Posts filed under ‘Latin music’
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
Learn to Dance the Argentine Tango with the Experts at the Tango Affair and Then … Hit the Dance Floor in Grand Style
Why not take your appreciation of Latin music to a whole new level with some tango lessons from the folks at the TangoAffair. What better way to increase your connection with the music than to move to it in a most authentic fashion. Rest assured that these experts will having you doing just that in no time! Their well constructed dance program, under the direction of well-seasoned and highly popular instructor, performer, and choreographer Simonida Cekovic-Vuletic, provides students with not only lessons in the art of Argentine tango but also ample opportunity to enjoy their newly developed skills out on the dance floor at one of their regularly scheduled Milongas (traditional tango parties). Vida Mia takes place on the 4th Friday of the month and often includes a mini-workshop given by a guest expert. This special lesson is specifically geared towards intermediate level dancers. Then its party-time featuring a live dj hosting plenty of dance activity designed for tango enthusiasts of all levels. Additional Milongas are also regularly scheduled throughout the year.
Attention!!! I want to point out here that dance classes at the TangoAffair are at a hiatus right now but will be starting up again soon, featuring lesson series designed for both beginners and intermediate level dancers. Check their website for further details and updates. I wanted to give you a heads up here so you can sign up in plenty of time to participate fully in the upcoming sessions. Private lessons are also available by special request. This program, which originated on the campus of MIT, is fully open to the public at this time and is expanding to multiple locations around the Boston area. Obviously, tango fever seems to be spreading in and around Boston! Why not then, come and experience some of the excitement yourself at the TangoAffair.
(Check back to the website for further details and updates on the upcoming lesson series)
When: Classes are 1 hour and 15 minutes long
Vida Mia – Workshop (8:00 – 9:00 p.m.) / Dance Party (9:00 p.m. -1:00 a.m.)
Where: Classes held in Cambridge, Arlington, Watertown, Boston
Admission: Fees specific to each event
Vida Mia (Milonga) – Workshop ($10.00) / Dance party ($12.00)
MIT students with ID ($5.00 discount)
More Info: 617-497-5568 OR email@example.com
Celebrate Latino Culture As It Comes Alive in All of Its Wonderful Diversity In a Unique Spectacle of Music and Dance: Ballet Hispanico Comes to Boston: March 9th – 11th, Friday – Sunday (Times vary)
Watch Ballet Hispanico in action!
NYC’s Ballet Hispanico was the
creation of award-winning dance artist/arts administrator Tina Ramirez who started the troupe in hopes of strengthening the position held by the Latino culture within the dance world. Since 1970 the company has continued to produce a steady stream of performances which effectively showcase various forms of Latin dance and its accompanying music. In 2009, Eduardo Vilaro, an awarding-winning dance artist in his own right, became the ballet’s new artistic director after dancing with them, himself, for ten years. Hoping to build upon Ramirez’s already successful legacy he aims to widen the variety of Hispanic cultures represented in their performance repertoire as well as bringing more of a contemporary flavor to the over-all choreography. The Boston performance is part of the popular Celebrity Series and will include two local premiers.
Asuka – Choreographed by Vilaro, himself, this piece is a tribute to the life and legacy of the great Celia Cruz, dubbed the “Queen of Salsa” by her Cuban contemporaries. In fact, the Grammy award-winning singing star became such an icon in America that the Smithsonian has dedicated a section of one of its web sites to her. Vilaro fondly remembers her for the important role she played in the lives of countless Cuban ex-pats, such as his parents, who looked to her music for some sense of cultural identity as they established their new lives as Hispanic-Americans. The piece at hand, with its biographical story-line, is danced entirely to Cruz‘s music, which often displays stylistic influences derived from African, American pop, and jazz genres. The choreography showcases the earlier styles of salsa dance to which Vilaro has added his contemporary touches.
Mad’moiselle (Boston premier) – This work is the creation of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa who is actually of Dutch, Belgian, and Columbian heritage. It was originally created at the request of Vilaro for his Chicago-based dance company, “Luna Negra Dance”. Obviously a success, we see it here on the program once again. The theme of the work centers around the faulty over-all image of Latino women and, to a lessor extant, men which has become widely embraced by non-Hispanic society. Lopez-Ochoa attempts to re-frame this stereotype in the minds of the audience.
Espirito Vivo (Boston premier) – Not by any means new to the Boston dance scene, choreographer Ronald K. Brown returns with more of his trademark West African diasporic influenced music and choreography. In this work he explores the effects of both the West-African and Latino diaspora upon the performing arts cultures of the Caribbean and Latin America. The audience is taken on a journey through the grieving process via a skillful combination of narration, native dance forms and costuming, and the music of popular Afro-Peruvian singer Susana Baca. In keeping with his colleague Lopez-Ochoa’s aspirations, Browne too has identified a societal myth he’d like to see dispelled. In this case it is the notion among the Latino community at large that, outside cultural influences from Europe are to be considered more acceptable than those coming from poorer regions of the world such as Africa and the Caribbean.
Ballet Hispanico prides itself in the recognition of the value of Hispanic performing arts as they relate to the dance world. To attend their performances is not only a guarantee that you will experience top-notch Latino cultural entertainment but also an exciting adventure in the exploration of countless diverse forms of Hispanic culture as they manifests themselves into various intriguing dance forms and music genres.
When: March 9th, Friday @ 7:30 p.m. / March 10th, Saturday @ 8:00 p.m. / March 11th, Sunday @ 3:00 p.m.
Where: Cutler Majestic Theatre (Downtown Boston)
Tickets: $43.00, $53.00, and $68.00
More Info: 617-824-8000 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy a Little Bossa Nova with Your Meal @ The Birch Street Bistro: Sundays, Weekly (7:00 – 9:00 p.m.)
Listen to Valdiza Moura
In the mood for a little “taste” of Bossa Nova? Well now you can satsify your hunger with good food and better, yet, great music to go along with it! Thanks to the folks at the Birch Street Bistro in Roslindale, Sunday night has become Bossa Nova Night starring vocalist Valdiza Moura, a local favorite who continues to win over both audiences and music critics wherever she goes. She is best known for her ability to convey intense emotion, and yet with a voice that, in the process, still manages to maintain its over-all delicate, lyrical character that her listeners find so aesthetically pleasing. She is backed by a band whose membership represents a wide and varied array of cultures and music genres, many of which influence their over-all sound, adding additonal musical interest to the end product.
Moura made a name for herself in her native Brazil early on by placing 2nd in a major music competition at the age of 16. She continued to develop her career there, recording for commercials and political campaign ads, serving as back up to numerous prominent Brazilian musicians, performing and touring, at times as a soloist, with distinguished music ensembles, and appearing as a featured performer at major cultural events throughout Brazil. In 2001 she came to the US, and has been actively performing throughout New England ever since. She has appeared at such notable venues as the Museum of Fine Arts, Harvard University, MIT, Umass Dartmouth, Boston College, and Bunker Hill Community College, taken part in the Rhode Island Latin American Film Festival and the Lowell Folk Festival, and had the honor of sharing the stage with renowned vocalist Virginia Rodrigues at Johnny D’s. Moura is a regularly featured guest at the special performances held by New England’s various music schools and is invited to sing at virtually every single Brazilian cultural event held throughout the area.
Depending upon your food mood, the Birch Street Bistro’s menu is designed to please a wide range of appetites. You can enjoy a lighter meal along the lines of burgers, pizza, or salad or opt for more extensive fare. Some interesting appetizers and entrees include Fresh Apple Salad (mixed greens, bacon, gorgonzola, candied walnuts, with an apple cider vinaigrette), Sausage (with parmesan risotto), Four Cheese Fondue (with grilled garlic pita bread), Grilled Fillet Mignon (with melting fig butter, sauteed spinach and roasted potatoes), and Braised Lamb (with a ricotta filled gnocchi). So, the next time that craving for a little Bossa Nova emerges, just head on over to the Birch Street Bistro on any given Sunday evening where Valdiza Moura and her band will satisfy that urge in no time!
When: Sunday evenings (7:00 – 9:00 p.m.)
Where: Birch Street Bistro (Roslindale)
Admission: No cover charge
More Info: 617-323-2184
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
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
Feel the Heat with Latin Music and Dance Stars Kings of Salsa & Cuba Ashire: Oct. 13th – 15th, Thursday thru Saturday (7:30 or 8:00 p.m.)
Kings of Salsa: Watch/Listen
Hot, hot, and hotter would definitely be a fitting motto for the Kings of Salsa. Known for their sensual and evocative choreography this dance company will surely captivate you with their one-of-a-kind mesmerizing dance movements. And better yet, they have the music to back them up, thanks to the efforts of Cuba Ashire. Under the skillful directorship of Rodan Gonzallez Chavez, one of Cuba’s premier choreographers, this young troupe of nine of the country’s best dancers has quickly become all the rage in their homeland. Presenting their very own specially modernized action-packed versions of traditional tried and true Cuban dance forms including salsa, rhumba, cha cha, mambo, and various Afro Caribbean genres, they will introduce you to current urban youth dance culture such as it is today. Traditional Latin dance garb is at times replaced with common everyday street threads such as jean shorts and pants along with sandals for the feet. In addition to the standard choreography one would normally expect to see in a showcase of classic Latin dance genres such as these, the Kings of Salsa have brought their own set of special highly urbanized dance moves to the mix originating from hip hop and what is known as “street salsa” styles. The show was choreographed with a dual purpose in mind, both to honor the well-known, timeless Latin dance standards we all know and love while at the same time bridging the cultural generation gap through hip, now versions of these classics that are highly characteristic of the current Cuban dance scene experienced by today’s Latino youth. This same theme carries through to the music as well. The talented band members of Cuba Ashire, which features a big brassy sound backed up by highly intense rhythms, will bring you the very best renditions of familiar Latin standards, further embellished with a strikingly contemporary modern flair.
The show has received rave reviews that give testimony to its lively and compelling intensity from beginning to end. The audience is ” virtually transported” to the warm sunny Caribbean where they are welcomed by enthusiastic dancers skillfully displaying their exceptional talents via highly sensual, energetic, and complex choreography matched precisely to the music, note-for-note and highlighted with music and dance solos of exceptional quality. Cuba Ahire’s wildly infectious Latin rhythms have one and all moving in their seats with unbridled enthusiasm. The Kings of Salsa music and dance extravaganza is a showstopper to be sure!
When: October 13th – 15th, Thursday – Saturday @ 7:30 OR 8:00 p.m. (2 hour show)
Where: Cutler Majestic Theatre (Emerson College)
Tickets: $65.00, $50.00, & $40.00 (Plus $1.50 restoration fee) (Purchase info)
More Info: Contact