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- Thu Apr 14 2016 8:00 PM
Over the past decade, globalFEST has become one of the most dynamic global music platforms in North America with stages at SXSW, Bonnaroo and beyond. What started as an annual showcase in New York has grown into an international phenomenon, building audiences for such celebrated artists as Mariza, Lila Downs and The Nile Project. Now globalFEST is launching its first North American tour with a one-night mini-fest. Creole Carnival shines the spotlight on Emeline Michele, the reigning Queen of Haitian song; Casuarina, a Brazilian samba combo; and Brushy One-String, a Jamaican one-string guitarist.
Casuarina, who celebrates their 13th anniversary in 2014, is one of the most respected samba bands of Brazil. Originally from Rio de Janeiro’s famous bohemian neighborhood Lapa, the band plays their repertoire all over the nation and beyond. They’ve brought their ‘samba made in Brazil’ to more than 20 countries including Angola, Cuba, France, Holland, Israel, Italy, Portugal, the United States, United Kingdom and more.
In addition to their own compositions, Casuarina creates original, sophisticated and virtuosic arrangements to a repertory of classic sambas by legendary composers such as Paulinho da Viola, Dorival Caymmi, Martinho da Vila, Adoniran Barbosa, Baden Powell, João Nogueira, Noel Rosa, and more. The modern and beloved samba group conquered the music scene in Brazil and abroad with their irreverence and innovative outstanding quality of arrangements.
Casuarina has recorded four studio albums and two live albums/DVDs. The group is composed of Daniel Montes (seven-string guitar and arrangements), Gabriel Azevedo (tambourine and lead vocalist), João Cavalcanti (tan-tan and lead vocalist), João Fernando (mandolin, backing vocalist and arrangements) and Rafael Freire (cavaquinho and backing vocalist).
Emeline Michel is the reigning Queen of Haitian Song: a captivating performer, versatile vocalist and one of the premier Haitian songwriters of her generation. She has recorded and appeared on concert stages throughout the Caribbean, Europe, and North and South America for over 20 years, including appearances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Montreal International Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Tasmania’s Ten Days On The Island, Zimbabwe’s Harare International Arts Festival, and on MTV’s Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief telethon. The New York Times praises Emeline, comparing her to “an island goddess”, and Haitian Times proclaims her an “all-time favorite artist”. Haitian paper Le Nouvelliste says Emeline “tantalizes the senses” (translated from French). Singing both in French and Haitian Creole, her ten albums have catapulted her to international
Emeline Michel is beloved by Haitians for combining traditional rhythms with social, political and inspirational content. She is member of a unique generation of Haitian musicians that emerged in the late 1980’s - a wave of artists emphasized complex themes, conscious lyrics, and a broad palette of musical styles, including the native Haitian compas, twoubadou and rara.
Emeline's new album Quintessence is her tenth release, long-awaited by Emeline's fans world-wide. Quintessence has a unique blend of spirited songs, bathed in folk and acoustic jazz. In songs that capture the reverence and gratitude for each moment, Quintessence is filled with a yearning for freedom and love. The CD showcases Emeline's warm, deep and moving voice singing in Creole, French and English, against the backgrounds of fingerpicked guitars, soulful choirs, a children's choir, Haitian percussion, lush strings, playful trumpet and accordion lines.
When filmmaker Luciano Blotta walked out of a rural Jamaican recording studio, way off the beaten path of tourists and music hounds, he saw something wildly unusual: a man with an instrument. Even more surprising, the instrument in question—a battered but resonant acoustic guitar—had only one string.
Blotta had encountered Brushy One-String (born Andrew Chin), son of a musical family who despite his challenging life had a seemingly innate ability to inspire and move even casual listeners—including millions of people who have watched and shared Brushy’s videos on YouTube.
On his very first studio album, Destiny (release: April 30, 2013), the veteran musician evokes the sweetness of soul singers like Percy Sledge and Louis Armstrong, the grit and wit of Delta bluesmen, all woven together with a Jamaican pulse and ingenuity that shows that the island’s music is about far more than reggae. Heartfelt blues combine with dancehall-style vocals on “Grey in my Blue,” while uplifting, catchy ballads like “Life is for Every Man” channel a soulful intensity and profound faith.
“If we can change the words and melodies and bring back the love, we can have a balance between God and man,” Brushy reflects. “That’s what we need to put the world together.”