Monday, February 27, 2006

Giraffe Manor

Warning: This post has nothing to do with the Celebrity Series programming, mission, history, or anything of the sort, but I feel an obligation to share such a wonderful, Dolittle-esque tale lurking in the real world...

Not far from Kenya's capital city, Nairobi, is a hotel in which giraffes roam the grounds freely and lean in the windows to be fed - really. Giraffe Manor's back story, rates and other info can be found here.

Thanks, as so often in the past, to Boing Boing for the link.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Worcester Native to Visit Boston with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Isaac Spencer is that increasingly common item, a successful modern dancer from the Greater Boston area. Kirvin Boyd of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is from Boston, and David Leventhal and Marjorie Folkman of the Mark Morris Dance Group are from Newton and Brookline, respectively. All three dancers are seen regularly on Celebrity Series stages. Now Isaac Spencer, a native of Worcester, Mass., is coming to town with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (March 3-5, The Shubert Theatre). Spencer recently spoke with Richard Duckett of The Worcester Telegram & Gazette for a feature article: Dancing is 'something I have to do.'

I'm curious, can anyone out there come up with more Boston dancers (natives of Boston) that have visited with national or international companies? (They don't have to been presented by the Celebrity Series...)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Maurizio Pollini Revises April 30 Program

Italian piano master Maurizio Pollini has announced the program for his
April 30 solo piano recital at Symphony Hall:

UPDATE: Maurizio Pollini has updated the program for his April 30 recital.

The new program is listed below:

Two Nocturnes, Opus 55
    No. 1 in F minor
    No. 2 in E-flat Major
Ballade in G minor, Opus 23
Two Nocturnes, Opus 48
    No. 1 in C minor
    No. 2 in F-sharp minor
Polonaise in F-sharp minor, Opus 44

Nuages gris
Unstern: sinistre, disastro
La lugubre gondola I (Die Trauergondel)
Piano Sonata in B minor

David Sedaris in The New Yorker

OK, so he isn't coming to the Celebrity Series until May 3, but I can't pass up a chance to post on David Sedaris.

In this week's "Shouts and Murmurs" in The New Yorker, Sedaris gives us a glimpse of how his family caught the art collecting bug. In Suitable for Framing, A Family of Experts, he chronicles his own burgeoning hobby, how it was co-opted by his parents and, finally, the art he and his siblings ultimately came to treasure most:

"One by one, my sisters and I left home, and the back yard became a dumping ground. Snakes nested beneath broken bicycles and piles of unused building supplies, but on return visits we would each screw up our courage and step onto the patio for an audience with Mr. Toadstool. 'You and that lawn ornament,” my mom would say. “Honest to God, you’d think you’d been raised in a trailer.'"

Read the complete New Yorker essay.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Golijov and Souza at Lincoln Center

Lincoln Center is in the midst of a festival of music by composer (and Boston resident) Osvaldo Golijov (our own tribute took place over several performances during the 2003-04 season). His La Pasion Segun San Marcos (The Passion According to St. Mark), commissioned in tribute to J.S. Bach in 2000, received reviews this week from Cafe Aman (the blog of Billboard Magazine classical music critic Anastasia Tsioulcas), The Emory Wheel (by Rachel Zelkowitz), and The New York Times (by Anthony Tommasini).

Among those who have performed La Pasion Segun San Marcos regularly is vocalist Luciana Souza Luciana_romero_sm_7 (she is a featured performer on the 2001 La Pasion recording linked above). The Celebrity Series has presented her before - when she was a Bostonian during the 1990s - and we are proud to be doing so again. Ms. Souza will perform with guitarist Romero Lubambo and share a double bill with saxophonist Joe Lovano at Sanders Theatre on March 18.

I also want to seize the opportunity to tell you to visit (and revisit) Cafe Aman. I know I will.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Andres Segovia, born Feb. 21, 1893

Today is the birthday of guitarist Andres Segovia, born on this date in 1893. The Celebrity Series presented Andres Segovia 22 times over the course of his lifetime, first in February of 1949 and for the final time in March of 1984. (from

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Cottars to Join The Chieftains

Those kids from Cape Breton are growing up. The Cottars, the teenage quartet (two brother/sister pairs) from Canada's musically rich Celtic enclave have just released a CD, Forerunner (link includes samples), on Rounder Records and on March 2 they will begin a 23-city tour with The Chieftains  that includes Boston (that's where we come in). They come to Boston and the Celebrity Series on March 11.

In a Boston Herald article back in early January, Dan Gewertz picked The Cottars as one of 2006's breakthrough folk acts:

"Together for five years, these Cape Breton teens will release their first American album on Rounder Records in two weeks and then join The Chieftains for a 23-city tour. The Cottars used to be prepubescent adorable. Now, ages 15 to 17, they're on the verge of teen sexy. Their brilliant Celtic folk has added a hint of pop, and their beseeching vocals offset the instrumental excitement." Full article.

Other special guests joining The Chieftains on March 11 will include harpist Triona Marshall, along with guitarist and vocalist, Jeff White; the fiddling (Jon) & step dancing (Jon and Nathan) Ottawans, The Pilatzke Brothers; and traditional Irish step-dancer and long-time Boston favorite, Cara Butler. And of course someone from the Boston musical community always shows up at the stage door for the encores...

UPDATE: Take a look at this post to see some photos from The Chieftains Symphony Hall show.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Ms. Podles's Encores and Mr. Dyer's Review

Contralto Ewa Podles brought down the house in her Celebrity Series debut recital at Jordan Hall Friday night. Ms. Podles sang two encores: Rossini's "Cruda sorte" from L’italiana in Algieri and Tchaikovsky's Zemphira's Song.

Richard Dyer reviewed the performance for The Boston Globe.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Murray Perahia Cancels Boston recital

Murray Perahia has canceled
his Celebrity Series recital scheduled for Friday, March 31 at 8 p.m. at Symphony Hall due to a flare-up of an earlier finger injury. While he has recovered substantially, doctors advised that it was premature to undertake a ten-city national tour.

Ticket holders will be notified by mail of options to exchange tickets or request refunds.

For more information calll Bank of America Celebrity Series at (617) 482-2595.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

February 16 birthdays from CLASSICALmanac

Today's birthday's - well, three of them (thanks to CLASSICALmanac).

  • Pianist Alexander Brailowsky was born on this date in 1896 (Celebrity Series: 1946, '48, and '50)

  • Composer John Corigliano was born on this date in 1938

  • British Royal Ballet former dancer and artistic director Anthony Dowell was born on this date in 1943

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ailey Announces April 2006 program

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has announced the program for its annual Celebrity Series engagement, Tuesday-Sunday, April 25-30 at The Wang Theatre (details and tickets):

Tues., April 25, 7:30pm
Reminiscin’ (2005)*

Choreographer: Judith Jamison
Music: Various Artists

Ife/My Heart (2005)*
Choreographer: Ronald K. Brown
Music: Various Artists

Revelations (1960)
Choreographer: Alvin Ailey
Music: Traditional

Wed., April 26, 8pm ALL NEW WORK NIGHT!
Ife/My Heart (2005)*
Choreographer: Ronald K. Brown
Music: Various Artists

Acceptance in Surrender (2005)*
Choreographer: Hope Boykin, Abdur-Rahim Jackson, Matthew Rushing
Music: Philip Hamilton, Peter Jones, Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway

Solo (1997)**
Choreographer: Hans van Manen
Music: J.S. Bach

Reminiscin’ (2005)*
Choreographer: Judith Jamison
Music: Various Artists

Thurs., April 27, 8pm
Shining Star (2004)

Choreographer: David Parsons
Music: Earth, Wind & Fire

Caught (1982)
Choreographer: David Parsons
Music: Robert Fripp

Witness (1986)**
Choreographer: Alvin Ailey
Music: Traditional sung by Jessye Norman

Acceptance in Surrender (2005)*
Choreographer: Hope Boykin, Abdur-Rahim Jackson, Matthew Rushing
Music: Philip Hamilton, Peter Jones, Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway

Revelations (1960)
Choreographer: Alvin Ailey
Music: Traditional

Fri., April 28, 8pm
Love Stories (2004)

Choreographer: Judith Jamison with Robert Battle and Rennie Harris
Music: Stevie Wonder

Urban Folk Dance (1990)**
Choreographer: Ulysses Dove
Music: Michael Torke

Solo (1997)**
Choreographer: Hans van Manen
Music: J.S. Bach

Revelations (1960)
Choreographer: Alvin Ailey
Music: Traditional

Sat. April 29, 2pm   FAMILY MATINEE
Night Creature (1974)

Choreographer: Alvin Ailey
Music: Duke Ellington
from Ailey Celebrates Ellington

Solo (1997)**
Choreographer: Hans van Manen
Music: J.S. Bach

The Winter in Lisbon (1992)
Choreographer: Billy Wilson
Music: Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Fishman

Revelations (1960)
Choreographer: Alvin Ailey
Music: Traditional

Sat., April 29, 8pm
Reminiscin’ (2005)*
Choreographer: Judith Jamison
Music: Various Artists

Ife/My Heart (2005)*
Choreographer: Ronald K. Brown
Music: Various Artists

Revelations (1960)
Choreographer: Alvin Ailey
Music: Traditional

Sun., April 30, 3pm
Shining Star (2004)
Choreographer: David Parsons
Music: Earth, Wind & Fire

Caught (1982)
Choreographer: David Parsons
Music: Robert Fripp

Witness (1986)**
Choreographer: Alvin Ailey
Music: Traditional sung by Jessye Norman

Acceptance in Surrender (2005)*
Choreographer: Hope Boykin, Abdur-Rahim Jackson, Matthew Rushing
Music: Philip Hamilton, Peter Jones, Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway

Revelations (1960)
Choreographer: Alvin Ailey
Music: Traditional

* Boston Premiere
** Boston Company Premiere

Finding Ewa on St. Botolph's

Thanks to a link on the San Francisco blog The Standing Room I've just found the informative, visually spare -and local!- blog, St. Botolph's Town. And thanks to this post from St. Botolph's Town, I now know of this video clip of the remarkable Polish contralto Ewa Podles (who makes her Celebrity Series debut with a Jordan Hall recital this Friday, February 17) on the blog Trrill. The clip is a VHS copy and has a few "snags." But don't give up on it - despite the poor picture quality, Ms. Podles is terrific. According to the accompanying caption, it is from the International Festival 'Wratislavia Cantans' of Music and Fine Arts, and was taped on September 13th, 1998 at Polish Radio Hall in Wroclaw, Poland.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Frank Rich Engagement Postponed


Frank Rich's appearance at John Hancock Hall scheduled for today at 3pm has been postponed.

Ticket holders: retain your tickets as the Celebrity Series will be contacting you regarding the reschedule date.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

"Curran, Kapilow Collaboration has Something for 'Everybody'"

The Boston Herald's Theodore Bale talks with choreographer Sean Curran about today's Family Musik performances with Rob Kapilow, Everybody Dance Now! (which runs today at noon and 2pm at the Tsai Performance Center at Boston University - details).

"Levine Gives Visiting Orchestra a Hand"

Richard Dyer reviewed the Celebrity Series' February 10 Staatskapelle Berlin concert with Daniel Barenboim (and special guest James Levine) for today's Boston Globe: Levine Gives Visiting Orchestra a Hand.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Barenboim and Levine Wow Audience With Four-Hand Mozart

Maestro's Daniel Barenboim and James Levine played a little Mozart for 4-hands before intermission at tonight's Staatskapelle Berlin concert at Symphony Hall for the Celebrity Series, in which Daniel Barenboim served as conductor and pianist. Following Barenboim and the Staatskapelle's performance of Mozart's Symphony No. 39 and Piano Concerto No. 22, Barenboim brought out Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor James Levine. Barenboim's introduction of Levine went as follows, "I have friends that I admire and friends that I like, but few friends I both admire and like, James Levine is one of those."





It was a wonderful surprise...
Photos by Jack Wright from the first balcony with a Canon Powershot, truly a miracle :-)

Jessye Deserves Better

This may be the first piece of straight personal opinion I have offered on this blog. Typically I like to be in the observer role and hope that all of you (hint) would offer your take on the topics presented. I'm sure that give and take will happen at some point, but today I have a bone to pick:

Maybe you all have better things to worry about, but was anyone else disgusted by the way the Grammy Awards ceremony handled the Lifetime Achievement Award for Jessye Norman? Maybe fifteen seconds (ten?) of her singing was shown with no context, no real description of her achievements and a few more precious tele-seconds were given up for Ms. Norman to wave from the audience? When the Oscars or the Golden Globes give a Lifetime Achievement Award (or their equivalent) they take a little time to make the honor seem real and to help the audience understand something about that lifetime's-worth of achievement. Not surprisingly, Ms. Norman was gracious, as far as one could tell from the glimpse we were shown. And the audience was polite, too. I'm sure the Grammy people more or less did right by her at the more or less ghetto-ized Grammy Salute to Classical Music held at L.A.'s Biltmore Hotel (I hope that is where the actual award was presented). What transpired during the national television audience seemed more an indignity than an honor.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Either/Orchestra reviewed in Boston Phoenix

Vocalist Hana Shenkute in performance with the Either/Orchestra Jan. 28 (photo by Mike Magee)

Jon Garelick reviewed the Either/Orchestra's 20th anniversary Celebrity Series concert on January 28 in today's Boston Phoenix:

"The band opened with “Yèzèmèd yèbada” arranged by Mulatu Astatke, of Broken Flowers fame, and E/O leader Russ Gershon. Here were the minorish Middle Eastern scales, the African rhythms, and those very jazz-like shifts in harmony and color, trombonist Joel Yennior and alto-saxophonist Jeremy Udden building their solos across the music’s varied sections, taking it from one improvised peak to the next." Read the complete review.

Frank Rich "Open Source" podcast available

New York Times columnist Frank Rich spent an hour with Chris Lydon on WGBH's Open Source on Monday evening. Rich's Open Source appearance yielded, among much else, the following quote:

"I now want to stand back from four and a half years and try to put together the narrative, essentially by which truth went down the toilet. And tell that story of how it happened, begin the summer before 9/11 when we were obsessed with Gary Condit and shark attacks, then go to the day that supposedly changed everything, 9/11, and then see how we ended up in a war against someone who did not attack us on 9/11."

The entire hour is available as a free podcast on this page.

Frank Rich makes his Celebrity Series debut this Sunday, February 12 at 3pm in John Hancock Hall.

Pavarotti to sing at Olympic Opening Ceremony

The great Italian tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, now a robust 70 and in the midst of a farewell tour expected to last several years, is scheduled to sing at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics - AP story

You Have No Mail

America Online and Yahoo plan to start charging bulk emailers to reach their customers. Chris Kraeuter at thinks it will only cost legitimate marketers more money, that it won't stop spam... - Read The End of E-Mail?

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin in Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor's Greg Lamb covered the six-city tour of Daniel Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin in the January 27 edition of the paper. In the article, Conductor takes his all-Mozart show on the road, Lamb spoke with Barenboim about the magnificent orchestra he is touring with and how he approaches performances with them.

Staatskapelle Berlin with Daniel Barenboim both conducting and at the piano performs this Friday, February 10 at Symphony Hall. The performance is Statskapelle Berlin's Celebrity Series debut.

(Photo credit:

Classical Music on the Internet: Lost Cause or Thriving Trend?

The web site in better days
New Yorker classical music critic Alex Ross writes today on The Rest is Noise about Anne Midgette's informative New York Times article, Classics on the Internet: A Promising Prognosis (login required), on the state of classical music online. Midgette's article begins as a description of the rise and fall of the classical music site,, and winds up on an optimistic note regarding online music downloads and information. More than just another, "The-demise-of-classical-music-is-premature," article, she backs up her arguments with download statisitcs and lists several successful sites, leaving readers with the impression of an industry (the online classical music business) that is maturing rather than dying.

Also, from Editor and Publisher, a report on a Gallup poll suggesting weblogs, while still representing a small minority of web users, are beginning to catch on - article.

I invite any and all readers to submit their experiences with classical music online, on web sites, blogs, newsgroups, etc. Where do you go and what do you do?

UPDATE: I was remiss in not originally including a mention of the excellent list of classical music web sites collected on the right margin of On An Overgrown Path - enjoy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Going to Romania with Matt Haimovitz

The members of UCCELLO (left to right) Amelia Jakobsson, Judith Manger and Sung Pyung Chu with Matt Haimovitz (far right) at Sanders Theatre, February 3.

Matt Haimovitz brought an ambitious program of (mostly) solo cello works to the Celebrity Series at Cambridge's Sanders Theatre on February 3, exploring his Romanian roots with music from or informed by the region that includes Transylvania.

Throughout the first half of the program, Haimovitz gave a thoughtful introduction to each work, adding at one point that he had last been in Sanders Theatre for a class (Haimovitz is a Harvard graduate, class of '96). Haimovitz took Michael Sandel's class entitled "Justice" as an undergraduate, Haimovitz told the audience, during which he went "from a conservative libertarian to a liberal socialist." The line drew applause from the nearly full house.

Composer David Sanford was in the audience and took a bow following Haimovitz's performance of his Seventh Avenue Kaddish. Since he had recently played the world premiere of Adrian Pop's Gordun elsewhere, Haimovitz described that work from the stage as "I hope, a Boston premiere."

The longest piece of the evening, Zoltan Kodaly's thorny Sonata for Cello Solo, Opus 8, from 1915, yielded the most furious music making and judging from audience reaction alone was the evening's tour de force. The cello threesome, UCCELLO, from McGill University, joined Haimovitz for the final two works on the regular program, including Led Zepplin's Kashmir arranged for four cellos (full program listing).

The evening began with an unannounced surprise performance of the Prelude to Bach's Suite No. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello, and the evening's lone encore was the Sarabande from the same Suite. Nice book ends.

Kevin Lowenthal reviewed the concert for The Boston Globe.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Ethiopia in Somerville - UPDATE

UPDATE: This event has been postponed due to imminent threat of inclement weather. The new date is Sunday, February 26 at 4pm. RSVP is still requested as space is limited.

I received this item today from Russ Gershon, the leader of the Either/Orchestra, whose concert last week with his band and three Ethiopian guest musicians at the Berklee Performance Center was a rousing success:

"People ask me questions all the time about Ethiopia, Ethiopian music, and related topics.  I don't consider myself an expert, but I do know more than most people 'round these parts.  So, with some help from the Somerville Arts Council, I've decided to invite anybody who wants to come to my studio this Sunday, February 12, at 4 pm, to listen to some Ethiopian music, talk about it, look at some photos from the E/O's trip to Ethiopia.

We should run from 4 to about 5:30, and here's the address:

Somerville MA 02145 USA

You must RSVP to - attendance is limited.

The program is supported in part by a grant from the Somerville Arts Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Come and see us, we're all settled in!

Here is a glimpse of the Celebrity Series's newly renovated offices (well, they were renovated in the fall, but you get the idea). On the left is our ticket window, at which you can buy tickets, save our modest service charge and meet our friendly box office crew! 20 Park Plaza, Suite 1032, Boston

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Barenboim released from hospital, cleared to tour

Dbaren_1Conductor Daniel Barenboim was released from a Berlin hospital on Sunday (January 29) and cleared to begin his US tour on Wednesday (February 1) - Washington Post story (login required)

Maestro Barenboim will serve as conductor and pianist when the Staatskapelle Berlin makes its Celebrity Series and Boston debut Friday, February 10 with an all-Mozart program.

Massive Valentine's Day pillow fight being planned for San Francisco


Photo: Tomeriko

That's right - a giant pillow fight is being planned for San Francisco (where else.) on February 14 at 6pm (and it's not the first one).

More information on this contagious phenomenon is available here. Here is a wikipedia link detailing the Pillow Fight Club fad and an article on a "Flash Mob" pillow fight in Tel Aviv.

The following rules are being circulated for the SF event:
1) Tell everyone you know about PILLOW FIGHT!!!

2) Wait for the Ferry Building clock to strike 6:00pm

3) Don’t hit anyone with out a pillow (unless they want it)

4) Don’t hit anyone with a camera

5) HAVE FUN!!!

I'll let you know if I hear of an event being planned in Boston...

Friday, February 3, 2006

Frank Rich on WGBH's "Open Source" Monday, February 6 at 7pm

Christopher Lydon's newest program, Open Source, on WGBH radio (Broadcast: 89.7fm; Stream: will feature none other than New York Times columnist Frank Rich, (a.k.a., The Butcher of Broadway, a.k.a., The Butcher of The Beltway) this Monday, February 6 at 7pm. They have begun to prep for the show on the Open Source blog.

We get Frank Rich on the stage of John Hancock Hall on Sunday, February 12.

"No Strings Attached for Cellist"


Read Keith Powers' profile of Matt Haimovitz, No Strings Attached for Cellist from today's Boston Herald.

Matt Haimovitz makes his Celebrity Series debut tonight at 8pm in Cambridge's Sanders Theatre.

Boys Choir of ???


After much controversy and speculation, including appeals from former New York Mayor David Dinkins, The City of New York has evicted The Boys Choir of Harlem from its Madison Avenue home. story

Links related to the story:

Feb. 3, Harlem Choir Silenced by Scandal and Debt - The Guardian (UK)

Feb. 1, Harlem Boys Choir Leaders are Ordered Out of their Offices - The New York Times

Jan. 31, Harlem Boys Choir Refuses to Leave School - Washington Times (UPI)

Jan. 31, 11th Hour Boys Choir Suit - New York Post

Jan. 25, Dinkins Beseeches City to Reconsider Decision to Evict Boys Choir - New York Sun

Jan. 18, Dinkins Raises Funds for Harlem's Boys Choir - Amsterdam News (MD)

Jan. 8, Dinkins to be Interim Chair of Harlem Boys Choir -

Boys Choir of Harlem web site

The Celebrity Series has presented The Boys Choir of Harlem on four occasions: in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2003.

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Ailey Donates Archives to Library of Congress


Alvin Ailey in 1961 (Alvin Ailey Archives)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is donating its sizeable archives to The Library of Congress: New York Times article by Jennifer Dunning (login required).

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Cellist About Town

Cellist Matt Haimovitz (Harvard '96) will give a free master class tomorrow at Paine Hall on the Harvard University campus at 7pm. The master class, a co-presentation of the Celebrity Series and Harvard's Learning from Performers program (Office for the Arts), is open to the public. About Learning from Performers and Directions to Paine Hall

Mr. Haimovitz will also be a guest of Richard Knisely's Classical Performances on WGBH radio this Friday, February 3 at 3pm (89.7 fm,

And for a finale, the Celebrity Series is presenting Mr. Haimovitz in concert this Friday, February 3 at 8 o'clock in Sanders Theatre. And, yes, he will be playing the Led Zepplin for four cellos in addition to many other wonderful pieces...

Here is an earlier post on Mr.H that you might enjoy: Matt Haimovitz, 21st-century Cellist

Either/Orchestra Celebrates 20th with New Friends

Left to right: Baritone saxophonist Sam Rivers; saxophonist & composer
Russ Gershon; masinko player Setegn Atenaw; percussionist Vicente
Lebron; vocalist Hana Shenkute (in foreground)

An audience of about 700 witnessed the remarkable collaboration between three expatriot Ethiopian musicians and Boston's own Either/Orchestra at Berklee Performance Center on Saturday. Part of the Celebrity Series' Boston Marquee, the concert was a celebration of the Either/Orchestra's 20th anniversary, though appropriately it was a snapshot of a working band and not a retrospective. Vocalist Hana Shenkute, krar player (krarist?) Minale Dagnew, and masinko virtuoso Setegn Atenaw, all of whom currently live in Washington, D.C., joined saxophonist and composer Russ Gershon and his Either/Orchestra to give rousing testament to the success of their cross-pollination. In addition to high-energy singing and dancing and numerous costume changes by vocalist Hana Shenkute, select members of the Either/Orchestra took a brief masinko (Euro-centric definition: 1-string violin) lesson onstage with Mr. Atenaw (think Suzuki violin recital). Many jazz lovers in the audience (including this one) had never heard anything quite like this hybrid music - outside of an Either/Orchestra recording, that is.

"Harper Finally at Home"

In a local corner of the vast cavalcade of information and events taking place during Black History
Month, I was moved this morning by a sports story (of all things!) in The Boston Globe. Tommy Harper, a former Boston Red Sox player and coach, now working in the team's community relations office, was interviewed by Globe sports writer Gordon Edes on the eve of his appearance at an event honoring Jackie Robinson at The Kennedy Library. After enduring numerous indignities as well as outright racism during his history with the team, Harper relates how he feels the Red Sox have changed under their new ownership. It's a hopeful tale of courage and perseverance (mostly Harper's) that credibly suggests that the Red Sox are putting their onerous legacy of racism behind them. Read Harper Finally at Home.