Wednesday, March 22, 2017

ESKORZO · Nueva gira y nuevo single

Eskorzo vuelve el 29 de marzo con "La Pena", single adelanto de su nuevo disco y anuncia las primeras fechas de gira.

Aquí y ahora, los caníbales del ritmo, vuelven a devorar musas y partituras con la creación de un nuevo trabajo, en el que una vez más, el estilo propio de los nazaries chupa de otras savias. El próximo miércoles 29 de Marzo verá la luz “La Pena”, el primer adelanto de su próximo álbum de estudio, un nuevo disco que ya tiene la fecha de salida confirmada, Octubre de 2017.

La Pena ha sido grabada y mezclada por Alejandro Martinez en los estudios de Producciones Peligrosas de Granada, el pasado mes de febrero, y masterizado por Carlos Díaz.

Cómo no podía ser de otra forma, “La Pena” se presentará con una producción audiovisual, esta vez dirigida por Miguel Ángel Caro de la mano de Dejavú Producciones y Rootsound Music. El nuevo videoclip también se estrenará el miércoles 29 de marzo.

El fuego, la fuerza, la furia y sobre todo la arrasadora personalidad de Eskorzo en sus directos y composiciones son de sobra conocidos. Con una carrera musical que se extiende a lo largo de más de dos décadas y cinco discos de estudio, las garras musicales de los granadinos han atrapado el alma de un público cada día mas diverso y numeroso.

Camino de Fuego, álbum que precede a este primer avance bajo el título "La pena", los ha hecho aún más internacionales y queridos, alabados por la prensa y nominados por varios charts como hacedores del mejor disco de “World Music” del año; y los ha llevado por una extensa gira bienal colgando el cartel de 'Todo vendido’ en numerosas ocasiones. Eskorzo está en el altar del panorama, y se ha ganado estar en la lista de las bandas más importantes de nuestra historia musical.

Con nuevas plumas y las alas fuertes, aquí y ahora, Eskorzo se lanza al vuelo de la farándula tras meses de anidación con “La Pena Tour”, una nueva gira con la que recorrerán muchos de los principales festivales del país y otros tantos de Europa. El ciclón rítmico comenzará el 31 de Marzo en el festival Primavera Trompetera, y continuará hasta el final del verano, algunas de las primeras fechas confirmadas son Ibero Joven - 8 de abril, Mallorca Live Festival - 13 de mayo, Cultura Inquieta & Festival Guacamayo - 23 de junio, Babylon Festival 24 de junio, Alrumbo Festival - 14/15 de julio, The Juergas Rock - 5 de agosto y Boomtown en UK el 12 de agosto.

Soul Science Lab - Plan for Paradise (April, 26 2017)

Afro-Futurist Utopia: Soul Science Lab Melds Centuries of Afro-Diasporic Experience and Sound into Powerful Hip Hop on Plan for Paradise

In a Brooklyn apartment, the two young artists behind Soul Science Lab, Pittsburgh-raised Chen Lo (who’s shared the stage or collaborated with The Roots, Common, Erykah Badu, A Tribe Called Quest, and K’Naan) and New Orleans-born Asante’ Amin (who’s shared stages with Wynton Marsalis, Dead Prez, Third World, Raheem Devaughn and Mos Def, GZA, Blitz the Ambassador, and Jojo Abbot) slowly sketched out a concept, phrase by phrase, track by track.

Conceiving Plan for Paradise as a rite of passage, as a journey toward self-awareness and communal elevation, Asante’ and Chen harness everything from gospel to club music, from post-James Brown West African funk to second line, in a quest to distill and uplift Black experience, in all its beauty and struggle. The production is extravagant, but it all fits together perfectly. Multi-instrumentalists, educators, and philosophers, the duo thrive on a potent, shifting dialogue that does more than critique the status quo; it points to a future, where the deep past manifests in greater understanding and peace.

“Music has been such a blessing,” Amin reflects. “There are so many things the divine has placed in us. It can manifest in safe spaces. The mystical information is innate to our cosmology, when we’re in our natural state. As musicians and educators, we’re dealing with preservation but it’s alive and it’s being innovated.”

“We’re soul scientists, anthropologists and archeologists of sorts,” muses Asante’. “People often separate the spiritual from the scientific,” Chen remarks. “Our understanding is that they are one and the same. Science of the soul, but a lot of soul in science. You can’t understand one without the other.”

Science is folded into Soul Science Lab’s approach. They wanted the album to be more than a static sound recording. So the duo enlisted the talents of Rapport Studios, a team of designers and tech creatives, to incorporate interactive AR elements into the album cover art and to create a 360 video for the chilling song “I Can’t Breathe.” The augmented reality expands the album’s central themes, using four symbols, including the Crest of Protection, Death is Rebirth, Know Thyself and Sound Alchemy, each with an accompanying parable penned by authors like award-winning novelist Jason Reynolds, to take viewers deeper into the album’s spiritual world.

Articulating this nuanced complex of ideas took time, and the process shifted the duo’s interaction. At first Chen was the MC, and Asante’ the producer. Then their roles blurred. “It went from Erik B and Rakim to Outkast,” explains Chen. “It went into this sonic collaboration of two energies, bringing the full self into the process. It wouldn’t be what it is without Asante’s voice. It brings another dynamic and dimension. Together, the two voices give a context for the music. In the music itself,  hear reference to all kinds of canon, like soul, jazz, blues, and gospel.”

“I”m a schizophrenic musically, I’m everywhere. People can be like, what are you doing? But at no point would Chen say what are you doing, even when the music changed in the middle of the song,” as listeners will hear on tracks like “Gimme Dat.” “When two people are comfortable with each other, you can be creative with boundaries, without stifling ideas.“ The juxtapositions--kalimba and beats, the gorgeous vocals of Guinean singer and Beyonce collaborator Ismael Kouyate paired with gospel--serve a purpose.

Other artful juxtapositions, cosmic and political, found a home on Plan for Paradise. The interlocking tracks “We So Infinite” and “Africa’s the Future” engage the future and past, how the ancient and the futuristic can be used to unlock an individual’s potential and sense of self-worth, ideas many forward-thinkers and artists began exploring mid-century. Soul Science Lab feels the compelling continuity. The work of soul philosophers like Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers inspired songs like “I Can’t Breathe” and “3rd Eye, respectively. “I Can’t Breathe” not only references Eric Garner's last words and his violent killing by police but also speaks largely to the overall stifled feeling of Black people due to repeat targeted injustices, discrimination and oppression.

The trajectory of Plan for Paradise points upward, through poignant social critique toward profound engagement with one another and true commitment in “Part of Me” and “Kingmaker.” It culminates in the lyrical, syncopated sway of “Supernatural,” a song that sprang from a musical idea that came to Asante’ after his father passed. “ I’m a muslim, but I started playing in a gospel church. I got a whole other musical education. Didn’t grow up in the environment. The feel is influenced by gospel music, those emotions. We translated that, found that warmth and love.”

Guided by a gospel-grounded husband-wife vocal duo, Raii and Whitney, it moves between slow-burning ballad and hymn to transcendent love. “My grandmother believed in me enough to tell me that this is the path I should be walking. Listening to Asante’s tracks gave me that blanket of warmth, took me back to that space. It’s so healing and therapeutic,” says Chen. “Raii and Whitney breathed life in it, and really made it complete.”

The final moments of Plan for Paradise, however, remain open ended. Like the AR pieces of the project, they invite listeners to draft their own blueprint for utopia. “The strings paired with the vocals, it almost feels like the album is done. You’re floating,” Asante’ notes. “We wanted to leave people with paradise. We have an affirmation hook, left up to the imagination of the listener. It feels and sounds like a question to me, it’s not telling you it’s paradise. It’s paradise with a question mark.”


Innovative. Afro. Futuristic. Griots. Soul Science Lab (SSL), is a Brooklyn, NY based music and multimedia duo that translates stories into soul stirring sounds and dynamic visuals. SSL was formed by artist, educator and creative director, Chen Lo, and multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer, Asante’ Amin. With a focus on high quality, timeless music, SSL designs innovative arts education models and creates culturally responsive interactive experiences. In addition to international touring, SSL’s current projects include Chen Lo’s 2013 album Footprints, Amin’s 2014 album The Visitor: Alter Destiny,  the orchestral, interactive documentary Soundtrack ‘63 and their newly released interactive album, Plan for Paradise.

Chen and Asante's music have been featured on several popular Black & Sexy TV web series “Hello Cupid,” “Sexless,” “Chef Julian” and “RoomieLoverFriends,” which aired on BET. Most recently, the duo was featured in’s Black History Month series, celebrating the music and legacy of music of the African diaspora. Soul Science is set to release their debut album, Plan for Paradise, in September 2016. To learn more about Soul Science Lab, visit

Plan for Paradise Album

Plan for Paradise is a mythical rites of passage that sets two characters (Chen Lo and Asante) on a path to reach their highest potential. They are charged to find self, find their reflection, and reclaim their culture. The challenges, trials, and contradictions they face on the way to finding it. Their success or failure in achieving this mission will impact generations to come.

Neotolia: Nazan Nihal & Utar Artun - Neotolian Song (April 23, 2017)

From Anatolia, From the Heart: Bridging East and West, Neotolia’s Originals Spring from Mediterranean Traditions, Turkish Folk Songs, and Jazz Forms

In Anatolia, where Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and the Mediterranean world overlap, layers of history – thousands of years of it – can translate into layers of melody, rhythm, and sound. This is the vision of Neotolia, an international ensemble of diverse, highly skilled musicians based in Boston. Led by singer-songwriter Nazan Nihal and pianist/composer Utar Artun, the project explores traditional and tradition-inspired pieces through the lens of contemporary composition, jazz, world music and improvisation.

On their latest album, Neotolian Song (Interrobang Records; release date: April 23, 2017), the Turkish-born duo imagine lost ancient languages (“Neotolian Song”), mourn those lost to terrorism (“Değişmek Cesaret İster/ Change Takes Courage”), and weave new emotion into striking folk songs. Artun and Nihal have enlisted musicians hailing from Finland to Lebanon, from Iraq  to China to add their own voices to complex yet elegant pieces. Turkish traditional instruments like the qanun, ney and oud, Western and Eastern strings (violin, cello, erhu) join a core quintet (Nihal voice, Artun on piano, Jussi Reijonen on guitars, Bruno Råberg on bass, and Giuseppe Paradiso on drum kit).

“We’re feeling our roots, but we want to keep our music in the present,” explains Nihal. “We put our own stamp on it, drawing on the influences from different cultures. We have one foot in Anatolia and one foot all around the world.”

The group will perform in Boston, New York, and DC in April and May.

The project began one night several years ago, when Artun was visiting Turkey. He heard Nihal sing several traditional songs in Nihal’s arrangements and was stunned. “We have to record those songs,” Nihal recalls him saying.

This connection blossomed into love and marriage, and Nihal moved to Boston, where Artun is a professor at Berklee College of Music. She found herself listening to more and more Turkish music to stave off homesickness, which sparked Artun’s interest in recording some of the songs she had arranged.

An ongoing collaboration ensued, with the duo working on original compositions as well as arrangements of traditional repertoire.  “Utar can transform music in any direction imaginable,” says Nihal. “For example, I come with a musical idea, discuss it with him and then we find a groove or rhythm. After that point we improve that idea together. Utar adds the final touch. He scores the music. Then the band plays it, and it becomes real.”

“We tried to make a kaleidoscope of different colors,” notes Artun. “We use African and Indian elements, jazz and American grooves, Eastern European scales and Turkish maqams. As such an ambitious concept, some of the songs called for us to invite guest artists who could bring these ideas to life with their unique voices.”

Some pieces called for a sleek duo, like “Manastır Türküsü” – a spirited song from Artun’s home region. Some suggested unexpected instrumentation like Chinese flute (dizi) performed by Yazhi Guo (who has been named a “National Treasure of China’’), or a Middle Eastern cello line on “Neotolian Song.”  

Other songs were enriched by master artists: Turkish-Armenian Grammy-winning avant-garde percussionist  Arto Tunçboyacıyan and world-renowned drummer Dave Weckl on “Thrill of the Chase;” longterm Bobby McFerrin Voicestra member Joey Blake on “Rondo Afro Turca;” and Guggenheim Fellow and microtonal guitarist David Fiuczynski on “Degmen Benim Yasli Gonlume.” Their contributions, as well as the quintet’s elegant, exploratory approach, are featured in three videos the ensembles has created to accompany the recording.

Though the music ranges far and wide in geography and genre, the group keeps its Turkish heart. Traditional songs, modes, and sounds inform all the tracks, though never in predictable ways.“We have three traditional songs on the album reflecting the heritage of Turkish folk music. From our perspective Turkish Folk Music is free and open-minded, based on songwriting,” explains Artun. “Maqams – Turkish melodic modes – are used, but the feeling and writing are the main components,” Nihal continues. “Like blues guitar players, folk song lyricists write about daily life. There aren’t the same strict rules.”

Neotolia have loosened these rules further, adding polyphony to the mix. To bring it all together, they sought out master qanun (Turkish zither) player Tahir Aydoğdu, who was able to navigate the adventuresome merger of Turkish traditional ideas and Western chordal harmonies. “‘Bir Varmış Bir Yokmuş Hayat [Once Upon a Life]’ for example has a lot of interesting microtones,” says Artun. “It’s hard to play and phrase. You need good musicians like Bassam Saba, who aren’t intimidated of expanding their usual way of playing.”

Nihal and Artun have expanded the landscape of their homeland in other ways, with fantastical forays into the past, including a deep dive into the ancient language spoken in Lydia, in what is now western Turkey. “This piece turned out really lyrical,” notes Artun. “I asked Nazan, ‘Can you put some Lydian words to it?’”

Nihal began to research the ancient language, yet couldn’t find what she was looking for. She reached out to a Greek friend, who introduced her to one of the leading scholars of Lydian in Greece. The text he passed along became the lyrics for “Lydianic,” which is believed to be the lyrics of an ancient Lydian song. Though the pronunciation and exact translation has been lost to time, the song’s impact remains. “When we played this tune in concert, people started crying. We were shocked,” Nihal remembers. “Meaning may not be as important as the message you’re sending from the heart.”


Music is a universal language, spanning across all of space and time. Today, Nazan Nihal and Utar Artun are taking music into a new dimension, bringing the old sounds of Turkish Folk Songs (Turku) to life in their new project, Neotolia. Nazan is a remarkable singer/songwriter and Utar possesses unlimited potential as a composer, conductor, film scorer and arranger. When the two met, they were inspired by their mutual addiction to music. Nazan’s unique interpretation of the old Anatolian songs sparked a chord in the musical heart of Utar and it was at this moment that the concept for their new project, Neotolia, was born. Nazan and Utar want to share their contemporary perception of the music that rose out of Anatolia, music with the power to erase the boundaries between history and current times. 

As important as their revival of Turkish Folk Songs is their creation of new compositions, mostly in the English and therefore understandable for a big audience. The songs from Neotolia are founded in the heart. Everyday common feelings are captured in lyrics and music, listeners can recognize feelings and emotions that they have been going through. Neotolia also creates music for other artists, while giving support as songwriters and producers. Neotolia feels no boundaries. With their roots in Turkey they explore new directions in music. Domiciled in the States they travel all around the world including Europe, bringing music to their audience. 

Neotolia - CD Release Concert
​in Boston, MA on April 22, 2017 at 8PM
Goethe Institut, 170 Beacon St. Boston, MA 02116
Admission $20

Neotolia - CD Release Concert
in New York, NY on April 23, 2017 at 7PM
DROM, 85 Ave A B/W 5th & 6th St. New York, NY 10009
Admission $10 in advance, $15 at door

duende libre Bridges Latin Folk Sounds and Jazz Approaches on Debut Album

Distilling Tradition: duende libre Bridges Latin Folk Sounds and Jazz Approaches on Debut Album

Keyboard player Alex Chadsey was fluent in jazz and classical forms. He’d walked the usual, rigorous path of a conservatory-style music education. Then he wound up in Seattle, music degree in hand, not sure of what to do. The answer: Play in salsa bands, perfect his montuno, and learn how music creates community.

Chadsey’s creative output changed dramatically, coming together as a trio project duende libre. Their self-titled debut album (release: May 5, 2017) distills years of performing, apprenticing with master musicians, and crafting originals that explore Latin elements in new contexts. The results are savvy and grooving, reflecting the Seattle scenes Chadsey inhabits and loves, where Uzbek bassists and Jamaican poets and border-crossing fandangos power musical visions.

“It’s a fundamental part of our humanity to make music,” Chadsey says. “There’s a lot of power in experiencing music live, or participating in a group that makes music together. It’s empowering to see beyond narrow goals and agendas, to create in a deep way as part of a community.”

duende libre will play a series of live shows this May around the Pacific Northwest.

Chadsey had always enjoyed Latin music, but it had never really clicked until he moved to Seattle. As a recent music school graduate, he found himself diving deeper and deeper into the salsa scene in his newly adopted home.

“That started me on a steady diet of Latin music. I got to know and play with Joe Santiago, who’d worked with artists like Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, and Celia Cruz,” recalls Chadsey. “That’s when it grabbed me. That’s almost all I played for several years. I really fell in love with it.” He also met several musical kindred spirits, including duende libre members Farko Dosumov and Jeff Busch, who share Chadsey’s affection for Afro-Caribbean music.

Then he got involved in a community music project, the Seattle Fandango Project, started by the founding members of LA-based Chicano music innovators, Quetzal. Chadsey began playing with the band and contributed to their Grammy-winning album, Imaginaries. “They opened my mind to the possibility that there’s so much more beyond the music itself. What a musician can do and say and the role they play. Reclaiming some of the power that the professionalization and commodification of music has taken away.”

The experience led Chadsey toward a new approach to musical mastery, one that relied less on formal instruction, more on tradition, community, and collective expression. “My mentors from Mexico, Cuba, and Los Angeles had a big impact on my music,” Chadsey reflects. “These mentors often had no formal training. That was not an impediment. They could express themselves in interesting and creative ways. There was a process of me, humbling myself to try to get past some of my training. I put myself in a position of learning from these folks, these keepers of strong and rich musical traditions.”

These traditions weave subtly into duende libre’s pieces, a process Chadsey wryly refers to as global jazz alchemy. “Michel” opens with a rhythm Chadsey and the band picked up from a mid 20th-century Cuban record by blind pianist Frank Emilio Flynn. “Rio Pescadores” was inspired by a trip to Veracruz, Mexico and hints at Chadsey’s first encounter with the centuries-old musical love affair between Veracruz and Cuba.

As Chadsey decided to play more of his own original compositions and launch duende libre, he tapped his two close friends, Dosumov and Busch, to join him. They workshopped pieces for months, as Chadsey developed ideas using loops and recording software. It allowed him to demo arrangements and create structures, without through-composing every detail.

“I knew I didn’t want to come in with an 8-page score. In fact, I didn’t want the guys to have to read anything if possible. I wanted them to approach the music more intuitively,” Chadsey notes. “That came back to all the work I had done with folks like Quetzal and with Clinton [Fearon, the legendary Jamaican songwriter and roots reggae innovator Chadsey has played extensively with]. They don’t rely on notation. I eliminated the barrier. Reading music changes the way you play.”

Though animated by Chadsey’s experiences, duende’s music stretches into other spaces and takes inspiration from other places, as well. “Razzle Dazzle” sprang from an experiment in meter: “I was trying to see if I could write something in an odd meter that still grooves hard, that didn’t feel mathematical.” “Funkination” pays tribute to the 80s days of 808s and keyboard-driven riffs.

“Salif” shows how Chadsey can start with one influence--a beloved track by Salif Keita--and go somewhere utterly different. “It started there, but I ended up elsewhere,” Chadsey says. “This is a special tune for me, and it represents a newer direction in my writing that I’d like to explore further.”

Yet it’s the closer collaborations, Chadsey’s multifaceted home turf, that inspire the most. Fearon’s influence, for example, resounds on “Still.” “Clinton has been a very important influence on my life and music. Like many of my other mentors, he comes from a rich tradition, Jamaican roots,” explains Chadsey. “He calls himself a poet first, a musician second. Poetry is distilled; you make the most meaning with the fewest possible words. His music does the same thing. He says so much with a minimum of musical material, and I aspire to do the same.”


duende libre is an inspired new power trio featuring longtime collaborators Alex Chadsey (piano/keyboards/compositions), Farko Dosumov (electric bass) and Jeff “Bongo” Busch (drums & percussion). duende libre utilizes the American jazz tradition as a point of departure for daring explorations of rhythm & influences from the Americas, Europe and Africa yielding catchy melodies, lush harmonies, and wholehearted groove.

Bursting onto the Seattle scene in February 2016, duende libre has quickly earned a reputation for being innovative, uplifting and accessible to a wide-range of listeners. Their self-titled album is due out this spring.

01 Rio Pescadores
02 Forgotten well
03 Michel
04 Funkination
05 Razzle Dazzle
06 Sevilla
07 Moon Waltz
08 For The Rekkerd
09 Salif
10 Still
11 Sinister Minister

Alex Chadsey (piano/keyboards/compositions)
Farko Dosumov (electric bass)
Jeff “Bongo” Busch (drums & percussion)

Playlist for Tom Ossana – The Thin Edge – March 22, 2017 MST 7:00 to 9:00p.m. ~ Use this link to access the show online.