globalFEST 2006 Artist Roster
One of the only Russian rock bands to nurse out a sound that resists an easy comparison with a Western source, Auktyon are consistently and wholly original. They are a legend in their homeland and a cult band in continental Europe where they spend half of their time on tour. Their sound constantly changes and now—complete with assorted percussion, a multi-reed player, a trumpeter, and a tuba-player—it approaches the tight jazzy arrangements of Charles Mingus or Radiohead’s “Kid A.” Sure, they’ve traveled from psycho theatrics to lo-fi trickery to Beck and back, but with the constants—vocalist Lenya Fedorov’s crusted-molasses voice, the clearly relished fret buzz, the tragicomic horns, and the truly bizarre stage presence of clowning percussionist Garkusha—still in place after 15 or so years, they are quiet simply one of the most compelling bands out of Russia today.
“These veterans of the Leningrad rock club scene known for their Dadaist lyrics and riotous stage show fuse traditional folk with frenetic punk and jazz.” – New York Times
Label: Russia only (looking for US label)
Daara J (Senegal)
Born in Africa, brought up in America, hip hop has come full circle,” proclaims Daara J on the title track of the group’s American debut album Boomerang (Wrasse Records). Hailing from Senegal, the western-most country in Africa, Daara J must have caught some of the sound waves rolling over the Atlantic from the South Bronx in the mid-seventies, or was it the other way around?
“Spitting rapid-fire rhymes and Rasta chants in English, French, Spanish, and their native Wolof, the modern-day griots, whose name translates to “school of life,” expeditiously tackled political corruption, la vie africaine, and the hopes of a global generation.” – Village Voice
Daby Touré (Mauritania)
Brought up in Senegal, Mauritania, and Paris, Daby Touré, once a member of the famed Touré Kunda band and his own Touré Touré band, is a spectacular rising star from West Africa via Paris. Daby writes his own material, and is a virtual one-man band, layering all of his own guitar, bass, and percussion parts. His music evokes modern and traditional modes of life: It’s as influenced by the sounds coming out of today’s Senegal, Mali, Paris, and New York as it is flavored by the traditional music of his native Mauritania.
“… he ignited the crowd, returning drenched in sweat for a triumphant encore.” – Boston Globe
Label: Real World/Narada
DJ Dolores (Brazil)
DJ Dolores, innovator of Brazil’s mangue-beat, does it his way: minimalized traditional dances with a subsonic ring, politicians’ statements in a dub-remix, and technoid ragga versions of old folksongs. He draws his inspiration from urban and rural musical styles traditionally shunned by the establishment but favored by the working classes (dance rhythms such as maracatú and song forms such as emboladas). DJ Dolores blends them with loops, breakbeats, and street sounds to create a unique musical cocktail which is culturally & politically meaningful, and irresistibly festive.
“Headphones on, headphones off, headphones half on, DJ Dolores (aka Helder Aragao) presides over proceedings with the divided but highly focused attention of the circus plate-spinner. He moves constantly from laptop to mixer to drum machine - tweaking, pressing and thumping, as appropriate - in order that each track spins and swings to his precise requirements.” – The Independent (U.K.)
Label: Crammed Discs
Balkan Beat Box (Israel/USA)
Balkan Beat Box was formed in 2003 and is spearheaded by Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat. This performance-meets-dance party generates a whirlpool of ecstatic energy. Balkan Beat Box digs into the new fresh possibilities of electronic music mixed with folk music from North Africa, Israel, the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Balkan Beat Box views Jewish music with fresh eyes: as a continuing cultural dialogue. The dialogue can take the form of a clash of cultures, and sometimes it is the natural progression of many young artists' Diaspora experience. At other times it is Israeli with all the music that lives there - Arabic, Sephardic, Hassidic - a true melting pot with never-ending sources of inspiration.
"Balkan Beat Box brings a modular audio-visual show,
incorporating electronic esthetics with Balkan music... Things broke into a wild party that was more of a dialogue between the audience and performers, feet were stomping, arak was flowing..." - HABAMA, Israel's culture portal
Label: J-Dub Records
Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All Stars (USA)
Having toured the world playing traditional Jewish party music as Di Shikere Kapelye (the Inebriated Orchestra), then with Boban Markovic’s Serbian Gypsy Orkestar and Cairo’s Hasaballa Brass Band on Brotherhood of Brass, Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All Stars celebrate the release of their third CD Carnival Conspiracy (In the Marketplace All is Subterfuge). Klezmatics’ trumpeter and global raconteur Frank London brings together great klezmer brass players with special guest Brazilian drummers Maracatú New York, and the Hasidic female voices of Kol Isha for a wild sensual feast. Shake your tuchis, blow your mind.
“If this doesn’t make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and dance, you’re probably clinically dead.” – Sydney Morning Herald
Juan Carmona (France)
Juan Carmona, a French-born Gypsy flamenco guitarist, has won numerous awards including a 2003 Latin Grammy nomination for Best Flamenco Album. Only ten years old when his father gave him his first guitar, his virtuosity quickly became apparent to professional musicians. At the age of 26, he became the first professor of flamenco guitar holding a state-awarded diploma. An innovator, he has worked with musicians from around the world. His latest work looks back to a time when Spain was part of the Moorish kingdom; time of linguistic, artistic and scientific advances in a climate of religious tolerance before the Reconquista.
“Juan Carmona is equally a master of old and new techniques, the traditional and the nuevo flamenco. … His technique is superb, exemplified by quick clear arpeggios, smooth melodic lines and swift starts and stops.” – RootsWorld.com
Label: Nomades Kultur
Keren Ann (France/USA)
On the heels of critical success for her sublime debut U.S. album, Not Going Anywhere, Paris and New York-based singer-songwriter Keren Ann followed with Nolita, another intimate collection of quiet, lyrical gems, sung in both French and English, and with more diverse, multi-textured soundscapes.
“It’s not for lack of confidence that Keren Ann sings just above a whisper... Her clear, calm voice is one of serene mystery and subtle melancholy: cool but never detached... Keren Ann’s songs are precise, not wispy, and they can make a few fingerpicked notes seem to enfold an entire world.” – The New York Times
Label: Metro Blue/Blue Note
Las Ondas Marteles (France)
The Martel brothers, singer/guitarist Sebastien and singer/dancer/actor Nicolas, created the band Las Ondas Marteles with bassist Sarah Murcia, originally from Spain, to celebrate the bolero, a sentimental music beloved all over the Spanish speaking world. Their latest work is an ode to Havana and is dedicated to a little-known Cuban artist, Miguel Angel Ruiz, a painter, sculptor, melodist and poet whose only published written works in cultural magazines deal with art and painting. Shortly before his death. Las Ondas received permission to set Ruiz’ poems to music. They have preserved and extended Ruiz’ legacy with their original, classic-sounding boleros, filled with gorgeous harmonies and a subtle theatricality.
“Simple elegance with an incomparable taste for the trova (Cuban song)… An irresistible old-style charm.” - Liberation (France)
Label: Label Bleu
Lura (Cape Verde/Portugal)
Following in the footsteps of Cesaria Evora, Lura brings the rich sounds of the Cape Verde islands—an archipelago 300 miles west of Dakar, Senegal—to the international stage. The Lisbon-born singer is part of a new generation performing the little known traditions of her ancestral homeland. Her music, a blend of Portuguese and West African influences, is inspired by the styles of her father’s island of Santiago, including the improvised upbeat batuku rhythms and the accordion-driven funana.
“Hers was a total performance. She covered styles ranging from ballads and batuku, traditional women's music, to the fast-paced, Africanized funana, delighting an ebullient, multi-generational capacity crowd who came prepared to holler back and sing along. To call Lura alluring is more than wordplay. In fact, she is fierce. Though petite, she gave out a commanding stage presence, underscored by lithe dance moves and her exuberant natural coif. She showed tremendous vocal strength and range, and worked both the room and her band with sexiness, grace, and authority.” – Boston Globe
Niyaz, an Los Angeles-based group, combines the lovely vocals of India-raised, Iranian vocalist Azam Ali with multi-instrumentalist Iranian-born Loga Ramin Torkian who plays guitar, Middle Eastern lutes, and electric guitarviol (a 14th century European bowed lute) accompanied by electronics, ‘ud, and tabla. Ali is best known as half of the best-selling duo Vas and Torkian is founder of the Iranian fusion group Axiom of Choice. Their music is a combination of traditional Middle Eastern and Indian music and electronica.
“Niyaz has its musical hierarchy: Ali’s silky voice glides and soars across the top; intricate and mostly traditional instrumentation holds the center; and electronics are the foundation.”
Label: Six Degrees
Roxane Butterfly’s Worldbeats presents ‘Djellabah Groove’ (France/USA/Morocco)
Roxane Butterfly’s Worldbeats presents ‘Djellabah Groove,’ a communal celebration of flamenco, tap, and North African musical genres in a spirited performance of percussion and live music. Mediterranean tap and spoken word artist Butterfly and her multi-cultural tap and music ensemble highlight the improvisational dynamic of each form, and examine folk versus contemporary art-forms, all the while honoring the tradition of trance in music and dance. Djellabah Groove ponders the identity of the rootless yet global individual – the role of the artist as traveling troubadour in today’s contemporary age.
“The raven-haired beauty sounds not only every note, but every grace note. She zips around the musical globe and back and forth in time.” – Apollinaire Scherr, Newsday
“Damn! What a subtle sense of rhythm.” – Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice
Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys (USA/Louisiana)
When Cajuns go out on the weekend looking for a band that will recharge their pride and identity, they find it in Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. Though relatively young, the group has been among Cajun music’s best bands for years. Following some musical experiments, including the cool Cajun-rock ‘n’ roll hybrid act Lil’ Band O’ Gold, Riley and the boys return to traditional Cajun two-steps and waltzes, but with a difference. This isn’t museum music, but the sound of inspired, inventive roots-connected contemporary singers and players carrying Cajun repertoire to the 21st Century.
"...Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys burned down the dance hall, marking their arrival as Cajun music's most technically adept, musically vivacious young outfit..." - The Austin Chronicle