Ariana Grande song commemorates Manchester victims


This 19 April 2018 music video is Ariana Grande – No Tears Left To Cry.

The lyrics of the song are here.

In the song, Ms Grande commemorates the victims of the bloody attack on her 22 May 2017 concert in Manchester, England.

That crime was perpetrated by Salman Abedi, sent to the 2011 Libya war, with the connivance of the British secret police, to fight as a child soldier in NATO’s regime change bloodbath. That war drove Abedi completely horribly mad.

In Ms Grande’s video clip, a honey bee features. Honey bees are symbols of the city of Manchester.

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Venezuelan musician Jose Antonio Abreu, RIP


This video from Venezuela says about itself:

Venezuela: Jose Antonio Abreu‘s funeral

26 March 2018

On this morning’s From The South, we bring you special coverage from Peru as prosecutors have raided the properties of former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who resigned after corruption allegations. As well, we bring you coverage from Venezuela from the funeral of the maestro Jose Antonio Abreu. As well, we bring you news from Catalonia, where thousands of protesters took to the streets and encountered police violence after Catalan President Carlos Puigdemont was arrested in Germany.

Lys Assia, first Eurovision song contest winner, RIP


This music video says about itself:

Eurovision 1956 Switzerland / Lys AssiaRefrain

The first Eurovision Winner ever! Switzerland and Lys Assia!!

Dutch NOS TV reported on 24 March 2018 that Ms Assia had died. Her real name was Rosa Mina Schärer. She was 94 years old.

In 2011 and 2012, when she was already in her late eighties, they tried again to represent Switzerland at the Eurovision song contest, but was not selected.

José Antonio Abreu, Venezuelan musician, RIP


This 2009 video says about itself:

The El Sistema music revolution | José Antonio Abreu

José Antonio Abreu is the charismatic founder of a youth orchestra system that has transformed thousands of kids’ lives in Venezuela. He shares his amazing story and unveils a TED Prize wish that could have a big impact in the US and beyond.

This 24 March 2018 video is called The Musical Revolution Of Jose Antonio Abreu.

From the BBC today:

José Abreu: Founder of world renowned El Sistema music project dies

Tributes have been paid following the death of José Abreu, founder of a renowned music programme that changed the lives of thousands of children.

Abreu founded El Sistema (the system), providing free music education in Venezuela’s shantytowns and poor neighbourhoods.

The programme has inspired similar systems in other countries.

Venezuela announced three days of national mourning for “Maestro Abreu”, who died on Saturday aged 78.

He began the music project in 1975 and counted renowned Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel among his students.

“With devoted love and eternal gratitude to my mentor and father of El Sistema,” tweeted Dudamel, who is now director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

What was José Abreu’s background?

Abreu was born in the Andean city of Valera on May 7, 1939. Music ran deep in his family – his grandfather had founded an orchestra in Italy and his grandmother was a passionate opera fan. Abreu’s mother played piano, and his father the guitar.

He pursued music studies but later – to help support his family – he moved to Caracas to take a degree in economics.

He later worked as an economist for the government and was elected as a substitute member of parliament in the 1960s.

How did El Sistema begin?

Abreu said he became frustrated that Venezuela had only one orchestra while other countries, such as Argentina, Brazil or Mexico, had achieved greater musical development.

“That’s when the idea was born to organise a system to have at least one great Venezuelan-born orchestra,” he recalled.

He founded El Sistema in 1975 in a garage with just 11 musicians.

“They were so determined and so enthusiastic that I understood from that very moment that success was guaranteed,” he remembered.

The network eventually grew to 300 choirs and orchestras.

It has been echoed in a variety of other countries around the world, with particular success in Spain and Scotland, writes Will Grant, the BBC’s Latin America correspondent.

How did it work?

One of the programme’s founding principles was to combat poverty through music, teaching classical works in the poorest areas of the country.

Children are taught from the age of three to play music during free afternoon classes, with a focus on orchestral practice.

There are nucleos (teaching centres) around the country, often located in deprived neighbourhoods.

“They are boys that we are taking away from drugs and violence,” Abreu told AFP news agency some years ago.

“Just sitting a boy in a rehearsal to play, when he could be on the corner smoking marijuana, is already a very important achievement.”

Was it politically motivated?

El Sistema was heavily promoted by the socialist government of former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and has been one of the country’s best funded social programmes. …

He said he was only concerned with the social policy of the Venezuelan state towards “young people of low-income backgrounds” and in seeing the project take hold in other countries.

“I think it’s important because it will spread the ideas that constitute the fundamentals of our project – solidarity, social action through music and understanding between peoples,” he said.

What have others said about him?

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on state television that the country was “deeply moved by the departure… of Maestro Abreu”.

Education Minister Elias Jaua tweeted: “Thanks to Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu for his beautiful legacy for the boys, girls and young people of Venezuela.”

Sir Simon Rattle, director of the Berlin Philharmonic, was a strong supporter of Mr Abreu and El Sistema.

Speaking in 2010 he said: “What Abreu and El Sistema have done is to bring hope, through music, to hundreds of thousands of lives that would otherwise have been lost to drugs and violence.”

El Sistema received many awards, most notably from the Royal Swedish Academy and Unesco.

Turkish singer jailed for criticizing Erdogan


This Turkish music video is called Zuhal Olcay – Pervane.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Turkish singer jailed for insulting Erdogan

The Turkish singer and actress Zuhal Olcay has been sentenced to ten months in prison. A Turkish court found her guilty of insulting President Erdogan during a performance in 2016, reports the Hürriyet newspaper.

During the performance, Olcay replaced a number of words in a song with Erdogan‘s name. “Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it’s all empty, it’s all a lie, life will end one day and then you’ll say: I had a dream”, Olcay sang. In addition, she is also said to have made an insulting hand gesture.

In her testimony, Olcay contradicted that she had evil intentions. Erdogan‘s name simply fit in the meter and rhyme scheme. The hand gesture was meant for someone in the audience, she said.

National security

Insulting the president is a crime in Turkey with a maximum of four years in prison. According to the government, this type of punishment is necessary for the stability of the country and to protect national security.

The 60-year-old Zuhal Olcay is a laureate TV, film and theater actress in Turkey. As a singer she released a number of successful albums. Last December she performed in Amsterdam.