America Contemporanea
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America Contemporanea

São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil | INDIE

São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil | INDIE
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"Spotlight"

Contemporary America is a fascinating exercise in a cultural unification. Brazilian pianist Benjamim Taubkin brought musicians from all over South America to create something that synthesized their various traditions and influences into a sound that would reflect the continent in all its variety. The result, Another Center (Adventure Music), pretty much redifines the phrase “more than the sum of its parts”. Players from Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Peru ,as well as several regions of Brazil, gather to perform songs from all these places. The arrengements are intricate and quite beautiful, featuring piano, horns, guitar, violin, and, of course, plenty of percussion.
“We used to say that Brazil is looking at the ocean, with its back to Latin America,” laughs Taubkin about Brazil’s relative cultural isolationism. But the project’s been enthusiastically received – by audiences, and the group members themselves. “The thing is,” adds Taubkin, “the level of the musicians in a lot of those countries is so high nowadays, that it looks like a new revelation. Places like Venezuela, Colombia and Argentina can surprise anyone.”
The bandleader is extremely pleased with how the live recordings came together, and he’s ready to keep it going. “We did the most of the recording before the first concert, live at the studio, in one afternoon, after only two days of rehearsal,” he recalls. “I felt that for the project to continue to exist, and not to be only one event, we had to have some material. Since then we’ve been playing a lot. We had, after the first one, five more concerts in Brazil. We played New York, at Joe’s Pub, and in Montreal. We’ve had invitations to Colombia and Spain. And we have some ideas for research initiatives together. And, of course, a second album.”
Phil Freeman - Global Rhythm


"Contemporary America "Another Center""

Contemporary America "Another Center" (Adventure Music, 2007)
A far-flung, highly experimental world-jazz collaboration featuring artists from seven different Latin American countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Peru and Venezuela... The Brazilian faction is the strongest, with four of the artists hailing from the luso-sphere (although the vocals are mainly in Spanish...) The album's producer is pianist Benjamin Taubkin, while avantnik Ze Miguel Wisnik chimes in on the album's last track. The album is a little too noodly for me, but folks who enjoy albums from the likes of Marlui Miranda, Claudia Villela and Marta Topferova may find this pretty engaging, particularly the tunes that feature Columbia vocalist Lucia Pulido... Certainly and ambitious and challengingly diverse album. - www.slipcue.com


"http://metalhaven.livejournal.com/"

Genre: Latin Jazz/Folk

Review: Contemporary America is a cross country project headed by Benjamin Taubkin. The project’s aim was to have Brazilian musicians working alongside musicians from various other South American countries.

Lucia Pulido opens the disc with her haunting vocals, and shows a talent of rare profoundity and breadth. She is backed by Benjamin’s fractured piano and twirly notes from the horn section. The peaceful solemnity of The Music And The Word, a recurrent theme of disarmingly charming simplicity, instantly grabs the listener and acts as a gateway into a magnetizing landscape.

Artful, stylish and captivating, Contemporary America is assuredly one to watch for in the future.

Tracklisting: Carmelita, Goodbye; The Music And The Word; Mysteries Of May; Doing The Panguito; To My Brothers; Cowboy Songs; Juca’s Valley; Cajoning; A Tonada For My Little Girl; Spring.

Personnel: Alvaro Montenegro – Sax, flutes; Ari Colares – Percussion; Aquiles Baez – Guitar, cuatro; Benjamin Taubkin – Piano; Carlos Aguirre – Guitar, accordion, voice; Christian Galvez – Bass; Lucia Pulido – Voice; Luis Solar Narciso – Percussion; Siba – Violin, voice; Ze Miguel Wisnik – Voice, piano.

Similar Artists: Mario Adnet, Maria Vasquez

Playing Time: 54:34

Website: www.adventure-music.com - http://metalhaven.livejournal.com/


"The world on behalf of Connectin Cultures / El mundo según Connecting Cultures"

El doble álbum recopilatorio Two For One World lo editó en 2007 el sello holandés Connecting Cultures con fondos de su catálogo, y llega ahora a España de la mano de Galileo Music. Casi una veintena de artistas conforma la selección, realizada por el periodista radiofónico Mattie Poels. El libanés Marcel Khalife, una de las estrellas más refulgentes del mundo árabe, y la cantante anglohindú Najma Akhtar aportan el mayor número de canciones a una propuesta en la que, en general, el jazz se enreda con los ritmos procedentes de lugares tan distantes como Bulgaria y Brasil. Khalife, cantante y virtuoso del oud, ha desarrollado una trayectoria que contempla las composiciones clásicas, la música para el cine y los encuentros con el flamenco y el jazz. Najma, cuya carrera debe no poco a los festivales Womad, de Peter Gabriel, lleva más de dos décadas produciendo vigorosas conexiones entre la música del subcontinente indio y las agitaciones urbanas occidentales. Con ellos destaca también el brasileño Benjamim Taubkin, pionero en la puesta en común de diferentes vibraciones latinoamericanas, quien aporta tres piezas procedentes de otros tantos grupos en los que participa: Moderna Tradição, América Contemporánea y Abaçai. Del sur del continente americano proceden igualmente la chilena Magdalena Matthey y la uruguaya Beatriz Aguilar.

Y desde Europa, perturbaciones balcánicas y klezmer, tan singularmente cercanas entre sí y al universo del jazz, y pellizco flamenco. O sea: el acordeonista búlgaro Martin Lubenov, el contrabajista serbio Nenad Vasilic, el grupo húngaro Romengo (donde Monika Lakatos pone su voz arrebatadora), el septeto Amsterdam Klezmer Band, y el guitarrista Juan de Lérida (nacido en Francia de padres españoles). Un gipsy team en el que destaca Martin Lubenov, mago de las teclas a quien hemos escuchado con artistas como Jony Iliev y Sandi Lopicic. Lo suyo es una recombinación del ADN de los ritmos de su zona de origen, del jazz, del tango de Astor Piazzolla y de la nueva musette francesa surgida del acordeón de Richard Galliano.

Mención especial merece la cantante china Gong Linna, paradigma de modernidad, con sólidas raíces en la tradición. Y más voces de mujer: Yasmin Levy (Javier Limón ha producido su disco más reciente), Carmen Souza y Rezwana Choudhury Bannya. El muestrario de este mundo a dos lo completan los efluvios sudaneses del laudista Beshir Abbas, la música iraquí de Saad Thamir & Ensemble Lagash y el perfume andalusí con aromas de raï del marroquí Kamal Ben Hicham.

Two For One World (presentado en formato digipack alargado) cuenta con un aliciente añadido: una serie de reproducciones de obras del excelente fotógrafo alemán Thomas Dorn, tomadas en sus viajes más recientes. Dorn, que ha situado frente al objetivo de su cámara a un buen número de músicos (su libro Tambours et Visages. Houn-Noukoun es, además de otras cosas, una extraordinaria panorámica en imágenes de la música moderna africana), ha optado aquí por los personajes anónimos y los paisajes. Lástima que nada se diga sobre dónde y cuándo fueron hechas las fotos, y que su elección ofrezca un conjunto algo arbitrario: instantáneas de gran fuerza y profundidad conviven con otras que son puro recreo estético.

Two For One World. Galileo Music. - El Pais


"América Contemporânea"

Outro coletivo - que passou por São Paulo na semana passada - raro de se ver é o América Contemporânea, que tocou sábado no mesmo Teatro Castro Alves. Pilotado pelo pianista Benjamim Taubkin, o grupo multicultural se diferencia do Immigrasons não apenas por ser formados por sul-americanos, mas pelo maior espaço aberto ås atuações individuais. A voz da colombiana Lucia Pulido em duo com a rabeca do pernambucano Siba, numa ciranda dele, é um dos momentos mais tocantes. Quem não viu pode apreciá-los no CD lançado este ano.
Lauro Lisboa Garcia - O Estado de SP


"América Contemporânea em Salvador"

Salvador - O Projeto parece inviável: 10 extraordinários músicos sul-americanos de sete países (Brasil, Venezuela, Chile, Colômbia, Argentina e Bolívia) no mesmo palco. Uma apresentação vá lá. Mas eles fizeram sete. A última noite de sexta-feira, no Teatro Castro Alves, em Salvador. Até ontem, Benjamim Taubkin era parado na rua por gente que assistiu o show e não conseguiu comprar o disco. Todos queriam guardar a noites sensacional.

Foram sete encontros ao todo. Depois do primeiro show, eles fizeram um concerto fechado na capital paulista; participaram do Festival América do Sul, em Corumbá; tiveram uma apresentação em Nova York e no Canadá; mais uma no Rio de Janeiro, durante o Fórum Cultural Mundial. Aproveitaram dois dias de agenda em comum até para gravar um disco, América Contemporânea - um outro centro, que será distribuido nos Estados Unidos e Europa (e atualmente pode ser comprado no site do Núcleo Contemporâneo).

No Teatro Castro Alves, cada um apresentou algo representativo de seu país (acompanhado pelo grupo): a cumbia colombiana, a chacarera argentina, o merengue venezuelano etc. Entre os grande momentos, Lucia Pulido cantando Carmelita, adiós, de domínio público; o duelo da rabeca de Siba e dos graves e agudos de Lucia na ciranda Vale do Jucá; o 'show de variedades (no melhor dos sentidos) do peruano, tocando cajón e dançando em cajoneando.

O entresamento entre eles é impressionante. "Nos queremos muito bem, passamos o tempo todo juntos, rindo", conta Taubkin. " É um projeto da afetividade mesmo. Quando temos um concerto, todos vêm do jeito que der, sem exigências, nada. Só pelo prazer de estar junto. É interessante ver que um projeto como esse segue acontecendo." Inviável por serem de países diferentes, com carreiras consolidadas - mas dá gosto vê-los juntos, tão interessados na cultura de um e de outro.
Livia Deodato - O Estado de SP


Discography

CD:
"América Contemporânea: um Outro Centro" / "Contemporary America: Another Center"

Brazil: Nucleo Contemporaneo

US: Adventure Music

EUROPE: Connecting Cultures

Photos

Bio

"Contemporary America is a fascinating exercise in a cultural unification. Brazilian pianist Benjamim Taubkin brought musicians from all over South America to create something that synthesized their various traditions and influences into a sound that would reflect the continent in all its variety. The result, Another Center (Adventure Music), pretty much redifines the phrase “more than the sum of its parts”. Players from Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Peru ,as well as several regions of Brazil, gather to perform songs from all these places. The arrengements are intricate and quite beautiful, featuring piano, horns, guitar, violin, and, of course, plenty of percussion". GLOBAL RHYTHM

**** A meeting of nine musicians from six Latin American countries. *****

GENRE: Afro-Andean rhythms, Chacarera, Bullerengue, Pacific Colombia coastal rhythms, Ciranda, Merengue, Chillean Tonada.

DESCRIPTION: Contemporary music based on traditional rhythms from Latin America. Ten musicians from seven different countries bring together the diversity of their cultures, in musical arrangements that reflect the contemporary trends of the continent.

COUNTRY: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil (São Paulo, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte), Chile, Colombia & Venezuela

AMÉRICA CONTEMPORÂNEA started in 2006 for a special project to reunite musicians from different parts of the continent, conceived by renowned pianist and arranger Benjamim Taubkin.

The synergy and genuine cultural and musical exchange reveals a rich journey through different languages and traditions of each country, furthermore a source of contemporary and very sophisticated sound played by this collective.

Since then, the group released a CD in Brazil, US and Europe, and has toured over 4 times in Brazil, but also in the US, Canada, and Europe.

Almost 5 years later, 2010 turns to be a VERY SPECIAL opportunity to bring the group again to Europe as this year celebrates the bicentenary of the independence of Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Argentina and Mexico. A date to remember the past wishes for a unified and independent land, but now point out and gather the Latin American cultures.

THE GROUP

Recorded live in a studio in São Paulo and released in Brazil, US and Europe, the CD ‘América Contemporânea – Um outro centro’ is a project where each artist presents a rhythm from his or her country, and is accompanied by the other musicians. “The diversity and the affluence of the music made in South America is impressive. Brazil is more than bossa nova, and Argentina is more than the tango. Colombia is fantastic musically, and not just in the traditional sense, but also in pop, modern, electronic and contemporary. The musical wealth is much more than anyone imagines. People need to know about this,” he explains.

Benjamim Taubkin believes that South America is experiencing an extremely important political/cultural situation. “There is a desire between the countries to establish connections. We have to take advantage of this. All we have at the moment is impersonal information about these places. Brazil doesn’t have a news correspondent in any South American country. Everything we know is via international agencies, which generally focus on the exotic side of things. These places are as sophisticated as anywhere else. There is life, music, and creativity. All this based on tradition, of course, but with eyes on the future,” he declares.

América Contemporânea has already participated in festivals such as the South America festival in Corumbá, Brazil; Mercat de Vic and Festival ArReus, Spain; and Cinars, Canada. The group has presented itself in places such as Joe’s Pub, New York; and toured in Brazil for four years in a row.

The idea is to continue inviting new musicians to intensify the dialog. “Other countries are still missing, but this is a process in constant construction, always looking to open new collaborative projects... of vivid interchange and pleasure,” he concludes.

In 2010, the project is also taking part in London in the celebrations of the bicentenary of independence of some countries in Latin America, such as: Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina and Mexico. So that, this year the group invited the Mexican singer Juan Pablo Villa to join them for these performances.