Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Twenty-five thousand songs recorded onto 78RPM discs in the early 20th century have been released online, for free.

They are the first batch of an estimate 400,000-piece virtual record collection to be made available by the Internet Archive, from gospel by the Tuskegee Institute Sings, to opera recorded in Italy, to novelty tunes by Spike Jones, to hot — though obscure — jazz.

The task of digitizing all of those old records is happening in Chestnut Hill.

In a little storefront building on Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood, George Blood Audio LP, an audio preservation company, has been quietly preserving America’s musical heritage, one 78 at a time.

Read full article: Philly company digitizes 25,000 old records and they’re free to download — NewsWorks

Link to 78rpm Records Digitized by George Blood, L.P.

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Mariachi Herencia de Mexico (photo © Meg Rachel)

Mariachi Herencia de Mexico (photo © Meg Rachel)

Mariachi Herencia de México,
an Ensemble of Students from Chicago’s Immigrant Barrios,

Scores a Surprise Hit with their Debut CD, Nuestra Herencia (Our Heritage);

CD Debuts at #2 on iTunes Latin Chart, Showcasing Growth of Mariachi Music in the U.S.

Produced by Top L.A. Mariachi Musician José Hernández, CD Features Guest Vocalists
from Renowned Bands Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, Los Camperos, and others

With Support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Project Represents Success of Mariachi Program Model in Financially-Strapped Chicago Public Schools

NYC Debut August 20 at Joe’s Pub + Kennedy Center in Washington, DC on Sept 16

Mariachi Herencia de México, an ensemble of students from Chicago’s immigrant barrios, has scored a surprise hit with their debut album of traditional Mexican music. Nuestra Herencia (Our Heritage) ranked No. 2 in its first week on iTunes’ Latin chart, defying a music industry trend and pointing to a revival in recorded mariachi music.

The album is believed to be the first major mariachi recording released in the U.S. by a student ensemble, with members ranging in age from 11 to 18. It was produced and arranged by L.A.’s mariachi master, Jose Hernández, who calls the project “one of those labor of love things.” Much of that love and labor came from César Maldonado, an investment banker whose most important startup was a non-profit foundation that promoted mariachi music instruction in Chicago public schools, creating a classroom incubator for the talent on this album.

“It’s really nice, and very refreshing, to see kids that age who have so much love and respect for mariachi music,” says Hernández, best known as founder of Mariachi Sol de México, one of the top mariachis in Los Angeles.

In a historic collaboration, the album features guest musicians from some of the most respected mariachi groups from both sides of the border. It includes vocal contributions, recorded in Mexico, by members of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, a revered institution in the genre. In addition, members of three top Los Angeles ensembles – Los Camperos, Sol de México, and the all-female group Reyna de Los Ángeles – recorded guest vocals on the CD.

The release of the album, featuring 11 traditional mariachi tracks, comes paradoxically at a time when the genre had been waning. With more than 100 years of history, mariachi music had become an iconic art form, representing Mexican culture throughout the world, via records, movies and spectacular live performances by superstar singers. But the lack of major new artists in the field, coupled with the emergence of other popular folk styles, especially banda and corridos, mariachi music lost its commercial appeal for the recording industry. In fact, last year the Latin GRAMMYs did not offer an award for “Best Ranchero / Mariachi Album” due to an insufficient number of entries in the category.

Nuestra Herencia was released in time to qualify for this year’s Latin GRAMMY competition and features tribute medleys to two of the genre’s greatest stars: Juan Gabriel and José Alfredo Jiménez.

For the creators and members of Mariachi Herencia de México, the passion for mariachi music has never faltered. The group’s success represents the strength of the colorful folk style as a grassroots movement, very much alive in regional festivals and especially in the schools.

“I tell people that mariachi is a sleeping giant in this country,” says Hernández, who also operates music education programs through his L.A.-based Mariachi Heritage Society. “A lot of people in the mainstream don’t realize how big mariachi has become in the schools. This album might open people’s eyes to what’s happening to mariachi education in this country. It’s really growing.”

In Chicago, Mariachi Herencia de México was purely a barrio creation.

The band emerged from a plucky non-profit, the Mariachi Heritage Foundation, that pushed a cultural agenda in the schools. It was started in 2013 by a determined investment banker whose entrepreneurial spirit was aimed at doing good for his old neighborhood. César Maldonado, 33, was born and raised in the blue-collar, predominantly Latino community of Brighton Park on the south side of Chicago. At the time, he recalls, the public schools he attended had no formal arts or music instruction.

“I believe in the impact of the arts, especially when the art form is relevant. And this art form is completely relevant to Chicago’s growing Mexican and Mexican American communities,” says Maldonado.

Maldonado, who still lives in his old neighborhood, decided to make good on his convictions. With the blessing of Chicago’s arts-focused leader, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and support from a network of local businesses, a program of mariachi music instruction was launched, initially in five public schools. These were among the schools identified by a city study as most lacking in arts resources. And that included Maldonado’s alma mater, Davis Elementary.

The program, part of the regular school curriculum, has now expanded to eight schools and enrolls 2,100 students, who learn music theory and performance in the mariachi style. The ensemble Mariachi Herencia de México was created for students who showed the most talent and promise, and enrollment for the group was opened citywide.

For trumpeter Marco Villela, 14, who joined the mariachi last year at the urging of his mother, the experience has been a cultural eye-opener.

“It’s something that changed my life,” says Villela. “It really taught me how to look at music differently, and that there are more things out there than just classical and jazz.”

The group performs in major mariachi festivals, including upcoming events in Chicago, Orlando, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Guadalajara, Mexico’s mariachi capital. Maldonado says the band recently signed with IMG Artists, the New York agency that also represents international stars Aida Cuevas, Eddie Palmieri, and Diego El Cigala.

The aim is more exposure, so the world can see what these young musicians have to offer. Debut concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and The Public Theater in New York City are now on the schedule.

“I want people across the country to hear about these kids,” says Maldonado. “These are kids from some of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods, most of them first generation Mexican American, and all of a sudden, they enroll in this mariachi program and awaken a talent they never knew they had. And they become good enough to record something like this.”

Mariachi Herencia de México – Summer 2017 Tour

August 20 – New York, NY – Joe’s Pub – 7:00pm
Aug 25- Sept 3 – Guadalajara, MX – Guadalajara International Mariachi Festival
MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY EVENTS:
Sept 16 – Washington, DC – Kennedy Center / Millennium Stage (FREE)
Sept 16 – Chicago NPR Radio – WFMT-FM Performance on “Introductions”

Jimmy LaFave, who moved to Austin in the mid-1980s and became one of the city’s most prominent singer-songwriters of the past several decades, died Sunday night after a yearlong battle with an aggressive form of cancer. He was 61.

Jesse LaFave, a nephew, confirmed Monday that Jimmy died at home in the company of family and loved ones about 9 p.m.

“It was almost like something out of a movie, but a really sad movie where you already knew how it was going to end,” he said. “But he wanted to pass away at his house, and that’s exactly what he did.”

Born July 12, 1955, in Wills Point, about an hour east of Dallas, LaFave moved with his family to rural Payne County in Oklahoma as a youth and attended Donart High School in nearby Stillwater, Okla. A photo from 1973 shows a teenage LaFave performing in the school’s talent show. His childhood acoustic guitar is featured in a display at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Okla.

He played regularly in Stillwater nightclubs after high school and, along with other rising Oklahoma songwriters of the era such as Bob Childers and Terry Buffalo Ware, helped establish what became known as red-dirt music, a rootsy mix of country, folk, blues and rock. He recorded his first two albums during that time, though they received little notice beyond his home region.

After LaFave moved to Austin, he gradually rose to the fore of the city’s music scene. His 1988 tape “Highway Angels … Full Moon Rain” was recognized as the best cassette release at that year’s Austin Music Awards. Soon he began hosting a weekly open mic at Chicago House, a popular Sixth Street acoustic haven in the 1990s. Early on, he began wearing the vintage leather driving cap that became a nearly omnipresent part of his outfit onstage.

Read full article: Jimmy LaFave, renowned singer-songwriter, dies of cancer at 61

David Holt's State of Music

Series Explores Rich Musical Legacy from Southeast U.S.

Eight Episodes to Air on PBS from April 8, 2017 (check local listings)

February 23, 2017 – In the second season of David Holt’s State of Music, four-time Grammy winner David Holt introduces viewers to some amazing modern masters of American folk, bluegrass, country and gospel music. The season, consisting of seven 30-minute episodes and one 60-minute episode, will begin airing on PBS in April, May and June (check local listings). The original David Holt’s State of Music received a 2015 Emmy nomination in the category “Documentary-Cultural” for the mid-south region.

David Holts State of Music, Season Two was filmed on location throughout the mostly rural landscapes that nurture this organically American music. Featured in Season Two are a 19th-century textile mill near Burlington, NC, once owned by David’s distant ancestors; an historic court house in Hendersonville, a general store in the Prospect Hill community, and a beautiful farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains that once belonged to the family of Woody Platt, guitarist and singer with the Steep Canyon Rangers. The series includes whole songs by, and interview with, its talented performers.

The season’s final episode is a one-hour stage performance reuniting David with artists from the first season including breakout star Rhiannon Giddens, multi-faceted musician and ballad singer Josh Goforth, African-American gospel torch bearers the Branchettes, and bluegrass supergroup Balsam Range.

“This series really highlights the diversity of American traditional music and the performers who are drawn to it from different directions,” says host David Holt. “From a veteran like Doyle Lawson, who in his youth studied with the great Jimmy Martin, to a young, gifted female performer like Amythyst Kiah, who learns from the Internet. The depth of heart, soul, and talent revealed in this season’s music is bound to amaze viewers!”

Season Two Featured Artists:

Steep Canyon Rangers, the progressive bluegrass band that got its break touring with comedian Steve Martin; the Swiss-born Kruger Brothers, virtuosos on banjo and guitar; the young band Mipso, all recent students at UNC-Chapel Hill; bluegrass legend Doyle Lawson and his band Quicksilver; powerhouse vocalist Amythyst Kiah; famous guitar-maker Wayne Henderson with bluegrass pianist Jeff Little; Dom Flemons, a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops; the Unity Choir of St. John AME Zion Church; and Alice Gerrard, grand-dame of bluegrass women, performing with fiddler Rayna Gellert and singer-songwriter Laurelyn Dossett.

About David Holt:

David Holt previously hosted the UNC-TV/PBS series Folkways that took viewers through the Southern mountains visiting traditional craftsmen and musicians. He also served as host of The Nashville Network’s Fire on the Mountain, Celebration Express and American Music Shop. He was a frequent guest on Hee Haw, Nashville Now and The Grand Ole Opry. David was cast as a musician in the popular Coen Brothers film, O Brother Where Art Thou. He also hosted Riverwalk Jazz for Public Radio International and the Emmy award-winning series Great Scenic Railway Journeys on public television. In 2002, David Holt and Doc Watson won two Grammy Awards for Best Traditional Folk Recording for Legacy, a three-CD collection of songs and stories reflecting Doc Watson’s life in music. Doc and David toured together from 1998 until Doc’s death in 2012. More information can be found at davidholt.com.

Maggie Roche, one-third of family band the Roches, has died. Roche’s sister and bandmate Suzzy confirmed the news in the below Facebook note, saying she died after a long battle with cancer. She was 65. “She was a private person, too sensitive and shy for this world, but brimming with life, love, and talent,” the note reads. “I want to let you know how grateful she was to everyone who listened and understood her through her music and her songs. … It’ll be hard for me to carry on without her.”

Source: The Roches’ Maggie Roche Dead at 65 | Pitchfork

Detour Holiday Schedule

Posted: December 22, 2016 in News
Tags: ,

Detour, the folk, roots, and world music show will take two weeks off while WTMD presents some special programming.

  • Sunday, December 25th, Christmas Day, all day: Selected Christmas/holiday/seasonal music
  • Sunday, January 1st, New Year’s Day, all day: Revisit exceptional live performances recorded in WTMD’s performance space
  • Sunday, January 8th: The first Detour of the new year

Please consider making a tax-deductible year-end gift to WTMD. For every donation WTMD receives by December 31st, local produce delivery service Hungry Harvest will donate one pound of produce to needy folks in our community. Find out more.

Detour Top 10 Songs
This week on Detour, the folk, roots and world music show — Detour’s Top 10 Songs of 2016. Tune in on Sunday, December 18th, 5-7PM to count down the Top-10 list. 89.7 FM and streaming on wtmd.org. The show will also be archived at DetourRadio.com.

1. Ana Alcaide “Diosa Luolaien” Leyenda [Spain]

2. The Paul McKenna Band “The Dream” Paths That Wind [Scotland]

3. The Bills “Forgotten Beech Grove” Trail of Tales [British Columbia, Canada]

4. Lakou Mizik “Anba Siklòn” Wa Di Yo [Haiti]

5. The Stray Birds “Sabrina” Magic Fire [Lancaster, PA]

6. Ten Strings and a Goatskin “The Ukrainian Expedition” Auprès du Poêle [Prince Edward Island, Canada]

7. Siama “Sisili” Rivers – From the Congo to the Mississippi [Congo]

8. Cris Jacobs “Hallelujah Hustler” Dust to Gold [Baltimore, MD]

9. Oysterband “I Built This House” This House Will Stand – The Best of Oysterband 1998-2015 [England]

10. Carrie Newcomer “A Shovel is a Prayer” The Beautiful Not Yet [Bloomington, IN]

Lakou Mizik

Lakou Mizik

Songlines world music magazine has named Wa Di Yo on Cumbancha records by Haitian band Lakou Mizik as the Best Album of 2016.

“Lakou Mizik’s debut is a passionate tribute to the people and culture of Haiti. Formed in the aftermath of the country’s 2010 earthquake, the collective deliver a project of celebration and hope.” – Songlines

The Dirty Linen Store is open!

Posted: November 27, 2016 in News
Tags: ,

maintaining-world-silliness-levels

The Dirty Linen Store is open 24/7 365! No huge crowds! No waiting in line! Pick up something weird for that special someone… yourself! Or someone you know! Or a complete stranger! Anyone, really… Created by Baltimore artist Megan Amoss (weird artwork) and Paul Hartman (weird ideas)… http://dirtylinen.us

Today on Detour!

Posted: November 27, 2016 in News
Tags: ,

It’s a Detour tradition for the Sunday after Thanksgiving: Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant.” This year it’ll be the brand new recording celebrating the 50th anniversary of the events depicted in the song.

New music by Robert Earl Keen, a sister duo from Nova Scotia, and Arabic/Indian music from Croatia.

Also the Detour Concert Calendar, plus much more. Tune in at 5PM on 89.7 FM and wtmd.org