Month: March 2011


Okavango: An African Orchestra – Great CBC Concert in…

Today I am listening to some great African music. The CBC has added a concert by the group Okavango to its list of free concerts on demand.

For Okavango seven musician from different part of Africa have joined together – musicians who normally would not play together. Okavango has created a great mixture of African music.

The musicians are playing severel African instruments: the kora, the balofon, an arabian lute (oud), the guembri – an instrument with 3 strings from Nothern Africa and Marocco, the drum sabar form Senegal, the lyre krar from Ethiopa, but also electric guitars and several other instruments.

I have not found any videos showing Okavango, but I have found some videos with members of Okavango.

First I have two videos with Nuru Kane and his guembri. In the first video he tells about the guembri (French), the second is a video from a concert with Nuru Kane:

Nuru Kane et sa guembri.

Nuru Kane world music.

Reportage web télévisé de la web tv – Réalisation journaliste Eric Minsky-Kravetz.
Extraits du concert du chanteur musicien sénégalais Nuru Kane au “Centre Musical Fleury Goutte d’Or – Barbara” à Paris dans le cadre de l’événement “Téma Barbès l’Africaine”.
Extrait du reportage web télévisé exclusif du 22 mai 2010 à Paris de la web tv francilienne tvidf.

Les musiciens qui accompagnaient Nuru Kane à ce concert : Jouad el Garouge (percussions, guembri et chant) et Thierry Fournel (guitare, oud, n’goni).

La totalité de ce reportage est diffusée sur les web tv d’Ile-de-France ou d’Eure-et-Loir

The next video shows Daniel Nebiat and the krar, a kind of lyre from Ethiopa and Eritrea.

Information about the krar from wikipedia:

The krar is a five- or six-stringed bowl-shaped lyre from Eritrea and Ethiopia. The instrument is tuned to a pentatonic scale. A modern krar may be amplified, much in the same way as an electric guitar or violin.

The krar, a chordophone, is usually decorated with wood, cloth, and beads. Its five or six strings determine the available pitches. The instrument’s tone depends on the musician’s playing technique: bowing, strumming or plucking. If plucked, the instrument will produce a soft tone. Strumming, on the other hand, will yield a harmonious pulsation. The krar is often played by musician-singers called azmari and accompanies love songs and secular songs, which makes it an enjoyable accompaniment to a cozy meal.

Daniel Nebiat

Okavango: An African Orchestra

On the page with the concert by  Okavango on the CBC concert on demand site you can read the following:

This is an ambitious new musical project that could happen only in one of the world’s great multicultural cities: Toronto. To create this pan-African orchestra, Batuki Music Society Artistic Director Nadine McNulty has assembled a cast of seven accomplished African-born musicians who now live in Toronto and Montreal.


Historically, these musical cultures have had little or no interaction. For instance, musicians in West Africa who usually play the kora, balafon or drums would not use an instrument from East Africa like the krar to create music or vice versa. Or a Malian kora would sound alien to a farmer in the Ethiopian highlands who is used to the one string fiddle called masenko. And the list goes on, all over the vast continent of Africa.


  • Okavango
  • Daniel Nebiat – vocals, krar
  • Pasipamire Gunguwo – vocals, marimba, mbira
  • Donne Roberts – vocals, guitar
  • Nuudi Kooshin – vocals, kaban
  • Waleed Abdulhamid – vocals, guembri, bass
  • Sadio Sissokho – vocals, kora, tama, talking drum, sabar
  • Walter Maclean – vocals, percussion
  • Nadine McNulty – Artistic Director

(concert no more available)

Additional Information

Wikipedia about Sintir / Guembri:

Wikipedia about the krar (English):

Wikipedia about the krar (German):

Playlist with videos by Nuru Kane and Daniel Nebiat:

aaa to be reviewed

Marcelo Fortuna and the Ensemble BARBACUTE – Klezmer and…

Another interesting ensemble with Marcelo Fortuna is the  Ensemble BARBACUTE.

This group plays Klezmer music and Brasilian Choro music.

Marcelo Fortuna plays the cavaquinho, the other instruments are clarinet, recorde, violoncello and bass.

Enjoy the ensemble BARBACUTE!


Antonio Carrilho (Recorder)
Fausto Corneo (Clarinet)
Marcelo Fortuna (Cavaquinho – “Brazilian ukulele”)
Edoardo Sbaffi (Cello)
Miguel Leiria Pereira (Double bass)

aaa to be reviewed

Marcelo Fortuna (Guitar) – Orquestra de Cordas Brasileiras –…

Yesterday I have discovered the youtube chanel of Marcelo Fortuna. In this youtube channel you can discover many interesting videos.

Marcelo Fortuna has studied guitar in Brazil and Portugal. He lives in Portugaql now and teaches guitar. This is the information from his homepage:

He studied composition at the School of Music of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and orchestration at the Brazilian School of Music under the tutelage of Maestro Nelson de Macêdo. Later, he studied for his bachelor’s degree in guitar with Turíbio Santos and Léo Soares, and harmony with Ian Guest.

He was one of the founder members of the Orchestra of Brazilian Strings, and with them he made three recordings which were adjudged the best instrumental works of 1991 and 1992, and for which he received 3 Sharp awards. In addition to this, he has also collaborated on various recordings as instrumentalist and arranger.

As a composer, he has been considerably influenced by the Brazilian Nationalist School of Heitor Villa-Lobos, Luciano Gallet, Radamés Gnattali, Guerra – Peixe, and Francisco Mignone; also by the Armorial Movement of Ariano Suassuna, and by his long experience as a musician of “choro” and samba. More recently, his compositions have aroused great interest among well-known concert artists, who, as well as recording some of his works, have also commissioned pieces.

He completed his bachelor’s degree in guitar at the Escola Superior de Música of Lisbon in July 1999, under the direction of professors Piñero Nagy and Antonio Gonçalves.

He is currently a Guitar Teacher at various Music Conservatories

Marcelo Fortuna plays mostly Brazilian music, but also classical music and Klezmer.

There are many videos of two of his groups, the Lisbon Choro Trio and the Duo CHORUS, I have compiled two playlist witt the videos of those two groups.

The Lisbon Choro Trio

The Lisbon Choro Trio live at the Casa da America Latina – Lisbon – Portugal

Marcelo Fortuna – Guitar and musical direction
Lidia Serejo – Flute
Ruca Rebordão – Percussion



Duo CHORUS (Marcelo Fortuna and Lídia Serejo) live at the BYBLOS – Lisbon – Portugal

A very special video is the video about the history of the Orquestra de Cordas Brasileiras. It shows pictures and scans of newspaper articles about this ensemble that has recorded three CDs and won several prices. And you can hear a piece played by this ensemble. This plectum ensamble was composed of bandolim, cavaquinho, viola caipira, guitar, 7-string guitar and double bass.


Orquestra de Cordas Brasileiras – A History

Founded in 1987. Winner of 3 SHARP Awards
Orquestra de Cordas Brasileiras
Mandolin: Afonso Machado, Rodrigo Lessa, Alexandre de la peña, Marcílio Lopes
“Cavaquinho” (Brazilian ukulele): Henrique Cazes, Jayme Vignolli
“Viola Caipira” (Brazilian country guitar): Marcus Ferrer, Marcelo Fortuna
Guitar: Bartolomeu Wiese, Luiz Flávio Alcofra
7 Strings Guitar:Josimar Carneiro
Double Bass: Omar Cavalheiro
Percussion:Beto Cazes, Oscar Bolão
Music: Garoa (Marcus Ferrer)

In the youtube channel of Marcelo Fortuna you can find many more interesting videos.

Free sheet music for guitar

On the homepage of Marcelo Fortuna you can find more information and also several free arrangements of brazilian music and choro for guitar and other instruments.

Additional information

youtube channel of Marcelo Fortuna:

Homepage Marcelo Fortuna:

Chiquinho, Raphael Rabello e Orquestra de Cordas Brasileiras at grooveshark:

favorite tunes

El Cumbanchero – Jesse McReynolds and David Grisman

Todays free download from David Grismans Acoustic Oasis site is El Cumbanchero played by the David Grisman Quintet.

El Cumbanchero was made popular as a bluegrass tune by Jesse McReynolds if I am right. I have learned this tune from a Jesse McReynolds book and a Jesse McReynolds recording long time ago.

I have found several great videos with Jim & Jesse playing El Cumbanchero, and also a video with the David Grisman Quintet.

Here first two videos with Jim & Jesse:

Jim & Jesse – El Cumbanchero

Jim & Jesse – El Cumbanchero

Jesse McReynolds – Mandolin
Jim McReynolds – Guitar
Allen Shelton – Banjo
Jimmy Campbell – Fiddle
Keith McReynolds – Electric Bass
Don McHan – Guitar

February 13, 1988
Masonic Temple, Freeport, IL

Jesse McReynolds – El Cumbanchero

Read more “El Cumbanchero – Jesse McReynolds and David Grisman”