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Posts tagged ‘world music’

Recording sessions offer at the NCEM York

As part of my work with the National Centre for Early Music in York we are opening the doors and encourage more people to come in to use the lovely, inspiring, bright, airy space.

One of the uses of the venue that suits really well – with its lovely acoustics, sound proofing and studio facilities is recording sessions (either studio style or with a small live audience.)

From Jan to March 2013 NCEM is offering a 30% its day rate (info below.)

Having used the space myself for recording projects i’d happily chat through the potential in the space but it is certainly well worth a look!


From the NCEM promo:

As we sink into the winter months The National Centre for Early Music has a warming offer on recording sessions at our beautiful St. Margaret’s Church in York: 30% off the standard hire day rate on any booking taking place until 31st of March 2013.

Together with the stunning natural acoustics of this inspiring space, few other medieval churches could offer such a warm welcome at this time of year. Renovated to an exceptional standard in 2000, the space boasts triple glazing, silent under floor heating, dedicated artists facilities, soundproofing and acoustic treatment to tailor your sound.

As a concert venue for 180 people the space suits more intimate ensembles perfectly. Either for live recordings or for studio sessions the space adapts well and allows you to shut out the world and focus on creating beautiful work.

With a range of well maintained early music keyboard instruments – see for details; there is little to complicate your time or arrangements. We are able to offer a range of support services too from session engineers to catering and accommodation.

The venue is well used by a wide variety of early music specialists (as well as jazz, folk and contemporary musicians) and recordings this past year include John Potter and Christopher O’Gorman (Hyperion) and Profeti della Quinta – winners of the 2011 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition (Linn).

BBC Radio 3 use the NCEM to broadcast live their annual Early Music Show from York and artists recorded by BBC Radio 3 for broadcast in 2012 include countertenor Iestyn Davies, Phantasm, Gallicantus with lutenist Elizabeth Kenny with artists for 2013 already booked to include Paul O’Dette, Ensemble Medusa with Patrizia Bovi and Fabio Bonizonni.

The BBC Music Magazine’s review of John Potter & Christopher O’Gormans ‘Conductus – Music and Poetry from Thirteenth Century France’ Recording (autumn 2012) gives great testament to the value of the church here at the NCEM:

‘Conductus proves that ascetic simplicity can be as deeply moving and aesthetically breath-taking as the most complex, heart-on-sleeve music … It’s hardly necessary to mention that the performances are superb, their precise diction well-served by Jeremy Summerly’s production and Julian Millard’s engineering. The sound is intimate yet resonant, closely-focused and detailed yet with an ambience vividly suggesting spaciousness’ (BBC Music Magazine)

 If you’d like to take advantage of our 30% discount on our daily hire rate (reducing the venue fees to £280 +VAT!) do please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you. Contact: or 01904 632220.


Music Act 2012

The 1st of october 2012 marks the start of the Music Act 2012 designed to ease the bureaucratic burden on smaller venues wanting to put on live music. In 2003 the new Licensing Act added extra regulation around entertainment. The Music Act 2012, 9 yrs later, is a response to pressure from the industry on both sides (musicians and venues).

This is widely considered to be great news for venues and musicians alike, and is hoped that it will local live music back at the heart of the country’s cultural life.

The MU have produced a useful little guide giving details about what this means for you if you run a venue. you can download the guide here

in a nutshell this act is for you if the following conditions apply:

  • you have fewer than 200 people in the audience for amplified live music.
  • or if the music is un-amplified (then there is no limit on audience size – apart from the obvious “i can’t hear you” being shouted from the back of your 1000 strong crowd)
  • Music can only take place between 8AM and 11PM.
  • and you have to be based in England or Wales.

There is of course some nuances to understand about what sort of venue / premises / workplace  you are. You could look at the full act here or contact your local licensing officer for further advice.

It is worth noting that your obligations around PRS, PLL and H&S all still apply.


As always (the small print bit) this blog post does not constitute legal advice, and is posted for info only! That said i’m happy to work with venues / promotors / musicians to better understand your licensing position or to ensure that you are understanding your obligations around H&S and so on. Do get in touch to discuss.



Krar Collective – NCEM

So i don’t know where else in York you are going find such a range of interesting, unexpected and high quality global artists!?

The NCEM, in their partnership with Making Tracks, have brought some great world music acts to the city over the last couple of years and continue to do so.

The Krar Collective on Friday 5 October at 7:30pm should be no exception. From the NCEM publicity:

Krar Collective perform a rootsy yet contemporary take on traditional music from Ethiopia based on other-worldy modes and driven by hypnotic rhythms. Led by krar virtuoso Temesegen Zeleke, a former star pupil of veteran Ethiopian legend Mulatu Astatke, fronted by the stunning, soaring voice of Genet Assefa and accompanied

by innovative drummer Amare Mulugeta, Krar Collective create a surprisingly big sound, leading one critic to name them ‘The Ethiopian White Stripes’. With a varied repertoire from gentle ballads to high-energy dance tunes, Krar Collective is set to surprise and delight.

‘Spine tingling stuff’ Fly Global Music


Making Tracks

A travelling season of concerts bringing the newest and most exciting music from around the globe to 12 major music venues in the UK.’ 

The NCEM in York are offering a buy one get one free offer on the following Making Tracks co-promotions:

Krar Collective Friday 5 October 2012

Melingo Thursday 8 November 2012

Yiddish Twist Orchestra 26 February 2013

Johanna Juhola 16 April 2013

Buy one full price ticket for any of these four concerts and get one other of these four concerts free. This offer is valid on full price tickets only. You will need to book the two concerts at the same time to take advantage of this deal, by phoning the Box Office on (01904) 658338.


The world famous Mysore Brothers in York

It would be impossible to write about all the amazing stuff that goes on in York, but from time to time things come across my radar that need sharing!

On Sunday 23rd September at 4PM India’s greatest violinist duo, the Mysore Brothers, perform in the UK for the first time.

The gig at the National Centre for Early Music is a rare opportunity to hear Carnatic music performed at its very best.

The NCEM provides the perfect setting for this intimate concert. Full details can be found –

You can read more about the artist here



Raghu Dixit performs for the Queen –

It’s been an exciting time recently for Raghu Dixit.

A few weeks ago he performed live in front of The Queen at Windsor Castle. He sang his song Mysore Se Ayi, surrounded by a troupe of dancers from Bangalore, the dance company owned and choreographed by Raghu’s wife, Mayuri Upadhya

On Sunday 3rd of June – ITV broadcast this spectacular pageant from 6-30pm to 8-30pm:

All the Queen’s Horses: A Diamond Jubilee Special

Alan Titchmarsh hosts a spectacular pageant in the grounds of Windsor Castle featuring horses and performers from around the world, including the New South Wales Mounted Police and the Marwari Horses of India. Dame Helen Mirren, Rolf Harris, Omid Djalili, Sanjeev Bhaskar and other stars of stage and screen represent the different continents. The horses are accompanied by live music from some of the world’s biggest stars including Susan Boyle, Joss Stone, Il Divo, Raghu Dixit and violinist David Garrett. The show also includes rare archive footage of the Queen during her sixty-year reign.

Raghu has just played his first concerts of the season in Europe (Holland and Germany) and now embarks on a summer run of UK festivals.

You can listen and download Raghu’s latest release ‘Unplugged (Live in York)’ below:

Unplugged (Live in York) – Raghu Dixit

or on Amazon if you prefer:

Raghu Dixit: Unplugged (Live in York)

(also on 90 other online stores in 240 countries!)


Mystery Soul Music Festival 10 Aug – 25 Aug – York

Just picked up the info on this festival in York over the summer – it is a fantastic looking lineup!

York Theatre Royal and J-Night have just announced six summer nights of the hottest jazz, gospel and soul music to celebrate the York Mystery Plays 2012 in August.

The line-up features Ruby Turner, Snake Davis, Al Morrison, Jazz Jamaica, Pee Wee Ellis and The South African Gospel Singers.

 The festival takes place every Friday and Saturday night at York Theatre Royal throughout the Mystery Plays and will include foyer performances from bands and djs and a festival bar open until midnight.

Tickets are now on sale from the York Theatre Royal Box Office: / 01904 623568

‘what was the raghu dixit track sung on the andrew marr show on 15 april 2012?’

Turns out that one of the key search engine terms pointing people towards my website at the moment is:

‘what was the raghu dixit track sung on the andrew marr show on 15 april 2012?’

So i thought i’d better answer the question!

Raghu sang ‘I’m in Mumbai waiting for a miracle’ – From the Album Antaragni – The Fire Within (iTunes link).

If you enjoyed Raghu’s performance on the Andrew Marr show you can watch it again here: (BBC web link)

and you might like to have a look / listen to the EP we recorded together last summer at the National Centre for Early Music in York.

You can read more about the project here

or you can download the live EP from iTunes – Unplugged (Live in York) – Raghu Dixit

If you are in london you might like to come down to the South Bank Centre for Raghu’s concert with members of Bellowhead as part of the Alchemy Festival.

Double Duo – NCEM York – 14 April

I’m down again at the National Centre for Early Music in York looking after tonight’s concert – Double Duo.

Part of the Making Tracks world music series the performance is described as ‘Double Conversations for Oud & Percussion’ and it sounds like it will be a fascinating concert.

The NCEM website says:

Innovative, energetic and playful, the Double Duo is a new project created by London based oud player Khyam Allami, with highly respected Palestinian oud player Ahmad Al-Khatib, extraordinary percussionist Youssef Hbeisch and Italian frame drum master Andrea Piccioni.

Commissioned by Making Tracks, the two duos of oud and percussion will present original repertoire and arrangements developed especially for this project. Using the Maqam modal system as a basis, DoubleDuo combine their breathtaking instrumental skills through sensitive, dynamic improvisations, infusing the soulful, melancholic beauty of Arabic classical performance with a myriad of rich musical influences. From delicate interlocking nuances to high-energy improvised flourishes, it is a pure display of inspiring communication and world-class musicianship.

There is also a video clip on the NCEM site which is worth a look.

The Double Duo website is here.

(Also … if you are not sure what an oud is you can check here ;0)

So now you have read up  – there are still tickets available for tonight and if this sounds like your cup of tea (or you fancy something different) doors open around 7!

Hope to see you.


Exciting news from Raghu Dixit

I’ve just received the following press release from Raghu’s team – though it was definitely worth sharing!

Raghu Dixit Announces Live ITV Queens Diamond Jubilee Performance!

“Quite literally, the world is Raghu’s oyster” – Rolling Stone, India

“a debut solo album of swaggering confidence” – Songlines

“international stardom seems assured” – Evening Standard

2012 is shaping up to be another remarkable chapter in the Raghu Dixit story. Completely unknown in the UK when his first album was released here in 2010 – he’s now set to perform for – and meet, The Queen!

Raghu will perform crowd favourite Mysore Se Ayi on ‘All The Queens Horses: A Diamond Jubilee Special’ at Windsor Castle on 13 May with the concert being aired on ITV in early June, also starring Joss Stone, Il Divo and Susan Boyle.

In his own words: “I’m ecstatic to be performing with such a brilliant constellation of popular artists from various parts of the world representing our different cultures”.

Raghu Dixit also releases his new EP “Unplugged – Live In York”. Recorded last summer with his band The Raghu Dixit Project in a stunning medieval church in York. It’s an intimate, largely acoustic affair in which Raghu permeates his extraordinary vocal prowess with intricate guitar work.

The EP includes “No Man Will Ever Love You Like I Do”, the song that transformed his career when he performed it live on Later… With Jools Holland back in 2009 to an audience including fellow-guests Adele, Robert Plant and Arcade Fire, who all showed their appreciation. Following transmission Raghu topped the iTunes’ World Music chart in Britain and he’s now India’s highest-selling non-Bollywood domestic artist.

Raghu sings with pure unbridled elation, his music and vocals are powerfully uplifting and a real awakener to the senses. He’s arguably unrivalled in this sense and you need only check his Jools performance to experience this yourself –

As if all that wasn’t enough; Raghu will appear on the The Andrew Marr Show (BBC1) on April 15th

2012 Festival and Tour Dates Announced:

April 14th OneFest Marlborough
April 18th/19th Alchemy Festival, Southbank Centre, London
June 2nd Bushstock, London
June 9th Salisbury Festival
June 13th Birmingham Town Hall
June 22nd Solas Festival, Scotland
June 24th Brighton Dome
July 15th Larmer Tree Festival
July 27th Cambridge Folk Festival
July 28th WOMAD
July 29th Milton Keynes International Festival
August 18th Beautiful Days

For media enquiries please contact:
+44 7884 368168
+44 203 397 0947

Omar Puente

If it is not enough that one of the Raghu Dixit: unplugged  tracks is included on the free cover CD – Songlines Magazine have given us another good reason to buy this month with a great little feature on Yorkshire’s own Omar Puente.

The brilliant Cuban jazz violinist has made his home in Bradford and he talks in the article about the great diversity in the region’s music scene. He even gets in a little plug for the Bradford Mela.

You can find the magazine via their website:  Songlines Magazine

And listen to Omar’s latest release on iTunes: From There to Here – Omar Puente