The following artists will perform at the National Hispanic Cultural Center for ¡Globalquerque! 2015 (Sept. 25-26). Performances will take place on three stages, all located at the NHCC (1701 4th St SW, at Avenida César Chávez). Enjoy the intimate courtyard setting of the Fountain Courtyard, the state of the art 692-seat Albuquerque Journal Theatre and dance outside on the Plaza Mayor.
Grounds open at 4 PM and performances start at 6:20 PM (Friday)/6 PM (Saturday) and run until at least 11:40 pm. The Global Village will be open into the night. There will also be FREE day programming on Saturday for families and adults, including workshops on music and folklore, crafts, and live performances. Visit the Global Fiesta page for more info.
Born in the tiny coastal hamlet of Plaplaya on Honduras’ Caribbean coast, Aurelio may be one of the last generations to grow up steeped in Garifuna tradition. These traditions encompass the African and Caribbean Indian roots of his ancestors, a group of shipwrecked slaves who intermarried with local natives on the island of St. Vincent, only to be deported to the Central American coast in the late eighteenth century.
Aurelio recalls his humble but highly musical beginnings in his remote hometown. “In the village I was born, there is still no electricity,” he told Afropop Worldwide. “When I was a child, I had very natural toys. My first toy was a guitar I built for myself from wood taken from a fishing rod. So that’s how I played my first chords.”
Aurelio credits his mother Maria, who dreamed of being a professional singer, with introducing him to the basics of Garifuna songcraft. Like many Garifuna, she composed her own songs based on community events and her personal experience. She would teach the verse and chorus of the songs to her son, who would then go on to build on the tale by adding another verse, in traditional Garifuna style.
Aurelio's first solo album Garifuna Soul explored his roots in both paranda and traditional rhythms. Aurelio’s richly resonant voice and soulful acoustic songs caught the attention of the global music press and put him on the map as a tradition-bearer with an innate musicality and subtle innovative streak.
A consummate singer, percussionist, and guitarist, Aurelio's passion flows not only from his love of music, but also from his commitment to the cause of raising awareness and appreciation for Garifuna music and culture, both at home in Garifuna communities and internationally. “We’re not going to let this culture die,” says Aurelio. “I know I must continue the culture of my grandparents, of my ancestors, and find new ways to express it. Few people know about it, but I adore it, and it’s something I must share with the world.”
Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad (Pakistan)
Fareed Ayaz, Abu Muhammad & Brothers Qawwal perform qawwali, the ecstatic devotional music of Sufi Muslims made famous in the West by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The ensemble has gained international recognition for its renditions of both the popular traditional form and the more introspective ancient classical qawwali that is seldom heard today. Similar to gospel in its use of call-and-response and spiritual fervor, qawwali songs are accompanied by percussive handclapping, harmonium, tabla (drums), and a chorus. Qawwali (Urdu for “utterance”) songs range from 13th century mystical Persian poems to more recent Punjabi poems that speak of the intoxication of divine love. The qawwali singer or qawwal is regarded as God’s interpreter, and devotees sometimes enter into trance. The group sings in many languages, including Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Hindi, Persian, Arabic, Bengali and Purbi.
The ensemble’s Qawwali music has its roots in one of qawwali’s oldest schools, the Qawwal-Bachcha gharana, set up by the legendary musician and poet, Hazrat Amir Khusrau, in 12th century Delhi. Their music sits between the sub-continent’s classical (Khyal, Dhrupad and Thumri) and rich folk traditions. Both Fareed and Abu go out of their way to explain the layered nuances of the ancient Sufi poetry as well as explaining the traditions of qawwali, a quintessentially spiritual form of music. Audiences are an essential part of performances as they engage in a dialog with the musicians to shape and uplift the performance, sometimes repeating the couplets and at other times taking the performance in unexpected directions.
From the cattle rearing, Llanos Orientales region of Colombia, Cimarrón performs the festive dance music of joropo, a fiercely virtuoso display of rippling melodies and powerful rhythms combining Andalusian, Indigenous Indian and African roots. Led by harpist Carlos Rojas, these musicians seek to explore and experiment with their rich heritage whilst retaining the essence of the tradition. They are immersed in the sounds of “los llanos” and the musical fireworks created by harp, bandola, cuatro, bass, cajon, maracas and high-pitched voices are simply breathtaking.
In creating and leading the group Cimarrón since 1986, harpist Carlos Rojas looks both backward and forward in time. Looking back to the joropo’s roots, he sees it fundamentally linked to dance, for in rural social occasions, the sound of the dancers’ feet became an essential part of the musical whole. In contrast, when the music is taken out of this social setting and placed on the concert stage, it loses the sounds of the dance and becomes “joropo chamber music,” changing the traditional musical intent. This approach, of making records and playing concerts, he says, “would seem to be more directed at magnifying the virtuosic, soloistic display of the musicians and to the nearly exclusive intense valuing of the joropo singer’s talents.”
Looking to the future, Rojas “redesigned” the basic musical ingredients of the joropo, bringing the rhythmic roots that resonate with the dance and that typically underpin the joropo’s melodies and harmonic accompaniment to the forefront of the sound. This meant both adding a rhythm box (cajón) to the instrumentation to evoke the rhythmic sound and spirit of the dance, and insisting that joropo dance (and song) be part of the performance whenever possible. This “new mix” creates “a new balance, a new relation among the acoustical weightings of percussion, strings, and voices within the joropo sound.”
This innovation has played well to national and international audiences, as the group was invited to perform at the WOMEX world-music showcase in Seville (2008), WOMAD in London (2009), the biennial flamenco festival in the Netherlands, the Shanghai Exposition (2010), and tours in Wales, Western Europe, and the United States. Cimarrón’s album Si Soy Llanero was nominated for a Grammy in 2005.
Cimarrón's visit is funded by Southern Exposure. Southern Exposure is a national initiative designed to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the richness and diversity of Latin American cultures through the work of its contemporary and traditional performing artists. The program supports tours that are collaboratively developed by presenting organizations across the United States. The touring projects include public performances and activities that provide the public with direct interaction with the visiting artists. An emphasis is placed on funding engagements in communities that have little access to this type of work.
Southern Exposure is a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Kassé Mady Diabaté (Mali)
For almost half a century, Kassé Mady Diabaté has been recognized as one of West Africa’s finest singers. He is a descendant of the most distinguished griot family of the ancient Manding Empire, the Diabatés of Kéla; his name, alongside other griot legends Toumani Diabaté and Bassékou Kouyaté, is equivalent to musical royalty in Mali.
Expressing himself almost entirely through his music, Kassé Mady transcribes all of the nuances of the human soul into song, cementing his position as "the greatest singer in Mali," as described by fellow countryman Salif Keita.
Kassé Mady was born in 1949 in the village Kéla. His aunt was the great griotte Siramori Diabaté, while his grandfather was known as "Jeli Fama," which means "The Great Griot," thanks to the gripping quality of his voice. When Kassé Mady was 7 years old (a significant age in Manding culture), the elders of the family, including Siramori, realised that he had inherited his grandfather’s vocal genius. They schooled him and encouraged him, until he was able to launch his own career. He would go on to play a role in the most innovative moments in Malian music over the next five decades, first in his own country and later with landmark international collaborations. Kulanjan, his 1999 album with blues artist Taj Mahal, was famously cited by Barack Obama as one of his favorite albums of all time.
Tony Duncan (Apache, Arikara and Hidatsa)
Tony Duncan has performed for audiences worldwide, including performances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Smithsonian Museum, The Billboard Music Awards, "The Tonight Show," and The White House. Duncan is the 2013-14 Native American Music Awards Artist of the Year.
As a flute player, he is currently signed to the largest Native American music label, Canyon Records; on his most recent album, Earth Warrior, Duncan performs songs for the Native American flute to express his devotion to his family, traditions and music. Duncan has toured with acclaimed Native American artists such as R. Carlos Nakai and Joanne Shenandoah, as well as international pop star Nelly Furtado. Duncan was the featured dancer in Furtado's music video, "Big Hoops."
EastRiver Ensemble (China)
EastRiver Ensemble is composed of teaching artists of the non-profit Mencius Society for the Arts based in New York's Chinatown. EastRiver first took shape in around 1998 as six musicians (led by Julie Tay and Cao Bao’an) got together to form the very first Chinese band to play in the New York subway. Using traditional instruments, EastRiver delivers a mixed repertoire ranging from virtuosic classical and old-timey folk to Chinese era-pop and impromptu fusion—nostalgic yet pushing boundaries, responding to the call of a global community. Today, EastRiver is defined by a unique dynamic of 4 to 6 key players, including Xiao Xiannian, the dazzling stone-faced virtuouso (leading on yangqin), Zhang Qinghua, the shy English-speaker (phasing in and out on his flutes), Guo Ran, the earnest silent one (on pipa & other lutes), Cao Bao’an, the solemn fiddler (on a range two-string huqins, occasionally piping out the oboe) and Julie Tay, the chatty group marshal (on a customized percussion set). At times bringing on younger artists and students, or combined with folk dancing, acrobatics and Beijing opera theatrics, EastRiver has over the decade reinvented Chinese music and stagecraft in an idiom that is as New York as it is China.
"We are Chinese instrumentalists. But we play in a style that has evolved by living in the United States," says Julie Tay. "That's always been our brand. That's our twist on how we do things. Many instrumentalists have come to the United States in the last 20 years," she adds. "The freedom in the U.S. represents a completely different arts scene. That is what America is all about."
Alejandro Escovedo (Texas, USA)
Alejandro Escovedo is one with his muse and his music. His rise has been gradual, a steady incline rather than a quick ascendance, but it has deepened and burnished his music, made it closer to the bone, where it begins to break, deepening his insight and his ability to find that insight in performance. His tireless touring, and dogged determination to place one album after another, has taken him through many musical scenes, remaining the same persona within each, of an artist who doesn’t settle for the easy way out.
It is a journey that has taken him from Texas to California to New York and back again to Texas, encompassing a breadth of music as varied as the many bands he was part of before embarking on a solo career. In the 1970s, he surfaced on San Francisco's no-holds-barred punk scene centered around the Mabuhay Gardens in North Beach, a guitarist in the Nuns; Rank & File helped unite the disparate worlds of punk and country in the 1980s; and after he moved back to Austin, the True Believers combined all manner of Americana music in a harbinger of what was to come in Alejandro’s solo career. Of his latest release, Big Station, All Music Guide wrote: "The songwriting and recording employed here take Escovedo's populist and sophisticated art to a whole new level."
"During his live performances Alejandro Escovedo drives home the point that when played well, rock & roll can be a supreme art form eliciting feelings of excitement and beauty from the intended audience... Escovedo sent everyone home feeling like they had just seen one of the best shows of the year." (KDHX, St. Louis)
Joy Harjo (Mvskoke Nation)
Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a member of the Mvskoke Nation. She has released five award-winning CDs of original music and in 2009 won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year for Winding Through the Milky Way. Her most recent CD release is a traditional flute album: Red Dreams, A Trail Beyond Tears.
Her seven books of poetry, which includes such well-known titles as How We Became Human—New and Selected Poems, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, and She Had Some Horses have garnered many awards. These include the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas; and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. For A Girl Becoming, a young adult/coming of age book, was released in 2009 and is Harjo’s most recent publication.
She also performs her one-woman show, Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light, which premiered at the Wells Fargo Theater in Los Angeles in 2009 with recent performances at the Public Theater in NYC and La Jolla Playhouse as part of the Native Voices at the Autry. She has received a Rasmusson US Artists Fellowship and is a founding board member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. Harjo writes a column “Comings and Goings” for her tribal newspaper, the Muscogee Nation News.
Joy will also be doing a poetry reading during the Saturday's free Global Fiesta.
"With a double shot of heart, beauty, freedom, peace and grace that blends traditional Native rhythms and singing with jazz, rock, blues and hip-hop,
Harjo is right at the top of the best contemporary American poetry and music artists.”
—Thomas Rain Crow, The Bloomsbury Review
Born Janine Cunningham, Jah9 spent her first eight and a half years in Falmouth, Trelawny, on the rural western edge of Jamaica. It was an idyllic place, where everyone knew everyone else, and where the daughter of the Baptist minister first found her singing voice, at home and in the church choir. But everything changed when her father took a job as chaplain at a high school in Kingston and the family settled in a house on the school grounds.
In the city, the transplanted country girl found comfort in music and words, and blossomed in both. She sang in the church, school and youth choir; and found an outlet for her feelings in the words she wrote down on the page. Growing up in a socially conscious family, she’d always been aware of the injustices all around, but it wasn’t until university that everything came together in her mind and she really began to find her own voice.
The catalyst was a group of Rastafarian friends she made on campus. Long hours of talking opened her up to the teachings of Haile Selassie 1, as well as her ears to the swirling beauty of dub music and roots reggae. Suddenly the nickname of Jah9, which she’d adopted while still a little girl in Trelawny, made perfect sense.
Already a staple on Jamaica’s underground poetry scene, in the music she found a place where her words could live, and the songs she started to write found plenty of eager encouragement. Jah9 has become one of the most powerful female voices in Jamaican music; her debut album, New Name, was released to rave reviews in 2013. The influential Achis Reggae Blog raved: “I cannot remember a debut album which was as lyrically strong as New Name,” also declaring it album of the year, while United Reggae’s Angus Taylor praised Jah9 for having “a jazz soloist’s fluidity, a singer’s voice and a poet’s flow.”
There’s more to Jah9 than flow and melody. She lives what she speaks. A community activist, Jah9 has been heavily involved in youth development work. She’s helped develop programs for at-risk youth in Kingston, worked on the creation of Healing of the Nation public awareness campaign and been at the center of the creation of the non-profit youth and arts advocacy group known as Manifesto JA.
Orlando Julius & the Afrosoundz (Nigeria)
Born in 1943 in Ikole-Ekiti in Ondo State, Nigeria, Orlando Julius ("OJ") Ekemode started in music from an early age, becoming the school drummer and learning flute, bugle and other instruments at St. Peters Anglican School in Ikole-Ekiti. After high school, OJ learned to play the drums and sax, joining the band Top Aces in the late 50s. "We played Coltrane, Armstrong, tango, pachanga, foxtrots, a lot of different styles," he says.
In 1964, OJ formed his own band, the Modern Aces. "My band played highlife but had to play jazz, blues, tango, calypso to cater for the audience because the crowd knew how to dance those steps. By then, when I was writing, I started putting different parts and styles into my music. It was my own invention to develop highlife. By mixing the R&B and soul with the African rhythms, we didn't know what it would be like in the future. I think it inspired a lot of musicians in Lagos." One of those artists was Fela Anikulapo Kuti. "He always came to my club, liked the band and we would feature him on stage," says OJ.
The Modern Aces embarked on a series of landmark 45s for Phillips/Polydor; Orlando also recorded several albums in the late 60s featuring a much larger band with a fuller horn section, the Afro-Sounders. In the mid-70s, OJ moved to the U.S. and formed a new band, Umoja. He also worked as a session musician and appeared in the TV miniseries "Roots." After 27 years abroad, OJ returned to Nigeria in 1998 and formed his long-running Nigerian All-Stars band.
By 2001, Western audiences began waking up to Orlando's illustrious career. UK label Strut reissued his 1966 release Super Afro Soul, and other labels, including Soundway and Vampi Soul, began releasing his Afro-Sounders recordings, all spreading the word on OJ's pioneering role in Nigerian music. The Evening Standard (U.K.) called him "one of the great veterans of Nigerian music... gutsy, powerful and varied."
Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca (Angola/Congo)
Ricardo Lemvo has established himself as a pioneer with his innovative music. Lemvo's blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms with pan-African styles (soukous, Angolan semba and kizomba) has been described by the Los Angeles Times as “seamless and infectious.”
This Congo-born artist of Angolan ancestry is the embodiment of the Afro-Latin Diaspora which connects back to Mother Africa via the Cuban clave rhythm. Lemvo is truly multi-cultural and equally at home singing in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Lingala, and Kikongo.
Since forming his Los Angeles-based band Makina Loca in 1990, Lemvo has refined his craft and vision, raising his joyous voice with strength, singing songs that celebrate life, and most importantly, inspiring his audiences to let loose and dance away their worries.
Through the years, Lemvo has performed countless shows in many festivals, night clubs, and performing art centers throughout Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Australia. His five CDs have been enthusiastically acclaimed by both print and broadcast media worldwide.
"Whether they're kicking out Cuban jams or taking Afro-pop to the bridge, Lemvo and company will make you sweat." (Time Out New York)
Lone Piñon (New Mexico)
Lone Piñon plays traditional New Mexican fiddle tunes and folk songs from the region of El Rio Grande del Norte. They are inspired by New Mexican musicians Cleofiz Ortiz and Cipriano Vigil, who have played this music in their communities and across the southwest. Lone Piñon also plays Fandango Son music from Mexico, having spent time in Veracruz and Oaxaca learning from local musicians. Along with these styles, they incorporate their love of high-lonesome two part harmony singing from classic country and old-time music. Lone Piñon is Greg Glassman on guitar and vocals, Jordan Wax on violin, accordion, and vocals, and Noah Martinez on guitarron.
"We feel very strongly about the value of regional music, and its role in its community," Glassman told the Columbia Daily Tribune. "Many of these tunes have specific dances that go along with them, and we've hosted several house parties where we’ve taught the dances to friends, and friends of friends. Most of the newer generation of New Mexicans aren’t playing this music anymore, or learning the dances, so in our own humble way, it feels good to us to be a part of keeping a true regional art form and expression of joy alive."
"Their southwestern folk flavor and Spanish lyrics had audience members smiling and salsa-ing for the entire performance." (Vox Magazine)
Los Martinez (New Mexico)
Fronted by Lorenzo Martinez and his brother Roberto Martinez Jr. and joined by Lorenzo's son Laurence Martinez, Los Martinez preserve, promote and treasure the sound of Northern New Mexico and its roots.
Lorenzo Martinez has been recognized by the Smithsonian Institution as a master folk violinist. Lorenzo is an NEA National Heritage Fellow, having received the award in 2003 for preserving New Mexican Hispanic Folk Music. He has recorded two seminal albums—the first when he was 15—of this rapidly fading repertoire.
Roberto Martinez Jr., the Assistant State Historian of New Mexico, accompanies Lorenzo on guitar and vocals, and Laurence Martinez joins in on guitarron. Performing inditas, polkas, redondos, and musical forms from New Mexico and the Western U.S., Los Martinez creates a unique blend of music which draws from the diverse cultures of New Mexico past and present. Los Martinez are an authentic New Mexican musical experience.
Emel Mathlouthi (Tunisia)
Tunisian vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist Emel Mathlouthi captivates hearts and minds with her intimate, lyrical style, fierce rock beats, and throbbing trip-hop and oriental influences. Mathlouthi tells the story of HER Tunisia: the dark years as a young rebel and dissenter; the strife of being a female musician; her artistic and ideological struggle after her songs were banned from the radio and TV; and the dual love and suffering that came from longing for home while living in a free country.
Emel began her artistic career at the age of 8 in Ibn Sina, a suburb of Tunis. At age 25, oppressed by the Tunisian government because of her music, she moved to France to pursue her career as a singer, and then in 2014 she took another step in her career and moved to New York City. She has been said to evoke the urgency of American folk singer, Joan Baez, with the devotion of a chanter of ancient sacred music and the presence of a soul diva. She has given concerts in Saudi Arabia and all over the Middle East, as well as Europe and North America.
Her passion and courage is evident in her deeply confessional music and powerful presence. Her song "Kelmti Horra" ("My Word is Free") was taken up by the Arab Spring revolutionaries and sung on the streets of Tunis. Her arrangements include electronically sampled sounds of the Arab Spring street protests, speeches from the deposed Tunisian president, and the announcement of resignation from Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak. But regardless of the words, her voice itself evokes a yearning for freedom and change. She has quickly become a voice of the revolution and a shining musical light for the future.
Maarja Nuut (Estonia)
Maarja Nuut is a fiddler and singer from Northern Estonia who is fascinated by the tunes of old village musicians and their mind-boggling but also structured patterns. The minimalistic sounds of the looper take the listeners on an imaginary journey over the constantly changing soundscapes which combine traditional dance tunes, songs and stories with live electronics.
In her music, which has been described as peaceful, she is searching for a lively and relaxed state similar to a cat that is ready to take off in a moment’s notice. "This state is like an impulse which gives rise to music and makes me want to prolong being in the moment and concentrate, which alters the way of seeing, hearing and perceiving. It is always 'now' and old tunes are as fresh as improvisations which were born a second ago." This is how she tells us her intimate stories using fiddles, her voice and modern electronics.
In the spring of 2013, Maarja released her debut album Soolo, which has received a lot of attention and acknowledgement around the world and was chosen as one of the favourites of the English magazine fRoots.
"With the grace of a dancer, the singing Nuut rocked back and forth behind the microphone, sometimes plucking or stroking one of her violins. With her graceful legwork she operated the loop station from which she built up her pieces layer by layer into a hypnotic repetitive cascade of sounds… I was even more impressed, nevertheless, with her singing voice, which appeared to be able to take on a wide variety of timbres even without electronics." (MixedWorldMusic)
Otava Yo (Russian Federation)
Steaming out of St. Petersburg in white vests, a peasant dress, ushankas on head with ear-flaps akimbo, Otava Yo bring the proud traditions of Russian folk to the digital age, causing mass outbreaks of circle-dancing and Slavic pogoing on the dance floor. Lyrical gusli, global guitar, wailing bagpipes, energetically expert dual fiddle-scraping, pumping bass and pounding drums, driving songs of rural romance, heroic sailors, goats and pancakes, delivered with casual wit and bursts of ensemble choreography. Otava Yo have performed at major European folk festivals and as far afield as Mexico and India. They have met the President of Estonia and received an award from the Bratislava Humor Academy. They play Russian-Gothic R&B, among other things.
"Equal parts punk and Russian folk... With a lineup of lyre-like gusli, bagpipes, fiddles, guitar, bass and drums, they brought huge energy and serious fun to an outdoor WOMEX stage." (NPR, Top 10 Musical Discoveries From WOMEX 2014)
Nano Stern (Chile)
Nano Stern’s path as an artist follows richly crafted song lines laid by his family and his Chilean musical ancestry, and unites those with a sound utterly fresh and relevant. The grandson of Jewish refugees fleeing persecution, Nano’s childhood was painted vivid by not only his own family’s activism and musicianship but by the powerful legacy of the Nueva Canción movement lead by Chilean musical activists during Pinochet’s dictatorship a generation before. Legends like Inti-Illimani and Victor Jara—who suffered exile and even death during these troubling times—continue to inspire Nano’s breadth of sound and emotion. “I am extremely respectful of the tradition,” explains Stern, “It is an enormous gift we received from the people of the past.”
When only fifteen, Nano joined popular Chilean underground band Mattoral, and thus was initiated into the fresh, new sounds and socio-political pulse of the South American rock/punk scene. The thick rock-energy of Mattoral, his classical and jazz training, and the powerful influence of traditional, Chilean revolutionary music make for something purely Nano. What has emerged is a powerhouse artist, brilliantly layering indigenous, African, and European elements into a sound all his own, and humbly bringing audiences to tears, to their feet, and to reverie with a singular kind of emotion and soulfulness unlike any other South American artist performing today.
Folk legend Joan Baez remarked, “[Nano] may be the best young Chilean songwriter of his generation. With his lyrics, melodies, message, delivery, humor and heart, he gets my vote.” Agile across a range of instruments, Nano’s closest companions remain simply his guitar and staggering vocals, and with them come fluent, extraordinary musicianship and a wide-open heart.