This biography of a living person relies too much on references to primary sources . (October 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Tony Vacca is an American percussionist specializing in jazz and an early innovator in world music. He incorporates percussion instruments from a world of traditions that includes African, Caribbean, Asian and Middle-Eastern influences, to which he adds some of his spoken word and rhythm poetry. Tony has been active in the Jazz and World Music stage since the early 1970s.
Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".
World music is a musical category encompassing many different styles of music from around the globe, which includes many genres including some forms of Western music represented by folk music, Jazz, as well as selected forms of ethnic music, indigenous music, neotraditional music, and music where more than one cultural tradition, such as ethnic music and Western popular music, intermingle.
Vacca plays both as a soloist and with his World Rhythms Ensemble. His frequent trips to West Africa have contributed to his unique approach to playing the balafon, and to his depth of knowledge regarding African and American musical traditions.
The balafon is a kind of xylophone or percussion idiophone which plays melodic tunes, and usually has between 16 and 27 keys. It has been played in Africa since the 12th century according to oral stories; it originated in Mali, according to the Manding history narrated by the griots.
Vacca has recorded and performed with such a wide range of musicians such as Sting, Senegalese Afro-pop artist Baaba Maal, Jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, poet Abiodun Oyewole, Senegalese Hip-Hop artists Gokh-bi System, and Massamba Diop.
Gordon Matthew Thomas SumnerCBE, known as Sting, is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and actor. He was the principal songwriter, lead singer, and bassist for the new wave rock band The Police from 1977 to 1984, and launched a solo career in 1985.
Baaba Maal is a Senegalese singer and guitarist born in Podor, on the Senegal River. He is well known in Africa and internationally and is one of Senegal's most famous musicians. In addition to acoustic guitar, he also plays percussion. He has released several albums, both for independent and major labels. In July 2003, he was made a UNDP Youth Emissary.
Abiodun Oyewole, is a poet, teacher and founding member of the American music and spoken-word group The Last Poets, which developed into what is considered to be the first hip hop group. Critic Jason Ankeny wrote, "With their politically charged raps, taut rhythms, and dedication to raising African-American consciousness, the Last Poets almost single-handedly laid the groundwork for the emergence of hip-hop."
Vacca's performances have been described as a "non-stop athletic spectacle of percussion music and spoken word." Percussion instruments from around the world are combined, including West African balafons, 20 Paiste gongs, djembe, djun-djun, talkin drums and a drumset.
Vacca often collaborates with other artists, including Sting on Soul Cages.
The Soul Cages is the third full-length studio album released by Sting and the first to feature longtime guitarist Dominic Miller. Released in 1991, it became his second No. 1 album in the United Kingdom. The album was dedicated to Sting's recently deceased father who died in 1987.
Columbia Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. It was founded in 1887, evolving from the American Graphophone Company, the successor to the Volta Graphophone Company. Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in the recorded sound business, and the second major company to produce records. From 1961 to 1990, Columbia recordings were released outside North America under the name CBS Records to avoid confusion with EMI's Columbia Graphophone Company. Columbia is one of Sony Music's four flagship record labels, alongside former longtime rival RCA Records, as well as Arista Records and Epic Records.
Half Note Records is a jazz record label founded by the Blue Note Jazz Club in 1998. Although it began releasing live recordings from the club, the label expanded to produce studio albums.
With Winds of Change
Funk is a music genre that originated in African-American communities in the mid-1960s when African-American musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul music, jazz, and rhythm and blues (R&B). Funk de-emphasizes melody and chord progressions and focuses on a strong rhythmic groove of a bass line played by an electric bassist and a drum part played by a drummer. Like much of African-inspired music, funk typically consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments playing interlocking grooves. Funk uses the same richly colored extended chords found in bebop jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths, or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths and thirteenths.
A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater ; struck, scraped or rubbed by hand; or struck against another similar instrument. The percussion family is believed to include the oldest musical instruments, following the human voice.
The traditional music of Africa, given the vastness of the continent, is historically ancient, rich and diverse, with different regions and nations of Africa having many distinct musical traditions. Music in Africa is very important when it comes to religion. Songs and music are used in rituals and religious ceremonies, to pass down stories from generation to generation, as well as to sing and dance to.
The music of the United States reflects the country's pluri-ethnic population through a diverse array of styles. It is a mixture of music influenced by West African, Irish, Scottish and mainland European cultures among others. The country's most internationally renowned genres are jazz, blues, country, bluegrass, rock, rhythm and blues, soul, ragtime, hip hop, barbershop, pop, experimental, techno, house, dance, boogaloo, and salsa. The United States has the world's largest music market with a total retail value of 4,898.3 million dollars in 2014, and its music is heard around the world. Since the beginning of the 20th century, some forms of American popular music have gained a near global audience.
The music of Martinique has a heritage which is intertwined with that of its sister island, Guadeloupe. Despite their small size, the islands have created a large popular music industry, which gained in international renown after the success of zouk music in the later 20th century. Zouk's popularity was particularly intense in France, where the genre became an important symbol of identity for Martinique and Guadeloupe. Zouk's origins are in the folk music of Martinique and Guadeloupe, especially Martinican chouval bwa, and Guadeloupan gwo ka. There's also notable influence of the pan-Caribbean calypso tradition and Haitian kompa.
The best-known Music of the Cameroon is makossa, a popular style that has gained fans across Africa, and its related dance craze bikutsi.
Senegal's music is best known abroad due to the popularity of mbalax, a development of Serer sabar drumming popularized by Youssou N'Dour.
African-American music is an umbrella term covering a diverse range of music and musical genres largely developed by African Americans. Their origins are in musical forms that arose out of the historical condition of slavery that characterized the lives of African Americans prior to the American Civil War.
The music of Burkina Faso includes the folk music of 60 different ethnic groups. The Mossi people, centrally located around the capital, Ouagadougou, account for 40% of the population while, to the south, Gurunsi, Gurma, Dagaaba and Lobi populations, speaking Gur languages closely related to the Mossi language, extend into the coastal states. In the north and east the Fulani of the Sahel preponderate, while in the south and west the Mande languages are common; Samo, Bissa, Bobo, Senufo and Marka. Burkinabé traditional music has continued to thrive and musical output remains quite diverse. Popular music is mostly in French: Burkina Faso has yet to produce a major pan-African success.
The music of the Gambia is closely linked musically with that of its neighbor, Senegal, which surrounds its inland frontiers completely. Among its prominent musicians is Foday Musa Suso. Mbalax is a widely known popular dance music of the Gambia and neighbouring Senegal. It fuses popular Western music and dance, with sabar, the traditional drumming and dance music of the Wolof and Serer people.
Dunun is the generic name for a family of West African drums that have developed alongside the djembe in the Mande drum ensemble.
The Wolof, the largest ethnic group in Senegal, have a distinctive musical tradition that, along with the influence of neighboring Fulani, Tukulor, Serer, Jola, and Malinke cultures, has contributed greatly to popular Senegalese music, and to West African music in general. Wolof music takes its roots from the Serer musical tradition, particularly from the Serer pre-colonial Kingdom of Saloum. Virtually all Wolof musical terminology including musical instruments comes from the Serer language.
Mbalax is the national popular dance music of Senegal and the Gambia. Mbalax is a fusion of popular music from the diaspora, the West, and afropop such as jazz, soul, Latin, Congolese rumba, and rock blended with sabar, the traditional drumming and dance music of the Wolof of Senegal. The genre's name derived from accompanying rhythms used in sabar called mbalax.
Aïyb Dieng is a Senegalese drummer and percussionist specializing in hand drums. He has recorded one solo album, 1995's Rhythmagick, and has worked with a wide range of musicians, including bassist/producer Bill Laswell.
Ska jazz is a music genre derived by fusing the melodic content of jazz with the rhythmic and harmonic content of early Jamaican Music introduced by the "Fathers of Ska" in the late 1950s. The ska-jazz movement began during the 1990s in New York and London, where pioneering avant-garde jazz and reggae musicians pushed the boundaries of reggae music. They were combining traditions with modern tendencies, using the reggae beat along with high improvisation and jazz harmonies, primarily by horns and percussion.
Omar Sosa is a Cuban-born composer, bandleader, and jazz pianist.
Sona Jobarteh is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and composer from the Gambia and the UK. She was born in 1983 into one of the five principal Kora-playing Griot families from West Africa – she is the first female professional kora player to come from a Griot family. She is the granddaughter of the Master Griot of his generation, Amadu Bansang Jobarteh, cousin of the well-known, celebrated Kora player Toumani Diabate as well as the sister of the renowned Diaspora Kora player Tunde Jegede.
MAMADOU is a Senegalese music band. Originally called "Mamadou Diop and the Jolole Band", the group was founded in early 1998, later simplifying their name to "MAMADOU" in late 2000.
Neba Solo is the stage name of Souleymane Traoré, a musician based in Mali, West Africa. Neba Solo plays a kind of balafon, a marimba with wooden keys mounted on a wooden frame and attached to resonating chambers made from dried gourds.