ZUMIX Summer Concerts 2021

Written by Najwa Aswad, ZUMIX Events Coordinator

After 18 months dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, life in Boston is slowly moving back to normal as schools reopen and vaccines roll out to the general population.

ZUMIX summer concerts came back this year with a vengeance, filling East Boston’s Piers Park with music all summer long. We had an amazing variety of performances this summer, but here are some highlights:

Led by ZUMIX’s own Ben and Brian Paulding, Rhythms of Ghana is ZUMIX’s African drumming ensemble. The ensembles only had a few in-person performances before their big debut—the rest were conducted virtually! The ensemble still performed at a high level, accompanied by Ghanaian singer Koblavi Douga, who is based in Vermont.

Paulding joined Kotoko Brass on stage once Rhythms of Ghana completed their performance. Douga got the crowd moving with rhythm dance moves. Kotoko Brass combines traditional African music with New Orleans jazz and energized the crowd with a thriving brass section, accompanied by eclectic traditional drums and a grooving backline.

Johanna Affelin is one of ZUMIX’s most talented singer-songwriters. She has been attending our programs since she was 7 years old! Her biggest musical inspirations are her Brazilian heritage and Nina Simone. Johanna showed her talent in singing, ukulele, and piano as she graced Piers Park with her voice, reminiscent of acclaimed singer Norah Jones. 

Dzidzor and her ensemble brought eclectic sounds full of stories and facilitated powerful meditation among the crowd. Using a loop synthesizer, Dzidzor combined world-music influences with modern synthesizer techniques to produce an enthralling soundscape. The best part was the jam at the end, when Johanna came back onstage and lent her voice (literally!) to a stellar improvisation.

The final summer concert was the perfect event to honor the Hispanic community of East Boston. ZUMIX board member and Salsa y Control dance instructor Johnny Giraldo led a short dance lesson to warm up the crowd and teach some simple moves. The lesson was his gift to ZUMIX for our 30th birthday!

Manolo Mairena y La Pura Vida could not have been a better way to end our summer concert series. La Pura Vida grooved effortlessly with keys, congas, percussion, and a drummer setting the pace. Victor Mairena, the band’s founder and lead singer, belted lyrics in Spanish while half of the neighborhood descended into the park, many of them with dance partners. East Boston residents continued dancing salsa into the evening as the sun set over the harbor and Boston’s skyline. It was truly a magical night.

Finally, a huge statement of gratitude goes to ZUMIX’s Live Sound Service team. We couldn’t do these great live concerts without them! Thank you to anyone who volunteered, donated money, or simply enjoyed these live events. We look forward to our series of summer concerts next year. 

If you have suggestions on how to improve the ZUMIX Summer Concert experience, please contact Events Coordinator Najwa Aswad at najwa.aswad@zumix.org.    

One Night Band Participants!

January is almost here, which means One Night Band is just around the corner! Originally presented by Boston Band Crush from 2009-2012 and rebooted by friend of Zumix Richard Bouchard last year, One Night Band is a day-long music experiment in which 40 Boston musicians are randomly shuffled into bands of five on a Saturday morning. These newly formed bands take the day to write 3 original songs and prepare 1 cover to play in front of an audience that night, with proceeds benefiting Zumix. You can check out a quick recap of last year below, and grab some tickets for the next one on January 12th here.

The 40 musicians taking part in One Night Band represent a diverse cross section of the Boston music scene, and they all donate their time and talent to help spread the word about ZUMIX, so we’ll spotlight them here individually. Check out their regular projects and bands, show them some love, get hyped, and get tickets.

Abbie Barrett has been featured in CMT’s Cool Album Cuts, Magnet Magazine, Vanyaland, and PopMatters. In 2015, she received a Boston Music Award for Best Songwriter, and most recently opened for the B-52’s. Her music falls somewhere between pop, rock, and a little strangeness. She plays regularly in the Boston area with her band.
Abbie Barrett

Al Crockett has been involved in the Boston music scene since 1990, primarily as a drummer. Past projects include Bugjuice, Ambush at Junction Rock, Chevy Heston, Lucky Lee Jones, Slim Jim and the Mad Cows, Commodore Vic LLC, and The Bikes. He currently plays with The Concerns, Freezepop, Lifestyle, and Pastel Noir. His hobbies include eating ice cream, playing Words with Friends, and namedropping.
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Soprano Alyssa Hensel is excited to represent the Boston Opera Collaborative at Boston One Night Band. Alyssa is a Boston based classical musician. Her appearances include the Tanglewood Festival Chorus (Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms), Beryl (Sunshine Girl), Linda (The Battle of Bull Run Always Makes Me Cry), Assistant B (Womb with a View), April #2 (Symposium), Vitellia (La Clemenza di Tito), Eliza (Dark Sisters) and Louisa Berry (A Letter to Vanguard, new commission). Alyssa attended Oberlin Conservatory of Music (B.M. ‘14, Voice) and The Boston Conservatory (M.M. ‘17, Voice).
Alyssa Hensel

Angel is a local artist, musician, creator and collaborator based in Jamaica Plain. They work as a music therapist, play actively in their electro-pop band Citrusphere and conjure sounds for their solo project RubyLuna. Sound is a divine process for them and they love to create it with others.
angel citrusphere

Anjimile is a queer and trans songwriter/folk singer/lover boy with a heart of gold. The essence of their musical output is a gooey center of warmth and tenderness informed by the power of their intersectional identities.

Antonio Irons is an electric bassist born and raised in Stoughton, Massachusetts. With experience playing a multitude of styles including rock, jazz, funk, R&B, and pop music, he has taken his talents across New England playing at a multitude of venues with a number of different groups. Some of these venues include the Boston Park Plaza, Franklin Park, Latchkey, Wally’s Jazz Club, Fenway Park, The Plainridge Park Casino, and The Bitter End. Tony aspires to be a session musician and acoustic engineer after graduating college at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in May 2019.
Antonio Irons

The Arcitype is a Cambridge-based music producer, co-owner of The Bridge Sound and Stage recording studio, founder of the Cambridge-based independent label, AR Classic Records, and back to back winner of Boston Music Awards “Studio Producer of The Year” in 2016-17. He is also the producer and member of the Boston-based hip hop group, STL GLD.
The Arcitype

Billy Dean Thomas, AKA “The Queer B.I.G” is a Hip-hop recording artist and composer born and raised in Harlem, but currently residing in Boston. Billy challenges the music industry with polyrhythmic flows that align with intersectional feminism, social justice and the difficulties of growing up in NYC. After sharing their story on ABC’s the View and releasing their debut EP “Rocky Barboa” they have been invited as a guest to perform at The Brooklyn Museum, The Isabella Stewart Gardner, The Museum of Fine Arts and have been nominated for two Boston Music awards and are currently an Artist in Residence at MASS MOCA.
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Carl Harkness is a drummer hailing from Brighton, MA, playing for such bands and artists as Doom Lover, Lindsey Starr (Los Angeles), formerly Radclyffe Hall, and others. He is a graduate of Berklee, has since been playing and producing music in and around Boston MA, and Austin, TX, and proudly plays Anchor Drums. Carl and Doom Lover may be most notably famous in Boston for their Vaudevillian Spectaculars, a full night of music, dance, comedy, hijinks, art, and mystery. You can experience the next installment on December 28th @ Brighton Music Hall, when Doom Lover presents “A Winter’s Miracle”, the vaudevillian special and album release show for Doom Lover’s highly anticipated forthcoming full length album ‘Outside Voices’.

Chad Raleigh can be found string bendin’, feedback makin’ and the occasional pick slidin’ at The RationalesLonely Leesa & The Lost CowboysRingtail and Ajda the Turkish Queen.

Pretty good at a couple things, but not great at one, he doesn’t really like the beach and he wholeheartedly believes Eric Clapton is the most overrated musician ever.
Chad Raleigh

Charles Morton currently plays bass in local emo veterans no hope/no harm and indie darlings Church and Puppets. He’s been tooling around the Boston music scene since the late 90s, playing bass and sometimes singing with mathrock goofballs Shore Leave, garage-gazers Lady of Spain, and powerpop delinquents Negative Ghostrider. You probably saw him play at the Sky Bar at some point before the Big Dig was finished, you know, when Somerville was affordable. He not-so-secretly misses the Abbey Lounge.
Charles Morton

Christine Atturio plays guitar and sings in a band called Save Ends that formed in the Boston suburbs in the winter of 2010 during a friendly game of Dungeons and Dragons. They have released three EPs and two full lengths, most recently 2017s “A Book About Bad Luck”.
Christine Atturio

Dan Costa is a singer/guitar player best known for his work with the progressive heavy act, The Under. As a vocalist, Dan carries an impressive 3 octave range, but he can also growl and grunt with the best of them. He is also a versatile guitarist whose stylewanders from jazzy and ethereal to full on crushing heaviness. With a new drummer in tow, Dan and The Under are quickly working on a new set of songs to unleash upon lovers of high-minded rock music.
dan costa.jpg

Dhy Edwardsberry spends most of her time making music under the moniker Neon BLK (fka Radclyffe Hall). When she isn’t doing that, she can be found playing bass in Oompa’s band, The Chocolate Factory, and for other friends around Boston. [Photo credit Jen Vesp]
dhy Edwardsberry

Born Vanda Bernadeau in Hinche, Haiti to a Haitian mother and Haitian-Dominican father, Dutch ReBelle is known for “mixing introspective, punch-lined filled lyrics with heart pounding production”.

ReBelle earned national attention early on with electrifying performances at SXSW, A3C and the Brooklyn Hip-Hop festival. Publications like XXL noted ReBelle “spearheading her way into blogs because of her poetic style…lyrical bravado…and fiery talent.”

Having earned the title “Queen of the Bean,” ReBelle solidified her local reputation as a “ReBelle with a Cause” (The Boston Globe) with her 2012 “Married to the Music” EP. Soon after her “Sunday Morning” music video was featured on MTV’s Rap Fix Live, ReBelle was named “Best Hip-Hop Artist” by the Boston Music Awards and featured on the cover of The Improper Bostonian.

Ms. “kiss kiss, BANG BANG” has found success defying expectations and is now cultivating a global audience. With last year’s release of “NO STEMS”, reintroducing ReBelle reintroduced her rap roots with sounds inspired by her Haitian-Dominican upbringing and recent festival performance in Africa.

She’s been nominated for underground music awards and has claimed “Best Hip-Hop Artist” at the Boston Music Awards. Her videos have graced MTV’s Rap Fix Live and her verses hum with “poetic style and lyrical bravado” (XXL). ReBelle connects to her audience with city grit and island vibes, setting sultry scenes and delivering thoughtful commentary.

Staying true to her instincts when it comes to elevating fans above major labels: her latest release Bang Bang, the follow-up project to Kiss Kiss is the latest of many projects under her independent label ReBelle Music, and the first to be entirely crowdfunded.
dutche rebelle

Ed Balloon is a singer and performer, whose music is a unique blend of R&B, electronic, pop, and hip-hop. With influences ranging from of Montreal, to Jill Scott, to Maxwell, his diverse musical background combined with his Nigerian roots produces an unparalleled sound.

Ed Balloon performs live with a full band, to create an energetic stage presence, captivating his audience with one-of-a-kind dance moves.
Ed Balloon

James Towlson is a Boston based singer, songwriter, bassist, and guitar player. His past bands include: These Thieves, The Campaign for Real-Time (06′ Rumble and BMA winners), and Marconi. He’s currently in Party Bois (nominated for three 2018 BMA’s).
James Towlson

Jennifer D’Angora (aka Jenny Dee) made her start with garage rockers The Downbeat 5 and power pop/punk band The Dents, before deciding to indulge her love for the girl group and soul sounds of the 1960’s with Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents and gospel/soul with The Revs. Some of her most memorable musical moments include opening for J. Geils Band & Aerosmith at Fenway Park, and sharing bills with amazing artists such as, The Zombies, The Hoodoo Gurus, The Pretty Things, The Knitters, The Blasters, The Muffs, Dick Dale, Lee Fields, Hilton Valentine (of the Animals), Bettye LaVette, The Breeders, The Zombies, and many more. Finally, there’s that Boston Music Award in 2010 for Best Female Vocalist.
Jen Dangora

Jess Baggia is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist living and working in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In March 2009, Baggia self-released her debut studio EP, ‘Back in the Game’, a collection of original compositions featuring her unique pop sensibility through a range of roots, blues and Americana influences. The collection’s single “Hope” stood out on Women of Substance radio’s rotation as one of 2010’s most requested songs. Baggia spent the following years playing around the Greater Boston area, building a supportive fan base and selling out popular local music venues.

March 2015 marked the debut of Baggia’s rock project, Man Trouble (formerly called Red Right Hand). Think: PJ Harvey meets Patti Smith with a dash of the Kills. Man Trouble’s self-titled, second album was released in October 2017. Her latest project, This Bliss, just debuted their first full length album via Mint400 Records. Entitled, ‘Forensic Styles,’ This Bliss delivers a cinematic dreamscape that explores the world of trip-hop and electronica—through the lens of a crime novelist.

In addition to her work as a musician, Baggia is a live music audio engineer and former editor/contributing writer for the Northeast edition of Performer Publications.
Jess Baggia

Some have said that Jesse James Salucci is to rock drumming what Neil Peart is to backpacking Europe. By that they mean that he’s not sure how he ended up doing it, but he’s enjoyed it so far. Born the son of a pro musician, he grew up listening and learning in their home recording studio and tried to develop a basic proficiency of every instrument he could get his hands on. After answering a particularly auspicious Craigslist ad in 2006, he’s been lead drummer for The Lights Out ever since.
Jesse Salucci

Jim Gilbert is known primarily for his work with indie rock band The Sheila Divine. He has also played with The Plain Janes, Max Heinegg, Smiths tribute band Unhappy Birthday and has his own songwriting moniker Serial Recall Test.
Jim Gilbert

JoBeth Umali is a Boston drummer who has toured and recorded with Zili Misik, The Furies, Nephrok & many more. She currently plays with Taina Asili, Silver Arrow Band & Jugghead Band. She is also on the leadership for Women In Music: Boston, strengthening ties among the local music scene.
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Johnny Jimenez has been playing drums in local bands for the last 20 years. Some good, some not so good. He currently makes computer music under the name Kid Taco and co-hosts the hit radio show We Let The Hats Decide on BFF.fm. He likes pizza.
Johnny Jimenez

Raised between the States, and Seoul, South Korea, Kaya Boom (real name Kaya Doran) is a music producer, composer, songwriter, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and performing artist, whose music is as fervent and soulful as it is eclectic. A versatile musician with over 10 years experience she has contributed music to film, web series, advertising, VR and other multimedia projects.

Kaya’s self-produced debut EP, “Mellow into Blue,” marks her first foray as a solo artist, and her music draws on a wide range of influences and genres, spanning from jazz to classical to experimental to hiphop to traditional Korean folk music. In true entrepreneurial spirit, she wrote, performed, produced and recorded “Mellow into Blue” almost entirely on her own in her bedroom. She debuted her EP in Hong Kong as a part of the West Kowloon Cultural District music festival Freespace Happening.

Kaya, a Boston resident, is an active contributor to the city’s rich and ever-growing local music community, regularly collaborating with other local artists. She is an active founding member of “The JamFam Collective” and has taught songwriting to the women and girls of Rosie’s Place, as a tool for empowering them to tell their stories of oppression, resilience and hope in a creative and transformative way.
Kaya Boom.jpg

Lee Moretti formed rock band/songwriting collaborative The Furies after coming off the road as Third Eye Blind’s multi-instrumentalist and background vocalist, and the last few years have been a time of quickening growth for the unique group. The Furies EP “Omens,” a collection of vignettes reflecting on courage, loss, and discovering light in the darkest places. was released in November of 2015 to glowing reviews across the board and continues to receive praise, and the band was recently named “Best in State” at the New England Music Awards.
lee moretti

Mei Ohara is an electric violinist, vocalist, and electronic producer inspired by the cosmos and human psychology. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in classical violin performance from Boston University in 2012, but has worked extensively as a violin teacher, solo and ensemble performer, and session violinist over the past few years in a variety of genres including electro, metal, rock, pop, folk, and more. As a solo electro artist she has performed around the country, including but not limited to New York City, Los Angeles, Solar Flux Festival in Arkansas, and various Steampunk festivals in New England. Beyond creative musical endeavors, Mei also studies music psychology in a research lab setting for her 9-5. [Photo and edit by A Curious Production]
Mei Ohara

Currently drumming for Boston bands Bird Language and Test Meat, Michael Nashawaty has been playing since his early teens. From rock to funk with a bit of jazz Michael adapts his playing to fit the song as needed. Previously in bands PLANETOID, Slim and the Tank, and others Michael has toured America and recorded multiple albums.

Michelle Paulhus has been playing bass and singing around New England for the past 20 years with bands like The Dents, The Real Kids, Andrea Gillis Band, The Decals, The Marvels. She’s a part-time member of BOTO (Band Of Their Own) and part of the Hot Stove Cool Music family. Her newest endeavor, Stars Like Ours can be seen rocking their 90’s inspired music around the Boston area. She likes sunsets, long walks on the beach, anything by Joe Jackson and most of all, tuning up her Fender Jazz to play shows.

Hailing from Madagascar, singer-songwriter and Malagasy award winner Niu Raza has performed with the likes of Nigerian record producer, singer-songwriter, and musician Don Jazzy, as well as Grammy Award–winning Hugh Masekela and singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlaseka. Blending huge jazzy vocals with soul, African groove, a touch of Caribbean beats, and pop, Niu Raza’s sound is full, mature, and alluring.
Niu Raza

A young upstart on the local music scene and aspiring cult artist, Phil Aiken is quite proud to be a member in good standing of the Sharon Public Library. He is most often seen playing electric piano and organ, but was recently locked in a room full of analog synthesizers for several months with no food and water, and nobody quite knows what to expect from him going forward.
Phil Aiken

Rainy plays drums in Happy Little Clouds, Service, and Eye Witness, and bass in Sapling. She likes books, cats, coffee, and wandering away from large groups. Additional skills include licking her elbow and Mario Kart. Significant failings include but are not limited to doing cartwheels and putting the new toilet paper back on the thing.
rainy logan.jpg

Caribbean neo-soul artist, Rebecca Zama is a singer, songwriter, pianist, actress and poet. She’s been performing since the age of three for audiences around the United States and Haiti, her country of heritage. Her R&B/Soul background is fused with Zouk, Konpa and Kizomba, her soulful stylings leaving their mark on the Haitian Music Industry.

In her career, she’s garnered an impressive amount of musical accolades including a 2016 Boston Music Award nomination for International Artist of the Year, a 2017 nomination for R&B Artist of the Year, a 2017 nomination from the Prestigious Haitian Music Awards for Female Artist of the Year, and a Prestigious Haitian Music Award for Female Breakout Artist of the Year in 2018.

Accurately described as a jeune prodige by Le Nouvelliste, Rebecca Zama’s skills span beyond music.  She is also a dancer, Haitian Movie Award winning actress and a published poet, writing the anthology entitled Optimum Me inspired by the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. Her love and passion for Haiti led to Zama co-founding The Haiti Global Youth Partnership, Inc. This 501c3 nonprofit organization provides enrichment programs to the youth and community of the rural village of L’Asile, and Haiti at large.


Reilly Somach is a singer-songwriter and vocalist/guitarist of The Rupert Selection (recently nominated by The Boston Music Awards for Rock Artist of 2018). Hailing from the Philadelphia suburbs, Somach moved to Boston’s North Shore in grade school and has since spent most of his life playing in various bands and projects. A versatile and adventurous supporter of the local music scene, Somach can often be found performing solo, accompanied only by an acoustic guitar, or with revolving line-ups.
Reilly Somach

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Robin Melendez has been involved in the Worcester and Boston music scenes since 2011. A vocalist first and foremost, she also plays keyboards with Parks, and mandolin with Poor Eliza and Worcester-based Hit The Bus. By day Robin works as a fundraiser and event planner.

Ronnica is the lead singer and guitarist of Mint Green, an indie punk band that has been described as “making music that feels like the first signs of spring—teeming with life, but still vulnerable and fresh.” The band has been nominated for two Boston Music Awards and have performed with acts such as Sidney Gish, Jeff Rosenstock, Vagabon, Alex Lahey, and Free Cake For Every Creature.

Steph Curran is a multi-instrumentalist who has spent the past 18 years playing guitar and bass in several metal and rock bands across the New England music scene.

Currently, Steph is the guitarist in Carissa Johnson and The Cure-Alls who won the 2017 Rock n’ Roll Rumble and Best New Artist at last year’s Boston Music Awards, and the are trio are nominated for four more BMAs this year, including Album of the year. Other bands include The Static Dynamic, Marianas, and Breathe. Steph is known for her animated live performances and serious love of denim vests. [Photo credit Matt Lambert]
steph curran

Tess Fagan grew up in a small neighborhood in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn, New York. She began piano lessons at age 4 and at the young age of 5 she was accepted into the prestigious Manhattan School of Music Precollege. She attended until the age of 18 under the study of renowned concert pianist Claudia Knafo. Tess also attended the French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts, where she picked up the electric bass for the first time at age 14 and has been in love with playing it ever since. Some of her most meaningful musical accomplishments have been performing to raise money for the Memorial Sloan Kettering children’s cancer hospital in New York, as well as going on her first international tour in 2018 to Hong Kong. In her spare time, Tess loves to experiment with cooking new dishes with her partner.
Tess Fagan

Tia Mayhem is an internationally touring bassist from Detroit who performs in the multi-award winning all-female band, Flight of Fire which she co-founded with her identical twin sister, Tanya Venom, and their best friend, Maverick. Tia has been playing electric bass for 14 years and has been performing since she was 16. Graduating from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Scoring and Electric Bass Performance, Tia strives to create complex and melodic bass lines that add depth and character to her music. During her Sophomore year at Berklee, she was awarded with the Bass Achievement Award, and her work with Flight of Fire has been recognized by the Limelight Music Awards, New England Music Awards, the Hollywood Music In Media Awards, and the Boston Music Awards. Currently, you can find Tia Mayhem touring, performing high-energy shows, songwriting, and recording with Flight of Fire, as well as teaching bass to anyone with a passion for the low end.
Tia Mayhem

Timothy Hall is an educator, artist, and entrepreneur, from Detroit, MI, who now resides in Boston, MA. He began playing alto saxophone at the age of 10. In college, Hall found poetry and used this form of creative expression to share his thoughts on paper. Tim Hall draws inspiration from his lived experiences – charting the nuances of blackness, masculinity, and the beauties of life. As a musician, Hall has shared stages with world-renowned recording artists such as The Nappy Roots, Carolyn Malachi, Bilal, Chris Turner, and Aloe Blacc. His poetry has been heard at Boston’s Hub Week, The Museum of Fine Arts, Berklee College of Music, Outside the Box Festival, Bridgin’ Gaps Festival, and many other venues and poetry slam communities around the Boston/Greater Boston area. Hall currently works at Berklee College of Music as the Assistant Director of the Career Center, and is the co-owner of HipStory – a digital media production company dedicated to creating and showcasing the work of marginalized identities within media. Tim Hall’s work can be found in his self-produced spoken word EP entitled Colors Of My Soul, and in his self-published book titled Trust The Process, both of which released in 2016.
Tim Hall

Vishnu Reddy is a drummer from Chennai, India currently residing in Boston and finishing his degree at Berklee College of Music. He is the drummer for the bands Dapper Duck, The Summoned and Merithius as well as being a formidable session drummer in the New England metal community, having filled in for bands such as Circuitry, Intoxicated Rage, Lattermath and Pathogenic as well as the Berklee run “Queen Boudicca Metal Opera”. His drumming style is very influenced by the metal bands he grew up listening to as well as a heavy dose of jazz fusion and Indian and Middle Eastern odd-meter percussion repertoire.
Vishnu Reddy