CD REVIEW FEATURE: ORENDA BY VALERIE NARANJO
Perhaps the most wondrous aspect of Valerie Naranjo's new CD is its inherent
message that music will rise above cultural differences and soothe souls. When
broken down into its most basic components: hypnotic rhythms, primitive harmonies,
and attractive folkloric melodies. Naranjo's recording transcends musical boundaries
and finds a common tie for everyone!
Night Live...) "Valerie Naranjo will be there every week,
jamming in the usual whirl of energy and passion that makes her
one of the most accomplished percussionists in New York."
Jareed Cobb, Drum Magazine, March/April 2001
on Friday was memorable in every way. Valerie Naranjo is a dynamo
of creative energy. The experience of being taken back to African
roots and then hearing its transformation into cutting edge art
that retains its hold on tradition was a breathtaking one."
-Christopher Paddack, Creative Arts Program Officer, U.S.
by the delicate, intense, incantatory Valerie Naranjo, makes a
kind of music in which sound is inseparable from dance
players fling their entire bodies into executing their fantastically
The prayerful, otherworldly quality of these
patterns reveals that contemporary minimalism owes as much to African
as to Indian parentage. In every piece the ripe, refreshing clatter
of MANDARA's instrumentsand the rapt concentration of its
playersmade for a deeply absorbing evening."
Mark Adamo, The Washington Post
percussionist who gives the material an impressive textural depth
and rhythmic flow."
Stephen Holden, The New York Times
musicologist specializing in percussion instruments (plays) with
so much joy and musicianship that (she) literally dance(s) (her)
way through each number."
Sy Syna, Back Stage
brilliant percussionist..." - William Raidy, The Star Ledger
some stunning solos on drums and marimba."
Corne Coetree, The Citizen (Johannesburg)
"You need to
see this woman. She is hauntingly beautiful
and fairly crackles
with an electric energy that makes her face glow. Also makes your
flesh crawl at the back of your neck."
Aggrey Klasste, Mercury (Durban, South Africa)
"has her hands
on the pulse of Africa
plays a formidable repertoire of percussion
instruments with open-faced passion"
Marika Sboros, The Star (Johannesburg)
crackles with the presence of all its music makers - and I can't
wait to see percussionist Valerie Naranjo do her own thing."
Maroassa Dawn Outlaw, The Village Voice
vibes weave in and out of the superb rhythm section dispensing
dazzling sprays of notes...a real treat. Good vibes."
Paul Bradshaw, Stralght No Chaser (London)
proving the old adage that the women do all
the work. Naranjo was in nonstop motion all through the set, playing
brilliantly on drums and congas, singing harmony, and most of all,
playing something that appeared to be an electrified marimba and
making it sound like a piano keyboard."
Joyce Marcel, Burrelle's P.A.
"She is living
evidence that women today can be all that they want to be."
Max Salazar, Latin Beat Magazine
Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Sun Times
on (marimba) and drums is utterly riveting
Glynis O'Hara, The Star Tonight (Johannesburg)