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Krystle Warren in Australia

26 Mar


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Photos by Soazig De La Moissoniere

University of Gnawa ft. Aziz Sahmaoui make London debut

23 Nov

“The musicianship was spare, tight and ruthlessly effective” … “In Gnawa ceremonies, the adepts are moved to dance their troubles away as they whirl to the rising power of the music. At WOMAD, the audience responded in similar though untutored fashion, transported, albeit for a few minutes, to another realm.”

University of Gnawa ft. Aziz Sahmaoui

Out Now
General Pattern

“There’s not only passion aplenty but a lifetime of curiosity and learning on this debut album. The erudite Sahmaoui has mixed together his own Gnawa culture, his passion for all things rootsy and west African, his love of jazz and a penchant for the gutsy pile-driving rhythms that were ONB’s (Orchestre National de Barbès) signature, into an intelligent coherent whole.” Songlines ****
Daily Telegraph
FT ****
“… a thrilling debut.”  The Observer
Album of the Week The Independent
“Warmly recommended”. fRoots
“The album is an intoxicating affair, visceral and groove-centric yet also nuanced and multilayered.”
Echoes ****

The debut album, University of Gnawa ft. Aziz Sahmaoui, was produced by Martin Meissonnier, a man of impeccable taste who has previously shared his talents with the likes of   Don Cherry, Khaled, Manu Dibango, King Sunny Ade, Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Seun Kuti.

The main man, multi-instrumentalist and lead vocalist, Aziz Sahmaoui, featured on the first two albums from Orchestre National de Barbès as well as alongside the undeniably great Joe Zawinul in his Zawinul Syndicate for 6 years (Zawinul’s previous includes a stint with Miles Davis recording In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew; and as a founder member of Weather Report). NB the University of Gnawa’s version of Weather Report’s “Black Market”.

Aziz grew up in Marrakesh at the centre of the cultural melting pot provided by the multifarious tribes of Morocco. There he absorbed the traditional music and emerging sounds from the new Moroccan scene: Nass el Ghiwane, amaziria music, chaabi and especially the music of the healing Gnawa masters.

With several African musicians in the band, Sahmaoui is taking Gnawa music back to its roots in Guinea or Ghana although most of the band are from Senegal most notably guitarist Hervé Samb, Alioune Wade – long-standing bass player for Ismaël Lo, and Cheikh Diallo on keyboards and kora.

University of Gnawa is a great CD as well as a stunning live experience.

University of Gnawa ft. Aziz Sahmaoui
December 6th
Kemia Bar
Momo Restaurant 25 Heddon Street,
London W1B 4BH
Doors at 9.00
on stage at 9.30
Free admission

Hammock House – “Africa Caribe” – Produced & Mixed by Joaquin “Joe” Claussell

9 Jun

FANIA gives Joe Claussell access to their back catalogue. The result is a stunning two-disc album; the first featuring fresh re-workings of classic Fania tracks, while the second is a live continuous mix.

Released on 27th June 2011

Fania Records announced today the release of a deluxe 2-disc set entitled, Hammock House ‘Africa Caribe’ produced and mixed by the legendary Joaquin “Joe” Claussell. The project is a perfect marriage between old and new, a fresh take on classic sounds from the Fania archives. Late in 2010, Fania Records hand delivered the original multi-track recording tapes in a battered cardboard box to Joe Claussell’s NYC studio. Inside was a round metal reel wrapped with many feet of rolled magnetic tape, and a crumbling “Track Report” sheet from some matter-of-fact day in the 1970s. As Joe ecstatically explained, “When the carrier came to my place with all these boxes, I had an Indiana Jones moment, like when he opens the treasure chest and the glow of gold light shines up on his face. It was miraculous that they were still around, and the history of this stuff is just amazing.”

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Juan Luis Guerra y 4.40 – Wednesday 22nd June – HMV Hammersmith Apollo. London – the first time!

12 Apr

Como No proudly presents
Juan Luis Guerra y 4.40

London – the first time!

Greatest Hits Show

Wednesday 22nd June
HMV Hammersmith Apollo

Tickets on sale: 10am on Friday 15th April.

At last! The pan-Caribbean icon, Juan Luis Guerra, is coming to the UK with a one-off Greatest Hits show that promises to be the talk of the summer. Juan Luis Guerra – one of biggest and most enduring stars of Latin music for the past quarter of a century is finally coming to London on 22nd June. JLG, with his band 4.40, has sold 30 million albums worldwide, won two Grammy awards and 15 Latin Grammys and of all the biggest stars of Latin music he is the only one never to have appeared in the UK. This truly historic event will see the tropical music superstar cherry-pick from a vast and varied back catalogue for a solid 2 hour show where hit follows hit follows hit …

JLG was born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and using the rhythms of his birthplace, merengue and bachata, he struck out in all directions folding in salsa, Latin pop, and even going back to the source, Africa, by recording with Congo’s Diblo and covering a Papa Wemba song for an exquisitely realised merengue/soukous mash up on 1994’s sublime Fogaraté album.

His 11th, and latest studio album, “Asondeguerra”, debuted at no. 1 on the iTunes Latin charts in the US, Spain and Mexico on its first day and went on to reach no. 1 on the overall chart in Spain and Colombia, ultimately winning the 2010 Latin Grammy for Album of the Year – the second time he has won that particular honour. “Asondeguerra” features a collaboration with Colombian heavyweight Juanes on the song La Calle.

Just after the longest day of the year prepare for the long awaited party of the year.

Wednesday 22nd June
HMV Hammersmith Apollo
45 Queen Caroline Street
London W6 9QH
Doors 6.45pm
Tickets £35 in advance standing and seating, £50 premium seats.

On sale at 10am on Friday 15th April.

hmv call centre – 0843 221 0100
Ticketmaster 24 hour Ticketline: 08448 44 47 48
SEE Tickets