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Friday, May 11, 2018

Cultural Mosaic: The Kiesse Brothers Bring Congolese Performing Arts to Vermont

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2018 at 1:54 PM

Rodrick (left) and Beny Kiesse - COURTESY OF BENY KIESSE
  • Courtesy of Beny Kiesse
  • Rodrick (left) and Beny Kiesse
Beny Kiesse describes himself as a producer, singer, dancer, designer, illustrator and model. Recently,  he's earned another title:  community organizer.

On Saturday, May 12, Kiesse will perform alongside his brother Rodrick and other local artists at the Social Club & Lounge in Burlington for an event that he's dubbed "International Affairs Night."

"Many of the performers are talented but don't have any support," explained Beny, whose stage name is BenyGola. He said it took him about a month to organize the event, which will include performances by A2VT and Cadoux Fancy. "The sole purpose of this show," he continued, "is to show everyone that we, indeed, have undiscovered talents within the city."

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Ray Vega to Host 'Friday Night Jazz' on Vermont Public Radio

Posted By on Thu, May 3, 2018 at 6:12 PM

Ray Vega - COURTESY OF RAY VEGA
  • Courtesy of Ray Vega
  • Ray Vega
To anyone who had Ray Vega in the "Who's the Next Host of 'Friday Night Jazz?'" office pool: congrats! Vermont Public Radio has tabbed the acclaimed trumpeter and educator to helm the show, beginning May 18.

Vega is the latest in a line of local jazz luminaries to take up residence behind the VPR mic on Friday evenings. The most recent inhabitant was Reuben Jackson, who hosted the show from 2012 to April 2018. George Thomas hosted FNJ before Jackson.

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Radio DJ Mike Luoma Fired From the Point

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2018 at 12:29 PM

Mike Luoma - COURTESY OF MIKE LUOMA
  • Courtesy of Mike Luoma
  • Mike Luoma
Mike Luoma has been let go as the music director of local radio station 104.7 WNCS-FM the Point. The longtime local DJ announced the news last week on his Glow in the Dark Radio blog and via social media. Luoma, who has been a prominent figure in Vermont radio since 1983 — including nearly two decades at 106.7 WIZN-FM — had been with the Point for almost eight years.

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Cultural Mosaic: Megha Nath Adhikari Finds Harmony on the Harmonium

Posted By on Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 12:32 PM

Megha Nath Adhikari - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Megha Nath Adhikari
Megha Nath Adhikari admits that his fingers aren't quite as deft on the duki tabala, a pair of hand drums, these days because he has dedicated himself to the harmonium, a portable pump organ.

"When we came [to Vermont], there was no one to play this one," says the Essex Junction resident, gesturing to the harmonium. "So, my focus goes to the harmonium."

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Cultural Mosaic: Africa Jamono Drums Up Love for New Beats

Posted By on Tue, Mar 20, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Africa Jamono, left to right: Ali Dieng, Mamadou Gueye, Pape Ba, Mame Assane Coly - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Africa Jamono, left to right: Ali Dieng, Mamadou Gueye, Pape Ba, Mame Assane Coly
When Africa Jamono performed at Colchester High School's auditorium in mid-February as part of the district's International Week celebration, supporting drummer Ali Dieng told the crowd, "We're going to rock your school today."

Midway through the performance, clapping to the beat of the drums wasn't enough for most members of the audience. Teachers and students scrambled on to the stage to join lead dancer Pape Ba.

Jamono means "Generation" in Wolof, the common language spoken by the group's founding members: Ba, Dieng and Baba Drame. When the three men got together in the spring of 2010 to form Africa Jamono, each man had a specific role. Drame was the lead drummer and Ba was the master dancer. Dieng's main responsibility was finding gigs and publicizing the group.

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Cultural Mosaic: Afro-jazz Singer-Songwriter Kerubo Takes on Social Issues

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Kerubo and Michael Webster performing at Champlain College in 2016 - COURTESY OF KERUBO
  • Courtesy of Kerubo
  • Kerubo and Michael Webster performing at Champlain College in 2016
Irene Webster is on a social mission. About three years ago, the singer-songwriter, who uses her middle name, Kerubo, professionally, went into a coma following a ruptured aneurysm.

"When I woke up, I was not able to speak. I wasn't able to walk," recalled the Winooski-based artist. Her road to recovery was difficult, she said. But it made her realize that she wanted to resume her singing career and write songs with social messages.

"It has to be meaningful singing," said Kerubo, 49. "It has [to have] messages that help people who have gone through life-or-death experiences, or [are] trapped in situations and they don't have a voice."

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Paper Castles Debut New Song, Announce New Album 'Acceptionalism'

Posted By on Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 4:55 PM

Paper Castles - COURTESY OF KAYHL COOPER
  • Courtesy of Kayhl Cooper
  • Paper Castles
Burlington slacker rockers Paper Castles just released their first new material since 2013's Vague Era. "First Blush," the debut single from the quartet's upcoming third album, Acceptionalism,;comes with an accompanying music video courtesy of Noise Ordinance's Kayhl Cooper.

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Waking Windows Announces Initial 2018 Lineup

Posted By on Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 12:43 PM

Waking Windows - BRIAN JENKINS PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Brian Jenkins Photography
  • Waking Windows
Brace yourselves: Waking Windows has just announced its initial 2018 lineup. The three-day music festival in downtown Winooski runs Friday through Sunday, May 4 through 6,  and features over 150 bands, artists, comedians and DJs. The first wave of confirmed acts is just as dynamite as you'd expect.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

NPR Premieres Caroline Rose's New Album 'Loner'

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 2:19 PM

Caroline Rose - COURTESY OF CAROLINE ROSE
  • Courtesy of Caroline Rose
  • Caroline Rose
The wait is over: You can finally listen to former Burlington singer-songwriter Caroline Rose's long-awaited sophomore album, Loner, in full. National Public Radio offers a first listen to the new record, which marks a stylistic shift from Rose's folksy beginnings to her current pop-rock sound. The release follows of a string of singles and music videos, as well as high-profile coverage from outlets such as Consequence of Sound, Stereogum and Noisey.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Cultural Mosaic: Tchatching Ngunga to Bring Rwandan Music to Vermont

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 2:17 PM

Tchatching Ngunga - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Tchatching Ngunga
Tchatching ("Cha-ching") Ngunga has a message for Vermonters: "Very soon, they are gonna be discovering a new African culture."

Ngunga, who also goes by the name Richard, sings and composes traditional Rwandan songs. So far, he has performed mostly in Canada. "That's where I feel like my music is being valued because my community is there," he said.

But, as a Vermonter since 2011, he's ready to take his music to more audiences, Ngunga continued. "Somebody told me: 'No, music doesn't have a barrier. People just love any music,'" the Burlington resident said.

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