DANÇAS OCULTAS ON TOUR IN QUÉBEC/CANADA

Québec Spring Tour with Four Magic Accordions

For a long time the Portuguese accordion quatuour Danças Ocultas have been dreaming of performing in Canada, and now this dream will come true: Their successful showcase at the Rideau des Spectacles Trade Fair in Montreal 2016 enchanted the numerous promoters in the audience, just as it had happened at WOMEX some years before – and the result will be 8 concerts in French speaking Québec between April 10 and 21. Bon voyage messieurs!

10/04/18 Outremont, QC – Théâtre Outremeont
12/04/18 Carleton-sur-Mer, QC – Studio Hydro
13/04/18 Gaspé, QC – Salle de Spectacles de Gaspé
14/04/18 Matane, QC – Salle Lucien Bellemare
15/04/18 Sept-Îles, QC – Salle Jean-Marc Dion de Sept Îles
17/04/18 Baie-Corneau, QC – Centre des Arts de Baie-Corneau
19/04/18 Shawinigan, QC – Maison de la Culture Francis Brisson
21/04/18 Lévis, QC – L’Anglicane

BELEM & the MeKanics

Didier Laloy presents his new spectacular project

For  many centuries mankind has been dreaming and building machines, also Leonardo da Vinci wanted to fly. Together with Belgian avantgarde composer and sound inventor Walter Hus, Didier Laloy in his latest adventure takes mechanical music to its extremes.  BELEM, the success duo with Didier Laloy on accordion and  Kathy Adam on cello, meets a mechanical orchestra of the Belgian brand DECAP, programmed and digitally operated by Walter Hus and remindung us of the historical ancestors of the jukebox that were extremely popular (not only) in Belgium and Northern France.  The organs, the “Mekanics”, sing like little birds, then again they sound like a whole orchestra, a drumset and an accordion play alone as if by magic. The result is breathtaking – a unique sound between popular, contemporary and film music with fellinian flavour. Belem&The Mekanics is an extraordinary experience that will take you far beyond a concert, submerging the audience in the centre of a majestic sound  swirl. The album Belem & The Mekanics was released in November 2017  and presented in two sold out and enthusiastically acclaimed concert series in Brussels and Paris.

Didier Laloy – diatonic accordion
Kathy Adam – cello
Walter Hus – The Mekanics programming
Didier Laloy & Walter Hus – composition, arrangements

 

DANÇAS OCULTAS AT PHILHARMONIE LUXEMBURG

“Les Neiges de l’Algarve / The Snow of Algarve”

In the context of the atlântico festival, which is entirely dedicated to music and culture from Portuguese speaking countries, Danças Ocultas have been invited by  Philharmonie Luxemburg to take part in a new dance theatre production for children: The visual concert “Les Neiges de l’Algarve”, directed by French choreographer Lionel Ménard, tells the story of an almond tree and combines dance and acrobatics,  juggling and live music. From October 06 to 10 and November 09 to 12, 2017 there will be 16 performances as well as a lunch concert by Danças Ocultas in the big auditorium of the Philharmonie.

Danças Ocultas – diatonic button accordion
Roberta Ruggiero – dancer, actress
Louis Terver – juggler, actor
Lionel Ménard – concept & direction
Vanessa Vérillon – stage design
Pascal Laajili – light design
Sigrid Herfurth – costumes, props

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

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