first_imgJapan will open up its doors to about two lakh IT professionals from India, and issue green cards to settle down in Japan and support the country’s rapidly expanding IT infrastructure, said Shigeki Maeda, Executive Vice President at Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), a government body, here on Thursday. Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img

first_imgPercussionist and singer Pedrito Martínez, seen in this undated photo, has appeared on more than 100 recordings. Martin Cohen photo For so many North American eardrums, the story of Afro-Cuban music begins and ends with Buena Vista Social Club.The beloved 1997 album — and the 1999 documentary about the unlikely studio sessions that birthed it — transformed a crew of forgotten Cuban maestros into world-renowned players whose songs would cast an immense, singular shadow.Roberto Fonseca is quite literally stepping out of it. His new album, “Yo,” lunges in fantastic and unexpected directions while remaining rooted in Afro-Cuban musical traditions — traditions the 38-year-old Havana pianist became highly fluent in during the years he spent performing alongside Buena Vista alums, including the late vocalist Ibrahim Ferrer.“For me, playing with them was like going to the son montuno school,” Fonseca said, referring to the percolating style that forms much of Cuba’s sonic DNA. “I was trying to learn how to play and how to feel.”Across “Yo,” Fonseca’s touch ranges from lightning-lithe to thunderously heavy, often holding the music’s melodic and percussive center at once. He comes out swinging with “80s,” a thrilling album-starter that resembles Nigerian Afrobeat, with chattering rhythms and vintage jazz fusion in its oily electronic timbres. Dizzying and dazzling, it sounds like falling down the stairs and landing on your feet.“To me, music doesn’t have frontiers, doesn’t have borders,” Fonseca says over the phone from a tour stop in New Orleans, perhaps the only city in this hemisphere crammed with more musical magic per square foot than Havana. “When people listen to my music, they feel good, even if they’re not from Cuba.”Fonseca has helped push Afro-Cuban music further into the 21st century on other recordings, too — his work with British dubstep pioneer Mala produced an intriguing 2012 album called “Mala in Cuba.” But, Fonseca said, his desire to move Cuban music ahead feels more personal, almost internal.“It would have been easy to name myself ‘the Buena Vista Social Club new generation,’ ” Fonseca said. “But now it’s my career, and people are really accepting. We are starting from zero here, and I’m feeling really good. My music is my life, and my life is my music.”New York percussionist and singer Pedrito Martínez seems to be following similar impulses on the excellent, eponymous debut album from the Pedrito Martínez Group, out Tuesday.The album grinds the band leader’s original compositions up against tunes made famous by Led Zeppelin and the Jackson 5 — all played with a zeal that should burnish Martinez’s reputation as one of the most vital and charismatic Afro-Latin percussionists on the planet. The 40-year-old conga player first learned Cuba’s rhythmic dialects in the streets of Havana, but he said his curiosity is continuously stoked by the music of New York City.“Everything comes from tradition, and what you do is add,” Martínez said over the telephone. “It’s Afro-Cuban music interpreted by someone who’s been in the United States for 15 years.”Martínez first left his native Cuba for a tour of Canada in 1998, and in 2000, took first place at the Thelonious Monk International Afro-Latin Jazz Hand Drum Competition, held at the Kennedy Center. Since then, he’s appeared on more than 100 recordings, all while performing regularly at private Santeria ceremonies at apartments across various New York boroughs.His group — an ace quartet that includes keyboardist Ariacne Trujillo, bassist Álvaro Benavides and percussionist Jhair Sala — still maintains a weekly residency at Guantanamera, a Cuban restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen. Martínez said the gig has helped him learn to a play with a dynamism and intensity that can rip across rooms of any size.“We made this band in a little restaurant where people are eating and talking,” Martínez said. “You don’t know how they’re going to react when you start getting loud and excited. But I get up there and do what I know how to do. I do it from the bottom of my heart. And that’s what they feel.”© 2013, The Washington Post  Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:Analysis: Obama-Castro handshake offers hope for US-Cuba ties Freedom eludes Cubans U.S. woman, 64, makes history with Cuba-Florida swim Ties between North Korea, Cuba hinted at in route of seized freighterlast_img read more

first_imgShare7TweetShareEmail7 SharesOctober 28, 2015; Washington Post and New York TimesLast week, the U.S. Department of Education released results for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often described as the nation’s educational score card. Schoolchildren in the U.S. have taken the NAEP every two years since the early 1990s, and that legacy of consistency and longevity has given it a reputation as “the country’s most consistent measure of K-12 progress […] because it has been in place for so long, it can offer insight into the effects of demographic and policy changes.”NAEP’s methodology has kept it above the controversies that have flared over many of the nation’s standardized tests, and it is often seen as the best way to understand how our nation’s schools are progressing. So when the 2015 results give little evidence that the “reform” agendas of the Bush and Obama administrations are bringing the improvements promised, it adds fuel to the debate over whether those approaches need to be changed.2015 Math Results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress Created by the Washington Post, 10/28/2015 The New York Times summarized the NAEP’s unsettling results:For the first time since 1990, the mathematical skills of American students have dropped, according to results of a nationwide test released by the Education Department on Wednesday. […] Progress in reading, which has been generally more muted than in math for decades, also stalled this year as scores among fourth graders flat-lined and eighth-grade scores decreased.The Washington Post pointed to another area where results were disappointing:Tests again show large achievement gaps between the nation’s white and minority students as well as between poor and affluent children, an indication that the nation’s disadvantaged students are not gaining ground despite more than a decade of federal law designed to boost their achievement.Supporters of the Bush/Obama strategy looked for ways to place the result in a context that saw more reason to stay the course. Michael J. Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and a strong supporter of many elements of the reform strategy, told the New York Times, “It’s obviously bad news. We don’t want to see scores going in this direction. That doesn’t mean we should completely freak out. This could be a one-time variation, and maybe we’ll see things come back next time. But if it were the beginning of a new trend, it would be quite disappointing and disturbing.”Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had previously cited NAEP scores to support key elements of his education efforts. Two years ago, with the 2013 results in hand, he said, “All eight states that had implemented the state-crafted Common Core State Standards at the time of the 2013 NAEP assessment showed improvement in at least one of the Reading and/or Mathematics assessments from 2009 to 2013—and none of the eight states had a decline in scores.” Valerie Strauss reported in the Washington Post that he “defended those policies in a call with reporters Tuesday, saying that massive changes in schools often lead to a temporary drop in test scores while teachers and students adjust. But the new standards and other policies, Duncan said, are poised to improve student achievement—and students’ lives—in the long term.”Critics of the current national educational strategy, like Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, saw these results as a validation of their position. “Of course we are disappointed” with the scores, she said. “But they should give pause to anyone who still wishes to double down on austerity and make competition, scapegoating teachers, closing rather than fixing schools, driving fear, and testing and sanctioning the dominant education strategies.”Diane Ravitch, Research Professor of Education at New York University, was even harsher:For nearly 15 years, Presidents Bush and Obama and the Congress have bet billions of dollars—both federal and state—on a strategy of testing, accountability, and choice. They believed that if every student was tested in reading and mathematics every year from grades 3 to 8, test scores would go up and up. In those schools where test scores did not go up, the principals and teachers would be fired and replaced. Where scores didn’t go up for five years in a row, the schools would be closed. Thousands of educators were fired, and thousands of public schools were closed, based on the theory that sticks and carrots, rewards and punishments, would improve education. But the 2015 NAEP scores released today by the National Assessment Governing Board (a federal agency) showed that Arne Duncan’s $4.35 billion Race to the Top program had flopped. It also showed that George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind was as phony as the “Texas education miracle” of 2000, which Bush touted as proof of his education credentials.Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and Jenn Hatfield, a research assistant at AEI, described the results as a “train wreck” but questioned whether they would actually cause a rethinking of federal directions.While the administration is self-avowedly “data-driven” and convinced that it knows “what works,” it’s not clear what, if anything, might persuade Duncan to rethink his push to federalize school reform or his cheerleading for the Common Core. Happy results are vindication, and poor results are just a sign that change is hard.Are these results just a “blip,” and not an indicator of real problems? Or are they signs of real weaknesses in our national strategy? As the results are reviewed and further analyzed, these are the questions to keep our eyes on and that policy makers will be challenged to tackle.—Martin LevineShare7TweetShareEmail7 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgSalem Street Circa 1949: “After the MBTA experienced continued derailments and delays, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the city’s transportation infrastructure has reached a state of urgency – as evidenced by the record number of commuters reaching puberty while waiting for their bus” – Ben Alper. Due to an unforeseen conflict, the Old North Speaker Series June event, Sweethearts at Sea: Love and Marriage in the New England Whaling Industry with speaker Amanda Goodheart Parks has been moved to July 24, continue reading. Plan Your Events with the Community Calendar: Here’s what else you need to know for today…*Advertisement* 7:30PM NEMPAC Opera Project: The Little Prince. Stop by the Great Hall at 1 Faneuil Hall Square for the NEMPAC Opera Project: The Little Prince. 10:30AM Yoga-Lates by Age Strong Commission. Stop by the North End Park for Yoga-Lates, see the full lineup of Greenway fitness classes here. Today is Thursday, June 20 and here’s a joke from local comedian Ben Alper to start your day: 7:30PM EMPAC Opera Project: The Little Prince. Stop by the Great Hall at 1 Faneuil Hall Square for the NEMPAC Opera Project: The Little Prince. Next week’s highly-anticipated opening of Encore Boston won’t look like most big casino debuts we’ve seen over the years. Instead, the casino will purposefully open at 10AM on that Sunday with no evening-hour, fireworks-lit extravaganza. Encore executives expect a rush of people on opening day and they don’t want patrons to have to compete with normal weekday commuter traffic or make suburban Boston rush hour worse, read more on Las Vegas Review Journal. Encore Boston Harbor opening won’t be a fireworks-lit extravaganza It is our 10th Anniversary and we are celebrating a decade of community news at! Keeping this website going takes a lot of time, money and hard work. Advertising doesn’t bring in enough to pay for reporting or editorial work. But we do it because we believe community news is important – and we think you do too. If everyone who reads this site, who likes it, puts in a bit to pay for it, then our future would be much more secure. Contribute online at the links below or checks can be made out to North End Boston LLC, 343 Commercial St. #508, Boston 02109. Become a Patron to receive free rewards including neighborhood photo calendars, custom mugs and special updates from the editor.*Become a Patron (Rewards!)* or *Make a One-Time Contribution* 12:30PM ABCD Father’s Day Celebration. Join the ABCD North End / West End Neighborhood Service Center at 1 Michelangelo Street for their Father’s Day Celebration. Friday, June 21 This morning’s image is for our North End friends! Here’s Salem Street in 1949. @NorthEndONS @NorthEndBoston— Boston City Archives (@ArchivesBoston) June 19, 2019 Did we miss something? Add it to the comments below. Follow @northend.waterfront on Instagram and tag #northend or #bostonwaterfront to have your photo featured!center_img 6:00PM John T. LaBarbera: That’s Not Italian Music! Stop by I AM Books at 189 North Street and welcome entertaining storyteller and master musician, John T. LaBarbera, weaving stories and songs as he presets his autobiographical article “That’s Not Italian Music!” 1:00PM Films: Imitation of Life at the North End Library. Stop by the North End Library at 25 Parmenter Street for their Friday films featuring Women’s Pictures: When Women Ruled the Movie Box Office. This week’s film is Imitation of Life from 1959, see additional details here. Mirabella Pool Opens. Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) has announced that Boston’s two outdoor pools, the BCYF Mirabella Pool in the North End and the BCYF Clougherty Pool in Charlestown are opening for the season, see additional details here. Old North Lecture “Sweethearts At Sea” Moved to July 24 6:00PM Specialty Walking Tours | Adventures at Sea: Bostonians in the Age of Sail. Join Old North at 193 Salem Street for ten memorable stories spanning that era, drawn from first-person accounts by Bostonians capturing the experience in letters, diaries, and memoirs, see additional details and ticket information here. 6:00PM Milena Origgi – The Way of the Voice. Join I AM Books at 189 North Street for renowned Italian Voice Coach, Milena Origgi discusses her book The Way of the Voice. 1:00PM A Loyalist Perspective on the Revolution. Stop by the Paul Revere House to hear a first-hand account of the abuses loyalists suffered at the hands of emboldened “patriots.” Michael Lepage takes on the role of Chief Justice Peter Oliver, brother of Andrew Oliver, a stamp collector, see additional details here. Need to submit a post? Great, start here! 6:30AM Summer Fitness Series: Bootcamp in Christopher Columbus Park. The Boston Parks and Recreation Department and Boston Public Health Commission has launched its 2019 Boston Parks Summer Fitness Series, a four-month series offering 30 free classes per week across the city. Today’s class is Bootcamp, see additional details here. From the Community: Notable News: Keep up with what’s happening on the Events Calendar. Saturday, June 22 9:00PM Fireworks over Spectacle Island (Time approximate). Boston Harbor Now is sponsoring part of the “Spectacle on Spectacle Island” Gala honoring Mayor Martin J. Walsh for the City of Boston Resilient Boston Harbor plan, see additional details here. last_img read more