Tag Archives: E&B World Music Showcase

E&B World Music Showcase

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Music from Uganda – Ghetto Kids dancing to Sitya Loss

Repost from World Music – the Music Journey
May 5, 2014

E&B World Music Showcase

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Samuel Bazawule was born in Accra, Ghana in April 1982. He is the third of four children and attended the renowned Achimota School. While in school he amassed awards for his visual art, but later developed an obsession with hip hop music after hearing his older brother play the classic Public Enemy album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Drawing on his love for history and social observation, he began to research and write historically-loaded rhymes for which he became famous in school: “I had never heard young Black people express themselves in that way before.”

After graduation from Achimota School in 2000, Blitz (as he had come to be known) was first recognized by Ghanaian Ace producer Hammer of The Last Two. Blitz was asked to come to the studio the next day after delivering an impressive eight bars upon meeting Hammer, who wasted no time in putting him on wax. He recorded a verse on the song Deeba and – in the fashion of one of his idols, Nas, gained instant notoriety and received an award for best new artist at the 2000 Ghana Music Awards. Soon after, in 2001, he moved to the USA to study at Kent State University in Ohio. It was while studying for his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration that he developed his skills as a live artist, performing at several live shows and opening for iconic rappers such as Rakim as well as recording a self-released album, Soul Rebel (2004), under the moniker Blitz.

After graduation, Blitz moved to New York City to pursue his dream. In NYC, Blitz recorded another album, Double Consciousness (2005), and more recently he released Stereotype, a live-instrument-heavy musical exploration, that tests the limits of Hip Hop. Drawing from his diverse musical background, he immersed himself in the project with explicit intent of changing Hip Hop forever. In order to achieve the live sound he was looking for, he formed a band, The Embassy Ensemble, and brushed off his own djembe skills.

After three long years of recording, Blitz took the album to several major labels. Getting the major label run around one too many times, Blitz decided to go it alone. He established a label, Embassy MVMT and is now connected to The Roots community initiative Okayplayer.

In late 2009, he was chosen as of one Beyond Race Magazine’s “50 Emerging Artists,” resulting in a spot in the publication’s #11 issue (with Bodega Girls and J. Cole on the cover), as well as an exclusive Q&A for the magazine’s site.

In 2011, he released “Feelin’ High” with the French singer Ben Mazue, and in 2012, we can hear him on the album Tetra of the French electronic crew C2C. Credit: Wikipedia

E&B World Music Showcase

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Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders

If you are ever in New Orleans or anywhere in the world that they may be performing, plan to see Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders (CJS). A friend and I stumbled upon them at the Royal Sonesta and they jammed like crazy!!

Undoubtedly, CJS is New Orleans’ premier classic jazz orchestra. This group has acquired a unique following of music lovers that spans the generations. Young and old, are among the eager when the band takes the stage. CJS’s performances have been mesmerizing. After thoroughly enjoying the music one begins to understand why New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz.

The CJS repertoire includes creole jazz from the early years as well as music from Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong. Duke Ellington. McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, Mills Blue Rhythm Band, Jabbo Smith, The New Orleans Owls, The Astoria Hot Eight and many others.

CJS had the honor of performing the world premier of Jelly Roll Morton’s lost manuscripts and got rave reviews for a classic jazz program of Jelly Roll Morton, creole and other classics performed with the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra. Their CD “IN SEARCH OF KING OLIVER” was the subject of a PRI radio program of the same name. The CD “CREOLE BLUES” is one of OFFBEAT MAGAZINE’S essential 100 CDs of the 20th century from Louisiana and has been featured on Delta Airlines inflight music program as well as Nick Spitzer’s American Routes radio program on NPR. Credit:vappielle.com

E&B World Music Showcase

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Happy International Women’s Day! It’s been a perfect day for listening to an assortment of African music. #musicfriendsofTenaciousM enjoy!

Prophets of Da City (POC) is a hip hop crew from Cape Town, South Africa. They are composed of about eight members, though the exact membership fluctuates frequently; these include Ishmael Morabe (vocals), Mark Heuvel (dance), Shaheen Ariefdien, Ramone and DJ Ready D. Their style uses elements of hip hop music, reggae and traditional African rhythms. Their albums include Our World (1990), Boom Style (1992), Age of Truth (1993), Phunk Phlow (1994), Universal Souljaz (1995), and Ghetto Code (1997). They are currently signed under the independent record label Ghetto Ruff. Credit: Wikipedia

Nomfusi was born in the township of KwaZhakele in the Eastern Cape. Her single mother, Kwazibani (“Who Knows?” in English) raised her while her father languished in jail for 21 years. A domestic worker by day, Kwazibani was a sangoma (African medicine woman) with a gift for music. Nomfusi would accompany her mother to the weekly sangoma rituals (“Intlombe”) where Nomfusi would develop her musicality by dancing and singing for hours. Today she is a two time SAMA nominee, Metro FM Award nominee and has multiple local and international tours under her belt. Credit: Wikipedia

Sonny Okosun (January 1, 1947 in Enugu, Nigeria– May 24, 2008 in Washington DC) was a musician from Nigeria. His surname is sometimes spelled Okosuns and first name Sunny. He was one of the leading Nigerian musicians from the late 1970s to mid ’80s.

His first band, The Postmen, was formed in Enugu in 1965. In 1969 he joined Melody Maestros, a band led by Victor Uwaifo. From 1972 to 1974 he led a group known as Paperback Limited and then formed a new band, Ozziddi. From then on, he released several albums either with Ozziddi, or solo recordings.

His 1977 song, “Fire in Soweto”, became a major international hit. He was featured in the anti-apartheid album Sun City, and his song “Highlife” was in the soundtrack of 1986 film Something Wild. His mainstream success started to fade in the late 1980s, but he continued his career as a gospel musician under the name Evangelist Sonny Okosun

He died aged 61 on 24 May 2008 at Howard University Hospital, Washington DC. His musical styles ranged included reggae, highlife, Afro-funk and gospel among others. He made music in the Edo language, Igbo language, Yoruba language and English. Credit: Wikipedia

E&B World Music Showcase

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Robert Nesta Marley OM (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981) was a Jamaican singer-songwriter who achieved international fame through a series of crossover reggae albums. Starting out in 1963 with the group the Wailers, he forged a distinctive songwriting and vocal style that would later resonate with audiences worldwide. The Wailers would go on to release some of the earliest reggae records with producer Lee Scratch Perry. After the Wailers disbanded in 1974, Marley pursued a solo career which culminated in the release of the album Exodus in 1977 which established his worldwide reputation. He was a committed Rastafarian who infused his music with a profound sense of spirituality. Wikipedia


Tarrus Riley (born Omar Riley, 26 April 1979, Bronx, New York, United States is a Jamaican American reggae singer, member of the Rastafari movement and the son of Jamaican reggae singer Jimmy Riley. Wikipedia


William Alexander Anthony “Bunny Rugs” Clarke (6 February 1948 – 2 February 2014), also known as Bunny Scott, was the lead singer of Jamaican reggae band Third World as well as recording as a solo artist. He began his career in the mid-1960s and was also at one time a member of Inner Circle and half of the duo Bunny & Ricky. Wikipedia

E&B World Music Showcase – Gotan Project

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I was dining with friends at a restaurant in Chicago when I first heard Gotan Project. The restaurant had a Colombian-styled menu and atmosphere to match. A couple of tracks in and I was hooked. Enjoy!gotan_logo

Gotan Project is a musical group based in Paris, consisting of musicians Eduardo Makaroff (Argentine), Philippe Cohen Solal (French) and Christoph H. Müller (Swiss, former member of Touch El Arab).

Gotan Project formed in 1999. Their first release was “Vuelvo Al Sur/El Capitalismo Foráneo” in 2000, followed by the album La Revancha del Tango in 2001. Their music involves tango, but also uses elements such as samples, beats, and breaks. Live material was also broadcast on Gilles Peterson’s world music show Worldwide on BBC Radio 1 in May 2004. Philippe Cohen Solal has also released a DJ set: Inspiración Espiración – A Gotan Project DJ Set Selected & Mixed by Philippe Cohen Solal (2004). This album is a compilation of classic tangos from the likes of Aníbal Troilo, Ástor Piazzolla and Gotan Project remixes. The album also includes a bonus CD with the track “La Cruz del Sur” – which was meant to be included on La Revancha del Tango, but did not make the cut in 2001.

Eduardo Makaroff arrived in France in the early 90s to develop Argentine tango music, he performed with his band “Mano a Mano”. Christoph Müller and Philippe Cohen Solal formed a duo called Boys from Brazil.

The name of the trio is a play on the name of a famous tango compilation album that featured several American classical musicians who came together to record a tango album, originally released in 1982. This album, called the Tango Project, includes a rendition of Carlos Gardel’s and Alfredo Le Pera’s “Por Una Cabeza” which had been featured in movies such as Schindler’s List, Scent of a Woman and True Lies.

Credit: Wikipedia

E&B World Music Showcase-MC Solaar

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Never discount the educational value of “Sex In The City”. It’s where I first became aware of french rap, specifically a rapper by the name of MC Solaar. “La Belle et Le Bad Boy” (The beauty and the bad boy) is the seventh song on the 2001 album Cinquième, and it was featured on the final episode of the show in 2004. I had to find out more about the artist and his origin.

MC Solaar, born Claude M’Barali, March 5, 1969, is a francophone hip hop and rap artist. He is one of the most internationally popular and influential hip hop artists. MC Solaar is known for his complex lyrics, which rely on word play, lyricism, and inquiry. In the English-speaking world, Solaar was signed by London acid jazz label Talkin’ Loud and recorded with British group Urban Species and the late Guru, member of the acclaimed New York duo Gang Starr.

M’Barali was born in Dakar, Senegal to parents from Chad. When he was six months old, due to the political troubles in Senegal, his parents emigrated to France where they settled in the Parisian suburbs; initially in Saint-Denis, subsequently Maisons-Alfort and finally Villeneuve-Saint-Georges. At twelve he went to live with an uncle in Cairo, Egypt for nine months where he discovered the Zulu Nation and became fascinated with the rapping styles of Afrika Bambaataa. He coined the stage name MC Solaar in his teens from his graffiti tags “SOAR” and “SOLAAR”. Credit: Wikipedia