INTERNATIONAL BEAT: Luiz Bonfa, Cesaria Evora, Shooglenifty ...

Brazil's Bonfa dead at 78; new Evora album in March; Shooglenifty to release Solar Shears.

Luiz Bonfá, the Brazilian guitarist and composer known primarily for his score to the film "Orfeu Negro" (Black Orpheus), is dead at 78. Other Bonfá hits included "Manhã de Carnaval," "The Gentle Rain" and "A Felicidade," which were performed by Placido Domingo, Stan Getz and Tony Bennett among many others. ... Cape Verde morna singer Cesaria Evora's new album will be released March 28 in Europe and Africa on Lusafrica/BMG. It comes to the United States via RCA/BMG in May. ...

Shooglenifty, the Scottish band who mix folk, electronic dance music and improvised rock, have released their first U.S. album, Solar Shears (Compass). They will tour the country this summer. ... Moreno Veloso, son of Brazilian star Caetano Veloso, releases his first album, Music Typewriter, on February 20. The record combines Brazilian popular music (MPB), samba, bossa nova and electronic dance sounds. ... Tango-influenced Finnish accordion heroine Maria Kalaniemi and her band Aldargaz release their third record, Ahma, January 23 on the NorthSide label. ...

The hair of Hungarian pop idol Jimmy Zambo is missing from the hospital in Budapest where the singer died last week. Zambo, 42, was admitted to the hospital after an apparent handgun accident. According to a Reuters report based on a story in Hungarian daily newspaper Blikk, doctors had to shave off his long locks to perform brain surgery. Hospital staff report that the hair has vanished, with either illicit sale or obsessive fandom likely motives. ...

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs have parted amicably with their record label, BMG U.S. Latin, according to an open letter published on the band's web site. Two new live albums consisting of the band's hits, Hola and Chau, will still be distributed by the company March 3. ...

Sir Jimmy Shand, whose accordion playing helped popularize

traditional Scottish music (as heard on 1997's The Legendary Jimmy Shand), died on December 23 in Perth, Scotland, at the age of 92. Knighted in 1999, he began recording in the 1930s and was celebrated by singer-songwriter Richard Thompson in the song "Don't Sit on My Jimmy Shands." ... Singer Noor Jehar died on December 23 at the age of 75 in Karachi, Pakistan. Born in India, she was nicknamed the "Queen of Melody." Jehar began performing at age 8, and appeared in her first film in 1935. In the early 1950s she moved to Pakistan, where she continued to act in films and supply offscreen singing voices for actresses. Her death followed a long illness. ...

Beres Hammond, the Jamaican singer best known for his smooth lovers' rock style, will release his 15th album, Music Is Life, on February 6. Tracks include the single "They Gonna Talk" and "Dance4Me," which boasts a guest appearance by Fugee Wyclef Jean. ...

Los Super Seven, the part-time band featuring David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas from Los Lobos, will release a new album in March. Guests will include Brazil's Caetano Veloso, Peruvian singer Susanna Baca and Raul Malo of country band the Mavericks. The record will include new versions of songs by Veloso, traditional Latin material and new material from Hidalgo and Rosas. The band's eponymous debut won a 1998 Grammy for Best Mexican-American Music Performance. ...

Edmund Ntemi Piliso, 75, an influential musician who defined the South African jazz sound, has died. In the early 1950s Piliso and his brother, Shadrack, combined their love of Duke Ellington's music with the African tribal sound known as marabi. Playing tenor saxophone, Piliso led his own band prior to becoming a member of the African Jazz Pioneers in the '80s. The band recorded several albums including Sip and Fly and Afrika Vukani. Piliso died of a long illness related to diabetes. ...

Japan's Kodo drummers will celebrate their 20th anniversary this year with a remix album and U.S. tour. The record, Kodo Tataku: Best of Kodo 2, will be released January 23. On January 30, the 20-member troupe will begin a 31-date trek across the United States beginning in Eugene, Oregon, and ending March 22 in Washington, D.C. ...

The seventh annual World Sacred Music Festival will take place June 1–10 in Fez, Morocco. Brazilian star Gilberto Gil will headline the opening ceremony. Among the festival's 17 performers are France's Ensemble Naguila, Pakistan's Abida Parveen, Egypt's Sheikh Ahmad Al Tuni and American gospel stars the Edwin Hawkins Singers, who will close the event. ...

Asian Dub Foundation Education, the youth-oriented organization conceived by Anglo-Asian band Asian Dub Foundation, will receive financial help from the British government's National Foundation for Youth Music. Based in Brent, outside London, Asian Dub Foundation Education aids young bands seeking tuition, musical education and recording facilities. ... Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera will release a duet single this year. The pair are filming a video for "Nobody Wants To Be Lonely" (RealAudio excerpt), a track from Martin's Sound Loaded album. ...

— sonicnet.com staff report