Clinics and Master Classes

Kathy Mattea: Vocal Master Class

Monday / March 7, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Berk Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

Twice named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association, Kathy Mattea carved out a role for herself in the late 1980s and 1990s as a sensitive yet energetic artist, at ease both with country tradition and free-ranging innovation. The West Virginia native won her first Grammy in 1990. With close to 30 Top 40 country hits, including four Number One entries, and a platinum-selling greatest hits compilation, she is among the most successful women in the genre’s history, yet her creative spirit has led her to explore musical territory extending well beyond its confines.

Mattea says that her 2008 album offered her a “reeducation” in singing. That album, Coal, is a reeducation for the listener as well, a record that reshapes the way we think about music, reminding us of why we love it so much in the first place. The songs on Coal are more than just mining songs. Mattea says she wanted to pay tribute to “my place and my people” on a record that is as much a textured novel as it is an album. Mattea's mining heritage is thick: Both her parents grew up in coal camps, both her grandfathers were miners, and her mother worked for the local UMWA. Her father was saved from the mines by an uncle who paid his way through college. “It’s a coming together of a lot of different threads in my life,” Mattea says.

Admission: 

Kathy Mattea: My Coal Journey

Tuesday / March 8, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Twice named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association, Kathy Mattea carved out a role for herself in the late 1980s and 1990s as a sensitive yet energetic artist, at ease both with country tradition and free-ranging innovation. The West Virginia native won her first Grammy in 1990. With close to 30 Top 40 country hits, including four Number One entries, and a platinum-selling greatest hits compilation, she is among the most successful women in the genre’s history, yet her creative spirit has led her to explore musical territory extending well beyond its confines.

Mattea says that her 2008 album offered her a “reeducation” in singing. That album, Coal, is a reeducation for the listener as well, a record that reshapes the way we think about music, reminding us of why we love it so much in the first place. The songs on Coal are more than just mining songs. Mattea says she wanted to pay tribute to “my place and my people” on a record that is as much a textured novel as it is an album. Mattea's mining heritage is thick: Both her parents grew up in coal camps, both her grandfathers were miners, and her mother worked for the local UMWA. Her father was saved from the mines by an uncle who paid his way through college. “It’s a coming together of a lot of different threads in my life,” Mattea says.

Now, Mattea presents My Coal Journey, a one-hour program incorporating stories from her family history and her current advocacy for the environment combined with a slideshow and a performance of songs from Coal. The presentation traces her motivation for beginning the recording project, her research into the musical genre’s history and elemental style, and her family’s ties to coal mining culture in Appalachia, along with discussion of environmental and social justice issues surrounding coal mining methods in today’s world.

Admission: 

Steve Kuhn

Wednesday / March 2, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Berk Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

Brooklyn-born Steve Kuhn was fascinated with jazz very early in his life. He began classical piano lessons at age 5 and soon began to "improvise and syncopate the classical repertoire."

In his early teens, Kuhn studied with legendary teacher Margaret Chaloff who schooled him in the Russian Technique, an invaluable tool for tone production and projection. Chaloff's son, a baritone saxophonist for Woody Herman, hired the 13-year-old pianist to play in his group. Throughout his teens, Kuhn continued to play in Boston jazz clubs with visiting celebrities such as Coleman Hawkins, Chet Baker, and Vic Dickenson.

After graduating from Harvard, Kuhn attended the Lenox School of Music where he met and played in a group with fellow students Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. From there, he went on to play with Kenny Dorham, John Coltrane's newly formed quartet, Stan Getz, and Art Farmer, before forming the first Steve Kuhn Trio.

At the end of the 1960s, he spent four years living in Europe, where his performances had a significant impact upon local players. Upon returning to the United States, Kuhn began his long-term affiliation with ECM, resulting in a string of important albums. In the mid-'80s, Kuhn launched a new and still evolving edition of his trio with with bassist David Finck.

In 2004, Kuhn recorded Promises Kept, which included a string orchestra of which he is most proud. He continues to tour widely, with a strong following in Europe and especially Japan where his albums frequently appear on the jazz charts.

Admission: 

Peter Wolf Clinic

Wednesday / February 16, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Peter Wolf was born in the Bronx. He planned a career as a visual artist, but he got a job in the late 1960s as a disc jockey on then-cutting-edge Boston FM radio station WBCN and began exploring his interest in blues and R&B. He formed a group called the Hallucinations that performed with the Velvet Underground, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, and Sun Ra.

He then saw the J. Geils Blues Band in concert and quickly joined. He was the vocalist and frontman, and often acted as a sort of manager. Wolf was known for his charismatic stage antics of fast-talking quips and "pole-vaulting" with the microphone stand. He and keyboard player Seth Justman were responsible for most of the songwriting. Creative differences caused the J. Geils Band and Wolf to part ways in 1983.

Wolf's 1984 solo debut had a somewhat funky, electro sound, and its lead single became a hit. Several albums later, Sleepless (2002) featured guest appearances from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and received five stars from Rolling Stone, which ranked it as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Wolf's 2010 album Midnight Souvenirs won Album of the Year at the Boston Music Awards.

Wolf has recorded many duets with the likes of Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, and Wilson Pickett, to name just a few. He has performed on stage with such diverse people as Bruce Springsteen and Phil Lesh. The J. Geils Band reunited for a series of shows in 2009, including opening night at the Boston House of Blues.

Admission: 

Meshell Ndegeocello Clinic

Monday / February 14, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Oliver Colvin Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

With The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams, Meshell Ndegeocello releases her seventh musical wonder to the world. Channelled through orchestral soundscapes and an unapologetic punk aesthetic, Ndegeocello questions the inevitable, inconceivable brutality of the world with an arsenal of familiar themes: faith, rage, despair, fleeting joy, and nagging doubt.

For those who jones for the devastating bass lines and aching lyrics of prior releases, The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams does not disappoint. With contributions from kindred musical souls Pat Metheny, saxophonist Oliver Lake, Doyle Bramhall II, vocalists Thandiswa Mazwai and Oumou Sangare, and keyboard heavyweights Jason Lindner and Robert Glasper, the album is a continuation of the journey—a quest for truth, a plea for beauty, and an elegy for former selves. That said, the truest hallmark of a Meshell Ndegeocello record is in its honest evolution from the last, from any before, and as another stop on the way to transcendence. 

Canonized, marginalized or just scrutinized, Meshell Ndegeocello has given up with the politics of explaining herself. After 20 years in an industry that has called her everything from avant garde to a dying breed, what unquestionably remains is the fearsome bassist, the prolific songwriter, and the creativity and curiosity of an authentic musical force. With that, she has earned critical acclaim; the unfailing respect of fellow players, songwriters, and composers; and the dedication of her diverse, unclassifiable fans. For the sake of setting the record straight, a few brass tacks remain: Ndegeocello was born in Germany, raised in D.C., signed at 23, and has been nominated for nine Grammy Awards.

Let good music prevail.

Admission: 

Paul Simon Clinic

Friday / February 11, 2011 / 1:00 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Paul Simon, one of the world's finest singer-songwriters, will be presenting a clinic for the Berklee community. Simon is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including 12 Grammy Awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He is an inductee of both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and a two-time inductee of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. In May 2007, Simon was the recipient of the first annual Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. This is a ticketed event with general admission seating. Tickets are available now at the BPC box office—one ticket limit per valid Berklee ID. No laptops, photography, or recording will be permitted at the event.

Admission: 

Pablo Mayor

Friday / March 4, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Pablo Mayor and members of his band, Pablo Mayor’s Folklore Urbano Orchestra, present a clinic on how to apply traditional Colombian rhythms to the modern rhythm section, introducing various binary and ternary rhythms such as cumbia, puya, and currulao, and how they apply to piano, bass, and drum set, approaching such topics as comping and interaction.

Admission: 

The Blues with Dan Bowden and Ralph Rosen

Wednesday / February 16, 2011 / 5:00 p.m.
Berklee Media Lab
150 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02215
The Blues with Dan Bowden and Ralph Rosen

Dig in to the rich past, present, and future of the blues with Berklee faculty Dan Bowden and Media Center manager and harmonica player Ralph Rosen.

Dan Bowden is an unusually versatile guitarist and teacher, specializing in a wide range of styles including rock, jazz, blues, and R&B. With more than a dozen instructional books for the guitar to his credit, Bowden has reached guitar students worldwide. His best-selling titles include: Wes Montgomery: The Early Years, Mel Bay's Complete Accompaniment Method for Guitar, and Electric Blues Guitar Workout. Along with freelance performing in the Boston area, Bowden plays and records with the blues, roots, and originals group Stingy Brimm. He has taught guitar at Berklee since 1989 and is himself a Berklee graduate.

Performer, teacher, composer, and arranger Ralph Rosen began playing drums in 1964 in rock and soul bands in and around Hartford, CT. He earned a degree in music education from the University of Connecticut and a master's in performance from Boston University in 1978. Since then he has performed widely with prominent blues artists, from the legendary Bo Diddley to regional notables like Ronnie Earl. Not only playing drums, mixed percussion, and harmonica in blues, jazz, and experimental styles, by day Ralph manages Berklee's very own Media Center.

Join us for this one-of-a-kind clinic-style event and light refreshments.

Admission: 
Free

Mimi Fox

Thursday / March 3, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Berk Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215
Mimi Fox

Internationally renowned guitarist, composer, and recording artist Mimi Fox has been named a winner in six consecutive Down Beat magazine Critics Polls and has been recognized by writers and colleagues alike as one of the most eloquent guitarists on today's scene. In one of many feature stories, Guitar Player magazine hailed Fox as "a prodigious talent who has not only mastered the traditional forms but has managed to reinvigorate them."

Fox has performed and recorded with some of the music world's most commanding players, including fellow guitarists Charlie Byrd, Stanley Jordan, Charlie Hunter, and Mundell Lowe; Grammy-nominated saxophonists Branford Marsalis, David Sanchez, Houston Person, and the late Don Lanphere; vocalists Abbey Lincoln, Diana Krall, Kevin Mahogany, and Janis Siegel (Manhattan Transfer); B3 organ masters Joey DeFrancesco, Barbara Denerlein, and Lonnie Smith; and powerhouse drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. She has also performed with legends Stevie Wonder and John Sebastian and with Patty Larkin's Vanguard Records–produced La Guitara project.

Fox has released eight highly acclaimed albums as a leader, including her two most recent on Steve Vai's Favored Nations label. Perpetually Hip, 2006's double CD, received rave reviews from scores of publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, which called this project Fox's "masterwork" and said, "The two discs stand as a definitive Fox statement. The first showcases her simmering interplay with a quartet featuring drum maestro Billy Hart, while the second captures her breathtaking solo style in an approach that is as harmonically resourceful as it is lyrically inventive."

Fox had already established her credentials as a worthy successor to Joe Pass with the astonishing 2001 Origin Records solo album, Standards. In a glowing Cadence magazine review, Jim Josselyn said, "to say Mimi Fox's touch, sound, sensitivity, and understanding of the guitar as a solo vehicle of expression is masterful would be an understatement. This is simply some of the best guitar music I have heard."

Fox introduced herself to the international jazz scene in the 1990s with a pair of CDs on Monarch Records, including Kicks, a high-energy project pairing her with collaborators such as Joey DeFrancesco and Yellowjackets Russell Ferrante and Will Kenney. Allaboutjazz.com awarded the album a superlative four star rating: "This is a strongly melodic collection and one that swings out stylishly. Mimi Fox is a major talent."

Fox maintains a whirlwind touring schedule, playing major festivals from New York to Tokyo, including tours of the Caribbean, Japan, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. International festivals include the Montreal, Guinness Cork, Perth International, and Monterey jazz festivals. Stateside, she has headlined at elite venues such as the Blue Note, Merkin Concert Hall, and the Village Gate in New York; the Regattabar and Scullers in Boston; the Kennedy Center and Blues Alley in Washington, D.C.; the Triple Door and Jazz Alley in Seattle; and Yoshi's and the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.

Whether delivering jaw-dropping solo sets, performing dazzling duets with sympathetic partners, or leading a hard-charging combo, Fox is a consummate improviser who seizes the imagination of her listeners with her passion, soul, and unerring ear for beauty.

Admission: 

Jim Stinnett: The Year of the Reading Bassist

Thursday / April 14, 2011 / 1:00 p.m.
Berk Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

Faculty member Jim Stinnett presents a clinic with Dave Buda, Gavin Obrion, and Rich Appleman. This presentation is designed to help you become a better reader of music by offering a methodology for reading practice. Topics include hand position, musical shapes, counting, left-hand technique, practice techniques, and bass ensemble reading.

Stinnet is currently a professor at Berklee, where he teaches arranging and bass. A highly respected educator, he presents clinics and workshops all over the world and is a prolific producer, writer, and arranger with an extensive list of educational publications including Slap Bass Workout and All Cows Eat Grass. He is the founder of the Bass Workout and musical director of the New Hampshire Bass Fest.

His credits include performances and recordings with Lionel Loueke, Ernie Watts, Phish, Anita O'Day, Roy Haynes, and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. Stinnett is a Le Fay Bass artist.

Admission: 

Pages