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3 Unique Boutique European Festivals For Your Calendar

April 10, 2014 by  

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Three upcoming European festivals worth putting on your calendar include: Meadows In The Mountains (Bulgaria), SunSplash (Turkey) and Edge Of The Lake (Switzerland) all with their own unique differences. The Sunsplash Festival in Turkey will be held from June 1-June 8, 2014 at Aspat Beach in Bodrum Turkey.  Returning fo it’s 6th year SunSplash embraces all the natural beauty of the Turkish Mediterranean, the festival’s stunning new home of Aspat Beach truly reflects the ethos of SunSplash and it’s festivalgoers. Nestled inside a private bay, the new site features a huge private palm fringed beach, a tropical style beach bar, a natural creek shaded by enormous eucalyptus trees, beach bungalow accommodation, historic ruins guarded by the noble Aspat Mountain, the top of which extends stunning views across the Turkish Mediterranean and the festival site itself. With extensive gardens, open spaces, sea breeze, wind sports, yoga zone, outdoor workshops and more.   Artist line up includes:  ZARA MCFARLANE // OSUNLADE // GILLES PETERSON // WILLIAM ADAMSON // MARK de CLIVE-LOWE // KARIZMA // PHIL ASHER // RAINER TRUEBY // PATRICK FORGE // ALEX ATTIAS // LeFTO // KEV BEADLE // MIGHTY ZAF // RUBEN ESTEVEZ // AHU // KAAN DUZARAT // DJSOULPROVYDER // CEGIZ ULUSAHIN // ERTAN KURT // YEK // MANASSEH  The Edge of the Lake Festival runs from June 27-29,…

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Tallinn Music Week Boasts 16 Restaurants & Chefs

March 22, 2014 by  

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Tallinn Music Week (TMW) that will fill the city on March 26-30, 2014 includes a restaurant festival with 16 favorite restaurants and eateries and a pop-up restaurant in the Design and Architecture Gallery. The TMW pop-up restaurant that opens from 26th to 29th March will also be the main meeting point of the festival. Ants Uustalu, the head chef of Ööbiku gastro farm in Rapla County will create tasty dishes from fresh local produce in the cosy café. Ott Kangur will design the pop-up restaurant. According to Ants Uustalu the TMW pop-up restaurant is the ideal meeting place to catch up with friends between the concerts, have a drink and a bite to eat. “Our menu is simple and honest and we want to make sure the festival guests can get fine fresh food even at late hours,” comments Uustalu. The pop-up restaurant is open from Wednesday (26.03) to Saturday (29.03) from 12 noon to 1 am and serves food until closing time. Each afternoon at 6 pm the pop-up has a happy hour with half price bottles of wine, concerts and talks. “TMW Tastes” restaurant festival also presents 16 TMW’s favourite eateries. The programme includes…

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In Honor of 3 German Composers Who Changed the World

March 16, 2014 by  

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Although they never met, these three German composers changed the musical world. 2014 marks the 300th birthday of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, 150th birthday of Richard Strauss and the 205th birthday of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Born in 1714, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, son of Johann Sebastian Bach, was an influential composer during the time between the Baroque and Classic movements. Having developed his very own style known as “empfindsamer Stil” or sensitive style, he was well-regarded amongst his peers.  CPE Bach’s musical works include chamber music, piano sonatas, symphonies, as well as spiritual and secular pieces. This year marks the 300th birthday of CPE Bach and it will be celebrated all over Germany. From Hamburg to Potsdam, Berlin to Frankfurt Oder, Leipzig to Weimar – all of these cities influenced Bach’s life thus his music. Concerts, exhibitions and readings are planned during the year to celebrate this musical genius. Another musical influencer was born in 1864 in Munich: Richard Strauss. He is known as a master of modern instrumentation and innovative tone colors. After stops in Munich and Berlin, Strauss moved to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Southern Bavaria. Today, the town honors its most famous resident with the…

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Interview with World Renowned Flutist Viviana Guzman

March 11, 2014 by  

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I had a chance to chat with Viviana Guzman recently about her music and how she got started with her career as a flutist. Her first answer really astonished me, so a dialogue continued. Below, a more recent photo of her playing in Easter Island is a far cry from how and where she played music as a child. Viviana grew up in a body cast so she couldn’t run and play like most kids and as a result, she started music lessons when they flipped her over in the hospital gurney where she lived in Chile. It was here and how she learned how to play piano as a child. Chilean-born, she has been described by the New York Times as “an imaginative artist,” who now performs over 80 concerts a year throughout the world and has performed in 120 countries.  By age 15, she had played as a soloist with orchestra, studied with Jean-Pierre Rampal and was featured on NBC’s nationally televised John Denver music special. She has since appeared as soloist with orchestras in Wisconsin, Vermont, Houston, Khabarovsk Chamber Orchestra (Russia), Filharmoncia de Santiago…

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The First Music Hackathon at SXSW in Austin

March 7, 2014 by  

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There will be a Music Hackathon at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin Texas this year. For the first time, developers, designers and musicians, can participate in the first ever SXSW Music Hackathon where they will present in front of a judging panel. The event is no-charge and open to the public! The Hackathon will be March 12th- March 13th,  2:00 PM- 2:00 PM (24 hours), Hilton Austin Downtown Championship Awards will be March 14th, 6:30 PM + afterparty, Base at the old La Zona Rosa. Using their programming know-how and a collection of music-tech APIs, teams will have 24 hours to work on their prototypes and compete for the AT&T Grand Prize of $10,000 plus a grand prize package; 2nd prize of $2,500 and 3rd prize of $1,000. The Hackathon Championship Awards Show will be held on Friday, March 14th from 6:00PM – 8:00PM at Base (formerly La Zona Rosa). Judges will include Shawn Fanning (founder of Napster and Destroyer), Ian Rogers (CEO of Beats Music), Alex Ebert (frontman for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), Jermaine “Mack Maine” Preyan (rapper and President of Young Money Ent.), and Stephen White (President of Gracenote). The Music Hackathon Championship is proud to have AT&T U-verse with GigaPower as the event’s presenting sponsor.…

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And Now That Rio’s Carnival is Over…

March 7, 2014 by  

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Carnival in Brazil’s sprawling Rio de Janeiro took over its streets for its annual event from February 28 through March 4, 2014, another year, we sadly missed being there directly. That said, we’ve been watching it from the road and was excited to see people packing the streets for parades, dancing and raucous open-air parties that began at daybreak the night before the kick off and pulsated throuhout the week. The Carnaval in Rio is a world famous festival held before Lent every year and considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723. Above is from this year and the below shot is from 1999.
Every year, the carnival parade is filled with revelers, floats and adornments from numerous samba schools which are located in Rio (more than 200 approximately, divided into 5 leagues/ divisions). A samba school is composed of a collaboration of local neighbours that want to attend carnival together, with some kind of regional, geographical common background.  
One of the many main purposes of the Rio carnival parade is for samba schools to…

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The Ubiquituous Sounds & Dunes of Rajasthan

February 9, 2014 by  

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A barren land stretches to eternity on both sides of this empty road. Pale and lifeless, like the sands we just left behind, to the extent that the only semblance of life seem to be the tufts of the dead grass, rendered a golden hue by the Sun which refuses to relent even in the winter months. Image Remorseless. And as we have crossed Jaisalmer on our way to Jodhpur, the horizon is marked not by sand dunes but by several windmills, in all directions. My friend from Mumbai has taken a liking to the cool morning breeze and is off to sleep. And so I’m left with little more than these windmills and the music of 90s Bollywood movies to give me company. Above The ubiquituous Ravanhattha of Rajasthan. From the foothills of the Himalayas to the desert in Rajasthan, 90s Bollywood music is the all- time favourite of bus drivers in the Indian countryside. And I must concede here that it’s not always soothing. For instance, the driver in this bus is playing, ‘Teri yaad satati hai.. milne ko bulati hai’. My friend’s lucky he’s off to sleep.…

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Exploring Nashville Tennessee Inside & Out

January 31, 2014 by  

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One of my travel goals is to explore more cities in the United States and Nashville was at the top of that list. Oh, and if I’m going to be completely honest here, the ABC hit show of the same name might have had something to do with it. Although I don’t own a TV, I started to notice that every week I came up with some silly excuse to watch an episode on Hulu. Nashville was never far from my mind but the show definitely reignited my interested in visiting. I also chose to explore Nashville in the winter because I simply love off-season travel. As a newcomer to Music City, there were a few things I noticed right off the bat that I think are worth sharing. Here are five reasons travelers will appreciate this cultural and creative city.

1.  Nashville IS and IS NOT a walking city

Clearly, I didn’t do too much research before boarding my flight because I always assumed that Nashville was a walking city…and it is in some ways. On one hand, many of the main touristic attractions are located downtown – The Country Music Hall of Fame, the famous honky-tonks and The…

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