Posts filed under ‘Festivals’
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
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.
Join Boston’s Global Performing Artists in Their Support of Greener Living: August 18th – 20th (Thursday – Saturday)
Learn how to lead a “greener” more environmentally conscious lifestyle both on a personal level and as a member of your local community at Boston’s annual GreenFest. Sonsored by the Foundaton for a Green Future, Inc. with Mayor Menino’s official stamp of approval, this event is the largest of its kind in its multicultural setting and is geared not only towards teaching the public how to live more efficiently with respect to the usage of our precious natural resources but also how to save money in the process. There’ll be all kinds of ecofriendly products, services, ideas, and info on careers and networking opportunities for festival attendees to explore in the form of workshops, interactive exhibits, demos and presetations, and even games and other kid-friendly activities. A huge highlight of the event will be, of course, the abundant live entertainment taking place continuously on three separate stages. And in keeping with the festival’s multicultural spirit, there are 20+ world music or dance acts included on the entertainment docket! Yes, world music fans.
Here is a list of these participants: Gilda Betancourt (Latin pop), Alex Deros (Latin music), Esencia Latina (Latin music and dance), EcoSalsa Fashion Show (accompanied by Jambalaya (Afrobeat and Samba music and dance), Samba dancers with Jambalaya musicians on stage with Juanitio Pascual and flamenco dancers, Kina Zori (traditional and contemporary African music from Mozambique and beyond), Capoeira (Brazilian blend of martial arts, sports, and music), Chu Ling Dancers (dances of China and beyond), YMAA Kung Fu demo, Jah-Free-I (reggae), Jahora Belly Dancing, Zili Misik (world fusion), Mamadou (West African and world fusion genres), Tiz Kompa (Haitian music and dance), CV Boys (Afrobeat, Zouk, and more), Offiong Bassey (African jazz, soul, and gospel), Endangered Speeches (reggae and other world genres), Inca Son (Incan folk music and other traditional and contemporary South American genres), Felipe’s Tia (Latin), Native American drumming and dance, Balla Kouyate (West African balafon virtuoso), Los Sugar Kings (Latin & Salsa), Bajucal (Columbian folk dance), Pana (Latin pop/rock), Flamenco Dance Project, Nia (martial arts blended with various dance and exercise movements), and a Bharatnatyam Dancer (classical art form of Southern India).
Check out the GreenFest official web site for more details on event happenings. Now here’s your big chance to find out more on just what greener living is all about. And, as always,whenever you have a large number of world music and dance acts showcased in one convenient location at around the same time, therein lies a fantastic opportunity to discover some new favorites to add to your global entertainment list.
When: August 18th – 20th – (Thurs. Opening Concert – 5:00 – 9:30 p.m.) (Fri. – Noon – 9:30 p.m.) (Sat. – 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
Where: City Hall Plaza (Downtown Boston)
More Info: 617-477-4840 or http://bostongreenfest.org/contact.html
Immerse Yourself in a Full Weekend of Latin Music and Latino Culture in Boston’s South End: July 15th – 17th (Friday -Sunday)
Latino culture, on the whole, encompasses a vast number of varied individual ethnic identities. Wouldn’t it be just great to have the adventure of sampling them all in one convenient location in a matter of days? Well, now here’s your chance at the Festival Betances! This event, viewed as New England’s premier festival of its kind, is literally designed to expose the public to the rich diversity that is Latino culture in one short weekend, jam-packed with ethnic activity in the form of concerts, dance performances, ethnic food, arts and crafts vendors, and other specially created happenings for all ages. And yes, it’s all for free!
Festival Betances, named for renowned Puerto Rican civil rights activist Dr. Ramon Emeterio Betances, is the creation of Inquilinos Beriquas en Accion (IBA). Since its founding in 1968, thanks to the inspiration provided by Dr. Betances, the organization has sponsored a large number of local projects and events, all of which have been aimed at strengthening the Latino community’s presence in and around the Boston area. (See previous post on their Tito Puente Latin Music series) This year’s festival, entitled “I am Villa Victoria”, is in honor of this infamous local Latin cultural center and affordable housing project. The facility stands as one of IBA’s proudest achievements and is considered a historical highpoint in the history of Boston’s urban renewal efforts. Rightfully so, it serves as the site of this annual celebration of Latino culture at its finest.
This years festival welcomes international music stars Larry Harlow and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra as their very special guests.
Larry Harlow (Appearing 7/16 @ 7:30 p.m.) – This 3-time Grammy nominee, originally from Brooklyn, NYC, is considered to be the forefather of the present day salsa style. He introduced both heavy brass instrumentation and the use of the Cuban Bata drum to Afro-Cuban music ensembles in NYC, thus enhancing the dance quality of the genre. He was both pianist and producer for the once renown Fania All-Stars and has since continued to thrive in his solo career.
Spanish Harlem Orchestra (Appearing 7/17 @ 5:30 p.m.) – Founded by Oscar Hernandez, this 13-member all-star ensemble has been going strong for over a decade and is most famous for their truly authentic brand of salsa. The formula for this great success is based upon a steadfast loyalty to the age-old traditions of the music from its very roots. This old-school style has won the band a much coveted Grammy award and is well characterized in their latest release entitled “Viva La Tradicion”.
So what are you waiting for? Here is your big chance to get to know Latin music and Latino culture like never before in all of their wonderful diversity. This festival is sure to be not only entertaining, but highly educational, as well.
When: July 15th – 17th, Friday (4:00 p.m.) – Sunday (9:00 p.m.)
Where – Villa Victoria (South End)
Admission – Free
More Info: 617-927-1707
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 a New Year’s Eve Dancing the Night Away to the Sounds of Bollywood: December 31st, Friday (8:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.)
Dhoom Machale is, without a doubt, one of New England’s premier Desi New Year’s Eve dance parties. This popular event, sponsored by the United India and Sindhi Associations of New England, has been a sellout for no less than 3 consecutive years, so buy your tickets early. Music for the evening will be provided by the DJs at Magic Mike Group, who have earned a national reputation for their expertise in the area of Desi events.They’ll be presenting not only Bollywood selections, but also Bhangra, Hip-hop, and Top 40 hits as well. Toast the “big event” at midnight with a complimentary glass of champagne while a live broadcast from New York’s Time Square flashes before you on the big-screen.
As for the party extras, appetizers and dinner will be served compliments of the Bombay Club and the Masala Art Restaurant. Soft drinks are included and a full cash bar will be provided. Some fabulous raffle prizes will be awarded to a few lucky people including a 22 carat gold coin, an ipod, one complimentary night’s stay at the Sheraton, and gift certificates for local restaurants. And of course, let’s not forget those all important New Year’s Eve party favors to enhance the mood of the occasion. There’s even a special area set-up just for kids, where they will be able to enjoy age appropriate entertainment and pizza for dinner. Babysitters will be provided.
Please dress in formal attire for the occasion, which means ladies, your best party attire (Western or Indian style), and gentlemen, a full suit. As an added extra, the Sheraton will be offering rooms at a discount. So, if you’re in the mood for a little taste of Bollywood, Bhangra, and beyond this New Year’s Eve, Dhoom Machale is definitely the party for you!
When: December 31st, Friday (8:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.)
Where: Sheraton Frammingham
Tickets: $60.00 (Adults) / Children (5-12 yrs. old) ($30.00)
Purchase online Or At the door
Purchase 10 or more tickets and a table will be reserved for your party
More Info: 508-875-8759 (Dolly Raja) OR 617-734-3617 (Eileen Mehta) OR 617-926-8778 / 617-909-9998 (Suresh Gidwani) OR 781-229-9170 (Kay Pee Jewelers-Burlington)
Usher in the Upcoming Holiday Season in Grand Slavic Fashion with Traditional Choral Music from Bulgaria: Compliments of Premier Vocal Ensembles Divi Zheni & Zornitsa: December 3rd, Friday @ 8:00 p.m. & December 5th, Sunday @ 1:00 p.m.
Every time that the holiday party season comes around, it gives us world music fans here in the US another chance to experience the Christmas and New Years festivities of other cultures. Of course, to me, the music is the best part, but then there’s the ethnic food, decorations, and other interesting native customs to explore. Coming up in the first week of December, there are two Bulgarian holiday dance parties happening in the Boston area. The first is one is actually part of FACONE’s (Folk Arts Center of New England) Friday night folk dance series. The live dance music at this event will be provided by two of Boston’s premier world music choral ensembles, both of which are under the direction of Tatiana Sarbinska, a world-class vocalist in her own right and a leading expert in the area of Bulgarian choral music. Divi Zheni is an all women’s group while Zornitsa is their male counterpart. Let Marcie Van Cleave and friends be your instructors as you learn a number of Bulgarian group-style folk dances, many of which can be easily followed simply by watching and copycatting! There is no previous dance experience expected of party guests and you don’t even need to bring a partner. More experienced dancers will be accommodated for as well, so come one, come all. And as I mentioned before, because this is a holiday party, there will also be ethnic food on hand for guests to sample and decorations to enjoy.
When: December 3rd, Friday @ 8:00 p.m.
Where: Park Avenue Congregational Church (Parish Hall) (Arlington)
Admission: $8.00 (General) / $6.00 (FAC members) / $5.oo (Students)
More Info: 781-438-4387 OR Facone.org
The second celebration is a benefit event for the Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church (Allston) and Divi Zheni, who will be performing, as well. It will be modeled after the traditional Bulgarian Sedenka. This is a Christmastime festivity originally held by farming communities after the crop season’s work was done. Party activities included crafting for personal enjoyment (i.e. carving, sewing, knitting, etc.), storytelling, singing of old familiar as well as newly composed songs, seasonal treats, and, of course, dancing. In like spirit, this year’s Boston celebration will include traditional singalongs, and group dancing, complete with instruction. Party guests are encouraged to bring along any personal crafting projects that they wish to work on in a group setting and, of course, ethnic food will be served for all to enjoy.
When: December 5th, Sunday @ 1:00 p.m.
Where: Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church (Allston)
Street parking available for free
Tickets: $20.00 (General) / $10.00 (Students) / $5.00 (Children 12 & under)
Purchase At the door OR At the church bookstore on Sunday’s (11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
So, start the holidays off right in grant multi-cultural fashion and experience a little of Bulgaria in the true spirit of the season!