a unique social and musical experiment on the island of El Hierro,
UN Biosphere Reserve:
Torsten de Winkel leads a Convivencia of folklore ensembles and
master instrumentalists from 5 continents
w/ Gregoire Maret (CH), María Mérida (E), Kai Eckhardt (D/LIB), Majid Javadi (IR),
Kike Perdomo (E), Boris Kozlov (RUS), Hellmut Hattler (D), Choeur de Benin,
Epiphane Felix Zinzinsouhou (BEN), Fola Dada (NIG), Angélica de Sabinosa (E),
Conjunto Folclorico Joapira (E), José Luis/Los Panchos (MEX), Nantha Kumar (SIN),
José Antonio/Los Sabandeños (E), Mark Peters (USA), Tejeguate (E),
Audun Waage (NOR), Gwilym Simcock (GB), T B Backhaus (D) and others
75 minutes of music recorded live at the Bimbache Jazz & Raíces
Festival El Hierro and around the world
plus 5 minute movie trailer: Convivencia in El Hierro..
Few places in the world conserve their authenticity and natural values like the Canary island of El Hierro, UN world biosphere reserve, island of sustainability, and from 2010 on the first island in the world fuelled 100% by renewable energies.
Its UNESCO-endorsed Bimbache Jazz & Roots Festival, initiated and directed by internationally renowned guitar virtuoso and broad-visioned community activist Torsten de Winkel (Pat Metheny Group, Joe Zawinul, Whitney Houston, New York Jazz Guerrilla) together with the people of El Hierro, is a unique jewel among musical events in Europe:
a Festival and global meeting that seeks not only the fusion of folk music from El Hierro and the other Canary Islands with a variety of contemporary music from all over the world, but also to explore the rules by which people from widely varying backgrounds can effectively function together.
This is very much needed in times when the negative effects of economic globalization have produced an epidemic wave of stress syndromes and depressive disorders, soon to become the #2 disease in the world according to the WHO.
Fusion therefore very much applies to the human side of the festival:
young and old, professionals and amateurs play together; musicians and people share time, music, thoughts and ideas, musicians and people live together for the duration of the festival weeks, creating a global musical family with ethnic roots and broad vision for the future. In short: people dreaming human sustainability into practice.
"La Condición Humana" is more than a well-deserved motto for this CD. It offers us a rainbow of traditional, contemporary and jazz elements in a unique mélange as developed, performed and recorded at the festival on El Hierro since 2005. It proves how effortlessly seemingly opposed styles and cultures can inspire each other:
a capella chants which have been sung by the working people on the fields for centuries;
traditional beats and songs of the island;
Yoruba rhythms in themes inspired by, dedicated to and reflecting the suffering of the recent wave of African boat people immigrants to the Canary Islands who are seeking refuge in the prosperous European Union;
'blue notes' reminiscent of Miles Davis entangled in Bolero, Tango Nuevo, Flamenco as well as Classical Indian sounds;
a poem by Persian Sufi master and holy man Rumi put to music;
and - maybe high point and theme song of the entire work - another poem by esteemed Canary poet and social visionary Agustin Millares Sall on Convivencia which bemoans the roots of human suffering as much as it expresses humanity’s inextinguishable hope for “the day when noone wil speak against noone”…
Composed by Torsten de Winkel, it is performed by an international all-star ensemble featuring María Mérida, the Grand Dame of Canarian song, Christian Lohr (Joss Stone, Paulina Rubio, Gianna Nannini), Kai Eckhardt (John Mclaughlin Trio), de Winkel and is congenially crowned by the superior sensitivity of soloist Gregoire Maret (Pat Metheny Group, Marcus Miller Band, Cassandra Wilson), quite likely the best harmonica player alive today.
…These are just a few of the many highlights of this courageous work for human sustainability and positive globalization. Bimbache Jazz y Raíces attempts (and succeeds at) nothing less than to explore the rules by which in an increasingly globalized world, peace can be more than a common wish.
Track 1 - Moliendo (Intro) feat. Juan Luis Barrera, Boris Kozlov, Torsten de Winkel
Track 17 - Convivencia feat. María Mérida, Gregoire Maret, Torsten de Winkel
Track 20 - Obere feat. Epiphane Zinzinsouhou & Choeur de Benin
NOTE: the CD contains a CD-ROM segment containing a video introduction to the Bimbache Festival. (c 2007 by Deike Wilhelm & Florian Leidenberger/arte)