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Drummer Wanted - Dunedian, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 09-02-2014 ... 23:34 EST
Professional rock cover band seeks drummer (tampa bay area)Band with upcoming shows need drummer. Professional musicians need only apply. Please submit a portfolio/PROMO IF AVAILABLE with ANY VIDEOS for further consideration. No druggies, drunks or drama queens. Band does have major backing and gigs booked. Please have capability of learning material in next 3 weeks for upcoming shows. Go to www.fullthrottledriven.com to see a list of Cover songs we do. Only serious professionals need apply. Paying Gigs with upcoming tour in spring. Thank you. ... 4497819 ... Contact: Michele Haldeman,
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Vocalist Available - hernando, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 06-14-2014 ... 17:24 EST
FEMALE VOCALIST LOOKING TO FILL IN FOR 50S an 60s GROUP AS 1ST OR 2ND TENOR WHEN NEEDED. ALSO SING LEADS. 352-238-3183 ... 3070250 ... Contact:
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Vocalist Wanted - St. Petersburg, FL ... Submitted: 06-11-2014 ... 06:02 EST
Forming "Who" Tribute band. (Florida +) We are seeking a Roger Daltrey singe-A-Like. Rest of band is in place. Above average $$$$. MUST have good attitude, personality, be a team player. Also must have equipment and transportation. Management in place, bookings to follow. Serious musicians only,., Please submit all you tube videos and bio to us. Thanks Gene Santa Maria GSM Talent Management ... 2361047 ... Contact: Gene
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Entertainment Promoter Wanted - St Petersburg, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 05-27-2014 ... 16:45 EST
Record Label SOULHOPNATION LLC out of St Petersburg seeking promoter to promote the Label and its artist and there recent hot pop singles, out of ideals and trying to get this fresh and great music out to the public as well as finding local gigs, we have a unique mobile concert stage that can convert any parking lot into a concert event or park of field or inside whatever the gig calls for. The artist have a hot new single called U R Amazing. ... 5292738 ... Contact:
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Bassist Available - Zephyrhills, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 04-20-2014 ... 12:48 EST
Bassist 39y/o looking for working band I have a solid steady groove can also sing I have more pro gear than I what to do with and I have good transportation. Looking for a working situation that works a lot. I have touring and recording experience. I want to work as much as I can I know I'm not going to get rich but I would like to make a profit. That means no 5 piece bands working for 300.00. Anyways I'm willing to travel for the right situation and I'm a fast learner. Chuck (813)924-1034 ... 4154636 ... Contact:
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Hard Rock Biloxi - “Let’s do the Time Warp Again”; Rocky Horror Picture Show
Sep 27
2014
It's just a jump to the left. And then a step to the right at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi on Thursday October 30, 2014. Join in the fun for the wildly entertaining musical comedy horror “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” in Hard Rock Live at 8pm. Doors open at 630pm. Admission is free. Guests must be 21 years or older to attend. Costumes and props are welcomed. General admission seating is available on the floor and in the balcony.
Visit https://www.facebook.com/HardRockBiloxi for details.
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Fremont Street Experience to Host Sixth Annual OktoberFrightFest
Sep 27
2014
Fremont Street Experience will once again transform itself for the Sixth Annual OktoberFrightFest, combining Oktoberfest and Halloween for the ultimate street party, taking place October 5 – November 1. The spooktacular festivities will include free performances from the popular stage production show “Frank & The Steins,” “Vampire Rising” and “Halloween Hotties.” Viva Vision light and sound shows will also be themed to “Time Warp” and “Monster Mash.”


Frank & The Steins:
“Frank & The Steins” is a live musical revue of classic Halloween songs. The cast is comprised of hot ghouls and guys; singers, dancers and live musicians performing songs including “Psycho Killers,” “Spooky,” “Time Warp,” and “Ghostbusters” that will make audiences dance, laugh, sing and scream. “Frank & The Steins” is produced by Face Productions and choreographed by Melden Steele. Frank & The Steins will perform on the 1st Street Stage Oct. 5 – Nov. 1 from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. (dark on Oct. 9, 16 and 23).


Vampire Rising:
“Vampire Rising” will perform three themed sets that highlight a vast repertoire. The Gothic Set includes a set list on the heavy side of rock and will include songs from Rob Zombie’s “Dragula,” Alice in Chains’ “Man in the Box,” and Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid.” The Pop Horror set is hosted by the “Addams Family” and will feature some of the lighter side of the macabre with hits like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party.” The third set, titled Rock From the Dead, will have the band costumed like some of our dearly departed rock stars and will regale the crowd with renditions that include Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London,” Guns & Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” and Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” Vampire Rising will perform on the 3rd Street Stage Oct. 7 – Oct. 30 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 p.m. - Midnight and Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. (dark on Oct. 18)


Halloween Hotties
The sexy, crowd pleasing, “Halloween Hotties” are back, this time featuring American Idol Season 6 Finalist Haley Scarnato. “Halloween Hotties” is a custom stage production show created exclusively for Fremont Street Experience by Face Productions. Halloween Hotties will perform on the Main Street Stage Oct. 6 – Oct. 31 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. and Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.


Fifth Annual Fall Beer Festival (Golden Nugget):
Fremont Street Experience member property Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino will host its Fifth Annual Fall Beer Festival during a two-day event on Oct. 10 & 11. This two-day festival brings together consumers, craft beer vendors, live music, great food and hundreds of beers in two very different events. The first event kicks off Friday, Oct. 10 from 7-10 p.m. in The Grand Events Center. Guests will sample over 125 craft beer selections from award-winning breweries and enjoy chef-inspired appetizers, live entertainment and mingle with award-winning brew masters. Tickets to this event can be purchased individually for $50 plus taxes at the Golden Nugget Box Office. The fun continues on Saturday, Oct. 11 with an exciting Oktoberfest Pool Party from 1-7 p.m. at The Tank Pool, Golden Nugget’s award-winning pool and shark aquarium. Admission is free and beer enthusiasts can enjoy 150 different international and domestic beers available for purchase as well as bratwursts, pretzels and more great food while enjoying live music throughout the party

Guests interested in both events can receive discounted food and beer tickets for Saturday’s Oktoberfest Pool Party with paid admission to Friday’s All American Craft Beer Tasting.

Viva Vision Shows:
Fremont Street Experience’s nightly Viva Vision schedule gets a little more spooktacular with two mini Halloween-themed themed sing-along/dance-along shows to “Time Warp” and “Monster Mash.” The shows are 3-4 minutes long and will play after regularly scheduled Viva Vision shows.

OktoberFrightFest is sponsored by Captain Morgan rum. For more information on OktoberFrightFest and all Fremont Street Experience events, visit www.vegasexperience.com

About Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street Experience, a five-block entertainment district located in historic downtown Las Vegas features Viva Vision, the world’s largest video screen - 1,500 feet long, 90 feet wide and suspended 90 feet above the urban pedestrian mall. Viva Vision features nightly spectacular light and sounds shows with 12.5 million LED lights and a 550,000-watt sound system. Fremont Street Experience is a one-of-a-kind venue that includes free nightly concerts and entertainment on three stages. SlotZilla, the world’s most unique zipline attraction, features the 850-foot Zipline and the 1,750-foot Zoomline as people launch from a 12-story slot-machine themed takeoff platform to fly under the Viva Vision canopy. With direct pedestrian access to 8 casinos, more than 60 restaurants and specialty retail kiosks, Fremont Street Experience attracts more than 17 million annual visitors. Visit online at www.vegasexperience.com, Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FSE89101 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/FSELV
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New Age And Neo-Classical Music Lovers Will Enjoy Adam Andrews Album
Sep 09
2014
ADAM ANDREWS

ROAD TO AMBO

Adam Andrews creates solo piano music that focuses on bringing healing and inspiration to his listeners. He says his debut album, Road to Ambo, was inspired by “my family’s journey to adopt our son from Ambo in Ethiopia; the love I have for my family; and my dreams of justice and relief for those who are suffering.”

Before making original solo piano instrumental music his priority, Andrews was a member of folk-pop group Cede which released four albums, actively toured North America (and as far away as Bulgaria), and performed regularly in front of audiences of 5,000-to-7,000 people.

More information on Adam Andrews is available at his website (adamandrewsmusic.com). His CD and digital download tracks from that recording are available at online sales sites such as CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes and many others.

“I think everyone has suffered at one time or another,” states Andrews, “which is why healing and inspiration are so important, and why I focus on making those feelings and goals a part of my music. Not only do we want to heal our physical and psychic wounds, but we all need to find better ways to live. We need inspiration to seek out healing, to find new paths, to create a better lifestyle and to find meaningful relationships. I hope my music will not only sooth and heal, but offer encouragement to the listener to make positive changes, to grow mentally and spiritually, and become stronger.”

The album title, Road to Ambo, and the tune with the same name, reflect the ordeal Andrews and his family went through to adopt Kellen, an orphan in Africa. “It was hard on us and on Kellen too,” says Andrews, “because our son was grieving one family before being with another, and as my family waited we had to endure lengthy approval processes, paperwork trails, and extensive travel before bringing our son home.”

According to Andrews, “Some of the music on this album was written during a dark time in my life, and the songs became a place of refuge and peace for me. The other half of the album was composed as my heart healed, my soul felt gladness and joy, and I found myself in a much more positive place.”

The tune “Unknown Hero” honors Andrews’ favorite kind of hero, “those who give selflessly without any hope of return or even acknowledgement. Their kindness can change other lives forever.” The slow and thoughtful “Hope and Joy” had its genesis when Andrews sat watching his daughters, nicknamed Miss Hope and Miss Joy, playing on the floor and laughing (“I felt a sense of peace in who they were becoming.”). “We Are Brothers” is reflective of Andrews’ love for a close family member struggling with mental illness.

“You Were There” is a love song for Andrews’ wife, Rachel (“I had to let her know how much I appreciate her love and support all these years.”). “Faces We See” promotes compassion for everyone “whether it is an orphan in Africa, a widow, the homeless guy on the street, a person crying in the market, anyone in need.” “Smoky Hill” is an analogy for depression blanketing our view of life “until the smoke clears and through perseverance we can see the beauty of the world again.” “Upside Down Church” is “a reflection on needs not being met by the church, but optimism that it can change and right itself.”

Andrews says, “The title for ‘New Normal’ came from my wife and I using that catch-phrase to describe our lives whenever we go through a harsh strain of bad luck and realize it is going to take extra effort to pull through.” Andrews describes “The Well Within” as “that place inside your heart that you draw from when you need courage and strength, which I needed to step out and make this album.” The album closes with the light and buoyant tune “Breathe” with both hands playing counter-melodies. “Breathing exercises are one of the keys to meditation, prayer and relaxation, and paying attention to my breath and learning to live in the moment are some of the tools I have used over the years in coping with anxiety and depression.”

Andrews, who now lives in Colorado Springs, grew up in Denver, Colorado, with a mother who studied music in college and often sang to him when he was a small child. At age seven he began taking classical piano lessons from two progressive teachers that encouraged students to compose their own pieces for recital performances; included jazz, boogie-woogie and improvisation in the curriculum; and even jammed with their students. Adam studied Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Chopin, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. Adam memorized Joseph Haydn’s “Concerto in C-Major” at age ten and the following year did the same with Haydn’s “Concerto in D-Major” which he performed in the high school auditorium in front of a large crowd.

During high school his interest in classical music waned as he became involved in playing sports and listening to rock’n’roll (U2, Tom Petty, Def Leppard, Nirvana, Joe Satriani). Andrews graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, but soon began to play the piano more actively again. He founded the band Cede with a singer and two acoustic guitarists and later they added a bass player and drummer. At first they played contemporary Christian worship music, but soon began composing their own material. Their popularity performing for youth groups led to them being hired for a lengthy tour of parent-teen conferences in large churches, auditoriums and arenas all over the country plus trips to Canada. In five years the band recorded and released four successful folk-pop Christian-music albums of original material -- The Roots, Surrender, To You and Carried Away. Andrews composed approximately a fourth of the band’s material, and on the last album he wrote and performed two solo piano tunes. The group performed at conferences headlined by Michael W. Smith; played in a Denver sports arena on the same bill with Steven Curtis Chapman and Delirious; opened other shows for Waterdeep and Cindy Morgan; and handled the music for a praise-and-worship service where they performed with Mitch McVicker. Cede also performed in front of a large audience at the Alamo Dome stadium in Texas, and in Bulgaria where they were televised nationally.

After leaving Cede, Andrews continued composing and occasionally performing for church services, worship groups and conferences. He also established a successful career as a Senior Director at a major non-profit ministry where he contributed to the launch of an orphan care ministry and helped shape international ministries to families. For years many people asked if Andrews would ever record a solo piano album. One of the catalysts was his parents giving him the family piano he had grown up playing. With the piano accessible in his own home, Andrews found himself composing lots of new material that found its way onto his debut solo album. Andrews says he has been influenced musically in recent years by pop groups such as U2, Mumford & Sons and Needtobreathe as well as new age solo pianists such as Jim Brickman, Ludovico Einaudi and others.

“I have had problems, stressful times and mental anxiety in my life just like anyone else,” Andrews explains. “But I have always found playing piano music to be very therapeutic for me. When other people heard me play and said they also found the music to be soothing, healing, relaxing or inspirational, I realized I need to share it more fully with others. These tunes represent some of my stories, but I feel sure the emotions behind the music are universal and can be felt and appreciated by everyone.”

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Listen To Musician Uwe Gronau Think About The Future On His New CD
Sep 09
2014
UWE GRONAU

THOUGHTS OF TOMORROW

Despite all the problems in the world today, versatile German composer and keyboardist Uwe Gronau says, “I think humans are smart enough to create a good society for future generations, and one of the keys is the utilization of music.” The theme of pondering the future helped inspire the music on Gronau’s latest album, Thoughts of Tomorrow.

Gronau strongly believes that art, and specifically music, is a tie that binds together every human from all countries and cultures. “There are special things in life that can only be described by music and art. If you try to open the secrets simply with words, it is impossible, and the secret will not exist anymore. Not even the military or police could calm down the restlessness of people who have a presentiment or foreboding of life without secrets and wonder. Art is an absolute necessity for humans to live a good life on this planet.”

Uwe Gronau (pronounced ooo-vuh grow-now) is a master of many musical styles with numerous eclectic recordings. His musical enthusiasm and boundless creativity cannot be contained. Primarily a keyboardist, on some tunes he plays solo piano, on others synthesizer or organ, and often he mixes together several keyboards, at times with bass, percussion, drums or other sounds. His music ranges from new age to space, from jazzy to progressive-rock, from ambient or avant-garde to extremely melodic with pop sensibilities. He only performs and records original music. Thoughts of Tomorrow was produced by Gronau with his longtime musical associate Clemens Paskert.

Thoughts of Tomorrow and his other most-recent albums are available worldwide online from CDbaby.com and Amazon.com, and from various digital download locations such as iTunes. For more about Gronau, you can visit his English-language website at myspace.com/uwegronaumusic or his German-language website at uwe-gronau.de.

Gronau has numerous previous CDs (some primarily available in Europe). Several are mostly instrumental music -- Midsummer, Seven Paintings, Sonnentempel, Nightwalker and Intuition. Others feature Uwe singing on many selections -- Children, The Beauty of the Sea, Someday, Ciel, Time is a Sound, Full Moon Forest and Time Rider. His latest albums -- Midsummer, Time Rider, Visions and Flight 14 -- have been marketed internationally and all have climbed into the Top 5 on the monthly international Zone Music Reporter Top 100 airplay chart.

Additionally Gronau has played on recordings by other artists including Luna Blanca and Angelique Damschen (also known as Aileen Rose). Gronau also is an author who wrote the acclaimed novel Senor Morales, a fantasy journey through Europe with a search for a special Spanish musical instrument. The novel led to an audio-book version with music and speaking by Gronau. He also has published a book of short stories, The Snowman from Wagenitz.

The music on Thoughts of Tomorrow was inspired by wide-ranging ideas and feelings. The album begins with the upbeat tune “Brazil” which Gronau says he wrote as a tribute to the world football/soccer championship games held there. The music also features a strong organ solo in the middle. “I have always been a great fan of Keith Emerson and since I was a child a dreamt of playing a Hammond B-3 organ. I finally bought one in New York City in 1980 and it became my most beloved instrument.”

A trip to the Bahamas inspired “At The Beach” with its slow synth and acoustic guitars. “Deep in my Heart” is “a song about my childhood, a time when we had rainbows in our eyes and life was a wonder.” Gronau describes the uptempo “Make It Happen” as “a very passionate song promoting the idea that if you want something enough and believe in yourself, you can make it happen.” “The Secret of House Nr. 15” captures the atmosphere “of parties which are only celebrated when there is a full moon, and from this uncanny house in the woods you look out through the windows and you only see shadows dancing.”

Gronau was influenced to compose “New World” one day after “reading the local paper while having my breakfast and it says war is coming, people are suffering and nations collapsing. But as I sit and drink my coffee, it only affects me mentally. Is this our new world? I long for something better that I cannot define.” He says the music of “Journey Part 1 & 2” is “like a trip through my brain when I am nervous, restless, bewildered, confused, struggling, plodding.” The tune “Special Movement” “surprised me because it did not feel like music from the past, but music that made me think about tomorrow.”

“Hiding Place” is where “you put the special moments of life, and then sometimes you take them out and savour them just like you would a glass of vintage wine.” “Festive Day” is “a day of prayer each summer giving thanks.” Sometimes Gronau feels he has taken a “Time Out” and needs “to be put back into time and started up again.” To explain “First Contact,” Gronau says, “I’m a shy human being and when I meet people I have never met before, it’s like making first contact with an alien.” “The Magician” is like a musician “because both communicate with a secret magic language that does not need words.”

Gronau states, “Everyone wants to have a look into the future, so they try to find a prophet who can do this for them and tell them whether their wishes will come true. I made the music for the tune ‘Prophet Talk’ using the Prophet 5, a legendary synthesizer from the Eighties.”

Gronau was born and raised in the Rhineland in northwest Germany, and grew up in Dusseldorf and Bocholt (where he currently resides) which is only a couple of miles from the Dutch border. “In the ‘70s and ‘80s the Netherlands were more involved in the evolution of jazz, pop, rock and soul than Germany, so I profited from this situation and heard much great music.” Uwe began playing piano at age six and grew up immersed in music as the son of a choir-leader, orchestra-conductor, music-school teacher and piano instructor.

In his early years Uwe studied classical music, but soon became passionate about jazz and rock artists such as Brian Auger, Keith Emerson, Patrick Moraz and Refugee, and Joe Zawinul and Weather Report. As Gronau got older, his musical tastes expanded to include Supertramp, Jethro Tull, Gilbert ‘O Sullivan, Keith Jarrett, Sting, Peter Gabriel and Dream Theater. When Uwe was 14 he began to play in a series of bands and built a reputation in the area for his musicianship and professionalism. One thing that always set Gronau apart from many other musicians is that from the beginning and continuing to today, Gronau has always played original material and has never covered compositions by others. In college, Gronau majored in music, German and theater-science.

Gronau’s band Sternberg recorded two albums, performed concerts frequently, won a regional music contest, was broadcast on Germany’s main radio channel (WDR), and also won a film music award (for the soundtrack of “Don’t Destroy the Rainbow Above Us”) at the International Santander Film Festival in Spain. Gronau’s next group was the synth-pop trio Fabrique. They performed the music for the German science-fiction TV-series “Orion Space Patrol,” made recordings and videos, appeared on TV shows, and wrote the song “Secret Land” which became a Top 10 global hit for the singer Sandra. Gronau moved on to the funky rock band Pont Neuf and recorded an album with them before going solo.

“When language stops working and makes no more sense, music starts and serves as a translator,” explains Gronau. “Things you can’t talk over you have to be silent about because then the secret remains. It should be the duty of everyone in the world to learn an instrument. This would help the contact between the different worlds we live in and keep the communication from being inaudible.”
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Ciro Hurtado Has Created An Excellent New Latin-Flavored Recording
Sep 09
2014
CIRO HURTADO

Deep in the Peruvian rainforest there grows a hallucinogenic vine (“ayahuasca”) that has been used for thousands of years by the indigenous natives to make a medicinal potion for rituals to rid the user of “mal de ojo” or melancholia, or to bring spiritual wisdom and insights. Latin guitarist Ciro Hurtado took this magical journey 30 years ago resulting in a professional music career and, eventually, his new album, Ayahuasca Dreams.

Hurtado, who was born in Peru but immigrated to the United States when he was 20, remembers his ayahuasca ceremony as a turning point in his life. “My ayahuasca adventure confirmed that my dream of a musical career was the right life journey for me, but it also opened a creative path without boundaries so that I felt I could experiment and do whatever I wanted as a musician.”

The album Ayahuasca Dreams reflects that creativity and experimentation. Hurtado plays guitar with a unique Latin style that subtly blends his Peruvian folk roots with other Latin musical styles plus new age, blues, jazz, rock’n’roll and a variety of world-music influences. The ayahuasca (pronounced ah-yuh-WHAH-skuh) inspiration continues to be evident on this recording with the inclusion of a wide-array of musicians and singers fluent with many different musical genres and instruments.

With Ayahuasca Dreams, Ciro Hurtado has released eight albums under his own name (In My Mind, Tales From Home, The Magic Hour, Guitarra, Echoes of the Andes, Guitarrista and Los Angeles Blues). The first five recordings mostly featured ensemble music with a few solo guitar tracks, but the next two primarily featured solo pieces. Both Guitarrista and Los Angeles Blues received international marketing campaigns, found a passionate audience in the world-fusion and new age music genres, went Top 5 on the international Zone Music Reporter Top 100 album airplay chart and made the lists of the Top 5 best world music albums of the year named by the radio programmers reporting to ZMR.

Hurtado also is a founding member and currently the musical director of the band Huayucaltia (pronounced why-you-call-TEE-ah) that has group members from Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and the United States. “In this group I have gotten the chance to explore virtually every kind of Latin rhythm,” he says. He has appeared on and co-produced their seven albums -- Despertar, Caminos, Horizontes, Amazonas, Origenes, Destinos and El Tiempo. During the past decade the group performed “Misa Criolla” by Argentine composer Ariel Ramirez at the Hollywood Bowl to critical acclaim, and performed four times with the Los Angeles Master Chorale at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The last two performances featured a modern-classical piece specifically written for the band and chorale by renowned composer Gabriela Lena Frank.

Many of Hurtado’s recordings are available online for purchase as CDs and/or digital downloads at CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes and a variety of other sales sites. More information about the artist and his music is available at cirohurtado.com.

The album Ayahuasca Dreams uses the minute-and-a-half tune “Peru” as an intro leading into “Andean Blues.” According to Hurtado, “The intro has both acoustic and electric guitars, a strong backbeat, and a quena Peruvian flute and zamponas which are pan-pipes. The idea was to portray Peru as it is today, a mix of big city sophistication standing alongside the majestic Andes ancient jungles. The music goes right into ‘Andean Blues’ which musically brings forth the indigenous sounds of sadness I learned as a child and mixes it with American blues.”

Part of the music mix of the album includes some musicians and instruments from India (on “Dulce” and “Flor de Aleli”) arranged, produced and recorded in Bangalore by Hurtado’s friend, world musician Ricky Kej. The album is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Toni Yancey, a physician, poet, athlete and model whom Hurtado collaborated with in putting his music to her poetry. On this CD he used the music from three of those projects (“Feliz,” “Too Young, Too Soon” and “Physician Poet”), and introduced jazzy arrangements on the latter two tunes by bringing in top jazz keyboardist Rique Pantoja. In addition, violinist Charlie Bisharat makes an appearance on one tune on the CD. Another element of the album is the singing (both Spanish lyrics and wordless vocalizing) that is heard on a half-dozen songs featuring seven different guest vocalists including Hurtado’s wife, Cindy Harding. Hurtado also incorporated some new sounds to his repertoire by adding electric guitar to his acoustic playing on several tunes, and performing on a steel-string acoustic on “Feliz.” “I have not played very much electric guitar since moving to the United States, but I have always greatly admired how Carlos Santana is able to marry Latin sensibilities with rock music.”

Hurtado’s childhood was split between living in a small town on the family’s plantation in the Amazonia rain-forest and going to school in the large city of Lima. The plantation was so remote it was primarily accessible by small planes, and initially had no electricity or running water. When electricity was finally available for two hours a day, Ciro listened to the shortwave radio that picked up music from Brazil and Cuba as well as Russian broadcasts which expanded his awareness of many musical styles. “I had heard Andean folk music all my life, and members of my family played it on guitar, but as a child, the first time I heard The Beatles on the radio, I also became mesmerized by rock’n’roll.”

Ciro began playing guitar at age nine, and started studying it seriously when he was 13. He played acoustic guitar in traditional folk ensembles and electric guitar in rock groups. After moving to the United States, he studied at the prestigious Guitar Institute of Technology. Hurtado appeared on the Strunz and Farah Misterio album and toured for four years with this popular group including concerts at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Havana Classical Guitar Festival in Cuba, and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, plus a return to his native country for a tour throughout Peru.

Hurtado was awarded the prestigious Durfee Master Musician Fellowship. “The highlight of that experience was playing with and collaborating with musicians from Africa, Japan, Iran, Ireland and Vietnam. I felt like we were creating universal music.” In addition, Hurtado has produced and recorded albums for Michele Greene, Conjunto Jardin, Rosalia Leon and numerous others. As a composer, Hurtado has scored and participated musically in various feature films and documentaries such as Ron Fricke’s classic film “Baraka,” “Dead Women in Lingerie,” “Max is Missing,” “Hope Street,” “Monsters,” “Peru: The Royal Tour” and “From Wharf Rats to Lord of the Docks.” After the release of Guitarrista, Hurtado toured extensively by himself with a show called “One Guitar, Many Stories” that paired his compositions with stories to illustrate the cultural and social contexts behind the music.

Hurtado has studied a wide range of Latin music plus rock, blues, folk, jazz, classical, flamenco, Celtic, African and Middle-Eastern music and numerous other styles. In the ‘70s and ‘80s he listened to rock (The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac), jazz (John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra and Pat Metheny) and blues (B.B. King, Albert King and Freddie King). Paco de Lucia inspired Hurtado to study Spanish music and flamenco. He also enjoys Afro-Peruvian music “because I heard that music played in the streets in Peru when I was young.” Additionally Hurtado has enjoyed listening to acoustic guitarists such as Pierre Bensusan, Tommy Emmanuel, Laurence Juber, Michael Hedges and Andrew York.

“With my music I am always exploring my roots, both the early influences from Peru and also the cultural diversity I encountered when I moved to Los Angeles,” Hurtado says. “I have worked hard for many years to combine all my influences and make my own style so that I don’t sound exactly like anyone else. Ayahuasca Dreams is a reflection of the many people, cultures and musical styles that have touched my life. I truly believe music knows no borders.”
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NADAKA & GOPIKA SING POWERFUL VEDIC MANTRAS ON THEIR DEBUT DUO ALBUM
Aug 13
2014
NADAKA & GOPIKA
SURYA CHANTS OF LIGHT

Nadaka & Gopika, on the new album Surya Chants of Light, create their own unique world-fusion music by mixing traditionally-sung vedic mantras with the sounds of a specially-designed guitar from India.

UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 2003 officially proclaimed the tradition of vedic chanting “a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.” What makes Surya Chants of Light unusual in today’s music marketplace is that these classic, traditional mantras are carefully sung in the original sanskrit, following the exact pronunciation and specific intonation that has been passed down in the culture of India for thousands of years. At the same time, the accompanying music has a contemporary ambience because it subtly combines traditional Indian-raga elements with the performance of Western-style guitar as well as a variety of instrumentation created on guitar-synth.

This is the first CD as a duo by Nadaka & Gopika (nah’-da-ka and goh-pea-ka). Nadaka has been a performing and recording artist for the past three decades and he has eight previous albums as a solo artist or collaborator, and all of those world-fusion recordings have been highly successful in India. Gopika studied traditional sanskrit mantras in their original ancient form for four years at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, and she went on to become a teacher of chants for another eight years in South India, also offering workshops on the power of vedic sounds at significant world conferences. This husband-and-wife musical duo has toured in India, Europe and North America, and Gopika has made select previous appearances on recordings by Nadaka. Their union in life and music is distinct in the way their voices merge in absolute unison on their duet album.

More information about Nadaka & Gopika is available at their websites (ragamantra.com, nadaka.com and gopika.com). Their Surya Chants of Light album and Nadaka’s previous recordings are available as CDs and digital download tracks from online sales sites such as CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody and many others.

“These mantras carry deep hidden truths,” explains Gopika. “When chanted in their original form they can stimulate the higher mind, rejuvenate the body and bring a sense of infinity to the soul. The magic lies in reaching beyond the mental sphere to touch a realm where these sound-syllables and their intonation combine to create a transcending experience. We respect the power, inherent beauty and vibrations of these mantras. Vedic mantras are pure sounds that were first heard by the Rishis in ancient times. The chants carry a powerful energy that has been passed down over millenniums as seeds of divine knowledge creating an eternal bridge from the past to the future. These mantras remain a timeless expression of our human aspiration to transcend and experience a sense of oneness with the universe.”

Nadaka adds, “Our goal is to create music that uplifts and awakens with the hope that our creation resonates with each listener. We have integrated these chants into a contemporary musical setting inspired by our search to connect these ancient sacred sounds to our lives in the present day.”

Surya means sun in sanskrit and that is the theme of the album -- the sun, sunlight and our inner light. Surya Chants of Light contains eight songs ranging from 4,000-year-old vedic mantras to more recent Indian hymns, some of which are a part of everyday life in India. All were chosen for this album because of their connection to the sun and light.

“Suryaya Swaha” begins with a musical prelude that sets the musical tone of the album, like a birth into the world. Then the song starts the powerful vocal call of the “Beeja Mantras” (seed sounds) that are said to resonate with the energy of the sun. This is followed by the soft Suryaya Swaha vocal which Gopika calls “a traditional invocation to the elements of fire and light.” “Arogya Mantra” is a mantra sung by Gopika in its original ancient form. “It connects each part of the body, mind and spirit to its original source that is light as a call for integral health.” Here Nadaka’s guitar has a very acoustic feel, weaving gentle harmonies into the piece and ending with an extended guitar solo that is reminiscent of soft Celtic melodies.

“Gayatri Mantra” is an introduction to the energy of the sun and used for seeking the light of knowledge. The “Gayatri” has often been heard in works by other artists on new age music albums. However, here is an elaborated version of this chant as it was originally taught to the initiate as a complex sequence of sounds and syllables offering a way to enter deeper into the vibration of the mantra. “Navagraha” is a combination of mantras recognizing the energy balance between the nine planets and the sun that is set to an uplifting tune with guitar and tabla. “Suryashtakam” has eight verses dedicated to the sun written by 16th Century poet Shankaracharya and set to a classical composition by Gopika. This piece also features an electric/synth guitar solo that weaves throughout along with various percussion loops and atmospheric sounds.

“Dakshinam” features Nadaka playing deep traditional sounds on his “Raga Guitar” later merging with vocals by Nadaka who overdubbed multiple vocal parts to create the atmosphere of a group of Brahmins (priests) chanting in a temple. “Surya Namaskar” uses 12 sanskrit names of the sun chanted as a salutation to our closest star. This piece is traditionally chanted in synchronization with the 12 yoga postures to the rising sun. “Chidakash” is an instrumental finale which Nadaka says “represents going beyond the human world to another place, another realm. Since everything, including ourselves, is made of stardust or sun particles, the final step is to return to that state and merge back into the light.”

Four guest musicians make appearances on this album: Karthick Iyer on violin (track 7), Ganesh Basavaraj on tabla and percussion (track 5), R. Rajkumar on ghatam (track 2), and Keshava on tabla (track 4). Keshava (Gopika’s son) was 10 years old at the time of recording, but he was already a seasoned musician who played the tabla since age two. When he was seven, he performed center-stage surrounded by a thousand percussionists from all over India at the 2010 opening ceremony of the Common Wealth Games (broadcast on television internationally).

Most of the musical accompaniment on the album was created by Nadaka on his “raga geet-tar,” so named because “geet” in sanskrit means song and “tar” is string (“the singing strings”). It is a one-of-a-kind, guitar-like instrument that he designed and built so that he could play it like a standard acoustic guitar (six main strings), or create the sounds of several traditional Indian instruments. The geet-tar has two chikari strings used to sound like the ancient veena (ancestor to the sitar), 13 harp strings generating the sound of a swara mandala (similar to a harp or zither), and four drone strings to capture the feeling of the tanpura. The geet-tar also has a scalloped fret-board (allowing more bending of the strings) and moveable frets to increase versatility of more notes (microtones between the fixed notes of Western music) as needed for raga music. Nadaka also plays the electric guitar-synth that he uses both in recording and in concert to generate a rich variety of sounds such as piano, mellotron or bass.

Nadaka was born and raised in Quebec, Canada, and began playing various instruments at an early age before settling on guitar when he was 11. He decided to travel around the world when he was 16 and ended up in India where he lived for the next 30 years, primarily in the international community of Auroville that was founded in pursuit of deeper consciousness. Nadaka learned to play numerous Indian string instruments. He became an active member of India’s contemporary musical community, recording and performing with many top Indian musicians such as A.R. Rahman, Ganesh-Kumaresh, Vikku Vinayakram, Selvaganesh, Shivamani, and The Basavaraj Brothers. Nadaka’s popular world-fusion recordings include Straight to Your Heart (with Ganesh Kumaresh and Vikku Vinayakram), Celebration, Living Colours, The Lotus Trilogy (a three-CD set) featuring the Tibetan monks of the Ganden Monastery and many other renowned Indian artists, Live in Paris (with The Basavaraj Brothers) and Medley (a selection of earlier released and previously-unreleased tracks from 1992 to 2008).

Gopika was born in Mumbai, India, the daughter of well-known artist and patron of the arts Prafulla Dahanukar and grand-daughter of Kesarbai Bandorkar (a well-known Indian classical singer). Hailing from a family of singers, Gopika grew up taking lessons in Hindustani classical singing and was later drawn to the study of sanskrit mantra chanting. She lived more than 16 years in South India at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville where she met Nadaka. Her multi-dimensional persona has also long pursued other artistic endeavors such as visual art and photography. She has had several group and solo exhibitions at galleries in Mumbai, Auroville, Singapore, London and Portland, USA. Currently, as a synthesis of her research in visual form and vedic sound, she is creating immersive art installations that are meditative in nature using cut paper, light and sound as her medium. She says her artistic goal is “to create both art and music that brings the viewer to an inner state of quiet.”

Nadaka & Gopika presently live in Portland, Oregon. They perform concerts and offer workshops while continuing their artistic journey through art and music. In a joint statement they say, We have combined our talents to create music that communicates a sense of peace and stillness to our audience. Drawing inspiration from the soul of India that we cherish in our hearts, we make music that carries tradition to a new dimension. In a sense this simply reflects our experience of the deeper aspects of sound and vibration that surround us all.
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