Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Chicosci continues to redefine music with their album FLY BLACK HEARTS featuring the hits DIAMOND SHOTGUN, BREATHE AGAIN & WHAT’S YOUR POISON. Chicosci’s fanbase has expanded exponentially over the past year and will only grow bigger as the boys continue to make waves in music industry!

Best known for being one third of Apo Hiking Society, Jim Paredes releases his solo album entitled “Laro”. It features his own compositions like “Lumisan Na Siya” and “Butong Pakwan.” Jim currently has his own column at The Philippine Star, has attracted a lot of followers on his own blog aside from being a musician, producer and television personality.

After making a name in the industry and being one of the driving forces in making “acoustic” a household name, NYOY VOLANTE has undoubtedly become one of the finest acoustic acts in town. No wonder he has been tagged as the King of Acoustic Pop. It is highlighted further via his first album under MCA Music- “In You”, which features the hits “Someday” , Time Machine” as well as other tracks “Tuloy Tuloy”, “In You” and “Try”.

The Philippines’ ONE and ONLY legendary, multi-awarded and platinum selling band is back with a new lineup, new original songs and a new album – SIDE A is here with their latest offering, ONLY 1 under MCA Music. It includes the singles “I JUST WANNA BE WITH YOU”, “ONLY ONE”, “TILA”, “SOMETHING’S MISSING”, “WHERE DO I GO”, “DIE JUST A LITTLE” and more.

The country’s “Phenomenal Diva” showcases her range and diversity with a new album entitled “JESSA SINGS THE GREAT MUSICAL ICONS!” Undying hits by the great musical legends such as “Broken Hearted Me”, “Every Breath You Take”, “When You Tell Me That You Love Me”, “The Winner Takes It All” as well as the theme for the television series Eva Fonda “Bakit Ako Mahihiya” are just a taste of the phenomenal track list in the album. Jessa brings a different and local sound to these hits, proving her versatility and vocal prowess as an artist.

The Heart of R&B gets even more intimate with his latest offering from MCA Music: “Moments of Love”, an album comprised of remakes of well-loved romantic anthems from the 80’s – all done in characteristic adult contemporary R&B fashion. Includes the controversial single, his cover of Wham’s “Careless Whisper”.

For bookings and show rates, contact Grace Foronda at +6329162504,
+639088894502 or

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

MCA Music’s hottest and multi-awarded K-Pop group 2AM to perform ‘live’ in Megaworld Lifestyle Centers this April!

Megaworld Lifestyle Centers have become the new haven for today’s hottest K-Pop acts as it brings to Manila, together with MCA Music, the four-member ballad boy band 2AM consisting of members Jinwoon, Jo Kwon, Seulong, and Changmin for a 4-day promo tour of their latest album, Saint O’ Clock, beginning April 27 until April 30. Fans will definitely be thrilled and overwhelmed as their favorite K-Pop group will be invading the entire metro for a series of meet & greets, live performances and a grand show. Catch them at the following venues: April 28, 6:00PM at The Newport Plaza at Resorts World Manila, April 29, 6:00PM at Venice Piazza at Mckinley Hill and April 30, 5:00PM at Eastwood Mall Open Park. Enjoy sweet serenades from MCA Music’s freshest teen acoustic-pop duo, Krissy & Ericka who will also perform in these series of mall shows.

Eastwood Mall, Venice Piazza at McKinley Hill, and Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, are Metro Manilas premier themed lifestyle centers, owned by Megaworld Corporation.

All those who will purchase 2AM's Saint O'clock Special Edition album during the meet & greet shows on April 28 and April 29 will get the chance to have their albums signed! The special edition album features your all-time favorite 2AM songs from the standard St. O’ Clock album plus 2 bonus tracks and a DVD packed with music videos that is just pure 2AM goodness.
On April 30, catch the boys sing their hearts out in their Grand Show at the Eastwood Mall and witness a night of performance that is full of surprises. Let 2AM serenade you as you sing-along with your favorite 2AM songs.

2AM has charmed their way into winning prestigious awards such as winning in the 25th Golden Disk Awards, 2nd Melon Music Awards, MNET Music awards and Seoul Music Awards. These four boys really give us a fresh insight on the KPOP scene with their multi-awarded ballad songs.

2AM live in Manila is presented to you by MCA Music Inc. and Megaworld Lifestyle Centers. Also by valued media partners, MYX- the official music channel of 2AM in Manila; Barangay LS (97.1, Tugstugan na) - the official radio station of 2 AM in Manila; The Manila Bulletin, Garage Magazine, KPOP Live,, EDSA Shangri-la Hotel - the official residence of 2AM in Manila; Maxima Machineries & Hyundai Truck and Bus - the official transportation of 2AM in Manila; Big Hit entertainment Korea, JYP Entertainment Korea and 2 One Day Philippines. This much-awaited promo tour will be the ultimate K-POP event this year!
To get the latest updates on 2AM, visit MCA Music's Facebook page at

Text 2AM to 2346

Monday, April 11, 2011


Ronan Keating has teamed up with legendary composer Burt Bacharach to record his brand new solo album, 'When Ronan Met Burt', was released via MCA Music.

A long time fan of Burt's staggering back catalogue, Ronan is thrilled to be working with one of his all-time musical heroes on this very special collaboration. The Irish superstar first contacted Burt last year; he was ecstatic when the iconic composer and producer agreed for them to work together.

Backed by a full orchestra, the result was a spectacular album recorded by the duo earlier this year. All the tracks featured are classics composed by Burt over the course of his impressive fifty year career and include instantly recognisable hits such as 'Walk On By', 'The Look Of Love', 'What The World Needs Now Is Love' and 'I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself'.  All the tracks were recorded live with a full orchestra, ensuring that the grandeur and stature of these timeless classics was captured and conserved.

"It has been a dream come true to work with Burt on this album," Ronan says of the collaboration. "I grew up listening to his songs and the tracks we've chosen to record for the album are simply some of the greatest pop masterpieces ever written, so it was an honour to sing them alongside the man himself."

Speaking about the recording session Ronan said, 'It was one of the hardest sessions I've done.  It's hard enough trying to do justice to such legendary tunes but to record them with the man himself was another level of pressure'.

Burt said of the process, 'To do these songs with a different slant and approach on them made it very interesting for me.  And too be able to work with Ronan and expose these songs to maybe a younger audience as well as my fan base. Then to be able to record it in the legendary Capitol recording studio - full orchestra live. Quite a trip we were on Ronan.'

'When Ronan Met Burt' is Ronan's seventh solo album in the UK and is his first solo release in this country since 2009's 'Winter Songs'. He has since spent time in Australia working as a judge on the Australian version of 'The X Factor' and went on to win the competition with one of the acts he mentored. He will again return as a judge on the new series of the show later this year.


The Look Of Love
Walk On By
I'll Never Fall In Love Again
Arthur's Theme (The Best That You Can Do)
My Little Red Book
What The World Needs Now
Something Big
I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself
This House Is Empty Now
Make It Easy On Yourself


Sunday, April 10, 2011


HUMANFOLK is a world music project between Johnny Alegre (guitar, bamboo percussion, voice), Susie Ibarra (kulintang, drums, percussion, voices) and her husband, Roberto Juan Rodriguez (drums, percussion), together with renowned Philippine musical artists Cynthia Alexander (guitar, vocals, bass, bamboo percussion, gongs), and Malek Lopez (keyboards, synthesizer and sound design).

In June of 2008, they recorded a musical suite by Alegre, entitled “Humanfolk”, which consequently became the name of the concept band.

Humanfolk's music combines indigenous Philippine elements of bamboo and gong instruments, with folk-jazz, Brazilian, Cuban, Indian and Iberian strains, with overlays of electronica and urban Southeast Asian sounds. The amalgam becomes a rich electro-acoustic environment, replete with modal improvisation, wordless songs, rambling melodies and exotic harmonic progressions. Their seminal recording, catalyzed by the Phil-American percussion avant-gardist and indigenous music advocate, Susie Ibarra, with the Cuban-born drummer Roberto Juan Rodriguez (whose musical chops were honed in the orchestra of the great bassist-composer, Israel “Cachao” Lopez), have brought these adventurous musicians together into the same room: guitarist-composer Johnny Alegre; singer-composer and multi-instrumentalist Cynthia Alexander; and the electronica exponent and sound designer, Malek Lopez. In the succeeding months, they also recruited the keyboardist-vocalist and Chapman Stick player of Fuseboxx, Abby Clutario to supplement the vacuum created by the US-bound departure of Ibarra and Rodriguez. .

Johnny Alegre is a recording artist whose pioneering albums and performances have received favorable notices from the jazz press in London and Los Angeles, as well as his native Philippines.

Cynthia Alexander's award-winning albums and endearing repertoire have captured the imagination of a formidable following in the contemporary Philippine indie music scene. Her exquisitely-crafted music, compelling melodies and prose-poetry are distinctly Asian yet warmly assimilative of popular western influences with touches of classical.

Malek Lopez is the keyboardist and electronic musician behind groups such as Drip and Rubber Inc. His collaborations with kindred artists such as Chris Brown and the Teichman Brothers have brought Manila's underground electronica culture to venues of convergence in Berlin and Kuala Lumpur.

Susie Ibarra's name is legend in the rarefied ethno-musical and avant-garde jazz genres in the global landscape, with a cachet of recordings and formidable collaborations with Derek Bailey, John Zorn, Mark Dresser, David S. Ware and so forth. She was voted "Rising Star" in the 57th Annual Critics Poll (2009) of DownBeat Magazine in the Percussion category.

Roberto Juan Rodriguez, from his heady days with Cachao and the Miami Sound Machine, is breaking ground afresh with his and Susie's fusion of electronica, ethnic music and jazz in Electric Kulintang, and with his own Afro-Cuban ensemble, Septeto Rodriguez.

The brave Philippine endeavor, HUMANFOLK, could very well be one of Asia's more compelling musical associations in recent years.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Epiphany of HUMANFOLK

by Johnny Alegre
In March of 2007, in a hectic two weeks in New York City I was setting up with bassist Ron McClure and drummer Billy Hart for a recording project, I gave myself a brief spell to explore a street known as “The Bowery” in Greenwich Village. The Bowery was just a few dozen steps away from a rented walkup I was occupying along 4th Street in the Village’s east side, and there was a very different kind of record shop I found along the Bowery called The Downtown Music Gallery. Now mind you, the Village has some of the most comprehensive record stores there are, but this particular store was extraordinary for their selection of avant-garde CDs. Name it, whether jazz or rock or post-modern classical or electronic, if it was anything outside the norm, chances are you’d have a better prospect of finding it there.

Truth is, I was not very big on avant-garde, but I’d be wasting my experience of the Bowery if I didn’t delve into this CD paradise. Years before, I’d braced myself to listen to LPs by John Cage (“Prepared Piano”) and Ornette Coleman (“Free Jazz”) and Edgard Varese (“Ionisation”), and even taken them home, all because they were free for the borrowing from the dearly-missed Thomas Jefferson Library of the U.S. Information Service in Araneta Avenue in Quezon City. The abandoned library’s building was years later converted into a funeral home; but that’s another story however symbolic. And further on, I’d had the opportunity to learn in college about tone rows and musique concrete and aleatoric elements, and all that long-haired stuff. I even had watched Karlheinz Stockhausen in Madrid (of all places) and had shaken his hand. But finding a New York shop lined wall-to-wall with Compact Discs of which I only knew, maybe, one percent of the titles was a humbling experience. I gravitated towards the jazz section where I found some comfort recognizing more familiar names such as Sun Ra, and Derek Bailey, and Paul Motian, and even Soft Machine. I had always yearned to own a small collection of albums by avant-garde guitarist Derek Bailey, particularly because they were truly very hard to find, and also because his playing represented a good chunk of guitar music that I didn’t understand and wished to comprehend. I readily bought a handful of those, but what amazed me were two of the Bailey CDs I chose which were collaborations of his with a Filipina-American drummer named Susie Ibarra.

Susie Ibarra is one of very few musicians of Philippine origin who have risen to the loftiest levels of recognition in the American and International concert scene. She had performed with artists as diverse as Sean Lennon, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, Yo La Tengo, jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas, saxophonist John Zorn of Masada, the Indian violin virtuoso Dr. L. Subramaniam, and so forth. I knew about her to some extent because a musician friend of mine, Mikah Azurin, had sought her out on his own and apparently had made acquaintances with her. And so I would hear information from Mikah about Susie’s infrequent trips to the Philippines to learn the kulintang, and a recording she had made called “Electric Kulintang”.

Fast-forward a year later, back in Manila in April of 2008, for an event called “Jazz On The Green”. Some officials in the U.S. Embassy had organized a private event to bring my group, Affinity, to play in their yard for the embassy personnel and the ambassador while the sun set famously on Manila Bay. It was such an attractive concept, and so we went about organizing what was to be a private recital and gesture of goodwill. And in the morning of that gig, I received an unexpected call from Ricky Jalbuena, a jazz aficionado whom I didn’t see very often. He goes, “Hey Johnny, guess who’s in town? Susie Ibarra. Are you playing tonight? I’d like to bring Susie and her husband, Roberto, to see you.” Imagine my mix of shock, delight and nerves. And so I hastily plunged into the diversion of calling those in charge, explaining that I have special guests how ever unexpectedly, and can we please make an exception to accommodate these very exceptional people, and I can email them their credentials immediately to explain everything, and it would be such a great favor, really. It went somewhere along those lines.

Some words about Susie’s husband, Roberto Juan Rodriguez, whose Cuban-Jewish family had sought exile in the United States after fleeing communist Cuba at the onset of the Castro regime. Roberto’s trumpeter father had joined the orchestra led by the great Cuban bassist, Israel “Cachao” Lopez in Miami, Florida. Roberto found himself apprenticing as a drummer for them and many other Cuban and Cuban-Jewish ensembles. He took note that a number of leading Latin pianists and trumpeters of the ‘60s and ‘70s had been Jewish. Moving to New York, he played with Paul Simon, Julio Iglesias, the Miami Sound Machine, Joe Jackson, Lester Bowie, Randy Brecker, Paquito D’Rivera, Dave Liebman, and Phoebe Snow. I learned about all of this much later, way after having met the guy, and getting to know Roberto was so normal and unassuming. He considered the Philippines to be the home of the greatest dessert ever, halo-halo. He had visited Manila several times already and he would extol the virtues of this incomparable dessert.

Suffice that I played at “Jazz On The Green” like there was no tomorrow. In the aftermath, over biscuits and juice, Susie Ibarra, Roberto and I exchanged telephone numbers, and so it all began as some means of contact to exchange our albums; and possibly we will have a “merienda” one of these days? The couple had a huge itinerary, which included trips to meet various ethnic music instructors in different parts of the country, and an invitational concert at the Philippine Women’s University, but we found ways to meet up during lulls. Once or twice by then, the idea of a musical collaboration occurred and it gradually became more real as the days went by.

But let’s slip now into a parallel reality. In the same April of 2008, the legendary female guitarist June Millington was on a visit to Manila for a women’s rights advocacy, and by chance she had an event of some sort organized for her in Mag:net Katipunan, right on the very night of my gig. Rock Drilon of Mag:net gave me a heads up about it on the morning itself, which was kind of becoming a pattern in those days. But I was excited. The Philippine-American June Millington, whom Guitar Player Magazine described as “the hottest female guitar player in the country”, founded the trailblazing rock group, Fanny, with her sister, bassist Jean Millington, which recorded five albums for Warner Brothers' Reprise Records, including Mother's Pride, produced by Todd Rundgren. In 1971 Fanny also served as session players and did arrangements for Barbra Streisand's self-titled album, and had recorded for Keith Moon and David Bowie. June didn’t have a band with her at Mag:net but it was so natural, and perhaps expected of me, to invite her on stage to jam with us.

Cynthia Alexander was in the crowd with her friends at Mag:net, and there was much clamor, and she too jammed with June Millington. On my way home at the end of the night, as June Millington was still signing autographs away, I mentioned to Cynthia about Susie Ibarra also being in town, and that she and Roberto were here to study Philippine music, and maybe, just maybe, we might record. It was such serendipity, as both Cynthia and I agreed that it would be great for us to get together and create new music. Well, of course, everyone here knows Cynthia as the effervescent singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist of “Comet’s Tail” and “Rippingyarns”; but it is perhaps less known that Cynthia is a terrific bass player. In another time when she went by the maiden name of “Cynthia Ayala”, she had won a Best Bass Player award in a Tokyo festival. And so I had a bassist for the project, if ever. And she could sing, and play a bunch of other things.

Malek Lopez had just returned from Berlin, Köln and Kuala Lumpur with his electronica duo, Rubber Inc. With his partner Noel de Brackinghe, he had collaborated, and recorded an album, with the Teichman Bros from Germany. Noel was the engineer for two albums I made for Candid Records in a studio that they co-owned; and now Malek and I were exploring the idea of recording some collaborative tracks, but we didn’t quite know yet just how. He’s an excellent sound designer, and he went to his gigs with his other group, Drip, lugging a laptop. When I mentioned that Susie Ibarra, Roberto Rodriguez, Cynthia Alexander and I would possibly go to a recording studio, Malek was keen on the concept right away. And so to Tagaytay to write songs quickly, I went; and afterwards to a studio booth to create demos in the days following; and then to hole up at home to write the charts with a piano and guitar in hand. And frequently, we were on our cell phones. But this was only all possible if what we played together were music all of us had a commonality with and wanted to do; and it felt like a proverbial “golden number” to realize. The pressure eased up a bit after Susie messaged me from Boracay that the music was good to go. And with some more serendipity, Cynthia had a chance to socialize with Susie and Roberto at a party (hosted by Mishka Adams’ mother, Agnes Arellano) and thus it all became comfortable.

Just a few days before Susie’s and Roberto’s return to New York in late-June of 2008, the five of us converged in Shinji Tanaka’s studio to interpret, improvise on, and record a suite of compositions, collectively entitled “Humanfolk”. Shinji’s sizeable Sound Creation facility suddenly appeared cramped, as his studio floor was littered with our instruments of all manner. Drums, cymbals, brass and wooden kulintang, bamboo buzzers and rain sticks, acoustic and electric guitars, the grand piano fixture, tambourine, and assorted world percussion such as shakers, clappers, guiro and kalimba. It was possible for anyone among the five of us to pick up any instrument and play it credibly. And so Humanfolk happened, indeed, on a very special day that collected the stuff of dreams.