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Arts menu for April features Jazz Week 14; Venezuelan troupe to play Strand on Friday

Thanks to Mayor Marty Walsh and his Office of Arts, Tourism and Special events, ENSEMBLE 7/4, which appeared earlier this month at Symphony Hall, will range over classical, jazz, Latin, and pop genres in a free concert Friday evening at 7:30 at the Strand Theatre.

At the beginning of 2011, four Venezuelan trumpet players, all products of the Venezuelan System of Children and Youth Orchestras (El Sistema), decided to forge past their experiences as members of an academic trumpet quartet and aim to play not only the Venezuelan music but also the vast repertoire of the entire American continent. They added to their ensemble three outstanding performers of the Venezuelan cuatro, the double bass and percussion, to create a one-of-a-kind musical group.

ENSEMBLE 7/4 has definitely developed its own musical and artistic voice, which starts with the use of the trumpet in genres that usual don’t feature it, like the Venezuelan joropo or the Argentine tango. Other innovations include arrangements influenced by a deep investigation of the musical styles of countries such as Cuba, Mexico, and the US. These arrangements respect the original sonorities of the native music and feature a broad range of colors and timbres within the same instrument. The group compares its current tour “Pabellon Criollo” to “a journey in which rhythms, melodies, colors, and tastes intrinsic to our American countries join happily together.”

Jazz Week 14: No Walls

April is the month where everyone everywhere is touched in some way by the power and just plain fun of the music we call jazz. Free jazz concerts are currently popping up all over Dorchester and the rest of the city.

Jazz Week, which will run from April 25 to May 4, is back for the eighth consecutive year since it was revived by JazzBoston in collaboration with the artists, organizations, and venues of Greater Boston’s jazz community. As always, the 10-day celebration of the music and the Hub’s unique local jazz scene is scheduled to tie in with the Smithsonian’s national observance of April as Jazz Appreciation Month, Duke Ellington’s birthday (April 29) – and since 2012, International Jazz Day (April 30).

Highlighting the unique role jazz plays worldwide in breaking down racial and cultural barriers, the theme of Jazz Week ’14 is “No Walls: A salute to the power of jazz to bring people together.”

That sentiment translates locally to several free shows including, for example, two on Sunday April 27. Tavolo Ristorante (1918 Dot Ave.) will host the Ashmont Hill Jazz Group (instrumental and vocal) for an all ages concert from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Starting a little later and running from 7:30 to 10, the Kurtis Rivers Quintet will welcome fans to the VFW Ramsey Post, at 54 Woodrow Ave.

Keep checking the constantly updated schedule of events at jazzboston.org. The biggest attraction will be the International Jazz Day celebration on the 30th, culminating in a blockbuster free public concert with a lineup of musicians representing the cultures and communities that make up Greater Boston at a centrally located venue to be determined. Closer to home, look for house concerts, inspired by both the loft scene of the ‘70s and the do-it-yourself spirit of today.