Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wanda's Picks May 30, 2012

Today we feature artists from the Ninth Berkeley World Music Festival this Saturday, June 2, 2012:

Juliana Graffragna

True Life Trio weaves sumptuous vocal harmonies and sultry rhythms from Eastern Europe, the Americas & beyond. TLT features the powerful vocal talents of three dynamic performers whose musical collaboration was forged in Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble. Gear up for a warm and vibrant journey from Bulgaria to the Bayou. True Life Trio is Leslie Bonnett: voice, fiddle, percussion; Briget Boyle: voice, guitar, percussion; and Juliana Graffagna: voice, bass, percussion.

Fely Tchaco

Fely Tchaco's passion for music was born on Ivory Coast of West Africa. As a teen she left the comfort of her tribal home going to the capital city of Yamoussoukra. She became a lead singer in a band and began composing songs drawn from her life experiences as well as tribal folk wisdom. She gained critical success via two popular CDs which led to concert tours throughout West Africa and also television appearances.

In the late nineties Fely sought to expand her wings outside Africa by moving to San Francisco. This talented artist, currently performs with musicians from various traditions, has her own band and self-produces CDs. Her song "Goba" has just won the 11th Annual Independent Music Awards in the world beat song category. Fely creates catchy, pop-driven songs in English, French, and Gouro infused with traditional folk rhythms. Fely has performed at several festivals including Reggae On The River Festival, Monterey Reggae Festival and popular venues as Yoshi’s and La Pena Cultural Center. For Berkeley World Music Festival band members joining Fely Tchaco (lead vocals and percussion) are Jesse Sahbi (guitar, vocals and African forest instruments), John Waller (drums) and Daniel Perenti (bass).

Maria Muldaur

Six time Grammy nominee Maria Muldaur and her sensational red hot Bluesiana Band is this year’s Festival headliner representing U.S music. Maria Muldaur, is best known world-wide for her '74 mega-hit "Midnight at the Oasis” whose roots are planted in her early jug band work with the immensely popular Jim Kweskin Jug Band. On her own, this prolific superstar has recorded 39 solo albums in genres including Gospel, R&B, Jazz and Big Band including several award-winning children's albums. As of late she concentrates comfortably on the Blues.

Angola 3 Update on Albert Woodfox's Hearing with Robert King--Happy Birthday (smile)

We close with an interview with Robert King, the only free member of the Angola 3. He will give us a call between the court recess where in Baton Rouge the decision to release Albert Woodfox is being contested without favorable results for the prosecution, which needs to give it up and admit defeat (smile). Visit

Lots of music fills the spaces between the conversation, Fely Tchaco, Kim Nalley, Meklit Hadero, Howard Wiley's Angola Project, Janam, Umoja, and Novalima.

Photo taken in 2010 at in Houston at the Angola 3 Play by Parnell Herb. Michael Mabel, Albert's brother, with family and Robert King.

Photo credit: Wanda Sabir


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