Artistes’ Biographies 2015
The RegioJazz group re-examines mainly music of composers of Roraima through jazz regional references, peppered with Latin influences. Their members come from different states which is a strong feature of the state of Roraima. Sophisticated combination of the talented musicians guitar, bass, percussion, keyboard and striking vocals make this a unique band. Certainly one to watch!
Group Capoeira Angola Palmares
Founded in 1993, the Capoeira Angola Palmares Group has developed the practice of capoeira as a sport, culture and lifestyle. Guided by Ongira master, they have performed in various events such as the SESC Cultural Boundary and the 1st Rupununi Music & Arts Festival in 2014. For this edition the group will make presentations of capoeira and maculele as well as teach capoeira to festival goers in workshops. We are looking forward to welcome the group again this year!
Wilkinson Oliveira is the Manager of Harmonia e Ritmo Cultural, a dance teacher and choreographer. During this year’s Rupununi Music & Arts Festival Wilkinson will make a Gafieira Samba Presentation, accompanied by his partner. There will also be workshops introducing festival goers to dancing the samba and samba gaff.
JJ Kent (his Lakota name, Wicasa Ho’ Waste’, meaning “Good Voice Man”) is known throughout the world as a player of the indigenous Northern Plains flute, and as a traditional storyteller, cultural educator, speaker, dancer and recording artist. From his early Lakota influences and from this extended family in the world, he shares his beautiful and spiritually healing music to create a resonant chord of celebration for All Our Relations. JJ won “Flutist of the Year” at the 2009 NAMMY Awards in Niagara Falls, New York and was in the running for a Grammy award. JJ has four albums, three of which are ambient Native American music. His latest CD entitled “Tate’ Topa Win” was produced by the Grammy winning George Noriega in Cutting Cane Studios, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. JJ also had a country music recording career which included a stint with Brykas Records in Nashville, and later with Prestige Records in London, England. His fourth CD “The Other Side of JJ Kent – Classic Country” contains the song “Pathway of a Fool” which made it to #11 in Cashbox’s Top 100 in 1990 and earned him “Male Vocalist of the Year” honors. Traveling back and forth between his beloved land of Wyoming and South Dakota, JJ lives with his family in the rolling hills and horse country of Nashville’s Franklin, TN.
With his band Outta Box Experience (O.B.E) whose members are also part of local Heavy Metal band – Feed The Flames – they made their debut at RED Entertainment’s From Jazz With Love in October, 2014 and will be performing at this year’s Rupununi Festival. They take popular songs from all music genres and eras, covering artistes such as Elvis Presley, Nina Simone, The Eagles, Ben E. King, The Beatles, Eddy Grant to name a few, adding their own touch, resulting in a truly unique and dynamic performance of popular hit songs, for a truly ‘Out of the Box Experience’.
Band members include: Gavin Mendonca: Vocals/Bass, Gavin Singh: Guitar/Backing Vocals, Emilio Martins: Guitar, Nicholas Chung: Drums.
Isaias P. Miliano
Isaias Miliano, an Indian descendant of the artist Patamona and Macuxi ethnic groups was born by the river Mau, municipality of Uiramuta in the Guiana Highlands and lived there most of his childhood. In Porto Velho, Rondonia, where he lived for a while, he met Ramos. The master taught him about the art of pottery and who watched the already talented Isaias grow his craft. Isaias uses wood waste from sawmills, joinery and felled trees to produce carvings and sculptures. During this year’s festival he will exhibit his work and also lead woodcarving workshops.
Ras Camo Williams
more infos to follow soon.
Artistes’ Biographies 2014
Keith Waithe – Flautist
Keith Waithe is an award winning flautist and leader of the Macusi Players – world music jazz band – blending rhythms from the Caribbean, South America, Asia and Africa. He mixes many sounds from his collection of over 207 flutes, fusing enigmatic musical forms in performance whilst encouraging audience participation. Keith’s 8th CD “Gathering Echoes” has had excellent reviews. Keith’s original compositions have been performed on radio, television and several international theatre productions. He is Director of the young people’s project Macusi Youth and performs and teaches regularly.
Aref Durvesh – Tabla/Dholack
Aref Durvesh is a celebrated and prolific tabla artist who has recorded and performed with Badmarsh & Shri, Sting, Susheela Raman, Cheb Mami, Jeff Beck, Visionary Underground and is also one of the longest-serving members of Nitin Sawhney’s band, having performed on all of his albums as well as all his UK and international tours. Aref has taken traditional tabla performance into a new dimension by integrating it into contemporary urban music, jazz, hip-hop and fusion, as well as being a virtuoso in the traditional skills.
Iryna MuHa – Guitarist/Vocalist
Iyna, Ukrainian born multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter started to develop finger-picking guitar style as a teenager at a Soviet school in Darkhan, Mongolia. Later she studied vocals in her native town of Vinnitsa, Ukraine, and matured her talents in America. Iryna’s music was influenced by her mother’s singing the Russian “table songs”- the traditional folk songs that are sung by all the people around the table at social gatherings. This influence can still be heard at Iryna’s vocal and writing styles.
Marc Matthews – Spoken Word
Marc Matthews, a theatre activist, native of Guyana and currently living in the UK, has been writing, performing, telling stories, acting on stage, in films, radio & television for over three decades. He was a Co-director/Founder of Jaiai Independent Broadcasting Unit and with Peter Kempadoo produced “Our Kind Of Folk “ for Radio in Guyana. Marc and Ken Corsbie produced and performed “DEM TWO”. This was expanded into “ALL AWEE”, with John Agard, Keith Waithe, Henry Mutoo, Ras Como Williams, the late Lancelot Lane and Andre Tanka.
Namvula – Guitarist/Vocalist
Namvula creates an intrepid new world where folk and urban traditions of her Zambian homeland combine with London’s vibrant eclectic music scene. Her music draws you into different worlds, yet remains firmly rooted in African soil. Singing in Zambian languages, as well as English, Portuguese and French, Namvula speaks out on issues facing modern-day Africa, as well as exploring stories about society, life and love. Namvula’s forthcoming debut album ‘Shiwezwa’ will be one of the major roots releases of the coming months” – fRoots magazine
Filligar – Band
One of the best young bands in America, Filligar is an alternative/indie rock band. They have toured – from North America to Europe and the Middle East – sharing stages with many established bands. Filligar’s latest record has been named “Best New Music” by American Songwriter Magazine, while their previous release was nominated “Best Rock Album” at the 2012 Independent Music Awards. Filligar has been selected by the State Department as cultural ambassadors, representing the “American people and their cultural values” and “the best of the U.S. arts.”
Buxton Fusion – Percussion (Drumming)
In 2007, the musical group Buxton Fusion was formed. Originally comprising of Guyanese, of both African and Indian descent, the group is now an African traditional percussion ensemble, engaging, teaching and performing traditional drumming rhythms with young people of all ages. The young drummers are making positive strides and entertaining audiences in Guyana regularly. The group, with Deo Persaud and Marlon Adams, is creating a new musical path and original members have benefited from collaborative performances with Keith Waithe in Trinidad at the Commonwealth Heads of Government festivities.
Indus Voices – Band
Formed in 2009, Indus Voices is a Guyanese musical group that promotes a wide genre of Indian music – Classical, Indian Folk Music, Bollywood, traditional Bhojpuri songs and fusion music. The group got its name “Indus Voices” from the historical evidence of the Indus Valley in India, proclaimed to be the cradle for all Indian civilization, inclusive of its music and other art forms. Lead by Somdatt (Amar) Ramessar, Indus Voices’ main objective is to preserve the roots of Indian music and dance.