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Fête de la Musique

by Michele D.  Maniscalco
Thursday Jun 29, 2017

Warren Avenue Breakdown at Frieda Garcia Park. Photo by Michele Maniscalco
Warren Avenue Breakdown at Frieda Garcia Park. Photo by Michele Maniscalco  

This year's Fête de la Musique, renamed Lapin Fête de la Musique, not only commemorated the summer solstice but also saluted the tenure of the Community Music Center of Boston's (CMCB) departing executive director, David Lapin, who is retiring after 36 years at the helm. In addition to the customary concerts in Ringgold Park, Frieda Garcia Park and the plaza in front of the Community Music Center of Boston, the Lapin Fête de la Musique added a block party on Warren Avenue in Lapin's honor with food from local restaurants and vendors; a variety of performers from a marching band to CMCB classical ensembles; crafts and activities for kids and a visit from Wally, the Red Sox mascot.

Warren Avenue Breakdown, featuring CMCB faculty members Chuck Gabriel, bass; Mike Giordano, guitar; and drummer Andy Fordyce with two guest vocalists and a keyboardist, brought Latin rhythms and swinging jazz to about 100 adults and children throughout the afternoon as they lounged in the grass and played on the playground equipment. The Revolutionary Snake Ensemble returned to Union Park, bringing a bit of New Orleans to the South End, while Ringgold Park welcomed back popular children's performer Wayne Potash. Participatory percussion group All Hands Drumming performed in Childe Hassam Park followed by singer/songwriter Kali Stoddard-Imari, playing a unique blend of jam band, American roots music and hip-hop sampling. One could hear the influences of Dave Matthews and Tracy Chapman in Stoddard-Imari's songwriting and vocals. Stoddard-Imari also played at the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza in front of the Mills Gallery, followed by French-born Bertrand Laurence's American roots and blues music.

Warren Avenue was closed between Clarendon and Berkeley Streets for the block party in honor of Lapin, which boasted a wide variety of music, food and fun. Approximately 450 people stopped by to hear music from the strolling Party Band; Stoddard-Imari; the Savin Hillbillies, a country & western/Irish music group with South End Community Health Center chief Bill Walczak on guitar; and CMCB's Intermediate String Ensemble, Senior Wind Ensemble and Orchestra, the orchestra accompanying faculty member and soprano Czarina Schocker on a piece from "The Marriage of Figaro". Snacks from Picco, Vejigantes, Dan's TEA, Ben and Jerry's and Blackbird Doughnuts satisfied guests' appetites as they enjoyed crafts, games, balloon art and an instrument petting zoo and rode the mechanical tiger, elephant and bear provided by Safari Rides & Photos, operated by a gentleman in pith helmet and shorts who bore a striking resemblance to US president and adventurer Theodore Roosevelt.


Photo courtesy of Michele Maniscalco.  


Photo courtesy of Michele Maniscalco.  


Photo courtesy of Michele Maniscalco.  


Photo courtesy of Michele Maniscalco.  


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