Archive for July, 2010
Get a Decent Helping of Afropop at “African Music Night”: August 11th, Wednesday (7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.)
The Midway Cafe, located in Boston’s Jamaica Plain, has been hosting some of the areas best live music entertainment since 1987. During African Music Night, you can enjoy three different interpretations of Afropop, compliments of Martin Case and the Lee, Helder Tsinine, and Galen and Friends. Then round out your evening with a little soul, folk-rock, and blues with the Adam Block Band. That’s five full hours of music and dancing fun!
More about the world music line-up:
Martin Case and the Lee: (African fused jazz and groove) Based on instrumentation that includes flute, bass, saxophones, keyboards, musical technologies, and a percussion section augmented with ethnic touches via Djembe and Djun-Djun and some home-made instruments as well, the band’s sound is heavily laced with musical elements from not only Africa, but other regions around the world too. The ensemble is led by the highly accomplished performer, composer, and producer Martin Case.
Helder Tsinine: (Afropop from Mozambique) This Berklee electric/acoustic guitarist, composer, and teacher will be accompanied by his very own ensemble which is guaranteed to have you dancing the night away. In addition to Afropop, Mr. Tsinine is also extremely familiar with world folk, funk, jazz, blues, and reggae as well.
Galan Willett and Friends: (Afro-Fusion) Mr. Willett is a Berklee bassist who also plays with Helder Tsinine in addition to leading his own Afropop band. His “Friends” will be joining him on trumpet, tenor sax, trombone, piano, guitar, and drums.
Don’t miss this opportunity to sample the musical talents of four great bands in one evening!!!
When: August 11th, Wednesday (7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.)
Where: Midway Cafe (Jamaica Plain)
More Info: 617-524-9038 OR Email
What Are You Doing Wednesday Nights? Why Not Head on Over to Kenmore Square Where Bachata and Salsa Are No. 1: Wednesday Evenings, Weekly (8:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.)
Bachata is the Dominican Republic’s ultimate social dance, and “bachata fever” has spread far and wide from Europe to Latin America, and happily to the US as well. I just love the music which is a delightful combination of Latin and Caribbean sounds. Every time I hear it, it takes me instantly to a warm, sunny tropical island! As far as Latin genres go, it is this island music element that gives bachata its distinctive sound. I recognize it instantly whenever I hear it. I know that I have previously posted about a number of salsa events, but what makes this one at An Tua Nua’s RISQUE so special is that bachata is also a huge part of the action here. Both salsa and bachata lessons are offered before the following dance party actually begins. I want to point out that salsa lessons are more commonly offered at club Latin dance events, so if you are inexperienced at bachata or want to become more advanced, then here’s your chance to learn something new and different. This little instructional video gives you a good idea of what the dance is actually like. Then, once you get your sea legs, it’s out onto the dance floor for an evening of Latin dancing entertainment at An Tua Nua! And why not have a little bachata with your salsa. You’ll be glad you did!
When: Wednesday Evenings (8:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.)
Dance Lessons (8:30 – 10:00 p.m.)
Dance Party (10:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.)
Where: An Tua Nua (Kenmore Square)
Admission: No cover charge
More Info: 617 – 262 – 2121
Springstep, conveniently located in nearby Medford, is a literal mecca of world music and dance! They offer everything from dance classes to concert series all under one roof. There’s always something happening at this bustling cultural center, and I highly encourage you to visit their website and have a look around. You’ll see what I mean. Springstep’s primary goal is to provide cultural programming representing all regions of the world to the local community that will ultimately aid in its social development. This is accomplished through their concerted efforts at creating a climate of global awareness and appreciation amongst the local population while also providing them with a gathering place that offers a means of group socialization via the various events and classes held there.
First and foremost of such activities, are the large variety of ethnic dance classes held on a regular basis throughout the year, for both juveniles and adults. In some cases, music education is also included as a part of the course curriculum. Take a look here at the calendar of available sessions and the instructors who offer them. If I’ve peaked your interest enough at this point, you can register online right now! As a student, you can trust that you will be welcomed into a learning environment that is very laid back and informal- no partner necessary! There are even some fitness and wellness classes, such as yoga for example, incorporated into the mix.
Complimenting this well-structured instruction program, is Springstep’s annual performance series featuring both music and dance from all areas of the globe. You can even take in an occasional art exhibit from time to time. But wait … there’s more folks! Springstep is very proud of their many partnerships with various other local cultural non-profits. Such collaborative efforts result in a whole roster of additional events which are held here on a regular basis including, workshops, social dances, special performances and other activities that add spice to an already extensive cultural program. As an example, I herewith refer you to a previous posting on a very special past Valentine’s Day evening event. Springtstep is also very proud of their partnerships with community organizations which allow them to keep attendance fees reasonable with respect to the general public and even more reasonable, and in some cases free, to low-income program participants who would not otherwise be able to enjoy the ethnic arts.
I want to point out here that Springstep is a non-profit organization that depends quite a bit on generous donations in order to keep the fabulous programming alive, and there are a number of ways you can help. As a supporter or actual member, you can enjoy special benefits such as discounts and other goodies. You can also buy a gift certificate for the world culture enthusiast in your life or host your next event at their beautiful facility. Take a look! If you want to keep abreast of all the great happenings at Springstep, just sign-up for their monthly enewsletter, follow them on Facebook, of take a peek at the homepage on their website. So, hey world music fans! I’m certain that you want to stay connected to this very special cultural organization. They are, without a doubt, one of Boston’s premier sources of world music and dance entertainment.
Experience the Sound of Ancient World Music Traditions in a Whole New Contemporary Light with Global Fusion Ensemble Cubist: August 7th, Saturday @ 8:00 p.m.
Listen to Cubist.
Cubist’s extraordinarily unique and innovative brand of music is built upon an ever evolving soundscapes of artfully and ingeniously blended ancient world music genres with present day Western styles of groove, ambient, rock, and jazz. The group’s leader, percussionist and composer Jerry Leake, has made a literal career of exploring new and creative ways of effectively bringing traditional African and Indian genres into the popular music setting. The resulting product is a highly passionate, rhythmic and complex blend of musical elements from various parts of the world that can hold the interest of the most scholarly music intellect and yet still, amazingly enough, be highly entertaining to the most casual of listeners as well. The band’s performance style itself is highly improvisational and creative, thus the same piece never sounds the same from one performance to the next. Adding to the musical intrigue, is the realization that because this music is so ingeniously complex, one could listen to a recording of the exact same piece time and time again and hear something new and different each time. You just can’t get it all in one sitting!
Cubist is the mastermind of Jerry Leake who is presently on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music, while occasionally teaching at the Berklee College of Music as well. The group itself consists of eight very talented and highly accomplished musicians both with respect to local and international scene. It’s instrumentation includes vocals, guitars, saxophone, flute, bass, keyboards, drums, percussion, and of course, many ethnic instruments in addition. Leake also co-founded the internationally succesful ensemble Natraj and currently performs with the local favorite Club d’Elf as well as other ensembles in the area. He has performed on tabla with several of world music’s biggest stars, including Ali Akbar Khan and Sharafat Ali Khan, and has published writings on North Indian, West African, and Latin American percussion.
Cubist’s music is known for its highly stimulating effect upon its audiences who just can’t seem to sit still, once they are under its wonderful spell. So why not let Cubist mesmerize you for an evening with a truly unique musical performance which promises to be captivating on so many levels.
Event Details :
Description of concert details
When: August 7th – Saturday @ 8:00 p.m.
Where: Amazing Things Art Center (Framingham)
Tickets: $18.00 (general public), $17.00 (students and seniors), $15.00 (members)
Purchase online or by calling (501) 405-ARTS/x2787
While Your Sunday Afternoon Hours Away to the Sweet Sweet Sounds of Reggae: Sunday Afternoons (11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
Let Errol Strength & D’Conscious Band whisk you away to the balmy Caribbean on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Your journey begins at West End Johnnie’s scrumptious brunch. The band, which has been performing for 25 years and counting, consists of six Jamaican born musicians on vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums. They are led by Errol Strength, a very talented singer/songwriter who has produced many a recording in his time and shared the same stage with such reggae greats as Jimmy Cliff and Steel Pulse. His voice has been likened to that of the legendary Bob Marley, and plays a key role in defining the bands characteristic sound.
Then of course, what is brunch without great food? West End Johnnie’s has you covered with the likes of 1919 Molasses Glazed Wings (marinated in a house Jamaican jerk rub, to fit the mood, then grilled and coated with a molasses glaze), Lobster & Sweet Potato Chowder (chunks of lobster in a rich sweet potato and vegetable laced soup), Banana Crepe (cheesecake and banana filling with a cinnamon and sugar dusting), and Johnnie’s House Burger (8 ounces, topped with applewood bacon, glazed onions, and fontina). You can check out the rest of the menu while you’re at it. In addition, there are some drink specials as well. Enjoy a Bloody Mary for $7.00 or a Mimosa for $5.00. So remember- great food, fantastic reggae, each and every Sunday afternoon at West End Johnnie’s.
When: Sundays (Weekly – 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
Where: West End Johnnie’s (Downtown Boston)
Admission: No cover charge
Reserve a table online.
More Info: Contacts
Boston’s Local Cape Verdean Singing Sensation “Lutchinha” Comes to Johnny D’s – July 31st, Saturday @ 7:00 p.m.
Listen to Lutchinha.
Maria “Lutchinha” Neves comes to the Boston area from her native Cape Verde where she grew up and initiated what has become a very successful singing/composing career. Before coming to the US she recorded with many of that nation’s biggest stars for over 2 decades. Her music is a fusion of Afro-beat, Latin, Jazz, and, of course, Cape Verdian genres. She showcases this unique sound with a distinctly vibrant vocal style that draws the audience in and onto the dance floor. A big part of this very successful music picture is her five member backup band, Cruzamente, consisting of cavaguinho, flute, guitar, bass, accordion, saxophone, keyboards, and percussion.
At the start of her career Lutchinha gained notoriety as Cape Verde’s entry in the Russia International Students Festival. Since then, she has gone on to tour internationally, be invited to share her talent’s nationally at Cape Verde’s top music festivals, perform for high government officials, and share the same stage with the likes of the legendary Cesaria Evora herself. Her cd entitled Castanhinha was proclaimed Best Album of the Year, in its category, for the state of Rhode Island and you can find her music for sale on National Geographic’s prestigious world music web site. But … fortunately you can hear her and her band live at Johnny D’s coming up soon.
When: July 31st, Saturday @ 7:00 p.m.
Where: Johnny D’s Uptown (across from the Davis Square T stop)
More Info: 617 – 776 – 2004
Yet Another Mega Folk Festival Comes to the Boston Area During the Outdoor Season: Its Time Once Again for the Lowell Folk Festival: July 23rd – 25th (Friday – Sunday)
Thousands of eager visitors look forward every year to the biggest free folk festival in the whole country! The Lowell Folk Festival is three glorious days of music, dance, fine arts, and crafts from around the US and the rest of world. This mega event has been going strong for almost 25 years, so you know that it just has to be great! The fact that it lasts the entire weekend is a big plus for those of us who have busy schedules and yet are still dying to catch a bit of the action.
To kick things off on Friday, there will be a flag raising event and a parade complete with audience participation. March along with the grand procession and catch the festival spirit! There will also be another parade on Saturday to usher in the evening performances. OK world music enthusiasts, there is plenty here to keep you very happy indeed. There will be ethnic music, including a few dance performances, from the far corners of the globe including Peru, Ireland, Jamaica, Quebec, India, Armenia, Cape Verde, Puerto Rico, Korea, Scotland, and Egypt as well as other areas of the Middle East. Check out the link on this year’s performers. Its loaded with background info, photos, and videos- very informative. After taking in all of this fine global music and dance activity, you’re taste buds will most surely be in an ethnic mood. So, head on over to the food court and sample cuisine from Poland, Asia, Jamaica, Armenia, Portugal, and Greece. You can even peruse the menus in advance. There’s also a cooking demo scheduled on the preparation of bean dishes from around the globe. A particularly interesting little additional feature, in my opinion, is the workshops that will be given on various ethnic music and the instruments that make it. Drop in and learn something new. Of course, let’s not forget the kids if you happen to bring them along. There will be a family zone on the premises hosting activities the whole clan will enjoy.
And last but not least, after all is said and done, you can take home some great festival memories with you in the form of special merchandise. This includes those all important cds produced by this year’s performers which will be on sale at Boarding House. Make a donation here to help keep this fantastic event alive and well for years to come. But most of all, lend your support by attending this year’s festivities and be rewarded for sure with one great time!
When: July 23rd – 25th (Friday – Sunday)
Where: Downtown Lowell, MA
More Info: duey firstname.lastname@example.org