Archive for October, 2010

Usher in the Upcoming Holiday Season in Grand Slavic Fashion with Traditional Choral Music from Bulgaria: Compliments of Premier Vocal Ensembles Divi Zheni & Zornitsa: December 3rd, Friday @ 8:00 p.m. & December 5th, Sunday @ 1:00 p.m.

Every time that the holiday party season comes around, it gives us world music fans here in the US another chance to experience the Christmas and New Years festivities of other cultures. Of course, to me, the music is the best part, but then there’s the ethnic food, decorations, and other interesting native customs to explore. Coming up in the first week of December, there are two Bulgarian holiday dance parties happening in the Boston area. The first is one is actually part of FACONE’s (Folk Arts Center of New England) Friday night folk dance series. The live dance music at this event will be provided by two of Boston’s premier world music choral ensembles, both of which are under the direction of Tatiana Sarbinska, a world-class vocalist in her own right and a leading expert in the area of Bulgarian choral music. Divi Zheni is an all women’s group while Zornitsa is their male counterpart. Let Marcie Van Cleave and friends be your instructors as you learn a number of Bulgarian group-style folk dances, many of which can be easily followed simply by watching and copycatting! There is no previous dance experience expected of party guests and you don’t even need to bring a partner. More experienced dancers will be accommodated for as well, so come one, come all. And as I mentioned before, because this is a holiday party, there will also be ethnic food on hand for guests to sample and decorations to enjoy. 


Event Details

When: December 3rd, Friday @ 8:00 p.m.

Where: Park Avenue Congregational Church (Parish Hall) (Arlington)

Admission: $8.00 (General) / $6.00 (FAC members) / $5.oo (Students)

More Info: 781-438-4387 OR


The second celebration is a benefit event for the Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church (Allston) and  Divi Zheni, who will be performing, as well. It will be modeled after the traditional Bulgarian Sedenka. This is a Christmastime festivity originally held by farming communities after the crop season’s work was done. Party activities included crafting for personal enjoyment (i.e. carving, sewing, knitting, etc.), storytelling, singing of old familiar as well as newly composed songs, seasonal treats, and, of course, dancing. In like spirit, this year’s Boston celebration will include traditional singalongs, and group dancing, complete with instruction. Party guests are encouraged to bring along any personal crafting projects that they wish to work on in a group setting and, of course, ethnic food will be served for all to enjoy.


Event Details

When: December 5th, Sunday @ 1:00 p.m.

Where: Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church (Allston)

    Street parking available for free

Tickets: $20.00 (General) / $10.00 (Students) / $5.00 (Children 12 & under)  

   Purchase At the door OR At the church bookstore on Sunday’s (11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

More Info: 617-787-7625 OR OR



So, start the holidays off right in grant multi-cultural fashion and experience a little of Bulgaria in the true spirit of the season!                    

October 30, 2010 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

Music Make’s the World a Better Place for All: Become Truly Inspired as the Playing for Change Tour Comes to Boston!: November 17th, Wednesday @ 8:00 p.m.

Catch the Playing for Change fever!

The Playing for Change show is indeed a very special tour designed to tune its audiences in to the inspirational power of world music with its inherent ability to encourage global peace, understanding, and empathy. As an ardent world music fan, I, myself, am already keenly aware of this power and believe very passionately in it!

 “Playing for Change” is actually an entire movement centered around the mission of  “Connecting the world through music” and this selective group of talented musicians have come together in honor of this all important goal. The roster for the evening includes, Ilan Ba (Senegal, guitar, no further info), Mohammed Alidu (Northern Ghana, percussion), Clarence Bekkar (Netherlands/Suriname, vocals), Grandpa Elliot (New Orleans, vocals & harmonica), Mermans Kenkosenki (DRC Congo, vocals & percussion), Jason Tamba (DRC Congo, guitar), Titi Tsira (South Africa, vocals), Juan Carlos Portillo (Venezuela, no further info), Louis Mhlanga (Zimbabwe, guitar), Reggie McBride (Detroit, bass guitar), and Peter Bunetta (Los Angeles, drums). Check out these videos to experience some of these musicians in action.  


The “Playing for Change” project actually grew out of a wildly popular film project turned YouTube video which received more than 30 million views over the internet! Stand by Me” is a collection of film clips of various musicians from all over the globe performing this very same song with its projected theme of universal togetherness. Each performed in his or her own totally personal, intimate, and informal environment so as to inspire the utmost in  personal creativity and heartfelt sharing with respect to this all important musical message for the rest of the world to hear. The film’s very popular reception went on to inspire a PBS music special and eventually the entire “Playing for Change” movement which continues to grow and develop as we speak, largely due to the efforts of Grammy and film award-winning producer, engineer, and director Mark Johnson. Presently the project is centered around three major organizational entities which include the musicians’ Playing for Change Band which performs benefit concerts and tours, the Playing for Change Foundation which supports music education and related activities in impoverished areas of the world, and the Concord Music Group which markets the project’s cds and videos. I am not going to go into further detail here because there is so much additional valuable information which is easily accessable on the aforementioned organizations’ websites. Rather, I would urge you to visit these links, poke around on your own, and see if you don’t yet become inspired to get involved in this most wonderful of world music causes. But … the best introduction to “Playing for Change” one could have at this point would be, of course, to attend this highly inspirational upcoming concert.

Come and join in the “Playing for Change” global unity movement!!! 




Event Details:

When: November 17th, Wednesday @ 8:00 p.m.

Where: Symphony Hall (Downtown Boston)

Tickets: $26.00 – $56.00

  Purchase tickets Online ($5.50 fee per ticket) OR Call 888-266-1200

More Info: 888-266-1200  OR

(Area Restaurants)

October 28, 2010 at 4:16 am Leave a comment

Join Local Columbian Singing Sensation Marta Gomez and Friends @ The Regattabar: November 9th, Tuesday @ 7:30 p.m.

Singer/songwriter Marta Gomez is, beyond question, a brilliant rising star on the local and international Latin music scene. She currently tours internationally on a regular basis with Israeli superstar Idan Raichel and in addition, with her own band as well. She has produced over 70 original songs, at this point, which characterize a wide variety of genres from her native Columbia, Bolivia, Argentina and Peru. She embodies an impressive array of various different Latin rhythms representative of these styles within her work and yet still manages to produce songs of such universal appeal that they can easily be sung in many different languages. Overall, her compositions are highly characteristic of the traditional South American folk genres, displaying lyrics that speak of daily Columbian life and the social issues surrounding it. Gomez then skillfully adds elements from jazz, pop, and Caribbean music genres into the mix in order to create her own brand of Latin fusion.

Marta Gomez’s career started off with a bang as she graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Berklee College of Music and was a recipient of a Best Achievement Scholarship award as well. Since then, she has gone on to be recognized as one of the 5 most prominent Columbian women of the year (2005) by her homeland’s Fucsia magazine. She has performed with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, John Mayer, Toto la Momposina, and Mercedes Sosa. Her recorded works have been included twice in compilations on the very popular world renown label Putumayo and were also incorporated into a TV soundtrack. Various of Gomez’s cds, of which she has recorded 5 so far, have been named by the Boston Globe as one of the 10 best albums of the year, nominated for a Latin Music Award by Billboard Magazine, or have  propelled her to the title of Best National World-Music Act of the year by the Boston Phoenix. You can catch further details of  this successful career by visiting her website.

Marta Gomez is presently promoting her newest album entitled Musiquita. During her performance at the Regattabar she will be accompanying herself on guitar, along with her band which includes Franco Pinna on drums and percussion, Fernando Heurgo on bass, Yulia Musayelyan on flute, and Roberto Cachimeul on various Andean instruments. If you attend this performance, be well prepared to walk away with a fabulous new cd to add to your world music collection! 


Event Details:

When: November 9th, Tuesday @ 7:30 p.m.

Where: Regattabar (Harvard Square)

Tickets: $16.00 ($2.50 per ticket surcharge for online orders) (for more info on purchasing tickets call: 617-395-7757) 

              Order online to get the best seats!

More Info: 617-661-5099 (Kelly Sullivan) OR OR 

(Area Restaurants)


October 23, 2010 at 2:15 am Leave a comment

Start Your Week in Grand Irish Style!: Monday Evenings (7:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.)

I don’t know about you, but for me wintertime means finding stimulating and interesting indoor activities to help chase those cold weather doldrums away. Well, Monday nights at The Green Briar Irish Pub in Brighton, is definitely a place where you can find some of such stimulating action that’ll make your winter season just a bit more delightful. Come on out and enjoy some good old traditional Irish music compliments of Boston’s most enthusiastic local musicians. The entertainment here takes shape in the form of a traditional Irish seisiun where you can actively participate in the music making yourself, or just sit back and partake of some great world music for your listening pleasure. I also want to add here, that if you just so happen to be looking for that perfect gift for the celtic music lover in your life, there are gift cards available as well.

Why not start your night off right with “a little taste of Ireland“, literally! You can sample traditional ethnic goodies such as Guiness onion soup (topped with herb crotons, cheddar, and swiss), Cocktail sausages and chips (Irish sausages served with house fries and ketchup), Fish & chips (Harper lager battered haddock, house fries, cole slaw, tartar sauce and lemon), or Shepherd’s Pie (slowly braised lamb and sirloin with root vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes and served in a crock of field green salad) and for dessert … Chocolate cake (Jameson’s chocolate sauce and fresh cream). And just to add a little variety to the menu, there are some non-Irish dishes available as well including, Boston Chowderfest Hall of Fame Chowder (3 times the winner at Boston’s annual clam chowder cook-off event) and Chicken Curry (sautéed chicken tenders, spicy coconut curry, slivered almonds, and raisins over Jasmine rice). Here, you can also check out the rest of the menu just in case you’re interested. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a bit of celtic music on a Monday evening, just head on over to The Green Briar Irish Pub and get your fill of Irish night!

Event Details:

When: Monday nights (Weekly) (7:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.)

Where: The Green Briar Irish Pub (Brighton)

Admission: No cover charge

More Info: 617-789-4100 OR 



October 20, 2010 at 2:59 am Leave a comment

Travel the World with Jamey Haddad & Friends: Presenting Folk and Contemporary Music of Palestine, Greece, Bulgaria, and the Jews: November 3rd, Wednesday (8:00 p.m – 12:00 a.m.)

Jamey Haddad‘s “East-West Storytellers” are a group of select accomplished  musicians who have come together in a special collaborative effort to share some of their favorite world music with the rest of us lucky listeners. Enjoy an evening of fine folk and contemporary ethnic music from Palestine, Greece, Bulgaria, and the Jews. Members of this special quintet, who are originally from Palestine, Israel, and the United States, will be presenting some of their very own original compositions as a part of the evening’s program. Joining Haddad on drums will be, Itamar Borochov on trumpet, Ali Amar on qanun, Nadav Remez on guitar, and Noam Wiesenberg on bass.

As the leader of this special musical collaboration, world renown percussionist Jamey Haddad brings plenty of professional expertise to the table. He is a specialist in jazz, and world and contemporary music who is known for his musical versatility. Because he has performed so many diverse styles of music over the years, he has developed an uncanny ability adapt his playing style with respect to numerous different genres and thus is a popular choice for membership in collaborative artistic projects the world over. He is currently an associate professor at the Berklee College of Music, New England and Oberlin Conservatories, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2007, he was honored  in Modern Drummer magazine as one of the 4 best ethnic music percussionists in the world. In addition to his 9-year membership with Paul Simon’s band, he also enjoys regular playing engagements and/or touring opportunities with Simon & Garfunkel, Yo Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, the Paul Winter Consort, Esperanza Spalding, Betty Buckley, Nguyen Lee, Brazil’s Assad Brothers, and many other of the world’s most prominent artists.  Check out the rest of the details of this fabulous career on his website … And then, come on over to the Beehive in Boston’s South end and see what this special world music collaborative performance is all about.







Event Details:

When: November 3rd, Wednesday (8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.)

Where: The Beehive (South End)

Admission: No cover charge listed

     Reservations / Menus

More Info: 617-423-0069


October 17, 2010 at 12:44 am

Experience Blues Music from a Greek Perspective @ “An Evening of Rembetika”: November 20th, Saturday @ 7:00 p.m.

“An Evening of Rembetika” is a benefit concert which is being held in support of  the St. Athanasius Greek Orthodox Church of Arlington, Mass. Rembetika, or “the Greek blues” as it is so often refered to, found its beginnings in the 1920’s  amongst the urban poor of Greece. It is an extremely well-known and revered folk genre within Greek culture and has earned its “blues” reputation, in part, as a result of the subject matter portrayed within the lyrics to the songs. It’s all about the “hard life” as experienced by the country’s urban poor. Adding to the musical interest of this genre is its inherent bi-cultural nature, as it is the ultimate by-product of a unique combination of both European and Middle Eastern stylistic elements.


The evening will open with a pre-concert reception featuring wine and hors d’oeuvres (or “mezethes” if you will). The following music will then be brought to the audience by a rather large cast of musicians on vocals, guitar, oud, accordion, bouzouki, and percussion. This is indeed a special event and you can further support the church’s efforts by sponsoring the concert if you wish. So, come and see what the Greek’s version of the blues is all about at “An Evening of Rembetika”.





Event Details:

When: November 20th, Saturday @ 8:00 p.m.

  Don’t forget the pre-concert reception at 7:00!!!

Where: Robbins Memorial Town Hall (Arlington Town Hall)

Tickets: $40.00 (Call or purchase online)

More Info: 617-669-7000 OR 781-643-8139

(Area Restaurants) 


October 15, 2010 at 2:32 am Leave a comment

Come Explore New Sound Frontiers: Syrian Omar Souleyman Brings Rarely Heard Brand of World Music from the Homeland to the Boston Audience: November 4th, Thursday (8:00 – 11:30 p.m.)

Syrian superstar Omar Souleyman is a household name in his homeland, but it is only just recently that he has begun to venture out onto the international world music scene with his highly original interpretation of native “folk-pop” dance tunes. Souleyman originally hails from northeastern Syria and specializes in a popular genre of traditional music from this area. It is derived from a complex combination of  various distinct music styles originating from a number of  Middle Eastern cultures including, Mawwal (Arabic vocal music), Dabka (highly energized folk dance music often heard at  Syrian social gatherings), Choubi (a combination of Iraqi folk and popular music), as well as additional musical enhancements originating from the Arabs, Kurds, and Turks. Nonetheless, put this all together and you have what can still be recognized as highly danceable music with a distinctly Syrian sound.


This national icon has been performing since 1994 and still plays with his original group of band mates, even after all this time. The ensemble’s instrumentation includes vocals, oud, reeds, baglama, saz, percussion, keyboards and electronics. Many of the songs performed are atabas, which are an Arabic form of folk-poetry. Characteristically, the music features numerous Arabic-style keyboard passages and rapidly executed rhythmic patterns which move along in feverish succession. Although the pace does slow down and mellow out at times, the overall mood portrayed is generally one of extreme high energy, making this genre a popular choice for party music in Syria. Omar Souleyman and his group have recorded over 500, that’s right, 500 hundred cassette recordings thus far. Of particular note, is a collection of their recorded works dated from 1994 – 2006 available through the Sublime Frequencies label. Herein lies a huge selection of a truly valuable local genre of Syrian music which is otherwise largely unavailable for public listening and enjoyment here in the Western world.  So why not avail yourself of the also rare opportunity to hear it live in the US at this most memorable concert at the Paramount Center.






Event Details:

When: November 4th, Thursday (8:00 – 11:30 p.m.)

Where: Paramount Center (Downtown Boston)

Tickets: $14.00 – $55.00

      Purchase online.

More Info: 617-824-6000

(Area Restaurants) 


October 12, 2010 at 3:33 am Leave a comment

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