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UBUNTU Music & Arts Festival at Carnegie Hall This Month

October 21, 2014 by  

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The Ubuntu Festival, which is a tribute to Nelson Mandela and South Africa’s rich musical heritage, launched on October 8, 2014 and runs through November 5 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. South Africa is a dizzying patchwork of cultures and languages with 11 official tongues, including isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sesotho, Afrikaans, and English. From this diversity emerges a dynamic and impassioned cultural life like none other on earth. Carnegie Hall salutes this vibrant nation with a festival called UBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa. Roughly translating to mean “I am because you are,” ubuntu is a philosophy from Southern Africa that emphasizes the importance of community, influencing recent moves of reconciliation and inclusion in South Africa that were fostered by the late Nelson Mandela. Dedicated to Mandela’s legacy, Carnegie Hall’s UBUNTU festival celebrates the many threads that make up South Africa’s vibrant musical culture. The festival also extends throughout New York City with events at leading cultural institutions, crossing arts disciplines to include music, film, art exhibitions, and more. “In creating the Ubuntu festival, we were inspired by the cultural life of this incredibly diverse country,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director in a South Africa media…

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A Chat With Oakland Musician Michele Kappel-Stone

October 11, 2014 by  

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Oakland musician Michele Kappel-Stone is one of those rare hybrids of cool, talented and nice. The Baltimore native is always playing somewhere and she’s a seemingly tireless advocate of her fellow artists. When she’s not working on her own projects, she can often be found sitting in with another band, helping book a show or organizing an event for The California Roots Union.
I’ve been catching  Kappel-Stone on various stages in various guises — playing as Tippy Canoe, putting together shows at The Starry Plough — around the Bay for years, but one of my favorite of her artistic incarnations is her recent collaboration with Laura Benitez, Heartache Sisters.  The duo project is a winning spin-off of Laura Benitez & The Heartache in which Kappel-Stone plays drums and sings backup. The duo’s voices blend well, they can play multiple instruments, they exude fun and look great doing it. Think Shovels & Rope crossed with Loretta Lynn and you start to get an idea of what the Heartache Sisters have going on.
After meeting up for coffee in the burgeoning Grand Lake District of Oakland, which she now calls home, Kappel-Stone answered some questions


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An Austrian Night to Remember in the Heart of Brooklyn

October 7, 2014 by  

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Those of us who have a large appetite for travel and food have memories of rare and special nights that uniquely capture a country’s culture and essence in a special way, and some of those experiences remain in our heads and hearts for years to come. I had an opportunity to participate in such an experience recently in New York. What made it so uniquely special? In the heart of Brooklyn, together with ten other travel writers, I was bathed in classical music by some of Austria’s greats, performed by the talented Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, which was led by music director Nick Armstrong. We weren’t there to celebrate Brooklyn or New York City however, but Austrian culture, food and wine. While Mozart delicately danced in the background and the cello lit up my evening in ways I hadn’t anticipated, Kurt Gutenbrunner, one of New York’s top Austrian chefs, whet our appetites with one dish after another, all of which came pouring out of the open kitchen in this artistic and historical Red Hook loft. This funky loft on Van Brunt Street wasn ‘t short on charming features, with its brick walls and…

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New Orleans’ Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival

October 7, 2014 by  

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  louisiana_neworleans_blues-bbqWithout the blues, there would be no jazz or R&B — but you knew that, didn’t you? The Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, established in 2006, continues New Orleans’ historic role in making the blues and R&B among the most influential sounds in the world. It takes place next weekend: October 17, 18 and 19, 2014. Hours are 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. You’ll be drawn by the promise of Louisiana-style barbecue as well as the music by performers from southern Louisiana and Mississippi. It’s all in Lafayette Square Park, 540 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana. Admission is free. The fest is sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.


Columbus Day Weekend Joshua Tree Music Festival

October 6, 2014 by  

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The 6th annual Joshua Tree Music Festival will take place this weekend – October 9-12, 2014. It will take place at Joshua Tree Lake Campground, 2601 Sunfair Road in Joshua Tree, CA. It’s all things music and “play” so a great event for the entire family. Camp in FAMILY CAMP to be around more families and for a quieter space after hours. Check out the following action brought to you by the wholistic minded sun lovin’ momma’s of Joshua Tree!
Creation Station 2pm – 6pm FRIDAY Love Boat 10am – 6pm
Creation Station 10am – 6pm
Yogaslackers – Try the slackline ! All Day
Dream Catchers & Spiritual Eyes
 10am – Noon
Paint a Parasol
($10 per parasol) 11am – 1pm
Face Painting 11am – 2pm
Kids Yoga w/ Jasmine (at yoga stage) Noon – 12:30pm
Rainbow Fish
 Noon – 2pm
World Peace Signs
 2pm – 4pm
Fairy Wands & Snake Sticks 4pm – 6pm
A Grand Procession w/ FLOWBOX 5-15pm SATURDAY Love Boat 10am – 6pm
Creation Station 10am – 6pm
Yogaslackers – Try the slackline ! All Day
Jewelry Jamboree
 10am – Noon
Paint a Parasol
($10 per


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6 Off-the-Beaten Path South American Festivals For Your Bucket List

September 15, 2014 by  

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Of all the people, on all the continents, South Americans really know how to party.  Their indigenous roots and Christian colonization leads to an amazing assortment of fiestas.  Chose from indigenous harvest festivals to religious holidays to music performances, with celebrations that range from unbridled chaos to more serene and structured.  If you want to visit South America, these South American festivals are worth planning a trip around. Oruro Festival, Bolivia. Photo courtesy of VMT Bolivia. Oruro Festival, Bolivia. Photo courtesy of VMT Bolivia.

1) Celebrate The Virgin Of The Mineshaft At The Oruro Festival In Oruro, Bolivia

Travel back in time in one of the highest and most remote countries on earth. Bolivia is rich in both silver and local culture, with more indigenous peoples than any other country in the Americas. You can experience this diverse mix of multi-ethnic cultural experiences first-hand combined with the importance of salt mines if you visit during the Oruro Festival in one of Bolivia’s old mining towns. Legend has it that in 1756, a mural of the Virgin Mary miraculously appeared in a mineshaft of the city’s richest silver mine. Ever since, the townspeople have honored the…

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Barcelona’s Fiesta de Gracia, a Colorful Tradition

September 9, 2014 by  

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The Fiesta de Gracia - every August, the neighbourhood of Gracia holds its own Festival.  The residents decorate the streets and the plazas with colourful and original designs.  Every night is a party with bars and bands in the streets and it is easy to lose yourself (and your way) exploring the fun and festivaties that are on offer! It is a wonderful and colourful tradition and worth a visit.
http://www.festamajordegracia.cat/


Add Zest to Your Sound With Jet Bluetooth Speakers by Damson Audio

September 7, 2014 by  

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The Jet is the first wireless real stereo set of Bluetoooth speakers and despite the fact that they are only 7.5cm tall, with a diameter of 5.8 cm, they emit 20 watts of power per speaker. In other words, a whole lotta sound comes from a small package, blasting out enough sound to fill large rooms. Designed in of all places Yorkshire England, Damson Audio has come out with a real gem here. I discovered them at CE Week in New York this past June and fell in love with their combined creative design and size, all of which delivers high quality sound. Touted as the world’s first true wireless stereo speaker system with a right and left channel, the two speakers can be placed as far as 10-metres apart and will communicate with each other to deliver in-sync stereo audio. Jet uses Damson’s Incisor Diffusion Technology which amplifies sound by using almost any surface you place it on, alongside a traditional driver to capture the mid and high range frequencies. They connect via Bluetooth so you can access all your favorite music from all of your smart devices. There is a built…

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