Monday, August 25, 2008

Singer/Songwriter/Producer/Guitarist Tomas Doncker Releasing World/Soul EP "SMALL WORLD and Fundraiser

Brooklyn based Singer/Songwriter/Producer/Guitarist Tomas Doncker is releasing his World/Soul EP "Small World" due out in August independently on his own label GroovySexMusic. This new collection of songs mixes the flavors of World Music with the in-depth Soul progressions that makes up the sound of Tomas Doncker. His music has
been described as earthy, sultry and sophisticated, focused on poignant lyrics and soulful grooves. His music appeals to a global community that bridges the unity of listeners with spirit and harmony.

In celebration of the launch of the EP, on THURSDAY, AUGUST 28th @ SHRINE World Music Venue a concert will be held. There will be a $5 cover charge, but Tomas Doncker has been generous enough to give 50% of all the money raised at the door to freeDimensional. freeDimensional is an organization that links artistic communities to International Social Justice. This is a wonderful way to help freeDimensional in their work in NYC and Internationally. Show your support by coming out to SHRINE on 8/28 and listen to some amazing new music by Tomas Doncker.

The first single "Children of Darfur" has caught the interest of such humanitarian organizations as freeDimensional, The Solar Cooker Project and Jewish World Watch. Co-producing the new EP with Tomas is master percussionist Daniel Sadownick along with the production team of Hollins Steele. The album is being recorded at The Steele Factory in Brooklyn, NY. He has recently finished up recording the EP Small World after touring around the country in support of his CD "InsideOut". He has used the same band to record both recordings and has received critical acclaim around the country for their live performances in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, DC. His longtime band is comprised of Daniel Sadownick on Percussion (Steely Dan/Matisyahu/Raul Midon), Booker King on bass (Santana/Lila Downs), Etienne Lytle (Freddy Jackson/Elizabeth Withers) and rising star Camelia Qabazard on backvocals.

"Small World" features guest appearances by Soul and World music luminaries Martha Redbone, Karen Bernod, Audrey Martells, Keith Fluitt, KUKU, Ayib Dieng, Karma Johnson and Caitin Meissner. Tomas has upcoming dates in NYC at The Blue Note, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Shrine Cafe, Solomon's Porch, Frank's Lounge and has just been asked to participate in the New York City River to River Music Festival which brings Free music to the public.

Tomas Doncker's music is available on

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Zambia and its People

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported that Zambia's President Levy Mwanawasa died after being hospitalized 2 months ago for a stroke. The WSJ article went on to say that Mr. Mwanawasa won praise for his anti-corruption and economic modernization plan, but had "failed to lift the Zambian people out of crushing poverty."

My husband and I visited a typical Zambian village set on the Zabezi River about 30 miles from the historic colonial city of Livingstone, which is very close to the Zimbabawe border. The evidence of the anti-corruption campaign came in the form of a billboard that I happened to capture while driving in Livingstone. Although the people lived in small mud huts and structures, they did not live in the same poverty that we see in cities like Trenton and Newark. The main difference is that these people feel safe in their villages and there is little evidence of violence within these communities.

The children and the
adults looked very happy and were pleased to see us, even though in most cases we did not speak the same language.
The villagers who did speak English were complimentary about their country and the government. They seemed quite concerned
about Zimbabwe's President Mugabe and when we went briefly passed through Zimbabwe we could feel the tension in the people. From what the villagers told us, Zambia appears to be a stable country and one that is concerned with educating its young people. There were quite a few educational campus' in Livingstone. In some villages the children may have to walk a long way to go to school, but they do have schools. We were told if anything was lacking it was a place to homestead the teachers.
I loved Zambia and its people--they were warm, open and constantly smiling. I certainly hope that a change in leadership won't bring major negative changes to the country.

And perhaps it might be a good idea for New Jersey to put up a few of its own anti-corruption billboards.
Mwanawasa's message is right on target.