The Americana World Fest is coming!!

By Alexander Campbell

There is another WorldFest in Louisville (other than the one of the Belvedere), and it is held at the Americana Center every June. This year, it's on June 2. Here is this year's lineup.

Al-Hamsa/Gypsies of the Nile will be there. They're a network-ensemble of bellydance performers comprised of women from Southern Indiana and the Louisville, KY area. Performing for this Show, Al-Hamsa Bellydance (the especially advanced performers) will show us what Fairoza, Raqia, and Zia can do; and we will also be seeing the ensemble's up-and-coming, new bellydancers, Gypsies of the Nile, directed by Fairoza. Among these performers be on the look-out for Dilara, Mahina, and Dona with her veil fans.

Self Kuwa (real name Eric Mbrirzi) is a local Conscious/Alternative teen hip/hop performer and former Congolese refugee. He originally hails from the town of Uvira in the South Kivu region of the Congo (Central East, bordering Burundi). He and his family are among the fortunate survivors of the horrific war, genocide and conflict of that part of the world. This young rap/hip-hop performer has been in the States for five years and speaks English very fluently in addition to his native tongue of Swahili (he raps in both).

SK's highlights include performing at the Americana Center (where he was mentored by staff member Jared Zarantonello), so this event holds a very important place in his heart. His second album, Swanglish (Swahili+English; released this year), is thirteen tracks of all-original material, which can be downloaded for free (can't believe how generous this guy is), using this link: http://www.mediafire.com/?wop39t394aqxscp Check it out! (But be sure to come and hear him at Americana as well.)

Nashville-based, Cherokee social-activist singer-songwriter Michael Jacobs advocates a characteristically Native American brand of social change (traditional values, compassion and empathy, peace, environmental concerns, mental/social/spiritual/emotional well-being.

His Cherokee name is 'Unetlnv Ujeli Dekanogisgo,' meaning 'He [Who] Sings for [the] Creator.' Michael's latest album, The Art of Peace, was released earlier this year. He tours regularly across the US and Canada: at colleges/universities, festivals, fairs, libraries and museums, and at pow-wows. His debut CD, Sacred Nation, won the 2003 Native American Music Award for Best Independent Recording. His wife, Nicki Jacobs, will perform traditional Native American fancy-shawl dancing.

A Musical Passport groove coordinated by percussionist Gary Pahler (Producer of KET's Louisville Life), Coco Yam offers a cool, relaxed breeze fusion-stew of Afro-Pop/Afro-Beat, Jazz, Salsa, Reggae, and Cha-Cha. Mm. . . mm . . .

Members include Kenucky artist-in-residence Gregory Acker, also the head of the Kyene Drum ensemble (flute/soprano saxophone/percussion/vocals); Kelli Brodersen (Associate Producer for KET's Louisville Life) (lead vocals); Paul Carney (of Flamenco Louisville) (rhythm guitar); afrobeat educator Jeff Ellis of Frankfort (lead guitar); Yahya Johnson (studied under the great Nigerian percussionist Babatunde Olatunji) (percussion/tenor saxophone); Steve Loomis (bass guitar); and Ian Thomas (trombone).

There is a rhythmic adage in West Africa that if you dance you drum, and in West Africa that if you dance you drum, and if you drum you dance. So it makes sense that Baba Kenyatta , with his Guinean style drum corps and the recently formed West African Dance Troupe, under the instruction of Christa 'Twaa' Whaley, will be joining together.

The invigorating, vibrant sounds of West African drums: djembes, dundunbas, sangbaas, and kenkenis, intermingled with the diaspora of West African dance, will make for a very riveting AmericanaFest performance.

' CPHR DVN is Hip Hop's Ascension': husband and wife ('Wize Mathematiks' Cypher and Sultra Diviine) formed CPHR DVN while stationed together in the military, slightly over a decade ago, in Honolulu.

Their metaphysical hip-hop is influenced by sounds of CapeVerde (whence Sultra's parents hail), Portuguese Ballads, reggae, Trip-Hop (ie., Poritshead), Jamaican Toasting from the late 60s/early 70s, Classical Music, Sounds of Nature, modern rock & hip-hop, avant-garde singers like Bjork, etc.; and funkily interspersed with socio-political, positive, thought-provoking lyrics of a multidimensional nature designed to express love and healing with a danceable beat.

'Nachale' means 'Dancing' in Hindi Bollywood Dance is not only a style from the movies amalgamated from various folk-styles it is also a way to exercise and lose weight in India. Nachale imports Bollywood Dance Workout to America. But Nachale is not only a workout, it is also a local Bollywood troupe as well all the brainchild of Bangalore native Vindhya Katta.

The mesmerizing guitar of Long Phanh Nguyen there is nothing like it. He is one of the great electric guitar players in Louisville, but most natives have not yet heard his music since he has been living in relative obscurity since arriving in this country. (Besides guitar, he can also play four traditional instruments, including a one-stringed violin and a sixteen-stringed flattop instrument).

Rebabas (a South Sudanese homemade stringed instrument similar to a banjo that with a hypnotic groove), electric guitar, drums, singing, and occasionally keyboard makes up the Rebaba with the core group being co-founder Michael Pac (rebaba, drum), James Malou (drum), David Bior (Rebaba), Jacob Laul (rebaba, singing), Phillip Hakim (Keyboard, Electric Guitar), and occasionally Andrew Evrre (electric guitar), and David Bird (electric guitar).

The band was formed in 2007 under the mentorship of U of I Bloomington Professor Ruth Droppo, although all members are former Sudanese Lost Boys (Dinka Tribe).