Al Qantara - Caminhos de Ida e Volta | Brazil - Morocco
In 2009, I was invited me to perform at Timitar Festival, in Agadir, southern Morocco.
Having been fascinated by the music of the region ever since, I proposed a concert bringing together Brazilian and Moroccan musicians.
The Festival not only accepted the idea, but also suggested some of the best instrumentalists from the country.The meeting offered all the participants everything someone could dream of such experience.Conversations and laugh at the table. Strolls on the beach. And above all, great music.
Rhythms, music phrasings here and there, being developed, discovered and recognized.From their culture, we could recognize a range of Gnawa, Berber and Arabic influences in different kinds of Brazilian music.I hope this album can convey all of a so beautiful atmosphere generated during these days in Morocco and in Brazil, where we recorded the album, in the following year.
My heartfelt thanks to everyone involved - musicians and producers. And to life for providing such encounters.
Brazilian music has been the playing field for this instrumentalist, arranger, composer, and producer.
Benjamim Taubkin started his studied at the age of 18 and soon begin to dedicate himself fully to this career, working in important plays such as Ópera do Malandro and 39 of Flávio Rangel; and at contemporary dance studios like Ruth Rachou, Klaus Viana and Clarisse Abujamra. Inspire by the desire of playing jazz and bossa nova, he performed in music venues in São Paulo.
In 1997, he released his first album A Terra e o Espaço Aberto, which has just original themes. Beside Toninho Carrasqueira, Lui Coimbra, Teco Cardoso, Caíto Marcondes and Marcos Suzano, the CD was nominated by two important awards in Brazil: Sharp and Movimento.
As a musician he has participated in several formations, ranging from solo work to symphonic orchestras – presented in Brazil and abroad. He has performed with prestigious artists such as Marcos Suzano, Banda Savana, Rafael Rabello, Zizi Possi, Moacir Santos, Paulo Moura, Mônica Salmaso, Hermeto Paschoal.
His current projects as musician and director include: the Latin american collective América Contemporânea, the Orquestra Popular de Câmara, the choro ensemble Moderna Tradição, his work with the traditional music group Abaçai and his jazz project Trio + 1.
Some of the most recent projects he’s participated in as musician and arranger include: Jobim Sinfônico, Samwad – Rua do Encontro, which promoted dialogue between Brazil and India; and Milágrimas, which celebrated the encounter with South Africa.
In his solo career he recorded his second CD in New York at Fazioli Salon, one of the most prestigious piano house nowadays. The album will be released in the US by Adventure Music and then in Brasil by Núcleo Contemporâneo. With this work, Benjamim has been performing in important venues and festivals, such as The Vortex Jazz Club, in London, and at Ruta del Cister, in Spain. And he did in 2009 an artistic residence in Austria, invited as composer and instrumentalist in Krems.
Since, 1997, Benjamim is the director of Núcleo Contemporâneo, an independent label and producer company, dedicated to the popular instrumental music from Brazil.
He has been traveling in South and Center America aiming to know more about those countries’ music production, seeking to promote dialogue and exchange networking.
As musician or producer Benjamim is in more than 130 albums and directed around 500 concerts.
He is the curator for Mercado Cultural da Bahia, a platform focused on Brazilian and Latin American music; and for ELA – Encontro Latino-Americano, a forum to discusse the new paths for the latin music. Benjamim is on board of the European Forum for Worldwide Music Festivals (2008 – 2010), and he participates frequently of conferences and meetings around the world.
Among the most important festivals and venues where he performed, are: Joe’s Pub, Disney Hall, e Fazioli Salon (USA), Teatro Amadeo Roldán (Cuba); Orquestra do Rio Infinito (Costa Rica and Nicaragua); Festival Internacional de Jazz de Punta del Este, Oficina de Música Brasileira na Universidade de Montevidéo (Uruguay); Festival Rudolstadt, Massala Festival e Rádio WDR (Germany), Festival Glatt und Verkehrt (Austria), Auditori Barcelona and the festivals Etnosur, Kesse, La Garrida and Ruta del Cister (Spain); The Vortex Jazz Club (UK); Sfinks (Belgium); Ópera de Paris (France); Festival Timitar (Morocco); Festival III Delphic Games (Korea); and Oficina de Música de Curtiba, do Festival Instrumental da Bahia, Sabará Instrumental, Festa da Música e Música na Pampulha, Festival de Jazz de Guaramiranga, Projeto Prelúdios da Primavera, Olinda Jazz Festival e MIMO – Mostra Internacional de Música em Olinda, Auditório Ibirapuera, TUSP, Galeria Olido, SESCs, Centro Cultural São Paulo, Casa de Francisca, Memorial da América Latina, Sampa Jazz, Virada Cultural da cidade e do estado, Festival de Choro no Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (Brazil).
João is a bassist, composer and singer, who has been working with important musicians from Brazil and abroad, despite his young age; and deeply interested and connected with the elements of the music of various part of the world.
He recorded, toured or perfomed with Paulo Moura, Carlos Aguirre, Teco Cardoso, Laurence Revey, Itamar Doari, Mehdi Nassouli, Luiz Brasil, Madhup Mudgal, Criolo, Kiko Dinucci and Rodrigo Campos.
João is also part of the celebrated Brazilian group AfroElectro, and member of Theo de Barros' quartet and of Cantos do Nosso Chão Project, which blends traditional and contemporary music.
Currently he is working on his own trio alongside with two great musicians of his generation, Zeca Loureiro (electric and acoustic guitar) and Bruno Tessele (drums). The album brings only his own compositions and will be released in 2013.
Born in the 'sertão' countryside of Rio Grande do Norte, his first contact with music was playing traditionals instruments from the northeast ('triângulo' and 'zabumba') with his father, the accordionist Zé de Cezário.
Lulinha Alencar is a self-taught musician that started to play accordion professionally in 1999. He found opportunities to show his work as 'sanfoneiro' (accordionist) and moved himself to São Paulo.
His work revisits his own northeastern roots gathered with new elements influenced by urban sounds, as well as from masters, exploring arrangements which go from the traditional to the contemporary music.
As versatile musician Lulinha Alencar brings a rich repertoire and expression with his instrument, turning himself a reference in Brazilian Music scene of today.
Teacher at Universidade Livre de Música and at Communication and Arts School at University of Sao Paulo - had performed with some seminal names in Brazilian music as - Nana Vasconcelos, Egberto Gismonti, Cesar Camargo Mariano, Winton Marsalis, Heloisa Fernandes , Chico Saraiva, Marcelo Pretto and Palavra Cantada among others. He has been playing in many projects with Benjamim Taubkin. Ari is also a dedicated researcher and teacher in the field of Brazilian traditional music.
Mehdi Nassouli is a talented guembri player, from Taroudant in Morocco. He has been initiated by the most important gnawa masters, and have played beside major international artists such as Titi Robin, Fatoumata Diawara or Alpha Blondy.
Farid El Foulahi
Farid is part of the new generation of oud players in Morocco . He was born in a family that has music as a passion , but were never professionals. He studied with the virtuoso Driss El Maloumi. He was awarded with the main prizes of the Rabat Conservatory. He has been playing both at home and abroad.
His source comes from the Arab-Andalouz music with influences from oriental music, turkish and jazz. He already played with Françoise Altan, Jamy Haddad, Gabriel Meyer and the poets Abdellatif Laabi, Adounis. Farid is a teacher of the Agadir Music Conservatory since 2001.
Lahoucine Bagir, is one of the main percussionists from Morocco.
He was born in 1970 in music family. . He specialized himself on the darbouka, the deff and the bandir. His experiences with artists and groups like Maloumi, Xavier Morietam Quartetno, Zanjibar e Caravane de Lne, opened a broad comprehension of the music of the world.