World music can expose listeners to the mariachi horns of Mexico, the thumb pianos of Africa, or postmodern compositions for the howling emptiness of Antarctica. Sample cosmopolitan sounds with this GrouponLive deal to see Jorge Martinez with special guest Oscar Lopez at the Aeolian Hall. For $24, you get one general-admission ticket on Friday, May 25, at 8 p.m. (up to a $47.83 value, including all fees). Doors open at 7 p.m. Students are regularly admitted for half price.
Jorge Martinez grew up with a guitar at his fingertips. “At age six,” he recalls, “I remember seeing a guitar in front of me and a friend of my father's started to teach me, late in the night.” By 14 he was learning flamenco rhythms from an uncle, and quickly began seasoning these with his own rock, jazz, funk, and Latin influences, and salt and pepper to taste. Now 36, Martinez's sizzling arrangement of "Black Orpheus" inspired an audience of thousands to shake their hips at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and the band brought the house down at Place des Arts with a stirring cover of the Che Guevera–tribute "Hasta Siempre." Also heating up the stage, Oscar Lopez favours a sensual, more traditional style that the Calgary Herald's Swerve Magazine noted as showcasing “gymnastic fills, trills, and arpeggios... [and] fearless bursts of flamenco riffage.”
The Aeolian Hall's 130-year history has seen the towering High Victorian brick building change purposes almost as frequently as new acts take its stage today. Though constructed by the London East Town Council to stake its claim as a separate entity from London, it was soon drafted to serve as a fire station, public school, library, radio repair shop, and telegraphy school in quick succession. All the while, the area behind the building played host to travelling concerts, plays, and self-styled doctors hawking cure-alls. Today, a cheery buttercup-coloured auditorium with a piano signed by Chick Corea brings communities together for old-fashioned live entertainment and horse dances.