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Posts Tagged ‘watertown’

03russosinger2012

Photo: John Reynolds for the Boston Globe
Guilherme “Gilly” Assuncao reprised his impromptu concert of 2017 recently at Russo’s Market in Watertown.  

Talent will out. Don’t you love stories about talent being discovered in unlikely places? I like to think that it’s irrepressible and will be recognized one way or another. In this story, a sound check by a Brazilian baritone working as a dishwasher in a Massachusetts grocery store went viral and led to an unexpected opportunity.

Cristela Guerra writes at the Boston Globe, “In the produce aisle at Russo’s [in December], a group of customers waited eagerly to hear the golden voice of Guilherme ‘Gilly’ Assuncao.

“[At Christmas 2017], Assuncao was a dishwasher and deli worker at the Watertown market, when he broke into song while doing a soundcheck the night before a holiday concert there — and stopped shoppers in their tracks.

“Videos of him singing that evening at Russo’s went viral and propelled him into the limelight — and into Berklee College of Music.

“ ‘I never expected any of this to happen,’ said Assuncao [said]. ‘It’s emotional in a way that’s hard to explain. It’s just amazing and makes me really happy.’

“Raised in Brazil, Assuncao said he sang in the shower as a boy and loved belting out Whitney Houston songs. … The breakthrough performance at Russo’s [led] him to an invitation to audition and be interviewed at Berklee in the spring. Assuncao began classes at Berklee in August. …

“Assuncao has raised enough to pay for one year of schooling at Berklee so far with the support of fans locally and across the country, and through a GoFundMe page. ‘This place changed my life last year,’ Assuncao said. …

“ ‘Gilly is definitely an exceptional artist,’ said Olga Lisovskaya, a soprano, who sang with Assuncao. … ‘His voice comes straight from his soul and goes straight to your heart.’ …

“ ‘We knew his life was going to change,’ said Tony Russo, the market’s owner. ‘From that moment that he started to sing. It was just a beautiful moment. He’s a great talent and a great personality.’ ”

More at the Boston Globe, here.

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I’ve been enjoying the album “On the Road from Appomattox,” the latest release of outstanding local bluegrass band Southern Rail.

I’ve also been asking myself what makes a song on the album, “Mr. Beford’s Barn,” so moving.

An old man comes to the narrator’s farm and says he wants to see the barn he helped his daddy build years ago. The barn is very solidly constructed, nearly 100 years old now, and the refrain says it will probably last another hundred years.

It makes a person think about how fine it is to make something that lasts hundreds of years. But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if maybe the hundred-year-ness is not what’s moving.

The old man will not be there for hundreds of years and will not be enjoying the fact that the barn lasted so long. The reason he wants to see it is that he knows he helped make something that’s very fine. It’s the well-built-ness that is valuable. The hundreds of years are merely a feature of the value.

I think you will like the song. Although it is not on YouTube, the band lists its YouTube songs here, and you might want to listen to a few if you are thinking of buying Appomattox.

http://www.southernrail.com/

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So far this spring I have walked to the office by way of North Station only a few times. But when I did, I got curious seeing people in hard hats working like they had a deadline on a part of the Greenway blocked off by a fence. I peeked in and thought, “What is that? It looks like a labyrinth.”

As someone who tends to think of Theseus, Ariadne, and the Minotaur on
Crete when labyrinths are mentioned, it has taken me a while to realize how many people today use them for meditation. And work being what it is, there will probably come a day soon when I want to test out the possibilities.

The new labyrinth was dedicated on a rainy day this week as part of a lovely Armenian Heritage Park.

Alejandra Matos writes for the Boston Globe, “US Representative Edward Markey and other officials welcomed the rain, calling it tears of joy from generations of Armenians.

“The park, located between the North End and Faneuil Hall, includes a sculpture surrounded by a reflecting pool, and is meant to honor Armenian immigrants to the state. Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian, who is Armenian, said he has been fighting for the park since 1999.

“ ‘This is a gift to the city, not just for the Armenian immigrants. This is a park dedicated to all immigrants who have experienced coming to this great city,’ Koutoujian said.”

The third-largest Armenian population in the United States is in nearby Watertown. Read more at the Globe.

4/8/13 Update: The sculpture gets reconfigured to reflect how immigrants adapt. Check it out here.

Photograph: Aram Boghosian for the Boston Globe

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