Archive for June, 2011
Add A Little World Music Pizzaz to Your Lunchtime Routine @ the Boston Public Library’s Concerts in the Courtyard: July 8th & 29th, Friday (12:30 – 1:30 p.m.)
As a full-time employee of the Boston Public Library, I can assure you that there is no place I’d rather be during the warmer months of the year than our central courtyard. With its neatly manicured gardens, spectacular fountain, and stately surrounding walls constructed of stone imported direct from Italy, it beckons visitors to pull-up a wrought-iron chair and sit for a while whilst basking in its heavenly ambiance. Trust me, I find it very hard to resist!!! For years I often thought, what a great place for a concert. Happily someone finally shared my idea and the Concerts in the Courtyard series was born. Now every Friday afternoon, just around lunchtime, this peaceful haven is filled with the sweet sounds of music. And it just so happens world music fans, that there is always at least more than one ethnic music ensemble included in each season’s roster, so make a note of it to check our online calendar of events each spring to see who’s appearing and when. That being said, this year the library is proud to present two of our premier local world fusion ensembles for your listening pleasure.
Atlas Soul – This award-winning ensemble takes the genre of world fusion to new heights. As the truest of masters of their craft, they continue to invent new and original genres entirely all their own! Through the artful blending of diverse music styles originating largely from Africa, the Middle East, North America, and the Mediterranean, they have introduced audiences to the unique and intriguing sounds of Maghrebien-Funk, Rock ‘n Rai and Shaabi-Jazz. Performing all over North America, they have shared the stage with the likes of Lady Smith Black Mambazo, Gigi, and other world music stars. In addition, they have been nominated no less than 5 times for the most prestigious Boston Music Awards amongst their other numerous, and I do mean numerous, accomplishments. (see web site for details) A long-time local favorite of mine (see previous post), I know they will win you over as well.
Aires de Argentina: Founded in 2008 by I-Yun Chung, this group hails from the Berklee College of Music, an institution which continually produces first-rate performance ensembles. The group takes both traditional and contemporary Argentinean music in exciting and innovative new directions with their own brand of world fusion, bringing elements of jazz, rock and classical styles to the mix. However, it is their undying sense of passion which is so profoundly evident in all of their original and re-arranged compositions that gives this ensemble its most distinctive artistic identity.
Just so you know, even if it should rain, you can still enjoy this magnificent music in our Rabb Lecture Hall, located in the Johnson Building. So, if you’re fortunate enough to be able make it to the Copley Square area for lunch during the month of July, why not make your mealtime extra special in the grand company of Atlas Soul and Aires de Argentina.
When: July 8th and 29th, Friday (12:30 – 1:30)
Where: Boston Public Library Courtyard (Copley Square)
Rain Location: Rabb Lecture Hall
Luncheon menu available
More Info: 617-536-5400
In the past, I have posted about so many premier world music acts appearing at Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant & Music Club, that I thought it about time I gave the venue, itself, a little more focus. The DeLellis family has been attracting premier world music entertainment to their ever popular award-winning establishment in Somerville for over 40 years! They have earned themselves a well established reputation for booking a steady stream of local, national, and international stars to perform on their stage, fortunately a large portion of them from the world music arena. For the month of July alone, I counted no less than 7 world music performances on the roster including, Novalima (See previous post), Meklit Hadero, Rakiya, the Duppy Conquerors, Etran Finatawa, and Shabate. Check out their online music calendar to see who else of interest will be appearing. You can even see who’s “graced their stage” in the past, to get an even better idea of just how much fabulous world music entertainment can actually be witnessed here on a regular basis. And, you can enjoy it all in the more intimate atmosphere of a relatively small performance venue, a rare plus with respect to well-known national and international acts.
Johnny D’s well established reputation has not only earned them notoriety locally, but on a national scale as well! Poke around their website for a bit and you’ll see just why this is such a popular place. Take a visual tour of the facilities or visit the photo sharing gallery, check out their highly informative music calendar complete with background details on upcoming performers, or read the rave press reviews and positive commentary supplied by everyday costumers like you and me. Conveniently located across from the Davis Square T stop, they offer menus that cater to any sized appetite, whether you’re in the mood for a light snack or a huge meal. Make a reservation for dinner and you’re automatically guaranteed a seat for the evening’s show! Tables go fast, so you want to keep this in mind and book as early as possible. Check the music calendar often! In order to keep up on all the great happenings at Johnny D’s, you can sign also up for their newsletter via their website. Trust me, there’s so much exciting world music entertainment happening at this single establishment alone, you’ll soon find yourself visiting this hot little spot in Davis Square often.
21+ (Exceptions are made for some shows during the week or early evening on the weekend – call in advance)
Where: Davis Square (Somerville)
Tickets: Cover charge at the door unless noted otherwise on performance calendar
Advanced online ticket purchase available for some performances
More Info: 617-776-2004 (Inquiries regarding upcoming shows, the restaurant, and the dinner reservations policy)
Discover What Transpires When Afro-Peruvian Roots Music Meets Leading Edge World Fusion @ Johhny D’s with Superstars Novalima: July 10th, Sunday @ 9:00 p.m.
Novalima is currently one of the world’s hottest world fusion ensembles and they are coming to Boston next month!!! Their unique brand of world fusion consists of an artful and innovative blending of a number of genres including traditional Afro-Peruvian folk (a fusion of sorts in of itself), Afro-beat, dub, hip-hop, electronica, reggae, Latin, and funk. They will be performing at Johnny D’s so space will be somewhat limited. That being said, buy your tickets early for this one! Herein lies a great yet rare opportunity to experience internationally acclaimed world musicians in a more intimate setting. The band’s albums have earned both platinum and gold rankings in their homeland of Peru and their success has continued to skyrocket on the international world music scene as well. They have during their career so far already enjoyed the number one spot on the US College Music Journal, Latin Alternative, and New World Radio charts. In 2006 they received the IMAC’s (Independent Music Awards) top honors for best world fusion album and their latest release Coba, Coba (2009) earned them a Latin Grammy nomination.
It’s hard to imagine, but Novalima got its start through the collaborative efforts of four Peruvian musicians/Djs who were actually living in four diverse areas of the globe at the time, namely Lima, London, Barcelona, and Hong-Kong! Friends from the time they were youths, Ramon Perez Prieto, Grimaldo Del Solar, Rafael Morales, and Carlos Li Carillo, managed to successfully communicate their artistic ideas to each other at a distance, resulting in the formation of a world fusion ensemble that eventually brought them international acclaim. They attribute much of their popularity to the successful incorporation of both their experiences as musicians as well as Djs (a definite added plus) into their overall musical style and the addition of guest artists from all over the world as a part of their act, some of whom have ultimately become permanent band members. With the addition of band mates Jaun Medrano-Cotito, Mangue Vasquez, Milagros Guerrero, Marcos Mosquerra, and Constantino Alvarez, the group has more than doubled in size. Instrumentation includes both Western and ethnic attributes.
Unfortunately, as a result of the suffering of decades of social injustices, such as enslavement, persecution, and discrimination, the Afro-Peruvian people are witnessing a steady demise of their most precious native ways of life. In recognition of this, Novalima remains steadfast in their cultural mission to sustain the ethnic livelihood of the this community, not only within Peru, but on a global scale as well. In fact, they have been so successful at this, that they have taken Peruvian audiences by storm with leading-edge music that appeals to a broad spectrum of listeners, young and old, fans of both traditional folk and contemporary popular music, as well as Afro-Peruvians and non-Afro-Peruvians alike! As the best of musical ambassadors of goodwill, they have managed to close much of the long-exisiting cultural gap between the Afro-Peruvian community and the rest of their fellow Peruvian citizens, as so few others have been able to do, with music that speaks with profound emotion to the hardships suffered by a country’s minority, through a genuine yet popular guise of world-wide crowd appeal. In the mood for innovative world fusion? Then come on out to Johnny D’s and see what this intriguing Afro-Peruvian cultural revelation ia all about!
When: July 10th, Sunday @ 9:00 p.m.
Where: Johnny D’s Uptown (Somerville)
Tickets: $15.00 (Online purchase highly recommended – $1.00 fee)
More Info: 617-776-2004
Bask Yourself in a Delightful Summer Day Chocked Full of Marvelous World Music And Dance Entertainment @ the Dance for World Community Festival: June 11th, Saturday (Noon – 10:00 p.m.)
A crowd of 15,000+ is expected at the 3rd annual Dance for World Community Festival and its easy to see why. This grand indoor/outdoor event, hosted by the Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre (see previous post), features dance performances from over 50 troupes from the Boston area and greater New England (about 30% of which represent various foreign cultures from across the globe). And, as an added bonus, there will also be free dance instruction, and a street dance party to end the show. Admission to all of this is entirely free, believe it or not, and the festivities are scheduled to go on- rain or shine . Nonetheless, let’s hope for the latter! Of course, all this ethnically oriented dance activity means there’ll be lots and lots of world music to be heard for everyone’s listening pleasure.
In keeping with the Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre’s steadfast mission of social consciousness, this event was created with the ultimate intention of raising the public’s awareness of the power of dance to motivate positive action aimed at the enhancement of the well-being of our wonderful planet, both within the local community as well as across the world. In recognition of this, some 20+ civic, environmental, cultural, and social service organizations will be on hand to inform festival attendees of the marvelous work they do for the betterment of our greater society. The ballet theatre’s efforts to bring you this magnificent event have been aided by the City of Cambridge, as well as various arts, civic, and social organizations and local businesses.
As far as the details go, there will be 4 stages of simultaneous dance performances going on well into the evening. Here is a list of world dance troupes who will be performing: Fran & Mariale Dance Fusion, Adam Ant Eve Dancers, Benkadi Drum and Dance, Boston Lykeian Ellinidon Greek Folkdance Group, Chu Ling Dance Academy, Deepa Srinath’s Dance Group, Iranian/Persian Dance Arts, Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston, Marsha Parilla/Danza Organica, Moves & Vibes Dance Co., Navarasa Dance Theater, Neena Gulati & the Triveni Ensemble, Ritmo en Accion, Hyde Square Task Force, Salsa y Control Dance Company, Salsa Matei Dance School, Snake Dance Theatre Company, Xuxhipilli Mexican Folkloric Ballet, African Community Education Program, and Anikai Dance. You can check out the official performer’s list as well as a full schedule in order to get the total picture of all the diverse dance entertainment which will be featured at this one huge event. And as if all this isn’t enough, the dance classes which are geared towards beginners of various ages cover a wide variety of dance genres. Ethnically speaking this includes: West African, Flamenco, Middle Eastern, Salsa, Bachata, Chinese, Afro-Haitian, Forro, Zouk, and other Brazilian dance forms, Tango Flow, Greek, and South Indian. Here’s your chance now to tryout that new dance you’ve been curious about. But don’t use up all of your energy just yet, because closing out the day, in grand fashion, will be the popular Latin ensemble Ten Tumbao for everybody’s dancing pleasure. Yay! More world music to keep the party going. So, if you’re searching for a local outdoor festival that provides plenty of world music entertainment, the Dance for World Community Festival is the place to be. So much world music and dance activity to partake of, all in one place- it definitely doesn’t get much better than this!!!
“Talk About Dance” – Want to get more involved in the promotion of dance as an effective instrument of positive societal change? Then come on out on Sunday to this enlightening seminar where you can not only listen to others ideas, but share your own as well. View the newsletter from last year’s discussion here. (See further event details below)
When: Festival: June 11th, Saturday (12:00 – 10:00 p.m.)
Seminar: June 12th, Sunday (2:00 – 6:00 p.m.)
Where: Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre (Harvard Square)
More Info: 617-354-7467 ( Monday – Friday – 9-5)
Spend an Enchanted Evening at a Real Live Argentine Tango Cafe- Right Here In Boston’s Own South End: June 7th, Tuesday (8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.)
Ever wonder what an evening out at an Argentine tango cafe would be like? Well, come discover the answer at the first ever Tango Cafe: a Night in Buenos Aires. For one special night the Beehive will be transformed into a real live tango cafe, complete with professional dance performances throughout the evening to the sounds of The Beehive Tango Orchestra. These talented musicians and dancers from Boston’s Longy School of Music will make you feel as if you have actually traveled to Argentina for the evening! What fun indeed.
In addition to all of this fine ethnic music and dance, guests will also have an opportunity to sample some Argentinean inspired cuisine as well. Native offerings include empanadas (bread or pastry dough containing meat, vegetables, or fruit fillings) and gaucho steak accompanied by Chimichurri sauce (a mixture of parsley, garlic, vegetable or olive oil, white or red vinegar, and red pepper flakes). The Beehive will be serving their regular menu throughout the evening as well. Drink specials, or “libations” as they are called in Argentina, will be offered all evening long, many of which will serve to highlight the Milagro tequilas, one of the regions finest labels. Reservations are highly recommended for this event, so I think it is indeed safe to say that this should prove to be a popular choice for a highly entertaining evening out on the town in “Buenos Aires, Massachusetts”.
When: June 7th, Tuesday (8:00 p.m. – Midnight)
Food will be served (5:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.)
Where: The Beehive (South End)
Admission: No cover listed
More Info: 617-423-0069