Posted on October 23, 2014
As you know, Eye for Talent has spent decades sharing the planet’s music with new audiences around the globe with an emphasis on world, folk, and traditional music. In our continual evolution, we have always endeavored to expand the scope of our roster. Thus it is with great excitement that we announce the biggest transformation in the history of our agency. As we begin this transition, we remain at our core the same agency, but with a new name, new website, new people, new technology, and a host of new artists displaying a breadth of talent that we will continue to expand.
Riot Artists evolved out of Eye For Talent when founder Bill Smith formed a partnership with Evan Smith and former artist manager and record company A&R man, Fabian Alsultany, to bring forth a next-level agency.
Riot Artists exists to embrace new realms of talent: electronica, contemporary music, rock, as well as speakers and innovators/technologists, while still remaining true to its world music roots. In recent months we joined forces with South Asian rock star KARSH KALE and Tex-Mex legends FLACO JIMENEZ & MAX BACA. We are also representing the farewell tour of Armenian Duduk master JIVAN GASPARYAN as well as producing the thematic tour, WOMEN OF THE ARAB WORLD.
We are thrilled to continue representing the Ukrainian musical phenomenon, DAKHABRAKHA, Sarod master AMJAD ALI KHAN, the cabaret swing of PARIS COMBO, and Tuvan quartet HUUN HUUR TU, along with the other tremendously gifted artists with whom we have the privilege to work.
Posted on October 13, 2014
Amjad Ali Khan is one of the undisputed masters of the music world. For many, he takes on a celestial avatar when he is playing the Sarod. Born to Sarod icon Ustad Haafiz Ali khan, he gave his first performance at the age of six. Over the course of his career, he has delivered his music in a flexible instrument line that is vocal in its expressiveness. He has reinvented the technique of Sarod playing which today is distinct in its nomenclature. He has won numerous accolades including a Grammy nomination, the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum and has performed at venues world over like the Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall. His sons, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan, are also very talented and celebrated Sarod players.Today, they are considered as one of the finest Sarod players and have obtained a very special place for themselves among music enthusiasts across the world. They are an inspiration for the younger generation of musicians.
Posted on August 11, 2014
Ukrainian quartet Dakhabrakha provide yet another WOMAD moment with their enchanting, theatrical show that is given extra poignancy given recent events in their home country. Oddly beguiling, occasionally deliberately atonal, their incredible vocal harmonies collide with furious drumming. Their music takes on an electronic shape, the tent becomes a church – the crowd push to rave. Ukranian raps and accordians deliver a crescendo that stuns WOMAD to a moment of rare silence.
Posted on August 11, 2014
Of West African heritage and based in Paris, Debademba feature the powerful voice and riveting stage presence of Mohamed Diaby, and the remarkable bluesy fingerwork of veteran guitarist, Abdoulaye Traore. They start off as a very stylish, contemporary Malian roots band with some jazzy overtones and great impassioned ballads before, half-way through the set, exploding into rock’n’roll riffs, with Diaby channelling Howling Wolf and Robert Plant in an utterly compelling and highly danceable affray.
Some parts of Amjad Ali Khan’s performance immediately afterwards were similarly meditative, while other sections were fast and furious as the master sarod player jousted with his two sons over propulsive percussion.
Then came the most compelling hour of the whole festival. Three women in white dresses and tall furry stovepipe hats sitting in a row, one playing cello and other two on percussion. To their right, a balding nondescript man in an embroidered jacket with a concertina and hand-drum. This was DakhaBrakha from the Ukraine, a one-time visitor to our own, late, lamented Dun Laoghaire Festival of World Cultures. The women sing, their voices wild, free and magnificent; the cello sets up a riff like heavy metal, and the percussion marches like a shamanic army. The big crowd in the tent is utterly bewitched. Suddenly, the percussion stops and the male figure plays a gentle tune on the melodeon and then accompanies it with the sweetest falsetto voice. This beautiful piece continues until the percussion and cello crash back in and he roars and growls like a demented being over the top of it until it all quietens again and he is back to a sweet falsetto. Extraordinary, surprising and inspired. The show ends with a huge roar of approval and a mass waving of Ukrainian flags.