Archive for January, 2012
Join Multi-Talented Egyptian Entertainer Karim Nagi as He Showcases the Culture of the Middle East in a One-of-a-Kind Theatrical Extravaganza: February 10th, Friday @ 8:00 p.m.
Enjoy this clip from Arabized
The Center of Arabic Culture is proud to present Arabized, a unique and original theatrical presentation of Middle Eastern culture as seen through the eyes of world renown producer and performing artist Karim Nagi. Previously a local resident and highly renowned artist, Nagi comes back to Boston after 5 years of success on the international stage. His well-seasoned experience as a man of many talents serves as the basis for a show that is sure to be a hit. Over the years, he has demonstrated his skills time and again as a master drummer, composer, folk dancer, speaker, educator, recording artist, producer, choreographer, artistic director, and dj. (career highlights) He is a grand master at the art of fusion in more ways than one. First and foremost, his dance productions center around choreography that is totally at one with the music, a unity he views as sacred with respect to any artistic work involving sound and movement. He is also adept at the effective intermingling of traditional and modern styles of dance and music from many diverse cultures, all within a single work. Arabized is a virtual showpiece of all of Nagi’s highly developed and varied skills within a cultural extravaganza of music, dance, and spoken word. A vast array of colorful Middle Eastern folk cultures are brought to life on the stage through Nagi’s inventive re-interpretations of traditional performance arts in modernized form, featuring the incorporation of elements of electronica and other Western music genres.
This event also serves as a kind of cd release celebration, honoring Karim Nagi’s latest recording which shares its name with the show. The music itself is world fusion featuring various combinations of Middle Eastern, Latin and Asian genres and Arabic-style reinterpretations of well-known classical compositions. During his original tenure in Boston, this highly accomplished and esteemed ambassador of Arabic culture gave rise to no less than 100+ local events, including the long running series entitled “Arabesque Mondays” formerly held at the infamous Club Passim. Find out what Nagi’s current mega-project is all about and be prepared to be highly entertained during a performance of Arabized.
When: February 10th, Friday @ 8:00 p.m.
Where: The Cambridge Theater (YMCA)
Tickets: $20.00 (adults) / $10.00 (students)
More Info: Contacts (Including tickets)
Escape the Doldrums of Winter Via a Trip to Warmer Lands with the Folks at The Beehive During and Enchanting Evening of Music, Dance and Cuisine of the Middle East: February 7th, Tuesday (8:00 p.m. – 12 Midnight)
It may be cold outside, but it will definitely be hot and steamy inside during The Beehive’s Middle Eastern Night. Come on in from the cold and warm up with an exotic evening of live music, ethnic cuisine and belly dancing, compliments of some of the Boston’s best performers. Feast upon specially prepared Arabic dishes such as Moroccan cigars with lamb filling, mezze platters, and couscous ala Beehive to the globally inspired sounds of The Pharohs. Udi Joe Kouy-Oumjian and Harry Bedrossian (keyboards), Mal Barsamian (saxophone & clarinet), and Garo Papazian (drums) and their guest Za-Beth (zills), will serenade you with a whole host of Arabic, Mediterranean, Armenian, and Middle Eastern genres.
Topping off the evening will be nationally renown belly dance artist, Phaedra Rose. Dancing since the 1980’s, this highly talented entertainer is known for her sensual style further enhanced by its distinctive soulful qualities. She will be joined by local colleagues Raquel, Akasha, Amera Cristine, and Neylan. (Check out the video links) So, why not “forget” that its winter for just a little while with an evening of “super hot” Middle Eastern inspired cultural entertainment at Boston’s Beehive.
When: February 7th, Tuesday (8:00 p.m. – Midnight)
Restaurant & Bar open (5:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.)
Where: The Beehive (Downtown Boston)
Admission: No cover charge listed
More info: 617-423-0069
Celebrate the Spirit of Greece,Turkey and the Balkans with Authentic Live Music and Tasty Cuisine @ The Sabur Restaurant & Lounge: Saturday Evenings (Starting 9:00 p.m.)
I’m forever searching for local eating establishments in and around the Boston area that offer live ethnic music to go along with their fine cuisine. It’s these multi-dimensional experiences with world music that stand out as rather special in my book. Well, I’ve located what looks to be a real gem in this regard, conveniently located no less, right near Davis Square (Somerville). The folks at the Sabur Restaurant & Lounge serve up authentic cuisine from a number of Mediterranean regions including Italy, Greece, Southern France, North Africa, the Balkans, and elsewhere. In addition, on each and every weekend, they step things up a bit with their Kafina Saturdays. Lucky diners can enjoy live world music from Greece, Turkey and the Balkan nations along with their meal. So actually, the ethnic atmosphere here is not only multi-dimensional but multi-cultural as well. In addition here at the Sabur, they pay attention to every little last detail of authenticity, right down to the house decor! Take a look at the positive comments of food critics from The Boston Globe, The Boston Phoenix , Phantom Gourmet and other local publications. And then? Why not take a little trip to the Mediterranean without ever having to leave Boston at all.
Menu (Full version)
What intrigues me the most with respect to Sabur’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine is the complex variety of flavors present in many of their individual offerings. Menu selections include Chardonnay carrot lentil soup, Seared sea scallops with crab polenta cakes, asparagus, moscato, and truffle butter sauce, Slow roasted beet risotto with wild forest mushrooms, parmesan, roasted acorn squash, and honeydew infused honey, Apple. cherry and pistachio strudel with warm caramel and vanilla gelato, and Macedonian wild fig sundae with vanilla gelato, almond frangipane and pomegranate caramel.
When: Saturday evenings (9:00 p.m.)
Where: Sabur Restaurant & Lounge (Somerville)
Admission: No cover charge
More Info: 617-776-7890
Yet another year has come to a close and yet another installment of the Boston Music Awards is complete. This special ceremony, now in its 24th year, honors one of the most coveted local recognitions among New England’s very top musicians and members of the music trade industry. Nominees and winners are determined by a hand selected academy of over 150 local music aficionados along with the voting general public. So, the International Artist of the Year Award goes to “drum roll” … Mamadou Diop, a world fusion artist well-known for his incredible African drumming technique and rhythm guitar artistry, for which he has developed a reputation as one of the best in the world. A professional performer for over 30 years, Diop is the epitome of multiculturalism, having been named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Art of Living Foundation and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He firmly believes that all aspects of ones daily existence should be centered around a variety of world cultures rather than any single one, no matter what one’s original ethnic origin may be, as each and every one brings its own special value to the over-all quality of life. Undoubtedly, this philosophy ultimately translates into the trademark style of Diop and his band MAMADOU.
MAMADOU’s over-all sound is most heavily characterized by driving Senegalese and other African rhythmic motifs accented melodically by the electric guitar. Added to this basic musical foundation are elements of a number of other diverse styles including high-life, juju, rumba, samba, salsa, and reggae. Aside from leading the band, Diop, originally from Senegal, is also responsible for the group’s original compositions. What he has managed to bring us with the creation of MAMADOU is an extraordinarily popular diversified world fusion ensemble with universal crowd appeal that memorizes audiences with its highly potent rhythms just begging one and all to move their feet and clap their hands in exhilaration.
There were five bands nominated in the international category this year. The other four nominees were Zili Misik (past winner), Debo Band (past winner), Dub Apocalypse (past winner), and Bloco AfroBrazil (past nominee). There were also other world music artists who actually won awards in additional categories including: The Dropkick Murphys (Best Artist of the Year & Best Live Artist of the Year), David Wax Museum (Song of the Year), Esperanza Spalding (Jazz Artist of the Year). Way to go world music artists! Keep the music alive. By the way, it’s also a pretty good bet that you will find some other names of interest in this regard amongst the nominees, if you care to take a peek.
Join Gregorio Uribe and His Big Band for some of the “Very Coolest” in Columbian Style Jazz and Funk: January 20th, Friday @ 7:30 p.m.
As a youth, Gregorio Uribe set out on a self-conducted musical tour of South America. Curious about all of the various genres of Latin music in existence at the time, he exposed himself to as many of them as he could, often in the most informal situations. Then it was off to pursue a more formal education in jazz studies at Boston’s Berklee College of Music where he graduated with honors. All of this diverse musical exposure served as a solid basis for Uribe to eventually create his own Latin genre, still distinctly Columbian, yet at the same time, highly unique and personalized as well. In fact, this new take on the music of his native homeland met with such success that it actually received the stamp of approval from the legendary Ruben Blades and international stars Aterciopelados and Bomba Estero, all of whom invited him to join them in a performance. Uribe formed his Gregorio Uribe Big Band to serve as the perfect showcase for his original compositions and re-arrangements of folk and other traditionally Columbian works. This 16-member ensemble has been known for its immense sound which is a combination of Afro-Columbian rhythms, elements of samba, jazz, and funk.
Boston CD Release Show
Gregorio Uribe and his band have come to Boston to preview their latest cd “Pluma Y Vino“, a new venture which brings out the ensemble’s versatility. Although their original musical style remains much the same, it has been re-introduced in a much more subdued manner. Audiences will be enlightened to a quieter, yet more sensual side of the ensemble, much of which features Uribe’s vocals and solo guitar passages. His masterfully poetic lyrics speak of the ups and downs of Columbian life, taking listeners on an intense yet ever shifting emotional journey. The music itself is still highly characterized by the presence of Columbian folk and other Latin rhythms, including cumbia, currulao, bolero, bellerengue and trova, but in keeping with the ever-changing nature of the lyrics expresses many diverse moods, which are further enhanced through a wide variety of instrumental textures.
Gregorio Uribe and his big band enjoy a regular fan base in NYC and have also been a big hit during previous visits to Boston. With respect to their latest cd release, it would seem that they have superceded their own already highly notable previous artistic accomplishments. Let’s welcome them back with open arms in excited anticipation of their latest musical evolvement!
When: January 20th, Friday @7:30 p.m.
Where: Regattabar at the Charles Hotel (Harvard Square)
Purchase online here
More Info: 617-395-7757
Enjoy Two Great Balkan Music Events for the Price of One Each and Every Month!: Saturdays (8:00 – 11:00 p.m.)
This is one highly entertaining Balkan inspired event to be sure! Since 1997, the Zdravets folk ensemble has been faithfully providing the public with a dance party, concert, and social get together all in one, each and every month. Hit the dance floor, mix and mingle, or just sit back and chill out to the wonderful and intriguing sounds of purely authentic traditional music originating from Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonea, and their Balkan neighbors. Zdravets, who refer to themselves as “Boston’s friendly neighborhood Bulgarian band”, is well known for their ability to throw a good party with music that naturally lifts the attendees’ spirits, keeping one and all in a festive and fun-loving mood all evening long. The dancing is performed group-style so no partners necessary. In addition, I would point out this is a very laid back event, so dress comfortably and rest assured that dance steps will be less complex in nature and will be demonstrated for the sake of any beginners in the crowd. Dancers with all levels of experience are happily accommodated for!!! Now here’s the added bonus that comes with this particular event. During the rest periods, dancers will actually be treated to a mini concert, compliments of Zdravets of course! There will also be a refreshment table on the premises where you can meet your fellow party guests. Culinary donations made in honor of the party feast are welcomed.
The name Zdravets refers to a wild species of geranium which thrives year round on the mountain-sides of Bulgaria. To the native population, this bloom represents health and endurance. And appropriately so, such is the state of the band’s music which has itself been thriving for over 20 years! Much of their repertoire is representative of Bulgarian folk genres, which are characterized by their irregular rhythms, tightly spaced harmonic structures, and sonic intensity. The bands instrumental selections literally beckon one to get up and dance while the sharply vivid harmonies of the vocal numbers cannot help but grab ones attention. They take the authenticity of their traditional music very seriously as many of their interpretations are based on actual field recordings of native folk musicians. In addition, Zdravets performs for the most part on ethnic instruments including: kaval, gadulka, tambura, tapan, tarabuka, and gaida. Aside from regular local appearances throughout New England, this nine-member folk ensemble has appeared oversees in Bulgaria at such prestigious events as the National Folklore and Petrova Niva festivals and on native national television and radio as well. Their latest recording is entitled “Late Harvest“. Thanks to the enthusiastic and dedicated efforts of Zdravets, Bostonians can enjoy first-rate Balkan music and dance virtually every month of the year!
When: Saturdays (Monthly) (8:00 – 11:00 p.m.)
Where: Church of Our Savior (Arlington)
More Info: 617-964-2003 OR email@example.com