Around The World In 80 Songs: “Papazjanija” By Six Strings And A Piece Of Wood

It is amazing how far you can travel just by using a guitar. This instrument is capable of producing the most fabulous sounds, and make you feel at home in a the most remote places

We could dedicate an entire blog to the many types of songs that can be played with a guitar, or even one that explains how the instrument is used in different countries. However, this time we will focus on one of the greatest guitar acts on OurStage, one that takes World music to the next level by using this instrument as the inspiration.

We are talking about Six Strings and a Piece of Wood, the name behind some of the most popular and beautiful guitar pieces on our site. Six Strings was born from the amazing talent of Radomir Vasiljevic  and Goran Kulic, two very talented composers who know how to create art with the guitar.

One can easily tell how great Six Strings truly is simply by visiting its OurStage profile. OurStage fans really dig the music and are not afraid to show it. The act has won the World and Latin Channel prizes several times and is a regulars in the Top 10 charts.

What makes Six Strings such a fan favorite is its ability to create pieces that express a million things without having to use lyrics to do so. They communicate with the listener with the sole voice of the guitar, and are able to create poetry that moves and inspires.

Perhaps one of the most inspiring pieces by Six String is Papazjanija, a piece with Balkan-ethno influence, played on a nylon strings guitar. Play Papazjanija and you’ll immediately travel to foreign lands, or try the beautiful Gypsy Market for an exciting taste of the acoustic guitar.

Greece, Spain, Russia¦ The music by Six Strings and a Piece of Wood can take you anywhere in a matter of seconds, and than take you back where you are at. Try it and you’ll understand why fans around the world love this act. Here is a playlist to accompany you on your journey. Bon Voyage!

GuacaMusic: Layla Angulo

What woud you do if the love of your life told you to go and have a nice life without them?

This is precisely what Layla Angulo passionately sings about in Que te vaya bien sin mi, a catchy and fun piece that is getting great responses from OurStage fans.
The song has been in the OurStage Top Ten charts several times, most recently in August of 2010.

Layla Angulo is a great example of how you don’t have to be born in Latin America to play authentic, extraordinary Latin music. Born in Louisiana to parents of Greek and Irish descent, Layla was raised between Boston, Los Angeles, Hawaii and Seattle.

Due to her international upbringing, Layla grew up loving and knowing a variety of music styles, including salsa, classical jazz, Mexican rancheras and traditional Greek music. Perhaps this explains why her music has such a strong jazzy influence, and such an interesting combination of international sounds. Or why she lists Tito Puente and Dizzi Gillepsie among her major influences.

According to Layla, Boston was the place where she first fell in love with jazz, but it wasn’t until she moved to Spain that she really started to come to terms with her own music style. While in Spain, Layla came in contact with a variety of African, Celtic and Middle Eastern sounds that had huge influence in her music.

Play Que te vaya bien sin mi and you’ll immediately experience that magical blend of jazzy and Afro-Peruvian sounds that are so particular to Layla’s music. You’ll especially appreciate how the salsa element, mixed with her fabulous voice and an interesting drum background, help produce a melody that gets everyone moving.

There is no doubt about it: Layla’s career is as promising as ever. Over the last few years, she has continued to engage her intensely loyal and growing fan base with the release of her Latin jazz CDs. Her success is another example of how amazingly diverse Latin music can be. Enjoy this song. ¡Provecho!

GuacaMusic: Boleros

Are you in the mood for romance?

Valentine’s Day is approaching and we think that there is no better time to talk about one of the most romantic music of all times: The bolero.

The bolero is a form of love song that originated in the 19th century and is still popular today. There are Mexican, Spanish and Cuban boleros, but they all share certain characteristics such as a slow-tempo and lyrics that often reflect themes of bittersweet, passionate, impossible or eternal love.

The best thing about bolero is that the lyrics resonate with all types of audiences. Just like a classic poem can make you think of someone special (even when it was written a few centuries ago) a good bolero can put you in the mood for romance anytime, anywhere.

Are you ready to fall in love with bolero?

Here on OurStage, we have some amazing songs that incorporate elements of the classic bolero. Take the song “Gone” by Karina Iglesias for example, a piece that the artist describes as a fusion of  Motown sounds with a tinge of a Latin bolero. Another interesting song influenced by bolero is “Luz de Luna” by Bett Butler, a modern combination of sounds that draws from progressive jazz, earthy blues, Brazilian music, and traditions of chamber music and art songs. For a more classic approach to bolero, listen to “El Amor Divino” by David Zambrano, an acoustic composition about a love that’s true, deep and real.

If you like these boleros, you’ll surely appreciate the classic compositions of some of the best bolero writers of all times, such as Jose Alfredo Jimenez and Armando Manzanero. In honor of San Valentí­n, we have put together a list of the ten most romantic boleros of all times. Prepare yourself to be seduced by both the music and the lyrics of these lovable masterpieces:

What do you think? Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know and don’t forget to visit our Latin Channel to find some interesting Boleros that will make you want to serenade your loved one again and again. Felize San Valentí­n. ¡Provecho!

Españoles on OurStage

Latin music never ceases to amaze me. The thing that I love the most about it is its capacity to mix music styles from completely different regions and still get extraordinary results. But it wouldn’t be fair to ignore the place that started it all: Spain.

Well known for its Flamenco dancers and its wooden castañuelas, España is the reason why we sing, write and play songs in Spanish. And let’s face it. Some things can’t be said in any language other than en Español.

To honor the great influence that Spain has had in Latin music, I am dedicating this post to my favorite españoles on OurStage:

First on our list is Kathyjuan band. Please don’t be fooled by the name. Kathyjuan is not a band, but rather an amazing do-it-all artist from Sevilla. He plays the electric guitar, the bass, the acoustic guitar and the keyboards. No wonder he won the Number 1 OurStage Latin Channel prize in both October and November of this year with the song “Jardin 09”

Also from Sevilla is Emiliano Dominguez, a.k.a ZAPATA, a musician that describes his style as being halfway between songwriting and Andalucian rock. ZAPATA’s pieces are notorious for its strong poetic elements. Listen to his song Mayorales to hear a poem by Mariano Frutos.

Another Spanish gem on OurStage is Ester Andujar, a singer-songwriter from Valencia who has performed in some of the best Jazz clubs and festivals in the world. She has earned several awards for her performances, including one for Best Voice from the Valencian Association of Jazz and Creative Music (Promusics). Ester hasrecorded two solo albums and will be releasing a third one soon. Listen to  Paginas Preciosas and be delighted by her marvelous voice.

Andalucian talent Melo Bakale is also on our list of Spanish favorites. Ever since his undeniable talent and good luck earned him a victory in the Cazatalentos contest of the Andalucian Radio-Television (RTVA), Melo’s career has been rapidly heading to the top. His triumph in Cazatalentos led him to record his first album, Melo Bakale, which sold over 8,000 copies. Intrigued? Check out Melo’s Web site for a list of his upcoming presentations.

You see? All this amazing talent is exactly why they still call Spain “La Madre Patria.” Enjoy this playlist !Y Ole!

GuacaMusic: Flamenco

Is flamenco Latin?

Think about it. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the words Latin music? Is it salsa? Reggeaton? Cumbia?

Whatever it is, it probably isn’t flamenco. Well, you should know that, just like many great things Latin, this magical music has its roots in Spain, the “Madre Patria” (Homeland) of most Latin American countries.

If you’ve been to Spain, or know any españoles, you probably know that the main elements of flamenco”the poetical cante (song), the guitar, the baile (dance)”are true staples of España. The truth is, flamenco is also a huge element of today’s Latin American music.

Here at OurStage, you can find an array of talented artists that incorporate flamenco into their music creations. Take for example the remarkable Paralamera by Six Strings and a Piece of Wood, a combination of flamenco and rumba that will transport you to Madrid or Sevilla in no time.

Now, if you are feeling in Spain already, spice it up by playing any song by Jeffrey Briggs, a classical and flamenco guitarist who also plays Latin American music. Briggs has studied with Spanish flamenco guitarist Juan Serrano, Nubian Oud player Hamza el Din and Argentinian charango virtuoso Jaime Torres. Pay extra attention to the piece Rumba Flamenca and try to trace the origins of rumba, as it traveled from Africa to Cuba and then back to Spain.

Did you know that flamenco has a deep gypsy influence?

Por favor, do not miss exploring the music of Inner Gypsy, a guitar player and a flute player who found each other in New York City and became music soulmates. Play Gypsychology on OurStage right now and see how flamenco rhumba meets acoustic jazz fusion with exquisite results.

For other flamenco flavored pieces with a gypsy touch, follow some of the songs by The Carmen Milagro Band on OurStage. Carmen writes songs inspired by the Romanian Gypsy vibe, and combines elements of Latin rock and hip hop. Listen to Milagro and you will shake shake like a maraca!

No matter if it’s rumba or Latin rock, Spanish influences are all over la musica latina.  Now that you’ve try it please let us know: isn’t anything better with a touch of flamenco?