May 082016
 

Ten years of down beats, up beats, rhythm and horns will be celebrated this year as the Salem Jazz & Soul Festival kicks off its Berklee Summer Series May 14th in Salem’s Derby Square.

The spacious, open air ambiance of Derby Square lends itself so well to the diverse live funk, soul, blues and jazz music performances scheduled this year.

By offering this series of annual free concerts, concluding with the main festival at the Willows (the third weekend in August), The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival is “recreating and renewing the vibrant jazz scene that began in the early 20th century, when Duke Ellington and other musicians from the Big Band era played at the seaside park.”

May 14th Performers

MIXCLA, a trio consisting of students from the Berklee College of Music, will play at the first SJSF/Berklee Summer Series concert.

MIXCLA is a play on words between mezcla (which means mixture) and mix.

MIXLASJSF describes it in this way “It is a merging of cultures hailed from the mountains of Chile, to the traditions of Japan, which driven by the fires of Cuba achieve a truly unique Latin jazz experience.”

Sounds interesting.

MIXCLA is led by composer/pianist and singer Zahili Gonzalez Zamora, with Gerson Esteban Lazo Quiroga on bass and backing vocals, and Takafumi Nikaido on percussion. You would expect that this mixture of cultural spices to cook up the perfect recipe for one of a kind musical experience.

Zahili Gonzalez Zamora, explains, “We are truly excited to be a part of the Salem Jazz & Soul Festival Berklee Summer Series; it is another opportunity to share our love and passion for music.

We are three individuals from three different parts of the world, yet, we found each other at Berklee and came together as a musical family with one common thing in mind, we love Cuban music.

I am bias of course. But Gerson? All the way from Chile, he pretty much self taught himself music and ended up avidly listening and falling in love with Cuban music. He began transcribing his favorite bass players, especially Alain Perez, a bass virtuoso from Cuba. Then Taka? He has already been to Cuba twice, studied with the Masters of Percussion and actually won a prize in Cuba’s most important Festival Del Tambor.

When I found them, I said to myself, these are my brothers. I cannot let them go. I feel at home when we are playing, and their faces tell me they feel the same, and it gets better and better. So now, I’m just really happy that we get to share what we have with the crowd of the Salem Jazz & Soul Festival.

Plus, we get to represent our school, which is also an honor.”

Three more SJSF/Berklee Summer Series concerts will take place this year: Maddie Jay & the pH Collective on June 11; Selah Poitier on July 9; and RickExpress on Aug. 13.

The 10th-annual Salem Jazz and Soul Festival will follow at The Willows during the weekend of Aug. 20-21, featuring 10 bands, a kids’ tent, music-education tent, artisan fair and 21-plus beer pavilion. The two-day concert is free.

The festival is a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization that produces free concerts and raises money for music education causes on the North Shore.

For up-to-date information, check out the Salem Jazz & Soul Festival Facebook page.

 

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May 072016
 

Cleaning up outside your home and inside your home in Salem is on the calendar for Saturday May 7th!

The 5th annual Swap ‘N’ Drop will take place from 10am – 1pm on the Salem Common. Weather calls for partly cloudy skies. (If it rains, then only the drop off portion will be conducted). This is a great way to part with “stuff” you just couldn’t throw away. And, at the same time, find at no cost to you new “stuff” that you can use!

SWAP or simply DROP OFF:Salem Swap

  • Women’s, men’s, children’s clothing & accessories
  • Small household items in working condition
  • Reusable Bags (new this year) – Have too many cloth shopping bags? or not enough? Visit the Bag Swap area and bring home a bag to use all year ’round!
  • You can recycle plastic grocery bags
  • Textiles may be in any condition as long as clean and dry— and absolutely no computers or TVs.

Items not swapped will be picked up by Recycle That.

Everyone is welcome, whether you live in Salem or not.

For additional details, contact Julie Rose at jrose@salem.com or 978-619-5679.

But that’s not all.

Earlier in the morning and going on at the same time, Salem’s Beautification Committee will be holding its annual Clean Sweeps Day on Saturday. From 8:30am to 11:30am volunteers will be collecting trash and doing other work at Lafayette Park. Participants are asked to check in with team leaders at the start of the day.

Neighborhood clean-ups will be at:

  • Bridge Street (between Flint & North Streets)
  • Canal Street from Mill Hill to St. Paul Street (meet at Lafayette Park)
  • Collins Cove Beach & Bike Path (Webb Street)
  • Collins Middle School (Broad Street playground & Congress Street)
  • Dead Horse Beach (Memorial Drive)
  • Jackson Street (parking lot)
  • Lafayette Park and along Lafayette Street
  • Larkin Lane
  • Old Salem Jail (comer of Bridge & St. Peter Streets)
  • Patton Park (corner of School & Buffum Streets)
  • Salem Bike Path (between SSU campuses)
  • Swiniuch Park (Derby Street)
  • Winter Street traffic island

Groups and associations who helped to organize this year’s Clean Sweeps volunteers include:

Bridge Street Neck Neighborhood Association, Collins Middle School students, Federal Street Neighborhood Association, Historic Derby Street Neighborhood Association, Keep Salem Clean, Mack Park Neighborhood Association, Point Neighborhood Association, Salem Beautification Committee, Salem Common Neighborhood Association, Salem Sound Coastwatch, and Salem State University

All volunteers are invited to the Salem Common for a pizza party at noon. For more information, contact Ellen Talkowsky at 978-619-5676 or etalkowsky@salem.com

Be part of the team that keeps Salem clean!

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Feb 282016
 

Define a Film Festival? Pictures, performers, people and passion. Now in its 9th year, the Salem Film Fest presents all that and more, running March 3-10. The “and more?” As in previous years, filmmakers are expected to be present for more than half of the screenings, providing audiences with a unique opportunity to learn more about the documentary filmmaking process.

 

Here is a full list of the films along with trailers.

What more could founders filmmaker Joe Cultrera (Hand of God), local businessman Paul Van Ness (CinemaSalem, Van Ness Creative), Executive Director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce Rinus Oosthoek and others from the community ask for? How about a growth rate of 15-25% each year?

SFFLogo_2016BIGRun and operated entirely by volunteers, the week-long festival has become not only a community-wide event, but also one of New England’s largest documentary film festivals, with screenings at CinemaSalem, the Peabody Essex Museum and the National Park Service Salem Visitor Center. Plus, there are filmmaker parties and music events held at venues throughout downtown.

Well-told stories with strong technical elements and interesting visual approaches are what you will find at the 2016 Salem Film Fest. Yes, you could say it is a big deal. We think so. Check out the entire schedule, then mark your calendars. And definitely come to Salem, see the world.

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Jan 162016
 

What is ahead for Salem Main Streets and 2016? Please join us for a night of celebration and information Tuesday, January 26th as we conduct the Salem Main Streets Annual Meeting.

SAF VolsKylie Sullivan, SMS Executive Director says, “Come cheer with us over last year’s accomplishments and look ahead to see what’s coming in 2016. Learn more about Salem Main Streets’ mission and purpose, and how you can benefit and get more involved.”

This gathering is free and open to all who live, work, or play in downtown Salem – residents, volunteers, business owners, community partners, and government officials.

Stephanie at boothIn other words, we want you there if you have anything to say about how the Downtown District was promoted by us in the past and —

Kylie emphasizes, “We are especially looking for feedback to help improve our work going forward.”

The meeting will run from 5:30 – 7:30pm at Ames Hall in the Salem YMCA, 1 Sewall Street (enter from the Essex Street entrance).

Free appetizers and cash bar!

Please invite your neighbors, associates, and friends! This is you chance to have an impact on how Salem is seen by the local community and the world.

Please RSVP to Kylie at kylie@salemmainstreets.org or 978-744-0004 x15.

Salem Main Streets’ mission is the continued revitalization of downtown Salem as a vibrant, year-round, retail, dining and cultural destination through business retention, recruitment, and promotion of the Downtown District.

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Dec 302015
 

First DayThe City of Salem is telling residents to “take a hike” — literally, as in urging participation in First Day Hike, a national initiative established by America’s State Parks. Salem’s First Day Hike runs (walks) from noon to 2pm Friday, January 1, 2016, offering several courses with varying degrees of difficulty.

As Salem is already quite a walkable town, we’re sure that many residents and visitors have easily “hiked” along Washington Street, and across Essex or Derby as they shopped our Downtown District. This extra walk to experience the Salem Maritime National Historic Site should be no sweat!

For example, hikers may choose to walk around the Salem Common, and then walk from the Common to Derby Wharf Light House. Or they may just walk from the beginning of Derby Wharf to the Light House. Check out the map for more details on the hike’s course.

“Many of us use New Year’s as an opportunity to make a resolution and set goals for the upcoming year,” points out Salem Mayor Kimberly Driscoll. “First Day Hike offers residents an opportunity to start the New Year with some exercise or just a chance to get out and celebrate the holiday with other members of the community.”

Last year nearly 28,000 people across America participated in First Day Hikes to kick off the New Year, collectively hiking over 66,000 miles throughout the country!

You obviously would not be alone.

And, if you aren’t much of a cold weather hiker but this event whets your appetite to do more, here are a few tips, courtesy of the American Hiking Society.

  • First WalkDress in layers. While it is perhaps nice to have a huge, fluffy parka on the ski slopes, it really isn’t practical for the trail. Instead, take several layers you can peel off or put on when you stop and go on the trail. Your base layer should be a wicking fabric that will pull your sweat away from the skin.
  • Overheating is a dangerous threat since excessive moisture that isn’t allowed to escape can freeze and cause hypothermia. If you ever wondered why some of your jackets have zippers under the armpits, it’s to keep air circulating and prevent your clothes from getting wet.
  • Wear a hat! Our heads are filled with oxygen-carrying capillaries which fuel our brains and consume one third of the body’s energy. During the colder months it is important to keep your head covered to maintain function and not lose precious body heat. You may want to bring a warmer/heavier hat for rest periods.
  • Keep your water bottle warm. Whether you are at the campsite or on the trail, a foam sleeve like a koozie will help prevent the water from freezing in a bottle. Nothing warms your body or your spirits like warm liquid by a campfire. Boil water to take with you as you hike. Also, to keep water from freezing, keep your water bottle on the inside of your jacket – properly sealed, of course.

National Parks Superintendent Paul DuPrey adds, “Salem’s outstanding quality of life is built around its history, its open spaces and its people. Come out on New Year’s Day to enjoy all three and put your best foot forward.”

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