Archive for May, 2010

Warm Up To the Live Latin Music @ The Fireplace: Thurdays (9:00 – Midnight) and … All Day Long! (June 12 – 13, 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.)

That’s right! Each and every Thursday evening you can wine and dine to live Latin music at The Fireplace in Brookline. But wait … there’s more! For one full 2- day weekend this month, they will be hosting their annual outdoor Latin Music Fest featuring no less than 14 live Latin bands. There will also be a dance floor where you can move and groove to your heart’s content or simply take in some of the professional dance acts which will be featured throughout the evening. The price of your ticket will even include complimentary edible refreshments, as well as additional food items which will be available for a nominal fee. Hey Latin music fans, sounds like an event not to be missed for sure!

On Latin Thursdays, you can enjoy The Fireplace’s fine  dinner cuisine, which emphasizes grilled and barbecued offerings, while taking in the live music. For example, there’s smoked chicken and sweet potato chowder with homemade crackers and scallion oil, hearth baked chicken breast over honey glazed carrots, topped with roasted red pepper, Portobello mushroom, spinach, and feta cheese, and warm butterscotch brownie with vanilla ice cream, rum drunken raisins, crunchy walnuts, and hot fudge sauce. Visit their website to check out the rest of the menu and as well as some of their rave reviews. And while you’re at it, join their mailing list to keep informed of all the great Latin music action this place has to offer!


Event Details:

When: Thursday evenings (9:30 p.m. – Midnight)

                 Latin Music Fest (June 12th – 13th / 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.) 

Where: The Fireplace (Brookline)

Tickets: Latin Thursdays (No cover charge with the purchase of one drink)

Latin Music Fest $20.oo (in advance online OR at the restaurant) / $25.00 (at the door)

More Info: (617) 975 – 1900  




May 31, 2010 at 2:04 am Leave a comment

Come Sail Away to the Tune of Ancient Sea Shanties of the Caribbean with the Barrouallie Whalers: Thursday, June 17th (8:00 – 10:00 p.m.)

Listen to the Barrouallie Whalers.

The Barrouallie Whalers are an a capella vocal group from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These retired whalers turned troubadours have been traveling across the United States and Europe since 2001, in hopes of keeping their ancient Eastern Caribbean version of the sea shanty alive through its wide-spread exposure to the rest of the world. These folk songs are a staple of the workday for whalers of the region as they sing while toiling away at sea. While some of these tunes are unfamiliar to Western ears, others have developed from the familiar English form of  this genre, such as the old standard “Blow the Man Down”.

The Barrouallie Whalers’ on-going tour is the result of a joint project between Dan Lanier, former director of the annual Sea Music Festival held in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut  and Vincent Reid of Barrouallie, St, Vincent. In recognition of the historical importance of this Caribbean version of the sea shanty, they formed the Barrouallie Whaler’s Project, Inc. in order to preserve and protect this valuable genre from extinction. These folk songs are also, in part, the subject of a highly authoritative text written by Dr. Roger Abrahams entitled, “Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore. You can learn more about this fascinating vocal ensemble by visiting their web site where you will find, background info, audio samples, and photos, as well as publications and a cd for sale. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear a different, rarely performed ethnic version of an old familiar English standard.

Event Details:

When: June 17th, Thursday (8:00 – 10:00 p.m.)

Where: Roxbury Center for the Arts (Hibernian Hall)

Tickets: $20.00 (General Admission) / $15.00 (Seniors 65 + and College/High School Students) / $5.00 (Children Under 16)

More Info: 617-849-6322

(Area Restaurants)    

May 28, 2010 at 2:43 am Leave a comment

Help Save Our Wonderful Planet While Be Serenaded by Some of Boston’s Top World Music and Jazz Artists: Don’t Miss the “Singing For The Planet” Benefit Concert for the Environment: Saturday, June 12th @ 7:00 p.m.

Save the planet how? You may by asking. The answer is by reversing the global warming trend and the ghastly havoc it is wreaking upon our environment at this very moment. Yikes!!! At this point, I am going to let the creator of this highly important benefit event describe it to you in his own words, as he has already so beautifully done so: “‘Singing For The Planet‘ was conceived as a way for creative musicians to contribute to the urgent struggle against global warming. Because the climate problem recognizes no national boundaries, the artists represent musical styles from three different parts of the globe. While Eade, Bermejo and Senders sing in different languages and genres, all are virtuoso performers sharing the core values of expression, emotion and honesty. And, of course, all three artists and their accompanists are committed to raising awareness of the potentially devastating effects of global warming. Their choice of beneficiary,, is focused on building global consensus on reduction of atmospheric CO2 levels — action which climatologists agree is necessary to avoid catastrophic outcomes. It’ll be an evening of great vocal music, full of exquisite melody, compelling rhythm, expressive lyricism and daring improvisation — from three singers who are genuine masters of their craft.”–Warren Senders. 
Here I have provided you with some sound links so you can get a quick sampling of what’s in store musically for the evening. I highly suggest you visit this link also, as it leads to a lot of  interesting additional info on the artists who will be performing and more. “Singing for the Planet” will be:

Mili Bermejo (Latin Jazz) (with Dan Greenspan) – This Latin Jazz singer/composer is currently on the faculty of the Berklee College of Music. Most noted for her expertise at effectively blending elements of Latin American poetry and folk music with a highly improvisational jazz style, she has been performing for over 20 years with a voice that has been compared to that of Abbey Lincoln and Sarah Vaughn. 


Warren Senders (Hindustani Classical Vocal Music) (with Raga Ensemble: Preeti Chakravarti, harmonium, Akshay Navaladi, tabla, and Vijaya Sundaram, supporting vocals and tamboura) Mr. Senders is currently serving on the faculty at The New England Conservatory of Music. He is a true virtuoso of the highly improvisational khyal form of singing, a classical genre from Northern India, and is presently recognized world-wide as the premier non-Indian vocalist with respect to this song form. Critics have marveled at his ability to balance both traditionality and creativity within all of his performances.


Dominique Eade (Jazz) This composer/singer is currently a professor at The New England Conservatory of Music. As a performer, she is known for her versatility and improvisational expertise, and is often featured at premier jazz festivals all over the world. As a singer, songwriter, and arranger, she has recorded 2 critically acclaimed cds for RCA.


For further info about these exceptional performers visit this link



Last October, I had the fortune of attending an earlier concert, also put on by Mr. Senders for the same wonderful cause, this time in recognition of “International Climate Change Awareness Day.” As an ardent lover of world music, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire evening. Here is a summary of some of the highlights of that event, complete with photos. As I have said so many times before, it is truly a wonderful thing when world music can be employed as a catalyst in support of global well-being in any form. Kudos to Mr. Senders for giving us, the audience, yet another opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful project, complete with such exquisite music!


Event Details:

All proceeds of this event go to benefit the mission of

When: Saturday, June 12th @ 7:00 p.m. 

Where: Emmanuel Church (Boston)

Tickets: $20.00 (General Admission) / $15.00 (Seniors and Students)

Purchase online here

More Info: 781-396-o734 OR

(Area Restaurants)

May 26, 2010 at 1:53 pm Leave a comment

Usher In Yet Another Season of Outdoor Fun at the Cambridge River Festival Mega Event: a Celebration of Local World Music and Other Cummunity Arts: Saturday, June 5th (11:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.)

The Cambridge River Festival, now in its 31st year, is one of Boston’s premier outdoor arts  festivals. Annually attracting a crowd of 200,000, this 6 1/2 hour long event is huge! Starting in Harvard Square, it stretches for a full mile along Memorial Drive in Cambridge, alongside the scenic Charles River- a great location! Put on by the Cambridge Arts Council(CAC) in recognition and support of local community arts, this international festival showcases the Boston area’s fine performers of music, dance, theatre arts, and poetry. The visual arts are also honored through displays, workshops, on-site demos, and hands-on activities. In addition, you can dine and shop to your hearts content at one or more of the over 200 food or arts and crafts booths. The performances and arts activites are entirely free of charge and the event promises to take place rain or shine. Sounds fantastic to me!

After the opening parade and sing-a-long in recognition of this year’s festival honoree, highly esteemed pupeteer and stoyteller Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill “Brother Blue”, the festivities will officially begin. There are a number of outdoor stages on the grounds where one can view a variety of performances, all going on simultaneusly. Take your pick! Upon perusing the event schedule, I have discovered quite a few world music and dance shows happening throughout the afternoon. On the “Create Stage” will be Alex Alvear and Mango Blue. Appearing on the “Engage Stage” (Interactive Dance) will be  OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center, La Pinata, Mladost Folk Ensemble, Hyde Park Task Force, and Benkadi Drum and Dance. The “Family and Children Stage” will feature Upasana and InKasWasi. Check the schedule for further details. So, why not spend a truly enjoyable day outdoors supporting the “all important” local arts. And for us world music fans out there- what a great way to sample some of the local international talent! To get a better “picture” of what the Cambridge River Festival is all about, you can view this photo gallery of shots from previous years.






Event Details:

When: June 5th, Saturday (11:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

Where: Memorial Drive (between Harvard and Central Squares) (parking in Harvard Square OR MBTA to Harvard Square Stop) 

Admission: Free

More Info: 617-349-4380 


May 22, 2010 at 5:34 pm Leave a comment

Eat Your Heart Out To the Sweet Sounds of World Music at Cafe Luna

This cozy, informal little eatery located in Cambridge’s Central Square is just the place to sit back, relax, and enjoy an evening of … ah yes, delightful world music. They have live musicians performing here almost every night of the week it seems, but what strikes me the most about this particular situation is the intimacy of the atmosphere.  There’s nothing like enjoying the music up close and personal!  I’ll have to caution you though, world music is not the only genre featured here, so you’ll need to check their monthly schedule to see who’s playing on a particular night. But, you can pretty well rest assured that you will find quite a few ethnic music performers scheduled to appear throughout any given month. On this month’s roster, for instance, I saw approximately 20 or so performances listed, about a third of which were world music-oriented, covering such genres as, Mexican, Afro-Caribbean, Brazilian, Reggae, and something called “World Music Improv”.

The cuisine at Cafe Luna is heavily Italian-influenced, both pizza and paninis being a specialty of theirs. The thin crusted pizza starts with a homemade pesto and fresh tomato sauce and comes with a choice of any of these fine toppings: chicken and spinach with sun-dried tomatoes, steak and cheese with carmelized onions, or prosciutto and fig with goat cheese and roasted vegetables. Then there’s the panini sandwiches on rosemary foccacia bread. Savor the taste of Italy with Cafe Luna’s flavorful and interesting fillings as in, for instance, The Florence, made with roasted eggplant, zucchini, squash, onions, roasted red peppers, and pesto (the cheese is optional) or The Venezia made with smoked salmon, onion, tomato, and pesto (the cream cheese is optional). You can take a look at the complete menu here. These folks are also known for their extraordinary espresso drinks- just the perfect way to top off your meal! Well, what more can I say? Good food, great music. Read the reviews for yourself. You can even keep up on all the latest happenings at Cafe Luna by subscribing to their mailing list.


Extraordinary espresso drink!!!



Event Details:

When: Most Evenings (starting between 7:00 & 9:00 p.m.)

                 Check the schedule for exact performance times

Where: Cafe Luna (Central Square)

Admission: No cover charge listed

More Info: 617-576-3400




May 19, 2010 at 1:41 am Leave a comment

Hello Again Reggae Fans!!! Get the Lowdown On Who’s Playing Where @ The Boston Phoenix

Lo and behold! I have just discovered The Boston Phoenix’s “Find Concerts” search page. If you are looking for live reggae music, this a great source of info for you. Just go to the left side of your screen and limit your search by genre (reggae) and you will be greeted with a nice neat listing of upcoming performances. Upon searching the Phoenix’s data base today I got 31 hits. The live reggae music scene does appear to be alive and well in Boston!

There are no specific genre searches available for any other type of world music, but you can use some of the other search features on the page to your advantage in this respect. For instance, at the top of the page you will see that you can check up on a specific artist of interest or limit the data base by performance venue. This second feature is particularly helpful with respect to those places that host a rather large number of world music concerts. If you’re a fan of this genre, you know which ones they are and are bound to find some performances of interest this way. You can also make your perusal of the general data base more manageable by limiting your search to a specific date or neighborhood location of interest. Then as a last resort, if you don’t mind getting involved in a fair amount of browsing, you can look through the overall listings for artists and clubs to see if you happen to spot something. I myself, successfully located a belly dancing show by incorporating some of these aforementioned search techniques. All in all, the The Boston Phoenix’s “Find Concerts” page is a real gem for reggae music fans, and with a little ingenuity on the part of the user, can also be quite helpful to those seeking other forms of world music entertainment. Check it out and see for yourself!   


May 14, 2010 at 12:40 am Leave a comment

Hello Reggae Fans!!! – You Do Not Want to Miss This Year’s Boston Spring Reggae Fest – Saturday, June 5th @ 9:00 p.m.

The Western Front in Cambridge is considered among locals to be the only true “reggae nightclub” in the Boston area. So, in the spirit of who they really are, this establishment is hosting its 6th annual Boston Spring Reggae Fest. At last count, according to my information, there will be no less than 8 solo or group acts appearing during the course of the evening. Talk about reggae heaven! The performance roster so far includes: Dis N Dat Band, Turbulance, The Dirty Hit, Trinity, Shaneece, Akwerius, Latia Larok, and Mariletta. To top off the evening, home-style Jamaican fare will be served. What a great opportunity to sample the genre’s current local, national, and international talent! If you are at all in the market for great reggae music, be sure not to miss this grand event. 



Event Details:

(21+ only)

When: June 5th, Saturday @ 9:00 p.m.

Where: The Western Front

Tickets: $20.00 (at the door) / $18.00 ( in advance)

Email to receive the advanced purchase price

More Info: 617-492-7772 


May 10, 2010 at 5:02 pm Leave a comment

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