Posts filed under ‘Mediterranean’

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.

Phaedra Rose

Event Details:

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 

January 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm Leave a comment

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.





Event Details:

When: Saturday evenings (9:00 p.m.)

Where: Sabur Restaurant & Lounge (Somerville)

Admission: No cover charge

More Info: 617-776-7890     

January 23, 2012 at 3:08 am Leave a comment

Join Klezwoods @ Johnny D’s for First Rate Klezmer Music and a Whole Lot More: May 17th, Tuesday @ 8:00 p.m.

Listen to Klezwoods.

As their name would imply, Klezwoods is indeed a Klezmer ensemble, however, their actual repertoire entails quite a bit more than that. Concentrating on music of the ancient Ottoman Empire characterized by a wide range of cultural, religious, and political influences, the band plays selections originating from Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Israel, and beyond. As one would expect,  much of the music which they perform is of Jewish origin, however, it is often artfully infused with smatterings of other styles and ethnic flavorings including, emo, nu-jazz, reggae, East Coast swing, gypsy, ska, Celtic, bluegrass, rock, groove, and Latin generally in the form of various folk genres further branded with the band’s own contemporary flair. Much of their music is bursting with energy which just begs the audience to get up and dance!  

Despite all of the many ever-present diverse styles within their Klezmer-oriented musical offerings, Klezwoods, being the accomplished world fusion artists they are, manage to blend them all beautifully into one aesthetically pleasing package filled with intense emotion. In keeping with the character of their music, the members of this 11-piece ensemble, consisting of vocals, horns, strings, guitars, woodwinds, percussion, and an accordion, come from diverse backgrounds, and yet are able to perform together effectively as a unit in their very own trademark style. It is this variety of musical personalities that makes this band’s brand of music so unique and intriguing. Klezwood’s performances are further enhanced by the frequent occurrence of improvisational-style solos, designed to display each band member’s individual virtuosic talents. They have taken their show on the road both nationally and internationally and have recorded a cd entitled “Oye Yeah!” It is the band’s ultimate aim to “reinvigorate” the Klezmer genre and they seem to have succeeded with their reputation for creating a fun-filled, party-like atmosphere for audiences wherever they perform. Most importantly, these band mates have fun playing together and sincerely want to share their heartfelt joy with one and all through their music. So, why not come on out and join the party at Johnny D’s! 

Also sharing the stage for the evening, will be another great band, the Underscore Orkestra. This heavily touring group from Portland, Oregon  will be contributing their own special version of Klezmer, Balkan music, gypsy jazz, and swing to the show.


Event Details:

Note: This event may be 21+ (Call for more info) 

When: May 17th, Tuesday @ 8:oo p.m.

Where: Johnny D’s Restaurant & Music Club (Somerville)

Admission: Call for cover charge fees

  Make reservations for dinner and be guaranteed a seat for the show

More Info: 617-776-2004 / Mo (12:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.), Tu-Fr (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.), Sa-Su (9:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.) 

May 5, 2011 at 12:27 am Leave a comment

Spend an Evening with Skordalia and See What a Taste of “Zesty” Greek Music is All About: April 9th, Saturday (7:00 – 9:30 p.m.)

Listen to Skordalia.

Skordalia is a five piece Greek ensemble specializing in the lively and highly danceable traditional music of the Greek Islands and Asia Minor. The band is named after a “zesty” garlic dipping sauce which they feel highly characterizes the true nature of their music. Much of their performance repertoire is Mytilineika, a traditional genre from the island of Mytilene, which has always been highly popular with first generation Greek Americans. It is a blend of the native music of the area and the Smyrneika genre which originates from the once thriving, but now extinct, ancient city of Smyrna  located in Asia Minor. Smyrneika is heavily influenced by a number of cultures including, Greek, Armenian, Jewish, Turkish, and Western, thus indicative of the cosmopolitan nature of the urban population which resided in this city. In addition, Mytilineika  also displays elements of the native music of Constantinople, Aivali, Pergamun, the Thracian Coast and its surrounding islands, as well as other regions of the West. These additional cultural influences came about due to a number of sociological factors, including nomadic life-styles and immigration. Wow! With all of these diverse cultures adding their own special ingredients to the mix, this music should sound pretty interesting indeed! And that’s not all folks … Skordalia will also entertain you with some dimotika, rembetika, and dance music from the Aegean and Greek mainlands.        

The band’s membership includes Dean Lampros, sandouri, Joe Teja, outi and guitar, Mike Davis, hand drums (doumbek, Armenian dhol, tar, bendir, riqq), Ken Hiatt, accordion, and Elizabeth Kereakoglow, violin. If you’re one that likes to actually physically move with the music then Hashish,  Heartache, and Homeland: a Night of Rembetika is the show for you. The atmosphere at the Lilypad is real laid back and informal so you’ll feel right at home doing your own thing, and Skordalia will have you movin’ and groovin’ to the music Greek-style in no time!


Event Details:

When: April 9th, Saturday (7:00 – 9:30 p.m.)

Where: The Lilypad (Inman Square)

Tickets: $10.oo (At the door only)

More Info:

(Area Restaurants)  


March 23, 2011 at 5:01 pm Leave a comment

Celebrate the New Year to the Tune of Live Greek-Style Music with the Folks at the Olympia Restaurant: December 31st, Friday (9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.)

Why not “go Greek” this New Year’s Eve at the Olympia Restaurant in Lowell with one of Boston’s most well-established Greek ensembles, Enosis. They have been in the music-making business for over 30 years, bringing both the traditional and contemporary styles of the music of Greece to adoring audiences both locally and nationally. Native genres they will performing for you include dimotika, elafra, and traditional as well as contemporary style laika. Vocalist Katina and keyboard artist Christina will be accompanied by the rest of the band on bouzouki, drums, and bass guitar. 

Dinner will be served Greek-style, of course, and will include Spinach pie, grape leaves (stuffed with rice, meat, or vegetables and accompanied by a special sauce), Greek salad, and your choice of New York strip steak or chicken kabob. Enjoy dessert selections of rice pudding, Baklava (layered phyllo dough with chopped nuts and honey), or Galaktaboureko (custard in phyllo dough) to round out your meal. And  then when it is time to bring in the New Year, join everybody in a champagne toast to 2011 complete with party favors to accent all the merriment of the evening! So if you’re looking for a memorable New Year’s Eve celebration this year, just head on over to the Olympia Restaurant in Lowell for some first-rate Greek-style music entertainment accompanied by tasty native cuisine.














Event Details:

When: December 31st, Friday (9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.)

Where: Olympia Restaurant (Zorba room) (Lowell)
Admission: No cover charge

More Info OR Reservations: 978-452-8092 OR 978-459-7652           

November 25, 2010 at 2:20 am Leave a comment

Travel the World with Jamey Haddad & Friends: Presenting Folk and Contemporary Music of Palestine, Greece, Bulgaria, and the Jews: November 3rd, Wednesday (8:00 p.m – 12:00 a.m.)

Jamey Haddad‘s “East-West Storytellers” are a group of select accomplished  musicians who have come together in a special collaborative effort to share some of their favorite world music with the rest of us lucky listeners. Enjoy an evening of fine folk and contemporary ethnic music from Palestine, Greece, Bulgaria, and the Jews. Members of this special quintet, who are originally from Palestine, Israel, and the United States, will be presenting some of their very own original compositions as a part of the evening’s program. Joining Haddad on drums will be, Itamar Borochov on trumpet, Ali Amar on qanun, Nadav Remez on guitar, and Noam Wiesenberg on bass.

As the leader of this special musical collaboration, world renown percussionist Jamey Haddad brings plenty of professional expertise to the table. He is a specialist in jazz, and world and contemporary music who is known for his musical versatility. Because he has performed so many diverse styles of music over the years, he has developed an uncanny ability adapt his playing style with respect to numerous different genres and thus is a popular choice for membership in collaborative artistic projects the world over. He is currently an associate professor at the Berklee College of Music, New England and Oberlin Conservatories, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2007, he was honored  in Modern Drummer magazine as one of the 4 best ethnic music percussionists in the world. In addition to his 9-year membership with Paul Simon’s band, he also enjoys regular playing engagements and/or touring opportunities with Simon & Garfunkel, Yo Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, the Paul Winter Consort, Esperanza Spalding, Betty Buckley, Nguyen Lee, Brazil’s Assad Brothers, and many other of the world’s most prominent artists.  Check out the rest of the details of this fabulous career on his website … And then, come on over to the Beehive in Boston’s South end and see what this special world music collaborative performance is all about.







Event Details:

When: November 3rd, Wednesday (8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.)

Where: The Beehive (South End)

Admission: No cover charge listed

     Reservations / Menus

More Info: 617-423-0069


October 17, 2010 at 12:44 am

Experience Blues Music from a Greek Perspective @ “An Evening of Rembetika”: November 20th, Saturday @ 7:00 p.m.

“An Evening of Rembetika” is a benefit concert which is being held in support of  the St. Athanasius Greek Orthodox Church of Arlington, Mass. Rembetika, or “the Greek blues” as it is so often refered to, found its beginnings in the 1920’s  amongst the urban poor of Greece. It is an extremely well-known and revered folk genre within Greek culture and has earned its “blues” reputation, in part, as a result of the subject matter portrayed within the lyrics to the songs. It’s all about the “hard life” as experienced by the country’s urban poor. Adding to the musical interest of this genre is its inherent bi-cultural nature, as it is the ultimate by-product of a unique combination of both European and Middle Eastern stylistic elements.


The evening will open with a pre-concert reception featuring wine and hors d’oeuvres (or “mezethes” if you will). The following music will then be brought to the audience by a rather large cast of musicians on vocals, guitar, oud, accordion, bouzouki, and percussion. This is indeed a special event and you can further support the church’s efforts by sponsoring the concert if you wish. So, come and see what the Greek’s version of the blues is all about at “An Evening of Rembetika”.





Event Details:

When: November 20th, Saturday @ 8:00 p.m.

  Don’t forget the pre-concert reception at 7:00!!!

Where: Robbins Memorial Town Hall (Arlington Town Hall)

Tickets: $40.00 (Call or purchase online)

More Info: 617-669-7000 OR 781-643-8139

(Area Restaurants) 


October 15, 2010 at 2:32 am Leave a comment

Come to the Basha Cafe in Cambridge for an Evening of Top Middle Eastern or Mediterranean Style Entertainment: Weekly, Thursday – Saturday

Ah yes, the cold weather is setting in on us once again, but then why not come on over and warm up to some fantastic Greek or Arabic music and dancing entertainment at the Basha Cafe in Cambridge. Be sure and come early so you can enjoy their tasty cuisine from the Mediterranean region. They take great pride in their own unique blend of spices which accent each dish on the menu and specially prepared  homemade soups as well. I’m sure that if you take a look at their menu you’ll be tempted to tryout some of the ethnic fare that they have to offer.

But even better … they host three nights of  Middle Eastern or Greek music every week with intermittent belly dance entertainment to boot! You’ll want to check out their calendar in order to keep up on the current performance offerings or friend them on Facebook for all the latest news and happenings. Right now though, the current line-up for each week looks like this:

Thursdays (Arabic Night) – Mitchell Kaltsunas, vocals and John Nassar, keyboards

Fridays (Greek Night) – (9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.) – Live Greek music and belly dancing

Saturdays (Arabic Night) – (9:00 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.) – Paul Aoun, vocals ; Jamal,  keyboard ; Amor, tubleh

Due to limited seating availability, reservations are required for Saturday evening’s performance.


Remember to always check their website for updates before you actually head out for a show. Then … it’s off to the Basha Cafe for an evening of great entertainment!  






Further Event Details:

When: Thursday – Saturday evenings (Times vary)

Where: Basha Cafe (Cambridge)

Admission: Free

More Info: 617-245-0440

           Reservations: 617-245-0440 (General) / 617-818-6808 (ask for Elie Ghazali) OR 508-568-0069 (ask for Micho Chalhoub) (For Saturday’s entertainment only) 

October 9, 2010 at 3:16 am Leave a comment

Dance the Night Away to the Latest Greek Hits and Timeless Classics @ the Umbria Ristorante’s Ultra Lounge: October 10th, Sunday (10:30 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.)

There’s a Greek dance party going on in downtown Boston over the Columbus Day weekend, and guess what? You’re invited! Come on out to Greek Night at the Umbria Ristorante’s Ultra Lounge and dance with your dj host to the latest contemporary Greek hits as well as some old familiar classics. When it comes to this type of event in the world music arena, those Latinos can sure show the rest of us how to party and the number of  dance evenings they host in the Boston area is astronomical! Well now, if a night of dancing and prancing is at all your thing then here’s your chance to enjoy a little change of pace- Greek style. Oh, and just so you’ll be aware, these folks cater to the 25 and over crowd and appropriate party attire is the word of the evening. I, myself, relish the excuse to dress-up in a little glitz and glamour now and then.

The restaurant itself is an Italian-style steak house, so if you come early, you can enjoy dinner. In addition to the usual steaks and chops which are to be expected, the menu also offers some Italian-style pasta and seafood dishes as well. For starters you can enjoy a wild mushroom and dolce garganzola soup … Perhaps to be followed by Chilean sea bass all’Acquapazza (in a garlic and herb marinara sauce), lobster Fra Diavolo (in a spicey marinara sauce), or seafood Cioppino (fish stew). Check out the rest of the menu here. So, if you’re looking for a fun and entertaining way to familiarize yourself with some popular Greek music or an opportunity to just enjoy dancing to the already familiar, then Greek Night is the event is for you.

Event Details:


When: October 10th, Sunday (10:30 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.)

Where: Umbria Ristorante (Ultra Lounge) (downtown Boston)

Admission: $20.00 cover charge

More Info: 617 – 338 – 1000         


September 24, 2010 at 1:40 am Leave a comment

Spend an Evening at the Balinese Opera Where East Meets West: “A House in Bali” Comes to Boston: Octoer 8th – 9th, Friday & Saturday @ 7:30 p.m.

View excerpts from A House In Bali.

This world music opera showcases the unique and innovative compositional talents of MIT professor Evan Ziporyn who is known for his masterful abilities at harmoniously blending the ancient traditional music of Bali with progressive sounds from the West. A multi-media showpiece, A House in Bali features an intriguing global combination of various music and dance genres performed by the Balinese gamelan Salukat (Dewa Ketut Alit, director), the electronic music ensemble Bang On A Can All-Stars, Balinese dancers (Kadek Dewi Aryani, choreographer), and singers from Bali and the West. All of this is accompanied by a projected media display of  the traditional performing arts of Bali. Ziporyn brings his 28 years of  traditional gamelan experience to the mix while redefining this ancient performing art within a truly leading-edge Western musical setting. He is assisted in this effort by librettist Paul Schnick, director, Jay Scheib, and set designer, Sara Brown.

Travel to what was Bali during the 1930s with Canadian musical prodigy Colin McPhee who has abandoned his studies in Paris to pursue a passionate interest in Balinese gamelan music. As he establishes residence in Bali, he must not only gain the favor of local village folk, but also successfully hold off the destructive advances of Dutch government officials who are determined to foil this young musician’s plans to revive what he fears is a dying art. Joining McPhee in this cultural mission are anthropologist Margaret Meade and artist Walter Spies. Sadly this true story does not end well for the composer who is ultimately expelled from the country he has grown to love and respect. Nonetheless though, he is still revered as a local hero in Bali to this present day. The production is not only  entertaining, but culturally educational as well, as it depicts events surrounding a century of Western involvement in Balinese affairs. You can read the rave reviews at the show’s website. For further information on this leading-edge composition as well as some of the composer’s personal insights on his work, check out this article from the Boston Globe.

Professor Ziporyn has led a distinguished career not ony as a composer, but also as a performer and musical director as well. His work has received world-wide critical acclaim and his compositions, some of which have been commissioned by the top names in the music business, are widely recorded and played frequently the world over.  In addition, he has collaborated on various projects with several well-known composers. As a performer he has appeared at major venues,  played and/or recorded with some of the world’s best musicians, and been associated with a number of large record labels. He has appeared more than once on National Public Radio and directed not only some of the top Balinese gamelans but Western music ensembles as well. Check out the details of this illustrious career on the show’s web site. The list of well-known names with which Ziporyn has been associated  goes on and on. Come and experience an engaging musical union of East meets West as “A House in Bali” comes to Boston.




Event Details:

When: October 8th & 9th, Friday & Saturday @ 7:30 p.m.

Where: Cutler Majestic Theatre (downtown Boston)

Tickets: $30.00, $40.00, and $50.00

                      Purchase online here

More Info: 617 – 824 – 8000

(Area Restaurants)                  

September 20, 2010 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment

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