Archive for the ‘music & dance’ Category

Basque music & history

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

I must admit that I haven’t thought about Basques in New York, even though I have a Basque-English dictionary.* But here they are, playing music, next Saturday afternoon.

Marilu Navas of the Society of Basque Studies will moderate an afternoon of Basque music with cultural and historical commentary, with the participation of Euzko Etxea—The Basque Club of New York and the Basque International Cultural Center, at 2 pm Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Museum of the City of New York, Fifth Avenue at 103rd St. It’s free with museum admission.

The history of Basque immigration to the New World begins about 200 years ago. According to A Travel Guide to Basque America, Basque navigators came to Mexico with the Spaniards, and many joined the Mexican fight for independence from Spain. The first Basques in the United States worked in California, and for decades afterward Basque communities were primarily (entirely?) in the Western states, which explains why they don’t show up on my radar of New York immigration.

*The Basque language (Euskara) is very interesting because it’s not an Indo-European language, and, in fact, according to The Languages of the World, “no connection between Basque and any other language has ever been proven.”

More dancing!

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

It’s the tarantella and more at 2 pm Saturday, Oct. 18, when Coro d’Italia performs Italian song and dance at the Museum of the City of New York (Fifth Avenue at 103rd St). Visitors can join in the dance and bang on the tamburello and tammorra napoletana. Free with museum admission. Call (212) 534-1672, ext. 3395, for more information.

Dancing, discussion, and dishes

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Folk Feet on Fifth, a demonstration—with food—celebrating the neighborhood dance traditions of Bay Ridge and Sunset Park (which encompasses a lot) will be held Thursday. Participants include:

  • Newyorican salsero Carlos Vasquez
  • Cliff Matias of Redhawk Native American Arts Council
  • Paul Busse, Norwegian Folkdance Society of New York
  • Benito Bravo, Mexican folklórico dancer
  • Greek dancer Chrisafo Madimenos
  • Lebanese debke hot stepper Jad Lebbos
  • Victoria Hofmo, Founder of the East Coast Scandinavian Museum
  • Arab youth dance group director Sheren Attal
  • Senior citizen folk dancers of Brooklyn Chinese American Association
  • and unspecified other Irish & Scandinavian contributions.

The event is from 6 to 9 pm Thursday, Oct. 16, at the Danish Athletic Club, 741 65th St, Brooklyn. (Not really 5th Avenue; it’s between 7th and 8th.) It’s free! To RSVP or learn more, call (718) 625-0080 or e-mail

Medieval Scandinavian music

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

The Scandinavian East Coast Museum and BaroQue Across the River present Pro Musica Antiqua Oslo performing songs from medieval Scandinavia at 6:30 pm Saturday, October 4, at Christ Church, 7301 Ridge Blvd, Bay Ridge; $15. Call (718) 748-5950 for more information. Don’t miss it! I wish I didn’t have to.

Also this weekend

Friday, September 19th, 2008

The Korean Harvest Festival, or Chusok, will be from 10 am to 6 pm Saturday, Sept. 20, at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens. On Sunday, there’s a free concert from 2:30 to 6. That’s all I know.

Also Saturday, Horacio Laguna performs Music of the Americas (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, Spain, and Italy [OK, not just the Americas]) at 2:30 pm at the Bayside Library, 214-20 Northern Blvd, Queens. Free.

Germans march, sing

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

It’s a great time of year for parades, and Saturday, Sept. 20, German-Americans celebrate with the Steuben Day Parade. It starts at noon on Fifth Avenue at 63rd St, marching up to 86th St. The part with the tall boots is a little scary, but it gets warmhearted after that. The German-American Friendship Party follows the parade at 1:30 pm at Summerstage in Central Park (enter at 72nd St).

Apparently the Steuben representatives rang the closing bell at the NYSE this afternoon; that hardly seems like something to get excited about right now. NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer will be a Grand Marshal of the parade.

September is German-American Friendship Month. Other events include:

German Day at Shea Stadium before Wednesday’s Mets game against the Cubs. (Have they had German Day at Shea before?) $15.

—A lecture on German Life and Song in Yorkville with historian Kathy Jolowicz and Werner Goebel, former singing waiter at the Bavarian Inn, at 7 pm Thursday at Liederkranz, 6 East 87th Street; $5.

—Cabaret singer Micaela Leon of Stuttgart performs a program called Trance Atlantic at 10 pm Friday, Sept. 26, at the Metropolitan Room, 34 W. 22nd St. $20 plus $15 drink minimum; RSVP at (212) 206-0440

Walking tour of the Lower East Side at 1 pm Saturday, Sept. 27. Meet at NYU Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews. $30; RSVP at (212) 998-8660.

Mexican Independence Day

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Mexican parade, 2003

Sept. 16, 1810, was the day Father Miguel Hidalgo gave the Grito de Dolores, ringing the church bells and delivering an electrifying speech that launched the struggle for independence. You don’t notice a lot of celebration on this day in New York, but it’s a big deal in the Bajío of central Mexico.

The Mexican Day Parade starts at 11 am Sunday, Sept. 21, on Madison Avenue at 41st St, proceeding down to 27th.

Meanwhile, opening Friday at the Quad Cinema is Matthew Bonifacio’s Amexicano, a story about the surprising bond between a Mexican immigrant and an Italian-American from Queens. It’s set to show for one week only, so run right out there this weekend and support independent film. Review to come.

Also Sunday, although not Mexican, José Alberto will appear in the Pathmark Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration from noon to 5 pm at Pier 17, South Street Seaport. There will be a salsa competition in memory of David Melendez and dozens of folkloric performers celebrating the Latino heritage. And, reportedly, some mariachi.

Samba time

Friday, August 29th, 2008

While it’s West Indian weekend in Brooklyn (see below), it’s Brazilian Day in Manhattan. Music, food, and dance will spread up Avenue of the Americas from 43rd to 57th Sts, and across 46th St from Avenue of the Americas to Madison Ave, from 11 am to 7 pm Sunday, August 31. On Saturday at 11 am is “The Cleansing of 46th Street” in preparation, also with music & dance.