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
Join One Very Special Group of Dedicated and Passionate World Musicians in Their Celebration of Earth Day: Help Some of the Best Flutists on the Planet to Save It
Renaissonics – This energetic and upbeat group of Renaissance music specialists are considered to be among the “best of the best” of early music ensembles. They have done much to popularize the music of this period by infusing it with a renewed sense of energy and excitement, largely through their highly improvisational performance style. Still, in spite of it all, their Renaissance period repertoire is presented in only the most authentic manner, thus remaining true to its ancient roots. Each and every member of the group has earned themselves international merit as a soloist and, as a unit, they have performed overseas in France as well as with Michael York of Hollywood fame, the Sumaj Chasquis ensemble of Bolivia, renown jazz artist Bob Moses, and the well-known Latin band Sol Y Canto. They also contributed to the soundtrack of a Ken Burns documentary for PBS. The Rennaissonics currently serve as resident ensemble for the International Early Dance Institute, as well as the Killington Vermont Shakespeare Festival. (Visit their website)
Elizabeth Reian Bennett – As the truest of shakuhachi virtuosos, this Tufts University music professor has earned the most prestigious title of Grand Master of her instrument, an honor she earned as the result of years of extensive training in the art of Japanese traditional music. Not only is she one of a very few Westerners to ever have received such schooling, but she is the first female ever to have attain a professional career as a shakuhachi player. Known throughout the world for her impeccable technique, she was considered to be the very best in all of Japan for over 30 years. Although Reian Bennett is no doubt considered a leading authority on traditional playing styles, as is evident in her exquisite renditions of Japanese monk songs and classical chamber music, she also experiments with her own improvisations and various modern world fusion genres.
In October of 2009, I had the fortune of attending an earlier concert, the first, also put on by Mr. Senders for the same wonderful cause, this time in recognition of “International Climate Change Awareness Day.” As an ardent lover of world music, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire evening. Here is a summary of some of the highlights of that event, complete with photos. As I have said so many times before, it is truly a wonderful thing when world music can be employed as a catalyst in support of global well-being in any form. Kudos to Mr. Senders for giving us, the audience, yet another opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful project, complete with such exquisite music!
All proceeds of this event go to benefit the mission of 350.org.
When: Saturday, May 19th @ 7:00 p.m.
Where: Emmanuel Baptist Church (Boston)
Advance purchase options for tickets are available until 3:00 p.m. on the day of the concert
More Info: 781-396-0734 OR www.warrensenders.com OR Facebook
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
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.
Help West African Drumming Star Moussa Traore & Friends Build a New School for the Children of Mali @ the African Rhythms Benenfit Show: March 24th, Saturday @ 7:30 p.m.
Listen to Moussa Traore.
This highly successful annual benefit concert, which features the music and dance of West Africa and the African diaspora, is in its 11th year and still going strong. West African-style music and dance performances showcasing the traditional cultures of Mali, Guinea, and Senegal will be featured. In addition more modern styles of semi-African performance art which involve a blending of various diverse genres will also be highlighted in variations of hip-hop, break dancing, jazz and other forms of Afro-fusion. This years featured performer will be none other than internationally acclaimed djembe artist Moussa Traore, a well-seasoned performer of 30+ years who is currently considered one of the best Malian drummers in the world. He will be leading a drum troupe composed of some of the areas most talented musicians. In addition, there will be a number of local dance groups also performing including, the Teriya Dance Company, Troupe Teranga, the Hip-Hop Mamas, Dance ‘n Feet, and students from the Movement Center (Acton) and the Harvard Academy of Dance who will add a little variety to the cultural mix with some Latin dance moves. All of the proceeds of this event will go to benefit the “Build a School in Africa Project”. This highly dedicated group of volunteers have managed to complete a total of 9 buildings thus far for the benefit of Africa’s impoverished youth.
Moussa Traore’s rise to fame in his homeland of Mali in West Africa started early on when, at the age of 17, he was selected as the permanent representative from his region to lead the local drum troupe into national competition every year. Under his skillful guidance, they manged to win each and every time! After 12 years of rigorous study in the art of djembe playing, he earned himself the distinguished title of Master Drummer and continued to build on his already illustrious national career, excelling as a performer, teacher, recording artist, and musical director. He has since gained an international reputation as well, not only as a djembe virtuoso, but a leading authority on Malian music. In 1994, he was invited to teach and perform as a part of Brown Univerisity’s “African Dance and Music Program”. Now a resident of New England, he continues to perform extensively with his own drumming troupe Timinandi and with other artists, as well, while recording a few CDs along the way. He also teaches classes and conducts workshops throughout the US.
To attend the African Rhythms Benefit Show is a multi-faceted experience to be sure. First and foremost you get to enjoy the world-class performance of Moussa Traore and his ensemble. In addition, you get a taste of what’s happening performance-wise on the local world music scene, including student dance activities who knows, you might be motivated to tryout some of these classes for yourself. Then of course, there’s always the satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to the well-being of others on this planet who are less fortunate and in need of a helping hand!
When: March 24th, Saturday @ 7:30 p.m.
Where: Cronin Auditorium (Bromfield School – Harvard, MA)
Tickets: $15.00 (Adults), $5.00 (Students), Free (Children under 4)
More Info: 978-433-2384 OR firstname.lastname@example.org
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 / email@example.com
Meet the Didgeridoo, Accordion, and Harp Up Close and Personal @ the New School of Music’s “World Instrument Workshops”
Ever want to try your hand at the didgeridoo, accordion, or Celtic harp? Well, now here’s your chance! Just come to the New School of Music’s World Instrument Workshops series! Come on out of the audience and into the classroom where you can actually learn to make a “credible sound” on each of these instruments in one easy 60-90 minute session. No, these are not music lessons in the true sense of the word. Rather they are fun-filled and informative mini-workshops designed to give you an introduction to select ethnic instruments in an intimate, interactive learning environment. Three of the area’s best qualified music instructors will better familiarize you with each instrument through a combination of lecture, discussion, demonstration and best of all actual hands-on experience. Sounds like fun, Yes? The good news is that you don’t need a lick of playing experience in order to participate and all ages are encouraged to attend. Instruments will be provided unless you choose to bring one on your own.
Pre-Registration for all workshops is required!!! (Call: 617-492-8105)
Event Details/Instructor Bios:
The Didgeridoo – Entering the Dreamtime (Friday, March 9th, 7:00-8:30 p.m.) ($30.00)
Daniel Orlansky – Has performed professionally both nationally and abroad for 20 years, appearing locally at the Berklee College of Music, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Boston Jazz Festival and elsewhere.
An Introduction to the Accordion (Saturday, April 21st, 1:00-2:00 p.m.) ($25.00)
Emilion Badea – Holds academic degrees from the Romanian Music Academy and Boston University, and has appeared numerous times in his native homeland with the Romanian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and with a number of performing ensembles in the Boston area including, the Boston Ballet, The Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Classical Players, and others.
The Harp – A Hands-on-Workshop (Saturday, May 12th, 10:00-11:00 a.m.)($25.00)
Mary Jane Rupert – Has performed both nationally and internationally as both a harpist and a concert pianist, recorded and published music, and taught at various academic institutions across the United States including Oberlin, Indiana University, Boston College, and MIT.
Where: New School of Music (Directions)
More Info: 617-492-8105
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to actually try out these instruments for yourself, and at the hands of an expert no less. What more could one ask for?