“El Dorado” is nominated for “Best World Album”
ZMR Award Presentation New Orleans May 11, 2013
Richard Hecks and his nouveau flamenco band Luna Blanca, recognized for their energetic song melodies backed by lively drumbeat world rhythms:
Luna Blanca, based in Bocholt, Germany, was founded at the beginning of the millennium by acoustic lead guitarist Richard Hecks. The other mainstay of the group is pianist Helmut Graebe, who joined the group just before they recorded the first album, and now co-writes the music with Hecks. Both on record and in concert they add other musicians as needed to create their sound with drums, percussion, bass, one or more acoustic rhythm guitars, organ, occasional vocalizing, etc. On the last albums, Hecks and Graebe have been joined by rhythm guitarist Bino Dola (a flamenco player much respected throughout Europe) and Clemens Paskert (who adds bass, percussion and additional keyboards). Paskert, who runs Capitol Sound Studios where the CDs were recorded, also serves as arranger and co-producer with Hecks.
Hecks was a classical guitarist until he heard Ottmar Liebert (a fellow German who moved to the United States) on the radio. “That was the sound I had been searching for,” Hecks says. “It was the alchemy of uniting beautiful melodies with the intensity of flamenco. The romantic and melodious aspect that Ottmar introduced aroused my enthusiasm.”
In addition to garnering airplay around the world with their music, Luna Blanca has had many memorable moments. They have performed at major concert events — “La Guitarra” and “Noche de Guitarra” — with international-favorite Peter Finger joining Richard Hecks and Bino Dola as the third guitarist. On their Guitar Island album, Hecks and Graebe brought in award-winning percussionist Sascha Pöpping. From that CD, the tune “Pastis” went to No. 3 on the Australian Indie Radio Chart, “Island Reggae” appeared on a Global Rhythm compilation CD, “Villa Azur” was heard on a New Age and New Sounds compilation recording, and “Rising Sun” was chosen to be on two compilation albums – Goa Chillout Zone and Café World Lounge, on this last one together with Nelly Furtado and Nenah Cherry. Provence went to #7 on the international Top 100 Zone Music Reporter radio airplay chart (and was named one of the Top 5 albums of the year in two award categories — Best Acoustic Instrumental Album and Best World Album).
“In my early years as a musician, I never imagined I would turn my attention to flamenco melodies,” states Hecks. “But once I heard this style of music, I fell in love with the emotionalism and intensity. I also am excited about how this new flamenco sound deeply touches listeners from all age groups, all different ethnic backgrounds and all countries around the world. It is a universal musical language that can be appreciated by anyone.”
Campaign Start: 21.02.2013
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