French Music Artists

‘C’ is for Cumbia – Old School & New

‘C’ in the A-Z of Music Genres, Beaver Style (ie. ‘fusion’) goes to Cumbia – old school and new.

Older (But Still ‘New’) School Cumbia

In its original form Cumbia music developed around the Caribbean coast of Colombia during its period of colonization by the Spanish.  It became a fusion of music styles and instruments from the indigenous Colombian peoples of that region (the colonized), the Spanish (invading colonists) and African slaves bought to Colombia by those colonists to work.

A tragic history for Africans and Colombians yes…which brought about the awesome sounds of Cumbia that have since spread throughout the world and morphed into its many different forms.

 Cumbia Colombia

Here you can sample some older (but still ‘new’) school Colombian cumbia songs.  They’re the oldest I have in my collection anyway – cumbia goes way back a long, long time before this…

La Cumbia Colombiana - CD 2

La Cumbia Colombiana

‘La Zenaida’ – Armando Hernández – La Cumbia Colombiana


‘Yo Me Llamo Cumbia’ – La Integracion – La Cumbia Colombiana


New School Cumbia

Cumbia has come a long way since its origins.

Throughout history countless artists from around the world have taken cumbia and mixed it with their own regional music styles and/or modern ones like hip-hop, electro and jazz to create new and unique forms of music.

Here you can feast on the sounds of the newer school of cumbia music. Check out these sample (mp3 only) tracks by 10 current artists whose music I know and love from the USAFrance, England and of course Colombia.

Toto La Momposina (Colombia)

To my ears Toto La Momposina is the Queen of Contemporary Cumbia. She’s also on my ‘Live Music Experience Bucket List’.

Hailing from Talaigua Nuevo, a town in Northern Colombia, Toto La Momposina’s music draws heavily on traditional cumbia music and dance (amongst other Latin music styles like Cuban son, bullerengue, chalupa, rumba and guaracha).

Her music is celebrated in Colombia, the rest of Latin America and the wider world through which she has toured extensively in her long career.

Check out some sample tracks from some of Toto La Momposina’s albums, including her version of one of the older school sample tracks above…

Toto la Momposina - La Bodega (2009)

La Bodega (2009) – Toto La Momposina

‘Yo Me Llamo Cumbia’ – La Bodega (2009) – Toto La Momposina


‘Manita Uribe’ – La Bodega (2009) – Toto La Momposina


Carmelina (1995) - Toto la Momposina

 Carmelina (1995) – Toto La Momposina

‘La Sombra Negra’ – Carmelina (1995) – Toto La Momposina


La Candela Viva (1993) - Toto la Momposina

La Candela Viva (1993) – Toto La Momposina

‘El Pescador’ – La Candela Viva (1993) – Toto La Momposina


Ondatrópica (Colombia/England/Chile/ Peru+)

Ondatrópica - Ondatrópica (2012)

Ondatrópica (2012) – Ondatrópica

‘Cumbia Espacial’ – Ondatrópica (2012) – Ondatrópica


Read more about Ondatrópica and hear more Ondatrópica sample tracks here.



Bomba Estereo (Colombia)

Bomba Estereo - Elegancia Tropical (2012)

Elegancia Tropical (2012) – Bomba Estereo

‘Bailar Conmigo’ – Elegancia Tropical (2012) – Bomba Estereo


Kartel Pacifico (Colombia)

Coctel (2012) - Kartel Pacifico

Coctel (2012) – Kartel Pacifico

‘Care Cumbia’ – Coctel (2012) – Kartel Pacifico


Puerto Candelaria (Colombia)

Cumbia Rebelde (2011) - Puerto Candelaria

Cumbia Rebelde (2011) – Puerto Candelaria

‘Cumbia Veracruz’ – Cumbia Rebelde (2011) – Puerto Candelaria


Here you can check out more sample Puerto Candelaria tracks and a video of a live Puerto Candelaria show in Medellin last year.


Papaya Republik (Colombia)

Vol. 1 - Papaya Republik

Vol. 1 (2010) – Papaya Republik

´Cumbia Del Pescaito´ – Vol 1 (2010) – Papaya Republik


Read more about Papaya Republik & listen to other Papaya Republik tracks here.

Papaya Republik live

Papaya Republik


Monareta (Colombia)

Monareta - Fried Speakers (2010)

Fried Speakers (2010) – Monareta

‘Cumbia de la Sierra’ – Fried Speakers (2010) – Monareta


The Quantic Soul Orchestra

(aka Will Holland – England – + his global music collaborators)

Tropidelico - The Quantic Soul Orchestra - Tropidelico

Tropidelico (2007) – The Quantic Soul Orchestra

‘Los Olvidados’ – Tropidelico (2007) – The Quantic Soul Orchestra


Check out more sample tracks from The Quantic Soul Orchestra + other Will Holland albums here.

You can also find these Quantic cumbia fusion albums


Here you can also check out a video of a DJ set by Will Holland (aka Quantic) at WOMADelaide Festival 2014

Sergent Garcia (France)

Mascaras (2006) - Sergent Garcia

Mascaras (2006) – Sergent Garcia

‘Yo Me Yoy Pa’ La Cumbia’ – Mascaras (2006) – Sergent Garcia


Hear more sample tracks from Mascaras + Sergent Garcia’s other albums here.



Ozomatli (USA)

Ozomatli (1998) - Ozomatli

Ozomatli (1998) – Ozomatli

‘Cumbia De Los Muertos’ – Ozomatli (1998) – Ozomatli


Cumbia certainly has made an incredibly profound musical mark all through Latin America and the rest of our big wide world.

I love cumbia in all its many diverse forms, old school and new.  Don’t you?

I Love Cumbia


‘C’ is for Chutney & More

Along with Cumbia, ‘C’ is for so many other music genres from around the world, fusion Beaver style.  Here are a few of the ones I like the sound of…

Candombe – fusion of African and Uruguayan styles developed by African-Uruguayan slaves in the 19th century.

Chicken scratch – fusion of Native American, White American, Mexican, and European styles, performed by the Native American Tohono O’odham people.

Chutney – Caribbean pop music that fuses calypso and cadence with several Indian styles.

Conjunto – fusion of Mexican and German styles developed by Mexican-Americans who had bought German instruments in Texas; it also introduced elements of Caribbean and Cuban music.

Crunk – fusion of hip hop and EDM, known for its heavy basslines and shouted, call-and-response vocals; often used incorrectly as an umbrella term for Southern hip hop.

Crunk&B – fusion of crunk and contemporary R&B.

Crunkcore – fusion of crunk and scream.

Anyone got some Chutney or Candombe music to share?  

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The WOMADelaide Experience – What Everyone Wants

Everyone I know who experiences WOMADelaide festival, wants to experience it again. Everyone I know who’s heard about the WOMADelaide experience, wants to have it.

That’s because it’s one of the world’s best musical festivals, and Australia’s very best. Fundamentally for the quality of music and its friendly festival people, but for so many other reasons too.

So declares I anyway – and anyone I’ve ever spoken with about it who’s in the know.

Nai Palm of Hiatus Kaiyote - Live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Cherif Soumano (with Roberto Fonseca) live @ WOMADelaide 2014

I’ve just experienced WOMADelaide 2014 with about 90,000 other people. Over four days I was reminded over and over again (as they probably were too), of all the reasons we were counting down the days to WOMADelaide 2014 since the end of WOMADelaide 2013.

WOMADelaide 2014

WOMADelaide 2014

The People Will Come

Artists love playing at WOMADelaide. They are treated well, and valued, as artists should be valued. They get to play their music (and sell CDs on-site) to friendly, musically-open-minded and appreciative crowds of people who might otherwise never be exposed to it.

Red Baraat live @ WOMADelaide 2014Artists not playing at WOMADelaide, who don’t usually take themselves to festivals or gigs unless they are their own, love to go to this festival to hear its global artists.

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Femi Kuti

Hanggai live @ WOMADelaide 2014


The friendly people of Adelaide love to go to their home festival – set up base-camp under an old, shady Botanic Park tree – and enjoy the festival with family and friends. Some of them have been to every WOMADelaide since 1992.

WOMADelaide 2014

WOMADelaide 2014

Parents love to go because they can relax and enjoy the festival knowing their kids are happy and safe somewhere nearby on-site.

WOMADelaide 2014WOMADelaide 2014

Lovers of diverse music who live in other parts of Australia, love to make the music pilgrimage to WOMADelaide whenever possible.

Ngaiire live @ WOMADelaide 2014


Femi Kuti & The Positive Force live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force

Sounds of the Planet

“It doesn’t matter which artists are in the line-up.  Turn up to the festival any ole year and you’ll hear amazing artists from all over the world.”

My musician friend who “hates most music”, said that to me about WOMADelaide many years ago. At every WOMADelaide I’ve been to since, his words about the festival’s line-up have rung absolutely true.

WOMADelaide 2014 saw about 500 very diverse artists, representing 20+ countries, performing across 7 festival stages.

All of those artists were good, most were fantastic and many were phenomenal.

Australia Represented

Australian music that I absolutely love, is rare to find. Last year I found two musical diamonds in Ngaiire and Hiatus Kaiyote.

WOMAdelaide programmed both of them at this year’s festival – and their shows were amongst the best I saw.

Hiatus Kaiyote live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Hiatus Kaiyote

Ngaiire live @ WOMADelaide 2014


Hiatus Kaiyote

A live Hiatus Kaiyote experience amongst the trees at Botanic Park…it was all a bit magical really.

Hiatus Kaiyote live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Hiatus Kaiyote

The spunky Nai Palm on guitar and vocals, smiling all through the set – plus her incredibly talented band members – put a huge and long-lasting smile on my face too.

Hiatus Kaiyote live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Nai Palm – Hiatus Kaiyote

Hiatus Kaiyote live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Hiatus Kaiyote

Hiatus Kaiyote’s music, along with Cuba’s Roberto Fonseca’s music, was the most inspiring and happiness-inducing music of all the music I heard at WOMADelaide 2014.

Videos of Hiatus Kaiyote’s one and only WOMADelaide show here

Hiatus Kaiyote is supporting Queen Erykah Badu at her Australian shows in a few weeks. Lucky me, I’ll be there in Melbourne at what I predict could be the most special live show of 2014 for me 🙂 . 


At her WOMADelaide 2014 show Papua New Guinean born, Australian based NGAIIRE, was exactly like NGAIIRE always seems to be – absolutely mesmerizing to hear and see.

Ngaiire @ live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Ngaire @ WOMADelaide 2014

She was accompanied greatly by her skilful band, with a slightly different line-up to usual.


Check out this video of a new Ngaiire track played live for the 1st time at her WOMADelaide shows…

Sounds of the Rest of the Planet

Aotearoa (New Zealand) – Fat Freddys Drop

I’ve always said that as great as Fat Freddys Drop‘s studio recordings are, their live shows are the ultimate experience of this band.

Fat Freddys Drop live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Fat Freddys Drop

Fat Freddys Drop live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Fat Freddys Drop

Well, I left Fat Freddys Drop’s WOMADelaide show before it finished. And not because I had anywhere else to be. I just wasn’t feeling moved or inspired where I was.

Video of their festival show here. Maybe you’ll be inspired…

China – Hanggai

Hanggai’s music was probably the most foreign and novel to me at WOMADelaide 2014: rock mixed with traditional Mongolian music. The live experience of this band was a totally unique and entertaining one.

Hanggai live @ WOMADelaide 2014


Hanggai live @ WOMADelaide 2014



Hanggai live @ WOMADelaide 2014



Hanggai live @ WOMADelaide 2014


Check out Hanggai’s WOMADelaide show on video here…

Colombia/Belgium – La Chiva Gantiva

It’s always a treat for me to hear the sounds of traditional Colombian music like cumbia and chirimia in the mix with the likes of funk and afro-beat.  Also to get a dose of the distinctively joyous Colombian energy put out by los Colombianos in La Chiva Gantiva – as well as that of their Flemish, Belgian and Vietnamese band members.

La Chiva Gantiva live @ WOMADelaide 2014

La Chiva Gantiva

La Chiva Gantiva live @ WOMADelaide 2014

La Chiva Gantiva

La Chiva Gantiva wins the WOMADelaide 2014 prize for crowd participation.

La Chiva Gantiva live @ WOMADelaide 2014

La Chiva Gantiva

La Chiva Gantiva live @ WOMADelaide 2014

La Chiva Gantiva

Videos (of their more subdued tracks) from both La Chiva Gantiva’s WOMADelaide shows here

Cuba – Roberto Fonseca

Roberto Fonseca and his phenomenal accompanying band – which included Malian kora and tama player Cherif Soumano – were the musical jewel of the WOMADelaide crown for me.

Cherif Soumano with Roberto Fonseca live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Roberto Fonseca live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Once upon a time, Roberto Fonseca was a young piano player with Ibrahim Ferrer’s Orchestra.  Now and for many years past, he’s been an established artist in his own right. In these days Robert Fonseca’s still young -and is creating stunning Latin Jazz music that explores sounds of traditional African roots music and electronica.

Roberto Fonseca live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Roberto Fonseca

Both the music and the musicianship of this group were an absolute joy to experience live.

Cherif Soumano with Roberto Fonseca live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Cherif Soumano

Yandy Martinez with Roberto Fonseca live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Yandy Martinez

Ramses Rodriguez with Roberto Fonseca Live @ Womadelaide 2014

Ramses Rodriguez

Joel Hierrezuleo with Roberto Fonseca live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Joel Hierrezuleo

Roberto Fonseca’s album Yo was one I made sure I bought home with me from WOMADelaide.

Glimpses of the magic of Roberto Fonseca’s WOMADelaide shows here on video…

France – Dub Inc

A french fusion of ever-so-danceable sounds of dub, reggae, dancehall, ska, ragga, hip-hop, Arab and African music.

Dub Inc live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Dub Inc

Dub Inc live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Dub Inc

Dub Inc live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Dub Inc

Dub Inc live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Dub Inc

The really unique thing about this band is the voices and vocal combinations of Hakim “Bouchkour” Meridja and Aurélien “Komlan” Zohou.

Dub Inc live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Dub Inc

See what I’m talking about here on these videos from Dub Inc’s WOMADelaide 2014 shows

Nigeria – Femi Kuti & The Positive Force

Femi Kuti needs no description. Nor does his music.

Hearing Femi Kuti play saxophone took me somewhere heavenly.

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force live @ WOMADelaide 2014

His supporting band and dancers The Positive Force, were as incredible to hear and watch as you’d expect them to be.

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force

Videos of Femi Kuti’s one and only WOMADelaide show here. Check out the chops of the Positive Force band towards the end of the first one…


Spain/Guinea – Buika

Contemporary sounds rooted strongly in traditional flamenco – sung and played exquisitely.

Buika was absolutely divine.

Buika live @ WOMADelaide 2014


The guitarist accompanying Buika is amongst that group of phenomenal artists I heard at the festival.

Videos from one of Buika’s two WOMADelaide shows here

Sample tracks (mp3 only) off Buika’s album En Mi Piel here too…

Mi Niña Lola – Buika – En Mi Piel


Somos (Featuring Chucho Valdes) – Buika – En Mi Piel


USA – Arrested Development

You all know who Arrested Development are and what they do. Hip-hop of the inspiring kind.

Arrested Development

Arrested Development

Well, the line-up of the group might have changed. But I think they’re still doing what they’ve always done, in style. With new music and a new album coming.

Arrested Development

Arrested Development

Arrested Development Live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Arrested Development


Arrested Development

Arrested Development


Arrested Development

Arrested Development

The live Arrested Development experience is one to have.  Check out a video here…

USA – Red Baraat

Red Baraat blends North Indian Bhangra rhythms with the delicious sounds of jazz, brass-funk and hip-hop.

This awesome New York-based group was musically one of my favourites at WOMADelaide 2014.

Red Baraat live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Red Baraat

Red Baraat live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Red Baraat


Red Baraat live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Red Baraat


Red Baraat live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Red Baraat

Their 5-piece-strong brass section was an extra special delight for my musical senses.

Red Baraat live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Red Baraat

Videos from each of Red Baraat’s WOMADelaide 2014 shows here…

Red Baraat’s 2nd album Shruggy Ji  is also in my bag of music goodies that I bought home from the festival.


Mokoomba fuses traditional sounds from African music with more modern ones, some of them even disco-like.

Mokoomba live @ WOMADelaide 2014


Mokoomba live @ WOMADelaide 2014



Mokoomba live @ WOMADelaide 2014



Mokoomba live @ WOMADelaide 2014


Have a listen to the vocals of this group here on video. They’re sung in traditional Tonga language (unknown to most, even in Africa).

Other corners of the world represented live at WOMADelaide 2014 were Algeria, Bulgaria, India, Iran, Indonesia, Japan, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Reunion Island, Tunisia and Scotland.

Rachid Taha live @ WOMADelaide 2014.

Rachid Taha (Algeria)

Carminho live @ WOMADelaide 2014

Carminho (Portugal)


DJs Represented

Towards the end of your WOMADelaide nights, when you’re feeling happy and revitalized from all the amazing live music you’ve just experienced and want to keep dancing, you can.

Just head to the Speakers Corner stage and find yourself a spot amongst the trees. There you can have your last dance of the festival day to DJs spinning tasty tunes.

WOMAdelaide 2014 had some of the world’s best DJs on offer…

1. DJ Yoda (UK)

2. DJ Muro (Japan)

3. Awesome Tapes From Africa (USA) – DJ Brian Shimkovitz with his samples from 4000+ rare and random cassette tape recordings collected from Africa for more than a decade.  You can check it out on his blog.

4. Will Holland (aka Quantic) (UK)

Will Holland makes some of my favourite music in the world.

Will Holland (aka Quantic) @ WOMADelaide 2014

Quantic DJ Set @ WOMADelaide 2014

Will Holland (aka Quantic) @ WOMADelaide 2014

Will Holland (aka Quantic)

In his WOMADelaide set he delivered a mix of old and new Quantic concoctions from his large collection of musical productions of the funk, soul and Latin flavoured kinds.  So for me it was possibly the best DJ set I’ve ever experienced.

Check out a video snippet of a new concoction here…

[You can read more about Will Holland’s diverse musical projects, including Ondatrópica, and hear sample Quantic tracks, here.]

More Than Music

Incredible music, a friendly community of people and a green, open-air festival space. WOMADelaide has those fundamental festival ingredients.

It’s got lots more too  – all a part of making it the positive festival experience it is.

Amongst the music and dancing there are activities of all sorts to be found around the festival site…

  • Find your favourite festival artists cooking up their traditional home dishes at Taste The World giving a talk – or a music or dance workshop.
WOMADelaide 2014

The Positive Force dance workshop

  • Listen to environmental talks and panel discussions at The Planet Talks.
  • Interact with a roving theatre performer.
  • Join in or watch the Parade.
  • Lay on the grass in the Pines and watch a visual installation of the best dancers from around the world in slow motion.
Slow Dancing (After Dark)

Slow Dancing (After Dark)

  • Get creative at an art workshop.
  • Eat delicious foods, drinks delightful wines, and browse artisan markets at the Global Village.
  •  Nourish your weary body with a massage at The Healing Village.
  • Or entertain yourself and others in any other ways you want…

Importantly too, festival runnings are professional and smooth. Shows start on time. Set change-overs are efficient. Lighting and sound are quality. Stage emcees do a great job.

The wonderful experience of all that is WOMADelaide, comes at a comparatively cheap festival ticket price too.  At its most expensive (post early-bird rates) the cost of a 4 day pass for 2014 was just over $300.

WOMADelaide Bliss

I think I’m on solid ground for declaring WOMADelaide to be one of the world’s best, and Australia’s very best music festival. Don’t you?

The ‘best’ or not (it’s subjective, I know), one thing is for sure. People who have the WOMADelaide experience get happier with each passing festival hour. Somewhere during those 4 festival days, music and festival bliss kicks in.

WOMADelaide 2014

What do you say peoples? If you’ve already had yourself the WOMADelaide experience, did I get this declaration right? If you haven’t had it yet, surely you want it now?  

We’ve only got about 50.5 weeks to wait until WOMADelaide 2015 !

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A Magical Woodford Folk Festival World Away

Being at Woodford Folk Festival is to live in a beautiful, magical, far-away world of its own.

Woodford Folk Festival - 2013 -

A World Away

You move into a temporary village of lantern-lit streets and paths, nestled amongst the hills. Those paths are lined with restaurants, bars, venues & stages, artisan market stalls, art works and more.  Surrounding them are the many different camping grounds.

All of that is spread across a huge 500-acre festival site.


Your new home is in the beautiful South-East Queensland countryside…Jinibara Country.

Woodford Folk Festival - 2013 -

You are instantly part of a community of 100,000+ people who come to Woodford Folk Festival between 27 Dec and 1 Jan. They are super friendly, diverse, arts-loving people from all over Australia and overseas.

Woodford Folk Festival - 2013 -

Like you, they become happier and more relaxed with each passing festival day.

Woodford Folk Festival - 2013 -

After landing in the festival village, the rest of the world and its bad news stories feel far away. Selfishly, I don’t want to know about that other world during my festival days and nights. I just want to immerse myself completely in the small utopian world of Woodford Folk Festival, while I can.

Woodford Folk Festival - 2013 -

Endurance & its Rewards

To live in the magical world of Woodford Folk Festival requires endurance. My friend says it’s like being a contestant on the reality television show Survivor.

The festival is (if you choose) 6 days & nights of camping in the extreme Queensland Summer heat and dust, some times heavy rains.

It’s also 6 days and nights trying to squeeze in as much as possible of the goodies on offer in the festival program.

On offer is non-stop live music, dance, theatre, film, comedy, circus, parades, talks, debates, ceremonies, events, and other arts, health & educational activities


…all happening in over 35 official (+ more unofficial) venues across the Woodford Folk Festival site.


Woodford Folk Festival is an epic adventure to end the year with, and you’re unlikely to go home from it feeling physically rested. But the rewards of endurance are one week in the countryside with friendly festival people and music – and that means leaving the festival feeling recharged and inspired in every other way.

Woodford Folk Festival - 2013 -

2013/2014 Woodford Folk Festival Music

For me and my personal musical tastes, I can’t say Woodford Folk Festival is my absolute favourite Australian festival.  That has to be WOMADelaide – because of its focus on music from all over the world crossing so many diverse genres.

The Woodford Folk Festival program is like its name says – folk music focused – with lots of other genres on the fringe.

Woodford Folk Festival 2013 -

But with so many different musical (& other) options on offer throughout the festival week (2000+ performers), everyone can find something to love.

Musically what I love most about Woodford Folk Festival, is that just about all day and all night you can hear some type of music played around you wherever you are on the festival site.

Woodford Folk Festival - 2013 - www.beaveronthebeats.comWoodford Folk Festival - 2013 -

Constantly hearing music makes me feel happier (even if it’s music I’m not into). I think it makes other festival-goers happier too – even if my camping comrades mightn’t say so about the music played by our banjo-practising neighbour.

Here’s some good artists I heard at Woodford Folk Festival in my last days of 2013 (keeping in mind that I, like every other festival goer, can only possibly see a small % of the whole program)….

International Artists

Babylon Circus

Babylon Circus hail from France.  They play a fusion of gypsy, punk, reggae, ska, afro-beat and chanson.

Babylon Circus - Woodford Folk Festival - www.beaveronthebeats.comBabylon Circus - Woodford Folk Festival -

Babylon circus have an awesome horns section. Overall the music didn’t move me enough to take the CD home – but both the musicianship and stage presence of all 9 band members made it a worthy and fun live experience.

Babylon Circus - Woodford Folk Festival -

Videos from a Babylon Circus festival show here (impressively played in 40+ degrees heat)


Beth Orton

I have listened to Beth Orton’s recorded music for a long time. To experience her and her 2 band members play live at the Ampitheatre was special, and felt ever so intimate.

To watch Beth Orton perform on stage in her shorts and her rain jacket, and hear her anecdotes about Australia and Woodford Folk Festival, was lovely too.

Beth Orton - Woodford Folk Festival -






Videos from Beth Orton’s Ampitheatre show here…


Jaaleekaay was the ‘one that got away’ from me at Mullum Music Festival. This trio is Australian-based Steve Berry on guitar and Gambian vocalist and kora player Yusepha Ngum and Amadou Suso musically united.  They were joined on the Woodford stage by innovative Australian percussionist Greg Sheehan.

I made sure I heard Jaaleekaay at Woodford Folk Festival – and my friend was right about them. Amadou Suso’s playing was amazing. His long lineage of kora players can be heard in every single sound he plays.

Jaaleekaay - Woodford Folk Festival

Jaaleekaay & Greg Sheehan - Woodford Folk Festival - www.beaveronthebeats.comJaaleekaay - Woodford Folk Festival






Video from 1 of Jaaleekaay’s festival shows here….

Julian Marley

What I’ll say about Julian Marley’s Woodford Folk Festival show is that the musicianship was faultless.  I could have stayed on that Ampitheatre hill all night to listen to those musicians play whatever they wanted to play.

Julian Marley - Woodford Folk Festival -

Julian Marley - Woodford Folk Festival -

This show bought back good, good memories of Reggae Sumfest where I was blessed to hear that incredible Jamaican musicianship over three long festival nights.

Beres Hammond - Reggae Sumfest -

The only other thing I’ll say is that Julian Marley’s most interesting music were the songs that weren’t covers of Bob Marley songs – and had dub or groove beats in the reggae mix.

Check out these Julian Marley videos yourself.  Marley fans, what say you?

The Sojourners

Three Canadian gospel singers and their band, on a festival stage.

Sojourners - Woodford Folk Festival -

The Sojourners are talented. I guess the experience I really wanted though, was to hear them in a parish environment, arms and voices raised high amongst the rest of the congregation. I think I need to leave Australia to find that 🙂 .

Video of the festival experience of The Sojourners here...

Australian Artists


Brisbane’s Kingfisha have developed their own unique sound that sets them apart from other Australian bands creating music in the reggae/dub genres.

Most songs Kingfisha played in their Woodford Folk Festival shows were new ones from their forthcoming album. Each is musically great – an interesting song journey in itself with lots of changes throughout and cool electronic sounds from 3 synths.  That music combined with Anthony Forrest’s gorgeous vocals makes for unique, great sounding tunes.

Kingfisha - Woodford Folk Festival - 2013 - www.beaveronthebeats.comKingfisha - Woodford Folk Festival -2013-

Videos from 2 of Kingfisha’s festival shows here…

The Crusty Suitcase Band with Company 2

Scotch & Soda is an entertaining circus and music show by the Crusty Suitcase Band and Company 2.

Crusty Suitcase Band + Scotch & Soda -

Crusty Suitcase Band + Scotch & Soda -






The most special part of this show for me was the music by the Crusty Suitcase Band – another brilliant musical project of Australian percussionist Ben Walsh.

Crusty Suitcase Band + Scotch & Soda -

At Woodford The Crusty Suitcase Band had a bass player – but it’s only usually Ben Walsh on drums with a group of some of Australia’s top horn players. They create funky ‘gyp hop’ instrumental music influenced by sounds from some of the world’s best musical sources (Cuba, Africa, Jamaica eg.).

The Crusty Suitcase Band’s music is heavenly for horns-lovers like me. Even with only drums and horns the music sounds full, is missing nothing, and is played with stellar musicianship.

Crusty Suitcase Band + Scotch & Soda - www.beaveronthebeats.comCrusty Suitcase Band + Scotch & Soda -

To my ears this is some of Australia’s finest contemporary music on offer.

Check out this video of The Crusty Suitcase Band in Scotch & Soda at Woodford…

Catch Scotch & Soda at the Sydney Festival this month if you can.

Wild Marmalade

Wild Marmalade’s music has always sounded unique in this world: live, organic, improvised dance music usually created by only a didgeridoo (Si Mullumby) and a drum kit (Matt Goodwin).

Wild Marmalade - Woodford Folk Festival - 2013 -

Their live shows are mesmerizing – and the visibly strong connection they and their music make with the audience is a special thing.

The recent addition of Tijuana Cartel’s flamenco-inspired guitarist Paul George to the Wild Marmalade mix, makes their music sound more diverse, interesting and unique than ever before.

Wild Marmalade - Woodford Folk Festival - 2013 -

Wild Marmalade - Woodford Folk Festival -2013-

Videos from 2 of Wild Marmalade’s Woodford gigs here…

In this one Si Mullumby puts down his didg to play flamenco guitar


The Ones That Got Away

Like at every festival, especially one with such a huge program over such a large site, I missed a lot of music I’d wanted to hear.

Hearsay I know, but I’m told the Hi-Tops Brass Band (Sydney hip hop with lots of live horns); Yirrmal & The Yolgnu Boys (Indigenous Australian); The Basics (Melbourne based, and including Gotye), were ones I should have caught.

I know from experience The Crusty Suitcase Band playing their own gig on New Years Eve was probably the biggest musical catch of Woodford Folk Festival 2013- one I sadly had to miss.

Back To The Real World

It’s a lovely thing to sit on a hilltop at dawn and watch the first sun of 2014 rise – surrounded by a community of good people you’ve shared Woodford Folk Festival life with.

To sit in the Ampitheatre with those people and thousands more later that night to watch the spectacular closing Fire Event, is another special experience.

The experience of leaving the magical world of Woodford Folk Festival to return to the world of reality, can be a hard one.  It was for me this time.

Woodford Folk Festival - 2013 -

My completely sunny outlook above, comes after an almost rainless 2013/2014 festival by the way.  I also have stories of being there for a rainy, wet, muddy time 🙂 . A beautiful thing is that after 28 festival years, there must be countless Woodford Folk Festival stories that exist in this world.

Share any good Woodford stories you have here…especially if it’s to tell me about some amazing music I missed at the festival last week.

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Zalama Crew: DJ Cronic Interview on La Melodia & More

La Melodia

The Melody transcends the border of musical genres and transforms into the concept with which we express our originality, feelings, thoughts, and most importantly: how we cope with everyday life.

La Melodia (The Melody) is what Cali’s fusion music & visual collective Zalama Crew call their sounds. Sounds right up my alley doesn’t it?  It is. The live Zalama Crew show I found in Medellin was fantastic. I discovered their new EP Everyday Fight is equally as great.

DJ Cronic was generous enough to fill me in more on Zalama Crew’s history & different musical projects. Here’s what he shared with me…

Zalama Crew logo

In the beginning

Zalama CrewQ: Zalama Crew is a musical and visual collective of 10 artists in your 6th year together. How did a collective of 9 chicos and 1 chica come together in Cali to make fusion music?

A: Everything started with VJ Paul Dub, DJ Cloon and DJ Cronic founding a space with a rehearsal room and recording studio for alternative and folklore bands in Cali called Zalama Producciones. In this time singers and musicians came to record and hang out in our space so we started to make jams sessions and suddenly we put together what’s called Zalama Crew.

Frank (Guitar) and Ana (Flute/Sax) come from jazz and folkloreBilly (Bass) comes from punkAlvaro (Drums) comes from reggae and the 4 MC’s from hip hop and reggae/dancehall.

Zalama Crew-Live-La Feria de las

The Evolution

Q: Tell me about the about the musical evolution of Zalama Crew over the years.

A: Well, we started as a sound system group with the DJ and MCs and then we added the band.  We’ve experimented with how to blend those elements to make a strong and powerful sound that we called La Melodia Music. We’ve learned to live and know each other personally, so we are more connected now and our music reflects that with a more mature and clear sound – knowing that we have to improve even more every time we rehearse and perform.

Zalama Crew live @ la Negra Noche - la Feria de las Flores 2013-

Urban World Music Lovers

Q: Zalama Crew describes yourself as ‘urban world music lovers’. Which artists inside and outside of Colombia have inspired and influenced you?

A: We’ve been influenced by The Roots, Thievery Corporation, Bob Marley, Massive Attack, Gorillaz, Sidestepper, Pink floyd, Asilo 38, Orishas, James Brown, The Commodores, Ruben Blades, Ismael Rivera and many others.

Zalama Crew-Live-La Feria de las

The Live Experience

Q: What experience are Zalama Crew and the people at your live shows likely to have?

A: It’s pretty nice and that’s what we like the most, because we get in touch with the people and their feelings so close, through dancing moves and visuals, trying to show and exchange our identity making the people part of it. [it’s pretty nice…Beaver]

Visual Arts

Q: VJ Paul Dub is a part of the Zalama Crew collective. What do you think having visual art adds to the live Zalama Crew experience?

A: The VJ and the visuals complement and step up the concept of Zalama Crew, driving the people to assimilate and picture what the music says, showing some context of where we are inspired from.

Zalama Crew @ La Negra Noche - Parque Cultural Nocturno - La Feria de las Flores - Medellin 2013 - Beaver on the Beats

Zalama Producciones

Q: Zalama Producciones is the Papa Bear of Zalama Crew.  I’ve heard positive things about the support its given to other independent artists in Cali.  Tell me about Zalama Producciones and its mission?

Zalama Producciones - Zalama Crew

A: We try to support other artists with music production and videos, events, workshops and practical tips. We created an event called ‘Escucha y Rota’ where we invite other artists from a zone or part of the city to make music and video workshops, finishing with a concert with musicians from the zone.

Q: Any interesting Zalama Producciones projects you want to share?

A: We’ve worked with MC RimasAeropirataColombian Gangsters and Rio Burning.

Fusion Music in Cali & Colombia

Q: Tell me about what’s happening in the contemporary music scene in Cali, especially in fusion music?

A: The scene is in a very important moment. It’s like a new revival of culture and the appropriation of identity of our country and city. There are many bands creating music with the influences and research of our Colombian roots mashed up with contemporary sounds coming from different latitudes of the world. It’s the desire of making our traditional music more universal and letting other artists resigning the music with different styles.

Q: Is there a growing receptiveness of Colombians in Cali & elsewhere to urban world music Caleno with its mix of mostly non-traditional Colombian genres like hip-hop, reggae, soul & drum & bass?

A: Yes, this is the moment that people are tired of listening to the same rhythms and music, and want to hear something different. Thanks to social networks and the internet it’s easy to listen to different bands and artists from all over. At the same time it’s important to create a stamp to differentiate from each other and people also have many options depending on the taste.

Zalama Crew-Live-La Feria de las

Sergent Garcia

Q: Sergent Garcia is probably my favorite male artist creating Latin fusion music. How was it that Zalama Crew came to record the song Calentura Mi Son with him?

A: We played at a showcase in the Medellin music market ‘Circulart’ in 2011.  Sergent was the artist to close the event and he watched us play. After it he came to us and met the band. Later in February of 2012 he got in touch with us to say he wanted to do an artistic residence with us. We didn’t know what it was and then he came to Cali and hung out with us for 15 days.  In that time we learned tricks and advices, recorded 2 songs and made a videoclip here in our Cali streets. We were so excited for all that we learned from him.

Zalama Crew & Sergent Garcia

Photo courtesy of

Q: What did you take from your experience of working with Sergent Garcia?

A: He taught us some practical tricks and professional techniques to get a better show and performance, interaction with the audience and about humbleness and professionalism.

The result of this was the recording of 2 tracks and the videoclip of the song Calentura Mi Son. Thanks to him for the vibe and for being so humble and professional.  We are still talking and keeping in touch with him when he comes to visit Colombia.

Que Mas?

Zalama Crew - Everyday Fight - EP cover -

Q: The EP Everyday Fight has just been released. You’ve toured it a bit in Colombian cities recently. What’s next for Zalama Crew?

A: We are working on going to Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Chile in 2014.

We also just published our work with legendary masters of San Andres Orange Hill, a traditional calypso and soca group from the Colombian Caribbean islands. We recorded 1 song called Jumping to Jumping where we mixed the traditional calypso with the Zalama Style. Here is the link where you can watch it and download it for free. I hope everybody likes it.

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Sergent Garcia – Beaver’s #1 Male World Fusion Music Artist

Like me, Sergent Garcia has a long standing love affair with Caribbean and Latin music styles. He has combined many of those styles to create some of the world’s coolest fusion music.

Not surprisingly then, Sergent Garcia is my Numero Uno contemporary male fusion music artist.

Sergent Garcia

This is ‘Fusion Music’

From the time of Beaver’s birth I should have just used Sergent Garcia’s music to demonstrate how Beaver on the Beats would define fusion music:

…Music with a distinct blend of different musical flavors from different musical styles/genres, creating a delicious, interesting and unique musical meal.

The Musical Meal 

Deliciously diverse!

Listen to all his albums and you will be amazed at how many different genres of music you’ll find mixed together. More than any other artist I can think of right now.

Styles I love – salsa, cumbia, hip-hop, raggamuffin, reggae, scratching, flamenco, jazz, dub, Afro-Cuban. Some styles I like a bit of (meringue & dancehall).

Sergent Garcia

The Cooking 

Good fusion music is so much about the blend I recently decided. Sergent Garcia has mastered the quality and innovative blending together of many different musical styles …

…to create really great, really unique songs.

…played with fantastic musicianship.

…with delicious horn lines throughout!

Enjoy the Feast

Listen yourself. But remember MP3 versions are crap sound quality. You’ll find all the musical sounds on the original Sergent Garcia albums. They are easy to buy from just about anywhere you are in the world.

Una y Otra Vez

Una y Otra Vez (2011)

Yo Soy Salsamuffin

Memi Si

Mascaras (2006)

Mascaras (2006)

Toi Tu Es La Bas

Non Words

Sin Fronteras (2001)

Sin Fronteras (2001)


Je Sais

Un Poquito Quema'o (1999)

Un Poquito Quema’o (1999)

Amor Pa’ Mi

Acabar Mal



I’m sure you can hear the many musical reasons why this artist is my numero uno contemporary male fusion artist? Oui? Si? Yes.

Bienvenue France

Born in France, Sergent Garcia starts the Beaver on the Beats ‘France’ category. Bienvenue France!

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