With Mazal, available February 10, 2015, Aziz Sahmaoui and University of Gnawa conjure up sonorous dreams and intoxicating trance states. The Moroccan poet-singer has achieved a glorious harmony between Maghreb rock, jazz and gnawa music. Sahmaoui, a cofounder of the Orchestre National de Barbès and former associate of Joe Zawinul, confirms his reputation as one of the foremost singer-songwriters of contemporary world fusion music, a reputation that reaches across Europe and beyond to the Middle East and the United States.
An appealing ambiance with woody hints emanates from Rua da Emenda, António Zambujo's velvety voice and the guitars and clarinet adorning his songs, which are like nostalgic illustrations shining with an intense inner light and secreting a mellow kind of sensuality. With Rua da Emenda, this Portuguese national leaves the well-beaten track of traditional fado behind him and turns it into his very own musical genre, a new, very elegant, vocal art which mixes saudade and ardent choruses.
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Irvin Mayfield Jr. and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra are back on tour in February!
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Of the Orchestra's GRAMMY Award-winning album Book One, OffBeat Magazine wrote, "This album has emotional power and depth of writing/arrangement content that invites comparison to similar efforts by such past giants as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Charles Mingus" while The Sunday Times UK gave it 4 STARS, claiming, "it deserves to be taken just as seriously as the deluxe Lincoln Center outfit led by that much more famous Crescent City trumpeter Wynton Marsalis...plush upholstery evokes memories of Basie".
Listen to a World Cafe interview and concert broadcast from CJ Chenier on NPR Music!
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"When the "King Of Zydeco" Clifton Chenier died in 1989, his son CJ Chenier, already part of the famous Red Hot Louisiana Band, shouldered the accordion and followed in his father's footsteps. This past July, World Cafe talked with the younger Chenier — who was performing at the XPoNential Music Festival in Philadelphia — about growing up with zydeco and what it was like to take over his father's band."