Diego Fopiani, Founder of Andalusian Progressive Rock Band Cai Dies in Cadiz

Diego Fopiani

Drummer and vocalist Diego Fopiani, founder of trailblazing Andalusian progressive rock band Cai, died on April 4, 2019. He had been sick for the last few years and had stopped drumming although he still made music on the piano.

Cai was a groundbreaking progressive rock band that incorporated symphonic rock, jazz fusion and Andalusian flamenco elements. Cai released an acclaimed independent album, Mas allá de nuestras mentes diminutas in 1978.

Additional albums included Noche abierta, Canción de la primavera and a comeback reunion album titled Ocho metáforas de luz.

Read more about Diego Fopiani: Interview with Diego Fopiani

Artist Profiles: Cai

Cai in the early 1980s

Cai was a progressive rock band from the Cadiz province of Spain. The groundbreaking group combined progressive rock, with jazz fusion and Flamenco.

Cai – Más Allá De Nuestras Mentes Diminuta

The band’s first album, Más Allá De Nuestras Mentes Diminutas, was released in 1978. The line-up included Paco Delgado on guitar, Diego Fopiani on drums, percussion, lead vocals, José Vélez Gómez on bass, and Sebastian Domínguez ‘Chano’ on keyboards.

Cai – Noche Abierta

Epic Records Spain signed Cai and released its second album, Noche Abierta (1980). The musicians that participated in the album were the same as in Más Allá De Nuestras Mentes Diminutas, with the addition of another guitarist, José Fernández Mariscal.

Cai – Canción De La Primavera

By 1981, Andalusian rock was struggling to survive. Cai released a third album titled Canción De La Primavera (Epic, 1981) and later disbanded. Its young keyboardist, Chano Dominguez, went on to become the leading jazz pianist in Spain and is known for his outstanding fusions of Flamenco and jazz.

Cai – Mucho Más Allá De Nuestras Mentes Diminutas

In 2009 a double CD set came out, titled Mucho Más Allá De Nuestras Mentes Diminutas. The album featured the reissue of the debut album Más Allá De Nuestras Mentes Diminutas plus 3 bonus tracks from 1981 and live performances from a 1979 concert at cortijo Los Rosales.

The band reunited in 2010. This time it was reduced to a trio featuring Diego Fopiani on drums, percussion and vocals, José Fernández Mariscal on guitars and bass, and new member Blas Lago on keyboards. They released an album titled Metáforas De Luz (2010).

Cai – Metáforas De Luz

Drummer Diego Fopiani died April 4, 2019.

Frank Zappa’s Live Double Album ‘Zappa in New York’ Reissued as an Expanded Anniversary Edition

Frank Zappa’s enduring 1978 album Zappa In New York Deluxe

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Frank Zappa’s enduring 1978 album Zappa In New York Deluxe, was released today as a suite of expanded anniversary editions.

Supervised by the Zappa Family Trust and produced by Ahmet Zappa and Vaultmeister Joe Travers, the versions include a deluxe 5 CD boxed set, 3 LP on 180-gram audiophile grade vinyl, and digitally. The 5-disc collection, which is enclosed in a limited-edition metal tin shaped like a New York City street manhole cover and complete with a replica ticket from one of the shows, includes the main album in its original mix, newly remastered by Bob Ludwig in 2018 and available for the first time since its debut.

The four additional discs are packed with significant Vault nuggets and more than three hours of unreleased live performances from the NYC Palladium concerts, representing every composition played during the concerts and the best alternate performances of every tune Zappa chose for the original album, all newly mixed in 2018.

To achieve the highest-level sound quality, the audio team went back to the original two-inch 24-track multi-track master tapes and transferred every reel at 96kHz 24-bit wavs.

“We are excited to bring you this new Deluxe version of Zappa in New York: an opportunity to re-examine and celebrate the source material of a great album while exploring the events of Frank’s life in late December 1976, Collections like these really show of the work ethic of a musical genius,” says the Zappa Family Trust in the album notes.

Zappa In New York includes expanded packaging which features previously unseen live photos by Gail Zappa together with extensive liner notes by band members Ruth Underwood and Ray White (who were part of Zappa’s band for these shows) as well as a perceptive essay by Joe Travers with Australian writer Jen Jewel Brown. Underwood also contributes a solo piano version of “The Black Page” that has been newly recorded for this special edition.

‘The Black Page’ has proven to be one of Frank Zappa’s most intriguing and enduring compositions. It is performed in many kinds of venues all over the world. It is taught and studied in schools. Perhaps most exciting is that it is adaptable and lends itself to a variety of orchestrations and re-workings, as Frank Zappa himself demonstrated. I am proud that after forty years, mine is finally among them. It is my love letter to Frank and Gail,” Underwood writes in the liner notes.

Purchase Zappa In New York Deluxe

Worldwide Celebration of International Jazz Day in April 2019

Herbie Hancock

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock announced the program for the 2019 edition of International Jazz Day that will be launched in Australia and celebrated in more than 190 countries around the world.

On April 29 and 30, a wide range of jazz performances, education programs and community service initiatives will be presented in partnership with the Melbourne Conservatorium, featuring more than a dozen celebrated jazz masters. The events on International Jazz Day itself (30 April) will culminate in an All-Star Global Concert at the Melbourne Arts Centre’s acclaimed Hamer Hall. It will be webcast via YouTube, Facebook, the United Nations and UNESCO to millions of viewers worldwide.

Influential jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock (USA) and celebrated trumpeter James Morrison (Australia) will serve as artistic co-directors of the All-Star Global Concert, and John Beasley (USA) will serve as the evening’s musical director. The concert will include performances by an international lineup of artists from more than a dozen countries.

Confirmed artists include: Cieavash Arian (Iran), William Barton (Australia), Dee Dee Bridgewater (USA), Till Brönner (Germany), A Bu (China), Igor Butman (Russian Federation), Eli Degibri (Israel), Kurt Elling (USA), Matthew Jodrell (Australia), Ledisi (USA), Eijiro Nakagawa (Japan), Mark Nightingale (United Kingdom), Chico Pinheiro (Brazil), Tineke Postma (Netherlands), Antonio Sánchez (Mexico), Nathan Schreiber (Australia), Somi (USA), Lizz Wright (USA), Tarek Yamani (Lebanon). More artists are expected to be announced.

A series of jazz performances and outreach programs will also take place in Adelaide, Mount Gambier, Sydney, Perth and other Australian cities. In the week prior to International Jazz Day, the celebration will kick off with a jazz education program for student musicians in the indigenous community of Yarrabah in Far Northern Australia, to be followed by similar programmes in Sydney for students from New South Wales public schools.

Australia’s International Jazz Day celebrations will conclude with the “Generations in Jazz” youth festival in Mount Gambier, South Australia, led by James Morrison and Kurt Elling during the first weekend of May. With the participation of more than 6,000 high school student musicians, it will the largest youth jazz festival in the world.

Thousands of other programs all over the world will celebrate jazz as a universal language of peace, among them jazz-themed films, lectures, book readings, theatre performances and panel discussions, as well as jam sessions, master classes, and radio and television broadcasts. As in previous years, a majority of International Jazz Day partner activities will focus on education and community effect, benefitting millions of students, academics, professional musicians and music lovers everywhere.

Established by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2011 at the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, and recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities worldwide every 30 April to celebrate the art of jazz, highlighting its important role in encouraging dialogue, combating discrimination and promoting human dignity. The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is UNESCO’s official partner in the organization and promotion of International Jazz Day.

Extensive Guitar Sessions by Peter Banks

Peter Banks’s Harmony In Diversity – The Complete Recordings (The Peter Banks Music Estate/Cherry Red Records, 2018)

This mammoth 6-CD set contains all the recordings made by former Yes guitarist Peter Banks with his band Harmony In Diversity. The recordings were made during 2005 and 2007.

Peter Banks’s Harmony In Diversity – The Complete Recordings

The boxed set includes instrumental guitar-fueled rock with funk leanings, classic rock, jam rock improvisations, guitar experimentation and some progressive rock as well.

Peter Banks plays all guitars and is joined by drummer Andrew Booker and bassist Nick Cottam, who mixed the recordings. Drummer Dave Speight appeared on the volume 6 of the set.

The album includes an extensive booklet and the audio was remastered.

There is nearly 6 hours of music, rarely heard before by the talented Peter Banks and his colleagues.

Caravela Escarlate, Keyboard Delights from Brazil

Caravela Escarlate – Caravela Escarlate (Karisma Records, 2019)

Caravela Escarlate is a Brazilian symphonic progressive rock band founded in 2011. The group features keyboard wizard Ronaldo Rodrigues, who uses a wide range of keyboards. The Scarlet Caravel’s sound is deeply influenced by the classic progressive rock bands of the 1970s.


Caravela Escarlate – Caravela Escarlate

Although vocals appear on a few tracks, most of the album is instrumental, showcasing Rodrigues’ talent on the synths, organ, mellotron and other instruments. He’s joined by the powerful drums of Elcio Cáfaro. Influences include ELP, Peter Bardens (Camel), Sagrado Coracao da Terra, Jon Lord and Gentle Giant.

David Caravelle – Vocals, bass, guitars and violins; Ronaldo Rodrigues (Massahara, Arcpelago) – Keyboards; Elcio Cáfaro – Drums.

The Myriad Guitars of Michel Héroux

Michel Héroux – Now (Michel Héroux, 2019)

Now is an deeply satisfying album of instrumental guitar rock music by Canadian musician, educator and composer Michel Héroux. Now combines dazzling guitar hero rock, mesmerizing avant-garde jazz guitar similar to Bill Frisell’s work and skillfully-crafted progressive rock.

Michel Héroux

Personnel: Michel Héroux on guitars; Vincent Yelle on bass; and Francis Fillion on drums.

Oytun Ersan’s Delicious Fusion


Oytun Ersan ‎– Fusiolicious

Oytun Ersan ‎– Fusiolicious (2018)

Turkish Cypriot bass virtuoso invited some of the finest musicians in the current jazz and fusion scene to perform on Fusiolicious. Jazz, rock and funk ingermingle with total ease.

The most captivating moments on the album are Ersan’s bass performances, the spectacular electronic keyboard solos by Gary Husband, Karen Briggs inspirational violin and the outstanding guitar work by Bret Garsed, Dean Brown and Mike Miller.

Personnel: Oytun Ersan on bass and guitar; Drums – Dave Weckl on drums; Brett Garsed, Dean Brown and Mike Miller; Gary Husband on keyboards; Gerry Etkins on keyboards; Eric Marienthal on saxophone; Gökay Gökşen on trombone; Utku Akyol on trumpet; Karen Briggs on violin; and Aytunç Akdoğu and Simge Akdoğu on vocals.

Carl Palmer Announces Prog-Rock Camp in Philadelphia

Groundbreaking British rock drummer Carl Palmer has announced a Prog-Rock Camp to be held November 8-10, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Carl Palmer was a founding member of the legendary progressive rock band Emerson Lake & Palmer. 

The event is envisioned as a musical learning experience for drummers, guitarists, bassists, keyboardists and vocalists called Carl Palmer’s Prog-Rock Camp. The instructors include  Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy and very special guests: guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (former Guns N Roses; Sons Of Apollo) and Derek Sherinian (former Dream Theater, Alice Cooper, Sons Of Apollo).

The camp will run for 3 days in Philadelphia. Registration is now open and is on a first, come first served basis. A sell out will be 100 registrants.

“This camp will be a special dream come true for me,” says Carl Palmer, who has spent many years as an educator and demonstrator of advanced percussion. “It is not designed to be a ‘fantasy’ event, but rather, a complete three day educational adventure for those who really want to improve and advance their musical craft. Of course, fans who want to take in the experience, are welcomed, as well.  This is a chance to sit one on one with some of the contemporary musical greats and learn.”

Carl Palmer

The Camp will begin on Friday, November 8th and will include three days of events. Among the highlights: Master Classes with Carl Palmer, guitarists Paul Bielatowicz and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, bassist  Simon Fitzpatrick, and keyboardist Derek Sherinian; An informative Q&A with Carl Palmer, his band, and the special guests; a complete Saturday evening concert with Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy featuring the greatest music of Emerson Lake &  Palmer; the world premiere of a never-before-seen complete concert film: ELP Live In South America 1997; performances by bands assembled  from the attending campers; plus seminars on artist management & booking; a seminar by a renowned life coach; new music technology displays; a Palmer Art Event and much more!

The cost to attend Carl Palmer Prog Rock Camp is $1,399 and includes all events, classes, concert, meals, parking, and hotel lodging.  A deposit is required at registration, which will cap at 100 campers.

November 8th – 10th, 2019 • 2300 Arena • Philadelphia, PA

carlpalmer.com/ProgRockCamp/ProgRockCamp-Main.php

A Hypnotic Trip from Sonora Sunrise

Sonora Sunrise – The Route through the Canyon (Trail Records, 2019)

The Route through the Canyon is an album by Russian progressive music band Sonora Sunrise. They are based in Altai, a mystical land in southern Siberia with olden mountains where you still find ancient shamanic rites.


Sonora Sunrise – The Route through the Canyon

The culture and wilderness of Altai inspires Sonora Sunrise. Their music is a superb mix of progressive rock, psychedelia, space rock along with ambient and Berlin-school electronic music. It is a spellbinding sound developed with electric guitars, effects, soundscapes, vintage analog synths from the Soviet Era, and a rhythm section.

Sonora Sunrise includes Artem Demidov on guitars, soundscapes; Dmitry Shershnev on keyboards, guitar; Alexey Shulepov on bass; and Vitaliy Khard on drums. Vocalist Katya Zlobina appears on various The Route through the Canyon tracks, delivering entrancing performances.

Progressive rock, jazz-rock fusion, ambient electronic music and beyond