Sep 07

Langston Hughes as “The Black Clown”

The Black Clown Production Photo
The cast of The Black Clown.
Photo: Maggie Hall.

Presented by American Repertory Theater
Adapted from Langston Hughes’ poem
Adapted by Davóne Tines and Michael Schachter
Music by Michael Schachter
Choreographed by Chanel DaSilva
Directed by Zack Winokur
Music Direction by Jaret Landon
Trumpets by Dave Adewumi and Robyn Smith
Keyboards played by Jaret Landon and Bethany Aikin
Reeds by Rajiv Halim, Isaiah Johnson, and Jason Marshall

August 31 – Sept 23, 2018
Loeb Drama Center
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
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Written by Bishop C. Knight

(Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA)  In The Black Clown program, the A.R.T. Artistic Director wrote how “Langston Hughes drew deeply on the traditions of African American music,” and Hughes would have been pleased with this production.  

The pit orchestra breathed life into spirituals and added rhythmic profundity to operatic adaptations of Hughes’ poems. Keyboards were played by Jaret Landon, a Chicago-based composer who was the show’s Music Director, and Bethany Aiken, who studied Music History at Oberlin College.  A theater experience fusing vaudeville, gospel, and jazz, Black Clown brought Langston Hughes’ verse to life onstage.  Every musician in this production – from the trumpet players, to the actors who themselves are acclaimed singers – every musician, per their participation in this production, paid respect both to Hughes and to the African American music at the heart of Hughes’ art. Continue reading

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May 11

Caravan Palace, 5/22, House of Blues, Boston

Promo by Gillian Daniels

Want to see a time traveling big band Sunday, May 22nd at the House of Blues? Well, one isn’t playing there, but the closest thing to it is. Caravan Palace is an energetic, vibrant, French electro-swing monster. They’re strange, science fictional, and sensational.

Caravan Palace is my personal ear candy and has been since I first heard “Bambous” off their self-titled 2008 album. Their sound is cheerful and energizing, something that gets me up on hard mornings and cools me off after bad days. They’re the retro-future earworm I’ve longed for, the jitterbug robot brass band perfect for listening to on loop. Continue reading

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May 06

Dancing with Sergent Garcia and the Devil

Presented by World Music/CRASHarts

Thursday, May 2, 7:30 PM
Johnny D’s
17 Holland St Davis Square
Somerville, 02144
World Music/CRASHarts Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Somerville) “Let’s dance the dance of the Devil! One step forward and two step backward!” said Bruno “Sergent” Garcia through his thick French accent. It was right in middle of his performance at Johnny D’s this past Thursday and the audience, including the couples who had gotten up to dance, responded with a cheer. Then the Sergent and the Cumbiamuffin All Stars launched into their next, Caribbean, Afro-Columbian tinged
song. Continue reading

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Apr 29

Sergent Garcia with the Cumbiamuffin All Stars at Johnny D’s

Presented by World Music/CRASHarts

http://www.sergentgarcia.com/en/

Thursday, May 2, 7:30 PM
Johnny D’s
17 Holland St Davis Square
Somerville, 02144
World Music/CRASHarts Facebook Page

Post by Gillian Daniels

On Thursday, Davis Square’s very own Johnny D’s will be hosting the Paris-based style-fusion artist, Sergent Garcia.

Bruno Garcia, originally a renowned, apparently hyperactive DJ, fuses the music gleaned from a European, punk upbringing in France with a passion for Latin and Caribbean rhythms. He combines jazz, reggae, hip-hop, and salsa for an energetic genre he has affectionately dubbed, “salsamuffin.”  The “muffin” of “salsamuffin,” apparently, is a reference to “ragamuffin” or “dancehall,” a kind of reggae.

Garcia, himself, is named in homage to the sidekick of the fictional Zorro, Sgt. Demetrio Lopez Garcia.  The musician is part of an effort by World Music/CRASHarts to bring diverse, one-of-a-kind voices and
acts to New England.

This will be Sergent Garcia’s Boston debut.  He will be performing with the Cumbiamuffin All Stars at 7:30pm on May 2nd.

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