Thursday, November 15, 2012


Azam Ali, vocal, frame drum
Ramin Loga Torkian, saz, guitar viol, kamaan
Habib Meftah Boushehri - percussions
Jess Stroup, electric guitar, keyboards, programming

World music for the XXI.Century

In two albums, Niyaz has marked its style and conquered a wide audience of fans in Iran and throughout the world. On stage, the band offers the best blend of traditionnal and modern world music, with the unforgettable voice of Azam Ali accompagnied by her fellow citizen Loga Ramin Torkian, multi instrumentalist and exceptional musicians (Oud, Tabla and electro mix). An absolut must! By any measure, Niyaz has come very far, very fast. The trio's 2005 debut featured a convincing blend of Sufi mysticism and trance electronica, and quickly established them as a standout ensemble in a very crowded world music field. A worldwide tour followed. Now, Niyaz returns with Nine Heavens, which doesn't just cross cultural and stylistic boundaries, but the centuries as well. Drawing on medieval Persian poetry and 300-year old Persian folk songs, Niyaz has created a 21st century global trance tradition.Vocalist Azam Ali co-founded the best-selling world music duo Vas in 1996; her unmistakable voice has graced numerous recordings and major film scores. Loga Ramin Torkian is a multi-instrumentalist whose group Axiom of Choice brought the ancient sounds of Persian classical music to Western listeners in the 1990s. And producer Carmen Rizzo, a multiple Grammy nominee, has worked with Coldplay, Seal, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and many others. Small wonder then that the trio hit the ground running with its self-titled debut. Now, with Nine Heavens, Niyaz breaks new ground in a two-disc format: the first is an adventurous, spiritual exploration of the ties that bind Persian, Indian, Turkish, and Western dance music. The second disc showcases 8 out of the 9 songs in a purely acoustic setting.

 from the concert at Etnika festival in Maribor, Slovenia

Tuesday, May 24, 2011



Two solid acoustic guitars, a raging accordion, and a rocking double bass. With Django Reinhardt’s swinging music as its starting point, the Strong and Silent Types play an exciting and soulful mix of gypsy swing, South‐American rumba and bossa, and French musette. And they’re even handsome, too! The band has experienced memorable
moments on stage in their native Netherlands as well as abroad, ranging from big
festivals to small events. It is no surprise that they enjoy the steady attention of a troupe of loyal admirers!

Gypsy jazz lovers from around the world meet each summer in the small French town of Samois sûr Seine to commemorate their musical hero, Django Reinhardt. For one week, camp sites surrounding the town are taken over by guitarists, violinists, bass and accordion players. Music sounds all day long!
For over ten years, the Strong and Silent Types have been part of this colorful annual gathering along the banks of the River Seine. In the early years the week tended to be spent drinking small French pints, whereas later on the focus shifted towards long days and nights of happy jamming. Each year, the camp ground’s bar is the location of the now historic debate regarding who it was that, in a moment of sheer clarity of mind,suggested to combine forces into the Strong and Silent Types. The answer remains a mystery, but no matter whom it was, it has proven to be a fabulous idea!


Solo guitar: John Ligthart
Accordion: Boris Nauta
Rhythm guitar: Martien Peerdeman
Double bass: Marcel Snijders

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Poum Tchack eastern tour

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Mad Sheer Khan was born Mahamad Hadi, in Algiers in 1955, of mixed Persian and Arabic origin. He studied in France, where he now lives. His experience of being steeped in three different cultures has enabled him to develop fruitful relations between these varied influences. His oriental roots are apparent everywhere in the rhythms, colors, scales and sources of inspiration of his music. His aim is to go beyond the worn-out image of the 'exotic East', and in order to achieve this he constantly seeks points of contact between a western-inspired oriental culture and its counterpart, an oriental-inspired western culture. Mad Sheer Khan strives to give his music a wide range by juxtaposing ideas from both classical and folk music, developing them in compositions in which classically urban and rural styles exist side by side.
Mad Sheer Khan formed his first group in 1975. In 1981, he formed a duo and adopted an image that was quite rare for the time: he spent the 1980s swathed in a turban, deliberately going against what was then the normal practice. His unconventional appearance did not deter the critics, who responded enthusiastically to his playingin 1982 the well-known English magazine New Musical Express listed him among the ten best guitarists in the world. During this period Mad was in fact living in London, where he worked with Velvet Underground's muse, Nico, on the albums Drama of Exile 1 &2, and was acclaimed for his virtuosity.
On his return to France, still under the influence of his London experiences. Mad Sheer Khan wrote pieces with a harder edge than any he had composed before and formed the group Harem, with which he performed a mixture of electronic and acoustic music. In 1994 he went solo again, returning to a more ethnic style of acoustic music.
He has appeared with many other musicians, including Nina Hagen, Michael Hutchence, Keziah Jones, Jean Louis Aubert and Sting.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Fanfara Complexa plays Moldovan folk dance music. They have had several tours, among them they also visited China and turkish part of Kurdistan. The traditional mix of flute, lute and drum is completed by the sound of the saxophone now more and more popular in Moldova.
Members of the band often travel to collect music from authentic resources. The relationship with authentic musicians remained the main inspirational source for the band. Band's leader Bede Péter is a saxophone player, graduated at the Department of Jazz at the Liszt Ferenc Musical Academy in 2007. He is an active folk musician: with his own band, Fanfara Complexa he plays traditional dance-music from Moldavia, while with the band Szigony he plays the folk music of the Gyimes region (Romania). He also played with Besh o Drom, while currently he is the member of Szilvia Bognár's ensemble, and also the Balogh Kálmán Gipsy Cimbalom Band. He had been involved into making the music of several dramas and he also participates in formations playing experimental, improvisatory music.
Line up:

Bede Péter - saxophone
Tuzko Csaba - alt sax, tarogato (hungarian turkish based woodwind instrument)
Roka Szabolcs - koboz (ancient lute),
Benke Felix - drums

Here's a short video of their performance at Etnika festival in september 2008 in Maribor, Slovenia / more at:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

David Orlowsky's Klezmorim

The 25 years old clarinettist David Orlowsky and his Klezmorim trio show their virtuosity and versatility on their CD "Noema" linking elements of klezmer, classics and jazz to create a new musical style.
When he was 16 and had only been playing the clarinet for three years, he caught the attention of Giora Feidman in master classes and concerts. David Orlowsky in now a multiple prizewinner in the nationwide German young performers competition "Jugend musiziert" and is one of the most exciting clarinettist of his generation. Feidman gave Orlowsky his introductin to klezmer and the young clarinettist still feels a strong affinity with this way of making music. Klezmer remains the musical point of departure for "David Orlowsky's Klezmorim", the trio that Orlowsky founded in 1997
together with double bass player and composer Florian Dohrmann, now with Jens-Uwe Popp on guitar. The word "klezmorim" is the plural of "klezmer" and means "musicians".
The pieces on their debut CD are compositions by Orlowsky aand Dohrman who wrote most of the pieces in their repertoire. "Noema" was recorded with famous guest artists Avi Avital (mandolin), Per Arne Glorvigen (bandoneon) and Iveta Apkalna (organ).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Libra Radio on iPhone

Not long ago i got this nice email from a regular Libra Radio listener Pier Marton ( at Washington University - Film and Media Studies Program / ). He says that he has been listening to our programming with his iPhone now!

and here's what he thinks of Libra radio:
"Nobody is consistently so rich and varied, with a special taste for the Eastern European Rom and other soulful folks".

thanks a lot, Pier!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Oleg Ponomarev

I've got recently this great album of a superb violinist, bassist, pianist, guitarist, composer, arranger, producer, singer, teacher and wanderer Oleg Ponomarev.
His latest cd "The master of Russian gypsy violin" can be bought here.

After touring with the famous Russian/Gypsy Band LOYKO for 10 years, recording more than fifteen albums with various musicians, writing off two motorbikes and getting five stars at the Edinborough festival, Oleg has finally settled down in Ireland. He has been involved in many different music project. From 2003 he has been performing with French singer Caroline Moreau, he's also a member of a gypsy swing band The hot club of Dublin and gypsy & klezmer band Koshka.

This is a song played live with Koshka

Thank you for the music sent to Libra Radio!

Monday, February 19, 2007


I owe this review to this great duo of guitarists for some time now. I somehow got a bit lazy for writing in this blog, however this should be changed.
But let's get to the point:

Rangin are Michael Meyer and Omid Bahadori from Hannover, Germany. They met in 1998 and spent some time together in a jazz-funk band "L&B"; Michael as a drummer and Omid on electric guitars. To freshen up the band's programme they wrote together a piece for two acoustic guitars and named it Rangin. The feedback from the audiences was quite respective and the birth of a new duo was just around the corner. Shortly thereafter the jazzfunk band "L&B" broke up and Rangin was born. Only six months later they recorded their first album "Beyond acoustic expressions".
For this project and stage performances they invited some guest musicians. Since the year 2000 Rangin has performed as a duo regularly on TV program „Tachles-Talk am Runden Tisch“ in Hannover and played at the EXPO 2000 in the Africa Hall and in the Globalhouse, followed by a short concert tour in the states of Pfalz and Niedersachsen Germany. The concerts of the year 2000 were followed up by a new CD production and programme. This time „Rangin“ had an excelent CD production (Beyond Acoustic Expressions-1999) offer by Toto-Loto and received sponsoring for their second CD, "Jingle Jungle“, that came out at the beginning of 2001.

With the presentation of „Jingle Jungle“ they won the hearts of the citizens of Hannover and in that summer the group was to be heard and seen at several open air festivals: Sound Circus Open Air (Haendorf) or at the MASALA Worldbeat-Festival in Hannover.

In 2006 they published their third CD "Toma Guarana".
Their music is a colourful coctail of different styles (Latin, Flamenco, Oriental, Jazz-funk) and it is best known as a "Mediterranean crossower". Omid's mystic origins (Iran) brought into their music a special touch of the soul. Sometimes simple joy of living, sometimess sadness. Both is needed.
Thanks for the CD's, guys!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Thursday, 3.08.2006
Thursday,3.08.2006 at 23:00 CET

Born in 1955 in Xanthi, Greece, Nickos Kapilidis got first involved with the music at the age of 8 years . His father owned a small shop with the records and during his visits the little boy gradually went into the greatest discovery of his life - the magical world of the music. For him it was the point of no return. He simply got poisoned with everything music can offer. During the following years he attended music lessons for Bouzouki, Accordeon, Trumpet,Flute, Piano and at the age of 13 he started playing drums with various pop rock bands. For several years he played with his father and his brothers in a "Family band" that cruised around and played traditional greek music. In 1985 he formed "Percussion Ensemble of Thessaloniki".
During his career he had played with various bands in Greece, Switzerland, Germany and France.
The last several years he had focused in the study of the Greek odd rhythms (5/8, 7/8, 9/8 etc.)writing a book about this subject and forming the following bands:
Serious Fun (1996), Ebnus Jazz Quintet(2000), The Jazz Utopia (2001).
The latest - Jazz Utopia - is a quartet with soprano sax, guitar, bass and drums.
Their album - Arothymian, which was published in 2005 and represents the point of our concern, is a smart blending of different melodic and rhythmic elements of Greek music and colourful harmonies enriched with jazz elements.
You can buy this cd here or here.
Thanks for the music, Nickos!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Poum Tchack - Gypsy swing factory

Thursday, 20.04.2006
One hour show with POUM TCHACK:
Thursday,20.04.2006 at 23:00 CET

I received this cd "Delirium Live" directly from the Poum Tchack (name for the pump-pompe sound of a swing guitar rhythm). The musicians are young, however they sound very experienced and what is of the greatest importance: they groove and swing like hell!
Since forming in the outskirts of Marseille in 1999 Poum Tchack's rich and varied blend of music has earned praise from as close to home as Lille and Geneva to as far afield as the Pacific island of New Caledonia and Essaouria in Morocco.
Poum Tchack's sound stems from gypsy and manouche but the six members of the band embrace a broad range of musical genres to create their own signature style. Vocals, violins, guitars, bandonion, percussions and more hint towards an"unplugged" theme but the spirit of rock'n'roll is never far away from Poum Tchack.
The group's first self-produced album was issued in 2002 and was sold in more than 6.000 copies. Their second,
"Delirium Live" (april 2005) reflects
Poum Tchack's evolution into a multi-dimensional unit that is tailor-made for live performances. Having supported acts including Jaques Higelin, Emir Kusturica, Mickey 3D, Birelli Lagrene, Titi Robin, The Ogres of Barback, CQMD, Latcho Drom and Manitas de Plata - Poum Tchack really has established a name for itself as one of the rising stars of the music scene. New projects are on the horizon for the group with the musical score for the Ladislas Starewitch movie and participation in the project "Streets"- a musical directed by Eva Doumbia - all in the pipeline.
Later on:
and here's the video of their live performance at Etnika world music festival in Maribor, Slovenia in september 06 / more at:

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Wednesday, 15. 03.2006

One hour show with KOLEKTIF
Thursday, 15. 03.2006 at 23.00 (Central European Time)

Last year i organized a low (no) budget ethno-music festival here in Maribor, Slovenia called
"Etnika". Two weeks ago a good friend of mine told me about the turkish musician who was in our town at the moment for a very pleasant reason: he was visiting his girlfriend he is in love with.Then we met and talked about this and that and of course - the possibility of getting his Turkish band onto the stage of our festival. His name is Safak Velioglu and he plays on a very interesting instrument setar, which is a traditional persian four stringed lute. More about setar here.

Then Safak went to Sofia where he's been situated recently and a few days later i got this cd from his girlfriend. The music on this cd was a total surprise for me in terms of quality. There is a bunch of some of the finest musicians from Istanbul who joined the project of Kolektif, like Selim Sesler, the guy who participated at this famous film "Crossing the bridge" by Fatih Akin.
Here's the complete line up:
Richard Laniepce: Saksafon alto/tenor/ bariton, mey, dvoyanka, kaval, Aslı Doğan: Vokal, Birol Topaloğlu: Tulum, Vokal, Osman Aktaş: Kaval , Zhubin Kalhor: Kamaçe, Şafak Velioğlu: Setar, Metin İbrahim Uğur: Çello, Orhan Osman: Yunan Lavtası, Cümbüş, Cura, Baglamadaki Tamer Ahmet: Akordeon, Selim Sesler: Sol Klarnet, Mahmut Dahil: Sib Klarnet, Asma Davul, Recep Sırplıoğlu: Kaba Zurna, Geri Vokal, Kemal Oksal: Tuba, Ertan Sahin: Bariton, Geri Vokal, İzzet Kızıl: Tabla, Kanjira, Zarb, Uğur Göregen: Udu, Erbane, Bendir, Çetin Erlik: Tef, Darbuka, Zil, Şerif Kum: Asma Davul, Cubuklu Darbuka, Ediz Hafızoğlu: Davul, Funda Güllü: Geri Vokal, Sedat Özden: Geri Vokal, Koray Kesik: Islık
They don't have their own website and if you google Kolektif, you'll find only articles and reviews in Turkish language.
Safak promised me to send some more info about the band in english.
The music is fantastic! You can buy their cd here.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Hadass Pal-Yarden

Thursday, 02. 02.2006

One hour show with HADDAS PAL-YARDEN
Thursday, 02. 02.2006 at 23.00 (Central European Time)

Hadass Pal-Yarden is an Israeli Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) singer and a doctorate student of Ethnomusicology. During her master studies, she researched the subject of Nowadays Performances of Ladino songs' Corpus in Jerusalem.

Hadass spends the third year in Istanbul in the conservatoire of Istanbul Technical University, as a doctorate student, studying folklore and classical Turkish music and Turkish Music’s Makam.
Hadass had preformed all over Israel and cooperated with musicians and informants of Ladino music. She gave concerts in Thessalonika, Turkey and Israel with the leading Ethnic music players Yurdal Tokcan (Ud) and Göksel Baktagır (Kanun) and took part in Cihat Ashkin’s CD “Ege’nin Türküsü” (KALAN, 2000) as a soloist of the Turkish Zeybek “Ferahi”. Had Participated in Yinon Muallem’s Cd, “Changing Moments” (BEYZA, 2003), as soloist of the Israeli song “Shir La’Yakinton”. Nowadays she is completing her own album of Ladino songs from Turkey and the Mediterranean in “KALAN MUSIC” CD Company. Her CD, called YAHUDIJE”, consist on urban ladino music from Jerusalem, Thessalonika, Istanbul and Izmir.
Yahudije, the name used for the Ladino (Judeo-spanish) language of the Jewish population in the Ottoman times, reflected a simple reality: most Jewish people in the Ottoman Empire were of Spanish origin and spoke Ladino.

This album is absolutely beautiful!
The repertoire for the cd is chosen among the songs from a huge collection that ethnomusicologist Hadass Pal-Yarden have been collecting for so many years now. We listen to the urban music from Istanbul, Izmir, Thessalonika and Jerusalem fertilized with rich and colourful arrangements. Musicians are very experienced and singing parts are done with a lot of passion. This necklace of precious musical pearls should find its place in a cd collection of every ethno music aficionado who has got some pride.

Hadass Pal YardenHadass Pal Yarden at the 21st Annual Jewish Music Festival

Israeli singer Hadass Pal Yarden and Ensemble Yahudice:“Sounds of traditions, music of the future”.

Hadass Pal Yarden and Ensemble Yahudice: Ladino music from Istanbul to Jerusalem.

Sunday, March 19, 7:30 pm. Thrust Stage / Berkeley Repertory Theatre 2025 Addison St., Berkeley $26 / $22. Presented in association with the Consulate General of Israel, The Israel Center and Golden Horn Records.

Monday, March 20, 7:30 pm. Lehrhaus Workshop: Urban Ladino Music of Turkey Hadass Pal-Yarden, of Yahudice. $15/ $12, BRJCC 1414 Walnut Street, Berkeley.

Festival dates: March 11 – 26, 2006. At the Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley. Info:, or call 510.848.0237

Thank you, Hadass!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New York Flamenco Festival 2006

New York’s annual flamenco celebration, now in its sixth year, features over 100 dancers, vocalists and guitarists direct from Spain in a mesmerizing display ranging from flamenco puro to contemporary innovations. The festival is dedicated to the vitality of the flamenco arts of Andalucía, the birthplace of flamenco.

Esperanza Fernández

Son de la Frontera

Vicente Amigo

Gala Flamenca:
Merche Esmeralda,
Manolo Marín,
Javier Barón, Soledad Barrio,
Rafael Campallo and
Adela Campallo

Nuevo Ballet Español

Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía

Compañia Antonio El Pipa

New York Flamenco Festival 2006

Monday, November 14, 2005


Eastern European Women's Vocal Ensemble

Thursday, 17. 11.2005

One hour show with SVITANYA
Thursday, 17. 11. 2005 at 23.00 (Central European Time)

Human vocal with its inevitable emotional component is the most perfect instrument one can imagine. Eastern European singing style has got a beautiful colouration, ornamentation, rhythm changes and song structures, such as unison, melody and drone, parallel harmony and polyphony. All this is extremely hard to put together into a form of perfection. When it is done, it becomes exceptionally seductive. That's why i see "Svitanya" as a rare jewel.

SVITANYA (svee-TAH-nya), which means “the light at sunrise” in Croatian and Ukrainian, is a women’s a cappella ensemble that specializes in music from Eastern Europe.

The songs they perform exude the spirit of traditional village music. Some songs are modern arrangements, some songs were learned from village source recordings, and all songs are sung in their original languages. Their repertoire is quite diverse ¾ ranging from strong and strident field-working songs to traditional dance tunes to lush and emotive arrangements ¾ and it all celebrates the timbres, rhythms, and harmonies indigenous to the region.

Most every song tells a story; some songs celebrate the mundane events of daily life, like cutting wheat in the fields or strolling in the street with musicians, and others depict life’s more poignant moments, such as losing a loved one to war or being married off while too young.

Svitanya is a nine-member, multi-generational ensemble that includes two mother-daughter pairs¾most fitting in a genre where songs have been passed through generations from mother to daughter.

"First light" includes 27 songs from Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Croatia, Lithuania, Serbia, Macedonia, and Georgia. Most of the music is a cappella, with several tracks enhanced by the accompaniment of traditional instruments.
Some songs are modern arrangements, some are from village source recordings, and all songs are sung in their original languages.

SVITANYA is based in Philadelphia area adn has performed at music, dance and folk festivals, concerts, churches and other venues across the northeast.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Shantel // Bucovina

Thursday, 10. 11.2005

One hour show with SHANTEL / BUCOVINA
Thursday, 10. 11. 2005 at 23.00 (Central European Time)

A new sound is here and presumably it is going to spread around the globe.

In our last review we presented Balkan Beat Box, a magical and colourful caleidoscope of different styles of music that rocks either on the stage or in the car.
From Essay Recordings we got news that they've got another fish to fry. Plus 2cd's as well.

Shantel // Bucovina Club 1 and 2

When Frankfurt-based Freestyle and Electronica DJ Stefan Hantel (Shantel) started churning up his eclectic Mix Beats from Brazil and North Africa with Brass Madness, Roma ballads and Balkan dances, dance addicts just couldn’t get enough. A trip to Bucovina, where his mother’s family originate, was a real ear-opener: What he had previously heard on records as an exotic sound from a faraway place was suddenly physically tangible: wild brass ensembles, singers with soulful voices, melancholy bluesy ballads and instrumental melodies, the frenzied dances of Kolo, Hora and Cocek (a Balkan variation on belly-dancing).

The cosmopolitan cultural and ethnic diversity of prewar Bucovina has been an important source of inspiration for Shantel. Czernovitz, the old capital of Bucovina, city of great poets and thinkers such as Rose Ausländer, Paul Celan and Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger, and famous musicians such as the German-Jewish tenor Josef Schmidt, the Caruso of the East, at the heart of the Bucovina region, was the home of his ancestors. Though the years of Nazi occupation, and later Stalinism, have irrevocably destroyed what was once a unique multicultural atmosphere, there is still an enormous interest here in nurturing those roots. By chance, a copy of the Bucovina Club CD managed to find its way to Bucovina. Musicians there were astonished to discover that a musician and DJ living so far away would draw upon these traditions. Eventually, in November 2004, there was a memorable homecoming.
At the invitation of the Mayor of Czernovitz, during the heady Ukrainian autumn of the Orange Revolution, Shantel performed with the Jewish Orchestra of Czernovitz and musicians of the Mahala Rai Banda on former Austria Square to a crowd of ten thousand young people, some of whom had brought along their orange banners. The musicians had prepared intensely for this event and saw it as an opportunity of continuing where the old traditions had left off. Further invitations followed, prompted by the mutual wish to revive this rich cultural experience. Shantel is currently planning a more in-depth collaboration with musicians from Czernovitz.
There is another inspiration that links Shantel’s previous life as an Electronica producer with the Gypsies. The Gypsies, with their seminal contribution to the music of the Balkans, actually invented the art of sampling. On their journeys through many lands and cultures, they adopted a hookline here, a rhythm there, picking up fragments of melodies and choruses along the way, and putting them together to create something entirely their own. Towards the end of the twentieth century, sampling became the production method of a very different scene: Electronica and Dancemusic.

Two years after the acclaimed and award-winning Bucovina Club Album (which won the most prestigious French music critics’ prize), Shantel has been inspired by the enthusiasm of audiences and critics to set his sights on surpassing his fantastic debut album. This time, the holistic approach of this artist-musician-producer and DJ comes across even more clearly. 5 of the 16 tracks are original recordings and 5 are exclusive mixes. Only 6 of them have ever been released anywhere else -- for the most part on rare and hard-to-find albums.
Take a look at his live video or the Tv story of Shantel.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Balkan Beat Box

Thursday, 20. 10.2005

One hour show with BALKAN BEAT BOX
Thursday, 20. 10. 2005 at 23.00 (Central European Time)

Magical stage perfomance. You'll love them. It's inevitable. You'll love your newest personal discovery too. About yourself. About a gypsy soul inside your chest. Which describes you as a walking passion.
Israeli-born Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskrat are the minds behind this patched-together sonic masterpiece . The rooster cries, and the singers coo. The horns wail, and the rhythm section nails everything down. Balkan Beat Box" is like an Eastern Bloc party turned to 11 at 4:30 a.m. - only live and with musicians hailing from Turkey, Israel, Morocco, Bulgaria and Spain. Muskrat, who collaborated with Bloc-punks Gogol Bordello on "J.U.F.," ditches the gutter-punk stylings in favor of Arabic influences and Balkan percussive blasts - to surprisingly listenable results.

The pair's self-titled debut CD is a magnificent mash-up melding music from every conceivable corner of the globe and its history. French heavy-metal samples, Arabic lyrics, Bulgarian female vocals, electronic beats, kitchen utensils, even a language made up just for one song -- instead of gazing into the navels of other cultures, these melanges pull the whole weight of the world forward, always forward. The shows allegedly are lively productions with the band often performing in the middle of the audience.

Blending electronic music with hard-edged folk music from the Balkans, North Africa, and the Middle East, the exciting and internationally acclaimed collective Balkan Beat Box is out to prove that all the world is indeed a stage -- and that we are all gypsies.

Equally influenced by Boban Markovic, Rachid Taha, and Fanfare Ciocarlia as well as Manu Chao and Charlie Parker, Balkan Beat Box presents a wild mixture of styles and sounds.

You can buy their CD here and here (Europe).

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Today with Lily Kiara on Libra Radio

Monday, September 26, 2005

Lily Kiara, a dancer and songwriter

Thursday, 29. 09. 2005 at 23.00 (Central European Time)

LILY KIARA acoustic singer/songwriter, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her songs are intimate and melancholic, rhythmic and intense. Her debut album No Alibi carries 10 of them.

Lily wrote her first songs in 1985, but for many years her music took ’second place’ to her primary work of creating and performing dance projects in Europe and the USA as a dancer/improviser. Her own dance pieces often evolve in collaboration with musicians, such as Michael Vatcher, Tony Buck, Anne La Berge, Marc Nukoop and Alex Waterman, who is featured guest musician on No Alibi.
Her dance and music find their mutual influences mostly in rhythm, in playing with timing and a clear sense of detail within the whole of a dance piece or song.

Her first cd No Alibi released at Bait Records, an independent label Lily shares with Nathalie Wesseling, Ruth Weijers and Nicolette Lie (all ex-Marshmellows).
The album got reviews in Fret, at, in Heaven en Music Maker, with a place for ‘When he Smiles’ in ‘Antjes Achttien’, Hollands most unreliable poplist. Her music has radioplay at radio 98.6 in Berlin and at local stations in Hamburg and Spain.

Lily Kiara has been making music for a while, which you can hear. Although on her cd, she seems to play the modest girl-with-guitar, she sounds a lot more mature than most Dutch female singer/songwriters.
Kiara’s voice, and also some of her songs, vaguely remind of Suzanne Vega. The compositions are mostly magnificent. Well-balanced in set-up and sometimes complemented with beautiful, though sober arrangements for, for example, strings. As in When He Smiles, the climax of the album…No Alibi is a fine cd. Now let’s hope that Lily Kiara will get the chance to present herself to a large audience.
She played in Amsterdams Vondelpark at the finale for singer-songwriter competition ‘Mooie Noten’ in 2002.
She performed her music at open mikes in Amsterdam, Seattle, New York, San Francisco and London.Most recently she played at the successful series house concerts “Live in the Livingroom” in Amsterdam.

Thank you Lily for sending your CD to Libra Radio!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Nadya and her 101 Candles Orchestra

Thursday, 21. 07. 2005 at 00.01 (Central European Time)

Nadya Golski was born in in Mount Hagen (Papua New Guinea) and raised there by her Australian parents with Polish descent. She speaks fluent Tok Pisin and has an unmistakenable Higlands accent.
Nadya started her musical career working with Papua New Guinean reggae bands which was later continued with her throaty gypsy style singing. Nadya is a singer with diverse taste and experience. Her debut album, "Haiwe Draiva", and second album "Moka the Gift", were in languages from the South Pacific Islands, mostly from Papua New Guinea where she spent a significant part of her childhood. Once she also worked with a famous theatre called Gardzienice Theatre Company based in a small village in eastern Poland. From there they travelled by horse and cart to gypsy settlements and remote villages to collect material for their shows which took place in an old candlelit church. People came from all over Europe to make pilgrimages to these performances, which were a feast of music, colour and light.

Nadya launched her first Eastern European inspired double album, 'Effugio', (partly recorded by the ABC studios), at the Sydney Opera House to packed audiences in 2002. The album has since been reissued as a single album simply entitled,"Nadya and Giga 101 Candles Orkestra".
Nadya's 101 Candles Orchestra was selected for Live on Stage by the ABC following their performance at Bellingen festival in October 2003. During 2004 she has performed at the Sydney Festival, Woodford Folk Festival 2003, the Sydney Opera House The Studio, The Basement, and the Sydney Festival 2004.
Nadya has recently finished recording two new albums - 'Crazy Moon' with Australia Council assistance, and 'Heaven and Other Places', a jazz and blues album on the" Wylde Street label".

A tour of the UK followed suit as the headline act of the Music Festivals of Northern England followed by several concerts at the Famous Spiegeltent at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival . Followed by shows at jazz clubs in Paris. This tour was proudly supported by the Australia Council for the Arts

Young Nadya with Warupi warriors from Papua New Guinea

Nadya's abbilities for singing (and languages) are truly flamboyant. It seems like any song she picks up and releases it trough her throat - it sounds perfect. For instance: on the Crazy moon album she sings in Gypsy, Polish, French and Spanish which is not a very common combination for an Australian. When i heard "Dis-Moi", a song in French, i got really attracted with everything what is going on in this piece. A rare combination of a French romance and very smart set Balkan style music background. You'll notice all the talent and virtuosity of the musicians from the 101 Candles Orchestra.
One more thing. A few days ago i met an Australian girl here in Maribor, Slovenia and asked her if she ever heard of Nadya. "And 101 Candles Orchestra?" she replied immediately.
Thank you Nadya for sending music to Libra Radio!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Mark Van Overmeire

I received this cd from Mark Van Overmeire, an excellent musician and composer from Belgium. We will present his music more closely in our DAY OF THE MUSICIAN on Thursday, the of July 2005 starting at 10.00 Central European Time. During the 24 hours period you'll be able to hear his music many, many times. There'll be also a special one hour show with Mark's music project on Friday, the of July at 00.01 CET.
Thank you Mark for sending your cd to Libra Radio!

Mark Van Overmeire (April 2, 1968) is a composer, classical guitar player and percussion performer from Belgium. He started studying music at the age of 15. At the age of 17 he entered the intriguing world of composition trying to master the fundamental rules of classical music.

At that time Mark got interested in the exciting rhythms of jazz and studied jazz harmony. He has worked with the numerous musicians allowing himself to grow as a performer. In March '97 he embarked to South America for 4 years, enriching himself with impressions of another world. The result was a musical journey of his stay in this heart warming continent recorded on the tape.
Mark formed his band in October 2001. He had written 6 compositions based on his 4 year stay in South America and was eager to record those feelings on tape. The resulting album "Impresiones", published on his own record label Kramúsica and released in the US on August 10, 2004, is a work full of emotion. It travels from world to jazz, from folk to classical, from ambient to soundtrack.

Van Overmeire and his band effortlessly combine jazz, world, folk and even classical music. In lesser hands, such disparate musical shifts would be a major distraction, but Impresiones treats these stylistic differences as if they somehow belong together.
"Impresiones" is a work of infinite compassion within the realms of the human experience. The atmospheric layering & ambiance of this work is strikingly unique in its vision & breadth. A sublime sonic blending of emotion & variance, cast in shades of dark & light with an audio-painter's stroke of inspiration & depth.
If you're looking for something completely different for your ears and soul, you should try this album. While listening to this music you'll feel pioneering and adventure, courage and freedom, enthusiasm and energy, and sometimes some deep sadness of a dreamer & wanderer. You also might find some influences of the Pat Metheny in the Mark's music, which is ok with me, since i love this style of music very much.
Mark has got also his own blog called Musical Travelogues.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Romano Drom's Founder Antal Kovács Dies in Hungary

Hungary - Antal Kovács, the cofounder and lead vocalist of Hungarian Gypsy band Romano Drom is reported to have died suddenly on July 6th. A press release by the Ortigueira Celtic and world music festival in Spain mentions that Romano Drom's scheduled performance this Saturday, July 9th, will not take place due to the sudden death of the group's vocalist, Antal Kovács. World Music Central contacted the group's management, Asphalt Tango Productions, in Germany, who confirmed the news. No further details are available at this time and the band's website does not show any recent updates.

Antal Kovács (a.k.a. Gojma) was Romano Drom's vocalist. He was also a dancer and played spoons. He founded Romano Drom together with his son, guitarist ands singer Antal Kovács Jr. (a.k.a. Anti).

Romano Drom means "Gypsy road" in the Romani language. They follow the musical tradition of the Olah Gypsies from Valachia, traditionally horse traders and travelling salesmen. The group split from Ando Drom, another well known Hungarian Gypsy band. Their first album, Déta Dévla, was released in Hungary in 1999. Ando Foro (In the city) came out in November 2001 on the French Label Daqui and is distributed by Harmonia Mundi.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Live 8 free videos

On July 2, the world's biggest musicians converged at global concerts aimed at ending world poverty. AOL Music captured every note, and it's the only place you can relive every performance on-demand!

Click an artist name to see all of the songs played, then watch each performance as many times as you like.

It doesn't work with Firefox. Link to free videos and link to photos.

Lightning galleries

Here's a bunch of lightning photos by Jeff Smith. This image is a digital composite. Link

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band

Thursday, 30. 06. 2005 at midnight (Central European Time)

Anyone who has ever fallen under the spell of the capricious, passionate klezmer and gypsy roots music will certainly enjoy The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band. Their two last albums (The Flower of Berezin, And I in the Uttermost West), bustling with uninhibited exuberance and infectious energy i just received from the band's leader Andy Rubin.
It is impossible to ignore the importance of music in Jewish life. One need only look to the Bible to see descriptions of large orchestras and the importance of the Levites as music makers. After the destruction of the 2nd Temple in 70 C.E. music making in the synagogue was banned by Rabbis and instrumental music survived only by virtue of the fact that merry-making and song were necessary at weddings.
The evocative sound of klezmer music is achieved through the use of the 1st, 4th and 5th modes of the harmonic minorscale. The most distinctively Jewish-sounding use is the 4th mode. This key can be signed by using the key signature of the relative major of the 4th mode tonic and sharping every second and naturalizing every fourth throughout the piece. The dominant instruments in klezmer music are the violin and clarinet. The expressive and emotional klezmer violin intentionally mimics a human voice - sometimes weeping, sometimes laughing .It is extremely hard to stay calm while being attacked by the cascading shrieks and gibbering of the klezmer style clarinet. It just simply opens your heart and forces you to love what you've been doing with your life at this particular moment. This is not rarely articulated as a scream coming out of your mouth!

Andy Rubin (5-string banjo, mandolin, guitar)
Andy founded The Freilachmakers with fiddle player David Kidron (no longer with the band) in 1995. Until that time specializing primarily in American and Celtic folk music, Andy began adapting the "clawhammer" style of 5-string banjoplaying to the klezmer genre. With its incisive and syncopated sound, clawhammer banjo immediately became an integral part of the Freilachmakers approach.

Klezmer music has always been an adapting and evolving process, highly related with the wandering spirit of Yewish communities who have relocated to new cultures. Now Klezmer is undergoing yet another transformation. The Freilachmakers substitute the banjo and mandolin for the clarinet, and add a guitar, cello and accordion. Mixing bluegrass with klezmer is nothing new. Indeed, this mix has been central to the renewed interest and cross-cultural buzz that klezmer has enjoyed over the past decade or so. One of klezmer's most prominent ambassadors, Andy Statman, is arguably equally revered for his poly-rhythmic banjo picking as for his saxophone niggun noodling.

The Freilachmakers - who in the liner notes credit Statman with having introduced them to some of their repertoire - take this mixture to another level, turning it into a concept in itself.
Hailing from the 1849 Gold Rush capitol of Sacramento, California, The Freilachmakers are a self-described "old-timey American string band" that happens to focus on klezmer, so the bluegrass flavors found in its sound are not contrived.
Since releasing The Flower of Berezin in 1998, The Freilachmakers have gone through some changes, returning to a more shtetl-based, "classical" klezmer sound; adding some Israeli and Sephardi influences; acquiring Annette Brodovsky, and deepening the line-up with bassist Lou Ann Weiss learning the cello.
You can buy their music here.

Thank you for the music sent to Libra Radio, Andy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Today on Libra Radio with Scott Robinson and his music

Monday, June 20, 2005

Today with Neil Jacobs on Libra Radio

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Scott Robinson's Gypsophilia and Mandala

I received today two cd's from Scott Robinson's two projects: Gypsophilia and Mandala. We will present his music more closely in our DAY OF THE MUSICIAN on tuesday, of June 2005 starting at 10.00 Central European Time. During the 24 hours period you'll be able to hear the music from both cd's many, many times. There'll be also a special one hour show with Scott's music projects on wednesday, 23.rd of June at 01.00 CET.
Thank you Scott for supporting Libra Radio by sending the music!

Scott Robinson grew up in Syracuse, New York, where he studied with Brian Israel at Syracuse University. He returned to school after two years, receiving his M.Mus. from SUNY Binghamton and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, where he studied with Dominick Argento and Judith Zaimont.

Scott has received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. The City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania also awarded him an Individual Artist Grant, while the University of Minnesota awarded a grant for his work combining his choral music with Hindu temple dance.

He has published with Thomas House and Moon of Hope Publishing. Scott is a member of the Third Order, Society of St. Francis, a lay religious order in the Episcopal Church, and lives in Philadelphia.

Gypsophilia: "Free Inside"

The music of Gypsophilia is borrowed music, plucked from different cultures and traditions and woven into a unique tapestry. Inspired by both the deep religious history and the culinary delights of the Middle Eastern and Eastern European regions, Scott began collecting recordings and transcribing traditional pieces for the band years ago. In many pieces there is a section of improvisational soloing by one or more players at a time. Under the solos runs a repeated line the rest of the group continues to play, called an ostinato. This method of soloing is called taksim, and allows us to follow the flow of the music wherever it will take us, and guarantees that every performance is unlike the one before it.

Much of our repertoire comes from Greece and Turkey, but there are also Bosnian, Armenian, Romanian and Serbian pieces to be heard as well. The original works that Scott has composed draw from all of these traditions, often mingling English words with Hebrew rhythms and a Turkish chord structure. As a band we are dedicated to demonstrating through our music that while there are many diverse cultures and beliefs on this globe we all inhabit, music is truly a universal language that can soften tensions and break down barriers between people.
Gypsophilia performs on an amazing array of stringed, reed and percussion instruments. In their case the instruments are: concertina, clarinet, violin, dumbek and cello.
Here's the link to streaming video of Gypsophilia on the stage with belly dancer Kittarina.

You can buy Gypsophilia cd's here.

Mandala: "Compassion"

Drawing on a comprehensive musical education and a diverse background in multiple musical styles, the members of Mandala join to bring forth a joyous noise that at once is deeply personal and transcendently universal.

Melodic and rhythmic influences from vastly different cultural and musical traditions are interwoven to form a whole cloth of pure ecstatic praise.
You can purchase this album here.

Friday, June 17, 2005

NEIL JACOBS soul of a Gypsy

I just received this "American Gypsy" CD from a superb 12 string guitar virtuoso Neil Jacobs himself. It fits perfectly into Libra radio music programme and i am proud to announce A DAY OF THE MUSICIAN with Neil Jacobs on Libra Radio starting on monday, of June 2005 at 10. am Central European time. There will be also a special one hour show with Neil's music at 1. am CET on 21. st of June. Thank you for sending the music to Libra Radio, Neil!
You can buy his music at CD Baby.

This is his story:

Neil Jacobs has had a colourful and unconventional musical career. Touring for mor than 25 years, he has performed in such diverse venues as the refugee camps of Sarajevo, the Kennedy Center for Performing arts and the Kremlin.
Of Irish & Macedonian descent, Neil was raised in Hinckley, Ohio. At a young age he developed an affinity for the guitar and taught himself to play. In the early 80's, Neil's group toured with Spyro Gyra, Alan Holdsworth and Jeff Lorber, appearing with perfomers like Herbie Mann, David Bromberg, Janis Ian, Flora Purim and Livingston Taylor.
His growing fascination with Eastern European folk music drew him back to Europe. As a backpacker equipped with two 12 string guitars on the train in the early stages of the bloody Balkan war, Neil travelled to perform in the countries of what was once known as Yugoslavia.
In 1994-95 Neil was selected as cultural representative to Spain, where he studied the gypsy music of Seville, and escorted by a gypsy guide, he experienced the real gypsy culture in the back-alley clubs.

In 1996 he returned to the war-ravaged Balkans on a bus tour, performing for refugee camps & orphanages troughout Hungary, Croatia and Bosnia. The journey trough the bombed-out countryside was heart-wrenching for the 25 musicians and dancers living in cramped quarters on the extended tour. The purpose of the trip was to lift the spirits of the refugees and orphans by playing the music of their native villages which were all in ruins. At the end of the journey loomed the devastated city of Sarajevo, where the troupe was to perform a concert. In an amazing display of ingenuity, a great stage was erected in a matter of hours, complete with a massive sound system and lights. the tour culminated in an emotional farewell concert with the highly respected American Balkan music and dance ensemble "Zivili". After Sarajevo Neil struck out on his own southward trough Bosnia, this time encountering a dangerously divided country. Returning to the States, he completed his third CD, "American Gypsy", which earned him an Album of the Year nomination by the American Independent Music Awards.

Neil Jacobs is truly a master of the 12-string guitar. With his own style of playing that the St Louis Riverfront Times describes as "mesmerizing" and the Austin Chronicle describes as "the rockin'est since early Leo Kottke". Neil covers a full spectrum of styles and dynamics, touching on music diverse and varied as Gypsy, World, Balkan Folk, Jazz, and Fingerstyle guitar, while maintaining his own refreshing energetic style of playing. A self-taught musician, Neil draws inspiration from his world travels and experiences. His most recent focus includes the Gypsy music of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, which is showcased in his third CD "American Gypsy", in which he draws from his first hand knowledge of Eastern European Gypsy, Balkan and World Folk music to create his riveting compositions.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Angelo Debarre

Angelo Debarre, born in St-Denis, France, started playing guitar at the age of 8. In the manush (gipsy) community, tradition is transmitted orally in family parties and gatherings, where music always occupies a prominent place. Angelo recently confirmed this to Michel Bedin of Jazz Hot magazine1: “In any gathering of three to four hundred caravans there is no shortage of music”.The gipsy jazz musical tradition launched by Django Reinhardt is the heart of this culture and Angelo Debarre quickly became one of its jazz masters. He founded his first group “The Angelo Debarre Quintet” in 1984, and the following year, he began touring the world with gipsy musicians. This is music that he knows inside and out, and at concerts and festivals his enthousiasm and passion prove it. For Angelo Debarre, Django Reinhardt”s music never loses the dynamism and richness of the past : it is everlasting, a living music .

He has also mastered with equal ease the gipsy Music of Eastern Europe, a repertory that he became interested in through his contacts with Serge Camps at La Roue Fleurie, a favorite meeting place of the gypsies in Paris where he played regularly between 1985 and 1987. Another regular at La Roue Fleurie during this period was Jon Larsen 2, who was fascinated by the music he heard there decided to bring Angelo Debarre, Serge Camps and Frank Anastasio together in the recordings studio to produce “Gypsy Guitars”. A recording that would showcase the group’s dynamism and the incredible variety of the gipsy repertory. The album is still essential for every aficionado of the gipsy music of the Eastern European tradition and gipsy jazz.