World Renowned Sarod Master, Amjad Ali Khan, tours the UK with a highlight performance at the Royal Festival Hall, London
With a career now spanning over fifty glorious years, Amjad Ali Khan was only eight years old when he gave his first public recital of the musical instrument- the sarod. His family history, which is rooted within the Indian classical music scene, sees Khan carry on a family tradition that covers six generations. He has charmed international audiences with solo recitals in some of the worlds most prestigious musical venues (Royal Albert Hall, London; Carnegie Hall, New York), music festivals (WOMAD, Edinburgh International Festival) as well as being a regular guest of HRH the Prince of Wales. He admits that part of his uniqueness is his broad appeal:
There is no essential difference between classical and popular music. I want to communicate with the listener who finds Indian classical music remote.
An ambassador for India and the arts, Khan will be holding workshops within western classical conservatoires. Gaetan Le Divelec, Tour Manager at the classical music agency of Askonas Holt says,
Amjad Ali Khan is our first non-Western artist, and at the height of his career. We are delighted to welcome one of the most eminent ambassadors of Indian classical music to the UK, and hope that through the tour and workshops we can encourage and build an exchange of mutual learning between the North Indian and Western Classical music audiences.
Khan will be joined on tour by his two sons, Ayaan and Amaan Ali Bangash. Check Tour dates for full details of the venues of these performances.
My father, Haafiz Ali Khan, never played any raga for more than twenty minutes as he felt it was all repetition!"
Find out more about Amjad Ali Khan's new Real World Records release and experience his music in our free downloadable DTS CD (5.1 surround recording).
Daby performs at La Cigale in Paris on Tuesday 15 March following a major promotional campaign for his album 'Diam'. He is also playing three songs live at Radio France for 'Couleur Francophone' in a show which will be broadcast on March 20 at 20.30. You can hear this on:
French national network, France Bleue; in Switerland on Option music network; in Belgium on Vivacité; in Canada on Espace musique & Radio Canada International and all over Africa on RFO.
Iarla O Lionaird will be playing a track from his new solo album 'Invisible Fields' with fellow musical collaborator Graham Henderson. Iarla and Graham (playing harmonium) will be performing the beautiful 'Taimse Im'Chodladh (I Am Asleep) live from Iarla's home County Kilkenny, Ireland. You can catch this on 'Coiscéim' on RTÉ 1, Wednesday 16 March. Coiscéim is a series of programmes specially-commissioned by RTE 1 to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Language Week) 2005. The series is a celebration of all that is Irish in 2005 and many of the participants are well-known faces and also fluent Irish speakers.
Irish televsion viewers will be able to see Real World artist Iarla O'Lionaird reviewing items from the contemporaty arts scene on RTE. You can catch Iarla and his fellow panelists on 'The View' at 23.15 on Tuesday 22 March. They will be discussing current poets shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Award, the film 5X2 by Francois Ozon opening at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin, The Tokyo Ensemble's "Lost in a Flurry of Cherry Blossoms" which will be showing at the Samuel Beckett Theatre and new works by New York based visual artist Fred Tomaselli which opens at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin.
On Tuesday 15 March BBC Radio Scotland's Celtic Connections will celebrate the life and work of the great Scottish musician, producer and innovator Martyn Bennett. Mary Ann Kennedy will introduce a number of guests who will talk about Martyn's remarkable life and career. You can hear the programme at 20.05 to 22.00 on Tuesday 22 and again on the following Sunday at 18.05 - 20.00. On the BBC Radio website you can also listen again on line for a week after broadcast.
We are very sad to announce that George Scott, one of the original members of the Blind Boys of Alabama, died in his sleep on Wednesday morning of complications from heart disease at his home in Durham, NC. He was 75.
The booming baritone voice of the group which formed at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in the late 1930s, Scott, along with the other remaining original members and their bandmates, travelled all over the world spreading the group's unique brand of soulful gospel music and good times. Although the band has been continuously active for over sixty years, they only recently burst on to the popular music scene, winning four consecutive Grammys for the last four years, recording with such diverse acts as Ben Harper, Lou Reed, and Ibrahim Ferrer and touring with Peter Gabriel and Tom Petty. Just last month the band won their fourth Grammy award, and performed on both the Grammy Awards telecast and the Tonight Show.
While Scott had retired from the rigors of touring in 2004, his voice was still strong and he was in fine form while singing lead on several key tracks for the band's new album ATOM BOMB. It was his last testament in a career that spanned six and a half decades.
BBC Radio's Asian Network recently dedicated a weekend entirely to a celebration of the extraordinary sound of qawwali music. You can listen again on line to this series of programmes celebrating this music's ancient mystic Sufi roots and its adaptation into modern day dance sounds. The most famous exponant of all was Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan who recorded many albums for Real World and worked extensively with Michael Brook and Peter Gabriel. In his footsteps come the young rising stars Rizwan-Muazzam.
Iarla O'Lionaird takes the beauty of traditional sean-nos (old style) singing into a whole new area of experimentation and innovation with his breath-takingly beautiful new solo album 'Invisible Fields'.
At times closer to Iceland's Sigur Ros than an Irish pub session, the album works on many levels - from pure, emotionally highly-charged, unaccompanied performances to blissed-out ambient electronica and swirling guitar loops.
The album is due for release on Real World in June but in advance of this you can hear Iarla interviewed by Fiona Talkington for BBC Radio's Late Junction and in performance from the University of Limmerick's World Music Centre.
Late Junction - BBC Radio 3 (90-93FM)- Thursday 17 March- 22.15 to midnight.
Multi-Grammy winning gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama continue to master the art of genre shape-shifting on their forthcoming record, Atom Bomb,by unearthing a new cluster of pop tunes and traditional inspirational cuts and turning them inside out.
One dramatic step is the groups first ever foray into hip-hop with the track Demons, featuring an original rap by The Gift of Gab from Blackalicious whose own music is rooted in spirituality. The Blind Boys wanted to prove that spirituality transcends genre and with The Gift of Gabs passionately delivered rhyme riding atop the group's smooth harmonies, the blend is irresistible. Demons originally appeared on Fatboy Slims 2000 CD Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars, and was co-written by Slim and Macy Gray.
The Blind Boys bluesy remake of traditional tune Faith & Grace features the gritty guitar accompaniment of David Hidalgo from Los Lobos and also continues the burgeoning relationship between the group and Hollywood. The song will be featured on the soundtrack for the HBO movie, Lakawanna Blues, a film co-executive produced by Oscar winner Halle Berry. Youll also hear a song from their Spirit of the Century album on an upcoming episode of HBOs Deadwood. The Blind Boys songs have already been used on
ABCs hit tv series, Lost, HBOs The Wire, and Disneys animated feature film Brother Bear and they delivered an on-camera performance for the Paramount film The Fighting Temptations.
Another standout is Moses featuring the legendary Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica. A song from the deep folk spiritual tradition popular during The Blind Boys youth, it finds them coming full circle and honoring their roots with one of their most raw and intimate performances yet.