Sergio Mendes at Jazz Alley July 14-17

The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley present three-time Grammy winner and Brazilian music legend, Sergio Mendes for 4 nights and 5 shows. Band members: Grachina Leporace (singer), Joe Pizzulo (vocalist), Leo Costa (drums), Kleber Jorge Pimenta (guitar/vocals), Alphonso Johnson (bass), Jamieson Trotter (keyboards), Katie Hampton (singer), Ayana Williams (singer), Marco B. Dos Santos (percussion), and Harrell Harris AKA H20 (rapper). Show times Thursday, Friday and Sunday at 7:30pm. Show times Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Doors open at 6:00pm Thursday and 5:30pm Friday – Sunday.

Details at Jazz Alley website.

St. Germain at Moore Theatre April 19

St. Germain’s latest album blends traditional music from Mali with modern electronic music. Here’s the description from the STG website:

St Germain (aka Ludovic Navarre), whose albums Boulevard (1995) and Tourist (2000) originated a genre of French electronic music that later included artists like Daft Punk and Air, returned to the studio to create his first album in 15 years. The self-titled record marries percussive grooves, which have always been central to St Germain’s sound, with a new element: traditional Malian music. Nonesuch Records released St Germain on October 9, 2015.

Composed, produced, recorded and mixed by Navarre at his Paris studio, the Magic House, and mastered by Alex Wharton at Abbey Road, “Real Blues” features a vocal sample from Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “You Caused My Heart to Weep” and instrumental contributions from Afro-Brazilian percussionist Jorge Bezerra, Malian kora player Mamadou Cherif Soumano, Malian guitarist and n’goni player Guimba Kouyate, and keyboardist and longtime St Germain collaborator Didier Davidas, from Martinique.

St Germain’s move closer to the source of the jazz and blues elements that were essential ingredients in Boulevard and the internationally acclaimed Tourist led to his interest in those genres’ roots in West African music. Tourist, which sold nearly three million copies worldwide (more than 300,000 in the U.S. alone), was equally beloved in jazz and electronic music circles, reaching #1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and being named one of the Best Albums of the Year by Rolling Stone. In France, the album won three Victoires de la Musique awards (the French equivalent of GRAMMYs), including Best Jazz Album, Best Electronic Album and Best Live Performance.

On the 250-show Tourist tour, St Germain performed at venues ranging from London’s historic Royal Albert Hall to the Glastonbury and Coachella festivals, with guests including Herbie Hancock, Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin, Jamaican jazz pianist Monty Alexander and legendary French jazz vocalist Claude Nougaro. Following the release of St Germain, Navarre returned to the road.

With every ticket purchased online for St Germain, you’ll receive one standard digital copy of his new self titled album. Ticket purchasers will receive instructions via email on how to redeem their album within 10-14 business days after their order.

Creole Carnival at Meany Hall April 14


Casuarina, who celebrates their 13th anniversary in 2014, is one of the most respected samba bands of Brazil. Originally from Rio de Janeiro’s famous bohemian neighborhood Lapa, the band plays their repertoire all over the nation and beyond. They’ve brought their ‘samba made in Brazil’ to more than 20 countries including Angola, Cuba, France, Holland, Israel, Italy, Portugal, the United States, United Kingdom and more.

In addition to their own compositions, Casuarina creates original, sophisticated and virtuosic arrangements to a repertory of classic sambas by legendary composers such as Paulinho da Viola, Dorival Caymmi, Martinho da Vila, Adoniran Barbosa, Baden Powell, João Nogueira, Noel Rosa, and more. The modern and beloved samba group conquered the music scene in Brazil and abroad with their irreverence and innovative outstanding quality of arrangements.

Casuarina has recorded four studio albums and two live albums/DVDs. The group is composed of Daniel Montes (seven-string guitar and arrangements), Gabriel Azevedo (tambourine and lead vocalist), João Cavalcanti (tan-tan and lead vocalist), João Fernando (mandolin, backing vocalist and arrangements) and Rafael Freire (cavaquinho and backing vocalist).

Emeline Michel

Emeline Michel is the reigning Queen of Haitian Song: a captivating performer, versatile vocalist and one of the premier Haitian songwriters of her generation. She has recorded and appeared on concert stages throughout the Caribbean, Europe, and North and South America for over 20 years, including appearances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Montreal International Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Tasmania’s Ten Days On The Island, Zimbabwe’s Harare International Arts Festival, and on MTV’s Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief telethon. The New York Times praises Emeline, comparing her to “an island goddess”, and Haitian Times proclaims her an “all-time favorite artist”. Haitian paper Le Nouvelliste says Emeline “tantalizes the senses” (translated from French). Singing both in French and Haitian Creole, her ten albums have catapulted her to international acclaim.

Emeline Michel is beloved by Haitians for combining traditional rhythms with social, political and inspirational content. She is member of a unique generation of Haitian musicians that emerged in the late 1980’s – a wave of artists emphasized complex themes, conscious lyrics, and a broad palette of musical styles, including the native Haitian compas, twoubadou and rara.

Emeline’s new album Quintessence is her tenth release, long-awaited by Emeline’s fans world-wide. Quintessence has a unique blend of spirited songs, bathed in folk and acoustic jazz. In songs that capture the reverence and gratitude for each moment, Quintessence is filled with a yearning for freedom and love. The CD showcases Emeline’s warm, deep and moving voice singing in Creole, French and English, against the backgrounds of fingerpicked guitars, soulful choirs, a children’s choir, Haitian percussion, lush strings, playful trumpet and accordion lines.

Brushy One-String

When filmmaker Luciano Blotta walked out of a rural Jamaican recording studio, way off the beaten path of tourists and music hounds, he saw something wildly unusual: a man with an instrument. Even more surprising, the instrument in question—a battered but resonant acoustic guitar—had only one string.

Blotta had encountered Brushy One-String (born Andrew Chin), son of a musical family who despite his challenging life had a seemingly innate ability to inspire and move even casual listeners—including millions of people who have watched and shared Brushy’s videos on YouTube.

On his very first studio album, Destiny (release: April 30, 2013), the veteran musician evokes the sweetness of soul singers like Percy Sledge and Louis Armstrong, the grit and wit of Delta bluesmen, all woven together with a Jamaican pulse and ingenuity that shows that the island’s music is about far more than reggae. Heartfelt blues combine with dancehall-style vocals on “Grey in my Blue,” while uplifting, catchy ballads like “Life is for Every Man” channel a soulful intensity and profound faith.

“If we can change the words and melodies and bring back the love, we can have a balance between God and man,” Brushy reflects. “That’s what we need to put the world together.”

Over the past decade, globalFEST has become one of the most dynamic global music platforms in North America with stages at SXSW, Bonnaroo and beyond. What started as an annual showcase in New York has grown into an international phenomenon, building audiences for such celebrated artists as Mariza, Lila Downs and The Nile Project. Now globalFEST is launching its first North American tour with a one-night mini-fest. Creole Carnival shines the spotlight on Emeline Michele, the reigning Queen of Haitian song; Casuarina, a Brazilian samba combo; and Brushy One-String, a Jamaican one-string guitarist.

Maracuja at Musiquarium 2/18

Maracujá takes you on a journey around Latin America through music. From fiery Cuban son and Brazilian samba-funk to soothing bossa nova and wistful boleros, Maracujá’s plays music for dancing, music for listening, music to make you smile.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo at Triple Door 2/1

Assembled in the early 1960s in South Africa by Joseph, then a young farmboy turned factory worker, the group took the name Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Ladysmith is the name of Joseph’s hometown, about three hours west of Durban and 3 hours east of Johannesburg; Black being a reference to the oxen, the strongest of all farm animals; and Mambazo being the Zulu word for chopping axe, a symbol of the group’s ability to “chop down” any singing rival who might challenge them. Their collective voices were so tight and their harmonies so polished that by the end of the 1960’s they were banned from competitions, although they were welcome to participate as entertainers.

A radio broadcast in 1970 opened the door to their first record contract – the beginning of an ambitious discography that currently includes more than fifty recordings. Their philosophy in the studio was – and continues to be – just as much about preservation of musical heritage as it is about entertainment. The group borrows heavily from a traditional music called isicathamiya (is-cot-a-ME-Ya), which developed in the mines of South Africa, where black workers were taken by rail to work far away from their homes and their families. Poorly housed and paid worse, the mine workers would entertain themselves after a six-day week by singing songs into the wee hours on Sunday morning. When the miners returned to the homelands, this musical tradition returned with them.

During the 1970’s and early 1980’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo established themselves as the most succesful singing group in South Africa. In the mid-1980s, Paul Simon visited South Africa and incorporated the group’s rich tenor/alto/bass harmonies into his famous “Graceland” album – a landmark recording that was considered seminal in introducing world music to mainstream audiences. A year later, Paul Simon produced Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s first worldwide release, “Shaka Zulu”, which won a Grammy Award in 1988 for Best Folk Recording. Since then, the group has been awarded two more Grammy Awards (“Raise Your Spirit Higher (2004) and “Ilembe (2009)”) and has been nominated a total of fifteen times.

The Djeliyah Band at Musiquarium 2/1

The Djeliyah Band is the newest West African Music & Dance Band in Seattle. It is a fusion between the traditional Djeli music and the modern Guinea music within West Africa, which provides a highlife sound for your dancing pleasure!

Orchestrated by Djeli, Aboubacar “Boka” Kouyate of Kankan, Guinea, West Africa. Djeli’s have always been honored and next to the king within the West African region as the Traditional Griot.

The band began February 2015 in Seattle, Washington. Hitting the ground with an exciting bouquet of songs, music and dance that includes an inter-active component for everyone’s enjoyment.

Djeliyah Band members brings the beat of mother Africa:

Aboubacar Kouyaté: Lead Vocals, Djembé Drum Balaphon and, Guitar.

Ricardo Guity: Drum Percussions, Vocals

Leif Totusek: Solo Guitarist

Masa Kobayashi: Bass Guitar

Afua Kouyaté: Dance, Management

Supersones at Musiquarium 1/29

SuperSones play the sublime music known as Son – the acoustic dance music of the Cuban countryside that inspired modern Salsa. Son is a unique blend of Spanish guitars and harmony, Afro-Cuban percussion and swing, call-and-response singing, and trumpet improvisation. From the 1930’s in Havana to the present moment, Cuban septets like SuperSones have inspired people around the world to dance and celebrate.

Gansango at Broadway Performance Hall Sun. 10/11

Immerse yourself in the vibrant color, catchy drumming and dynamic movement of African dance at this special event! Gansango Music & dance presents an original show featuring all-new choreography by Kokou Gbakenou and director Etienne Cakpo. Crossroads Africa brings together dancers and drummers from Benin, Togo,Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Guinea and includes presentations by Gansango’s student group. Come experience Africa!