Archive for April, 2011

Relish the Richness of a Tride and True Marriage of Latin Music and Its Related Dance Genres with Ritmo Masacote: April 30th, Saturday @ 8:30 p.m.

Ritmo Masacote is a 12 piece Latin ensemble utterly devoted to producing Latin music that closely characterizes the dance genres it represents. “Creating the bridge between music and dance” is forever the band’s creed, as they bring their version of  Cuban-based Timba, Salsa, and Latin Jazz to listeners in the Boston area and beyond. The ensemble was founded in 2006 by lead bandsman Joel Massicot, also a professional salsa dancer and instructor, who has earned the nickname “Masacote” after a Cuban style of salsa or mambo with which he is closely associated. The genre is centered around the fusion of various rhythmic motifs as played on congas, guro, timbales, clave and bongos. Ritmo Masacote remains steadfast in their mission to create a lasting impact upon the modern development of Latin music while moving it in the direction of becoming highly dance-oriented with an inherent ability to instill a real sense of cultural awareness within  its various listeners world-wide. Such awareness,  they believe is key to the ultimate achievement of global peace and understanding for all. Whatever their exact musical formula is, it has developed quite a reputation for its unique character and appears to be working quite well as Ritmo Masacote have developed a huge following.

This dance orchestra is known for their highly energetic stage presence which is often enhanced through collaborative performances with the Masacote Dance Company, also with a reputation for lighting up the stage. The membership of the band is made-up partially of Berklees best attendees, past and present, among them also a Grammy award recipient as well as an additional nominee. They have embraced audiences in Australia, North America, Europe, Asia, the Middles East, as well as South America and, in addition, have been heard world-wide over the radio. Aside from their appearances in motion pictures and on DVD, they have also recorded 2 well-received cds and plan to release yet a third. Even though this particular appearance of  Ritmo Masacote is to be held in the Ryles Jazz Club’s mainstage area, which is not set up for dancing per say, it’s inevitable that the audience, nonetheless, will not be able to sit still in their seats as they bec0me entranced with the infectious Latin dance rhythms of this ensemble’s most exciting and energetic music. 


Event Details:

When: April 30th, Saturday @ 8:30 p.m.

Where: Ryles Jazz Club  (Inman Square)

Admission: $12.00 (Purchase Online)

               Restaurant Menu

More Info: 617-876-9330                       

April 26, 2011 at 3:57 am Leave a comment

Experience Premier Afrobeat as Femi Kuti and The Positive Force Come to Boston: April 21st, Thursday (8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.)

Listen to Femi Kuti.

Heralded as “one of the true giants of African music” by Q Magazine, Afrobeat star Femi Kuti and his band The Positive Force will be coming to Boston to promote their latest cd release “Africa for Africa”. This is an especially timely appearance as “Fela fever” is taking the world by storm. Femi is the eldest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti who’s artistic greatness is currently being honored internationally, not only in the form of the highly successful broadway musical Fela!, but other monumental forms of recognition, as well.  Joining Femi and his band, thus adding to this powerful sound energy, will be local Afropop favorite the Uhuru Afrika Dancefloor Explosion DJ Show.


 A two-time Grammy nominee in his own right, Femi has never been satisfied with resting on his father’s laurels, and as a result has developed his very own bold yet sophisticated and monumentally successful trademark style. Starting out at the age of 15 he was a member of his father’s bands, but by the mid 80’s had begun to make his own original musical statement with the formation of his own new band The Positive Force. The decade of the 90s saw his emergence into a style of Afrobeat that was truly “Femi” culminating in the release of a solo cd Shoki, Shoki. His style then continued to develop, even showing influences of American hip hop. Then finally in 2008 he recorded his most successful release yet “Day By Day”. However, it remains to be seen if his latest release “Africa for Africa” will top this one. Femi’s main inspiration for this particular recording comes from a desire to artistically recapture some of the flavor of the good old days when he was producing records with his father. In order to successfully accomplish this he returned to the very same old studio back home in Lagos, now virtually run down, where they once recorded together with the band. It is here that he hopes to have produced a sound reminiscent of the original Afrobeat, just as it was in the beginning.  

Femi still stoically shares his late father’s distinctly anti-government views with respect to the current leadership not only in his homeland of Nigeria , but also parts of the rest of the African continent, as well. In keeping with this political legacy, he continues to manage Fela’s infamous nightclub “The Shrine” with his older sister Yeni and performs there on a regular basis. Now however, dubbed “The New Shrine”, as the old one was destroyed in a violent raid by government soldiers, it still unfortunately plays host to regular intrusions at the hands of the nation’s leaders who have closed it down on numerous occasions, fortunately not for long though! If you happen to catch Femi’s appearance at the Paradise Rock Club, you’ll not only be treated to first-rate Afrobeat music, but you will also most surly catch some of that feisty, fiery Kuti spirit as well…As they say at “The New Shrine”- Yeah! Yeah!

Event Details:

When: April 21st, Thursday (8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.)

Where: Paradise Rock Club (Allston/Brighton)

Tickets: $25.00 (In Advance)

More Info: 617-562-8800

(Area Restaurants 


April 15, 2011 at 12:20 am Leave a comment

Join the Zamir Chorale of Boston and Their Very Special Guests in a Celebratory Musical Union of Arabic and Jewish Cultures: April 10th, Sunday (2:00 – 4:00 p.m.)

Weekend still open? Here’s a last-minute entertainment suggestion. 

Middle East Harmonies – A Musical Dialogue Between Arab & Israeli Cultures brings together 4 premier musical entities all of which are dedicated to a common all-important performance goal- that of the promotion of world peace and understanding through the wonderful inspirational power of music. Professor Joshua Jacobson of Northeastern University, creator of this honorable event, brings together his Zamir Chorale of Boston, founding members of the once world renown Arab/Jewish-Israeli instrumental ensemble Bustan Abraham, distinguished Turkish vocal soloist Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, the youthful Boston City Singers, and featured soloist Mireille Tannous in a performance to commemorate a special marriage of Israeli and Arabic music traditions. Represented here are two indeed distinct cultures who have sadly known much conflict between each other for centuries, however, on this glorious afternoon in April, will peacefully co-exist in “perfect harmony” with each other.  A related symposium on of the bridging of cultural differences through music, but in a broader context, will take place on the following Monday. 


A little bit about the performers:

Zamir Chorale of  Boston (Professor Joshua Jacobson – artistic director) – Since 1969 this highly revered Boston area choral ensemble has been advancing  the values of Jewish culture not only through performance but various forms of literature and educational outreach as well. Thus far they have recorded 21 cds and developed quite a following outside of the local area, both nationally and overseas in Israel and Europe. 

 Bustan Abraham (1991-2003) – Standing as a symbol of effective collaboration between Arab and Jewish people, this infamous instrumental ensemble began as the duo of Israeli-Arab, Taiseer Elias and American-Israeli Jew, Miguel Herstein. The group membership then expanded to as many as seven players who very successfully toured Europe and North America, recorded 6 cds, and were heard on the radio worldwide. The creation of Israeli concert promoter/musician Avshalom Farjun, this ensemble was known for its renditions of highly evolved compositions laced with a variety of artfully orchestrated musical elements and improvisational sequences.You can view the concert program for the afternoon here. This looks to be quite an event, not only from a musical entertainment perspective but from a culturally educational one, as well. 

Bustan Abraham in Earlier Days


 Mehmet Sanlikol (vocal soloist) – Professor Sanlikol holds a doctorate in music from New England Conservatory and has enjoyed a highly successful and varied career, both locally and internationally, as a performer, recording artist, composer, teacher, author, and producer. He is heavily involved with musical projects that demonstrate effective performance partnerships amongst musicians of different cultures in an atmosphere of peace and goodwill. He co-founded the highly respected local ensemble Dunya,  performers of contemporary Turkish music placed often times in a world fusion setting. He also produced a cd involving a first time collaboration of Greek and Turkish musicians from Cyprus which was so successful that he was featured on both NPR and PRI radio programs.


Zamir Chorale of Boston






You can view the concert program for the afternoon here. This looks to be quite an event, not only from a musical entertainment perspective but from a culturally educational one, as well.

Event Details:

When: April 10th, Sunday (2:00 – 4:00 p.m.)

Where: Sanders Theatre (Harvard Square)

Tickets: $54.00, $36.00, $18.00 (General Admission) / $10.00 (Students), $5.00 (Seniors 65+ )

More Info: 617-244-6333 OR Visit the website

(Area Restaurants)


April 8, 2011 at 1:45 am Leave a comment

Celebrate Earth Day @ “Playing for the Planet: World Violins Against Climate Change”: April 22nd, Friday @ 7:00 p.m.

As you are probably already well aware, Earth Day is all about honoring our precious environment. In this particular concert setting it is more specifically about reversing the global warming trend and the ghastly havoc it is wreaking upon our environment at this very moment. Yikes!!! This event is the 4th installment in a performance series  that very successfully joins great world music with a great world cause.  At this point, I am going to let the creator of this highly important series describe this musical Earth Day celebration to you  in his own words, as he has already so beautifully done so: “Playing For The Planet: World Violinists Against Climate Change” was conceived as a way for these 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. [Mimi] Rabson, [Tara] Bangalore, and [Beth Bahia] Cohen and their accompanists may present different melodic and rhythmic concepts, but they share key musical values: listening, honesty, creativity, and respect. 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 incredible evening of  powerful music- from some of the finest musicians in New England and the world.”–Warren Senders. 
Playing for the Planet” will be:
Mimi Rabson (appearing with Nick Grondon on guitar, Dave Clark on bass, and Ricardo Monzon on drums) Known for her extreme innovativeness, she is currently considered one of Boston’s leaders in the field of jazz/world fusion. She has very successfully taken on a wide variety of musical roles during her highly accomplished career including: performer, composer, recording artist, musical director, and professor. She is a co-founder of the infamous Klezmer Conservatory Band, has appeared with the legendary violinist Itzahak Perlman, wrote music later to be included in the soundtrack of Saturday Night Live, and has been lauded by world renown conductor Yehudi Menuhin. Read on to learn more about her exciting career.  

Tara Bangalore – This highly talented successful violinist and classical Indian vocalist began performing for the general public at the tender age of eight. Since then, she has gone on to perform with some of her homeland’s best musicians including Sri T.R. Subramaniam, Smt. M.L. Vasanthakumari, Prof. Ramanathan, and her very own teacher, Smt. T. Rukmini. Both her vocal and violin performances have earned national acclaim in the USA as well as India. An award-winning teacher, she has been sharing both her vocal and instrumental skills with countless successful students throughout New England for over twenty years. You can learn more about this fascinating artist here.  

Beth Bahia Cohen (with Mac Ritchey, oud and percussion, and Todd Roach percussion) In addition to the violin, Ms. Cohen has established herself as a true master of a wide variety of ethnic bowed instruments from various regions of the Middle East, Greece, and Eastern Europe. She is also a scholar who has received numerous grant rewards in support of her research on native music in general from these areas of the world. Furthermore she has gone on to share her vast knowledge as a teacher and guest lecturer at various of our nation’s colleges and universities. As a well-seasoned national performer and recording artist, she has received rave reviews from such publications as the Boston Globe, Sojourner, and Strings Magazine. As a performer, she also specialize’s in music of the Jewish tradition. You can listen to some of her newer solo work on her latest cd entitled “Weaving the Worlds”. For more interesting details on this fine artist, click here.    


In October of 2009, I had the fortune of attending an earlier concert, the first, 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: Friday, April 22nd @ 7:00 p.m. 

Where: Emmanuel Church (Boston)

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

Advance purchase options for tickets are available until 3:00 p.m. on the day of the concert   

More Info: 781-396-0734 OR

(Area Restaurants)

April 2, 2011 at 2:14 am Leave a comment

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April 2011