Donauwellenreiter (Austria/Italy)

Imaginary Folklore and Chamber Pop

Donauwellenreiter are one of the most exciting and innovative projects of the contemporary scene in Vienna. They play a fascinating distinct sound of highly poetic charisma and have gained recognition at home as well as abroad for both their outstanding live concerts as well as recordings.

In 2016 they presented their critically acclaimed third album Euphoria, an impressive and highly inspiring new piece of work. The mix of the musical influences and experiences of the individual ensemble members – all of whom also compose and contribute their various style origins such as folklore, pop, jazz, classical, chamber music, world music and more – merges into a mesmerizing, sensually and intellectually stimulating whole. As meticulous as it may be to articulate all the nuances of the unique Donauwellenreiter sound and style – the beauty and the clarity of this music at certain moments will leave you speechless.

Donauwellenreiter succeed in creating equally approachable and demanding modern art music, which also fascinates and inspires listeners who avoid compulsive genre conventions and appreciate quality and artistic substance. Thus, the quatuor find their attentive audiences in Germany, Switzerland, Serbia, Portugal or Canada as well as at home in Vienna, the mature urban openness of the city being undoubtedly a basic element and a precondition for the art of this ensemble.

In October 2017 they released their latest album with reinterpretations of the songs of Italian cantautore Gianmaria Testa, who passed away in 2015. Delta, the fourth studio album of this very special quartet, was released in April 2020.


Line up

Thomas Castaneda – piano, keyboard
Maria Craffonara – voice, violin, percussion
Lukas Lauermann – cello
Jörg Mikula – drums


Discography

2020 Delta (Aestate Records/Hoanzl)
2018 Euphoria Live, Vinyl in the series Studiokonzerte (Bauer Studios/Neuklang Records)
2017 Donauwellenreiter Play Gianmaria Testa (Hoanzl)
2016 Euphoria (Laloki Music/Hoanzl)
2014 Messei (Intuition Records)
2012 Annäherung (4tm/Hoanzl)


Awards

2018 Oberschwäbischer Kleinkunstpreis “Kupferele”, Ravensburg, DE
2014 The New Austrian Sound Of Music  2014/15, AT
2014 Newcomer of the Month, Jazzzeitung 2014, DE
2014 Nomination for Preis der deutschan Schallplattenkritik, Longlist 3/2014, DE
2013 Special Jury Prize, International Music Festival Castelfiardo, 2013, IT


Press

“Ear candy and medicine for the soul. Recommend!”
Jazzquad, RU, 2020

“highest level, contemporary and original crossover sounds”
Oberschwäbischer Kleinkunstpreis, DE, 2018

“They approach Testa’s oeuvre full of tenderness and respect; at moments Craffonara’s voice  transforms its beauty into something even more beautiful.”
Falter, AT, 2017

Chamber music, minimalism, but also powerful yet acustically filled pop structures merge into an ensemble sound that is rounded off by the vocal contributions of violinist Maria Craffonara (in Ladin!).”
Jazzthetik, DE, 2016

“Pulsating between innocence and theatricality, simplicity and opulence, effortless elegance and classical moments, these four musicians continue to follow their path as cosmopolitan ambassadors of sophisticated listening experiences.”
In.Musik.De, DE, 2016

“Not rock, not folk, not jazz. Instead, music of a new wave.”
Folker, DE, 2017

“… the perfect symbiosis of semi-classical, world music, jazz, and rock …”
Schallmagazin, DE, 2017

„The music of Donauwellenreiter has a centripetal force driving directly for the realm of resonance which moves our soul beyond any cultural-language ties, then, acquires much more higher dimension than any exquisite pattern of notes or rhythms can reach…“
Jazztokyo, JP, Kayo Fushiya, 2016

“A sparkling mix of chamber orchestra and ambient jazz band.”
Die Presse, AT, 2014

Wow (…) if you want something you’ll enjoy so much, that’s gleefully out of the ordinary, that’ll drive you nuts, this is what you want to be hearing. Well done”
Midwest Record, USA, 2014

“Above all, the force of strong melodies – it is unforgettable if you listened to it once”
Jazztokyo, JP, 2014

“Thomas Castaneda has a wonderful feeling for writing melodic and catchy songs”
Musicframes, NL, 2014

Dancas Ocultas (Portugal)

Four magical accordions from the edge of Europe

Danças Ocultas are four accordionsts from Agueda near Porto who are among the most innovative and most exciting representatives of contemporary Portuguese music. For some years now they have been rising on the international world music scene – with an apparently very simple concept: quiet, lyrical, more or less traditional, with only four diatonic accordions.

The quartet’s name has nothing to do with esoteric spheres but means that Dancas Ocultas play music for dances that still have to be invented. Famous Fado plays a minor role, the band’s inspiration comes rather from traditional village music, Tango Nuevo and the chamber music e.g. of the Russian Terem Quartet. They neither indulge in virtuosity competitions, nor do they play pure folk music. “Impressionist Folk” is maybe the best label for this timeless art music: minimalist, profound sound paintings full of unexpected turns and noble melancholy. Very special music – impossible to escape its magnetism.

One of the first supporters of Danças Ocultas was Gabriel Gomes, the accordionist of Portugal’s most famous world music band Madredeus. He motivated them to explore their own sound worlds. Their collaboration with choreographer Paul Ribeiro and the Gulbenkian Ballet, regular appearances at international festivals and a highly acclaimed showcase at Womex 2010 have brought them international recognition far beyond the Portuguese borders.


Line up

Artur Fernandes – diatonic accordion
Francisco Miguel – diatonic accordion
Filipe Cal – diatonic accordion
Filipe Ricardo – diatonic accordion


Current Projects

Danças Ocultas (accordion quatuor)
DENTRO DESSE MAR Danças Ocultas feat. Jaques Morelenbaum
ARCO Danças Ocultas feat. Dom la Nena
AMPLITUDE Danças Ocultas with orchestra (possible collaboration with local orchestras)


Discography

2018 dentro desse mar (Sony/Galileo Music)
2016 Amplitude (Uguru/Sony/Galielo Music)
2014 Arco (EP Uguru)
2011 Alento (iplay / Galileo MC)
2009 Tarab (Numerica)
2004 Pulsar (Magic Music)
2002 Travessa da Espera (L’Empreinte Digitale)
1998 Ar (EMI VC)
1996 Dancas Ocultas (EMI VC)


Press

“Danças Ocultas have managed to leave the circuit of mere accordion lovers and to perform on big stages, which is best proved by Amplitude.”
JazzThing, DE, Amplitude, 2016

„Amplitude is a powerful album that opens your heart.”
Sound&Image, DE, Amplitude, 2016

“It was less of a concert but much more a musical lecture, a collective
breathing that you’re being part of and that you’re carried away with, in an
emotional, meditative dimension”.
Il Giornale di Vicenza, IT, 2011

You walk into the darkened main concert hall and suddenly, all that falls away, there are four men on stage, and they are creating a space where you can relax, breath and luxuriate in beautiful sounds.””
Michal Shapiro on The Huffington Post, USA, 2010

„Inventive and creative instrumental music by one of Europe’s best art music ensembles. Highly recommended!“
CD Roots 2007

“Danças Ocultas are very special – the interaction of these four accordionists is amazing. Their music is so full of tension that you did not realise how the time goes by. The music is excellently arranged and acts between very slow bits, where only one accordion is playing – creating an atmosphere of very loud silence – up to quite fast and very lively pieces. It is not easy to describe their music – you simply have to see them live to get an idea of what they are doing (or at least you should listen to their CD…) My personal highlight of the festival.”
Folkworld 2001

Las Hermanas Caronni (Argentina)

A shade of Ravel and Debussy blends with the sounds of the Pampas

Las Hermanas Caronni – two Argentinian twin sisters, Laura and Gianna Caronni, respectively a cellist and a clarinettist, and both singers, deliver on their albums some of the most delicate and intelligent music of the recent years. As a duet, their sound is full of intimacy, yet rich at the same time – due to the stunningly inventive, almost minimalist arrangements. The music sounds exactly like the sum of the artists’ backgrounds: two classically trained musicians enamoured with their country’s folk music. Shades of European Impressionism, of Ravel and Debussy, influences of the South American classical composers like Villa-Lobos, and the unavoidable ghost of tango, all blend perfectly with the melancholy and determination of the folk tunes of the Pampas. Clever, discretely sensual, and endlessly elegant, this is music for those who still cherish values like refinement and class.

Laura and Gianna Caronni were born into a family of Swiss, Italian, Russian and Spanish origins, where the music of Opera and Tango intertwined. They studied classical music and performed in the main concert venues in Argentina as members of the Academic Orchestra of Theatre Colón in Buenos Aires and various other classical and contemporary musical ensembles. In 1998 they moved to France where they first became known through their collaboration with Juan Carlos Cáceres, and where in 2011 their first duo album Baguala de la Siesta was enthusiastically celebrated by press & audience as THE discovery of the season, followed by Vuela in 2013. The sisters’ third and latest album NAVEGAMUNDOS was released in 2015 reached nr.3 of the World Music Charts Europe in April 2016.

In March 2019 the sisters released their fourth album Santa Plástica: Based on classical motives by Ravel, Mozart, Bach oder Piazzolla they have created eleven pieces whose lyrics approach in a poetical way the burning issues of our times, such as pollution or gentrification. In addition to vocals, cello and clarinet they also use flutes such as the Basque Xistu or Southamerican Pincuyo, renowned jazz trumpeteer Erik Truffaz and British-Italian songwriter Piers Faccini featuring as special guests.


Line up

Gianna Caronni – clarinet, vocals
Laura Caronni – cello, vocals


Discography

2019 Santa Plástica (Les Grands Fleuves / L’ Autre Distribution)
2015 Navega Mundos (Les Grands Fleuves / L’ Autre Distribution)
2014 Baguala de la Siesta, Remix (Les Grands Fleuves / L’ Autre Distribution)
2013 Vuela! (Les Grands Fleuves / L’ Autre Distribution)
2011 Baguala de la Siesta (Snail Records/Coast to Coast)


Press

„…a wonderfully unexpected, spare joy…superb on every level.“
fRoots (UK) on Navegamundos

“Two voices, a cello, a clarinet – that’s all they need for their chamber musical reveries.”
Kulturwelt, Bayern 2, DE

This delightful album, being warm and melancholic at the same time, depictures the two faces of exile: the deep pain and the possibility to reinvent everything”.
Libération, FR

“THE discovery of the season. Right after the programme we received an avalanche of emails and enthusiastic comments that carried this self-produced, almost anonymous CD on to another life.”
France Inter, FR

“Their eclectic lyricism, evocative vocal harmonies and inventive stretching and recombination of cello and clarinet technique reveal a sublime poetic mastery that defies categorisation. … There is more unassuming passion, beauty and wisdom in these 13 tangos, canciones, chacareras, milongas and a closing baguala than many artists cab claim in a lifetime.”
Folk Roots, UK

Renato Borghetti (Brazil)

Squeezebox Gaúcho with Passion and Flair

Ecstasy, humour and first rate virtuosity: Accordion wizard Renato Borghetti is the superstar among the nu folk musicians from Rio Grande do Sul in Southern Brazil. The charismatic gaucho has revised, adapted and modernized many of the native sounds of his home country. His shows are unforgettable live events, offering a sparkling and elegant mix of traditional forms such as Milonga, Chacacera and Chamamé with elements of Jazz, Tango and chamber music, adapting each of those forms to his unique style of accordion playing.

“Borghettinho”, as his fans like to call him, has been recording cds since the beginning of the 80ies. He has shared the stage with big names such as Dominguinhos, Sivuca, Stephane Grapelli, Ron Carter and Hermeto Pascoal and is the first Brazilian musician to achieve a golden record with purely instrumental music. His direct and playful style slightly reminds of the feeling of Zydeco and Cajun in Luisiana which combines European and African elements in a similar way. And in spite of all experiments Renato Borghetti remains 100% Gaúcho – with long hair, hat and wide riding breeches.

And he is one of the very few musicians from Southern Brazil who are regularly performing in Europe. “Andanças. Live in Brussels”, Renato’s first and long expected live album, was released in 2011 and represents something like a resume of 10 years touring in Europe – a time of investiganting the musician’s own roots, discovering new ways of musical expression and makiong a lot of new friends. Borghetti is also actively securing the future of his instrument back home in Southern Brazil: at the end of 2010 the first diatonic accordion branded “Borghetti” left the recently founded “Fabrica de Gaiteiros” near Renato’s ranch – a project initiated not only to produce instruments but also to organize accordion courses for underpriviledged children and young people. It was precisely here, at the “Factory of Accordionists”, that he recorded his latest album Gaita na Fábrica – Sounds from the Squezebox Factory, which was presented on an extensive European release tour in autumn 2016.

BorghettiYamandu, a documentary by Estação Eletrica on Renato’s duo project with Brazilian guitar virtuoso Yamandu Costa, was released on DVD and CD in 2017 and nominated for a Grammy Latino in 2018. The European live première of this stunning duo happened at Wiener Konzerthaus in October 2019.


Line up quartet

Renato Borghetti – diatonic button accordion
Daniel Sá – guitar
Vitor Peixoto – piano
Pedro Figueiredo – saxophone, flute


Current Projects

Duo Renato Borghetti (acc) & Yamandu Costa (guit)
Renato Borghetti Quarteto (acc – sax/flute – guit – piano)
Renato Borghetti Quarteto Meets Gabriele Mirabassi (cl)


Discography (selected)

2016 Gaita na Fábrica. Sounds from the Squeezebox Factory. (Saphrane Records)
2011 Andanças. Live in Brussels. (Saphrane Records)
2009 Fandango! (Felmay fy 8147)
2005 Gauchos (Quinton Records Q-0501-2)
2002 Paixao no Peito (Som Livre/RBS Discos)
1999 Ao Ritmo de Tio Bilia
1998 Gauderiando (Atracao)
1996 Gaúcho (RGE)
1995 As 20 Melhores de Renato Borghetti (RGE)
1994 Accordionist (Prestige Records)


DVDs

2017 Borghetti Yamandu (Estação Eletrica)
2016 Gaita na Fábrica (Estação Eletrica)
2012 Renato Borghetti Quarteto Europa (Estaçao Eletrica)
2008 Fandango! (Estaçao Eletrica)
2005 Renato Borghetti Quarteto Ao Vivo No Tatro Sao Pedro


Awards

2018 Borghetti Yamandu (Estação Eletrica), CD&DVD, nominated for a Grammy Latino
2011 Andanças, best CD of the year of the Dutch newspaper Het Parool, selected among the best CDs of the year 2011 on All About Jazz Italia
2009 Womex Showcase in Copenhagen
2008 Fandango!, CD&DVD, Premio Açorianos as best CD&DVD of the year, nominated for a Grammy Latino
2005 Gauchos, CD, nominated for Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik
2005 Gaitaponto.com, CD, nominated for a Grammy Latino


Press

“An inimitable Brazilian feeling comes through – a certain languor and naturalness in the rhythms and relationships… Borghetti’s folk has an expansive register and emotional range and is a perfect introduction to a sound as removed from the world music radar as its heartland is off the tourist map.”
Songlines (UK) on Andanças

“The sound quality is wonderfully transparent, you can almost physically feel the presence of the audience, and the guys are playing mind-blowing solos. Prozac? Light therapy? No need for all of this: With their music, Borghetti and his musicians do really chase winter depression away through the front door.”
Het Parool (NL) on Andanças

“Who has not seen on stage this accordionist and wonderful communicator with the attitude of a flamenco dancer, does not know what are joy and improvisation!”
Musibrasil (IT)

“Mozart would have enjoyed it a lot!”
Wiener Zeitung, Vienna (AT)

“With Borghetti the Gaúcho tradition of Vanerão, Rancheira and Milonga turns into elegance and finesse. With his long hair and hat he appears like a popstar – but above all he is a brilliant virtuoso on his button accordion, impulsive and dynamic. And in certain moments his body seems to be inhabited by Piazzolla’s spirit.”
Musicas sem Fronteiras – Cronicas da Terra (PT)

“Borghetti does to Gaúcho music what Piazzolla did to Tango.”
Jazzthetik on “Gauchos” (DE)

Merima Ključo & Jelena Milušić (Bosnia Herzegovina)

‚Lume‘ – Dramatic Love Songs and Dark Chansons

‘Lume’ is a thrilling project brought to us by two brilliant Bosnian musicians, Merima Ključo and Jelena Milušić. The enormous value of this conceptual work lies in the diverse cultural origins and languages of the repertoire – the love songs from different parts of the world combined with Ključo’s song cycle, based on Romanian, Croatian, Kosovan and Sephardic traditional pieces. In different languages, ‘Lume’ has various meanings: world, life, source of light, illusion, fire, spark, lover, humanity, more than love…, but all these meanings point in the same doubtless direction: life is passion and love!

The magnetic connection between these two musicians takes us on a dreamlike journey through diverse worlds of strong, expressive and yet subtle music. Jelena’s unique and rare, singularly versatile contralto complements brilliantly the notes of Merima’s concert accordion. Jelena’s voice transforms from one song to the next in a truly chameleonic and fascinating way. Together on stage Jelena and Merima, with just a voice and an accordion, build an atmosphere that is enchantingly theatrical: they completely wrap their audience in their wide-ranging performance that goes from grimly dramatic to fetchingly melancholic, only to dissolve into a cheerful, almost cabaret-like finale.

Acclaimed concert accordionist Merima Ključo masters a dizzying variety of music, her play moving by its depth of understanding and experience. Whether performing as a guest soloist with world renowned orchestras and ensembles, or as a composer and performer for theatre, movie and radio productions, her passion and mastery in both traditional and contemporary music allows her to explore new artistic dimensions combining them in a compelling and unique way.

Expressive and bold, Jelena Milušić is a singer who easily transforms her voice to the needs of various genres ranging from blues, jazz, rock to traditional Balkan and world music. With Orchestre National du Vetex, Milušić performed throughout Europe. With Bosnian guitarist Atilla Aksoj, she interprets Sephardic and Romani music under the name Barimatango.


Line up

Merima Ključo – concert accordion
Jelena Milušić – vocals


Diskography

2018 Lume, Croatia Records


Press

“Mind-blowing! Pleasant pain is caused on the one hand by the richness of Merima Ključo’s artistic expression, whose every tone, interval, chord or cluster on the accordion grow out of layers of determination and melancholy. And when Jelena Milušić’s incredible vocal gets involved, I wonder if Merima’s accordion has a human voice among its registers.”
Marija Vitas, ethnomusicologist & Editor in Chief, Serbian World Music Magazine (RS)

“When one makes love it is usually behind some kind of closed door, but there Merima and Jelena were, making love with their music, for all of us to see. Very Sexy.”
Kathleen Kaun, soprano, former Chair of Voice and Opera at Rice University, USA
 
“Jelena is absolutely unique and stirringly chameleon-like.”
Maja Vasiljevic, Rumbo al Este, Radio Clásica, RTVE, Spain

“The touch that Merima has to the accordion tunes easily with the most recondite of the human soul. No matter which repertoire she plays or where the listener comes from, Merima is a true wizard whose magic spell works universally! If one really pays attention to her art, one falls at her feet forever.”
Maja Vasiljevic, Rumbo al Este, Radio Clásica, RTVE, Spain
 
“Jelena Milušić’s powerful contralto voice, rich in deep resonances,
with full sense of drama…”
Francesco Martinelli, New York City Jazz Record