Thursday, 24 April 2008

Namgyal Lhamo's Free Tibet tattoo

As the struggle for a Free Tibet continues, Netherlands based Tibetan singer Namgyal Lhamo has pushed the cause to the forefront of the artistic community with a music video from her upcoming album 'Highland Supernova' which be released in less than a month from now. A week after Namgyal Lhamo hit the headlines with a cover photo that screamed Free Tibet in the Bangkok Post's magazine "Guru,” the team that was filming the title song "Aalayeah-Highland Supernova" for the new album came up with a concept that has already raised eyebrows across Asia.

The use of a tattoo to convey a global message engraved on Lhamo's back is the cause of the stir. The tattoo, designed by award-winning Tibetan/Bu...


Monday, 21 April 2008


Ever since I first heard mbira from Zimbabwe almost 30 years ago (via this record), I've been a lover of that enchanting, delicate and intricate music. It's only recently, however, that many of us who aren't actually players of the mbira could see just how the instrument is played: Holding the mbira, and scales - Lesson One - Two - Three - Four, and more and more. And here are some recommended mbira players and groups with MySpace Music pages worth checking out: Spirit Talk Mbira - Mbira Oracle - Kunzawa Mbira Group - Joel Laviolette.
Special honors to Thomas Mapfumo, who, many years back, took the mbira style and spirit and adapted it to electric guitars, in an inspired and joyous fusion of the ancient and the modern.

This page from All About Jazz reviews the Nonesuch label's releases of Shona mbira music.

This YouTube clip features a tune from another of the Nonesuch releases, The Soul of Mbira, a collection of recordings made by ethnomusicologist and author Paul Berliner. Recommended.

There'll no doubt be plenty of mbira music to be heard at Zimfest 2008, this coming July in Tacoma, Washington.

Finally, here's Dangurangu. For your ears only.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

CD: Toumani Diabate - Mande Variations

Toumani Diabate

The Mande Variations (Nonesuch, 2008)

Son of Sidiki Diabate, one the most celebrated kora players , Toumani Diabate has blazed a career worthy of the Diabate name and legacy of this family of Mande griot musicians from Mali. After twenty years since his first solo and debut recording Kaira and countless collaborations with stellar artists ...

[Full article click here]