Archive for April, 2010

Inca Son Comes to the Boston Public Library: Don’t Miss This Opportunity to Hear A Beautiful, Rarely Performed Genre of Peruvian Folk Music

Listen to Inca Son.

Native American Peruvians Inca Son began their illustrious performing career in the Boston area as street musicians in Harvard Square and have been a popular favorite of local, national, and international fans for over twenty years. They continue to play in the Square on occasion, and when I am lucky enough to be in the area when one of their outdoor concerts is on, I always stop what I am doing to listen and enjoy. Happily, I own one of their cds as well. This group not only performs the folk music of the Inca tribe from the Andes mountains of Peru, but also additional traditional genres which originate from other parts of Latin America. According to Peru’s president, Alejandro Toledo, these musicians are “the finest Andean group north of Peru”.  

As one of a very few groups who still perform the Andes Incan folk genre, it is Inca Son’s hope that through their music they can continue to bring about a world-wide awareness and appreciation of their native culture. They always perform in authentic traditional costume on exotic folk instruments, most of which are skillfully crafted by those who actually play them. The group’s basic instrumentation consists of the Peruvian pan-pipes, which have been in use for over 2000 years, and the 10-stringed  Charango guitar fashioned from an actual armadillo of all things. No kidding! Combine all of these elements together and what you have is an exquisitely beautiful and exotic soundscape presented against a brilliant backsplash of colorful fabrics and costume adornments. To me, their music is also very peaceful and soothing.

Inca Son has won both the Boston Music Award for Outstanding World Music Act and the Boston Phoenix Readers’ Poll as Best World Music Group. Above and beyond these accomplishments, however, they are currently considered to be among the best world music ensembles in the entire world and have claimed a number international awards to prove it. They have performed at such prestigious venues as Epcot Center, the National Geographic Museum, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and on stage at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Visit their web site for more info, performance reviews, photographs, and to order cds.  

If you do attend this special performance at the BPL, I promise you that you will not only be highly inspired by the beautiful music of Inca Son but  you will also walk away with a very valuable cultural education as well.

Concert Details:


Where: Boston Public Library @ Copley Square

Venue: Rabb Lecture Hall (Ground floor of the Johnson Building)

When: Thursday, May 13th (2:00-4:00 p.m.)              

Admission: Free to all

For additional info. contact: 617-536-5400 / x2339

Area Restaurants


April 30, 2010 at 10:30 pm Leave a comment

In the Mood For Some Good Ole’ Celtic Music? Well, Fret Not … Just Head on Over to Mr. Dooley’s Irish-Style Pub on Any Given Weekend for Great Live Entertainment All Year Long! – Thursday thru Sunday Evenings (Weekly)

Of course, there is definitely never any shortage of good ole’ Irish-style pubs in the Boston area, however, a good number of them do not provide live ethnic music entertainment on a regular basis. Happily, this is not the case with Mr. Dooley’s though. It sure is nice to know that there is a place where you can go to hear live Celtic music anytime the urge just happens to strike. That’s right, Mr. Dooley’s, located in the heart of downtown’s financial district, hosts among the best Celtic musicians from the US and Ireland each and every Thursday through Sunday evening. On Thursdays its Tommy (Courtney) and Alan (Loughnane) bringing you the best and most familiar Irish standards. You’ll be singing right along in no time. Then on Friday and Saturday evenings you can enjoy their line-up of special guests. The entertainment for this month includes: Devri (5/7-5/8), Sundays Well (5/14-5/15), Tommy and Alan (5/21-5/22), and Rud Eile (5/28-5/29). The show generally starts at 9:00 p.m., but you always want to check their calendar, just to make sure! Finally, rounding out the weekend is a traditional Irish session held on Sundays from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. This sort of informal mini jamming fest  has also been known to take place in a totally impromptu fashion on any night of the week at Mr. Dooley’s. What a nice surprise!


Since 1991, this Irish pub and eatery has been serving up award-winning Irish and non-Irish cuisine. Therefore, you might just be tempted to sample some of it while enjoying all this great music entertainment. They have been duly recognized for serving the area’s best burgers, cheap eats, and traditional Irish breakfast offerings. In addition they have enjoyed the honor of being voted Boston’s best clam chowder and specialize in other seafood dishes, as well. So what are you waiting for? Why not treat yourself real soon to an evening of fine Celtic music entertainment enhanced by Mr. Dooley’s tasty dinner cuisine. 

You can keep informed of all the happenings at this Irish-style pub by consulting their event calendar, subscribing to their online newsletter, or visiting their blog.



Event Details:

When: Thursday-Sunday Evenings

Where: Mr. Dooley’s

Admission: No cover charge

More Inf0: 617-338-5656           


April 28, 2010 at 3:16 pm Leave a comment

Come On Out to Central Square and Groove on the Big Bold Sound of the Umoja Orchestra: Afro-Latin Fusion and More – Tuesday, May 4th @ 8:00 p.m.

Listen to the Umoja Orchestra.

The Umoja Orchestra is extremely popular in their hometown of Gainsville, Florida and now they are bringing their big bold sound to the Middle East Club in Central Square. This band has been known to host up to 15 musicians on stage at once. Instrumentation includes vocals, guitar, brass, saxophone, banjo, keyboards, and percussion. Umoja is the Swahili word for unity and true to its name the band’s music is an intriguing fusion blend of Afro-beat, Afro-Cuban, and African folk genres, with jazz, funk , and an over-all Latin sound. You will definitely want to bring along your dancing shoes to this musical event! You can easily catch dinner beforehand  at the Middle East’s main restaurant or at ZuZu, also located on the club premises. Both eateries serve Middle Eastern as well as some other cuisines.



Event Details:

When: Tuesday, May 4th @ 8:00 p.m.

Where: Middle East Upstairs

Tickets: $9.00 (Purchase online)

Dinner Reservations: Online

More Info: 617-864-3278


April 24, 2010 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

Boston Public Library Latin Music Audio Collection – New CDs Ordered (2/12/09) – (4/23/10)

NotesThe cds in this order contain Latin chart hits and music collections. 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.

 BPL 1

1. Commercial – Los Amigos Invisibles (Venezuela)

2. 40 Bachatas Poderosas – Various Artists (Dominican Republic) 

3. Buscame – Jencarlos (Cuba/USA)

4. El Dueno del Flow – Omega (Dominican Republic)

5. Ya Foy! – Sarazino (Reggae/Latin Fusion)

6. Necesito de Ti – Vicente Fernandez (Mexico)

7Sin Frenos – La 5a Estacion (Spain)

8. Tu Esclavo y Amo – Lupillo Rivera (Mexico)

9. Tu Noche con … – Los Tigres del Norte (Mexico) 

10. La Melodia de la Calle – Tony Dize (Puerto Rico/US) 

11. Primavera Anticipada – Laura Pausini (Italian/Latin Fusion)

12. Voy – Alexander Acha (Mexico)

13. Fiesta Latina – Various Artists

14. Latin Urban Kingz – Various Artists

April 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm Leave a comment

Join the Boston Public Library’s Connolly Branch in a Youthful Celebration of Brazilian Music and Dance: Cultural Entertainment for the Whole Family – Monday, May 3rd (6:30-8:00 p.m.)

The Connolly Branch of the Boston Public Library is holding a Spring Dance Celebration and Open House featuring entertainment by local area youth. This family event is sponsored by the Friends of the Connolly Branch Library and will showcase both American and Brazilian music and dance. Treat yourself and the kids to a real cultural experience compliments of La Pinata who will be performing native Brazilian dances to the music of a live samba band. There will also be a parade and refreshments following the performance.

These talented and enthusiastic performers come to us from the Latin American Cultural Family Network, a native arts learning center for Boston’s youth (grades K – 11). For 20 years now, students from all cultural backgrounds have come to the network to experience Latin American culture through participation in educational programs in music, dance, drama, story-telling, and visual arts. They ultimatley share their aquired appreciation for this culture with others through performances given both locally and as faraway as over-seas. Local appearences have included such venues as First Night, the Museum of Fine Arts, and Harvard University. 

Here is a great opportunity for your kids to gain a bit of cultual appreciation themselves via the efforts of their own peers with whom they can so easily identify … And who knows, maybe they, themsevles, will come away from this event so inspired that they be just begging you to enroll them in some of these great progams that the Latin American Cultural Family Network has to offer.




Event Details:
Where: Connolly Branch (Boston Public Library)

When: Monday, May 3rd (6:30-8:00 p.m.)              

Admission: Free to all

Additional Info.: 617-522-1960                          

(Area Restaurants)  

April 17, 2010 at 11:43 pm Leave a comment

Learn to Dance Yiddish Style with the Experts on Klezmer Music – Sunday, April 18th (2:00 – 3:30 p.m.)

Ever listening to a really great Klezmer band that was so fantastic their music just begged you to get up and dance the hora but … you didn’t know how? Well, just spend the afternoon at the Arlington Senior Center with three very enthusiastic and knowledgable Yiddish dance instructors and you’ll never have to face that agonizing sense of frustration again. Not only will they teach you to dance the hora, but they will also introduce you to other basic  Jewish dances as well. 

These instructors are experts on Yiddish music and just how to move to it. Hankus Netsky is a  long-time member of the Klezmer Conservatory Band which he, himself, founded and currently directs. This ensemble is considered to be among the best the world and has toured extensively, for many years. Mr. Netsky has been an instructor at the New England Conservatory of Music for over 20 years, where he has given courses on Yiddish music as a part of his teaching repertoire, and has additionally taught the subject at Hebrew College and Wesleyan University. He lectures world-wide and has won numerous awards for his accomplishments. Judy Bressler graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music and sang with the Klezmer Conservatory Band for many years. Dena Ressler. clarinetist, leads the local Klezmer band di Bostoner Klezmer, which she also co-founded. So, with all of this available expertise there to help on your way, you should be up and dancing Yiddish style in no time!!!  This event is designed for learners aged 8 and up, so why not bring the whole family along, and as an  added plus- you can enjoy all the action entirely free of charge. 





Party Details:

When: Sunday, April 18th (2:00 – 3:30 p.m.)

Where: Arlington Senior Center

Admission: Free

More Info: (781) 316-3421

(Area Restaurants)   


April 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

Come Celebrate the Cultural Beauty, Appreciation, and Unity that is Mimouna: Spend A Special Evening with the Morrocan-Jewish Community of Boston – Saturday, April 10th @ 8:15 p.m.

Mimouna is a grand Jewish tradition in Morocco as it signifies the end of Passover. The best part of this ritual, in my opinion, is that it is celebrated in a manner which ties together the cultures of Morocco, Northern Africa in general, and the Middle East in honor of cultural unity, respect, and appreciation. Moroccan Jews originally recognized this holiday by giving parties in their own homes to which they invited their Muslim and Christian neighbors. The idea was to share the many beautiful aspects of their Jewish heritage with the non-Jewish members of the community in a spirit of goodwill. Guests would roam freely from house to house while being lavishly entertained in a cultural manner of one sort or another. Party festivities included, music, dancing, dining, drinking, literary readings, and such. As a climax, a series of larger public gatherings would then take place to officially mark the end of the celebration.

Although Mimouna is still widely celebrated in Morocco today,  the festivities tend to be held more in the form of  large public events only.  But … the good folks of the New Center for Arts & Culture, Prism, and the American Islamic Congress, have come together to revive this ancient ritual more in its original form, where it can be enjoyed and shared in the same spirit of cultural goodwill here, within the entire Boston community at large, just as it always was and still is in Morocco. Instead of meandering from home to home though, guests at this particular party will get to stay in one building, visiting various rooms at their leisure. At each stop they will be treated to a different type of cultural experience. Entertainment will include film, fashion, photography, spoken word, music, body art , dance, and more. And of course, what ethnic party would be complete without ample native food and drink. As far as world music and dance entertainment for the evening is concerned, here is the line-up as of now: The Ilan Bar-Lavi Quintet (fusion of jazz, rock/pop, Mexican Bolero, and Middle Eastern music), the Collage Dance Troupe (global fusion), Club D’Elf (fusion of Moroccan Gnawa and Berber, as well as other genres of North Africa, jazz, electronica, hip-hop, and more), Amoud (traditional Moroccan Berber songs), and Boujmala Rizgui and Elias Cohen (well-known Moroccan devotional songs, sung in Arabic, Spanish and Hebrew). This looks to be one great night of world fusion music and dance, in true spirit of the cultural harmony that this special holiday represents.

If you’d like to further support the promotion of Jewish culture in Boston, then why not do so by joining the New Center For Arts & Culture’s mailing list, making a donation to further their cause, or by becoming an event series ticket subscriber.

Party Details:

When: Saturday, April 10th @ 8:15 p.m.

Where: Arts At The Armory (Somerville)

Tickets: $10.00 (advance) / $15.00 (at the door)

More Info: 617-531-4610 OR


April 11, 2010 at 1:33 am Leave a comment

Attention!!! One of the Biggest Folk Festivals of the Year Is Coming Soon to Mansfield, MA: Enjoy Three Days of Some of New England’s Best Folk Musicians & Dancers At the NEFFA Festival (Friday, April 23rd – Sunday, April 25th)

Spring has sprung, and it is time once again for the New England Folk Festival Association (NEFFA) to hold their biggest event of the year. The New England Folk Festival is now celebrating it’s 66th year and has developed quite a following since it’s inception, attracting a huge crowd annually, some of which travel from as far as overseas to partake of the grand festivities. The scope of this event is international so, as you might expect, there will lots of world music from diverse regions of the globe to be heard Oh Boy! In addition to the music, attendees to this event will be treated to three days (4/23 – 4/25) of international dancing, craft shows, and ethnic cuisine, as well.

There are many interesting options available as far as your music enjoyment is concerned. Of course, you can just listen if you prefer, but some performances will involve participatory dancing (often with an instructor on hand) or audience singalongs. If you just happen to play an instrument yourself, you can bring it along and participate in one of the many jam sessions or workshops planned. There will be dance exhibitions as well, many of which will be performed in full ethnic costume. The craft show/bazaar  will feature home-made items for sale and how-to demonstrations by many of the artisans present, selling their wares. There will also be an “activity tent ” chucked full of opportunities for hands-on fun for all ages. If you are bringing the kids along, you can check-out the full schedule for family oriented events. Of course, all of this activity is bound to make you hungary! Satisfy your appetite at the food court area while, at the same time, sampling the many cuisines of the world. One of the greatest aspects of this mega-folk festival is that it goes on for so long that  even if you can’t make the whole thing, there is still ample opportunity to experience just a part of it, if that’s all your personal schedule will allow. Given the diversity of nationalities represented here and the variety of activities offered, it would definitely be worth anyone’s while to come and enjoy all of this fantastic ethnically oriented entertainment, whether it be for a few hours or all three glorious days.

I would like to mention here that all the performers at this event donate their time for free … and so can you. If you’re interested in volunteering, just check-out the listing of jobs on NEFFA’s festival web site. If you would like to further contribute to the local world music cause, beyond your attendance at the festival, you can actually become a member of the New England Folk Festival Association (NEFFA).






Event Details:

When: Friday, April 23rd – 7:00-11:30 p.m.

             (Doors open at 6:00 p.m.)

         Saturday, April 24th – 10:00 a.m.-11:30 p.m.

            (Doors open at 9:00 a.m.)

        Sunday, April 25th – 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

           (Doors open at 9:00 a.m.)

              Performance schedules / List of performers

Where: Mansfield High and Middle Schools

                  Overnight accommodations 

Tickets: Price listings

                     You can make purchases online or at the door

More Info: Contacts                           

April 8, 2010 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

Treat Yourself to an Exotic Evening of Belly Dancing Entertainment and Fine Moroccan Cuisine @ the Kasbah Restaurant – Weekly Friday and Saturday Evenings

Watch a belly dance performance. 

If you’re in the mood for some live Arabic music accompanied by a belly dance show and fine authentic Moroccan cuisine, then head on over to the Kasbah Restaurant in Winthrop and satisfy all of those cravings. This Moroccan eatery and lounge hosts belly dance shows regularly on weekends, featuring either live Moroccan or Middle Eastern music. (see web site for details) And on occasion, its Greek Night at Kasbah which sounds interesting, but you’ll have to contact them for the details on this event.

One of the best features of enjoying an evening of fine world music and dance entertainment at the Kasbah Restaurant, is the opportunity to try some of the many tasty Moroccan dishes they have to offer. Tantalize your taste buds with an appetizer plate of roasted eggplant, homous, chakchouka, stuffed grape leaves, rice salad, carrots charmoula, and olives. For a main course you can feast upon their bestseller, Chicken Tangiers, consisting of sauteed chicken breast with dried apricots, figs, carrots, caramelized onions, and mushrooms in a semi-sweet sauce. And finally perhaps, top it all off with Moroccan crepes served with chocolate and honey. Hungary yet??? Well don’t stop here, go ahead and peruse the rest of their extensive,well-organized menu, complete with photos. Oh, and just in case you are inclined to go “beyond Moraccan” to satisfy your “food mood”, you can take note of the many tapas, open-faced omelets, sandwiches and other multi-cultural delights offered here in addition.

If you want a better idea of what a fabulous evening at the Kasbah Restaurant is really like then take a look at their photo gallery. This looks like an evening that is sure to please.


Event Details:

Restaurant hours: Daily – 5:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.

Featuring Weekly Belly Dance shows – Friday and Saturday evenings 

Directions: In the “Contacts” section on the web site 

More Info: 617-539-4484               


April 5, 2010 at 4:43 pm Leave a comment

Learn How To Move To One of the Hottest Forms of Pop Music Ever To Come Out of India: Dance with Boston Bhangra – Weekly Saturday Afternoons (12:30 – 2:00 p.m.)

Watch Bhangra dance instruction demonstration.

Bhangra music, also referred to as Punjabi, comes from the Punjab region of India and has taken the US by storm! I, myself, am a part of this fad as it is one of the first genres of world music which, upon hearing it for the first time, invoked a huge amount of passion within me. I distinctly remember the cashier’s excitement as I was purchasing my first cd (Rough Guide to Bhangra Dance). She was relating to me about how much fun Bhangra dancing was, as she had just had a few lessons herself.

While Punjabi can be somewhat varied in style from one song to the next, it more often than not carries a very strong beat giving it a real energetic character which carries on into the dance that accompanies it. Now you can try out this exciting dance form yourself with a few lessons from none other than Boston Bhangra, one of North America’s premier dance troupes. Learn from the experts while you not only pickup a new and interesting social skill, but also get a great workout, have loads of fun, and, of course, get to hear lots and lots of great music in the process. Even though class sessions promise to be saturated with highly aerobic activity, there is no recommended age limit for prospective students and no dance experience is necessary. They do, however, urge you to bring along a towel and some water. So, what are you doing next Saturday afternoon? Why not go dancing with Boston Bhangra and who knows, just maybe like me, you’ll soon be hooked on Punjabi! 

Event Details:

When: (Weekly) Saturday – 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. 

Where: Inner Space

Fees: $15.00 (per session) – walk-ins

              $12.00 (per session) – series of 10 pre-paid lessons

More Info: 617 – 448 – 2508 OR Visit the web site under classes

(Area Restaurants)      


April 2, 2010 at 1:10 am Leave a comment

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April 2010