Jun 122015

marika_galea_2-450x450Walking through Salem this Saturday around 5-7pm you may hear some interesting sounds emanating from Derby Square. We suggest you let your ears guide you to a very special performance by a rising star, jazz bassist Marika Galea, and her quartet as part of The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival 2015 SJSF/Berklee Summer Series.

The festival is a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization that produces free concerts and raises money for music education causes on the North Shore. And the Summer series showcases some very talented people of whom you may or may not be aware.

Rising star and bandleader, Marika Galea, is a good example. She is a respected young jazz bassist and composer who has studied with and opened for a number of highly acclaimed artists including Bucky Pizzarelli, Branford Marsalis, Al Jarreau, and Teri Lyne Carrington. Originally from Canada, Marika is carving out a reputation on this side of the border as a jazz bassist, journalist, and educator with longevity.

She is a full scholarship student at Berklee College of Music, working toward a Bachelor of Music in performance and classical composition.

To hear samples of her work …

Her compositions range from swinging hard bop tunes for quintet and lyrical songs for bands to ‘classical’ works for small ensemble.

According to her bio page on Youth Jazz Canada website, she eventually plans to have a “career in international relations as a musical ambassador for both Canada and the United States.”

She has a good start with her international quartet:

  • From Israel, Yoav Eshed (guitar) who has been studying music since childhood; he won the third place prize in the 2104 Montreux Jazz Festival International Guitar Festival in Switzerland.
  • From Japan, Tomoaki Baba (saxophones) who began playing in a big band at age seven; the band went on to play at the Sydney Opera House during a cultural exchange.
  • From South Korea, Johgkuk Kim (drums) who released his first solo album when studying at the Seoul Institute of the Arts at age 16.

Marika-Galea-QuartetAll members of the quartet are current Berklee College of Music students.

This Saturday’s performance, sponsored by Creative Salem, will also feature an educational interview about music and the Berklee experience.

Two more SJSF/Berklee Summer Series concerts will take place this year: Beneil Miller on July 11; and Chuks Okpu on Aug. 8. The ninth-annual Salem Jazz and Soul Festival will be held during the weekend of Aug. 15-16, featuring 10 bands, a kids’ tent, music-education tent, artisan fair and 21-plus beer pavilion. The two-day concert is also free.

Jun 072015

Final arts Festival

Sights, sounds, colors, characters— the Salem Arts Festival this weekend was “art” and much, much more. Thank you to all the people displaying their work, the volunteers, our partners in this project, and most of all, you, the attendees.

(Photo courtesy John Andrews of Social Palates Photography)

May 072015

newlogoheaderWeekends rate highly on the Salem Ma diversity meter. Pick any Saturday or Sunday and there is ALWAYS something going on— and usually different from the previous week. Music or Art or Theatre or Film. For example, The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival launches its 2015 SJSF/Berklee Summer Series with a concert featuring The Yellowjackets, a band made up of current Berklee College of Music students, this Saturday, May 9, in Derby Square, Salem ( Rain location: Opus, 87 Washington St., Salem).

The Berklee Yellowjackets Ensemble is a high-level student band led by professor Dave Weigert (playing drums). What makes this performance especially interesting is that this ensemble learns and plays the repertoire of the world-renowned Yellowjackets, one of the few jazz bands that has been together for more than 30 years. Those are big musical footsteps to keep time with!

According to the SJSF “The selected Yellowjackets repertoire that will be played is funk-oriented and groove-based, with beautiful, soaring and expressive melodies and rich harmonies. Audience members will be treated to an uplifting and inspiring performance.”

And, the concert is free.

Berklee YJThe students are bassist Elin Margareta Sandberg (Sweden), tenor and alto saxophonist Andrew Denicola (Stamford, Conn.), guitarist Lior Tzemach (Ramat Gan, Israel) and piano synth player Zak Leever (San Francisco).

The free show will take place from 5 to 7 pm. and will feature an educational interview about music and the Berklee experience.

The Lobster Shanty restaurant will sponsor the performance. For more information, visit salemjazzsoul.org.

Three more SJSF/Berklee Summer Series concerts will take place this year: Marika Galea on June 13; Beneil Miller on July 11; and Chuks Okpu on Aug. 8.

The ninth-annual Salem Jazz and Soul Festival will follow during the weekend of Aug. 15-16, featuring 10 bands, a kids’ tent, music-education tent, artisan fair and 21-plus beer pavilion. There is no admission charge for the two-day concert.

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

May 052015

Work by Denny Tentindo, 2014 Festival

Attention!  Visual artists considering “showing” their works at the 7th annual Salem Arts Festival (June 5-7) in the juried gallery should take note of a big change in the submission process. Rather than electronic submissions of work as has been conducted in the past, the Festival is moving to an on-site review of works the weekend before the Festival (May 29 – June 1).

According to Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets, which oversees the Festival, this new process “will hopefully better serve the artists by letting their work speak for itself.  Using electronic images in the past has been so problematic – colors can appear differently on different screens and printers, the impact of 3-D work is often lost in a 2-D format, and inevitably, an unfair advantage is given to the individuals who are better at presenting their work digitally. Members of the festival committee have been advocating for this type of jury process for several years, and we’re excited that we finally have the capacity this year to make the change.”

Over 5,000 people attended last year’s family-friendly Festival which transformed downtown Salem, MA into an opportunity for the arts community to showcase a wide range of talents: painting, photography, sculpture, dance, music, writing, film, new media, performance, theatre, poetry, and more!

Artists this year may submit up to 3 pieces; at least two of which must be for sale. Dates/times for drop off at Old Town Hall (32 Derby Sq.) will be May 29 from 5-8pm and May 30 from 9am-noon.

Hung artwork may not exceed 36″ in any direction (including frame) and must be wired to hang – no sawtooth hangers. Larger artwork must have an easel or a stand. While installations are welcome, be mindful that Salem’s historic spaces come with some limitations.  Accepted work will be presented at Old Town Hall during the Salem Arts Festival (June 5 through June 7).

For full details of requirements and regulations, please see the admission form.

This special exhibit is to be judged and juried for prizes by a panel comprised of individuals from the Salem arts community and beyond. Jurors will made up of regional artists representing diverse media, including Karen Ristuben, Bob Packert, and Denny Tentindo.

The Salem Arts Festival is organized by Salem Main Streets and a collaboration of Salem organizations which provide support for the festival, including the City of Salem, Salem State University Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Arts Association and Creative Salem.

SALEM303 Salem_Arts_Fest_Logo_Final

Apr 162015

Record playerVinyl, wax, platters, discs…. all names for the LP, more lovingly recalled as a ‘record.’ Yes, the round thing that rotated on a record player your parents or grandparents talked about from their youth. To celebrate the continued existence of records and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding independently owned record stores in the US and world-wide, Record Store Day was created. Locally the Salem Theatre is partnering with Salem’s own independent record store, The Record Exchange, to promote an entire weekend, April 17-19. (Record Store Day usually takes place on the third Saturday of April. )

The day is for the people who make up the world of record stores to celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned shops play in their communities. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day.

The Record Exchange advises from its Facebook page: Come and celebrate records, music & YOU, our amazing customers & friends, this Saturday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Yup…it’s RECORD STORE DAY! We’ll have Ziggys and Sons Donuts for all, some very cool RSD limited edition records, and we’ll be putting used CDs & DVD sets on sale just for the day.

As for the live musical contribution from the Salem Theatre, kicking off the weekend on Friday, April 17 at 7:30pm is a returning favorite Don White with opening act Julie Dougherty.

Record Store DaySaturday, April 18 at 7:30pm is a CD Release for Justin Goodrich. Justin is an American singer-songwriter and actor. Independently he has released two solo-acoustic EP’s, “A Revenant Affair” and “Fallen Angels, Tears of Stone”. Each ticket purchase for the Justin Goodrich concert will include a free copy of the new album “Steadfast Hearts and Borrowed Time”.

Wrapping up the weekend on Sunday, April 19 at 5pm is An Evening with Chris Noran and Kevin William. Chris and Kevin are Indie Folk artists from Salem and Boston respectively. Together these two will play two full sets of Bon Iver-esque, ambient rock-folk in a warm and intimate space.

To give you an idea of how the “culture” of a record store can have an effect on someone, David Grohl of the Foo Fighters, who is the 2015 Ambassador for Record Store Day, recalls: “I found my calling in the back bin of a dark, dusty record store.

1975’s K-Tel’s Blockbuster 20 Original Hits by the original Stars featuring Alice Cooper, War, Kool and the Gang, Average White Band and many more, bought at a small record shop in my suburban Virginia neighborhood, it was this record that changed my life and made me want to become a musician. The second that I heard Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein” kick in, I was hooked. My life had been changed forever. This was the first day of the rest of my life.

I believe that the power of the record store to inspire is still alive and well, and that their importance to our next generation of musicians is crucial.”

Record Store Day is managed by the Department of Record Stores and is organized in partnership with the Alliance of Independent Media Stores (AIMS), the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) and celebrates the culture of independent record stores by playing host to in-store events/performances, signings and special product releases on a global scale.

The Record Exchange, located at 256 Washington Street, is one of the oldest used brick & mortar record stores in the United States; it was founded in Salem, MA in 1974.

Founded in 2002, Salem Theatre aims to enrich the artistic, cultural and economic life of the Greater Salem region and build connections with new, diverse audiences and theatre artists through the performance of classic, contemporary, and new works of exceptional theater as well as through the arts education outreach. It is located at 90 Lafayette Street.

For more info on the concerts, either call The Record Exchange at 978-745-0777 or directly contact the Salem Theatre at www.salemtheatre.com or call 978-790-8546 .

(Record/turntable photo courtesy of J Fry from FreeDigitalPhotos.net)