Clinics and Master Classes

Songwriting Master Class

Thursday / March 10, 2011 / 12:00 pm
Oliver Colvin Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

Please join songwriting faculty members Pat Pattison, Jimmy Kachulis, Scarlet Keys, Mark Simos, Jon Aldrich, Susan Cattaneo, John Stevens, Stan Swiniarski, and Sarah Brindell and songwriting chair Jack Perricone as they listen to selected student songs and give comments and helpful suggestions to make the songs better.  Use their critique to examine ways to improve your own songwriting. This is a unique opportunity to watch the songwriting faculty in action. Come and observe this clinic done in a master class format.

 

Admission: 

David Harrington

Wednesday / April 13, 2011 / 1:00 pm
Oliver Colvin Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

Violinist David Harrington is a member of the Kronos Quartet

Admission: 

Percussion Days: Bob Gullotti - Language, Focus, Creativity

Thursday / March 31, 2011 / 7:00 pm
Berk Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215
Admission: 

Percussion Days: Sam Ruttenberg

Thursday / March 31, 2011 / 4:00 pm
Oliver Colvin Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

A highly sought-after educator, percussion and drum set artist, and author, Sam Ruttenberg has taught professionals as well as some of the most promising talent in the Philadelphia area, including 18-year-old Justin Faulkner, who is a member of the Branford Marsalis Quartet, and is considered one of the best young drummers in the world today. With a diverse background in both drum set and percussion performance, Ruttenberg has performed with artists such as Dave Brubeck, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Lena Horne, Perry Como, and Al Martino, as well as touring/recording with the Houston Symphony, Ballet, and Pops Orchestras. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, and the Kennedy Center. Ruttenberg currently teaches at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, Rutgers University Camden, and is also an active clinician with endorsements from Sabian, Vic Firth, Remo, and Taye drums.

Published in PAS Percussive Notes and Modern Drummer magazine, Ruttenberg has also published his own book, Drum Tips (HoneyRock 2009), designed to help drummers develop better technique and coordination through increased musicianship. Additionally, he transcribed and worked closely on the creative aspect with Joe Morello on his Master Studies II book.

Ruttenberg holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Miami and a master's degree from the Juilliard School.

Admission: 

David Fiuczynski: Fretless Guitar Clinic

Monday / March 28, 2011 / 1:00 pm
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Faculty guitarist David Fiuczynski presents a fretless guitar clinic. Topics will include intonation, playing blues slide riffs without a slide, non-Western melodic inflections, and microtonality.

Iconoclastic and prolific guitarist David "Fuze" Fiuczynski (of Screaming Headless Torsos), a jazz player who "doesn't want to play just jazz," has been hailed by the world press as an incredibly inventive guitar hero, who continues to deliver music that is unclassifiable, challenging, and invigorating. In 1994 Fiuczynski, in collaboration with keyboardist John Medeski of Medeski Martin & Wood, woke up the sleeping jazz fusion world with a landmark CD, Lunar Crush, which was chosen by Guitar Player's 30th Anniversary Edition as a Disc of Destiny. A funky, freaky party, Lunar Crush was a wild '90s tribute to Tony Williams's groundbreaking early fusion band, Lifetime.

Fiuczynski's recent music has been described as a fresh palette of otherworldly sounds using traditional melodic elements of Arabia, Asia, India, and Eastern Europe, with his signature brand of highly funky jams. Ranging from rocked-out madness to drum 'n' bass, go-go to plaintive meditations, Fiuczynski's wild guitar palette moves from high energy extravaganzas to moving, emotional ballads.

Fiuczynski leads the underground cult band Screaming Headless Torsos and has worked with Jack DeJohnette, Meshell Ndegeocello, Stewart Copeland (the Police), John Medeski, Dennis Chambers, Hasidic New Wave, Vinnie Colaiuta, Christian McBride, Hiromi, Cindy Blackman, Bernie Worrell, John Zorn, Vernon Reid, and many more.

Admission: 

Richard Smith Clinic

Tuesday / March 29, 2011 / 1:00 pm
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Richard Smith has toured around the world, surprising audiences everywhere with his genius, showcasing a repertoire spanning an incredible range of musical styles from country, bluegrass, mainstream jazz, modern pop, and rock to classical guitar. He also plays several of John Phillip Souza's marches and, incredibly, comes close to sounding like an entire marching band—drums and all.

Smith was born in Beckenham, Kent, England in 1971. One day, at the age of five, he was watching his father fingerpick "Down South Blues" (an Atkins-Travis recording) on his guitar. The boy begged his dad to show him how to play it, and finally he did. Despite the fact that Smith is left-handed and his dad's right-handed guitar was not designed for tiny hands, by the end of that day, he had learned and played both the chords and the melody. Within no time, he'd outstripped his dad's six-string prowess and it was clear to all who saw or heard him play that Richard was one of those rare phenomena—a child prodigy. Concentrating initially on the music his father loved—the country picking of Chet Atkins and Merle Travis—young Richard digested everything he heard, learning even the most complicated of these tunes with ease, and confounded everyone with his dexterity. It seemed that not only did the boy possess amazing physical skill, but a photographic musical memory as well. Often, a single hearing was all it took to get a piece under his fingers.

Smith first met his hero, the "Godfather" of fingerstyle guitar Chet Atkins, when he was only 11 and was invited by Atkins to play with him on stage at Her Majesty's Theatre in London in front of an audience of about a thousand. He played Atkins' arrangement of "Whispering," and Atkins played along with him. Then the audience went mad and Atkins asked him to play another one. Before Richard could decide what to play, someone shouted "Little Rock Getaway," and Smith played Atkins's arrangement of it while the guitarist watched in amazement.

By the time he reached his early twenties, both Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed began to refer to Richard Smith as their "hero"—and still do. There seems to be no limit to Smith's ability to quickly master whatever guitar style captures his fancy. The complex styles of many guitar greats, including Django Reinhardt, Les Paul, and Lenny Breau have proved to be no impediment to his voracious musical appetite. Apart from his guitar virtuosity, he is also an accomplished banjo and violin player.

Admission: 

Noam Pikelny

Tuesday / March 29, 2011 / 1:00 pm
Berk Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

Noam Pikelny is a modern, cutting-edge banjoist as well as a vocalist. He is a member of the Americana "country-classical chamber music" group Punch Brothers. He played with the band Leftover Salmon from 2002 until 2004, when he left to join in the John Cowan Band. Towards the end of that time, Chris Thile of Nickel Creek was planning to form a string quintet, but did not know what direction he wanted to take it except that he wanted it to include fiddler Gabe Witcher. After Thile had a jam session with Witcher, Pikelny, bassist Greg Garrison, and guitarist Chris Eldridge, he decided he had his lineup.

The group, then called the How to Grow a Band, debuted in 2006 as the backing lineup for Thile's solo release How to Grow a Woman from the Ground as well as the following supporting shows. The band eventually changed its name to Punch Brothers (borrowed from a short story by Mark Twain) and released its first official album as a band, Punch, on Nonesuch Records in 2008.

Pikelny was the recipient of the 2010 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. On November 5, 2010, he appeared on Late Show with David Letterman playing a comedic version of "Dueling Banjos" alongside Martin, and later performed with Martin and Punch Brothers. Pikelny currently resides in Brooklyn.

 

Admission: 

Tony Trischka

Thursday / March 3, 2011 / 12:00 pm
Oliver Colvin Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

Tony Trischka is perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world. For more than 35 years, his stylings have inspired a whole generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians. He is considered not only among the very best pickers but one of the instrument's top teachers, and created numerous instructional books, teaching videotapes, and cassettes.

A native of Syracuse, New York, Trischka's interest in banjo was sparked by the Kingston Trio's "Charlie and the MTA" in 1963. Two years later, he joined the Down City Ramblers, where he remained through 1971, when he made his recording debut with the band Country Cooking. Several solo albums later, and after touring with artists such as Peter Rowan, he recorded with the group Skyline through the '80s. He has appeared in films and worked on the soundtrack for Driving Miss Daisy, and has performed on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion as well as other radio shows.

For Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular, Trischka went back to bluegrass and reinvigorated the double banjo tradition, featuring an appearance by comedian Steve Martin, Earl Scruggs, and many other luminaries. The album earned several 2007 International Bluegrass Music Association awards and a Grammy nomination.

With his fearless musical curiosity as the guiding force, Trischka's latest critically acclaimed release, Territory, roams widely through the banjo's creative terrain with fellow banjoists Pete Seeger, Mike Seeger, Bill Evans, Bill Keith, and Bruce Molsky. The tracks explore a panorama of tunings, banjo sounds, and traditions, tapping the creative potential of America's signature musical instrument.

Admission: 

Kathy Mattea: Vocal Master Class

Monday / March 7, 2011 / 12:00 pm
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 pm
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: 

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