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Sounds of Summer ’14: Somerville Symphony Orkestar and Latimbop

Friday, August 01, 2014

Sounds of Summer ’14: Somerville Symphony Orkestar and Latimbop

Latin jazz and European punk are worlds apart—if only by virtue of geography. This week, Sounds of Summer concert performers Somerville Symphony Orkestar and Latimbop reminded us that funk is universal, not to mention a uniquely fun sound of summer. Lunchtime listeners and folks who travelled to Kendall for a sun splashed afternoon took in some mighty tasty tunes.



Latimbop sizzled at the Kendall Concert Series, serving up spicy Cuban jazz music. A five-piece ensemble with members who hail from south-of-the-border nations (Colombia, Venezuela, and Cuba), this band combines Cuban jazz, Cuban timba, old-school funk and traditional Latin sounds into a tasty musical stew of danceable summer songs.


From the Colombian ditty “Danza Negra” (a number enhanced by smooth trumpet flair) to the rollicking classic “Caballo Viejo” (literally, “Old Horse”), Latimbop brought the heat. Their diverse set ventured across genres— Bambuco (traditional Colombian music), African rhythms, even European Waltz. The audience loved every hip-swaying moment!


To hear more from Latimbop, check out their official Facebook page. And don’t be surprised when you find yourself dancing in your seat!


Somerville Symphony Orkestar (SSO)


Any band that describes itself as “blossoming from the Slavic Heart of Boston” is destined to deliver a pulsating live show. Those lucky enough to catch the SSO’s midday show in Kendall Square were rewarded with a raucous, upbeat set of European funk/punk that “kicked brass” (thanks to a booming brass trio of sax, trombone and tuba!)

While bands like Gogol Bordello and Beirut have helped catapult Eastern European funk closer to the mainstream, SSO’s sound is wholly unique–fresh, uninhibited and by the end of each number, soaring. The band performed a range of tunes, including a Balkan Beat Box cover and original songs “What a Bad Goat,” “Borcht on the Rocks” and “Drinking for Three.” They reserved a special treat for Game of Thrones fans, who instantly perked up when the band put their European funk twist on the show’s intro music.


If you want to catch SSO live this summer, visit their website as they are booked for several upcoming area tour dates. You can also catch up with the band on Facebook and on twitter @SSOband.