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!
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)
More Info: (617) 975 – 1900
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.
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
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.
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!
All proceeds of this event go to benefit the mission of 350.org.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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)
More Info: 617-349-4380
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.
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
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!
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.
When: June 5th, Saturday @ 9:00 p.m.
Where: The Western Front
Tickets: $20.00 (at the door) / $18.00 ( in advance)
Email NHRASTA@gmail.com to receive the advanced purchase price
More Info: 617-492-7772