WOMEX Award to the creator of “Ethiopiques”

WOMEX (the World Music Expo), which organizes and hosts the largest annual world music conference each fall today announced that the 2011 Professional Excellence Award has been given to Francis Falceto, the originator and curator of the great Ethiopiques CD series and “the music of Ethiopia’s greatest champion”. Some excerpts from the press release: Falceto has single-handedly brought Ethiopian music to the forefront of world music consciousness. In addition to the CD series that now numbers 27 volumes, he has organized concerts and tours, an annual festival in Addis Ababa, published the book “Abyssinie Swing”, created a documentary film of … Continue reading

Notes: Mapfumo, Bombino, Ragovoy, Congotronics &…

Shows at the Lula last week As noted in another post, Thomas Mapfumo closed out Afrofest, but because some of his band members didn’t get visas for Canada, filled in with some local musicians (including guitarist Larry Lewis & Tich Maredza on bass).  Mapfumo wasn’t happy with the struggles to get the tightness he wanted, but those who were at both shows agreed that the whole band was much better with another day under their belts on the Monday night at the Lula, and the dance floor was busy. The next night, Bombino (Omara Moctar), the Tuareg guitarist/singer and his … Continue reading

Yemen Blues, and other event and musical notes

Event notes: (See www.events.to-music.ca for full details of these and other upcoming shows & events) Luminato Festival is now in full swing, with events all over the map (figuratively and literally), including free concerts nightly at Metro Square (now David Pecault Square) at King & John, including Art of Time Ensemble, Delhi 2 Dublin with Malkit Singh, kd lang, and closing with a double bill of Tasa & Nitin Sawhney. Two highlights for me: Yemen Blues: Tue. June 14. Free, 8pm By all accounts, the show might be one of the highlights of the year — at least for those of … Continue reading

Desandann: Receiving long-deserved recognition

Sometime in the late 90’s, I first saw Grupo Vocal Desandann, a 10-member vocal group of Haitian descendants living in Camaguey Cuba. They played that night at Harbourfront, and I fell in love with their music.  However, commercial success and wider critical notice has been sadly a long time in coming. Despite their alliance with Jane Bunnett and Larry Cramer, and periodic appearances in the Toronto area and around Canada, they were little known. The effective ban on Cuban musicians in the US did not help. In 2009, Bunnett and Cramer recorded what was only the group’s second CD (Pwan … Continue reading