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Niamh Parsons

NIAMH PARSONS AND GRAHAM DUNNE, BIOGRAPHIES NIAMH PARSONS Niamh Parsons has come to be known as one of the most distinctive voices in Irish music. Her voice has drawn comparisons to such venerated singers as Dolores Keane, June Tabor and Sandy Denny. The great Scottish balladeer Archie Fisher said of Niamh, "a songstress like her comes along once or twice in a generation." It has been said that Niamh Parsons may not be the most famous Irish Balladeer, but many feel she's the best.

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The Burning Bush

The Band The Burning Bush was formed after Lucie Skeaping was invited to make a BBC documentary to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and to explore her own East European roots. Since their debut at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, the group has performed to packed houses at major festivals and cultural events throughout the world. Recent activities include tours to Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, Finland and South America. London concerts include the Barbican, Royal Festival Hall and Royal National Theatre.

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Paddy Keenan

Paddy Keenan (b.1950) is an Irish player of the . Keenan was born in Trim, County Meath. His father and grandfather were both uilleann pipers, and his father, Johnny Keenan, spent many nights playing along with piper Johnny Doran. He began playing at the age of nine, and at the age of fourteen he played at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin. He then turned towards blues and rock and toured England and Europe when he was seventeen.

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Juzzie Smith

Juzzie Started playing the harmonica at 13. By 23 he had won the coveted Golden Harmonica at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and the Byron Bay Blues Blowout twice. He has in the course of his musical journey embraced and mastered a range of instruments, and absorbed influence from some diverse musical styles. Juzzie has played in a lot of bands, some fantastic and some forgettable, and performed with some of Australia's best musicians, including John Butler, Damon Davies, Jodi Martin and Jeff Lang.

Read more about Juzzie Smith on Last.fm.

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The Master Musicians of Joujouka

The Master Musicians of Joujouka (until the 1990s synonymous with The Master Musicians of Jajouka, but now a separate recording group) are an ensemble of sufi trance musicians from the village of Jajouka, Morocco in the southern Rif Mountains. The music of Jajouka is a form of reed, pipe, and percussion music that relies on drones, improvisation, and complex rhythms, much of which is unique to Jajouka, often creating a trance state, induced by the intense sound and rhythm of the flutes.

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A Moving Sound

Based in Taipei, Taiwan, A Moving Sound, are a multinational group made up of Taiwanese singer Mia Hsieh, American Scott Prairie on French horn, bass, drums and vocals together with a Chinese erhu (vertically held bowed violin) player, a Belgian guitarist and a Brazilian percussionist. Their music is clearly rooted in Chinese tradition, but what sets it apart from the usual East / West collaboration, are the African and Middle Eastern influences. True to the group's name, the music is constantly surprising and moving in different directions, cleverly avoiding new age cliches.

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Sain Zahoor

The infamous attempts of the Taliban to eradicate music from the social and cultural landscape of Afghanisatan ended in happy failure, but their puritanical zeal still thrives in the region. All the more reason to celebrate the continued existence of various Pakistani and Afghani musical traditions which all owe their spiritual fire to the Sufi path of Islam. Of these, the music of the qawwali is well known and documented throughout the world, but there is a more obscure breed of 'street' singers who still practise their art at the shrines and festivals of Pakistan and Northern India.

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