Archive for November, 2011
Awaken Your Creative Senses in an Evening of Leading Edge World Fusion with Jazz Artists Eastern Blok: December 7th, Wednesday @ 8:00 p.m.
Innovation! Innovation! Innovation! Such is the musical mantra for popular world fusion jazz ensemble Eastern Blok. This group remains ever ready to outdo themselves by pushing the envelope just a little further with each subsequent performance, often through the employment of unconventional rhythmic patterns and offbeat phrasings. They further challenge themselves by experimenting with music that varies in mood from the intensely lyrical and profoundly emotional to the more animated and light hearted yet electrifying. Their inventive re-interpretations of old standards and innovative original compositions are a by-product of the artful blending of many diverse styles with jazz including classical, Macedonian, Bulgarian, and Serbian folk, Klezmer, rock and a smattering of Middle Eastern flavorings as well. The band members are all formally trained musicians and virtuosos in their own right. So as one might expect, their music is as distinguished in its complexity as it is technically advanced. Nevertheless however, Eastern Blok takes pride in creating music that appeals to all types of listeners and that also ultimately continues to stand the test of time. They will tell you that key to their success in this regard lies in the masterful blending of both classical and jazz genres in a musical setting that is ever evolving yet still highly pleasing to the vast majority of listeners’ ears.
Founded in 2004 by Goran Ivanovic, lead composer of the group, and Doug Rosenberg the band continues to tour nationally, performing at America’s top entertainment venues. The current membership includes Ivanovic on classical guitar, Rosenberg on woodwinds, Matthew Ulery on upright bass, and Michael Caskey on percussion. A major breakthrough in the group’s career came in 2005 when their self-titled debut release “Goran Ivanovic Group” (became Eastern Block in 2006) received a national award for Album of the Year by the publishers of Acoustic Guitar Magazine. More accolades followed that same year when the group’s single entitled “Blacksmith’s Dance” stood out from thousands of other competition entries in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest to make it all the way to the finalist’s round! They have also been featured on Chicago Public Radio and in 2007 were among the ensembles specially showcased at that city’s World Music Festival, one of the largest musical celebrations of its kind in the US. So, if you’re in the mood to get your creative juices flowing, an evening with world fusion artists Eastern Blok, should definitely be on your “to do” list!
Where: Johnny D’s Uptown (Somerville)
More Info: 617-776-2004 OR 617-800-9720
Learn to Dance Latino Style While Sampling a Variety of Scrumptious Authentic Homemade Cuisine: Hosted by the Folk Arts Center of New England: December 10th, Saturday (4:00 – 11:00 p.m.)
The Folk Arts Center of New England is hosting a very special Salsa Dance Workshop with well-seasoned dance instructor Greg Coles. Also a dj and known for his infectious energy, this Tufts University professor will have you movin’ and groovin’ in no time to the sweet sounds of his specially selected Latin music excerpts. Actually, they could call this event the “Salsa and Beyond Dance Workshop” since Mr. Coles will also be teaching Bachata, Merengue, and ChaChaCha dance moves as well, while he shares with students his most authentic knowledge of the art of Latin dance enhanced by a very unique sense of style all his own. Instruction will be tailored to party goers with all levels of dance experience, singles and couple alike, so don’t be shy even if you are a total beginner. What makes this event extra special is the potluck supper featuring fine homemade Latin cuisine. Yum! Oh and, of course, there will be a dance party following the lessons. The FAC does ask that all workshop participants please wear “soft-soled” shoes only and refrain from the use of fragrances of any kind as some are allergic to these substances.
In addition to his educational activities at Tufts University where he specializes in African dance, Greg also teaches both drumming and dancing at his own local studio “Greg Coles Drum & Dance“. He has been appearing frequently at numerous instructional and entertainment events around the area since the 1990’s and in the process has worked with countless students of all age groups and skill levels. As a youth, he began developing his dance skills in a wide array of styles and eventually wound up with a scholarship at the most prestigious Alvin Ailey Dance School in NYC. In fact, Mr. Ailey himself was so impressed with his student that Greg was appointed as a curator of his private library for an entire summer season. Upon relocation to the Boston area, he began to build his reputation as a first- rate dance instructor simply by showing fellow party goers dance moves on an informal basis at clubs around town. Now as a full-time professional, he prides himself not only in developing excellent dance skills among his students but also in raising their awareness of the critical role that social dancing can potentially play in the enrichment of their everyday lives. What better way to enhance your Latin music listening pleasure than by learning some new ethnic dance moves at the hands of one of the areas best pros. And don’t forget while you’re at it … there’ll be plenty of tasty Latin cuisine to go around too!
Pre-registration highly recommended but not required
When: December 10th, Saturday (4:00 – 11:00 p.m.)
Workshop – 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Dinner: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Dance Party – 8:30 – 11:00 p.m.
Where: Park Avenue Congregational Church – Parish Hall (Arlington)
Admission: Prices vary (See details – Please remember to bring food)
More Info: Contacts
Follow Along with Vocal Sensation Kiran Ahluwalia as She Takes Ancient Indian Musical Traditions to a Whole New Level: November 20th, Sunday @ 9:00 p.m.
With her exquisitely lyrical, yet emotionally charged vocal style, international singing star Kiran Ahluwalia has been intriguing and captivating audiences worldwide with her own originally composed versions of traditional ghazals and Punjabi folk songs. Her compositions have been known to possess a distinct unearthly quality, making them all the more compelling. Coming to Canada from India, as a child, Ahluwalia was naturally drawn to more “serious” music normally thought to be far to sophisticated for someone her age. In fact by the age of 7 she was actually capable of singing ghazals, despite their characteristically poetic lyrics of advanced literary quality centered around the most passionate of subjects. Naturally following her destiny to become a classical musician, she studied diligently for 10 years under the tutelage of her Indian mentor and soon was on the rise to fame. In addition to her popularity as a performer on the international stage, she has also achieved monumental success as a composer, eventually becoming a key factor in the developement of the ghazal as an evolving art form. Ahluwalia loves to embrace the challenge of effectively blending diverse musical elements together that would otherwise appear to be totally incompatible. Her compositional style thus lends itself naturally to that of world fusion and she incorporates a wide range of styles and elements from various cultures into her finished products including: Portuguese fado guitara, sub Saharan percussion, Celtic fiddle, Pakistani qawwali vocals, the rhubab of Afghanistan, and African blues, to name a few. Although she definitely brings a contemporary flair to her own originally composed ghazals and Punjabi folk songs, it is her intention to create music that is progressive yet still somewhat characteristic of its old original style and therefore appealing to various generations of listeners both young and old, and thanks to its globally diverse nature, from various regions of the globe as well.
Kiran Ahluwalia has enjoyed success as an award-winning recording artist for the past decade. Starting in 2001, her cd entitled “Kashish Attraction” was nominated for the prestigious JUNO award and just two years later her release “Beyond Boundaries” was a winner. Yet again in 2005, she received another JUNO nomination for her cd “Wanderlust”. In 2009 she won top honors in the highly prestigious Songlines Music Awards contest in the newcomer category. As a result of her world fusion interests Ahluwalia has formed successful performance partnerships with some of the leading names in the music industry representing a wide range of genres including classical, jazz, indigenous folk, and electronica. Her latest collaborative effort, featuring flavorings of African blues, is a new cd release entitled “Aam Zameen” on which she performs with Malian superstars Tinnariwen and another international success, the band Terakraft. Ahluwalia’s audience at Johnny D’s will be both intrigued and inspired, to be sure, as she shares her latest groundbreaking interpretations of Indian folk song genres.
Where: Johnny D’s Uptown (Somerville)
Tickets: $12.00 (Online purchase highly recommended – $3.00 fee)
More Info: 617-776-2004 OR 617-800-9720
Spend a Very Special Evening with India’s Highly Revered Sitarist Master Sri Shujaat Khan: November 13th, Sunday @ 4:00 p.m.
Sri. Sujaat Khan is quite possibly northern India’s most highly regarded classical musician of this era. And it should come as no surprise as he comes from a long rich ancestry of India’s most highly-prized musicians, going back as far as 400 years or so. The Khan family established the most prestigious Imdadkhani gharana sitar school which has thus far produced seven generations of players, each of whom has made a monumental developmental impact upon the art of southeastern Asian classical music. Sujaat’s father, the late Ustad Vilayat Khan, is heralded as an absolute musical icon to this day. The younger Khan, also a virtuoso vocalist of great renown, is most known for his ability to bring a distinctive “singing-like” quality to the sound of his instrument, a style referred to as gayaki ang. His instinctive sense of rhythm allows him to improvise in a most intriguing manner, astonishing the crowd every time. He has most definitely firmly established his very own original trademark classical style.
Already performing his own concerts at the tender age of six, Sri. Sujaat Khan has gone on to share both his singing and playing talents on stages of all of the major entertainment venues throughout his native India to many of those located abroad including Carnegie Hall (NYC), Royce Hall (Los Angeles), Royal Albert Hall (London), and Congress Hall (Berlin). One of the high points of his touring career thus far was his participation in 50th year celebration of India’s independence. He travled the US as a featured artist, eventually being honored as the repesentative performer from India in a special United Nations concert held at Geneva’s renowned Assembly Hall. He is a multi-award winner on both a national and international scale and was nominated for a Grammy as a participant in the 2004 world fusion recording “Rain” by the Ghazal Ensemble. He has demonstrated his musical versitility in collaborative performances with the world most renown musicians from New Age star Karsh Kale to classical virtuoso Usted Rashid Khan. As a recording artist, Sri. Sujaat Khan’s output has reached over 60 cds, one of which made Amazon.com’s “100 Greatest World Music Albums of All Time” list.
This world class virtuoso has already taken local audiences by storm. In the year 2000 his performance was named by the Boston Herald as one of the “top 25 up-comming cultural events for the year”. Now he returns to the area for what promises to be a hugely successful repeat performance.
This concert is a part of the South Asian MITHAS series.
When: November 13th, Sunday @ 4:00 p.m.
Where: MIT (Wong Auditorium)
Tickets may be purchased online
MITHAS members / MIT students (Free)
General admission / Non-members ($30.00)
Non-MIT students ($10.00)