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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Our Problem is Civil Obedience

One of the great things about having this blog is receiving a lot of thoughtful information from my readers. Here is a quote by Howard Zinn sent to me by Mike. It makes me think. It makes me wonder. It makes me want to be starting something.

"Our problem is civil obedience.

Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. And our problem is that scene in All Quiet on the Western Front where the schoolboys march off dutifully in a line to war.

Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country.

That's our problem.

We recognize this for Nazi Germany. We know that the problem there was obedience, that the people obeyed Hitler. People obeyed; that was wrong.

They should have challenged, and they should have resisted; and if we were only there, we would have showed them.

Even in Stalin's Russia we can understand that; people are obedient, all these herdlike people."

Howard Zinn

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Stand with Sonia Sotomayor

This week starts Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings. Even though President Obama nominated her-the first Latina nominee-, her nomination has to be approved by the US Senate. Take a little time to listen to some of the hearings. It’s really interesting and you’ll be amazed by how much you learn. Here is a link to a video about Judge Sotomayor’s life. How do you like the photo of Judge Sotomayor at age 7?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Global Groves at the Kimmel Center

My home is a hotbed of all kinds of music and music from Africa dominates. I especially love music from Zaire because it demands that you be joyous and last Thursday I was ecstatic. It’s one thing to hear music from your ipod or CD player and it’s a whole other, awesome experience to hear live the music you love. And that’s what happened to me last Thursday at the Kimmel Center. As part of its annual summer series-Global Groves-the Kimmel Center presented Samba Mapangala and his band Virunga . Samba is a phenomenal singer from Zaire(The Democratic Republic of the Congo) and his band is banging. If you know anything about Congolese music, you know it’s driven by guitars, percussion and horns and you have to move to it-you have no choice. The music is that compelling and Samba and Virunga had the Kimmel Center audience out of its seats and dancing. Samba sung in Lingala and Swahili and these languages are mesmerizing .

The whole concept of Global Groves is in sync with the idea that we are a global village and we should know about one another and what better way than through music. These concerts are held in the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theatre where an audience member can sit and listen to the concert or go in front of the performance stage ,where there is a huge dance floor for you to bust your moves. That’s what I did last Thursday as did many others. Old and young and all ethnicities came together and jammed. It was so amazing and moving.

In addition to Samba and his band, there were these beautiful dancers who made you see how incredible and elastic the human body is. You must check out the rest of the Global Groves series. This Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Cu Cu Diamantes, a fun and vibrant singer from Cuba, will give a concert with her band. I have my dancing shoes ready and I hope you do, too. Here is a link to Cu Cu Diamantes.

For more information about the Kimmel Center and its Global Groves series contact the following:

Kimmel Center, Inc.
260 South Broad Street,
Suite 901
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Administrative Offices: 215-790-5800 Fax: 215-790-5801
Tickets: 215-893-1999
Visitor Services: 215-670-2327 Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Global Grooves at the Kimmel Center-Samba Mapangala & Virunga

As part of its Global Grooves series, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts will present Samba Mapangala and Virunga, on Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 7:30 in the Perelman Theatre. I plan to attend and do a review, but I encourage you to go and hear this amazing band. Listen.

Samba Mapangala and his band Virunga are one of the major bands to come out from Central and East Africa in the last 25 years. Beloved throughout East Africa for his incredible voice, Samba has created an infectious pairing of the best Congolese rumba and soukous with an earthier Kenyan style. Samba sings in both Lingala and Swahili and his live performances are hot.

According to Philly Culture, “…Samba's incendiary live show features complex, interlocking guitar lines, rapid-fire bass and light, fast-paced percussion with horn or sax overlays. The songs begin with Samba's catchy melodic lines, evolving through beautiful vocal harmonies and brilliant guitar and horn solos. Samba's sound is unique among African vocalists and remains legendary to this day.”

Samba Mapangala and Virunga
Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Perleman Theatre
260 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Tickets: 215-893-1999

Visitor Services: 215-670-2327 Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm