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OZZFest Returns

Launching Saturday, August 14, 2010, in San Bernardino, CA, --  the birthplace of the first OZZFest in 1996 -- OZZFest returns. This heavy metal juggernaut of a music fest was instrumental in igniting the careers of platinum-selling artists like System of a Down, Disturbed, Linkin Park, Incubus, Slipknot, Queens of the Stone Age, Godsmack, Avenged Sevenfold, Mudvayne, Ozzy OsbourneLamb of God, Killswitch Engage and Lacuna Coil.

Ozzfest is an annual festival tour of the United States (and in some years, Europe) featuring performances by many heavy metal and hard rock musical groups. It was founded byformer Black Satbbath lead Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon Osbourne -- both of who also organize each yearly tour with their son Jack Osbourne.

The Ozzfest tour has featured bands of a variety of genres within heavy metal and hard rock, including alternative metal, thrash metal, industrial metal, metalcore, hardcore punk, nu metal, death metal, gothic metal and black metal. Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath have played the tour several times over the years.

This year’s tour will include main stage artists Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe, Rob Halford, DevilDriver and Nonpoint.  Second stage headliners Black Label Society will return for their seventh appearance on the tour and will be joined by Drowning Pool, Kingdom of Sorrow, Goatwhore, Skeletonwitch, Saviours and Kataklysm.  OZZFest marks the first concerts in the U.S. in connection with the June 22 release of tour founder Ozzy Osbourne’s new album Scream (Epic Records).

In addition to non-stop music on both stages, concert-goers can once again visit the OZZFest “Village of the Damned” featuring a mix of interactive activities, shopping and entertainment throughout the venue concourses.

All six dates of the explosive Live Nation produced tour will feature “all-in ticket pricing” which means there are no hidden fees whatsoever -- no parking charges at the shows, no facility or surcharge fees -- the price you see is the price you pay.

Tickets prices start as low as $30 per ticket when purchased in a four-pack. For complete ticket and tour information visit: www.OZZFest.com and www.LiveNation.com
 
2010 OZZFest Tour dates:

Sat, Aug 14
San Manuel Amphitheater
San Bernardino, CA

Tue, Aug 17
First Midwest Bank Amphitheater
Chicago, IL
                    
Thurs, Aug 19
First Niagara Pavilion
Pittsburgh, PA
                 
Sat, Aug 21
Comcast Theatre
Hartford, CT
                   
Sun, Aug 22
Susquehanna Bank Center
Camden, NJ
                  
Tue, Aug 24
Comcast Center
Boston, MA                    

Orchestre Septentrional d'Haiti Rocks Midsummer Night Swing

Haiti's Orchestre SeptentrionalThe Orchestre Septentrional d'Haiti has weathered six decades of island rumble from earthquakes, political tempests, and economic woes, so it's only apt that the "Haitian Fireball" would kick off the July 4th weekend at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing in New York City's Damrosch Park. Still quite the kings of big band kompa or compas, they gave proof through the night of Friday, July 2, 2010, that their mojo was still there.  

It was one of those balmy yet dry summer evenings in the City -- not the usual swampy vapors that sap the mood and hair – but just the perfect oxygen rush for an open air prance. "Sept," as the band is usefully called, also played at the first Midsummer Night Swing season, 12 years ago.

This year's program (June 29 to July 17, 2010) brings the jazz swing of the New Orleans Moonshiners, the Afrobeat of Femi Kuti & the Positive Force and the big band swing of the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra, with special guest Frank Wess, among other grooves steaming up the world dance party.

For Sept, the local Haitian community came out in modest numbers, though those who did were ready to sway. They hardly seemed ruffled by the gringos who, having slipped on their clickiest heels, seemed primed for their chance to be humiliated in public while disfiguring their partners' dancin’ feet. Some had arrived as early as 6:30 pm, for a group dance lesson with Peniel Guerrier emceed by DJ Neva.

Good dancers, bad dancers – it didn't much matter what anyone looked like out on the floor, since the point was to let loose and celebrate. All eyes and ears were on the ripping horns, jaunty maracas and mellow vocals of the Haitian version of Cuba's legendary band, the Buena Vista Social Club.

This rotating band has recorded more than 300 tracks in a stylistic stew ranging from bolero to Afro-Caribbean. Though only 10 of its musicians flew in to fill the sounds of the usual 20, there could be little doubt why Septentrional is considered a national, if not international, monument.

During a brief intermission, I grabbed Septentrional director François Nichol Levy to get a few thoughts on Haiti's signature music and band.

Q: What does compas mean?

FL: Nobody can say exactly what it means. It's just a way of dancing. It's the way you move. It's very simple – two beats, one, two, one, two. Everybody can learn. When you hear compas, you start to move your body. Compas is a new type of music that started in about the 60s. That's really new compared to traditional music like Vodou, which started when Haiti was born.

Q: But the Orchestre Septentrional predated the '60s…

FL: Septentrional was before compas. Septentrional had to make adjustments to Congo rhythms, Ibo rhythms, Nago rhythms, some rhythms coming from the Africa of slaves. People like (sax and guitar player) Nemours Jean-Baptiste created compas in 1955, and it started to spread in dancing halls all over the country. Nemours made some very smart moves because all the bands that used to play only traditional music started to disappear. It was a very smart move to adapt to the new music.

Q: What do the new members bring to the band?

FL: We have a policy of recruiting new young musicians to keep the band going. The first thing we do is to bring on musicians with competences. They know how to play instruments, and they're very good. We try to play all types of music: Latin, rap, salsa, Cuban mambo, merengue from the Dominican Republic, even jazz. We try to adapt the band to every new idea, new wave, to keep in the mainstream.

Q: What are some of your musical influences?

FL: My musical education is very different from the rest of the band. My background is classical – I studied in France and at the music conservatory in Haiti.

Q: Are there any American musicians you especially admire?

FL: I love jazz – Chic Corea, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis. I try to bring in these influences to the band.

Q: Does Septentrional still have any of its original members?

FL: Not any more -- one of the founders, Ulrick Pierre-Louis, died last year.

Q: What makes the band unique?

FL: Septentrional is more than a band: it's an institution. It's very rare in Haiti to have an institution. With all the political problems, social problems, economic problems around us, we do everything to pass (the orchestra) to the next generation. But we're a real exception: 62 years of existence is an exception in Haiti. Our biggest challenge is keeping the band going. It's not easy to live off of music full time.

Q: With the band's six decades of continuity, maybe you should manage the country!

FL: We try to stay out of politics.

Q: How did Septentrional respond to the earthquake?

FL: Since we have many, many friends in Haiti, with the earthquake the band tried to get involved in social activities, distributing food. We came down from Cap Haitian, which is the second-largest town in Haiti, and we went to Port-au-Prince to give out food, materials, sheets, clothes – we were there for two weeks.

Q: Did you also perform music?

FL: It was not possible to play music in Port au Prince at the time.

For the full Midsummer Night Swing schedule, go to: MidsummerNightSwing.org

MidSummer Night Swing
June 29 to July 17, 2010
Damrosch Park
West 62nd Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues
Lincoln Center

New York, NY 10023
212-721-6500

The Inaugural Portland Folk Festival

The Inaugural Portland Folk Festival has announced the preliminary line-up. A list of amazing artists will grace the stages of this year's inaugural festival.

The Portland Folk Festival will offer a rich and diverse sampling of music, art, craft, film, educational workshops and talks in handfuls of fantastic locations in Portland, Oregon August 20 - 22, 2010. Portland Folk Festival will be held over four days, with a different neighborhood focus each day.  Music venues, pubs, galleries and interesting spaces throughout Downtown Portland, Alberta Arts District, Mississippi Avenue and Southeast Portland will host events through the day and night all weekend.

The Portland Folk Festival is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the world's folk and traditional music, and to the vibrant community, forward-thinking quality of life, and spectacular natural beauty of our treasured home of Portland. With one foot firmly rooted in preserving and celebrating the lessons of the past, and one in working toward a sustainable future, we are dedicated to the study, evolution, expression and celebration of the music of the people. This is a wonderful opportunity for the community of Portland to come together and discover a world of music that's happening in their own backyard

Tickets for Portland Folk Festival are being sold online for $45. You will receive a badge that will get you into every show and event during the festival. Tickets for individual concerts will be available through each venue's online box office or at the door day of show.

About the Founders:

Development Director:Slim Moon is the founder of the legendary indie label Kill Rock Stars. Over the years he has worked in music in nearly every way imaginable - musician, record label owner, producer, roadie, booking agent, retailer, manager, festival organizer. Along the way, he has helped nurture the careers of dozens of bands and solo artists including Elliott Smith, Sleater-Kinney, The Decemberists, and Thao Nguyen. Raised in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, folk music is Slim's first and most enduring musical love.

Managing Director Amanda Stark was immersed in politics and folk music from an early age. Growing up in Canada, her interest in writers like Steinbeck and Woody Guthrie and the beat poets, drew her to the spoken word and folk movement in the United States in the early nineties. She spent several years touring internationally in the political punk folk band, Stark Raving Chandler, and went on to work as booking agent, promoter, publicist and artist manager. Amanda has worked with many exceptional artists, including Dan Bern, The Be Good Tanyas, Geoff Berner and Bitch and Animal. With a great appreciation for the wonderful festivals she has attended, and a grass roots approach to music business, Amanda has brought a long held dream of building a folk festival to her adopted home of Portland, Oregon.

Chantelle Hylton Simmons, Artistic Director, was raised on live music as hte daughter of a jazz singer,. While developing a career in news journalism in the spring of 2000 in Portland Oregon, she threw a party at the Medicine Hat Gallery, and was hired on the spot to take over the booking. Over the next 7 years in Portland she booked a show every night in almost a dozen music venues. In 2005 she started her own concert promotion company, Blackbird Presents, and with partner Mike McGonigal founded the Halleluwah Festival of Enthused Arts. In spring of 2007 while on vacation in New York City, she was offered the Senior Talent Buyer position at Knitting Factory, and spent almost three years in NYC until she missed Portland too much to stay away. She still books Brooklyn's Northside Festival (350+ bands over 4 days in more than 30 music venues), but can now do so from the 6 acres she and her family are developing into an organic farm and retreat space in Woodland, Washington.

World Science Festival Is a Work of Art

The World Science Festival is a nonprofit event that brings together preeminent figures in science and the arts to engage the public. Since 2008, the annual festival has garnered a live audience of over 300,000 and two million on-line views.

It launches this years with an opening-night gala at the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in New York City on June 2, 2010. The performance, honoring the renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, begins at 7 p.m. with a star-studded lineup.

For starters, Tiler Peck of the New York City Ballet and David Hallberg of American Ballet Theater will pair up to dance the Adagio section of George Balanchine's "Apollo." Danny Burstein, of the Lincoln Center's South Pacific, will perform Monty Python's "Galaxy Song." Violinist Arturo Delmoni and jazz sensation Eldar Djangirov will also perform. And famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma will play a Persian musical version of the Icarus story, with the Silk Road Ensemble.

The evening will kick start the five-day-long festival, packed with 40 events across the city. Science-related lectures, discussions and performances will take place in museums, theaters, and on the streets.

Other highlights of the festival include:

A program with the artificial intelligence visionary Marvin Minsky at the Hayden Planetarium Space Theater on June 3 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., in which he joins a mathematician, astrobiologist, and philosopher in exploring the edges of human understanding. Minksy will also collaborate with digital composer Tod Machover, the creator of Guitar Hero, for a musical experiment that involves a chorus of robots and an aria from soprano Joélle Harvey.

A mind-altering conversation between Oscar-winning filmmaker Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and neuroscientist Giulio Tononi, one of the world's leading sleep researchers. The discussion, which will be moderated by Alan Alda of M*A*S*H fame, will cast new light on the science of the mind and attempt to explain where consciousness is generated in the brain. This event takes place June 5 at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The unveiling of the James Webb Space Telescope, the world's most powerful future space telescope at Battery Park on June 1, and on public display until Sunday, June 6, from 11 am – 6 pm daily. And don't miss the free stargazing party at the base of the 80-foot telescope on Friday night, June 4.

Tickets to each separate event are $30 for adults and $15 for students and children.

Visit http://www.worldsciencefestival.com for the complete schedule and locations.

World Science Festival
Opening Night Gala
Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center
1941 Broadway

New York, NY 10023

Hayden Planetarium Space Theater
American Museum of Natural History
79 St. & Central Park West

New York, NY 10024

Kaye Playhouse, Hunter College
695 Park Ave.

New York, NY 10065

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