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Hariprasad_Chaurasia - Podcast 287

This is an exclusive interview with the greatest living master of the bansuri, Hariprasad Chaurasia.  David Ellenbogen and Chaurasia's Senior disciple Jay Gandhi join the maestro at his Vrindaban Gurukul, in Mumbai. 

El Foukr R’Assembly Live on NYC Radio – Podcast 197

n a stunning display of North and West African fusion, El Foukr R’Assembly, a group traveling all the way from Algeria performs live on WKCR.  The musicians from Algeria, Burkina Faso and Ghana come together for two explosive sets of music

A taxi-driver & a farmer, a graphic designer, a sound engineer and an art-major student, Oualid Khelifi as the producer and filmmaker had met them lin 2014 at various parts of Algeria before suggesting a long term project around docfilm and experimental AfroFusion music linking the Maghreb with the rest of Africa.
So far, the project has recorded, documented or produced 18 African musicians from Algeria, Niger, Ghana and Burkina Faso.

Todays show features

Amine Lehchili,
Abdelhak BenMedjbari
Justice Nii Adjiri aka Shikome
Adama Diarra
Labib Benslama
Younes Kati
Nazim Bakour

Cosmas Magaya

This was one of my favorite early episodes.  Cosmas Magya is a master of the Mbira ( a type of thumb piano) from the Shona tribe in Zimbabwe.  Here he performs and explains the way the instrument is used in ceremonies to contact ancestors.  We’ll also hear a track he recorded with another powerful Mbira player and vocalist Beauler Dyoko. (Rebroadcast from 2011)

Betsayda Machado & Parranda El Clavo

Hailing from Venezuela, Betsayda Machado & Parranda El Clavo made their New York debut at GlobalFest  last year. The group’s electrifying live set, complete with pitch perfect harmonies, dazzling dancers, and irresistible rhythms earned them legions of new fans and a feature in the next days’s New York Times.

We sat down with Betsayda with her manager Juan Souki and learned more about the Afro-Venezuelan tradition. She talks us through a few tracks on their first album,  Rural Recordings Under the Mango Tree, which is available through the Indiegogo campaign that brought them here.

vitrina-agenda-1.jpgBetsayda Machado and Parranda EL Clavo

Zisl Slepovich # Podcast 286

During the epic annual Zlatne Ustne Goldenfest, the crowd was worked into a frenzy by a rollicking set by LITVAKUS, Zisl Slepovich's klezmer band.  We get a chance to hang backstage with the maestro and renaissance man, Zisl Slepovich.  

Zisl Slepovitch (Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch) is an internationally renowned multiinstrumentalist (clarinetist, saxophonist, flutist, pianist, keyboardist, singer), composer, arranger, translator, and music and Yiddish educator. Slepovitch is the founder and leader of the Litvakus klezmer band, Zisl Slepovitch Trio, Assistant Music Director / Music Director / Music Coordinator in many productions by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, including the Drama Desk Award nominated operetta The Golden Bride (2015/16) and Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish directed by Joel Grey.

Zisl Slepovitch has taught Yiddish language and culture The New School, served as educator and artist in residence at BIMA at Brandeis University, guest artist at University of Michigan, Indiana University, and Amherst College and Vassar College, a teaching fellow and performing artist at YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (New York City), Vienna Klezmer Workshop (Vienna), The Moscow Sefer Center, and Eshkolot Project (both in Moscow). Some of Slepovitch’s theater, film, and TV contributions include consulting and acting in Defiance (Paramount), Eternal Echoes (Sony Classical), Rejoice with Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot (PBS),  original scores for the documentary Funeral Season, children’s musical The King of Chelm, ballet Di Tsvey Brider, and many more.

See Zisl Slepovitch on  IMDb-logo.png  2017png2-min-e1484156395873.png

Zisl Slepovitch has performed/ recorded / collaborated / worked with / wrote for Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Ron Rifkin, Joel Grey, Edward Zwick, Michael Alpert, Zalmen Mlotek, Paul Brody, Psoy Korolenko, Frank London, Lipa Schmeltzer, Yale Strom, Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin, Cantor Yaakov “Yanky” Lemmer, and many others.

Slepovitch brought over from his home country Belarus a rich ethnographic collection of Belarusian Jewish music folklore collected together with Dr. Nina Stepanskaya. The collection was used in Slepovitch’s his multimedia concert program Traveling the Yiddishland. Some of Yiddish poetry by Zisl Slepovitch has been set to music and published in Israel, Russia, and the US. Over the years, Jewish music and Yiddish culture have remained the core elements of his creative inspirations.

Get the music by Zisl’s LITVAKUS’ klezmer band: Bandcamp (also as CDs)iTunesAmazon MP3, CDBaby, and more!

Amythyst Kia - #284

We get a chance to chat with Amythyst Kia before her set Globalfest in Times Square.


A professed Southern Gothic songster based in Johnson City, TN, Amythyst Kiah’s commanding stage presence is only matched by her raw and powerful vocals—a deeply moving, hypnotic sound that stirs echoes of a distant and restless past. A graduate of East Tennessee State University, she studied old time music and music performance, and it proved to be a pivotal moment in her life as she transformed from a long-time closet musician into a well-rounded, captivating performer.

Accoutered interchangeably with banjo, acoustic guitar, or a full band (Her Chest of Glass), Amythyst’s toolbox is augmented by her scholarship of African-American roots music. Her eclectic influences span decades, drawing heavily on old time music (Mississippi Sheiks, Son House, Jimmie Rodgers, Olla Belle Reed, Carter Family), inspired by strong R&B and country music vocalists from the '50s-'70s (Big Mama Thornton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn) and influenced by contemporary artists with powerful vocal integrity (Adele, Florence and the Machine, Megan Jean and the KFB, Janelle Monae).

Karou Wantanabe, Parul Shah and Sameer Gupta

Before their premier of an exciting new work Nature/War/Love we hang out with Karou Wantanabe, Parul Shah and Sameer Gupta.  We also check out slections from Karou Wantanabe's latest album Néo.

In Nature/War/Love Shinobue flute and taiko drum virtuoso Kaoru Watanabe, known for his work on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, and hybrid Indian classical tabla and modern jazz percussionist Sameer Gupta (Coltrane Raga Tribute, Adam Rudolph) team up with Indian classical and contemporary choreographer Parul Shah,whose work is expanding the classical medium beyond cultural boundaries.

 Through the lens of lush contemporary compositions and dynamic improvisations, the thematic material found in traditional works such as Ghalib, Mahabharata, Amaterasu, and the Tale of Genji provides a framework for these three brilliant artists to explore the connections between these ancient texts and today’s world.

Orquesta Akokán Podcast 282

NYC Radio Live listeners get to hang out with Jacob Plasse from Orquesta Akokán.
The 12 piece cuban Grammy Nominated band revives the sound of the renowned dance orchestras of the 1940s and 1950s with influences such as  Arsenio Rodriguez, Perez Prado, and Beny Moré

Debashish Bhattacharya - 281

Debashish Bhattacharya is simply one of the greatest guitarists walking the earth.  The slide guitar master will be performing at GlobalFest this year, and we give a preview of what to expect, revisiting a  Hurricane Sandy Benefit Concert Debashish performed in NYC in 2012 with his daughter Anandi and brother Subashish. 

Paul Winter on the Solstice

Seven-time Grammy® winner Paul Winter has a body of work that chronicles his wide-ranging experiences in the musical traditions and natural environments of the Earth.  The saxophonist, composer and bandleader founded Living Music as the recording context for his ensemble, the Paul Winter Consort, and his community of colleagues, which includes some of the world’s finest jazz, world, and classical musicians, along with notable voices from the great symphony of wildlife.

It was a blast when he came by my apartment,  played some instruments,  hung out and talked about the big event coming up:  His 35th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration.

content_Pursuits-news-3 The Cathedral at St. John the Divine during the spectacle of Paul WInter’s Solstice Celebration