Posts filed under ‘Venues’
Join Malagasy-American Singer Razia Said and Madagascar’s Biggest and Brightest Stars in a Musical Effort to Save the African Rainforest: July 19th, Thursday @ 8:00 p.m.
How can you manage to contribute to an all-important global effort to save the rainforests of the world and enjoy fabulous world music and dance at the same time? By partaking of Razia Said‘sWake Up Madagascar Tour of course! Now a US citizen, although originally from Madagascar herself, Said has long been concerned over the damage done to the rainforests of her native homeland by the illegal deforestation activities of the logging industry. Proceeds from her upcoming concert will go towards local and global efforts to end this senseless destruction of one of our planets most precious natural resources.
Coming off the heels of a highly successful similar event of last year, this year’s tour features the same star-studded line up of musicians and dancers, including in addition to Said, Madagascar natives Jaojoby, Charles Kely, and the Saramba. The music genre of the evening will be salegy, a native form of pop considered to be most representative of Malagasy culture. And, as it just so happens, none other than Jaojoby, himself, is one of the forefathers of the style. Based on African folk genres of the sub Sahara, it gradually piqued the interest of the general population of Madagascar, most notably through a heavy incorporation of electric guitar beginning in the 1950s which gave it a distinct funk-like character. Salegy is uplifting in mood, vibrant in character, and teeming with energy. Both poly rhythmic and poly harmonic in over-all structure, it is most often performed in the key of A minor, and features, in addition to electric guitar and bass, accordion, and a percussion section typically comprised of drum set, djembe, and shakers.
This is definitely party music folks! So, if you’re in the audience, expect to be called on upon to participate. Salegy features periodic episodes of call and response interchanges between the members of the band and the audience in the form of repeated vocal phrases and hand clapping patterns. The dance that traditionally accompanies this genre emphasizes hip movements and will be amply demonstrated by dancers on stage the night of the concert. So get ready to sing out loud, clap those hands and swing those hips at the Wake Up Madagascar Afropop concert gone dance party. Sounds like a great time for a great cause to me.
Singer/composer Razia Said has most definitely joined the ranks as one of America’s rising world music stars. National Geographic predicted that her recording “Zebu Nation” (2010) would rank among the year’s top 12 in the world music category even before it actually came out. Read more about her accomplishments as well as those of other members of her amazing tour at these links: Razia Said / Jaojoby / Charles Kely / Saramba.
When: Thursday, July 19th @ 8:00 p.m.
Where: Johnny D’s Uptown (Somerville)
More Info: 617-776-2004 OR 617-800-9720
Round Out Your Week with a Little World Fusion: See What Transpires When Japanese Folk Music Meets Jazz with the Tomoko Omura Quartet: April 26th, Thursday @ 8:30 p.m.
Jazz violinist Tomoko Omura is an artist with a mission. “I want to push the barriers of jazz violin” she urges, recognizing a pronounced absence of string players when it comes to the achievement of true stardom in the world of jazz. Still a young developing artist in the early stages of her career, already she has been haled by the likes of “The Strad” magazine as a creative genius, moving beyond the stylistic advancements made by even the great Stepahnie Grapelli himself. Her latest artistic venture, entitled Roots, involves the fusion of Japanese traditional music and jazz, the music from which will be featured at her Thursday night performance at Ryles with the Tomoko Omura Quartet. As with her earlier project, the “Visions” cd (2008), Omura shares her own highly innovative, leading-edge original works or arrangements, showcasing her ulta-modern interpretative skills and compositional techniques. However, even though she is truly an experimental jazz artist in her own right, one can still notice the influences of her earlier classical music training which remain ever-present throughout all of her compositions, as cleverly constructed improvisations are well balanced against solidly structured harmonies. With respect to Omura’s playing style, she is one of a tiniest minority of violinists attempting to solidly establish the presence of standard jazz idioms within her performances not normally associated with a string instrument. So, why not come and see what this exciting young jazz musician and her quartet have to bring to the genre, this Thursday night at Ryles.
Tomoko Omura developed an affinity for jazz early on during her training as a classical violinist. As a young music student attending Yokohama National University, she was one of a very few studying the instrument to take a serious interest in this particular genre. Eager to develop a career in jazz, she came to the United States to study at the Berklee College of Music where she graduated sums cum laude. During her tenure there, she became the very first string major ever to receive the coveted Roy Hanes award for jazz performance. Currently, she is enjoying a well accomplished professional career as a jazz composer and performer, having been featured in both The Strad and Strings magazines. In addition to her numerous recording credits, she is in constant demand as a stage performer, either as a soloist, leading her own small ensembles or as part of various other jazz groups, appearing regularly at top clubs and other major venues and events around New England and in New York City, as well. She also continues to perform in her native Japan where she was a part of J-Pop superstar, Mai Kuraki’s hit song entitled “Be With U”.
When: April 26th, Thursday @ 8:30 p.m.
Where: Ryles Jazz Club (Mainstage)
Admission: $10.00 (Purchase Online)
More Info: 617-876-9330
Discover a Whole New Side of the Music of Eastern Europe with the World Renown Guitarists of the Trio Balkan Strings: April 22nd, Sunday @ 8:30 p.m.
Zoran, Nikola, and Zeljko Starcevic are a father and son team that together have formed the Trio Balkan Strings, a highly successful group showcasing the talents of three of Serbia’s best guitarists. Inspiring audiences with their own special brand of world fusion, they share with the rest of the world a version of Balkan-inspired instrumental music that is not only electrifying and exhilarating but also most contemporary and innovative as well. The group’s uniqueness of sound stems in a large part from a masterful blending of an extensive array of various Eastern European and other world music styles including, Serbian, Romani, Macedonian, Romanian, Moldavian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Mediterranean, Greek, Oriental, and more. Add to that elements of Western style genres such as jazz, swing, classical and rock, and you have a whole new interpretation of what actually began as Balkan folk music. The Starcevics regard each of the many diverse styles of Balkan music as individually unique in character, and yet quite similar in many ways. This viewpoint is reflected in their music which can be appreciated as unique over-all blending of many such genres and at the same time a well constructed collage of diverse stylistic elements, each of which stands out in the mind of the listener as a distinct part of the whole. The guitarists of Trio Balkan Strings are also known for their leading-edge instrumental technique, often displayed in the form of breath-taking improvisational passages or in the execution of musical ornamentations never before performed on a pectoral stringed instrument.
Each member of the trio brings their own special set of talents to the over-all mix. Zoran has recorded countless cds totaling over a million copies, while sons Nikola and Zoljko both graduated from music school and teach classical guitar. As a group they have won international awards in both performance and composition. They have graced the stages of jazz, classical, and ethnic music events throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States, and have conducted workshops with American music students. The Trio Balkan Strings have two cds to their credit entitled Balkan Guitars and Watermill. So, are you ready for a new take on Balkan music? Just come on out to Johnny D’s and spend a unforgettable evening with the Trio Balkan Strings.
Where: Johnny D’s Uptown (Somerville)
More Info: 617-776-2004 OR 617-800-9720
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.
Celebrate 15 Years of Celtic Music Greatness with Solas, America’s #1 Irish Band: February 25th, Saturday @8:00 p.m.
That’s right, it is indeed the 15th anniversary of the highly renowned, extremely popular Irish-American band Solas. However, this momentous occasion isn’t simply about commemorating a band’s history, it is also about honoring the staying power of a musical legacy that has definitely left a major imprint upon the evolution of Celtic traditional music as a genre. Known for their leading-edge dynamic style, this “super band” is undisputedly our nation’s most beloved and highly revered Celtic music ensemble of all time. According to major music critics they have virtually taken America by storm, and I quote: “the first truly great Irish band to arise from America” (Boston Herald), “mind-blowing Irish music, maybe the world’s best” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “the standard by which contemporary Celtic groups are judged” (Austin American-Statesman). Of course, it should come as no surprise then that they have also earned for themselves a stellar international reputation as well.
The band was founded by Seamus Egan, the truest of multi-instrumentalists, who plays more than seven instruments with the band and fiddler Winifred “Win” Horan. Both of them have developed such a reputation amongst the music community at large that their playing styles are often mimicked. Although they definitely serve as the basic foundation of the band’s music, they are accompanied by three fabulous virtuosos in their own right, Mick McAuley, Eamon McElholm, and Niamh Varion-Barry. Solas’ repertoire consists of both original and re-interpreted traditional pieces all of which exhibit that exceptionally unique, creative, highly progressive style for which they so well-known. They have a special knack for enriching the old standards in such a way as to effectively provide them with a new and exciting modern flair without overpowering their original character to the degree that it becomes lost. The band adds both content and stylistic variety to their musical offerings by spicing them up with the occasional American or English folk piece or experimenting with the incorporation of blues, jazz, and/or world music elements into their overall sound.
This anniversary concert also serves as a cd release performance for the band’s latest recording “Shamrock City”. As part of a very special project that is near and dear to their hearts, Solas has produced a collection of pieces honoring the Irish immigrants who came to Butte, Montana in the early 20th-century in hopes of attaining a better life for themselves mining copper. Along with it, they have also produced a companion DVD, a musical/historical documentary, which was filmed live on location. Excerpts of it can be seen as a visual backdrop during the concert performance. Solas will share with you the story of this hardy group of Irish souls as only they can tell it, through an intriguing series of intensely emotional, lyrical ballads complimented by livelier folk tunes filled with the most rapid and thrilling of improvisational passages, designed to challenge the best of virtuosos.
When: February 25th, Saturday @ 8:00 p.m.
Where: Somerville Theatre (Davis Square)
Tickets: $28.oo (+ $1.00 fee)
More Info: 617-876-4275
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.
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
Kick Back and Indulge in an Evening of Informal Irish Music-Making with Maeve Gilchrist & Friends: Mondays (Weekly) (8:00 p.m. – Midnight)
Head on over to The Beehive in Boston’s South End each and every Monday night for their exciting new “Irish & Celtic Music Series“. This seisun-style performance is led by Celtic harpist, vocalist, and jazz artist Maeve Gilchrist who will be joined by a different set of guest musicians every week. An especially nice feature of this rather informal brand of entertainment is its spontaneity and variety. You never know quite which direction the music will take you in any given performance. What you do know, however, is that some of the area’s top local talent will be bringing you nothing but the best in traditional Celtic music. Gilchrist herself, already a rising star on the Boston world music scene by the of age 25, is quite well-known for her rather avant-garde style of musicianship, which often exhibits a heavy presence of chromaticism. Also of note is her exceptional ability to so freely and effortlessly allow her fingers to fly across the harp strings in a most rapid fashion.
Originally from Scotland but also of Irish heritage, Maeve spent her childhood years surrounded by a heavily music-oriented family. Although their focus was on traditional genres, she spent hours listening to her father’s rather large and eclectic collection of sound recordings. As a result of such exposure early on, Gilchrist quickly developed a keen taste for music of many different genres and cultures and has since developed into the highly innovative artist she is today. Maeve became quite a well-established musician nationally by the time she was a teenager and landed herself a scholarship overseas at the Berklee College of Music. From there she developed a highly successful professional career in the US appearing at both national and international premier events including the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, World Harp Congress, the Celtic Connections Festival and elsewhere. She has also performed with numerous world-renown musicians including Alasdair Fraser, Esperanza Spalding, Darol Anger and Vardan Ovespian. Her first cd release was an international success and she has recently produced another entitled “Song of Delight”. She currently appears locally with bassist Aidan O’Donnell. as well as Scottish folk/jazz fusion ensemble the Ultra-Modern String Quartet. With respect to her role as leader of the weekly Beehive seisuns, Maeve Gilchrist’s affinity for the new and creative should prove to be an exciting catalyst for one interesting evening of traditional Celtic music.
When: Mondays (Weekly) (8:00 p.m. – Midnight)
Call ahead before attending the show as some special events may interrupt regular scheduling
Where: The Beehive (South End)
Admission: No cover charge
More Info: 617-423-0069 / 617-423-0096 (Fax) / email@example.com
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