- Mixing Flamenco, Middle
Eastern, Spanish and Western motifs, Moodafaruka creates a
tapestry of sound that is both familiar and new. The global
community is burgeoning into a multicultural, multicolored,
multilingual village. Moodafaruka's mission is to remind
people of the common values we share, to honor our differences,
and promote the celebration of life through music.
- Moodafaruka: Mood of
the Dance. A "faruka" (farruca) is a flamenco style of dance.
We've combined it with the word mood, to create a new word that
means mood of the dance.
- Guitarist Rom Ryan has
performed throughout the country, and has lived in Houston, Texas
since 1988. Rom performed as a solo artist and was also a regular
opening act at Rockefeller 's concert hall. Rom made two solo CD's
and in 1993, his CD - Mysteria was the 5th most added CD on Adult
Contemporary Radio for four weeks. In 1991 and 1992, Rom was voted
"Best Guitarist" by the Public News Reader's Poll. While being
recognized as a solo guitarist, Rom was ready to bring other
musicians into his compositions.
- Rom played with a number of
fine musicians, and in 1999 he teamed with long time friend and
percussionist Terrence Karn for a world dance performance
and shortly afterwards released their first CD - La Luna
Lounge to rave reviews, excellent radio play around the
globe, and thousands in sales. Moodafaruka later expanded,
adding incredible bassist/vocalist Arlandus Chimney and the
amazing gypsy violin talent of Maryann Willis. Maryann not
only brings a mastery of gypsy violin that fits right in with
Moodafaruka's compositions but she also plays with great
technical expertise. Maryann wrote all of Mel Bay's books on gypsy
violin. In 2001, Moodafaruka recorded their second CD -
Zazu. Talented rhythm guitarist, Katja Grimm
next joined Moodafaruka, and Blame It On The
Moon was released in 2005.
- "I first met Rom Ryan
when he had just finished a Moodafaruka performance at the second
World Music event at the SXSW 2006 Music Festival," recalled
MEGAWAVE label president John Palmer. "Marco Werman
had introduced the previous night's performances and had
referenced this among other events featuring World Music, as
distinguished from the predominately alternative and mainstream
acts throughout Austin."
- "The setting was not a
traditional SXSW venue. A hotel meeting hall at first seemed
incongruous, but it quickly became sublime as the senorous gypsy
violin, dual flamenco guitar, and Middle Eastern percussion
resonated throughout the hall. Beautiful young children played
among the mix of seating and potted plants, as Moodafaruka
carried the audience from Morocco to Spain, from Persia to Eastern
Europe, with its own blend. It was an evening of discovery and
delight that I would not soon forget."
Moodafaruka is a collection of favorites drawn from
Moodafaruka's first three CDs, presented mostly in the order in
which they were originally recorded, with two new songs recorded
especially for this collection. Joining Rom's lead guitar for the
two new recordings is Katja Grimm on rhythm guitar and
Aaron Hermes on percussion.
- Rom Ryan and
Moodafaruka: A Legacy of Critical Acclaim
- Independent Music
- Houston Chronicle's
- 2005 WINNER &endash;
BEST ORIGINAL BAND
- "Each track [of Zazu] tends to
evoke an emotion or physical setting, like a travel video of the
mind. Spanish Caravan opens the record, unfolding slowly as it
takes the listener through a gentle countryside dappled with
sunlight. Drink with Umbrella and Luna Amor favor a more dramatic,
dancing atmosphere (a bullfight? a fiesta?) with Mary Ann Willis's
scale-romping gypsy violin adding much to both. Fiesta del Viento
and Ella de la Luz, two of the best tracks, maintain festive
feelings that build with each chorus. And finally, on the title
track, Arlandus Chimney's solid bass intro breaks out into a touch
of light all-American funk.
- - Houston Press
- "In a fine collaboration of musical
cultures and styles, Moodafaruka's second release deserves stellar
attention in the world music spotlight. Blending flamenco, Indian,
Moroccan, Latin, and Western sounds in a tapestry all their own,
Moodafaruka captures the essence of world fusion. An eminently
tasteful - and danceable! - mix."
- - NAPRA Review
- "Featuring melodies that are exotic and
enchanting, the 11 songs on Zazu showcase Ryan's splendid guitar
mastery of flamenco and other musical world styles. All this is
made all the more impressive by the constant, pulsing rhythms
supplied by Karn. In listening to their recordings (and seeing
them perform live), it is obvious that they were meant to play
together, as the fusion of string and drum blends together into
one perfect, harmonious whole."
- - Body Mind & Soul
- "A very fine CD filled with jazz
mystique and otherworld promise. Suppose world music and jazz had
a kid, this might be that child at age 44 minutes long.
Instrumentals and a few non-English vocal tracks make this a CD to
- - The Muse's Muse
- "Moodafaruka's music takes a bypass
right past your conscious mind and continues on straight until it
reaches your subconscious awareness. Once there, it goes to work
massaging and releasing any tension thereby allowing you to enter
a world of semi-conscious mind wanderings and
- - 181.4 DftN!
- "Acoustic guitar wizard Rom Ryan and
percussionist Terrence Karn carry the listener around the
globe--into the center of teeming cities, across hazy deserts,
through steamy jungles and towering mountain ranges. Ryan's guitar
work is often literally entrancing, as on the churning Psychedelic
Texas, and he turns in some spellbinding flute work to boot, while
Karn, who doubles on vocals, proves himself to be a versatile
- - SPLENDID E-ZINE
- "If you are looking for music that's
influenced by styles from other cultures than western rock,
Moodafaruka are certainly a good place to start."
- - HEARD MAGAZINE
- "La Luna Lounge provides an escape from
the typical sounds we are constantly bombarded with by promotional
music media. It's admirable to see two Americans create a mixture
of styles based on Mediterranean chants, hypnotic percussion and
Spanish guitar with a twist of New Age."
- - URBAN BEAT
- "Rom Ryan and Terrence Karn play music
that takes you on an aural vacation to practically every corner of
- "What a great album! La Luna Lounge is
something of a musical travelogue of chanting rhythms from around
- - GAJOOB |
- "The art of solo guitar has provided
many with tremendous pleasure. Recently I discovered my latest
guitar indulgence, Rom Ryan. While Ryan is adept within many
styles, his mix of pure gentleness and dazzling intricacy on the
classically-inspired compositions runs through the core of his
- - WHITE SWAN MUSIC
- "Rom Ryan plays Rockefeller's on
January 25. He's followed by Strunz and Farah the next night and
Leo Kottke the night after. It's fitting the three acts follow
each other because all are acoustic guitarists who are
- - PUBLIC NEWS
- "Rom Ryan deserves a spot next to
guitar great William Ackerman."
- - WHITE SWAN PRESS
- "Cielo Vago evokes images of a stroll
under dark desert skies, the wind rolling past in waves. Overall
Mysteria is hard to resist for those who love technical perfection
and sonic beauty on the acoustic guitar."
- - PUBLIC NEWS
- "Suffice it to say the audience was
held captive by his music. The rest of the program proved equally
dazzling. What has been described here might give an idea of the
power of his live performance."
- -BODY, MIND & SOUL
- "Ryan combines an easy mastery with a
relaxed virtuosity on Another World."
- - PUBLIC NEWS
- "Rom's fresh sound draws on music from
around the world...very enjoyable."
- - WHITE SWAN PRESS
- "Rom Ryan's Mysteria was one of our
favorite guitar releases displaying a dynamic style unique in its
- -HEART BEAT MUSIC
- "A unique style that penetrates the
intellect of music lovers."
- -HOUSTON SCENE MAGAZINE
- "Rom Ryan was mysterious and dazzling
with his, well, it was advertised as new-age jazz guitar...it's
oddly compelling mood music, gripping in its fluid
- - PUBLIC NEWS
- "Rom Ryan has been able to captivate,
through his music, that certain essence of life that we only feel
when we are able to find those moments of peace and tranquility
- -TALENTO MAGAZINE
- "While on Another World Rom's fluid
guitar work is expanded even farther than on Mysteria, it is the
vocals that really shine in a sort of 'Dead Can Dance' vein that
lends a new depth to his music."
- -HEART BEAT MUSIC
Moodafaruka Release Notes
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