John Black

John Black

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Playing The White Card

In The White Card, a conversation at a dinner party thrown by Virginia and Charles, an influential Manhattan couple, for up-and-coming artist Charlotte raises questions about what—and who—is actually on display. Claudia Rankine’s 2014 New York Times best-selling Citizen: An American Lyric unpacked the insidious ways in which racism manifests itself in everyday situations. Now, this world-premiere play poses the question, “Can American society progress if whiteness stays invisible?”

The cast includes Karen Pittman (Broadway’s Good People and Passing Strange) as Charlotte, Daniel Gerroll (Broadway’s Enchanted April and Shadowlands at Off-Broadway’s Acorn Theater) as Charles, Patricia Kalember (Broadway’s Don’t Dress for Dinner and Losing Louie) as Virginia, Jim Poulos (Broadway’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and RENT) as Eric, and Colton Ryan as Alex.

 

The White Card will be performed February 24 - April 1 at the Emerson Paramount Center's Robert J. Orchard Stage.

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CRASHfest!

CRASHfest transforms the House of Blues into an indoor music festival with a kaleidoscope of sounds and cultures that brings an eclectic and worldly spin to the Boston music scene. The House of Blues features an expansive dance floor and seated balcony overlooking the main stage, the luxurious and exotic Foundation Room, and a smaller stage in the restaurant. Global street food, international beer, and custom cocktails will be available for sale.

 

2018 LINEUP

RUBBLEBUCKET - Indie-pop dance-band with reggae influences 

VIEUX FARKA TOURÉ - Malian guitarist dubbed “The Hendrix of the Sahara”

MOKOOMBA - Afro-fusion from Zimbabwe

ZESHAN B – Chicago soul singer with Indo-Pakistani roots

FLOR DE TOLOACHE - Explosive all-female mariachi band

TAL NATIONAL - High energy rock ‘n’ roll from Niger

INNOV GNAWA - Trance music from Morocco

NEWPOLI - A modern take on music from the Mediterranean

SÓ SOL - Música Brasileira with an Americana twist

KOTOKO BRASS - Afrobeat & reggae with New Orleans style brass

 

CRASHfest featuring Rubblebucket, Vieux Farka Touré, Mokoomba, Zeshan B, Flor de Toloache, and more takes place Saturday, February 24, at the House of Blues Boston. Showtime is 5:30 Ticket are $48 General admission.

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Impart: Work by Bill Porter

One could argue that the way a story is told can be just as important as the story itself. Exploring those nuances is exactly what local artist Bill Porter intends for his new show “Impart.” In this collection, Porter will construct a stunning narrative between contrasting visuals that expresses themes of heritage, identity and the mysteries of life as seen through a child’s eyes.

While these themes play a large part in his new exhibition, childhood and cultural identity have always informed Porter’s body of work, which has brought him to fields such as illustration, animation, multimedia design and videography. In “Impart,” Porter will call upon his different experiences in visual storytelling while placing a new emphasis on the canvas material.

“As an artist, I like taking on new challenges and exploring the possibility of different materials and methods of production,” he said. “I enjoy the process of engaging with a material or subject matter and seeing where it leads me.”

While the subject matter of the series is unmistakably inspired by comics and cartoons, the images are given a non-traditional backdrop of reclaimed wood (some from his own father’s step ladder), conjuring memories of his childhood and family heritage. There is a clear visual contrast, just as Porter intended, but it isn’t limited to his own story.

“My work confronts the history of each individual through metaphor and memory,” Porter said. “This invites the viewer to engage in the instinctual act of drawing connections between the images and materials, thereby constructing their own narrative interpretations.”

 

“Impart” will be on display at the Chandler Gallery on 20 Sacramento Street from February 20-March 16, 2018. The opening reception will be held on March 1 from 6-8 pm.

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Fashion or Flop: Here Comes the Bride...

Here comes the bride…All dressed in White (lots and lots and lots of white)

Or at least we think that’s her. It’ s hard to tell who that is when the bridal gown is so big…

Of course, that’s just our opinion. You may feel that such a HUGE gown on such a small model is the epitome of wedding chic.

But there’s ore to the look than just yards and yards of white fabric. As the press release for the designer explains”

“For his Spring Summer 2018 collection, Ziad Nakad decided to celebrate the “Goddess of wheat" and "Mother of the Earth". Goddess who gathers the fruits of the earth and offers them to humanity; its cult is particularly flourishing in the countries where this wheat is found in abundance, in Sicily, in the region of Eleusis, in Crete, in Thrace and in the Peloponnese.”

OK…so maybe the dress needs to be so darn big to hold the wheat gathered after the reception. 

 

One of Boston’s most anticipated culinary occasions of the year, A Taste of Ginger, will be held on Monday, April 9th in the beautiful Art of the Americas Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts. Proceeds from A Taste of Ginger will benefit Joslin Diabetes Center’s Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI) which works to enhance the quality of life and health outcomes for the rising number of Asian Americans living with diabetes and collaborates with Joslin as they work to find a cure.

Each year, hundreds of supporters and foodies gather to enjoy a lively evening full of cultural and musical performances and the opportunity to meet and taste the cuisine of nearly 30 of Boston’s most celebrated chefs such as Jasper White, Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Café, Andy Husbands of the Smoke Shop, Tracy Chang of Pagu, Karen Akunowicz of Myers + Chang, Sumiao Chen of Sumiao Hunan Kitchen and Avi Shemtov of the Chubby Chickpea, amidst the beauty of the MFA.

Emceed by NBC 10 Boston anchor and health reporter Kristy Lee, the event will honor the Moy family, restaurateurs and owners of China Pearl, Shojo, Rukus and BLR by Shojo. Longtime Joslin supporter and “A Taste of Ginger” founder Leverett Wing, whose parents helped to establish the AADI at Joslin, will serve as event chair.

 

WHEN:                Monday, April 9, 2018, 6:30 – 9:30 PM

WHERE:              The Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

FOR TICKETS:     Tickets are $250 per guest, and can be purchased online at: www.joslin.org/ginger

Game On invites guests to celebrate all things winter games at this Olympic kick-off party.

Opening ceremonies in Pyeongchang may be over, but here in Boston, the real fun will get underway on Sunday, February, 18th at Game On's Olympics kick-off party.

Beginning at 7 p.m. the cover-free party will feature: a giant ice luge, slap shot in Game On's batting cage, a photo booth, Olympic-themed cocktails, and prizes (including medals, of course) for the night's best-dressed Olympians.

 

WHEN: Sunday, February 18. Begins at 7 PM

WHERE: Game On,82 Lansdowne Street,Boston, MA 02215

OTHER: For more information or to make reservations, visit www.gameonboston.com or call (617) 351-7001.

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Harvest Hosts 3rd Annual Winter Ice Party

The team at Harvest welcomes guests to the 3rd Annual Winter Ice Party on their heated patio with proceeds from ticket sales going towards Furnishing Hope of Massachusetts.

Join Harvest on Sunday, February 25 to dance, drink and dine at the 3rd Annual Winter Ice Party. DJ Ryan Brown will play top hits while guests sip on frosty Harpoons and wintry ice luge drinks made with Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey. Executive Chef Tyler Kinnett is serving up an array of fresh New England cuisine and party favorite bites including oysters, confit pork ribs and sandwiches, charred beets, fried mac & cheese and homemade pretzels. Finish off the night with sweets from an exclusive dessert bar specially prepared by Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship finalist and Executive Pastry Chef Joshua Livsey. Satisfy your sweet tooth with snowflake sugar cookies, French macaroons, doughnuts, and hot chocolate spheres.

This year, Harvest is joining forces with Furnishing Hope of Massachusetts whose mission is to help families who are transitioning out of homelessness create a home for themselves. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales will go towards providing families with basic furniture and household goods necessary to create a comfortable and nurturing environment.

 

WHEN:                  Sunday, February 25, 6  – 9 PM

WHERE:                Harvest, 44 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138 617.868.2255

OTHER:                 Price is $55 per person. Space is limited and reservations are required. Call 617.868.2255 directly to book seats. Or visit to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3rd-annual-harvest-winter-ice-party-tickets-42214254973 purchase tickets.

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Come Together for a Beatles Workshop

The Passim School of Music will host “The Music of The Beatles” led by Kathleen Parks on Saturday, February 24th from 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM as a part of its Winter Workshop Weekend. Registration for “The Music of The Beatles” and other workshops is available now at www.passim.org/school-of-music. 

“The Music of The Beatles” takes a closer look at the British band that forever changed the world of Pop, Folk, and Rock music in America during 1964. From going over song forms and arrangement techniques to learning a Beatles song or two, the workshop will transport attendees across the Atlantic to Abbey Road Studios. All ages and playing abilities are encouraged to attend! (Note: due to building code, anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.)

Kathleen Park's writing and arranging with her bands Twisted Pine, and American Songbook duo, Kat Parks and Brad Bensko, have been heavily inspired by the music of The Beatles. They are her go-to for when it comes to inspiring chord progressions, harmony singing, and groove. This class will focus in on these ideas and how to pick out and apply them to one’s own writing and arranging.

Parks’ is a fiddler, singer, and songwriter who brings inexhaustible energy and creativity to the stage and studio. Her lyrics and melodies lean toward oldies pop, while her fiddle blends and reimagines traditional and modern musical styles with a boundless improvisational spirit. From her deep grounding in bluegrass, jazz, and Irish music springs something entirely new.

 

Full Winter Workshop Weekend Schedule:

 

Saturday, February 24th

 

10:00 AM: Cape Breton Fiddle: Tunes from the Tap Sessions with Rachel Reeds

12:00 PM: Intro to African Guitar with Nathaniel Braddock

12:00 PM: The Music of The Beatles with Kathleen Parks

12:00 PM: Traditional Songs about Strong Women with Lindsay Straw

 

Sunday, February 25th

 

12:00 PM: Essential Strumming for Jugs and Reels with Max Newman

2:00 PM: What Exactly Should I Practice and Why? With Bertrand Laurence

2:00 PM: Bluegrass Fiddle with Bronwyn Keith-Hynes

2:00 PM: Background Vocal Workshop with Rose Polenzani

 

Registration for all Passim School of Music classes and Winter Workshop Weekend are available for purchase now at www.passim.org/school-of-music.

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Mammal Dap Plays Beck

Mammal Dap is joined by Shira Elias of Turkuaz to play a special tribute to Beck. Shira Elias is one half of the dazzling vocal duo in beloved Brooklyn funk band Turkuaz. Northampton, Massachusetts-based quartet Mammal Dap has built of a name for themselves with their special brand of cinematic, instrumental rock music that hints influences of everything from Flying Lotus to Daft Punk to Weather Report. With vocal powerhouse Shira Elias, Mammal Dap plans to deliver a career-spanning tribute to Beck, playing songs from his genre-defying catalogue of music.

 

Mammal Dap plays Thunder Road on Feb. 17. Showtime 9 PM. Tickets $10 Advance / $12 Day Of Show.

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Steve Earle at City Winery

Three-time Grammy Award recipient and 11-time Grammy nominee Steve Earle is a cornerstone artist of Americana music. One of the most acclaimed singer-songwriters of his generation; he has released twenty albums"---a number of them were Steve Earle and the Dukes--one was Colvin and Earle, one was Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band, etc. Earle’s songs have been recorded by such music legends as Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Carl Perkins, Waylon Jennings, Vince Gill and Joan Baez. He has created such country successes as “When You Fall in Love,” “Guitar Town,” “Goodbye’s All We’ve Got Left,” “A Far Cry From You” and “Nowhere Road.”

During his four-decade career, Earle has also become a novelist, a film, TV and stage actor, a playwright, a short-story author, a record producer and a radio host. He is a longtime activist whose causes have included the abolition of the death penalty and the removal of the confederate flag. Always musically adventurous, Steve Earle has crafted folk, blues, rock, country, rockabilly and bluegrass recordings. His diverse collaborators on disc have included such notables as The Pogues, Lucinda Williams, Patti Smith, The Fairfield Four, The Indigo Girls, Chris Hillman, Sheryl Crow and Shawn Colvin. His new Warner Bros. album, So You Wannabe an Outlaw, explores his country songwriting roots and includes collaborations with Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush and Miranda Lambert.

 

Steve Earle plays City Winery on Feb. 16. Showtime 8 PM. Tickets $45-$60.