Music outside the box

Living in Boston puts me in the middle of a vibrant stew of music. The greater Boston area has more music venues, more musicians, more music schools than any place else in the world. (I made that up, but it could be true. It certainly feels like it.)

What this shows me about music being made by working musicians is that it defies categories. A great example of this was a concert at Ryles Jazz Club the other evening by the Ludovica String Quartet. The leader, Ludovica Burtone, is an accomplished Italian classical violinist who came here to Berklee to study jazz composition. (Just that combination is an example of this stew I’m talking about.)

The competition for slots in venues like Ryles guarantees high caliber performance, but nothing guarantees magic. For that you have to be lucky. I was lucky that evening.

Or maybe skillful. I was there for a reason. I’d heard the LSQ before and knew what to expect. Burtone’s aggressive mix of tango, jazz, Italian folk song, and her own compositions gave me what I’d come for. Each piece satisfied in a different way, then everything came together in Blazing Sun, a piece Burtone wrote while a student at Berklee, that pours all her influences into deep jazz in 7/4 time. And 3/4. And 4/4. LSQ’s music doesn’t stay still.

Look for them. Then listen. You’ll thank me.

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About charles thiesen

I live in Dorchester, MA with five housemates and a cat named Chat Cousteau. I write novels and ride a recumbent bike, among other things.
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