Posts filed under ‘Caribbean’
Join in the Summertime Fun Reggae Style as Hot Like Fire Lights Up Boston’s Infamous Downtown Crossing: August 28th, Tuesday & August 30th and September 6th, Thursday (5:30 – 7:30 p.m.)
Yes indeed!It’s a block party and you’re invited for free. That’s right, no cover charge for one of Boston’s top Caribbean party bands. Widely considered to be the no. 1 dance band on the East coast that performs reggae in true authentic style, Hot Like Fire has been nominated three times for the Boston Music Awards and is the 2011 winner of the New England Urban Music Award for Best Caribbean Band. Dance, dance, dance up a storm in front of Downtown Crossing’s Macys , to the reggae beats of the bands originally composed tunes, Bob Marley oldies and other well-seasoned crowd favorites, as well as special arrangements of top hits from other popular genres. You can even expect some soca, ska, and calypso style sounds thrown in for a little extra variety. Hot Like Fire always gets and keeps the crowd going while they demand encore after encore performance.
SurfSide5 Beach Bar & Grill (Beach Party)
Can’t make the block party? Then just come to the beach party at the SurfSide5 in Salisbury, MA. Every Sunday during the summer season and on into the fall, Hot Like Fire attracts approximately 600 fans to this seaside eatery’s 8,ooo square foot outdoor dance floor. In addition to the music, you can enjoy their picnic style fare of fresh Maine lobster, New England clam chowder, a variety of salads, sandwiches, paninis, wraps, and hot dogs too. Come to either of these two events and I guarantee you that you will be movin’ and groovin’ to some of the very best reggae around anywhere!
About the Band
Kelly B., the band’s leader and composer, founded the group in 1998 while a student at the Berklee School of Music. After a trip to Barbados, she was inspired to start-up her own reggae band. Hot Like Fire’s current membership includes: Kelly B. on lead and back-up vocals, trumpet, and percussion, John “Redd” Lima on back-up vocals and keyboards, M’ Talewa Thomas on bass, Glen “De General” Grant on drums, Charleston Sarjeant on keyboards and steel pan, and dj Flex Murder on vocals.
When: August 28th, Tuesday and August 30th and September 6th, Thursday (5:30 – 7:30 p.m.)
Where: Downtown Crossing (In front of Macys)
When: Sundays (Summer season – Columbus Day) – Starting at 4:00 p.m. and continuing until anywhere between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m.
Where: SurfSide5 Bar & Grill (Salisbury, MA)
Admission: No cover charge listed
More Info: 978-463=9222
Feast on Five Dollar Tapas Platters and Live World Music @ Masa in Boston’s South End: Thursday Evenings (9:30 p.m. ‘Til Close)
Each and every Thursday night, now you can enjoy the fine world music offerings of Los Three to the additional tune of scrumptious sampler platters of tapas. Come on out to Boston’s South End and let the folks at Masa, winners of Food and Wine Magazine’s “Best New Restaurant” award, treat you to an evening of their fine Southwestern cuisine enlivened with New England-style culinary touches. All the while you’ll be movin’ and groovin’ to Los Three’s high-spirited arrangements of Latin, reggae, funk, and oldies but goodies tunes. Such a combo of great music and tasty cuisine is sure to please.
Matt Jenson, on keyboards and vocals, is a member of the faculty at the Berklee College of Music and a tried and true Bob Marley aficionado. So much so in fact, that he actually teaches a course entitled The Music and Life of Bob Marley which always attracts large numbers of eager students. In addition, he also has a reggae jazz cd to his credit and two of his own bands, Acid Reggae Xperience and Rebel Tumbao. Over the course of his career he has performed with such renown artists as Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, Johnny Adams, Mighty Sam McClain, Cyril Lance, and Johnny Neel. He currently performs on a rotating basis with a number of Boston area Latin bands.
Alex Alvear, on bass and vocals, leads one of Boston’s most renown Latin ensembles, Mango Blue, which features his own original and arranged Afro-Latin compositions. Before traveling to the US, he made a huge impact on the national music scene in his native Ecuador. Since his arrival in America over 20 years ago, he has continued to rise in popularity, appearing frequently around New England, in NYC, across the nation, and overseas as well. He has performed with such world music stars as Celia Cruz, Orlando “Puntilla” Rios, Israel “Cachao” Lopez, Francisco Aguabella, Paquito D’Rivera and others. He also holds the honor of being involved in the making of two Grammy-nominated cds.
Pablo Bencid, on percussion and vocals, was awarded a scholarship from the Berklee College of Music where he trained for a successful international career, performing frequently in the Americas, Europe, Australia, and the Virgin Islands. In his travels he has appeared at a number of the world’s most prestigious events and venues including the Istanbul Music Festival, Bolivar Hall (London), The Sodra Teatern (Stockholm) and many others. In addition to his performances with the well-known local band Either/Orchestra, he has also appeared with the Labeque Sisters of international fame, the JCA Orchestra, Zalo Grau & La Clave Secreta, the Aquiles Baez Quartet, David Holmes and Nu Quartet, and other notable names.
When: Thursdays (9:30 p.m. ’til Closing)
Where: Masa (South End)
Admission: No cover charge listed
More Info: 617-338-8884
Come Take a Musically Unique and Highly Impassioned Tour of Haitian-Cuban Life, Such as It Was, before the Great Revoution of ’59 with the Creole Choir of Cuba: October 1st, Saturday @ 8:00 p.m.
Ever wonder just how difficult life could get for an impoverished immigrant in a foreign land? Well, get set to hold on to your hat because the Creole Choir of Cuba has come to really tell it like it was with an impassioned and gripping performance that will surly stir your emotions and inspire your senses. This enthusiastic ensemble of 10 vocalists tell their musical tales of hardship and endurance through a series of generally high-spirited inspirational songs and dances originating from Cuba, Haiti, and Dominica. Although there is some use of percussion instruments throughout their performance, the main focus is clearly upon a purely a capella somewhat gospel-like vocal style, that features an ever-present resounding bass-line which serves as a strong musical foundation. This group is known for their effective use of intriguing multi-layered harmonies set to Caribbean style rhythms, further embellished with contemporary Haitian musical touches for added audience appeal. The vast majority of the choir’s repertoire is sung in Creole. Widely spoken in Cuba, the language originated with the African slaves who were brought to the area and developed it through the practice of combining French, English, and Spanish words with those of their own native languages.
Each individual song in the choir’s repertoire is centered on an all important storyline, a little vignette as it were, of some aspect of everyday life in the existence of Haitian-Cuban sugar plantation workers during the late 18th, entire 19th, and mid-Twentieth centuries. Already brought to Haiti as enslaved Africans, they ultimately fled to Cuba, as a result of intolerable violence due to a Haitian slave revolt, either to continue on as slaves or as immigrants forced to live in little better than slave-like conditions until the Cuban revolution of 1959 freed them from a life wrought with the ill-effects of harsh discrimination. Each and every choir member is a direct descendant of these people, singing the very songs that were sung by their ancestors and directly handed down through generations. Needless to say, this speaks to the authenticity of each and every performance as well as it emotional purity. The group remains steadfast in their mission to effectively communicate the true-to-life stories of their ancestors to the rest of the world through their most passionate music, an endeavor that in recent years has become infinitely more relevant on a personal level as a down swing in the Cuban economy has left much of the present day Haitian-Cuban community, once again sadly, in somewhat of an impoverished state. But the Creole Choir of Cuba stands firm in their faith in the power of music to forever uplift even the most disheartened of spirits, just as it did for their ancestors all those years ago. I, myself, believe in that power as well!
It is on the heals of an extremely well-received performance at the prestigious WOMAD world music festival in the United Kingdom this past summer, that the Creole Choir of Cuba comes to Boston as part of their first US tour. There is no other music ensemble in all of Cuba that matches their unique style. So come to their Boston performance well prepared to be highly educated, truly inspired, and most-of-all musically satisfied.
When: October 1st, Saturday @ 8:00 p.m.
Where: Somerville Theatre (Davis Square)
Tickets: $28.00 (Purchase info)
More Info: 617-876-4275 (Phone)/617-876-9178 (Fax)/
Yay!!! Hooray!!! Summertime is upon us once again. And for many a Boston area eating establishment, this means that the outdoor patio is now open. In honor of this occasion, I would like to point out some of the local eateries where one can enjoy a warm pleasant summer evening feasting on tasty cuisine and better yet catching some of Boston’s best world music acts at the same time. If you’re looking for reggae music, then Shenannigans’ Reggae Fridays is the place to be. Start your weekend off to the island sounds of Continuous Reggae at Shenannigans Irish Pub & Restaurant. Who says you can’t enjoy great reggae in an Irish pub atmosphere? What’s special about this particular patio, located very near to the Boston harbor, is that you can actually enjoy the aroma of salt sea air as you dine … a definite added plus. As far as the menu goes, of course as you would expect, you can sample such Irish favorites as a BLT made with real Irish bacon, Bangers, Mash, and Beans (Irish sausage and beans with mashed potatoes and gravy), or Shepherd’s Pie (specially seasoned ground beef, veggies, and mashed potatoes topped with gravy). In addition, it just so happens that this establishment’s eclectic taste in music is reflected in their menu as well. Take a look and you will discover various ethnically inspired dishes such as, Quesadillas, Asian Salmon, Chicken Curry, Chicken Teriyaki Pineapple and more. And if you’re in the mood for American cuisine, well they’ve got you covered there too. So, the next time you’re in the mood for reggae, just head on over to Shennanigans and breathe in the salt sea air, indulge in a warm summer’s evening, and, best of all, treat yourself to some fabulous world music.
In addition to the happenings at Shenannigans’ Reggae Fridays, there’s lot’s of great world music to be heard all around the Boston area in combination with the warm summer evening ambience of patio dining … Aaaaaah yes. Just check out these additional restaurant locations from previous posts: Athenian Corner, Bella Luna Milky Way, Green Briar, the Basha Cafe, the Precinct, The Fireplace, Cafe Luna, the Red Fez, Kasbah, and the Half Door. I love summer!!! I also happen to enjoy spending a good part of it out on a restaurant patio, but add world music to the mix? The dining experience just doesn’t get any better than that!
When: Fridays (10:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.)
Where: Shenannigans (South Boston)
Admission: No cover charge listed
More Info: 617-269-9509
I know this is a last-minute posting, but the Jose Mateo Ballet’s Cubania! has sold out 3 nights of performances already- a very good indication that this event is a sure bet if your Thursday evening is still open. What helps to make this particular show so special is that it marks the finale of the company’s 25th anniversary season! Artistic director and choreographer Mateo, a long-time Cuban-American, has chosen to mark this momentous occasion with programs set to the music of his native homeland which portrays aspects of the Cuba’s cultural heritage, sadly still, on the whole, largely unfamiliar to Americans in general.
The show features three individual programs, including two popular numbers from a previous season and a world premier. Ayer Pasado (The Day Before Yesterday) showcases the music of one of Cuba’s foremost composers, Manuel Saumeli. His classical style is a fusion of European, African, and Latin elements. The number features rising star Madeleine Bonn in a dramatically gutsy performance as a loner in desperate search of companionship, ultimately standing as a symbol of isolation from a broader political perspective. Escape, based also on a politically charged theme, depicts the individual’s struggle against authoritarian forces. Set to the music of Leo Brouwer, it stars Angie DeWolf and Mark Kehlet Schou, showcasing intriguing dance lifts and carries. The world premier, Pagano y No (Pagan or Not), is choreographed to the music of Aruan Ortiz, which is a compelling combination of the modernistic classical and Afro-Cuban jazz genres. The piece contains ample moments of high drama as well as comedy, however, it does not carry a distinct story-line nor does it send a politically oriented message to the audience as do its counterparts. Aside from an opening solo danced by August Lincoln Pogzay, this is a powerful ensemble number displaying intense choreography designed to match the character of the music perfectly.
Under the direction of its founder and renowned choreographer, the Jose Mateo Ballet company has earned a reputation for delivering highly innovative modernized performances of both original and pre-existing works which represent a variety of cultures and are of universal appeal to their audiences. Mateo‘s works have made the list of the Boston Globe’s annual “10 Best Dance Events” no less than 7 times! Now’s your chance to see why, Thursday night at the company’s exciting performance of Cubania!
When: May 19th, Thursday @ 8:00 p.m.
Where: Sanctuary Theatre (Cambridge)
Tickets are extremely limited! Call the number below and ask for Lori Manzelli
More Info: 617-354-7467
Relive the Music Legend that is Bob Marley Each and Every Monday Night @ Sally Obrien’s: Show Starts at 9:30 p.m.
Listen to the Duppy Conquerors.
Hey reggae fans!!! In the mood for some good ole’ Bob Marley? And who wouldn’t be from time to time? Well now you can satisfy your craving each and every Monday night at Sally Obrien’s Bar and Grill in Somerville with the likes of the Duppy Conquerors. This amazing band, consisting of some of Boston’s premier reggae artists, devotes its entire repertoire to honoring Marley and his great reggae legacy. The various members of the band have performed with such world renown artist’s as Marley’s very own band The Wailer’s, Ziggy Marley, The Skatalites, Black Uhuru, Eek-A-Mouse, Steel Pulse, Toots & the Maytals … and the list goes on an on.
It as been argued in many music circles that Bob Marley, a virtual hero to so many both artistically and philosophically, should rightfully be considered one of the world’s most influential artists of the 20th century. In 1980, Marley’s last tour with his band earned the distinction of drawing the biggest audiences ever of any musical act to perform on European soil! A devoted Rastafarian, Marley held fast to his vision of “One world, one love”. He left behind a huge legacy of songs which related to virtually all aspects of life. One of my all-time favorite quotes of his on the wonderful uplifting powers of music, indeed says it all- “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”.
If ever there was a reggae ensemble that is truly dedicated to honoring the music of Bob Marley, the Duppy Conquerors surely fit the bill. The band takes its name from one of Marley’s song titles which means “killer of bad spirits” which fits the aforementioned quote at the end of the previous paragraph perfectly. Led by Curtis King on vocals, who is known for his endearing stage presence, this extremely dedicated group has developed a reputation for appealing to a rather wide range of audience members. If you visit their website you can even share your Bob Marley listening experiences with the rest of the world. Curtis is joined by fellow band mates John DeCarlo, background vocals and rhythm guitar, Sarah Mendelsohn, lead and background vocals and drums, Carol Nam Koong, background vocals and keyboards, Jonas Kahn, lead guitar, Mark Ferranti, bass, Joe Stewart, trombone and percussion, John Frazee, trumpet and percussion, and Jeff Robinson, saxophone, keyboards, and percussion.
As an added bonus, you can hear all of this fabulous music for free. Come ready to dance up a storm! Come hungary as well, so you can enjoy some of Sally Obrien’s tasty eclectic cuisine. The menu includes Irish, Mexican, Italian, and American selections. So why not get your Bob Marley fix with the experts. You can join the Duppy Conquerors each and every Monday evening for some of the best in reggae music.
When: Every Monday night @ 9:30 p.m.
Where: Sally Obrien’s Bar and Grill (Somerville)
Admission: No cover charge
More Info: 617-666-3589
Warm Up a Cold Weekend in January with the Award-Winning Progressive Island Sounds of John Brown’s Body: January 21st, Friday@ 8:00 p.m.
Listen to John Brown’s Body.
I was very glad to see the posting for this upcoming show at the infamous House of Blues, as several members of John Brown’s Body are also members of Dub Apoclaypse, recent winners of the most coveted Boston Music Award for Best International Artist of the Year. (See my previous post) This band is a huge local favorite, which should come as no surprise since their latest original release “Amplify” debuted at #1 on the Billboard reggae charts, #10 on the CMJ world music charts, and also made iTunes’ list of top 10 reggae albums of 2008. The band labels their music as “Future Roots Reggae”. And a well-deserved label it is, as John Brown’s Body is considered to be one of the most successful progressive-style reggae bands in the entire world. The musical formula responsible for their success consists of an artful blending of a rather large number of other genres with reggae rhythms including dub, dubstep, hip-hop, electronica, funk, and ska. Add to that the lyrical melodies of lead vocalist/composer Elliot Martin, a trademark of his for which he is very well-known, and some rather unique instrumentation within the band and you have one top-notch, cutting-edge reggae sound with a magnificent stage presence to boot. It is refreshing to note, however, that the band has not lost its distinctively roots reggae character, in spite of it all. Their music, unique as it is, still screams reggae, loud and clear! John Brown’s Body’s current membership includes: Elliot Martin, co-founder (lead vocals), Tommy Benedetti, co-founder (drums), Mike Keenan (guitar), Scott Flynn (trombone), Sam Dechenne (trumpet), Drew Seyers (saxophone), Nate Edgar (bass), Matthew “Kofi” Goodwin (organ), with Jason “Jocko” Randall (sound engineer). The band has begun to tour internationally in earnest, having made stops in France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, and Canada in the spring of this past year.
Also appearing in the show will be Spiritual Rez and Zion Train, along with djs Mister Rourke and Axel Foley. If you come hungry, you can catch dinner before the performance. Check out the menu here. Let John Brown’s Body be your host for an evening of reggae fusion at its very best!
When: January 21st, Friday @ 8:00 p.m.
Doors open at 7:00 p.m.
Where: House of Blues (Kenmore Square)
Tickets: Standing room only
$20.00 (Advance) / $22.00 (At the door)
More Info: 888-693-BLUE (2583)