Clinics and Master Classes

John Jorgensen Quintet

Wednesday / April 13, 2011 / 2:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

The John Jorgenson Quintet features guitarist John Jorgenson, a founding member of the Desert Rose Band and the Hellecasters, and six-year member of Elton John's band. Artists ranging from Barbra Streisand to Bonnie Raitt to Earl Scruggs have sought out Jorgenson's guitar work. Recently, John Jorgenson was chosen to portray Django Reinhardt in the feature film Head in the Clouds.

At a John Jorgenson Quintet performance, audiences are amazed by John's dazzling guitar work as well as his mastery as a clarinet player and vocalist. Whether playing his own accessible compositions or classic standards, Jorgenson and his band make music that is equally romantic and ecstatic, played with virtuosity and soul. Jorgenson is known as one of the pioneers of the American gypsy jazz movement. He has performed as a solo artist as well as collaborated with other musicians all over the world. His articles and lessons on gypsy jazz have appeared in prominent guitar magazines and he has given master classes around the country, and he has performed with some of the most respected European proponents of this style, Biréli Lagrène and Romane. His playing has been included on a CD with Babik Reinhardt and Jimmy Rosenberg, and on another featuring Angelo Debarre and Moreno. In 1988 Curb Records released Jorgenson's After You've Gone CD, a collection of Reinhardt- and Goodman-styled '30s swing, featuring guest artists Darol Anger and David Grisman.

Growing up in Southern California, Jorgenson was playing both the piano and the clarinet by age 8. At 12 he got his first guitar and practiced voraciously while continuing to study classical music on woodwinds. By age 14, he was playing professionally. Learning first to play rock guitar, he absorbed other guitar styles as quickly as he discovered them. This broad musical palette has enabled him to play with artists as diverse as Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti, Bonnie Raitt, and Benny Goodman. He is an A-list session player working in L.A., Nashville, and London and has appeared on numerous platinum-selling and Grammy-winning CDs.

Jorgenson first came to national prominence in the mid-1980s with the Desert Rose Band, which he cofounded with Chris Hillman. The band earned five No. 1 singles and garnered several awards. During this time, Jorgenson won the ACM's Guitarist of the Year award three consecutive times. Following the Desert Rose Band, Jorgenson formed another award-winning group, the virtuosic guitar trio the Hellecasters. Originally conceived as a one-off gig for fun, the group went on to produce three acclaimed CDs and a live video, winning both Album of the Year and Country Album of the Year from the readers of Guitar Player Magazine for the stunning debut effort Return of the Hellecasters, released in 1993.

In 1994 Elton John invited Jorgenson on an 18-month world tour. The 18 months stretched into a six-year period that included not only sold-out world tours, but also recordings, television appearances, and collaborations with many other artists including Sting and Billy Joel. In addition to acoustic and electric guitars, Jorgenson was also featured on saxophone, pedal steel, mandolin, and vocals.

Although Jorgenson is well-known in the pop, country, and rock world, gypsy jazz is the style of music closest to his heart. Because of his international reputation as a gypsy jazz player, he was twice asked to recreate Django Reinhardt's music for feature films, Gattaca and Head in the Clouds. The latter, released in early 2005 and starring Charlize Theron and Penelope Cruz, features Jorgenson on camera as Django Reinhardt, complete with burned hand and gypsy moustache.

2004 also marked the release of Franco-American Swing on J2/FGM Records. As Jorgenson's latest creative work, the CD is full of infectious gypsy jazz music. The Nashville Chamber Orchestra joins him in this collection of original compositions and gypsy jazz classics, pushing the boundaries as it adds to the tonal palette of traditional gypsy jazz. Beautiful melodies and soulful virtuosity abound for listeners treated to Jorgenson's dazzling fretwork and sizzling clarinet playing. Additionally, Jorgenson released two gypsy jazz guitar instruction books and DVDs, and a third instruction book is due to come out later this year.

Currently living in Nashville, Jorgenson tours worldwide playing gypsy jazz with the John Jorgenson Quintet. He also performs in the U.K. with his electric band, John Jorgenson and Friends, and continues to collaborate with other artists live and in the studio.

Current members of the John Jorgenson Quintet:

Doug Martin
A Native of California, Martin has performed worldwide with acclaimed gypsy guitarist Lulo Reinhardt and brings a fiery rhythmic drive to the Quintet.

Jason Anick
New to the Quintet in 2008, Anick is a prodigious graduate of the prestigious Hart College and is quickly making a name for himself as an exciting jazz violinist.

Simon Planting
Planting is a world-renown bassist in the world of gypsy-jazz known for his tenure with respected gypsy traditionalist Fapy Lafertin and the progressive Robin Nolan Trio.

Rick Reed
Reed spent many years in New York playing jazz before relocating to Nashville, where he has performed with a diverse range of artists, including Shelby Lynne and Ray Davies.

John Jorgenson is a proud patron of the only dedicated gypsy jazz venue in the world, Le Quecumbar in London, U.K.

Admission: 

ASCAP @ Berklee Day: Patrice Rushen Clinic

Monday / April 11, 2011 / 2:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Patrice Rushen, ambassador of artistry in education at Berklee, is an award-winning musician and composer who is one of the most sought-after artists in the music industry. The classically trained pianist originally found success in the '70s and '80s with her signature fusion of jazz, pop, and r&b. During this era, she composed and recorded the hit song "Forget Me Nots," which has been frequently covered and sampled by other artists.

Rushen is also a four-time Grammy nominee who has composed scores for movies and television. She has been the first female musical director for many of the entertainment industry's top award shows, including the Grammy Awards, the Emmy Awards, the People's Choice Awards, the NAACP Image Awards, and HBO's Comic Relief V.

Considered one of the world's top jazz pianists, Rushen has performed with many artists, including such esteemed names as Ndugu Chancler,  Herbie Hancock, Prince, Lee Ritenour, Carlos Santana, Nancy Wilson, and Stevie Wonder. She is a record producer and an award-winning composer of symphonic music, some of which was commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Rushen is also an artist in residence/curriculum consultant for the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music's Popular Music Program.

Rushen also spends time working with the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, NARAS's Grammy in the Schools program, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, and other organizations dedicated to establishing music education and mentorship programs for underprivileged youth.

 

 

Admission: 

Wayne Shorter Master Class

Wednesday / April 27, 2011 / 1:00 p.m.
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02116

National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Wayne Shorter gives a master class with Berklee Global Jazz Institute artistic director Danilo Pérez and BGJI faculty member John Patitucci. The event is part of Berklee's Global Jazz Summit for Humanity and Peace, April 25–27.

Admission: 

Arabic Music Workshop with Simon Shaheen

Tuesday / April 19, 2011 / 2:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Simon Shaheen dazzles his listeners as he deftly leaps from traditional Arabic sounds to jazz and Western classical styles. His soaring technique, melodic ingenuity, and unparalleled grace have earned him international acclaim as a virtuoso on the oud and violin.

Shaheen is one of the most significant Arab musicians, performers, and composers of his generation. His work incorporates and reflects a legacy of Arabic music, while it forges ahead to new frontiers, embracing many different styles in the process. This unique contribution to the world of arts was recognized in 1994 when Shaheen was honored with the prestigious National Heritage Award at the White House.

In the 1990s he released four albums of his own: Saltanah (Water Lily Acoustics), Turath (CMP), Taqasim (Lyrichord), and Simon Shaheen: The Music of Mohamed Abdel Wahab (Axiom), while also contributing cuts to producer Bill Laswell's fusion collective, Hallucination Engine (Island).

He has contributed selections to soundtracks for The Sheltering Sky and Malcolm X, among others, and has composed the entire soundtrack for the United Nations-sponsored documentary, For Everyone Everywhere. Broadcast globally in December 1998, this film celebrated the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Human Rights Charter.

But perhaps his greatest success has come with Blue Flame (ARK21, 2001), where he leads his group, Qantara, on a labyrinthian journey through the world of fusion music to discover the heart of the Middle East. The album has been nominated for eleven Grammy Awards, and the band's performances have been called "glorious."

In this clinic, Simon Shaheen will demonstrate different concepts of classical and traditional Arabic music, on the violin and on the oud. Audience participation is encouraged.

The clinic will be followed by a Berklee Performance Center concert featuring Simon Shaheen and the Berklee All Star Middle Eastern Ensemble.

The Berklee Annual Middle Eastern Festival is sponsored by the Ensemble Department and the Diversity and Inclusion Office, and was founded and directed by faculty member Christiane Karam.

Admission: 
Free

Victor Wooten and Bela Fleck Master Class

Wednesday / April 6, 2011 / 1:00 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Grammy Award winners Béla Fleck and Victor Wooten of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones come together for a master class unlike any other. Come and be ready to play.

Victor Wooten, five-time Grammy Award-winning bassist, is known for his solo career and his work as a member of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Wooten is also a skilled naturalist and teacher, a published author, magician, husband, and father of four. His book The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth through Music (Berkley/Penguin, 2006) is used in Berklee's LHUM-100 Artistry, Creativity, and Inquiry Seminar. Wooten illustrates in his book that musical gifts mirror those from life, and that each movement, phrase, and chord has its own meaning, as long as one is open to finding it. Learn more about Wooten's residency.

Béla Fleck is one of the world's most innovative and technically proficient banjo players. He has won 11 Grammy Awards, received 27 nominations, and has been nominated in more categories than any other musician in Grammy history. Best known for his work with the bands New Grass Revival and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, he has performed or recorded with Edgar Meyer, Chick Corea, Doc Watson, Dave Matthews Band, Ginger Baker, Phish, and countless others. A New York native, he picked up the banjo at 15 after being awed by the bluegrass music of Flatt and Scruggs. While still in high school he began experimenting with playing bebop jazz on his banjo, mentored by fellow banjo renegade Tony Trischka.

Host: John Repucci, Bass Department assistant chair; Dave Hollender, professor, Ensemble Department. This event is part of the 17th annual Liberal Arts Symposium, sponsored by the Liberal Arts Department, Professional Education Division Herb Alpert Scholars Program, the Office for Cultural Diversity and Inclusion, and the Office of Faculty Development.

Admission: 

Victor Wooten Open Rehearsal and Discussion

Thursday / April 7, 2011 / 1:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Victor Wooten, five-time Grammy Award–winning bassist, is known for both his solo career and his work as a member of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Wooten is also a skilled naturalist and teacher, published author, magician, husband, and father of four. His book The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth through Music (Berkley/Penguin, 2006) is used in Berklee's LHUM-100 Artistry, Creativity, and Inquiry Seminar. Wooten illustrates in his book that musical gifts mirror those from life, and that each movement, phrase, and chord has its own meaning, as long as one is open to finding it. Learn more about Wooten's residency.

Music director: Skip Smith with Dave Hollender. Host: Michael Mason, assistant chair, Liberal Arts. This event is part of the 17th annual Liberal Arts Symposium, sponsored by the Liberal Arts Department, Professional Education Division Herb Alpert Scholars Program, the Office for Cultural Diversity and Inclusion, and the Office of Faculty Development.

Admission: 

Antonio Ciacca Clinic

Monday / April 11, 2011 / 1:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Born in Germany, raised in Italy, and educated in the United States, pianist Antonio Ciacca is able to move as fluidly among those varied cultural environments as he does between his life as a performer, composer, father of five, and top-tier arts presenter. Notably, Ciacca has served as artistic director for the Italian cultural agency, C-Jam, and in 2007, landed a plum job as the director of programming for Jazz at Lincoln Center, the impetus for his move that year from Bologna, Italy to New York City.

Ciacca began his career as a sideman for such acclaimed jazz artists as Art Farmer, James Moody, Lee Konitz, Jonny Griffin, Mark Murphy, Dave Liebman, and Steve Grossman, who he cites as his mentor, and with whom he studied for three years beginning in 1990. In 1993, he moved to Detroit to study at Wayne State University with Kenny Barron, after which he studied privately with Charles Mingus's pianist Jackie Byard in New York. While living in Detroit, he was first exposed to gospel music, which so impressed him with its passion and energy that he soon integrated it into his own developing style as a composer and performer; he eventually went on to produce a CD for the Detroit Gospel Singers.

One of the most important events in Ciacca's career was an invitation to join the legendary saxophonist Steve Lacy's quartet in 1997; he continued to perform with Lacy for seven years. Another key encounter that would have long lasting musical and professional repercussions for Ciacca took place in 1997. "Wynton Marsalis was performing in Italy with Elvin Jones, who is my son's godfather. I'd first seen him at the Bologna Jazz Festival in 1989, and he really first opened my eyes to jazz then. But when I first saw him, I had no idea we'd ever work together." Ciacca first performed with Wynton in Wess Anderson's sextet at New York's Village Vanguard in 2004.

In 1998 he also began to perform with saxophonist Benny Golson, with whom he continues to collaborate. In 1995, Ciacca recorded his first CD as a leader, Driemoty, which was released on the label C-Jam. In 1999 he recorded in New York City Hollis Avenue for the German label YVP. In 2002, he recorded Autumn in New York for the Italian label Splash.

After returning to Italy, Ciacca performed throughout Europe, including an intense series of performances in London in 2003, which included appearances at Ronnie Scott's, the Royal Festival Hall Foyer, the National Theatre and the London Jazz Festival, with the Monk Liberation Front project, a six-hour long performance that involved 13 musicians alternately playing Monk's unedited music. The Guardian called out Ciacca's performance as "terrific." After opening for Wynton Marsalis's concerts in Italy, in 2004 Ciacca returned to New York to again perform at the  Village Vanguard with his own quartet, featuring renowned saxophonist Wess Anderson, subsequently touring with them throughout the U.S., U.K., and Italy until 2005. 

In Italy in 2004, Ciacca recorded a trio project, Ugly Beauty with the late Dennis Irwin and Detroit mate Ali Jackson for the legendary Italian label Soul Note which he supported with a European tour.

In 2007, Ciacca's extensive music industry experience and comprehensive artistic vision led to his being tapped to take on the position of director of programming at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he works closely with JALC artistic director Wynton Marsalis.  

That same year, he met Jana Herzen, founder of Motéma Music, at a performance at the Historic Langston Hughes House in Harlem, an intimate brownstone parlor performance space that is sponsored in part by the label. Herzen offered use of the Fazioli piano at the Hughes House to Ciacca for his rehearsal needs, and over the next few weeks she took so well to Ciacca's playing and compositions that the current recording deal was initiated.

The release of Rush Life coincides with many changes at Motéma and in the jazz industry in general. The CD will represent the label's first digital only release in the U.S.; the project will be available at download services throughout the world as well as via Motéma's own jazz portal in the U.S., motema.com. It will also be one of the first Motéma projects to be sold in Europe through Motéma's new distribution partner, the German-based Membran. Nancy Ann-Lee, writing in the Jazz & Blues Report, observed, "This superb recording demonstrates Ciacca's immersion in the language of jazz."

In 2009 Ciacca turned 40. His yearlong celebrations included: an appearance at New York Blue Note, one-week engagement at Dizzy's, performances at the Rochester and Detroit International Jazz Festivals, a European tour with special guests George Garzone and Joe Locke, release of his first music book, The Music of Antonio Ciacca Vol. 1 and his first year teaching the course Business of Jazzat Juilliard.

And performing at the Detroit International Jazz Festival was the climax of a fantastic journey started in Detroit in 1993 when Antonio first touched U.S. soil. In the same year Ciacca was invited to celebrate Art Tatum's Centennial and John Hendrix joined him as special guest.

In 2010 Ciacca released Lagos Blues, his second recording with Motéma. In two months this album became a rare gift to the jazz world, documenting for the first time the pure joy of be-bop, gospel, and blues-influenced pianist/composer's deep, longterm musical relationship with sax legend Steve Grossman. Grossman, who rose to fame in the 1970s through incendiary and groundbreaking sessions with Miles Davis, joined Ciacca's deft ensemble (Stacy Dillard, Kengo Nakamura, and Ulysses Owens) to swing with impeccable style on this historic disc. Greg Barbrick writing in Blogcritics.org commented "Lagos Blues makes an excellent introduction to the music of Antonio Ciacca, and the addition of Steve Grossman makes it even better. If you are looking for something with the traditional fire of old, tempered with some lovely, modern-day piano work, this is a disc to look into."

In September 2010 The Antonio Ciacca Trio performed in a special tribute to Bud Powell, which also featured The Jacky Terrason Trio, Barry Harris and Bertha Hope. In the autumn of 2010, Antonio Ciacca and Todd Barkan curated the second annual Italian Jazz Days 2010 New York, showcasing the rich jazz heritage of Italy through a series of concerts featuring American and Italian Jazz artists, including among others, Joe Lovano with the Antonio Ciacca Quintet.

Currently the New York-based pianist and composer Ciacca enjoys his work as director of programming at Jazz at Lincoln Center, his family of five kids with his wife and manager Giusy Magri, president of TwinsMusic Enterprises Inc., and his beloved jazz piano, playing the city jazz clubs and touring internationally.

Ciacca presents a textbook example of this art form being practiced at its highest level. Ciacca plays with a rare blend of earthiness, fire and intellect, with elements of Wynton Kelly, Red Garland, and Bobby Timmons that recall the most creatively vital and yet oddly neglected schools of jazz.

 

Admission: 

Percussion Days: Alberto Netto - Brazilian Rhythms for Drum Set

Thursday / March 31, 2011 / 1:00 p.m.
Berk Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

Faculty drummer Alberto Netto presents a clinic on Brazilian drum set styles. Topics will include creation of drum set beats from hand percussion patterns, playing samba, baião, and maracatú with and without percussion, and Brazilian 16th note feel and improvisation.

Alberto started playing drumset and hand percussion at age 12 in his hometown Santos, Brazil. At age 17 he began performing professionally with Brazilian jazz and MPB artists such as David Costa and The Modern Jazz Band, Chico Gomes, Grupo Jornal do Brasil and the Luis Arruda Paes Big Band among others. Alberto studied drum set with Brazilian masters including Realcino "Nenê" Lima, Zé Eduardo Nazário and Duda Neves who encouraged him to come to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Alberto was awarded with a scholarship from Berklee and graduated in 1993. In the US he has shared stage and studio performances with many talents, including Claudio Roditti, Aaron Scott, Skip Hadden, Giovanni Hidalgo, Oscar Stagnaro, Matt Johnson, Alain Mallet, Helio Alves, Hermeto Pascoal, Jovino Santos, Aaron Goldberg, and Luciana Souza, among others . Alberto is the author of the book Brazilian Rhythms for Drum Set and Percussion published by Berklee press.

Admission: 

Eric and Suzy Thompson Clinic

Friday / April 8, 2011 / 1:00 p.m.
Oliver Colvin Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

Eric and Suzy Thompson are virtuoso performers of American roots music: old-time Appalachian ballads and breakdowns, classic blues and jug band songs, bluegrass hot licks, and Louisiana Cajun dance music. Eric's flatpicking on guitar and mandolin is exceptional for its purity of tone, speed, and soulfulness; Suzy is a powerful blues singer, an award-winning fiddler, and a Cajun accordion player who apprenticed with older Louisiana Cajun musicians under an NEA Fellowship. Eric and Suzy were founding members of many influential roots music groups, including the Black Mountain Boys, Any Old Time, and the California Cajun Orchestra, and have worked with Jerry Garcia, Maria Muldaur, David Grisman, Jim Kweskin and Geoff Muldaur, Darol Anger, Laurie Lewis, Tom Rozum, the Savoy Doucet Cajun Trio, and many other fine roots musicians.

Eric Thompson has been considered a pioneer in the bluegrass guitar world since his teenage years in Palo Alto, California in the early 1960s, at a time when very few folk guitarists were playing more than basic rhythm guitar. Among his earliest bands were the Black Mountain Boys (with Jerry Garcia and David Nelson) and Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions. He quickly became nationally known as an exceptional lead flatpicker, winning the World Championship Cup at Union Grove, North Carolina with the New York Ramblers (which also included David Grisman and Winnie Winston) and flying to Nashville, Tennessee to record Beatle Country with the Charles River Valley Boys.

During the later 1960s and 1970s, Eric continued to play old-time music, recording with Mike Seeger, Jody Stecher, Dr. Humbead's New Tranquility String Band, and the Spare Change Boys. He took up the tenor banjo, organized the Graineog Celidh Band around two master musicians from County Clare (Joe Cooley and Kevin Keegan) and spent six months in the west of Ireland, visiting and learning from older traditional musicians there.

In 1977, Eric recorded his first solo LP, Bluegrass Guitar, featuring an all-star band including David Grisman and Tony Rice; it has been reissued (with additional duet tracks with David Grisman) as Thompson's Real. A duet album with guitarist Alan Senauke, Two Guitars, featured a more
eclectic mix, ranging from American bluegrass to Irish reels to Greek rembetika, prefiguring today's world music genre.

In the 1980s Eric toured extensively nationwide and abroad with the Blue Flame Stringband (with Kate Brislin, Alan Senauke, and Suzy Thompson) and the Backwoods Band, recording with both bands. Between tours, he traveled to southwest Louisiana, pursuing his newest musical interest, Cajun music. In 1983 he formed the California Cajun Orchestra and appears on their two award-winning Arhoolie CDs. More recently he has recorded with the Todalo Shaker and the Bluegrass Intentions. Eric appears as a sideman on recordings by Mike Seeger, Alice Gerrard, the Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band, Mac Benford, Jody Stecher, and Frankie Armstrong, among others. His most recent CD is Kleptograss with Jody Stecher, Scott Nygaard, Paul Shelasky, and Paul Knight, which was released in December 2010 and is receiving national airplay.

A knowledgeable and patient teacher, Eric has been a staff member at Kamp Kaufman, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Bluff Country Gathering, Augusta Heritage Old-Time and Cajun-Creole Weeks, Port Townsend Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Camp, and Lark in the Morning. His instructional videos are distributed by Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop. Eric is featured in the Mel Bay book Flatpicking 2000 and is the coauthor of Bluegrass Guitar (Backbeat Publications.)

Suzy Thompson was dubbed "a torchbearer for traditional music in the Bay Area" by SingOut! Magazine. A founder and/or member of many of the Bay Area's most influential roots music groups, including Any Old Time String Band, the Klezmorim, and the California Cajun Orchestra, Suzy studied classical violin as a child and taught herself to play the guitar at age 12. At age 18, she became interested in traditional American fiddle music and began making a specialty of older blues- and ragtime-influenced fiddle styles of players such as Arthur Smith, Doc Roberts, and the East Texas Serenaders, learning tunes from old 78s and from field recordings.

In 1976, Suzy formed the all-woman Any Old Time String Band, touring throughout California and recording for Arhoolie. She was also briefly a member of the Klezmorim, and appears on their second album, Streets of Gold. Other recording credits include work with Geoff Muldaur and the Texas Sheiks (with Jim Kweskin), Dave Alvin, Maria Muldaur, Laurie Lewis, Alice Gerrard, Darol Anger, Jody Stecher and Kate Brislin, and the Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band, among others. Suzy has released two solo cds: Stop and Listen (Arhoolie) and No Mockingbird (Native and Fine). Her most recent recording is Hen Party, a duet album with Del Rey, released in fall 2010.

In 1976, Suzy's interest in Cajun music was sparked by seeing the Balfa Brothers perform. She travelled to southwest Louisiana, receiving an NEA Fellowship in 1980 to apprentice with Master Cajun musician Dewey Balfa; she also studied with Cajun fiddle legends Dennis McGee, Cheese Read, and Wade Fruge. The 1980s saw Suzy touring and recording with the Blue Flame Stringband and the Backwoods Band, including several appearances on the Prairie Home Companion radio show.

In 1983, Suzy formed the California Cajun Orchestra, featuring Louisiana-born accordionist Danny Poullard; both of the CCO's CDs won national awards, including an NAIRD Indie for Best Cajun- Zydeco Album. Suzy has performed with many of Louisiana's finest Cajun musicians, including D.L. Menard, Michael Doucet and Beausoleil, Dewey Balfa, and Marc and Ann Savoy. She appears in Les Blank's film on Cajun and Zydeco music, J'ai Été au Bal.

Suzy coproduced and served as musical consultant for Yasha Aginsky's documentary film about the New Lost City Ramblers, Always Been a Rambler (2009). She represented the U.S. on a Masters of the Folk Violin Tour in Scotland and England and has been an instructor at many festivals and music camps, including Augusta Heritage Cajun-Creole and Old Time Weeks, Centrum Blues Week, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Camp, Port Townsend Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, and Lark in the Morning. From time to time she writes for Strings Magazine on traditional American fiddle styles and is a regular reviewer for the Old-Time Herald.

In 2010, Suzy was appointed artistic director of the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, a week-long workshop and festival in Port Townsend Washington, now in its 34th year. In 2003, she founded the Berkeley Old-Time Music Convention, a five-day festival that brings together old-time musicians from far and wide to play, sing, listen, learn, teach, dance, and celebrate the rich heritage of America's traditional music. She continues to serve as director of the BOTMC, now in its ninth year.

Admission: 

Paul Rishell Clinic

Friday / March 25, 2011 / 1:00 p.m.
Berk Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

For over 40 years, Paul Rishell has built up a stellar reputation as a torchbearer of the country blues tradition. At concerts and workshops alike, his audiences and students have been treated to his warm, resonant voice and virtuoso fingerstyle guitar, interwoven with a historical narrative of rural blues artists and recordings. Rishell has dedicated his life for the last half century to bringing recognition and respect to prewar blues, what he refers to as "the bedrock of all American music." A master of the guitar styles of Charlie Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Boy Fuller, Scrapper Blackwell, and other  innovators of the early-20th-century roots music, he is one of the few artists devoted to preserving their work as both a classical and a living form. His attention to detail and nuance is unparalleled. In 2011-2012, Rishell will bring his expertise to Berklee as part of a newly established country blues visiting artist program.

Rishell was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1950, his family an improbable mixture of Pennsylvania preachers and Norwegian painters. At the age of 13, captivated by a recording of Son House singing "Prison Farm Blues," he began a lifelong study of the music and its progenitors. In 1970 he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts and played with many of the first- and second-generation blues masters, including Son House, Sonny Terry, Johnny Shines, John Lee Hooker, and Howlin' Wolf. His early solo albums showcase his deft guitar playing and link the acoustic blues of the 1920s with the electrified ensemble sounds of the modern era. Boston Phoenix columnist Ted Drozdowski wrote, "Paul has reached a place deep and resonant as Robert Johnson's crossroads, where authenticity, soul, and a sense of purpose and commitment ring out in every note he sings and plays."  

Rishell and his partner Annie Raines have earned loyal fans around the globe, dazzling audiences with his rhythmic, syncopated National Steel guitar and Raines's harmonica wizardry. As a working team, Rishell and Raines have racked up hundreds of thousands of miles on the road in the U.S. and Europe, collaborated on original songs, and released five albums together, including Moving to the Country (2000), the W.C. Handy Award-winner for Acoustic Blues Album of the Year. They have performed on diverse radio and TV shows, including A Prairie Home Companion, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and PBS's Arthur and they are featured in the new jug band music documentary, Chasin' Gus' Ghost. Rishell's instructional video, Dirt Road Blues, was released in 2008 with detailed demonstrations and transcriptions of country blues classics.  

Rishell is that rare combination of performer and scholar. As a guitar teacher, he has shared his vast knowledge of fingerstyle techniques and regional styles with several generations of guitarists and afficionados. As a blues singer, he never fails to move his audience to tears. As a cultural historian and preservationist, he is a national resource.

Admission: 

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