Archive for May, 2009

World Music in the Courtyard @ the Museum of Fine Arts – Wednesday Nights @ 7:30 p.m.

Museum 2Come on out to the MFA and enjoy these well known popular world music artists in the pleasant setting of the museum’s Calderwood Courtyard. The Elaine and Jerome Rosenfeld Concert Series will take place every Wednesday evening from June 24th thru August 26th. The courtyard opens to the public at 6:00 p.m. and the performance begins at 7:30. Bring your blanket or a low seating portable chair and be sure to come early as space is at a premium. Happily, the show is guaranteed to go on even if it rains, as the museum has a sizable indoor auditorium- just in case. Here is the star studded line-up:

July 17th – King Sunny Ade and his African Beats (Nigerian Juju)

July 22nd – Grupo Fantasma (Latin )

July 29th – Alex Cuba (Cuban soul and rock)

August 19th – Buika (Flamenco fusion)

                                                Museum 7





Concert Details:

When: Select Wednesday Eves. @ 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Where: Museum of Fine Arts

Tickets: Prices range from $24.00 – $38.00 (includes  a discount for MFA members, seniors, and students)

For complete information as to how to make purchases online, in person, by phone, or for the special concert dining package check out their website.

Area Restaurants.










May 28, 2009 at 4:14 am Leave a comment

Truly Local Sumertime Fun!!! – World Music in the Neighborhood Park

Sparrow 7In keeping with my latest post on Titus Sparrow Park (5/24), I would encourage you to check out the summer events schedule for your local neighborhood park, as well as others close by. Most of these recreational areas host a web site that keeps the locals, and others who might be interested, informed of park happenings and other related issues. One way that I have found to be pretty effective in locating park web sites is to search Google under the keywords “the name of the park” and events. That will usually do the trick and you can see whether or not they are hosting any seasonal events involving live world music.

To me there is nothing quite like outdoor park summer entertainment. I always jump at the chance to get out and partake of the pleasent seasonal weather.  In addition, I truly enjoy the totally laidback informal atmosphere these types of concerts provide, not to mention the free admission! During these tough economic times, this is a benifit that has become all the more appreciated.  

                                                 Concert 2


May 25, 2009 at 3:13 pm Leave a comment

Summer Concerts in the Park – Titus Sparrow Park (South End) – Wednesday Evenings @ 6:30 p.m.

Sparrow 6I don’t know about you, but summer is definitely my most favorite time of the year!!! Aside from the warm weather and outdoor fun that goes along with it, free music abounds in Boston in the form of open air concerts.  Oh boy!!!  And as you would expect, Boston’s world music scene is very much a part of all this wonderful musical activity.

I’m particularly lucky that one of the outdoor performance venues just happens to be virtually right in my own backyard. I’m speaking here of  Titus Sparrow Park in Boston’s South End. I have a private roof deck, so I don’t even have to leave home to enjoy this fine series of concerts. This year, I will be serenaded for about 90 minutes or so every Wednesday night at dusk, and I can hardly wait.                                                     

Sparrow Park has within it an amphitheater-style area of lawn where the concerts are held. This years series lasts from June 10th – August 12th. So come and bring your favorite lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the nice soft grass along with, of course, great music.  For your information, I have listed here the world music performers who will be appearing and provided audio links to samples of their music.

 Summer 1                                                        




June 17th – Boubacar Diabate and Sambalolo (West African vocals with guitar)

June 24th – Paulo Stagnaro and La Timbistica with Eleonora Bianchini (Italian vocals and Latin jazz)

July 1st – PanNeubean Steel (Reggae, Calypso, and Soul Steeldrum sounds)

July 8th – Trouz Bras (Breton bagpipes)

July 29th – Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers (Scandinavian, Celtic, and American fusion fiddle)




Concert Details:

When: Select Wednesday Eves. @ 6:30 p.m.

(Cancellations due to rain will be posted on the park’s web site or you can join their mailing list in order to be notified personally)

Where: Titus Sparrow Park / (Directions)

Admission: Free

Area Restaurants.






May 24, 2009 at 1:46 am Leave a comment

Little Shop of Horas – New England’s #1 Destination for Folk Dance Music Recordings

CDS 1Still searching for that elusive recording of folk dance music that just doesn’t seem to be available anywhere??? Why not let the good folks at the Little Shop of Horas in Melrose lend you helping hand. They’re experts and would love to make your search a success! 

They boast the largest collection of traditional dance music recordings in the entire New England area. In addition, they have quite a comprehensive inventory of  recordings of other genres of folk music as well. If your looking for kids music, you can find it here as well. While browsing their online catalog, I found their prices to be quite reasonable.  Not only do they carry a wide selection of cds, cassettes and even, believe it or not at this stage, lps, but also DVDs, video cassettes, books, and sheet music as well. They even have a selection of T-shirts and such so that you can proudly share your love of folk arts with the rest of the world.  

The shop’s staff is always ready to tell you what’s newrecommended, or on sale with respect to their inventory. More ever, you can conveniently make your purchases in a number of ways. The store is located at the Folk Arts Center of New England. Their hours and phone number are the same as those of the office. You can also take advantage of their online order form which coincides with the catalog. In addition, they appear at various folk events in the area, so keep an eye out for them when attending performances. 

An aspect of the Folk Arts Center of New England that I am particularly enthused about is their genuine and whole hearted support of  world culture from a promotional standpoint. All of the profits from the operation of Little Shop of Horas go towards the successful accomplishment of this mission. As a matter of fact, they are currently selling a children’s songbook/cd set entitled Qu Qu Qu Barg-e-Chinaar: Children’s Songs from Afghanistan. Proceeds from all sales of this item will go to the Afghan Children’s Songbook Project in support of a revival of native juvenile folk music in the home country, as well as within the communities of its citizens and their ancesters living abroad. You can also make a direct donation to the shop’s overall global cause if you choose. So, why not take some time out to indulge yourself at this intriguing little music shop, either in person or online, and make a contribution to world culture, while enjoying the exposure to some really great world music and dance! 


                                                             Folk 1          

May 23, 2009 at 4:16 pm Leave a comment

Don’t Miss Reggae Sensation Collie Buddz @ The House of Blues (June 13th – Saturday at 7:00 p.m.)

CB1Collie Buddz is a reggae fusion artist from Bermuda/New Orleans who made it big with his hit single entitled “Come Around”. I remember buying his album “Collie Buddz” for our world music collection at the Boston Public Library when it was at the top of the Billboard reggae charts.

He was raised in Bermuda where he developed his singing career. He likes to combine many styles of music with his heavily reggae-based sound which has become his trademark. Although hip-hop and soca are two major genres with which he experiments, he says that he aims to be successful at being able to blend any style of choice with reggae

Aside from his successes as a solo artist, Collie Buddz has also collaborated musically with the likes of such major names as Beyonce, Lil’ Flip, Kidd Cudi, Shaggy, and Busta Rhymes. In 2008, he was nominated for Jamaica’s EME award for Top International Artist of the Year, an honor reserved for the artist who’s releases are most successful in the international marketplace. Look for his new album Next Take, released this year. 

                                              NK 1 

Also appearing will be Brooklyn’s top new reggae group, New Kingston. This quartet of three brothers and their best friend, originally from Jamaica, started as a backup act for such renowned reggae artists as Collie Buddz, Mr. Vegas, Morgan Heritage, Sister Carol, Shabba Ranks, and others. Eventually however, they began to blend the reggae style with pop, jazz, and R&B, to form a unique style of their own which is a form of  “reggae crossover”. With their new and original sound, they have become highly successful in their own right and now appear in concert “with” instead of as a backup to these other popular acts.   



Concert Details :

When: June 13th – Saturday @ 7:00 p.m.

Where: House of Blues (Map)

Tickets: $25.00

           Check availability on website.


May 17, 2009 at 2:21 am Leave a comment

Enjoy Live Local Celtic Music Impromptu Style – Tuesday Nights @ John Harvard’s in the Square

ERJoin accomplished Celtic musicians Emerald Rae and Flynn Cohen as your hosts every Tuesday night from 9 p.m. ’til midnight for a traditional music jam session at the popular pub/restaurant John Harvard’s Brew House in Harvard Square (directions). Ms. Rae, a former  U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, specializes in the area of Scottish and Cape Breton folk music and is an avid Cape Breton style stepdancer as well. This composer/performer is known for her great rapport with the audience and has appeared with such international recording stars as Natalie Haas, Alasdair Fraser, and Natalie MacMaster.  She, along with her co-host, currently performs with the local band Annalivia. Acoustic guitarist Flynn Cohen is best known for his work as an accompanist for traditional fiddlers. He has also performed with Irish accordion great John Whelan and the well-knownFC1 dance band The Sevens, amongst others. In addition to Annalivia, he also plays with the local fiddle trio Halali. Currently a member of the music faculty at Keene College in New Hampshire, he conducts numerous workshops, and participates as a visiting lecturer on the subject of traditional music.  

Aside from being treated to your hosts’ personal performances, as a member of the audience you will also get to hear local Celtic musicians from the area as they join in on the fun. If you want to participate in the session, you can call John Harvard’s at (617) 868 – 3858 or fax or email them. Even if you’re just a beginner, fear not! They welcome players of all instruments with any level of experience.

John H FoodO.K., in my opinion, the music is always the best part, however while your listening you can indulge yourself in some pretty tasty fare at this eatery as well.  John Harvard’s offers a lot of the standard pub fare you would expect, including some really great “comfort” food, as well as some inventive dishes with an international flare. I would suggest that you checkout their full menu here, but I’ll give you a few hints as to what to expect. For starters, there’s a hummus platter (with pita bread, feta cheese, tomatoes, parsley oil, and Kalamata olives), yummy New England clam chowder, or Buffalo tenders (boneless chicken tenders tossed in Buffalo sauce, with bleu cheese dressing, cucumbers and celery). Then for a main course they offer some pretty interesting looking sliders (mini-sandwiches) including pulled pork (house-smoked pulled pork, chipotle BBQ, and pineapple salsa), BLT (crisp pancetta, tomato, lettuce, and a lemon garlic aioli), and ale-marinated steak and cheese (ale-marinated grilled flank steak, Roquefort cheese spread and roasted red peppers) selections. And here’s an example of more of that “comfort” food I mentioned, grilled meat loaf (with BBQ sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed asparagus spears, red wine sauce, and crispy fried onions). Their sinfully scrumptious desserts include a chocolate cobbler (triple layer of chocolate delight served warm, topped with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of house-made raspberry sauce) as well as butterscotch bread pudding (a chef’s special, served warm with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce).  

                                                    John H8  


Last, but by no means least, I must point out their home-brewed ales. They are of course their biggest trademark! I Beer2myself do not drink beer, but a friend of mine assured me that they are indeed a cut well above average. On the evening that we were there, we found the place to be packed, which attests to it’s popularity. I must say though that,  even if they are well-known for their brews, still the food and the casual laid back atmosphere alone would be enough to attract a crowd to John Harvard’s. I know that I intend to go back- and of course, make that on a Tuesday night!!!

May 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment

Boston Public Library World Music Audio Collection – New CDs Ordered (4/25/09)

The cds in this order contain a wide variety of genres imagesincluding Latin hits, Asian fusion, Indian popular and sacred music, Japanese anime, Koean pop, and Italian and gypsy music. Click on the links below to hear excerpts from them. As this is just a sampling of what we have to offer, come on in to the main library at Copley Square or any one of  our branches conveniently located throughout the city of Boston and “check out” more of our fabulous world music collection. For your additional convenience, you can reserve copies online via our library catalog and you will be notified when the item is in and ready to be picked-up.

1. Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Vol. 3) – Various artists (Japan) (Review) 

2. Bhangra Dance Hits – Various artists (India) (Review)

3. El Patron – Tito El Bambino (Puerto Rico) (Review – Scroll down)

4. Mas Adelante – La Arrolladora Banda El Limon (Mexico) (Review – Scroll down)

5. Now Latino 4 – Various artists (Global Latin) (Review)

6. Atmosphers – Deuter (Asian Fusion) (Review – Scroll down)

7. ‘Aumakua – Amy Hanaiali’i (Hawaii) (Review – Scroll down)

8. BoA – BoA (South Korea) (Review – Scroll down)

9. Devotion – Cheb I Sabbah (India) (Review – Scroll down)

10. Putumayo: Italia – Various artists (Italy) (Review – Scroll down)

11. Rough Guide to Gypsy Music (2nd ed.) – Various artists (Global) (Review)

May 16, 2009 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

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May 2009