On Saturday Charley's will host a night of hot dancing to the global beats of Grammy-nominated producer/DJ Diplo. While his name may not be widely known, his music has been heard around the world. Diplo (a.k.a. Wesley Pentz) produced M.I.A's mega-hit, "Paper Planes," which was nominated for a Grammy for Song of the Year. He's also crafted remixes for such stars as Kanye West, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani and Santigold.
The mix master arrives in the islands following the recent debut of a new documentary he co-produced, "Favela on Blast," on Brazil's underground dance scene, and a new dancehall reggae album released under the name "Major Lazer," which was hailed by Paste Magazine as "phenomenal."
"Whether it's Angolan kuduro, Brazilian baile funk or trash '80s music that gets your booty shaking, no one gets the party started like Diplo," praised the U.K. Guardian newspaper in a recent story.
DJ Diplo mixes the music of the world into a single song.
Diplo in action: The former anthropology student travels the word adding to his repertoire, which he plays at events like this one in Coachilla, Calif.
Jazz Alley TV photo
Maui video producer Ken Martinez Burgmaier interviews U2’s Bono and the Edge at a tribute concert to B.B. King.
One of the most sought-after DJs in the world, he's packed clubs from Trinidad to Australia, and London to South Africa.
"Diplo's repertoire provokes a physical response all over the world," noted Paste. "This is partly because the music comes from all over the world - it comes from the slums, streets, gutters, studios, skating rinks and radio waves of Planet Earth."
A former anthropology student based in Philadelphia, Diplo scours the globe for party music. A champion of Brazilian baile funk, he flew to Brazil after hearing one song.
* Diplo spins tunes Saturday night at Charley's Restaurant & Saloon in Paia.Doors open at 9 p.m.Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.Advance tickets from Wokstar Int'l Noodle in Kihei, and The Wine Corner in Paia.
"It was some kids screaming over a Smiths track with some breakbeat over the top," he recalled in The Guardian.
His documentary, "Favela On Blast," grew from a desire to "show how crazy the scene out there is," he reported in the article.
Fast, heavy and hypersexual, Baile funk (locally known as "Funk Carioca," or simply "The Funk") was born in the violent slums of Rio de Janeiro. This dance music subgenre was unknown outside of Brazil until Diplo began championing it.
Diplo's latest compilation, "Decent Work For Decent Pay," released earlier in the year, includes the M.I.A. hit, a taste of Brazil and the rap track "Smash A Kangaroo," recorded with Aboriginal children in Australia's outback.
Just out, Major Lazer's "Guns Don't Kill People, Lazers Do," co-produced by Diplo and Switch, and recorded at Bob Marley's Tuff Gong studios in Kingston.
"Two white boys visit Jamaica to make a reggae record - it sounds like the setup for a joke," noted Paste. "But 'Major Lazer' is a legitimately dope project that captures the rush of dancehall, the chilled-out vibe of rock steady and the cheeseball charm of dance pop."
"The 'Major Lazer' project further showcases the semi-celebs' immense musical knowledge and their seemingly limitless talents as producers," praised URB magazine.
Commenting on his global approach, Diplo explained in the Miami New Times: "I don't second guess whether a hot track comes from Baltimore or Brazil, or if I'm making some cross-cultural impact by playing it. I just promote what I like. Communities are able to promote themselves more globally now, and if your take on something is strong and can add something new, it helps everyone."
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Students from Ben Verdery's master guitar class will present an eclectic program including works by Villa Lobos, Bach and Albeniz at 7 tonight at Makena's Keawala'i Congregational Church. The class includes gifted students from Australia, Korea, Canada and the U.K. A highlight of the evening - the 18-piece Maui Honu Guitar Orchestra will perform a composition by Oahu-based musician Darin Au.Donations requested to benefit the church.
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Ebb & Flow Art's "Summer Music Hawaii" series closes at 7 p.m. Saturday with a free "Grand Finale" concert at Seabury Hall. It features solo percussion works by Bendian, Pollock, Xenakis and Osborne performed by Paul Carroll. San Francisco Symphony violinists Mariko Smiley and Sarn Oliver will perform works by Berio, Prokofiev, and Wieniawski; and a concluding multimedia experiment will feature Maui painters Martha Woodbury and Gabriel Mott with musical accompaniment by drummer Paul Marchetti, bassist Bob Harrison and pianist Robert Pollock.
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Ziggy Marley returns to Maui to perform on Aug. 16 at War Memorial Stadium. He's bringing some reggae musician friends from the Caribbean to play at this major show, including Joseph Israel, Rovleta Fraser and Blak Diamon from Jamaica; Trinidad's Mysterious; and Zion from the Virgin Islands along with Maui's Marty Dread.
Ziggy's latest album, "Family Time," a very hip children's collection, includes the songs "Cry, Cry, Cry" with Jack Johnson and Paula Fuga, and one of the best tracks, Woody Guthrie's "This Train," a duet with Willie Nelson. Other featured guests include Paul Simon, Toots Hibbert, Rita Marley and Cedella Marley.
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A collection of musicians from Hawaii made a strong impact at this year's prestigious South by Southwest festival held in Austin, Texas. More than 1,500 musicians performed, with John Cruz, Anuhea, One Right Turn, PimpbotandDavid Tamaokaofficially representing Hawaii.
Looking toward next year's event, festival rep Phil Tripp arrives on Maui on Tuesday to host a meeting for prospective musicians and filmmakers.
"We hope to follow with even more great talent that fits SxSW," says Tripp, who represents Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and Hawaii. "We also are looking for films of Hawaii and online gurus too."
Location for the meeting is still being finalized. The 2010 SxSW Interactive fest will be held March 12 to 16; SxSW Film, March 12 to 20; and SxSW Music, March 17 to 21. Check out SxSW atwww.sxsw.com.For more details about the meeting, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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Island filmmaker Ken Martinez Burgmaier produces "Jazz Alley TV," an internationally syndicated jazz, blues and world music series shot at music festivals around the globe. The series can now be seen in the islands at 6 p.m. Saturdays on KIKU channels 10 and 20 out of Honolulu.
The show has featured such leading musicians as B.B. King, Herbie Hancock, Bono, Sting, Santana, Wynton Marsalis and Pat Metheny, and top local artists such as Keola Beamer, Brother Noland, Hapa and Led Ka'apana.
Ken interviewed U2's Bono and the Edge at a special tribute concert to blues legend B.B. King in Los Angeles late last year. "They were really genuine and down to earth," he says. "It was enlightening for guys of that stature in the rock world. We really explored the blues like I never have before in an interview. Bono said, 'The blues come from the Mississippi mud.' "
Hired to film the event and create a DVD, Ken was able to shoot closeups of the sound check.
"We were two feet from these guys with hand-helds while they were playing 'Love Comes to Town,' " he reports.
"It was incredible."
Currently editing the project, the show will be broadcast nationally as a PBS special.
Besides producing "Jazz Alley TV," Ken presents the "Drive-In" movie theater evenings at Maui Community College.
On Aug. 15, the show will include live music by Brother Noland, along with the films "Kung Fu Panda," "Wa'a Ho'olaule'a - Festival of Canoes" and "Children of the Long Canoes."
Noland returned to his roots on his soulful recent CD, "Hawaiian Man." With backing by Led Ka'apana, Mike Ka'awa and Kawika Kahiapo, it features a beautiful medley of "Hawai'i Pono'i" and "Hawai'i Aloha," and the return of the classic "Pua Lane."
* Contact Jon Woodhouse at email@example.com.