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Len Cabral Storyteller

Newest CD release: Buzz Buzz Once There Was

Some stories included are: Mezzi Gallo; The Snail With the Silver Shell; The Mule and the Jealous Farmer and four others

Other CD/Cassette titles: Nho Lobo; Ananzi Stories; Itís How You Say It and Stories for the Wee Folk. Contact Information: website: www.lencabral.com -- E-mail: len@lencabral.com

30 March Street, Cranston, RI 02905; 401/781-0019

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Len Cabral is an uplifting, spellbinding, magical storyteller who always seems to be on the verge of a laugh. He is a master weaver of mind pictures with his melodic voice and a strong sense of the living history of humanity stored in his consciousness. Listening to him is the equivalent of listening to a master musician playing as if he and the instrument are one. You cannot stop yourself from "seeing" his stories in your mindís eye, such is his narrative power. A portion of this power comes from Mr. Cabralís ability to tap into the common memory we all share. He is not simply telling a story, he is relating to us our own past -- the mythical, the fantastic, the almost-was, the should-have-been. Iíll wager he is as powerful as Homer Ďround a Mediterranean campfire long ago!

Mr. Cabralís great-grandfather was a whaler (which in itself must have produced some great stories woven through the family lore). In his live shows, he encourages children (especially) to pay attention to their own family stories, culled from grandparents and other "elders" as well as their own personal stories. He reminds his listeners that anyone who has bitten by a dog or escaped the same, has a story to tell. (He refers to the latter as a story with a happy ending.) Len also tells his young listeners that only they know the actual story they have experienced, so if they get stuck in the telling, make something up! But Mr. Cabral is also quick to remind adults that storytelling is their domain, too. He even presents adult workshops with storytelling as a teaching tool, demonstrating ways to incorporate new life into a curriculum and to ensure increased attentiveness among students!

One of the long-time Cabral favorites in our household is "Wiley and the Hairy Man", told with the wide-eyed humor and wonder of an 11-year-old. (The first time we listened, I swear I could smell the hot summer dirt around Wileyís house.) You owe it to yourself and your family to listen to this great tale, in particular. It can be found on the CD "Ananzi Stories". Any and all of Mr. Cabralís CDs provide an excellent background listening companion for a variety of activities . . . any sort of travel in the car, for instance; an afternoon coloring book session, playing with dolls or Legos or Kapla. Or even . . . dare I say it . . . just listening! Adults can put their minds in an alpha state and just daydream through a story or two . . . it does wonders to cure the grown-up blues!

Mr. Cabralís ancestors came to the U.S. from the Cape Verde islands, which lie near the coast of West Africa, long renowned for its great tradition of storytellers and poets in the form of griots -- the oral wordsmiths of West Africa. Len Cabral stands as one of the great modern American bards and I believe you will be pleased and enriched with his stories. I would suggest that you check out Lenís performing schedule at his website. Most of his gigs are in the East, from Massachusetts to Ohio, but in 2005 he will also venture as far west as Kansas. Donít miss the opportunity to visit one of his live shows -- and remember to let yourself go into that alpha state! -- Michael Leppert