“Kings of This Music”: From Camarón de la Isla to Pedrito Martínez

When Pedrito Martínez sings for Yemayá—as he did at the beginning of his show in Boston last week—the crossroads open: oceanic crossroads, lived crossroads, crossroads of transformation, crossroads rooted in Cayo Hueso, Havana, where Pedrito grew up, Elegguá’s crossroads where choices are made, destinies are reversed, and intention translates into meaning. A man seated in the back of Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, feeling the space change with the music, Continue reading ““Kings of This Music”: From Camarón de la Isla to Pedrito Martínez”

Pedrito Martínez & Band, Tonight in Boston!

Cuban singer and percussionist Pedrito Martínez and his band have been a huge hit in Manhattan for nearly a decade. A master of Cuban music, Martínez goes beyond the traditional form, drawing on complex rhythms, jazz, and pop. Martínez’s musical talent Continue reading “Pedrito Martínez & Band, Tonight in Boston!”

Tomatito: Legend of Time | Concert Review

Led by legendary Flamenco guitarist, José Fernández Torres (known around the world as “Tomatito”), and accompanied by his son (José Fernández “Tomatito Hijo”), a royal Roma lineage tore through Boston’s Berklee Performace Center on Sunday night.

Continue reading “Tomatito: Legend of Time | Concert Review”

Incredible Flamenco Show in Boston!

Tomatito, one of the great Flamenco guitarists who follows in the line of Paco de Lucía and who played with Camarón de la Isla, will be performing in Boston this Sunday, Oct 30th, at 7:30 PM! With him, José Maya and a full ensemble take the stage. Continue reading “Incredible Flamenco Show in Boston!”

Grande Show de Flamenco em Boston | Domingo, Dia 30!

Compartilho com vocês, admiradores da música mais profunda do coração, notícias de um show fenomenal do enorme Tomatito! É flamenco de verdade, com José Maya na Dança e grupo completo.


Continue reading “Grande Show de Flamenco em Boston | Domingo, Dia 30!”

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston | First Friday Activities

A multigenerational, multicultural gathering called Caribbean Dream, at the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) in the Seaport district of Boston, drew a crowd of over 1,000 people this past Friday. Continue reading “Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston | First Friday Activities”

Sirocco Blue Award | Sofia of André Hair Salon, Cambridge

Today SiroccoBlue starts an awards series to recognize excellent local business. (This is actually an extension, now more culturally focused in the Sirocco region, of the awards that I started on the Amherst Life Blog in the 5-College community and was one of the original ideas for this site when first posts involved local space rentals in Western Massachusetts). Continue reading “Sirocco Blue Award | Sofia of André Hair Salon, Cambridge”

Albino Mbie | Cambridge Summer Music on the Charles

SiroccoBlue has been promoting musicians, dancers, and visual artists whose work aligns with what we’re calling a Sirocco aesthetic, language system, and cultural geography.

Glad to announce that – in partnership with the City of Cambridge, Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association, the Magazine Beach summer programming, and the incredible work of community organizer and CNA Chair, Cathie Zusy – we secured a spot for the great local band led by Albino Mbie! Continue reading “Albino Mbie | Cambridge Summer Music on the Charles”

Journey into the Crossroads | Terence Tavares (third of three articles)

At a recent Massachusetts Alliance for Portuguese speakers event, I came across the work of Terence Tavares, a brilliant young artist from Roxbury whose three-piece series called “Journeys” called loud and direct from the crossroads.

In the first article, I wrote about Tavares’s illustration of three core stages of journey, themes that mirror other epic journeys through the crossroads. In the second article, I covered Tavares’s artistic influences, the theme of the crossroads and his multi-limbed traveling figure, and the importance that Tavares sees in giving back to the community. In this final article (‘final’ for now, that is, as I’m sure there will be more to share on this extremely talented artist), I want to include some aspects of Tavares’s artistic process which, to me, is a process that involves departures from multiple media and is a process that involves the translative.

Continue reading “Journey into the Crossroads | Terence Tavares (third of three articles)”

Afro-Cuban Oral Traditions & Comparative Literary Mapping: Lecture Series by Dr. Ileana Sanz

Between 2002-2004 I did my Master’s degree with Dr. José Buscaglia and Dr. Ileana Sanz in Estudios Culturales de América Latina y el Caribe at Universidad de la Habana (Cuba) and the State Univ. of New York-Buffalo.

It was the first dual-enrolled, fully reciprocal graduate studies program between a U.S. and Cuban institution and it focused on comparative approaches that could unlock aspects of the shared aesthetic and cultural traditions across the Americas. A fully-bilingual program, Cuban nationals and professors even went to Buffalo to study and Artes y Letras at La Universidad de la Habana received those of us based out of the U.S. with open arms for 2-3 semesters of study.

My work followed the literary and visual arts of the African diaspora, particularly Cuba and Brazil, into the thriving Yoruba religious systems of Regla de Ocha, Candomblé, and Voudún. It was essentially an alternative cultural anthropology through the literary imagination across languages.

Dr. Ileana Sanz’s work on oral traditions and the presence of orality in written Caribbean texts in multiple languages (her work follows Kamau Brathwaite’s “Nation Languages,” and includes texts of all types in English, Krèyol, French, Spanish, Papiamentu, Portuguese), her dedication to studying the Caribbean and African diaspora comparatively and not bound to the European metropoles was at the core of many of our projects.

Continue reading “Afro-Cuban Oral Traditions & Comparative Literary Mapping: Lecture Series by Dr. Ileana Sanz”