Sunday, May 31, 2015

Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps & Bumps from Peru's Electronic Underground

From a media release:


Format: CD, LP & Digital Download
US Release Date: June 30th 2015
Label: Tiger’s Milk Records/Strut Records
Cat: TIGM005

Pre-order/Buy on iTunes
Available in Europe

Boom! Belt up and prepare for ascent. This bass heavy and potent collection features the key Peruvian producers and DJs that have helped build Lima’s reputation as ‘jewel in the crown’ of South America’s rave & party scenes. Tropical bass artists like Dengue Dengue Dengue, DJ Chakruna, Animal Chuki and Deltatron have long been guided by the roots of chicha and Peruvian cumbia. This sees them reshape and digitally render the original sounds fashioning new cuts inspired by dubstep, techno, trap, grime, house and electronica all aimed squarely at the dancefloor. Peru Boom celebrates one of the most vibrant contemporary club scenes in the world.

Detroit has techno, Chicago has house, and Peru’s DJs and producers consider Lima as the home of Tropical Bass. A global and amorphous style of music that has producers, DJs and flag-bearers from various corners of the world from South Africa and Angola’s Kudoro scenes to the favela and Baile Funk parties of Brazil. International DJs like Diplo, Switch and labels like Mad Decent have long been absorbing and redefining the sound.

Electronic music made in Peru is often influenced by the national music style ‘cumbia’, a slow and syncopated style of music full of complex rhythms.  Lima is the central meeting point for all of Peru’s Andean, African and European cultures and this is reflected by the music blaring out from speakers around the city.  With an admirable respect for labels like Infopesa, the most influential label in ‘60s & ‘70s Peru for chicha and Peruvian Cumbia, the artists of today often use old rhythms and melodies, splicing and cutting up original tracks and adding in new electronic textures and programmed beats.

Peru Boom is the third compilation released on Tiger’s Milk (in conjunction with Strut Records). Following hot on the heels of the 1960s jazz and 70s funk of Peru Bravo and Peru Maravilloso, this marks a new departure for the label, bringing things bang up to date with the latest electronic sounds.

Martin Morales, founder of Tiger's Milk Records says, "It was a life-changing night 3 years ago that led to the beginning of Peru Boom. I was invited by my friends in a band called Dengue Dengue Dengue to one of their parties. DJs were mixing chicha rhythms with serious basslines and halfway through the night, chicha bands from the 70s would play on stage. Kids would go nuts at both the tropical bass and the traditional sounds. This was like a modern rave Peruvian style the like I'd never seen before. Peru Boom tries to capture that sound. Since we started Tiger's Milk, Duncan and I have tried to capture moments in time of Peru's history. Early 70s political funk (Peru Bravo), late ‘60s jazz and latin (Peru Maravilloso) and todays' brightest underground scene (Peru Boom).

Peru Boom shows that those at the forefront of today’s music are carrying the flag for Peru’s musical heritage, bringing traditional and once popular sounds bang up to date, creating a new history influenced by the fast paced and modern city of Lima.

The album cover is a commissioned work by top Peruvian artist Ruta Mare. The design combines ‘80s electronica with bold colours expressing the many faces of the tropical and global bass scenes.

Album compiled by: Chakruna, Duncan Balantyne & Martin Morales.

About Tiger's Milk Records
Tiger’s Milk Records is the first ever Peruvian label based outside of Peru, and stems from a passion to discover and celebrate the breadth of music made in Peru from punk to funk, chicha to cumbia and folk to electronica, past and present.

Tiger’s Milk is run by Martin Morales & Duncan Ballantyne. Martin is a producer, author, top chef and restaurateur. He oversees the award winning Ceviche and Andina Peruvian Restaurants in London.  His CV includes being a founder member of Apple’s I-Tunes Europe, running Disney’s music and launching Miley Cyrus among others. Duncan previously label managed Soundway and Far Out Records and manages acts Kanaku y el Tigre and Da Lata. - - - Tiger’s Milk FACEBOOK: - Designer Ruta Mare

Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia in Toronto June 16 & 17 2015

From a media release:

Show One Productions
proudly presents the triumphant return of the Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia with a new production
based on the works of Grigory Kanovich
Performed in Russian with English Surtitles
Two Performances Only - June 16 & 17, 2015

Get tickets

Toronto, ON  - After its sold-out 2014 run of Eugene Onegin last June in Toronto, the esteemed Vakhtangov Academic Theatre of Russia returns with a new theatrical spectacle for the international stage: Smile at Us, Oh Lord: an inspiring universal parable about the basic good in every human being. Directed by the company's noted Artistic Director Rimas Tuminas, Smile at Us, Oh Lord runs Tuesday June 16 and Wednesday June 17 for two shows only at the historic Elgin Theatre, presented by Show One Productions.

Of Rimas Tuminas' Eugene Onegin, the critics raved: "Anyone who saw the Vakhtangov Theatre knows they are a first-rate troupe," exclaimed The Guardian in London while Paris' Le Monde proclaimed them "brilliant." The Vakhtangov production of Smile at Us, Oh Lord makes its debut outside of Russia with this North American tour and promises to mesmerize audiences as well.

In what is becoming a regular tour for the Vakhtangov, prior to its June 16-17 engagement in Toronto (its only Canadian date), Smile at Us, Oh Lord performs June 5-7 at New York City Center and June 12-13 at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston. It is presented in Russian with English surtitles and performed by an all-star cast of renowned actors.

With a plot full of tragi-comedic moments, accented by soulful music, Smile at Us, Oh Lord is the story of an "every man," unrelentingly opposed to evil and wrongdoing, even as the world around him crumbles. His journey opens his eyes - and the audience's hearts - to the fate of Jews around the world during the first half of the 20th century.

This poignant and exuberant work highlights the new kind of poetic physical theatre that the Vakhtangov Theatre is spearheading, and with a cast of 40, it tells a larger-than-life story of the common man, linked to a compassionate great love of mankind.

Smile at Us, Oh Lord is based on the novels of Grigory Yaakov Kanovich, one of the most prolific modern Russian-language writers today. While born in Lithuania of Jewish heritage, he spent his childhood in exile in Kazakhstan. His family returned to Vilnius in 1945, he published his first book of poetry in 1948, graduated from university in 1953 and moved to Israel in 1993. Kanovich is the author of an epic saga dealing with the struggles of Eastern European Jewry from the 19th century to the present day. His books, plays and poetry have been translated into 14 languages with more than 1.5 million copies, and counting, printed.

Based in the heart of Moscow, the Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia ( was founded in 1921 by legendary Russian theatrical director and Stanislavsky scholar, Evgeny Vakhtangov and continues to be one of the country's leading theatres. Lithuanian-born Rimas Tuminas is the first foreign director to head the Vakhtangov Theatre, where he has served as artistic director since he was invited to hold the position in 2007.

Tuminas first developed Smile at Us, Oh Lord at the Maly Theater of Vilnius in 1994, which he founded in 1990, and toured extensively across Europe. This current production premiered in Moscow in March 2014, co-created with composer Faustas Latenas and set designer Adomas Yacovskis.

Show One Productions presents
The Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia
based on the works of Grigory Kanovich
Performed in Russian with English Surtitles
Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge Street, Toronto
Tuesday, June 16 and Wednesday, June 17, 2015  @ 8pm
Ticket prices range from $55-$155
Ticket prices do not include service charges or delivery fees
and can by purchased by calling 1.855.622.ARTS FREE (2787) or online at, or

New England Conservatory's Eden MacAdam-Somer Releases My First Love Story (June 23, 2015 - A-Side Records)

from a media release:

New England Conservatory's Eden MacAdam-Somer Releases My First Love Story, a revolutionary solo album featuring MacAdam-Somer on voice, violin, viola, and percussive dance
(June 23, 2015 - A-Side Records)

o June 28 at New England Conservatory, Boston, MA
o July 9 Framingham Public Library, Framingham, MA
o August 1 at Lark Camp, Mendocino, CA
o August 22 at Minier Acustica, Urbino Italy

Buy the CD

My First Love Story introduces the solo work of one of New England Conservatory's newest faculty members and one of the most dynamic young artists performing today: composer, performer, and improviser Eden MacAdam-Somer. Recorded live in NEC's Jordan Hall, this album is an incredible blend of contemporary and traditional art, moving fluidly between Appalachian folk song and cutting edge classical performance.  The CD will be released June 23, 2015 on A-Side Records.

The seeds for this project were planted years ago, when I played my very first notes on the piano. I don't remember that day (I was four years old); in fact, I don't remember a time in my life before music. Music is the language in which I am the most comfortable, and a language that I have been fortunate to share with artists all around the world, in many dialects and in all kinds of settings. For most of my life, I have struggled in defining myself as an artist: violinist, fiddler, singer, dancer, improviser, composer, educator, performer, musicologistŠ but I have come to realize that it is the sum of all of these parts that makes me who I am. This project is a portrait of the artist that I am today and the story of my first love, kindled all of those years ago in my four-year old heart.

The album centers around MacAdam-Somer's Rumi Songs, an open-ended cycle for voice and violin that is partially composed and partially improvised. The three movements carry the listener from sweet Bach-like tones through serial systems, folk references, and free improvisation, while vocals soar in translations of ecstatic love poems by the famed Sufi poet Mevleva Rumi. This work was inspired by Ralph Vaughan Williams' Along the Field, also featured on the recording arranged for solo performer with improvised fiddle interludes and English Country Dance tunes. "Vaughan Williams is so skillful in blending folk songs with classical composition, and I always wondered what it would be like to perform this piece with a folk singerŠit is not at all uncommon for folk musicians to sing and play at the same time and eventually I thought, 'maybe I can do both parts.' I love being able to tell the whole story myself, because I can follow my imagination wherever it takes me at any timeŠ it isn't about "blending" genres or about the technical challenges in playing and singing at the same time, but simply telling the story the way I hear it, which might be a little different in each performance."

MacAdam-Somer carries the listener to many imagined worlds in this recording. "Jump for Joy" is a jubilant blending of Duke Ellington's composition with African-American spirituals and folk dance tradition. The violinist takes on the role of the big band, drumming her tapping feet which burst into celebratory percussive dance. From here, she moves into the realm of film noir with "Lullaby," a dark, early-music-inspired tribute to jazz pianist Ran Blake: "This scene is from Claude Chabrol's Le Boucher, in which an Algerian war veteran (and the local butcher) is suspected of being a brutal serial killer in a small French village. In this scene, school children are practicing a courtly Baroque dance in period costume, creating a sense of eerie serenity just before the traumatic climax of the film."

Also featured on the album are more traditionally rooted pieces. The CD opens with an original song, "Fourteen Miles," with straight up Appalachian fiddling darting suddenly through angular pizzicato passages under sweet vocals. "Barbara Allen" blends the familiar folk ballad with West African gonje tunes, traditionally used to relay village histories as a means of preserving aural history. The recording ends with "Say Darlin' Say," a sweet lullaby in which the voice and viola intertwine and become one, speaking to the way MacAdam-Somer weaves all of her musical selves into one exceptional and individual voice, each and every time.

NEC's Contemporary Improvisation Department is all about developing one's unique voice, invoking a methodology that liberates the idea of improvisation from any specific genre. CI faculty provide students with grounding in aural skills, vocal and instrumental technique, a wide range of improvisational traditions - in short, everything a student might need to become a leading artist of today. Department Chair Hankus Netsky notes that "Eden is what Gunther Schuller would call a 'compleat musician.' She's a violin virtuoso who knows many fiddling styles, a wonderful composer and a great singer."

Indeed, MacAdam-Somer's music transcends genre. She has been a featured soloist with symphony and chamber orchestras, jazz and swing bands, and Eastern European and American folk ensembles. As an educator and composer/improviser, MacAdam-Somer has been a guest artist at such institutions as the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (where she is a regular visiting faculty member) and the Dundalk Institute of Technology, as well as a featured performer at the Eastbourne and Beijing International Music Festivals.

While growing up in Houston, Texas, MacAdam-Somer studied classical music formally, spending her free time at the local folk music sessions and working as an arranger and studio musician. She attended Houston's High School for Performing and Visual Arts, winning the Music Teacher's National Association State Division and the Lennox Young Artists Competitions. Later, she earned her BM and MM in classical performance from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston as a student of Fredell Lack, and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University as a student of Kenneth Goldsmith.

In 2004, MacAdam-Somer moved to Boston and began touring with guitarist and banjo player Larry Unger as the core members of the ensemble NotoriousFolk. Together, they have performed across the continental United States, as well as Alaska, Hawaii, India, Iceland, the UK, and Afghanistan, teaching and playing for festivals and dances of all kinds. Their music has been featured in many of Ken Burns' documentaries, including Our National Parks, The Dustbowl, Prohibition, and The Roosevelts.

With her diverse interests and capabilities as a performer and educator, MacAdam-Somer finds NEC's Department of Contemporary Improvisation the perfect home base. "When I arrived at NEC and attended my first CI concert, I realized that I had found the artists I'd been looking for my whole life. The CI Department is much more than a degree program - it is a vibrant community of creative musicians, each coming in with a distinct voice of their own, eager to push themselves to new artistic levels and completely open to and enthusiastic about the music of their peers. It is one of the most mutually supportive and exciting musical communities that I have ever been a part of."

Outside of the classroom, MacAdam-Somer maintains an active international performance and recording career as a soloist and with such bands as Notorious Folk, the Sail Away Ladies, and the Klezmer Conservatory Band.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Morris Day & The Time and Other Free Concerts at TD Toronto Jazz Festival June 18 to 29 2015

From a media release:

TD Toronto Jazz Festival - June 18 to 29 2015

Dumstaphunk & Morris Day
Free lunchtime concerts
Search all TD Toronto Jazz Festival concerts by date

TORONTO - Music Mania takes over opening weekend of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival when it kicks off on Friday, June 19 with a whirlwind of performances from Morris Day & The Time, Dumpstaphunk, Melanie Durrant, Shuffle Demons, Toronto Mass Choir and more!

Legendary funk and soul musician, Morris Day, best known as the frontman for The Time in the cult-classic Purple Rain, will bring his up-tempo and high-energy show to Nathan Phillips Square for a free special performance on Friday, June 19. Singing classics such as "Jungle Love," "Cool," "The Bird," and "777-9311", Day's trademark smooth-as-silk dance moves and old school sounds will kick off the 29th edition of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival.

Dumpstaphunk, descended from Neville family bloodlines, is one of New Orleans' funkiest bands that will dare listeners not to move. From dueling bass lines to complex funk and jazz arrangements with soulful melodies, and ingenious musicianship, Dumpstaphunk embodies the true spirit of NOLA with every note. They will open for Morris Day & The Time.

For three days, Music Mania will feature non-stop activity at Nathan Phillips Square all weekend long, including an instrument petting zoo:

Friday, June 19
Dumpstaphunk – Nathan Phillips Square
Morris Day & The Time – Nathan Phillips Square
Festivities begin at 5pm - FREE

Saturday, June 20
Tyler Yarema & His Rhythm – Toronto Star Stage, Nathan Phillips Square at 12:30 p.m. FREE
Manifesto co-presents Juice Money Collective feat. Octavio Santos with Freshkils featuring Junia T, Melanie Durrant, Adria Kane, Tona, Marlon James, Jessie Reyez and Lyric L – Outdoor Stage, Nathan Phillips Square at 2 p.m. FREE
Shuffle Demons – Outdoor Stage, Nathan Phillips Square at 6:30 p.m. FREE
Tower of Power – Toronto Star Stage, Nathan Phillips Square at 8:30 p.m. (previously announced)

Sunday, June 21
Toronto Mass Choir – Toronto Star Stage, Nathan Phillips Square at 12:30 p.m. FREE
Regent Park School of Music – Outdoor Stage, Nathan Phillips Square at 2 p.m. FREE
Jivebombers – Outdoor Stage, Nathan Phillips Square at 6:30 p.m. FREE
The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra directed by Scotty Barnhart with guest vocalist Carmen Bradford – Toronto Star Stage, Nathan Phillips Square at 8:30 p.m. (previously announced)

On Saturday, June 20, in association with Manifesto, Groove & Graffiti take over Nathan Phillips Square as professional aerosol artists Elicser and Media create a life-size mural with students from Central Tech's Graffiti Club. Combining the creative, inspirational side of graffiti with the creative, inspirational side of jazz and hip-hop, a collective of musicians featuring rising stars Melanie Durrant and Adria Kane, will provide the live soundtrack to the aerosol art being created.

On Sunday, June 21 the Regent Park School of Music will animate the Square with musical demonstrations and interactive opportunities for the audience. Following a performance by each of the steel pan, brass and woodwind ensembles, and community band, there will be an opportunity to test out the instruments - an instrument petting zoo, if you will! The RPSM steel pan faculty will also be on hand to provide steel pan basic instruction with Dave Clark and his Woodshed Orchestra concluding the festivities with a raucous, romping march through Nathan Phillips Square.

Each year the TD Toronto Jazz Festival ensures that programming is available to meet every budget. Free programming is at the core of this mandate, providing music lovers the chance to explore live jazz at no cost. With more than 50 free concerts presented over 10 days, discover a new artist or simply soak up the sounds at the Distillery Historic District, Shops at Don Mills and Nathan Phillips Square as they play host to some of the best in local, national and international jazz.

Shops at Don Mills 1090 Don Mills Road
Enjoy fresh air while soaking up the sounds of jazz at Shops at Don Mills, Ontario's first outdoor urban village. Whether dining at the surrounding restaurants, shopping or simply sipping coffee in the Town Square, listen to the swanky echoes of Saxofour, the soulful sounds of Tanika Charles, the 50's hard-bopping Cookers Quintet and more!

Grooveyard - 7 p.m. June 18
Justin Bacchus Collective - 7 p.m. June 19
Happy Pals - 2 p.m. June 20
Mistura Fina - 4:30 p.m June 20
Tia Brazda - 7 p.m. June 20
Groovemeisters - 2 p.m. June 21
Marito Marques - 4 p.m. June 21
The Cookers Quintet - 6 p.m. June 22
Saxofour - 6 p.m. June 23
YUKA - 6 p.m. June 24
Lula All-Stars - 7 p.m. June 25
Chuck Jackson’s Big Bad Blues Band - 7 p.m. June 26
Hogtown Syncopators - 2 p.m. June 27
Eric St-Laurent Trio - 4:30 p.m. June 27
Tanika Charles - 7 p.m. June 27
Distillery Historic District 55 Mill Street
The historic Distillery District is the perfect backdrop for jazz when the Festival takes over from June 17 - June 27. Performances include Bill King's Real Divas, noted Norman Marshall Villeneuve's Jazz Message, JUNO-nominated Jay Douglas All-Stars and the dynamic Alexis Baro Quintet while the Toronto Blues Society Talent Search is also on the lookout for the next big star!

Boxcar Boys - 6 p.m. June 17
Swamperella - 6 p.m. June 19
Toronto Blues Society Talent Search - 2 p.m. June 20
Bill King’s Real Divas - 7 p.m. June 20
Norman Marshall Villeneuve’s Jazz Message - 12 p.m. June 21
Jorge Miguel - 3:30 p.m. June 21
Suzie Vinnick - 6 p.m. June 24
Jay Douglas & The All-Star Band - 6 p.m. June 26
Club Django Toronto - 2 p.m. June 27
Alexis Baro Quintet - 7 p.m. June 27

Toronto Star Stage - Nathan Phillips Square
The Lunchtime Series carries on the tradition of jazz; from the swingin' tunes of Jim Galloway's Wee Big Band, the soothing vocals of Patricia Cano, award-winning trombonist Ian McDougall, contemporary jazz sounds of the Christine Jensen Orchestra or Bobby Rice's Latin Jazz Big Band, the Toronto Star Stage will be jam-packed with everyone's musical tastes! All shows begin at 12:30 p.m.

Montreal's Wesliband Releases TWO full-length albums, ImmiGrand and Ayiti Étoile Nouvelle in 2015 & Summer Tour

 With material from a release:

Montreal's Wesliband Releases TWO full-length albums, ImmiGrand and Ayiti Étoile Nouvelle in 2015 & Summer Tour

Buy Immigrand
Buy Ayiti Étoile Nouvelle

Hardworking Haitian/Canadian musician Wesli and Wesliband have released two full-length CDs this year.

Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wesli (Wesley Louissaint) built his first guitar out of an old NGO- provided oil can and nylon shoe lace when he was just eight years old. Coming from a family of 8 children where music was a daily food for the soul, it became second nature to him, a unique and vital way out of the violence and misery found in the surrounding ghetto. Wesli’s musical journey started in the gospel choir of his local church and then he adopted the guitar as his main instrument.

Now he's giving back that opportunity to a new generation. Proceeds from the acoustic album Ayiti Étoile Nouvelle will raise money for the music school Wesli founded in Haiti.

He's played with and opened for many of the greats of West African music, including Tiken Jah Fakoly (who guested on his last CD,) Alpha Blondy and Sekouba Bambino and played with many high profile Quebec artists like Lorraine Klaasen, Lilison Di Kinara, Gage, Inword and Nathalie Choquette.

For the last several years, Wesli and the band have kept up a tour schedule that has included more than 50 appearances on the stages of Canada's major music festivals and they've made many appearances on TV and radio. The band has had a busy touring schedule across Canada through 2014 and into this year and the newalbums have gotten great reviews in the media.

This summer 2015, the band will be partying it up on another Canadian tour. Among others, here are some of the highlights to put in your calendar:

June 30, 2015, 8pm, at the Montreal Jazz Festival, Bell Tropics Stage
July 15, 2015, 1pm, at the Toronto Pan-Am Games, Panamania Park
July 17, 2015, 7pm, at the Hamilton World Music Festival, Gage Park

...and many more. For the full listing of shows, check out his website.

The band is currently working on videos and singles that will be released through the summer but in the meantime here's a recent unplugged clip of Wesli solo:

GRIDLOCK A Larchaud Dance Project Production June 11-13 & 18-20 2015 in Toronto

From a media release:

A Larchaud Dance Project Production
A DanceWorks CoWorks Series Event

Choreography: Jase Cozmic, Jennifer Robichaud, Raoul Wilke
Collaborators: Patrizia Ferlisi, Amy Hampton, Ryan Lee
Rehearsal Direction: Marie France Forcier, Jesse Dell
Lighting Design: Siobhan Sleath
Stage Management: Gillian Lewis

When: June 11-13, 2015 and June 18-20, 2015 at 9pm

Where: Artscape Youngplace - 180 Shaw St., Toronto
Please Note: This is a site-specific performance that will travel throughout the building. Box Office will be inside the main entrance to the building.

Tickets: $22 in advance, $25 at the door (cash only)
$20 students/seniors/CADA
Tickets are sold through TO TIX.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the TO TIX Booth in Yonge Dundas Square or online at T.O.TIX online accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Interac Online. The T.O.TIX Booth accepts cash, Visa, MasterCard, and Interac.

Is it our instinct to attack, or are we conditioned to think that? Would we surrender in order to survive? Gridlock is an exploration of why and how people fight. Physically electric, intelligent, and relevant - this is a mustsee Larchaud production!

This production was generously supported by Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council.

"...the kind of neck bending breakdance that will have chiropractors rubbing their hands in gleeful anticipation..." Michael Crabb

larchaud dance project
Founded in 2004, Larchaud Dance Project combines breakdance aesthetics with contemporary technique to create repertoire based on strength, agility, and gravity-defying movement.  Pioneers of this hybrid dance form; their  highly stylized partnering is now recognized as Larchaud Technique.  This Toronto based company guarantees to captivate audiences with high voltage athleticism, compelling presence, and a unique approach to dance art.  Under the Artistic Direction of Jennifer Robichaud, a dynamic performer, choreographer, and educator, Larchaud Dance Project has been recognized for its vibrant workshops, cutting edge choreography, and multimedia performances.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

ARTISANworks Gallery in Rochester NY Debuts Art or War Collection by Canadian Artist Viktor Mitic

From a media release:

ARTISANworks in Rochester to Debut Art or War Collection

Toronto, ON – Rochester, NY May 26th, 2015: 
Canadian contemporary visual artist Viktor Mitic’s painting series Art or War makes its U.S. debut in Rochester, New York after the acquisition of fifty eight pieces of the series, including his much talked about ‘Incident’, the shot up school bus sculpture which toured Washington DC in April of 2013 during the height of the U.S. gun debate. 

Mitic is best known for his controversial approach to art, firing live ammunition at images he has painted of celebrities and iconic personalities.   His bullet-riddled paintings offer an acerbic commentary on society’s attitudes towards guns and violence and its obsession with fame.  Moved by the destruction of the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan - ancient sculptures created in the 6th century –Viktor Mitic started exploring the symbiotic relationship between aesthetics and violence.

“Viktor’s work has always caught my attention and with Art or War I was moved by the spectacular series that resonated very well with me in what I like in contemporary art forms fusing unique perspectives on contemporary issues,” says Louis Perticone, Founder of ARTISANworks.  ARTISANworks will launch their new Mitic collection this month. The exhibition will open to the public on May 17th, (1:00-4:00 pm) at ARTISANworks, 565 Blossom Road, Rochester, NY.The dates for the exhibit is: May 17th, 2015 through August 23rd, 2015.

“I am very pleased about this acquisition of Mitic’s work, in my opinion the entire series of paintings included in the Art or War book plus  Mitic’s controversial ‘Incident’ sculpture which caught the attention of numerous U.S. collectors could have an estimated evaluation of around $450K,” stated Corrado Deluca of Toronto's Deluca Gallery. 

Co Founder, ARTISANworks Kimberly Trenholm stated, “The exhibit will offer an opportunity for visitors to join in the visual commentary on his often controversial entire body of work, while viewing the extensive 58 piece series that is being exhibited together for the first time ever in the U.S.”

Mitic’s paintings are being shown at the prestigious Masterworks from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in New Brunswick, Canada since May 2nd at the front entrance of the exhibit.  Mitic’s painting joins this exhibit of iconic paintings currently showing after spending two years touring North America augmented of some of the world’s most prominent artists – Turner, Carr, Sargent, Constable, Delacroix, Gainsborough, Copley, Sisley, Matisse, Freud, Dali, and many, many more – which will once again grace the walls of the Gallery in a spectacular blockbuster presentation occupying the main floor of the Gallery. 

About Viktor Mitic:
Mitic’s highly regarded work has been featured in galleries world-wide, with exhibitions including the New York Armory, Toronto’s Gallery Moos ,the prestigious Art Chicago and Muramatsu Gallery in Tokyo. Notable Collections include: Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada; Hon. Jean Chrétien, Former Prime Minister of Canada; Beaverbrook Art Gallery, New Brunswick where Mitic's portrait of the founder of the gallery, Lord Beaverbrook, is currently a part of Masterworks exhibition. 

About ARTISANworks:
ARTISANworks is a unique, 15year-old 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization founded by Louis Perticone and Kimberly Trenholm. ARTISANworks is located in a previously abandoned factory building and integrate art of all kinds, events and entertainment.  Not government funded, but on generous support from both personal and corporate members, donations of artworks and memorabilia, income from events arranged by its for-profit affiliate (Artisan Events, Inc.), and the sale and rental of art and other objects from our extensive collection of over a half-million items.  We are quite satisfied that our model can be successfully duplicated elsewhere.  Items from our collection can be used to seed similar facilities in other cities. Over 60% of our visitors are from other cities across the U.S. and around the world.  565 Blossom Road, Suite L, Rochester, New York 14610

Acclaimed Estonian National Male Choir Tour Hits Toronto & Southern Ontario May/June 2015

From a media release:

Six Cities, Seven Concerts:  Ontario Tour May 20-June 1 2015
Hamilton: May 27; Toronto – Downtown: May 28; Toronto – Scarborough: May 30; Exeter: May 31; Guelph: May 31

• See details below for tickets

The Grammy Award winning Estonian National Male Choir, one of Europe’s leading professional choral ensembles, tours Ontario this May as part of its 70th anniversary celebrations.

Between May 20 and June 1, the R.A.M Koor (Eesti Rahvusmeeskoor as it is known in Estonia) will perform seven concerts and give workshops in six Ontario cities, presented in co-operation with Choirs Ontario, Estonian Federation of Singers in North America, and the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra.  This is its first Canadian visit in about 20 years.

Estonian Choir for release.jpgUnder the direction of its chief conductor and artistic director Mikk Üleoja, the choir will begin its tour May 23 at Dominion-Chalmers United Church in Ottawa.  On May 28, it will perform at SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival, at Christ Church Deer Park.  A second Toronto concert sees the choir joining the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Estonian Male Choir and conductor Norman Reintamm at the P.C. Ho Theatre in Scarborough, May 30.

Maestro Reintamm lauds the Choir as “one of the crown jewels of Estonian culture.  Its performances and recordings reflect Estonian music both centuries old and contemporary, as well as the great choral repertoire of the Baltic region and further afield.” 

The Canadian premiere of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s Da Pacem Domini, in a new version for string orchestra and male choir highlights the May 30 orchestral concert with the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra.  Also on the program are Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus, Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody – with Canadian mezzo-soprano Christina Campsall – and works by other Estonian composers.

The other performances feature a capella works by Estonia’s Arvo Pärt and Veljo Tormis, Ukrainian composer Galina Gregorjeva, and Italy’s Giovanni Bonato and Giovanni Gabrieli.

This Canadian tour of the Estonian National Male Choir is generously sponsored by The Estonian Cultural Foundation, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Estonian Foundation of Canada, and the Ontario Arts Council.  Alexanian Carpet and Flooring is the headline tour sponsor in Canada.

ESTONIAN NATIONAL MALE CHOIR –  Known in Estonia as the R.A.M. Koor, the Estonian National Male Choir celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. It was formed in 1944 by conductor Gustav Ernesaks, considered a founding father of choral music in Estonia. The choir, which originally sang a cappella, is now a world-renowned professional choir noted for its renditions of large-scale choral works. The choir has regularly recorded with Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Finlandia, Alba Records, Virgin Classics and GB Records. In 2004, RAM won a prestigious Grammy award for Sibelius: Cantatas performed together with the Ellerhein Girls' Choir, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Paavo Järvi.  RAM has performed more than 6,000 concerts in Estonia, in major cities of the former Soviet Union and in countries across Western Europe as well as in Israel, Canada and the United States. During its anniversary season, the choir will give concerts at several venues in Estonia as well as in Israel, Canada, France (Festival de la voix de Chateauroux) and Germany (Hanover).  Since 2011, its chief conductor and artistic director has been Mikk Üleoja.

Info on the R.A.M. Koor`s recordings may be found at

Wednesday, May 27, Hamilton; Saint Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, 260 Herkimer St. Tickets $25 at:

Thursday, May 28, Toronto; Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge St. 8:00 pm in cooperation with SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival. TIckets $40 at:

Saturday, May 30, Scarborough; P.C. Ho Theatre 5183 Sheppard Ave. E. with the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra Toronto & Estonian Mens’ Choir. Tickets $53/$33 at or 416-879-5566.

Sunday, May 31, Exeter; Trivitt Memorial Church, 264 Main Street South, 2:00 pm.  Tickets via

Sunday, May 31, Guelph; Guelph Youth Music Centre, 75 Cardigan St., 7:30 pm. Tickets: $35/20 students or $40/25 at the door

More information on the tour is at, or may be obtained by e-mailing

Monday, May 25, 2015

Live from the Annex (Toronto) - June 2 2015 Comedy & Music Line-up

From a media release:

Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) Annex
720 Bathurst Street, Toronto
Future shows July 7; August 4; September 1; October 6; November 3; and, December 1, 2015

Toronto, ON –
‘Live from the Annex’ is pleased to announce its Tuesday, June 2 line up. Guest artists include Rick Miller and Steph Baptist (Comic Artists), 2-MAN NO-SHOW (Sketch), Mia Sheard (Music) and The Concerned Kids (CSI member profile) with hosts Brunswick Stew (Improv) and Brian G. Smith (MC). Shows run 8 p.m. – 10 p.m., and take place in The Garage, at the Centre for Social Innovation - Annex location, 720 Bathurst Street, Toronto. $15 tickets available on a first-come, first-serve basis at Follow on Twitter #LFTAnnex and Facebook. For information, call (416) 619-4621 or send an email to The comedy and music show is broadcast live to the world-wide web via

Rick Miller and Steph Baptist are treating the audience to a glimpse of his solo show, BOOM, and her poetry in the style of Dr. Seuss (for grown ups). Having loved the cabaret scene in Montreal “back in the day,” they are thrilled to have this new option in Toronto. Together 20 years, Rick and Steph have been sharing stages since they met. Starting with Shakespeare-in-the-Park and cross-country tours of Fringe Festivals, they now play with a community-based party band, TRAINWRECK, and have workshopped Rick's new play, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, which will premiere this summer at the TO2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

2-MAN NO-SHOW (2012 & 2014 Canadian Comedy Award and NOW Magazine Best-of-Toronto Nominees) are otherwise widely known as the absurd and unpredictable tag-team duo of Isaac Kessler and Ken Hall. About playing on June 2, Kessler says, “We can't wait to play! We're working on new material so who knows what might happen!”

Mia Sheard launched into a career as a singer/songwriter after discovering her voice in a musical sketch comedy piece for Second City's Master Class. She has since logged over twenty years of performing and touring, and has released four albums of her own material. She created "Songs Are Like Tattoos," a tribute to Joni Mitchell, which she hosts every year at Hugh's Room, and she performs regularly with Classic Albums Live. Mia also maintains a busy practice as a Psychotherapist. “I love improv,” Sheard says, “The best performances occur in the moment without thought. I plan on not thinking at Live from the Annex.”

Not only a cabaret series promoting Toronto comedy and music artists, ‘Live from the Annex’ also showcases the work of social innovators. On June 2, The Concerned Kids is being profiled from the stage. It is a non-profit organization based out of the Centre for Social Innovation Annex location that educates and empowers children and youth, ages 6 - 12, through educational and interactive puppet presentations about relevant social issues that are faced by children and are of concern to them.

Rounding out the program is Brunswick Stew, Annex Improv’s Performance Ensemble. This group will be featured in a live-on-stage Improv lesson - a ‘visible classroom’ led by Smith. Performers include members of the Performance Ensemble classes and surprise guests from the professional Improv community.

‘Live from the Annex’ shows take place the first Tuesday of the month (July 7; August 4; September 1; October 6; November 3; and, December 1, 2015); doors open at 7:30 p.m., with curtain at 8 p.m. Refreshments are offered for sale before, during and after intermission. Hummus and chips are provided gratis.

The series is produced by Sasha Wentges (Mea Culpa), Laurie Murphy (MARRAM Mktg & PR) and Brian G. Smith (Annex Improv) with support from sponsors and partners including Dailymotion, CSI and Analytical Engine Interactive.

‘Live from the Annex’
Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) Annex
720 Bathurst Street, #500c, Toronto, ON M5S 2R4
(416) 619-4621

'Live From The Annex' : May 5 [Opening Night... by YouAndMedia

EP Release: A Tribe Called Red - Suplex (May 19 2015)

From a media release


Buy the EP

New York, NY  – May 19, 2015 – Recently, A Tribe Called Red (ATCR) finished their US tour that saw them play Coachella, Gathering Of Nations (biggest powwow in the world) and the reopening of the Whitney Museum back to back. That series is very telling about the kind of people A Tribe Called Red is touching with their music and the communities they are visiting.

For the last few years, this all-indigenous Canadian band has been THE success story in their country, winning the 2013 Juno for Breakthrough Band of The Year (equivalent of Grammy) as well as critical praise (two years in a row nominated to the Polaris Music Prize). The band became known for their collaboration with Das Racist and Angel Haze and their performances at top festivals like Bonnarroo, Made In America, New Orleans Jazz Fest, AfroPunk fest, Movement Festival and Electric Forest.

Today, the group dropped their new EP, Suplex – available now on iTunes. The four-song EP features the group’s signature unique style of traditional Pow Wow music mixed with club sounds. With guest performances by Aboriginal hip-hop veteran, Hellnback, and past Tribe collaborators, Northern Voice, the EP also features a remix of the track Bodyslam by Canadian duo, Smalltown DJs. Tribe premiered the video for the title track today on FADER.  The video follows the story of a Native youth, who after growing up with no role model of his own, becomes one when he turns into a wrestling champion. Check it out here.

"Growing up in a world where indigenous people are so under-represented in the media, you tend to identify with what's available to you," comments Bear Witness. “The connection between the indigenous communities of the Americas, and professional wrestling, is really heavy. In North America we had pros like Chief Jay Youngblood and Wahoo McDaniel who where indigenous, but had to dress in headdress and tassels to compete. In my generation, we all loved the Ultimate Warrior and hated Tatanka. Even if nothing about the Warrior was indigenous, we made some kind of cultural connection to him. More recently, The Rock has shown us how a proud indigenous man can make it as a wrestler on his own terms. The idea of the video was to show that connection we made to these people beyond stereotypes, but also to see an indigenous character make it, without needing the stereotype."

Named after the notorious wrestling move, the Suplex EP channels the 80s aesthetic. The album cover image depicts an 8-bit wrestler character wearing a headdress – as Tribe continues to touch on questions regarding the representation of Indigenous peoples (or lack of) in mainstream media, stereotypes in sports, and the need of indigenous role models.

About Hellnback

Hailing from the Samson Cree Nation (Hobbema, AB), Karmen James Omeasoo, aka Hellnback, is considered one of the aboriginal hip-hop scene's biggest and brightest. As co-founder for memorable groups such as Warparty and Team Rezofficial he just released his newest solo project, #FOE = #FAMILYOVEREVERYTHING.

About Northern Voice
Northern Voice represents a new generation of northern style Pow Wow singers from the Atikamekw territory of Wemotaci, located deep in the forests of the province of Quebec.  Their original songs are inspired by their spiritual relationship with the Timber Wolf, which is never far from the Atkamekw experience.

About Smalltown DJs
The infamous Smalltown Djs are a house & club production duo out of Canada, with releases on Fool's Gold, Main Course, No Brainer & Top Billin. They also own & operate the Hifi Club, one of North America's most renowned & revered clubs.

Suplex EP Tracklisting:
1.  Suplex ft. Northern Voice
2.  The Peoples Champ ft. Hellnback
3.  Bodyslam
4.  Bodyslam (Smalltown DJs remix)

Upcoming Tour Dates:
06/19 | Indian Beach | Fort McMurray, BC (FREE)
06/20 | Malkin Bowl | Vancouver, BC (Tickets)
06/23 | Neumos | Seattle, WA (Tickets)
06/24 | Doug Fir Lounge | Portland, OR (Tickets)
06/27 | Muscogee Creek Festival | Okmulgee, OK (FREE)
07/12 | PanAM Park – Echo Beach | Toronto, ON (FREE)
07/17 | GrassRoots Festival | Trumansburg, NY (Tickets)
07/18 | Aboriginal Pavilion – Fort York | Toronto, ON (FREE)
07/24 | Brandon Folk, Music & Arts Festival | Brandon, MB (Tickets)
07/31 - 08/02 | Osheaga Music & Arts Festival | Montreal, QC (Tickets)
08/07 | Indian Summer Showcase – Smithsonian Museum | Washington, DC (FREE)
08/12 | Parapan American Games – Nation Phillips Square | Toronto, ON (FREE)
08/15 | Up Fest | Sudbury, ON (Tickets)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC)Returns to New York City July 2015

From a media release:

Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC)
Returns to New York City
Public Performances July 7, 8 & 11 2015

• Tuesday, July 7th - St. Mary's Park, Da Bronx - Our Latin Thing / DJ Afro
• Wednesday, July 8th - Central Park SummerStage - Compass / Systema Solar / Helado Negro
• Saturday, July 11th - Central Park SummerStage - Vicentico / Ximena Sariñana / No Te Va Gustar

• Early-bird Conference Registration For Only $99 Is Now Open At
• Discounted hotel rates now available at the link

The Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) returns to New York this summer for a special 16th anniversary celebration, including free concerts at Central Park SummerStage featuring Systema Solar, Helado Negro, and Compass on July 8 and Vicentico, Ximena, and No Te Va Gustar on July 11. Plus, we’re  returning the LAMC to the Bronx with a showcase at St. Mary’s Park with Our Latin Thing and DJ Afro on July 7th.

Join thousands of musicians, entrepreneurs, DJs, journalists, marketers, managers, programmers and all kinds of music lovers in New York City to celebrate LAMC’s Sweet Sixteen at the Affinia Manhattan Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.

Now in its 16th year and called the "Sundance of Latin music", the LAMC features free concerts at SummerStage in Central Park and Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park, plus intimate private concerts at various venues around the city. The LAMC also includes industry panels and Q&A’s with special guests, showcases and other events that are soon to be announced.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - St. Mary’s Park, Bronx
Our Latin Thing / DJ Afro 

Born in Caracas, DJ Afro (aka José Luis Pardo) is a Brooklyn based guitarist, DJ, composer and producer, and was a founder of Los Amigos Invisibles. A Grammy award winner and six-time nominee, Pardo began his DJ career in Caracas, where club owners quickly took notice of his eclectic musical tastes and natural ability to move any dance floor, and began booking him in the hottest spots all over town. Through his studio recordings, remixes, compilation albums, mixtapes, and live performances, Pardo has amassed a stellar body of work rich with soul and flavor. He now has over 50 remixes under his belt, for a wide variety of musicians including The Beastie Boys, David Byrne, Devendra Banhart, Julieta Venegas, Natalia Lafourcade, and Basement Jaxx.  DJ Afro's latest project is Orquesta Discotheque, recently releasing “Musica Moderna,” which features modern interpretations of classic Latin pop, reimagined with a funky nu-disco bounce.   

In August 1971, New York gave birth to a sound that would change the face of Latin Music forever. That evening at the renowned Cheetah Nightclub, Jerry Massucci, president of the legendary label FANIA, presented an ensemble of its best artists- The Fania All-Stars. The show was billed as "Our Latin Thing". In the decades ahead the Fania All-Stars would become the ambassadors and juggernauts of salsa around the world. They became the musical reflection of the times, needs, and struggles of New York's Latino community. Their music was "Salsa Gorda", influenced by American Jazz, Soul, and Rock and Roll. Their music became part of Americana. In 2010 an ensemble of 17 musicians debuted to pay tribute to the legendary group. Billed as "Our Latin Thing", the group performs as an assortment of the All Stars' top hits. This Musical/Theatrical like revue takes the audience on a musical poetic journey. "Our Latin Thing", in it's own right, is an All Star group, made up of lead singers and musicians of New York's top young bands.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - Central Park SummerStage
Compass / Systema Solar / Helado Negro

Compass is Camilo Lara (aka Mexican Institute of Sound) and Toy Selectah, who have been mainstays of the Latin American music scene. They have recorded what Toy has dubbed “our PhD thesis on global music production.” Recorded at Red Bull Studios in New York, Los Angeles, London, and São Paulo, amongst other locations, Compass includes collaborations with more than 100 artists, ranging from Boy George to reggae legend Toots Hibbert from Toots & the Maytals. This upbeat hip hop jam boasts contributions from Notch (formerly of Born Jamericans), New York’s Matty Rico and Ohmega Watts, ghetto-techno empress Maluca, legendary Cali dj Kut Masta Kurt and Beastie Boys collaborator Money Mark– block-party vibes a plenty.

Systema Solar is a musical-visual collective from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Through live performance, music, video, and theatrical costumes, Systema Solar is a complete, immersive experience, best described as “Tropical psychedelia.” With an innovative approach towards nu-Colombian music, their music is old school cumbia samples partnered with techno fierceness, carnivalesque euphoria with streetwise politics and humor mixed in. Their two albums, the self-titled debut "Systema Solar," and the recent "La Revancha del Burro" have taken the band to new heights within the local scene and internationally, as the band has performed at SXSW, Glastonbury and Roskilde.

A South Florida native, born to Ecuadorian immigrants and based in Brooklyn, Helado Negro aka Roberto Carlos Lange’s upbringing provides essential elements to his songwriting, including his consistently bilingual – English and Spanish– lyrics. While citing the influence of electro and Miami-bass he heard on the radio in his youth, his diverse work as Helado Negro points to shades of kraut rock bathed in his mesmerizing rhythms, loops and hair-raising melodies. Known for his craftsmanship, Lange has cultured his identity, ideology and musical dexterity with constant artistic and introspective development, pouring his heart and full sincerity in his music. His fourth LP Double Youth released in 2014 garnered acclaim with Pitchfork naming it “the boldest and most intricate Helado Negro work to date.”

Saturday, July 11, 2015 - Central Park SummerStage
Vicentico / Ximena Sariñana / No Te Va a Gustar

Vicentico has long been a crucial figure in the history of rock music in Latin America.  On top of a significant career as the lead vocalist of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, he is also recognized for being a successful solo artist.  With six platinum solo albums under his belt, international tours, and MTV, Gardel, and Latin Grammy awards, Vicentico recently released the album, “Ultimo Acto.” Recorded in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, Kingston, and Buenos Aires, “Ultimo Acto” features collaborations with Willie Nelson, Sly & Robbie, Intocable, Vaeria Bertuccelli, Our Latin Thing, and offers new takes on some of Vicentico’s most beloved and well-known hits.

Ximena Sariñana is a Mexican singer-songwriter and actress. Sariñana received critical acclaim and a Grammy nomination for her debut album, "Mediocre," which was also nominated for two Latin Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Song. Sariñana has worked with musicians like Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Jason Mraz. Her second, self-titled album was released in 2011, and her third studio album, "No Todo lo Puedes Dar", was released in November 2014.

Latin Grammy nominated No Te Va Gustar was formed in 1994 in Montevideo, Uruguay.  A blend of rock, pop, and reggae, their music mixes heartfelt and intelligent lyrics with a unique sound that blends local and international influences. No Te Va Gustar has released eight studio albums, all of which have gone Gold or Platinum in Uruguay and Argentina, and three live DVDs, No Te Va Gustar originally started as a trio but later expanded and added new styles of music to its repertoire such as reggae, candombe, salsa, ska and murga. With a career spanning over 20 years, No Te Va Gustar has been on tour over the last decade performing to fans worldwide

Watch the recap of last year’s LAMC:

This is the LAMC from LAMC on Vimeo.

Southern Italian Trance on Ludovico Einaudi’s Taranta Project (Ponderosa Music; US release: May 4, 2015)

From a media release:

From Salento to the World: The Global Soul of Southern Italian Trance on Ludovico Einaudi’s Taranta Project
(Ponderosa Music; US release: May 4, 2015)

Buy the CD

Salento is the heel in the boot of Italy, part of the region known as Puglia, kept dry and dusty by the hot wind that crosses the Mediterranean from the Sahara and North Africa. Long before the Roman Empire existed, Salento was a Greek province, and the traditions and culture run deep here. None more so than the taranta, a musical form connected to the tarantula spiders often found in the fields. Their deadly bite could reputedly only be cured by the trance-like dance. All of that forms the heart of Taranta Project, the new album by acclaimed composer, conductor, and pianist Ludovico Einaudi (Ponderosa Music; US release: May 4, 2015).

His aim was to bring the taranta to a more universal level by connecting it with music from West Africa and Turkey. It explores tradition while keeping it firmly of the core of Taranta Project; the unmistakable hypnotic rhythm of the taranta provides the foundation of everything. “In 2010 and ’11 I was invited to direct a concert that’s happened for the last 15 years in Salento,” Einaudi explains. “It drew 100,000 people and we toured it the next year, recording what we did. After that we did more in the studio, and the result is that Taranta Project has a studio sound, but with all the energy of a live performance.”

“I started by working with a regional orchestra,” Einaudi recalls. “There was accordion, percussion, and mandola. Then I brought in Ballaké Sissoko with his kora. And on the other side I had Justin Adams on electric guitar and Juldeh Camara on one-string ritti fiddle and vocals.” That was just the beginning. Mercan Dede added electronics, Turkish percussion, and ney flute, while the Roma Film Orchestra brought sweeping grandeur to the piece.

In this music, the sands are constantly shifting: On “Nazzu Nazzu,” desert blues dances with taranta in a fiery mix, powered by a raw guitar riff. The breathtaking “Preludio Nar-I Sehar” builds across 10 minutes, from reflective piano and violin to Arab percussion before resolving into a glorious cascade of notes in a kora improvisation. And everything closes with the quiet gentleness of voice and piano on “Nuvole Bianche.”

From the ancient, otherworldly polyphonic harmonies to the rich orchestral harmonies that climax “Santu Paulu Finale,” it’s a disc of remarkable adventure and breadth, weaving a web between countries and histories while keeping the sensibility of Salento intact. The music of Taranta Project captures not only the head but also the heart.

Einaudi is no stranger to mixing classical and roots music, to finding profound emotion in intellectually complex composition, or to collaborating with people from around the globe. He was a pupil of avant-garde composer Luciano Berio and has written works for modern classical chamber groups and orchestras as well as recording solo on piano. Knighted in Italy for his music, this is the most ambitious labor he’s undertaken.

“After I put the musicians together,” he says, “the big work after the rehearsals and the concerts was to select just an hour of it for the album. I wanted to stay close to the reality of the music without changing too much, to put myself into the music of taranta.”

Certainly those who worked with him feel he succeeded in his aim. “He took the tradition and he gave it a fresh seasoning from the future,” notes Mercan Dede. “He created a perfect balance.”

“It’s less foursquare than most European folk music,” observes Justin Adams. “Repetition is such a big part of it and it goes deep into your soul, both when you’re playing and when you’re listening to it. Ludovico makes it go from the epic to the intimate.”

Past and present come together with beauty and primal force, elegance and passion. And the Taranta Project has changed at least one life – that of Ludovico Einaudi. “Before this experience I thought I was a boy from northern Italy,” he admits with a smile. “After it, part of my heart is in Salento.”