My friend Danzka invited me to come watch the first sunrise of the year with him and some his childhood friends. Driving to Bogd Khan National Park adjacent to Ulaanbaatar, we hiked to an ovoo and waited for sunrise. As the sun came close to peaking over the horizon, the Mongolians I was with began yelling “Oooooo haaaay!” as if to coax the sun over the mountains. As it peaked over the horizon, we stretched our arms out to absorb the sun’s energy and make wishes for the coming year. It was a beautiful way to start the year.
A late-January trip to Bayan-Ulgii, Mongolia’s western most province, led to one of my most productive recording trips yet. I was able to capture close to 50 recordings as I traveled through the snow-covered Altai Mountains. This is a song performed by a Kazakh herder, Esilbek, where he sings about the love he feels for his mother.
In Yugoslavia, record labels and stores were run by the state. There were numerous labels based around the country including Jugodisk from Belgrade, Diskoton from Sarajevo, and ZKP RTLJ from Ljubljana. The oldest and largest was Jugoton from Zagreb. › Continue reading
After an extended vacation of travel with family capped off by a bout of the mosquito virus called dengue fever, I arrived back in Cabarete just in time for a long weekend, during which I had the chance to interview pianist Jairo Milanes at a Dominican-Mexican restaurant in Puerto Plata.
Jairo discussed his experiences touring with Juan Luis Guerra (one of the few Dominican musicians to become popular internationally) as well as his current Latin jazz fusion composition projects and his performances with saxophonist, Sandy Gabriel.
Pianist Jairo Milanes shares a book of solo transcriptions with me during our meeting.