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Line Up - BaliSpirit Festival

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Music Presenter Bio - BaliSpirit Festival 2015

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Xavier Rudd
AUSTRALIA

When he debuted in 2002 with the album To Let, Xavier Rudd began a journey that would see him become one of the most iconic voices in Australian music, literally and figuratively. With each new album, this journey has wound like a river making its way toward the ocean – twisting and turning, flowing and cascading as it relentlessly pushes forward.

Introducing himself as an artist of both imagination and conscience, Xavier Rudd's ability to marry uplifting melodies with thought-provoking themes and concepts produced music that, one way or another, made you feel good. With an array of guitars, yidakis (didgeridoos), stomp box and percussion, Rudd re-introduced a lot of Australians to the sounds and stories of the land's original owners, while introducing the rest of the world to an entirely new sound altogether. And, over the course of a decade, he has taken this sound to every corner of the globe; producing six studio albums, two live albums, multiple ARIA nominations and a global fan-base of likeminded souls.

This journey – truly befitting a storyteller – continues with Xavier Rudd's seventh and most moving album, Spirit Bird. Led by the heart-warming Follow The Sun; Spirit Bird weaves together Rudd's trademark mixture of blues, reggae, indigenous and folk music in new and familiar ways.

And whether it is a message, or just some words from the heart; Spirit Bird is a defining moment in the evolution of one of Australia's most important artists. The moment where the river meets the ocean.

For more information, see: www.xavierrudd.com


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OKA Collective
Positive Soul Vibration - AUSTRALIA

"Ear to the ground, listen to our sound… a positive soul vibration" – DidgeriSTU

OKA is a celebration of Freedom, Beauty & Love. A celebration of all that it is to be alive and free in the world today, OKA draws upon their indigenous connection to place and country through music. Their signature sound is an irresistible blend of influences spanning house, big beat, reggae-dub, Roots, Jazz and world music. A rhythm based sonic tapestry crossing cultural boundaries, embracing the future without losing sight of the past.

Born from a relaxed street jam over 10 years ago, Oka continues to bring the joy, fluidity and simplicity of their positive music to a much larger, growing audience on a global stage. Independently selling over 140,000 albums, they have shared the stage alongside inspirational acts Arrested Development, Finnley Quay, Xavier Rudd, Dehli to Dublin, Kinnie Starr, Digging Roots & A tribe called RED to name a few.

While sharing the bill with the likes of Kiss, Santana, Sting, Burning Spear, Yothu Yindi, Beats Antiques, Fat Freddys Drop and The Wailers. OKA have thrieved at festivals throughout Australia, Asia & Nth America including Montreal Jazz (CAN), Winnipeg Folk (CAN), Green Room Festival (JAP), Earthdance & Joshua Tree (CA), Bali Spirit (INDO) & Woodford Folk Festival, Rainbow Serpent (AUS). In these arenas OKA has sent unsuspecting crowds into hypnotic frenzies, gaining them a strong reputation for their festival highlight standout performances.

At the creative heart of the music is Stu Boga Fergie (aka DidgeriSTU) who connects you to earth with the deep subsonic pulse and resonance of his Yidaki (didgeridoo). He is the big man behind the electronic beats, keys & vocals inspired by his aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander heritage. For the 2014 BaliSpirit Festival, Stu is coming with the Oka Collective, featuring the vocals of Swedish Reggae master Marcus Berg, who is also a collaborator on Oka's latest 7th studio Album 'Free Spirit'. The album also contains collaborations with North American indigenous artists like 'A tribe called RED' and 'George Leach'.

"Its exciting to bring the 'OKA Collective' on tour, it's gonna give people a real feel of what the 'Free Spirit' album is all about. Having Marcus come to Australia for the first time to tour with us will be a treat for all of us." – DidgeriSTU

Almost solely known through word of mouth, the un-conventional growth of these Aussie boys defies the norm. Relying on instinct, they have let their music and love for performing dictate direction to create a real time soundtrack, and an empowering vibe leaving listeners hungry for more.

For more information, please see: www.okamusic.com


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Niyaz
Sufi Music & Dance
IRAN,TURKEY

Described by the Huffington Post as "an evolutionary force in contemporary Middle Eastern music", Niyaz first stepped onto the world stage in 2005 with their infectious self-titled debut album appearing at #1 on iTunes. Critics declared the album to be one of the most ground breaking of its time. A worldwide tour followed and quickly established Niyaz as a stand out ensemble in a very crowded world music field. By seamlessly blending medieval Sufi poetry and folk songs from their native Iran and its surrounding countries in the Persian and Arabian Gulf, with rich acoustic instrumentation and modern electronics, Niyaz has created a 21st century global trance tradition and proven to be a group with a distinctive voice of their own, amply deserving of the success they have garnered worldwide.

Today with three best selling and critically acclaimed albums released on Six Degrees Records, all of which have debuted at #1 on iTunes and garnered the band an incredible amount of media attention including features on BBC, NPR and PRI, Niyaz continues to tour internationally and build on its impressive and loyal fan base. Since 2005 Niyaz has performed in the United States, Canada, France, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, India, Dubai, Mexico, Slovenia, Italy, Portugal, UK, Croatia, Tunisia, and Austria. Their music has also been featured in several major film and television scores, which include, True Blood, Nip Tuck and Crossing Over.

Founded in 2004 by Montreal based Iranian vocalist /composer Azam Ali, whose unmistakable voice has graced numerous recordings and major film scores, Montreal based Iranian multi-instrumentalist/ composer Loga Ramin Torkian, and two time Grammy nominee American producer/ re-mixer Carmen Rizzo, Niyaz which means "yearning", was established as a platform to create social and political awareness through music rooted in, yet not limited by tradition. Music which does not just cross cultural and stylistic boundaries, but the centuries as well. With each album, Niyaz continues to explore the music of regions around Azam and Loga's native Iran, to shed light onto the plight of immigrants as well as minority ethnic and religious groups who struggle to maintain their identities. The music and message of Niyaz takes the listener on a philosophical quest into the human depths. It is a journey filled with a message of hope against injustice and oppression, a universal tribute to beauty, cultural and spiritual diversity, freedom and dignity for all.

Flights for Niyaz were generously supported by Qatar Airlines

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For more info, see: www.niyazmusic.com


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Sousou & Maher Cissoko
SENEGAL & SWEDEN

Expressive singing and rhythmically rocking music define this unique and charismatic duo. Together with their groovy band they line up well-known artists from Senegal and Sweden on kora, guitar, percussion and bass, combining influences from reggae, mbalax, folk, soul and blues. The combination of their rhythmic energy and intimate vocals makes their music unforgettable. Their original music style has made Sousou and Maher Cissoko a well-known duo on many different stages in Scandinavia, at everything from world music to large pop festivals.

Since the release of their albums Adouna (2008) and Stockholm-Dakar (2011) they have toured in Scandinavia, South Korea, Senegal, Mali, Tanzania and South Africa, performing at events such as the Peace & Love Festival, Gwanju World Music Festival, Sauti za Busara, Festival Sur Le Niger, and have been supporting big-name artists including Toumani Diabate, Bassekou Kouyate and Amadou & Mariam. They have performed several times in Swedish and Senegalese National Television and Radio.

Maher Cissoko was born into a legendary griot family in Casamance, Senegal, that has seen the art of kora playing being passed from generation to generation through more than 700 years. Maher has embellished this tradition and developed his own explosive and danceable style.

Sousou Cissoko, a singer from Sweden is one of few female kora players in the world. She fell in love with the kora at an early age and travelled to The Gambia aged only 19 to study the West African Mandinka traditions. Since then she has travelled many times in West Africa to study kora, singing and guitar.

Sousou & Maher have been nominated for several recognition music awards, including Newcomer of the Year 2010, Band of the Year Nominee 2011 and Album of the Year Nominee 2012 in Sweden's World Music Awards. For their achievements they have also been awarded City of Stockholm's Cultural Grants and been supported by the Swedish Arts Council.

For more information, see: www.sousoumaher.se


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Dustin Thomas
USA

Big hair, big smiles, and a whole lot of love—these are just a few trademarks of traveling singer-songwriter Dustin Thomas. Appearance aside, the music of Dustin Thomas has captivated audiences from New York to Hawaii with haunting vocals and soulful depth packaged perfectly in his fun, poignant, and memorable modern folk tunes. Dustin's songs reveal an old soul in a young frame: They reflect conversations on current affairs and historical and political references ranging from Marcus Garvey to Troy Davis. Musings on the world seen through new eyes paint an evenhanded and hopeful picture of troubled times. Dustin's is a new spirit of folk music that contemplates human relationships, both spiritual and intimate. There is little hidden or veiled in his nursery-rhyme-like prose. He simply asks honest questions and spins earnest tales of love, loss, worship, and war.

"His uniqueness defies labels. If you need comparisons, he's a conduit for something spiritual and real, the way that the great Bob Marley was (and still is) or the way real issues were sung by, say, Tracy Chapman, whose stirring voice, by the way, seems to be echoing in Dustin." -Jason Smith, Big Island Weekly


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Kande
INDONESIA

Armed conflict among fellow countrymen in Aceh took not only lives but also impacted the social, economic, and educational systems and groups such as Kande have used artistic mediums to express emotion and bring awareness to this ongoing situation that has continued for more than 30 (thirty) years.

In 1998 during the reformation of Indonesia, many songs had been written to convey the conditions in Aceh during this time. Unfortunately, many deeply rooted traditional Aceh songs were plagiarized and modified.

In 2000 initiated by the anxiety that music in Aceh had strayed too far from tradition, Rafly gathered his friends to form a music group called KanDe. KanDe is a symbol of light and hope for the province's people. Willing to lift Aceh tradition into peace and light, the group is appropriately called KanDe.


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Nosstress
INDONESIA

Nosstress will touch your soul with their "sweet" songs reflecting their authentic style. It has been said that their music feels like a shade tree on a hot day. They have no need for flashy accessories, and t-shirts and shorts are the norm for this group of three young urban guys from Denpasar. Together they record their songs in and organic manner, often playing with just two guitars, one cajoon, and a mix of wind instruments.

Nosstress formed while in their youth, coming together to exchange views on the state of modern society and country, bringing awareness and hope to others. Their songs are a "welcome" change to the modern music scene in Bali and throughout Indonesia. Clear and direct lyrics drive their intentions straight to the mind and then the heart. Their music has been a catalyst for change and self-evolution through songs such as "Tak Pernah Terlambat" from their debut album "Perspektif Bodoh", Tak pernah terlambat jika kau ingin berubah, hanya dirimulah yang menghambat segalanya (It's never too late to change, you yourself who put everything on hold).

For more information see: www.nosstress.com


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Daphne Tse & the Kauai Ohana band
Mantra/Folk infusion Bhakti Music - USA

Daphne is a spirited, soulful artist originally from Texas. Her passion for music started from a young age and took her to Los Angeles after university. Since her initial yoga class in 1994, she has explored merging her spiritual practice with her contemporary folk singer/songwriter style. She studied music at the University of Texas at Austin, the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and Kirtan with Jai Uttal in Guatemala. She has travelled extensively sharing her music in Europe, North America, South America, Asia and beyond. Her music has been featured on yoga music compilations with Shiva Rea and her solo EP, Mata was produced and recorded by Robert Weber in Ubud, Bali. She is currently recording her 2nd album on the island of Kauai with the Kauai Ohana band and looking forward to debuting songs from the album at the BaliSpirit Festival 2014! See more on the Kauai Ohana project at www.pledgemusic.com/projects/daphnetse

For more information, please see: www.daphnetse.com


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Çudamani
INDONESIA

Çudamani maintains that the vitality of Balinese arts relies on the connection of performance to the religious and social life of the village. The group sees itself as an activist community that responds to the philosophical, practical and problematic issues that face Balinese artists today. Members of Çudamani work to achieve a balance of being active creative artists while also preserving ancient and rare forms of Balinese music and dance. Members of the group also compose new music. Çudamani composers are reknowned for their inspired contributions to the repertoire of Balinese music.

For more information, please see: http://cudamani.org/


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Garden Underground
USA, Chile & Indonesia

Pulsing with a transcendent current, Susu Ibu's music is rooted in traditions from lands as distant as West Africa, Australia, India and South America. With eclectic instruments and musical styles wedded with a touch of electronics, Susu Ibu lives up to the meaning of its name, Mother's Milk for the Soul.

The band has a core comprised of Americans and Indonesians along with a "revolving cast" of collaborators over the years.


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Nasi Campur
an International Mix of Sound from Bali

Nasi Campur is a gathering of young elders whose original curative music vibrations will get your body a movin' . They are a tasty mix of young musicians from Tanzania, Australia, India, Israel and Indonesia all based in Bali. These children of the evolution believe in music for social change, compassion and peace.

Achyuth Jaigopal, an emerging young musician from Kochi, India has made his mark as a fingerstyle, classical and electric guitarist. Isami Rashid is a songwriter, vocalist, marimba player and rhythm guitarist hailing from Zanzibar, Tanzania. Daisy Sampson is the sole female member of the band, she makes her presence felt with her powerful voice. This young elder hails from Australia. Jessye Carmi plays bass, marimba, beatboxes and the boy can rap. Born in Bali, Jessye has roots in Africa and Israel. Rai Goler has been a percussionist since he was a young child playing the Balinese Gamelan. Our percussionist, Rai plays marimba, cajon, djembe and anything that makes a sound. Rai is from the Island of the Gods, Bali.

For more information, please see: www.facebook.com/nasicampurbali


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Fabian Alsultany
Tribalistic Musical Alchemy - USA

Los Angeles based DJ Fabian Alsultany was initiated into the DJ world as a teenage New York City club kid in the late '80s. For over 20 years DJ Alsultany has performed his tribalistic musical alchemy at major festivals, world class nightclubs and venues, conferences and yoga/retreat centers across Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa, India, the Caribbean, and North and South America. During the summer of 2013 he DJed festivals throughout the US, including all four Wanderlust Festivals.

Alsultany has served in executive positions with Putumayo World Music and Palm Pictures, alongside industry legend Chris Blackwell, founded and produced the 2012 Tadasana Festival of Yoga and Music in Los Angeles, produced and guided the creation of dozens of albums, remixes and compilations (including Yoga Lounge, released by White Swan Records in 2011).

Alsultany has shared the stage with world-renowned artists, such as Thievery Corporation, Bassnectar, Michael Franti, Brazilian Girls, Macy Gray, Jamiroquai and more. His broad aesthetic transitions smoothly between smoke-filled dance clubs, shamanic retreats and massive outdoor music festivals.

For more information see: www.djAlsultany.com

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