ZUMIX Youth Interview Local Hip-Hop Artist Latrell James

Last month, ZUMIX packed the firehouse for an electric hip-hop extravaganza. ZUMIX youth Jr. Biggie opened for local hip-hip acts Oompa and Latrell James. These artists’ powerful poetry and commanding stage presence brought the house down for a night to remember. In preparation for the big performance, the hosts of Ramble Radio interviewed Latrell James and Jr. Biggie on 94.9 FM ZUMIX Radio. Check out the following clip in which ZUMIX youth and Latrell James bond over the unparalleled creativity of young people and their love of cartoons:

Also take a listen to this impromptu freestyle session between Latrell James and ZUMIX youth Biggie Jr. and Chad Williams:

Staff Picks – February 2017

Staff Picks - Feb 2017.png

February vacation is right around the corner – what a perfect time to put some headphones on and melt into new music. Check out this month’s edition of musical selections that our team has stamped off with a seal of approval. Missed January’s picks? Check them out here.

“In Two” by Mini Dresses

“Mellow dreamy lofi popsong.” -Scott Mizrachi, Volunteer Coordinator 

“Drop” by Chloe x Halle 

“Haunting. Original. This sister-duo act (signed to Beyonce’s label!) is incredible.” -Kelly Baker, Development & Communications Manager

“Genius” by Sammus

“Sammus’s lyrics are raw and real, and I love her flow. I’ve been so into this whole album lately.” -Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Paradise Fell” by Kaia Kater

“Just a woman, her banjo, and a handful of activist ballads- what more could you want?” -Anni Leff, Development Associate 

“No Crying in Baseball” by Mothers

“Strength and vulnerability are not mutually exclusive. I am still learning to not apologize for and instead embrace my own sensitivity – Mothers was just able to put a soundtrack to it first.” -Jeeyoon Kim, Community Arts & Events Coordinator

“Wander” by Icebird (RJD2 and Aaron Livingston)

“This entire album makes me dance.” –Kramer Gibson, Teaching Artist

“Good Morning” by Peter Ram

“This is my favorite soca song from the 2017 Carnival season. It was a big tune in Trinidad and Tobago’s annual Panorama competition, and it has been really fun to hear arrangements and performances of it by some of the world’s best steel pan ensembles.” -Brian Paulding, Teaching Artist

“Back Pocket” by Vulfpeck

“The moment the ooey-gooey vocal harmonies of the chorus come in, I can’t help but sway back and forth and tell myself, ‘life is good.'” –Ramsel Gonzalez, Program Coordinator/Business Administrator

“Sister” by Angel Olsen

“This almost-eight minute anthem — introspective and yearning — unveils a journey through quiet realizations that swell into a wailing guitar solo and echoing exit line: ‘All my life I thought I’d change.'” -Sophie Kazis, ZUMIX Radio Program Coordinator

ZUMIX <3 Airtable

Sweet dual-monitor set-up not included with Airtable software.

ZUMIX was originally introduced to Airtable, a web-based database, through a community volunteer who has been using this product for his own business. We had been experiencing issues tracking information about our students and parents in an easy and reportable format. He suggested Airtable, in the hopes that experimenting with this database would help us refine what our data-tracking needs were. Little did he know that Airtable was the database for us.

Whenever we ask, “can we do this?,” we usually find that we can.

ZUMIX has been experimenting with Airtable for the past 5 months and every day we find something new that we love! Our favorite part is how open-ended the software is. Whenever we ask, “can we do this?,” we usually find that we can.

Having a database that can create fields that run formulas, create drop down menus, and then filter quickly off of those fields has made reporting so much easier. The UI is clean, user-friendly, and easy to manipulate. The different field types makes tracking certain types of information simple and well formatted.

ZUMIX recommends this software for anybody who is looking to build their own database. Airtable has made tracking data easy and fun because it caters to your needs, what else could you ask for?

A Big Thank You to Our Community DJs

We are proud of and grateful to all our community DJs. Thank you for all that you do for 94.9 FM ZUMIX Radio!

Between 11am-3pm on weekdays, and 1-4pm on Saturdays, you can tune-in to 94.9 FM ZUMIX Radio to hear a diverse array of radio shows hosted by non-youth community DJs. Many of these shows are also re-broadcast after 8pm. You’ll hear many genres — salsa, R&B, blues, jazz, metal, hip-hop, pop, and local music, to name just a few — as well as discussions around important community topics like immigration, education, neighborhood activism, mental health, and local arts-coverage.

To get a sense of our community sound, take a listen to this montage of clips from 15 current community radio shows. And if you hear something you like, make sure to tune-in to the full shows every week! You can find our most updated radio show schedule at zumix.org.

Volunteer Spotlight: Barbara Cimatti

Here at ZUMIX we are very fortunate to have such an amazing staff and talented youth leadership. We are also grateful for all of the volunteers from our community who help us, every day, work toward our mission of, empowered youth who make strong positive changes in their lives, communities, and the world.

Barbara introducing students at a recent ZUMIX showcase

Barbara Cimatti has had an uplifting and inspiring presence since her first day volunteering at ZUMIX! During the fall semester she assisted with both, Mariposas, a class where younger students learn to sing and play instruments to some of there favorite songs and Zoom In, the emerging ZUMIX film production program. Barbara is from Brazil and moved to Boston to study Interactive Media and Marketing at North Eastern University. When she’s not being a rockstar at school or work, sometimes you can find her carefully checking lyrics for ZUMIX radio.

Thanks for being part of our community, Barbara!

Want to volunteer with ZUMIX? Find out more here!

Looking forward: ZUMIX Spring Semester 2017

ZUMIX’s program year is divided into three different semesters: fall, spring, and summer. And in two weeks the spring semester of ZUMIX programs will begin, and students from far and wide across the lands of Greater Boston and the neighboring towns will be meeting at 260 Sumner street every week. Some of the exciting classes available this semester are Drumline, Droppin’ (a hip-hop class), Music Theory, Radio Street Team, and Zoom In (video production).

Sarah, 15, preps the stage audio system for a student performance

Sarah, 15, a student who has taken classes at ZUMIX in the past, is applying for Zoom In, and it isn’t her first tech class here. She has taken “mostly Z-Tech classes” and wants to work with technology in the future, and ZUMIX is giving her opportunities to learn and even sending her to do tech for gigs. Her friend, Annika, 16, is applying to ZUMIX for the first time this semester. Annika is also applying for a technology related program, Z-tech Live.

“I’m excited about learning the technical side of sound because it’s not something I have a lot of experience with, but it’s something I’d like to learn instead of being left to figure out on my own.” – Annika, 16

The teacher of the Z-Tech Live program is none other than our very own Dan Fox. Dan has been at ZUMIX for 14 years and is excited for the second year of Z-tech Video programs to start. He also works with all the tech equipment at ZUMIX and is pumped about the newly donated speakers from Genelec, which will be placed in ZUMIX’s radio station.

For the rest of the non-techies at ZUMIX there is so much to look forward to. A prospective private lesson piano student, Wanda, 17, is looking to ZUMIX because it is a place where you can “work in teams with people of our age and through music we can express ourselves.” Cristian, 15, is hoping he gets into Rock-ed, and, more so, hopes that new people join so that he “can meet new instrumentalists and see how different people form and develop themselves in their own instruments.”

The Eddy Grand Opening
Wild Painting performing at The Eddy in East Boston

Also in the new semester, Wild Painting, a ZUMIX band, is finishing up recording their first EP. And another band may begin recording in ZUMIX’s recording studio, called Metabots. All of this activity will be the backdrop to a strategic planning process led by an outside consultant, who will help get ZUMIX from our 25th birthday to our 30th. But for right now, as one of our Sprouts students, Omar, 8, said, this spring semester “is gonna be WOW!”

by Janna Ramadan, 16, ZUMIX Development Intern

Staff Picks – January 2017

Staff Picks - Jan 2017.png

The new year means new things, right? At ZUMIX we often find music as a top tier source of inspiration, motivation, and overall good vibes. With that in mind, we are starting a new monthly tradition and are proud to present you with the first edition of a monthly round-up of what our staff is listening to these days.

Scroll through the list that see what’s inspiring everyone from our grant writers to our teaching artists, youth staff, and more! Be sure to tune back in each month to see what new things are  bumping through our speakers. Happy listening!

“Lucky I Got What I Want” by Jungle

“This song (the whole album, in fact) is the perfect soundtrack for my commute to work.” – Kelly Baker, Development & Communications Manager

“Freedom” by Rose Cousins

“Rose’s music is so personally honest, and her voice is so beautiful, I always feel calm and warm listening to her sing, only wishing I could write as well as she does.” – Anni Leff, Development Associate 

“Drew Barrymore” by Sza

“This song connects to so many of my emotions and it makes me feel apart of something bigger than myself.” – Angelina Botticelli, Events Intern

“The Bird” by Anderson .Paak

“This song is enjoyable to anyone, specifically for me it is so soothing to hear in the morning, but Anderson .Paak still has so much soul in his voice that it has enough energy.” – Dawry Ruiz, Communications Intern

“Keep Your Name” by Dirty Projectors

“This song slows me down and I am thankful for that.” – Jeeyoon Kim, Community Arts & Events Coordinator

“Jealous Sun” by Parker Millsap

“I love the delicate nature of the song and the lyrics – how it begins and ends not with a strict tempo, but with the pace of tired breathing.” – Brian Paulding, Teaching Artist

Human Body Feel” by Skinny Bones

“A collage of sampled sounds and words, this super weird, super fun dance tune is a reflection on the one-sided nature of portraying one’s experience through art. The lyrics are a cut-up poem put together by transcribing hours of field recordings, printing out the words, cutting them up, and rearranging then rearranging them. Also, there’s pan flute.” – Sarah Saydun, Mass Promise Fellow, Pathways Coordinator

“Ricky (Caught Me Tryin’)” by Spirit of the Beehive

“With their slightly jarring use of five repeated chords in the main progression, it gives the song a constant rising tension that is quickly resolved. The song’s 2:22 runtime makes me want to listen over and over again due to its catchy chromatic melody.” – Ramsel Gonzalez, Program Coordinator, Business Administrator

“Paul” by Big Thief

“A wistful, lilting love ballad of what could have been.” – Sophie Kazis, Radio Program Coordinator

“Why They Had to Kill Him” by Stooges Brass Band

“I got to travel to New Orleans this month and can’t get the brass band rhythms out of my head — especially for this awesome second line turned international touring band, who mix traditional brass with hip hop.” – Brittany Thomas, ZUMIX Radio Station Manager

“Slow Rider” by Cuddle Magic

“Beautifully groovy.” – Dan Fox, Technical Director