Posts filed under ‘Annual Events’
Join in the Celebration of Bulgaria’s Special Day with Fabulous Folk Song and Dance: May 13th, Sunday @ 5:00 p.m.
Participate with Boston’s Bulgarian-American community as they celebrate the 8th Bulgarian Cultural Festival in New England in recognition of their native homeland’s independence as well as the establishment of the Slavic alphabet. Presented by the Bulgarian-American Center (MADARA), this well-established popular event promises attendees an evening of colorful folk music and dance originating from a wide variety of local regions throughout Bulgaria. Featured performers will include the folk dancers of Ensemble “HORO” from Chicago, women’s chorus Divi Zheni, and men’s chorus Zornitsa. I know that I have posted about this event before, however, this year activities appear to have been expanded a bit to include native food and games, making it a more family friendly event. So, why not bring the kids along too! This long-running ethnically inspired event is sure to please crowd members of all ages.
About the Performers
Ensemble “HORO” (The Ensemble for Bulgarian Folk Dances) is comprised of 40 or so very passionate adults and teens dedicated to the promotion of their native culture’s performing arts here in the United States and beyond. Artistic directors Irena Gotcheva and Todor Gotchev, both formerly of the highly esteemed Bulgarian troupe Ensemble “Silven”, established this Chicago-based troupe in 2003, assuring that their repertoire would represent all of Bulgaria’s main cultural sects in authentic folk music and dance including, Severniashka, Trakiiska, Shopska, Dobrudjanska, Pirinska and Rodopska. In addition to frequent local appearances throughout the Chicago area, the ensemble has also performed in St. Louis, Toronto, and Montreal.
Divi Zheni (Wild Women) is an all-female chorus which performs a most authentic repertoire of Bulgarian folk songs either a capella or accompanied by ethnic instruments such as the tambura, dumbek, and tupan. Members of this group come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and range in age from young to old. Their repertoire includes both village and more popular dance songs which they perform at concerts, festivals and dance events. Founded in 2000, they not only appear locally, but nationally and overseas in Bulgaria as well.
Zornitsa, the male counterpart to Divi Zheni, was the first group of its kind to perform Bulgarian folk and popular songs. In addition to appearances at folk music events around the New England area, they have also performed in Bulgaria where they were aired on Bulgarian National television.
Tatiana Sarbinska, internationally renowned Bulgarian folk artist, is the artistic director of both Divi Zheni and Zornitsa. As a recipient of the prestigious honor of National Treasure status, compliments of the Bulgarian government, she is recognized as instrumental in the preservation of her country’s native music culture. Thus, it is under her tutelage that Divi Zheni and Zornitsa are able to perform so successfully in the true Bulgarian folk style. She has had and still enjoys an illustrious career as a vocalist and has recorded her own cds, Makedonsko Devojche and Katerino Mome. Since 1991, she has shared her numerous artistic talents in the United States through the direction of various ensembles, music events, and workshops.
When: May 13th, Sunday @ 5:00 p.m.
Doors open at 4:30
Where: ACAS Center (Woburn)
Tickets: $20.00 (Advanced purchase) / $25.00 (At the door) / $5.00 discount for students and seniors / Kids under 12 are free
Join One Very Special Group of Dedicated and Passionate World Musicians in Their Celebration of Earth Day: Help Some of the Best Flutists on the Planet to Save It
Renaissonics – This energetic and upbeat group of Renaissance music specialists are considered to be among the “best of the best” of early music ensembles. They have done much to popularize the music of this period by infusing it with a renewed sense of energy and excitement, largely through their highly improvisational performance style. Still, in spite of it all, their Renaissance period repertoire is presented in only the most authentic manner, thus remaining true to its ancient roots. Each and every member of the group has earned themselves international merit as a soloist and, as a unit, they have performed overseas in France as well as with Michael York of Hollywood fame, the Sumaj Chasquis ensemble of Bolivia, renown jazz artist Bob Moses, and the well-known Latin band Sol Y Canto. They also contributed to the soundtrack of a Ken Burns documentary for PBS. The Rennaissonics currently serve as resident ensemble for the International Early Dance Institute, as well as the Killington Vermont Shakespeare Festival. (Visit their website)
Elizabeth Reian Bennett – As the truest of shakuhachi virtuosos, this Tufts University music professor has earned the most prestigious title of Grand Master of her instrument, an honor she earned as the result of years of extensive training in the art of Japanese traditional music. Not only is she one of a very few Westerners to ever have received such schooling, but she is the first female ever to have attain a professional career as a shakuhachi player. Known throughout the world for her impeccable technique, she was considered to be the very best in all of Japan for over 30 years. Although Reian Bennett is no doubt considered a leading authority on traditional playing styles, as is evident in her exquisite renditions of Japanese monk songs and classical chamber music, she also experiments with her own improvisations and various modern world fusion genres.
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!
All proceeds of this event go to benefit the mission of 350.org.
When: Saturday, May 19th @ 7:00 p.m.
Where: Emmanuel Baptist Church (Boston)
Advance purchase options for tickets are available until 3:00 p.m. on the day of the concert
More Info: 781-396-0734 OR www.warrensenders.com OR Facebook
Broaden Your Perspective of Boston’s Fantastic World Music Scene: Compliments of the Berklee College of Music
View the Berklee College of Music event calendar.
Well, let’s face it, no tried and true world music fan, or even the occasional listener for that matter, can ever fully appreciate the full spectrum of first-rate entertainment Boston has to offer for their listening pleasure without delving into the local performance roster at large from all angles. This means, of course, looking beyond some of the obvious bigger names in the business from time to time. What makes the Berklee College of Music’s calendar of events so special in this regard is not only the variety and depth of talent represented there, but also the frequency with which world music performances are scheduled. Berklee even sponsors full length series and festivals. For approximately a 2 month period, I counted no less than 19 ethnic-oriented concerts on tap given by everyone from Berklee’s own highly talented students and faculty, many of whom have already made their mark beyond the local arena, to some of the bigger stars of the genre. Many of the performances are free, always a big plus of course, and in addition some are even available in virtual form via Concert Window for those of you who cannot make the show in person. So, what are you waiting for, I ask you? Just head on over to the Berklee College of Music’s web site and check out this amazing calendar for yourself.
Just to give you a brief general idea of all that Berklee’s performance program has to offer, I have included some highlights from the current calendar: Tao: the Martial Art of Drumming, the International Folk Music Festival, and Marcel Khalife. Here also are some previous postings from World Music Boston: Bruno Raberg, Sara Tavares, the Idan Raichel Project, and the Latin Music Series. There are also a ton of free student solo and group recitals on the roster which are not linked separately so I didn’t include them here, but they are definitely worth checking out. Of course, you can get a much fuller picture of events at the Berklee College of Music website or by searching keyword Berklee on my homepage. From world music’s biggest stars to those promising up-and-commers, Berklee’s most comprehensive event calendar represents a generous sampling of them all.
Help West African Drumming Star Moussa Traore & Friends Build a New School for the Children of Mali @ the African Rhythms Benenfit Show: March 24th, Saturday @ 7:30 p.m.
Listen to Moussa Traore.
This highly successful annual benefit concert, which features the music and dance of West Africa and the African diaspora, is in its 11th year and still going strong. West African-style music and dance performances showcasing the traditional cultures of Mali, Guinea, and Senegal will be featured. In addition more modern styles of semi-African performance art which involve a blending of various diverse genres will also be highlighted in variations of hip-hop, break dancing, jazz and other forms of Afro-fusion. This years featured performer will be none other than internationally acclaimed djembe artist Moussa Traore, a well-seasoned performer of 30+ years who is currently considered one of the best Malian drummers in the world. He will be leading a drum troupe composed of some of the areas most talented musicians. In addition, there will be a number of local dance groups also performing including, the Teriya Dance Company, Troupe Teranga, the Hip-Hop Mamas, Dance ‘n Feet, and students from the Movement Center (Acton) and the Harvard Academy of Dance who will add a little variety to the cultural mix with some Latin dance moves. All of the proceeds of this event will go to benefit the “Build a School in Africa Project”. This highly dedicated group of volunteers have managed to complete a total of 9 buildings thus far for the benefit of Africa’s impoverished youth.
Moussa Traore’s rise to fame in his homeland of Mali in West Africa started early on when, at the age of 17, he was selected as the permanent representative from his region to lead the local drum troupe into national competition every year. Under his skillful guidance, they manged to win each and every time! After 12 years of rigorous study in the art of djembe playing, he earned himself the distinguished title of Master Drummer and continued to build on his already illustrious national career, excelling as a performer, teacher, recording artist, and musical director. He has since gained an international reputation as well, not only as a djembe virtuoso, but a leading authority on Malian music. In 1994, he was invited to teach and perform as a part of Brown Univerisity’s “African Dance and Music Program”. Now a resident of New England, he continues to perform extensively with his own drumming troupe Timinandi and with other artists, as well, while recording a few CDs along the way. He also teaches classes and conducts workshops throughout the US.
To attend the African Rhythms Benefit Show is a multi-faceted experience to be sure. First and foremost you get to enjoy the world-class performance of Moussa Traore and his ensemble. In addition, you get a taste of what’s happening performance-wise on the local world music scene, including student dance activities who knows, you might be motivated to tryout some of these classes for yourself. Then of course, there’s always the satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to the well-being of others on this planet who are less fortunate and in need of a helping hand!
When: March 24th, Saturday @ 7:30 p.m.
Where: Cronin Auditorium (Bromfield School – Harvard, MA)
Tickets: $15.00 (Adults), $5.00 (Students), Free (Children under 4)
More Info: 978-433-2384 OR firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
Begin 2012 on the “Right Note” to the Glorious Sounds of World Music: December 31st – January 1st (Saturday – Sunday)
As New Year’s Eve 2012 quickly approaches, I am happy to announce that opportunities abound in and around the Boston area to mark the celebration with an evening of world music. And why not, I ask? Here is a list of some of the ethnic-oriented music events taking place in and around town on this very special evening:
Tickets are selling out fast – Buy now!
Folk Arts Center of New England – International folk dance party featuring live music by Barbara Pixton and Friends. Refreshment buffet also included
Tango Society of Boston – Dinner and dancing
Venu NYE 2012 – Dj hosted dance party emphasizing Latin music with additional genres from around the world
Mojitos – Dj hosted Latin dance party with all-you-can-eat buffet included
Bella Luna Milky Way Restaurant and Lounge – Cuban-themed dinner followed by Latin dance party featuring The Lee Wilson Movement
Ryles Jazz Club – Dj hosted ballroom and Latin dance party
Havana Club’s New Year’s Eve Salsa Party – Dj hosted dance party featuring live dance performances by Salsa y Control. Salsa lessons also included
Weekly Saturday night entertainment – Canga Tapas Bar
Glitz & Glamour 2012 (Geared towards 20s & 30s crowd) – Dance party hosted by djs spinning Bhangra and Bollywood hits
First Night Boston – Dance Party with award-winning band “Hot Like Fire” bringing you reggae and soca
Precinct – Dance party featuring reggae and ska fusion with the Doctor Doom Orchestra and Danny Pease & the Regulators
Irish Cultural Centre of New England – Dinner followed by dance party featuring live Irish music
Malden Irish American Club – Dinner and dance party with live Irish music by The Noel Henry Showband
The Black Rose – Traditional Irish dinner and Happy Hour/dance party featuring live Irish music with Sundays Well, Jim Coyle, and Celtic Clan
The Burren Pub – Join Helena Delaney and an accompanying all-star cast of musicians for live Irish music around the bar (listing not included on music calendar)
Four Green Fields – Join the Prodigals for live Irish rock music around the bar
The Red Fez – Dinner and dance party featuring live Arabic music and a belly dancer.
Weekly Saturday night entertainment – Kasbah Restaurant
Olympia Restaurant – Dinner and live Greek music with Enosis
Uhuru Afrika’s New Year’s Eve Fete – Dj hosted African dance party which includes live percussion performances by Sidy Maiga. Also enjoy African food and drink and an additional “surprise” live performance