Playing For The Planet: World Music Against Climate Change — December 3, 2016

On Saturday, December 3, the fourteenth “Playing For The Planet” benefit concert will showcase master musicians from three different musical traditions, with all proceeds going to benefit the environmental advocacy group 350MA.org. The performers include Klezmer and Greek perspectives from Glenn Dickson & Sandy Theodorou, the enthralling Hindustani (North Indian) vocal music of Swati Panda, and the rich vocal blend of the NEC Gospel Ensemble.  The music begins at 7:00 pm, at The Community Church Of Boston, 565 Boylston Street (Copley Square), Boston. Admission is $20; $15 students & seniors. For information, please call 781-396-0734, or visit the event website at www.warrensenders.com.

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“…Senders possesses a gift

for assembling fascinating programs.”

— Andrew Gilbert, The Boston Globe —


 

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“Playing For The Planet: World Music Against Climate Change” is the fourteenth concert in an ongoing series of cross-cultural events produced by Boston-area musician and environmental activist Warren Senders. These concerts were conceived as a way for creative musicians to contribute to the urgent struggle against global warming. Their choice of beneficiary, 350MA.org, is focused on building global consensus on reduction of atmospheric CO2 levels — action which climatologists agree is necessary to avoid catastrophic outcomes.

Because the climate problem recognizes no national boundaries, the artists represent musical styles from three different parts of the globe, and share key musical values: listening, honesty, creativity, and respect. And, of course, they are all committed to raising awareness of the potentially devastating effects of global warming. It’ll be an incredible evening of powerful music — from some of the finest musicians in New England and the world.

 


“…pleasant surprises and stimulation

of the aesthetic synapses…
…an open-ended, floating, world music festival…”
— Steve Elman, ArtsFuse —



ABOUT THE ARTISTS


Glenn Dickson & Sandy Theodorou

Glenn has garnered international attention for his work with Shirim Klezmer Orchestra and Naftule’s Dream,  while Sandy is a major force for the revival of traditional music in the Boston area with her band, Revma, and her work with Rebetoparea and Oinos.  Mainstays in the traditional klezmer and Greek music scenes in Boston and beyond, Glenn and Sandy will present a set of traditional klezmer and Greek tunes, two extremely expressive folk musics which feature the clarinet and accordion.  From the mesmerizing laments of Epirus to the rollicking freylakhs of the Ukrainian Jews, the duo’s musicianship is astonishing, their versatility uncanny.

Glenn&Sandy

Sandy (Matoula) Theodorou is a vocalist, accordion, and laouto player who specializes in traditional Greek regional music and Greek urban rebetika. She has performed with master musicians including Beth Bahia Cohen, Manos Koutsaggelides, Malcolm Barsamian, and Grigoris Marinakis. She was nominated for Best Sound Designer by the New Hampshire Theatre Awards for her design and performance of music for the theatrical production “The Burial At Thebes”.  She performed with the Boston Lykeion Ellinidon and served as chairperson of their Traditional Greek Music Department. She was born in Pireas, and musically inspired by her family roots in Epiros and Kefalonia.
http://matoulamusic.com

Glenn Dickson has produced 11 recordings with his two bands, the traditional klezmer band Shirim, and the ground breaking original jazz/rock/klezmer band Naftule’s Dream.  Naftule’s Dream has played major international jazz festivals in Montreal, Berlin, New York and Chicago and has been closely associated with John Zorn’s Tzadik label.  Shirim has collaborated with author/artist Maurice Sendak on “Pincus & the Pig,” performed with the Philadelphia Pops, and contributed music to a Woody Allen soundtrack (Deconstructing Harry).  Glenn has also won a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Grant award for composition and has performed microtonal jazz (Joe Maneri  Sextet), Greek music (Revma), folk-rock (Hypnotic Clambake) and free-jazz (David Haas Group).  www.shirim.com, www.naftulesdream.com


Swati Panda

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“Good music is that which touches your soul” says Swati Panda, the founder of the Raganjali School of Music. The propagation of Hindustani music in Massachusetts is her mission. A dedicated teacher, Swati Panda strives to inculcate the love for music in her students through clear instruction and intensive training. Raganjali School of Music is a modern day Gurukul, which currently offers Hindustani vocal music classes at Shrewsbury.

Swati Panda holds a Masters’ (Sangeet Alankar) degree in Hindustani (North Indian Classical) vocal music from Sangeet Mandir, Bhubaneswar, Orissa – an affiliate of the Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal, Pune.  Swati’s musical training began with Guru Shri Gopal Ch. Panda. A few years later, she found her musical guide and mentor, Late Dr. Mohan Charan Senapati. It was under his loving and patient guidance that she received her Sangeet Visharad (B.A.) & Sangeet Alankar (M.A.) degrees from the ABGMV, Pune, via Sangeet Mandir (founded in Bhubaneswar by Dr. Senapati, and an affiliate of the Sangeet Mahavidyalaya in Pune). Swati’s style represents a blend of Gwalior & Kirana gharaana gayaki, the result of her Guru’s extensive training under the well known Gwalior Gharana vocalist Pandit Keshav Bua Ingle and the Kirana Gharana legend Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.

Swati’s gayaki is characterized by methodical, yet mellifluous note progression followed by varied and complex taan patterns. Besides Khayals, Swati’s repertoire includes thumri, bhajans and other semi-classical compositions. Swati has been composing, writing and teaching music in the Massachusetts area since 1993.

She will be accompanied by Harshal Tole on tabla and Rajesh Saluja on harmonium.


The NEC Gospel Ensemble

 

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The New England Conservatory’s Gospel Ensemble was formed in the Fall of 2013.

Under the direction of Nedelka F. Prescod, the Ensemble explores “modern” Gospel music from its beginnings in the late 1960s to its current sound and expression.  From this expansive, evolving and growing canon of Black Sacred music, NEC’s Gospel Ensemble selects the music of key composers and choir leaders to study, workshop and present with authenticity and sincerity.

The vocalists in the ensemble have opportunities to learn and work with traditional and more current forms of  vocal harmony, call and response/hymn lining and solo improvisation as utilized in modern African-American churches.  The instrumentalists are offered opportunities to arrange as an independent entity, work with re-harmonizations, build their sensitivity and skill sets for accompanying vocalists, as well as learn the subtleties that establish the genre’s unique sound and feel.  All music is taught/learned through oral tradition with a focus on the importance and role of music in African-American social and spiritual settings.

NEDELKA F. PRESCOD is a vocalist, arranger, songwriter, choral director, vocal coach, educator, social activist and mother. She has performed or shared the stage with such living legends as Kenny Garrett, Danilo Perez, Fred Hersch, Jason Moran, Jowee Omicil, Ben Eunson, and with the Omar Thomas Large Ensemble. Her artistry can be heard on recordings with Kenny Garrett, Danilo Perez, Pharoah Sanders, Brian Blade, Mulgrew Miller, Lionel Loueke, Anti­Pop Consortium, and on her independently released solo recording project, “Manifest” (2008). She has also performed background vocals for Alicia Keys, Jonathan Nelson, Jason Nelson and Dorothy Norwood.


 

About 350.org and 350MA.org

Co-founded by environmentalist and author Bill McKibben, 350.org is the hub of a worldwide network of over two hundred environmental organizations, all with a common target: persuading the world’s countries to unite in an effort to reduce global levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million or less. Climatologist Dr. James Hansen says, “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 400 ppm to at most 350 ppm.” (Dr. Hansen headed the NASA Institute for Space Studies in New York City, and is best known for his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in the 1980s that helped raise broad awareness of the global warming issue.) Activists involved in the 350 movement include Rajendra Pachauri (Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), Vandana Shiva (world-renowned environmental leader and thinker), Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1984 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and a global activist on issues pertaining to democracy, freedom and human rights), Van Jones, Bianca Jagger, Barbara Kingsolver and many more.

350MA.org is the Massachusetts Chapter of this worldwide advocacy group, and the hub for the Better Future Project.


 

The Community Church of Boston is a free community united for the study and practice of universal religion, seeking to apply ethical ideals to individual life and the democratic and cooperative principle to all forms of social and economic life. We invite you to read on to discover more about us, join us one Sunday for a thought-provoking and joyful time, or contact the church to find out more about our community: info@communitychurchofboston.org


 

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Regular admission: $20

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Year 4, Month 10, Day 14: Congeniality

Emily Tucker, in the Bowdoin Orient (college paper, Bowdoin college, Maine) discusses the IPCC report:

For example: climate skeptics often point to the slowdown in global temperature change over the past fifteen years as evidence that climate change has stopped.

This, however, doesn’t account for the abilities of oceans and glaciers to absorb heat energy up to a certain point.

Beyond that point, though, the effects of absorbing all that heat will become eminently clear.

About half a trillion tons of carbon have been released into the atmosphere since the late 19th century. In some ways, this is good news.

We haven’t hit the tipping point yet, and there’s still time to change our trajectory.

But let’s not get too comfortable. If we (speaking globally, since most new emissions come from developing nations that rely largely on coal power) stick to our current rates of energy consumption, we’re set to hit the trillion-ton mark around 2040.

By that time, current Bowdoin students will be between the ages of 45 and 50, slightly younger than most of our parents are right now.

It’s interesting to note that the earth’s crust still contains an estimated three trillion tons of carbon-rich fuels.

If we’re to observe the trillion-ton limit, most of these reserves will have to either remain untapped or be harnessed in a way that does emit greenhouse gases or other pollutants.

From the right point of view, this situation can be seen as a gateway to revolutionary technological innovations in renewable energy production, greenhouse gas sequestration or (hopefully) both.

The 2013 IPCC report includes very little in the way of new discoveries.

The authors simply note that, as opposed to being 90 percent confident in human-caused climate change in 2007, they are now 95 percent confident.

If this can’t end the so-called “climate debate” and usher us into an era of groundbreaking new green technologies, I don’t know what will.

After all, there are no 100 percent guarantees in science, and we probably aren’t going to get much closer.

All good stuff. October 6:

In the sixties, college students were at the forefront of protests against the insanities of war and racial bigotry. In the eighties, it was the campaign for divestiture from the racist apartheid government of South Africa that galvanized campuses across America. While college students today may seem to have a wide menu of possible choices for their activism, ultimately there is only one central cause.

In the final analysis, all human progress has been made possible by the fact that our Earth’s climate is relatively benign, providing us the ability to feed ourselves and others while still having time left over to figure out ways to make things better. Our social advances — expansion of the franchise, the gradual elimination of slavery, the emancipation of women, the once-radical idea that children had rights, an end to the marginalization of LGBT people — are all contingent on environmental stability.

If we fail on climate, we fail on everything.

Warren Senders

Year 4, Month 9, Day 10: That’s The Song Of Songs

More on the Energy Exodus heroes, from Cape Cod Online:

HYANNIS – Dr. Turner Bledsoe, 79, said walking 70 miles over the past six days hurt.

“Every step was painful,” said the Hingham resident.

But, he added, “It’s the most important hike of my life.”

Bledsoe was the oldest member of a core group of around 50 hikers who participated in the Energy Exodus, walking from the Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset and arriving in Hyannis Monday.

“The idea of the Energy Exodus march was to show a departure from fossil fuel addiction,” explained Varshini Prakash, a student organizer and staff member of the Better Future Project, a nonprofit supporting grass roots efforts to address climate change.

The march began at the Brayton Point Power Station, which is described on the station’s Website as, “one of New England’s largest fossil-fueled generating facilities.

FSM bless them, every one. No kidding. September 3:

It was two hundred and thirty-eight years ago that a few courageous patriots responded to a midnight call and became an indelible part of our nation’s history. The Minutemen of Middlesex also make a convincing argument as to why it’s a good idea to heed early-warning systems. The world’s climatologists are the Paul Reveres of today, and they’ve been sounding the alarm for far longer than most of us know, in the face of a lazy media and a political establishment that has been co-opted when it hasn’t simply been purchased outright.

Today’s Minutemen, of course, are the ones who recognize the gravity of the crisis and the need for action. People like those in Energy Exodus, who joined a 70-mile walk in the hopes of spurring a genuine response to a genuine emergency.

When America’s eyes are fixed on pop stars and the vacuous talking heads of television news, environmental activists strive towards a world where our consumption of energy no longer endangers humanity’s future. These brave men and women are the true patriots of the age.

Warren Senders

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