rôle tenu par Bob Coke qui l’a conseillé, assisté dans la réalisation de cet album. "Bob est un grand producteur qui a, par exemple travaillé sur le premier Ben Harper. Il m’a apporté plus de maturité et d’expérience ainsi qu’une certaine assurance et une oreille que je n’avais pas. C‘est comme un recul indispensable, une distance nécessaire avec ce que tu crées" analyse le créateur et ultime décideur sur cet album.

Un optimiste pratiquant…

Si Daby est le seul maître à bord de son Stereo Spirit, cet album n’est en rien égocentré. "Mes chansons parlent des enfants, de l’affection qu’ils sont en droit de recevoir, de l’amour entre les êtres humains et des relations complexes qu’ils entretiennent. Ce sont des histoires vécues directement ou indirectement, des histoires différentes les unes des autres" résume Daby Touré. "C’est un album optimiste. De toute façon, on n’a pas le choix, on doit le rester. Parfois, je lis dans un regard tant de beauté et de sincérité que je me dis que j’ai bien fait d’y croire."

Daby Touré Stereo Spirit. (Realworld/V irgin/EMI) 2007 Le 20 mars à la Cigale à Paris

Daby Touré sera l'invité de l'émission Musiques du monde le mardi 27 mars : + d'info

06 mars 2007

Womad summer school 2007

Bath Spa University, Bath, United Kingdom

The WOMAD Foundation is delighted to bring the spirit of WOMAD to Bath Spa University in presenting the first-ever WOMAD Summer School.

If you love WOMAD, this is a week-long opportunity to deepen your musical experience and extend an area of play and practice, whilst celebrating the richness and diversity of music from around the world. Immerse yourselves in music, voice and dance master classes, ensemble tuition, ‘in conversation’ sessions, workshops in vocal technique, performances and much more.


The following outlines what you will be doing each day. More specific details will be available on the 'Line-Up' page in the coming weeks.

8am-9am: Breakfast.

10am-12.30pm: Core sessions in your chosen week-long workshop.

12.30pm-1.30pm: Lunch.

2pm-3.45pm: Open workshops - students can choose to attend any workshop they fancy.

4pm-5.30pm: Collaborations, rehearsals, one-to-one sessions, talks, discussions.

8pm onwards: Concerts, informal performances, films, Q&A sessions, DJs.

Activities for kids

We’ll be offering a host of fun things for younger family members in arts, crafts and dance workshops. These will be led every day by artists from our experienced child-friendly WOMAD workshop team.


You can choose one of the following week-long workshops:

Billy Cobham Drum Academy
Dance Roots
Guitar Connections
Patterns Of Percussion
Singer Songwriters
Striking A Chord

We are assembling an impressive line-up of artists from Zimbabwe, USA, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, UK and Colombia, all of whom are both brilliant in performance as well as highly experienced in education and tuition.

We have already announced details of some of the sessions - please click on "Line-Up' on the green bar above for details. More artists will be announced over the coming weeks, please check back here or for updates.


Tickets are now on sale! Click on 'Tickets' on the green bar above for more details.

Download oue mini guide to the festival

The WOMAD Foundation is a registered educational charity, established in 1983, which provides a wider and more formal context for WOMAD’s festival based activity. The Foundation’s principle mandate is to: ‘promote, maintain, improve and advance education in world cultures, whilst seeking to excite and inform audiences of the worth and potential of a culturally diverse society.’

WOMAD Summer School is promoted and managed in partnership with IGF and Bath Spa University.
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WOMAD, Caceres

Festival fun: Where to go to party in 2007

Nothing – not even the neighbours – stands in the way of the Spaniard’s desire to party, as Sarah Morris reports...

WOMAD, Caceres

There are now WOMAD festivals all over the world. Musician Peter Gabriel started the festivals to unite cultures through music. This one in Caceres started in 1982 and is still a hit, despite the emergence of WOMAD in Madrid. This year, Spanish performers Antonio Carmona and Maria del Mar Bonet are reportedly signed, as well as South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo. (9-12 May,

04 mars 2007

Watch an eclipse of the moon tonight!

"If the clouds stay away, it will be fascinating to watch the Moon's graceful movement through the shadow of the Earth," said Robin Scagell, from the Society for Popular Astronomy.

The eclipse began at 2018 GMT, with the Moon totally immersed in the shadow of the Earth between 2244 and 2358 GMT.

The eclipse is visible from the whole of Europe, Africa, South America, and eastern parts of the US and Canada.

Story in full from BBC News

Peter's March Update

3-Mar-2007 Peter's March Update.

This update brings talk of an emptier, more 'stripped-back' approach to audio in his current studio work, birthday gifts and high praise for the meastro of the upright bass Danny Thompson.

Talk of Danny gives us the opportunity to pull out a clip of him performing with The Blind Boys of Alabama as part of the very special line-up they put together for the "Spirit Of The Century' tour in 2001. The track featured is "Run On" and showcases lead vocals from the now sadly deceased and much missed a founding member George Scott along with other guest luminaries, blues guitarist John Hammond and drummer Michael Jerome

This update also features 'Setal' from Daby Touré's new CD "Stereo Spirit' - Daby say's of the track, it's "A song about the mystery of the beautiful world in which we live. Look at the universe, the sky, the animals, the plants, we have all this to be happy for." - so it's a fitting addition as spring begins to show itself around the studios"

Watch Peter's Update in The Full Moon Club video section
More on Daby Touré
More on The Blind Boys Of Alabama