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April Visit by Alan Broadbent Launches Alpert Professorships


Alan Broadbent '69, the first guest lecturer of the Herb Alpert Visiting Professorship series at Berklee

Photo by Kim Grant
 

DURING THE WEEK OF APRIL 11, Grammy Award-winning composer/pianist Alan Broadbent came to Berklee to begin his appointment as the first Herb Alpert visiting professor. The Alpert professorship was established by the Herb Alpert Foundation, the philanthropic organization created by Alpert, the cofounder of A&M Records and platinum-selling recording artist. It funds a three-year appointment for a distinguished artist to work with students on the Berklee campus for one week each year.

Broadbent is a 1969 graduate of the college whose distinguished career as a pianist, composer, and arranger has been marked by several Grammy nominations and two Grammy wins to date. Broadbent served as a guest lecturer to the jazz composition and contemporary arranging students, conducted a clinic for the Ensemble Department, and gave a masterclass for the Piano Department.

The residency's most public event was Broadbent's clinic for the Ensemble Department in the David Friend Recital Hall. For that session, Broadbent chose to work in the classic jazz sextet setting. He told the audience that he had reworked some of his own compositions as well as jazz standards for the three-horn-plus-rhythm-section lineup. The top-notch group of students that participated with Broadbent included trumpeter Mike Shobe, tenor saxophonist Walter Smith, and trombonist Jason Camelio on the front line, supported by a rhythm section consisting of bassist Emmanuel Von Lee, drummer Kendrick Scott, and Broadbent on piano.

The group kicked off the session with Tadd Dameron's classic tune "Hot House," before tackling Broadbent's compositions and arrangements "The Long Goodbye" and "Chris Craft" and a piece by graduate student Jason Camelio.

After the pianist's week on campus, Joe Smith, dean of the Writing Division, said, "Alan's visit was a great start to this program. Although he was sponsored by the Writing Division, he worked with students from many areas of the college. We hope to invite future Alpert professors who will also be capable of offering as much as Alan did to the students."