Concert

American Roots: Mark O'Connor at Berklee

Thursday / December 10, 2009 / 7:15 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02115
Mark O'Connor

With Mark O'Connor, one of the most talented and imaginative artists working in music today, Berklee celebrates American roots music in a big way. O'Connor will perform—along with Berklee faculty members Matt Glaser and John McGann—with small bluegrass groups, the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra, and the Berklee Jazz/World String Orchestra, all of which are composed of Berklee students.

A product of America's rich aural folk tradition as well as classical and flamenco music, Mark O'Connor's creative journey began at the feet of a pair of musical giants. The first was the folk fiddler and innovator who created the modern era of American fiddling in the 1940s, Benny Thomasson; the second, French jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli. Between these musical extremes, O'Connor absorbed knowledge and influence from the multitude of musical styles and genres he studied. Now, at age 47, he has melded and shaped these influences into a new American classical music, and a vision of an entirely American school of string playing. As the Los Angeles Times noted, he has "crossed over so many boundaries, that his style is purely personal."



O'Connor's first recording for the Sony Classical record label, Appalachia Waltz, was a collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer. The works O'Connor composed for the disc, including its title track, gained worldwide recognition for him as a leading proponent of a new American musical idiom. His follow-up release, Appalachian Journey, received a Grammy Award in 2001.
With more than 200 performances, his first full length orchestral score Fiddle Concerto has become the most-performed modern violin concerto. Fanfare for the Volunteer, recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Steven Mercurio, was released by Sony Classical in 1999. In 2000, O'Connor premiered his fourth violin concerto The American Seasons: Seasons of an American Life, at Troy Music Hall in Troy, New York; the work was commissioned to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the hall's concert series, and was recorded with the Metamorphosen chamber orchestra and released in 2001.
In August 2000, O'Connor's third concerto, Double Violin Concerto, received its premiere with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the second violin soloist and the Chicago Symphony, Christoph Eschenbach conducting. In 2003, O'Connor and Salerno-Sonnenberg recorded the work with Marin Alsop conducting the Colorado Orchestra. 
In J2001, O'Connor released Hot Swing! a tribute to his great friend and mentor, the legendary French jazz master, Stephane Grappelli. Released on his own OMAC label, the CD was recorded live with Frank Vignola on guitar and Jon Burr on bass. A new Hot Swing CD entitled Live In New York has been released, as well as a new group line-up for concerts with original member Frank Vignola on guitar, and new to the ensemble, guitarist Julian Lage, and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi.

In 2003, O'Connor completed his fifth concerto, Double Concerto for violin and cello ("For the Heroes") and often performs the piece with cellist Maya Beiser and Symphony Orchestra. Also in 2003, O'Connor was commissioned by the Academy of St. Martin the Fields to compose a concerto for violin and chamber orchestra. Violin Concerto No. 6 "Old Brass" takes its inspiration from a Beaufort, South Carolina plantation designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The recording conducted by Joel Smirnoff was released in March, 2009.

 O'Connor has also formed a piano trio to perform his "Poets and Prophets" composition inspired by the music of Johnny Cash. He often performs it in a collaborative concert concept with Cash's daughter, Rosanne Cash.  O'Connor has recently formed other ensembles including a
String Quartet concert entitled Evening of Strings with chamber music legends Ida Kavafian, Paul Neubauer and Matt Haimovitz, performing O'Connor's music exclusively. O'Connor recently brought back to the stage his solo recital, a one-man unaccompanied violin concert which features his six caprices and three improvisations as the centerpieces of the tour de force
performance.



As word of his considerable compositional talents has spread, O'Connor's musical works have been embraced by a variety of performers. Yo-Yo Ma has recorded the solo cello version of "Appalachia Waltz" and frequently performs it in recital. Renee Fleming has performed and recorded vocal arrangements O'Connor composed for her. The Eroica Trio performs his Poets and Prophets Piano Trio No. 1 regularly, a piece they commissioned from him in 2003. Sharon Isbin has recorded his duet for violin and guitar, several top classical violinists are performing his "Caprices" in recital, his flute concerto "The Fallen" has been performed by a number of flutists and is slated for recording by Carla Auld, Dance troupes, including Twyla Tharp Dance Co., the New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, are staging and choreographing to O'Connor's expressive American music, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra recently recorded his new Americana Symphony.



Mr. O'Connor regularly gives two-day residencies, lectures, demonstrations, or teaches workshops at a variety of prestigious musical programs. Some of his recent hosts include Juilliard School of Music, Harvard, Rice University, SUNY Fredonia, University Of Texas, Curtis Institute, Berklee College of Music, Eastman School of Music, Tanglewood, and Aspen Summer Festival. O'Connor will be the artist in residence at UCLA for the 2008-2009 season. He is the founder and president of the internationally recognized Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camp and Strings Conference as well as the new Mark O'Connor String Camp. The Mark O'Connor String Institute at UCLA debuted this past summer. 

O'Connor resides in New York City.

Admission: 
$25, $20, reserved seating

Poetry Slam 3

Tuesday / December 8, 2009 / 6:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115
Bruce George

Tony and Peabody Award-winning performance poet Bruce George steps up to the mic during his residency at Berklee on December 8. As the featured artist for the Poetry Jam and Slam class, George will bring a power-packed poetic flow to the stage between two rounds of slam poetry from select students in the course. Talented Cantab Lounge Boston Slam Master Simone Beaubien will emcee the event. Read the press release or call 617 747-2421 for more details.

Admission: 
Free

Mark Shilansky

Wednesday / December 16, 2009 / 7:15 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Mark Shilansky and his quartet play Latin-influenced jazz with lots of fun new chords added to jazz standards, and original tunes that are complex yet catchy, all served up with Shilansky's virtuosic piano playing and soulful singing. Special guest singers (Alison Wedding, David Thorne Scott, and Yumiko Matsuoka) will help render tunes from Shilansky's latest release, Join the Club, and some of Shilansky's vocal jazz arrangements, including an original Christmas tune. With Dino Govoni, sax; Keala Kaumeheiwa, bass; and Mark Walker, drums.

Admission: 

Ensemble Showcase: Jazz, Soul, Funk

Friday / December 4, 2009 / 12:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Student ensembles perform a series of afternoon and evening recitals, led by faculty members Kenwood Dennard, John Pierce, Bruno Raberg, Winston Maccow, and Wayne Naus. These end-of-semester performance finals will cover a range of styles, including jazz, soul, and funk.

1:00 p.m. Kenwood Dennard: James Brown
2:15 p.m. John Pierce: Big Band
3:30 p.m. Bruno Raberg: Advanced Small Jazz Ensemble
6:30 p.m. Winston Maccow: Metheny Ensemble

Recitals will run about 45 minutes. Performance times are subject to change, without notice.

Admission: 
Free

Ensemble Showcase: Music for Rosa Parks

Tuesday / December 1, 2009 / 3:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115
Larry Watson

Faculty member Larry Watson presents four student groups for a series of afternoon and evening recitals ranging from soul and rock to gospel and Motown. The performances fall on the anniversary of the day Rosa Parks made history when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, December 1, 1955. 

4:00 p.m. Stage Performance WorkshopSingers will perform originals and pay tribute to Carole King, Stevie Nicks, Aretha Franklin, Perri, and the Winans.

5:00 p.m. Advanced Stage Performance WorkshopVeteran student vocalists will perform originals and music associated with the Brothers Johnson, Ray Charles Chaka Khan, Angela Bofield, Al Jarreau, and Peabo Bryson.

7:00 p.m. Foundations of Singing with Soul–Singers will tackle music by the Emotions, Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, and Luther Vandross, among others.

8:00 p.m. Music of Motown–The finale concert features songs by Tina Marie, Switch, Diana Ross and the Supremes, and Gladys Knight and the Pips.

Recitals will run about 45 minutes long. Performance times are subject to change, without notice.

Admission: 

Gabrielle Goodman

Tuesday / December 1, 2009 / 7:00 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club
400 Soldiers Field Road
Boston
MA
United States
02134
Gabrielle Goodman

Gabrielle Goodman is an acclaimed vocalist/composer/educator, who has traveled the world providing back-up vocals for artists such as Roberta Flack, Chaka Khan, Freddie Jackson, and Bryan Ferry.

An associate professor of voice at Berklee College of Music, she is not only well versed in jazz and popular music but is also classically trained. The Peabody Conservatory graduate has been featured with the Boston Pops, the Baltimore Symphony, the Syracuse Symphony, and the Tokyo based Yamayuri Symphony Orchestra.

As a composer, Goodman cowrote the ASCAP Award–winning r&b hit "You Can Make the Story Right," which appears on Chaka Khan's Grammy Award–winning album The Woman I Am. She has also written for Roberta Flack and for her own recordings.

The 2009/2010 Berklee Artists Series at Scullers includes Greg Osby; Donna McElroy; Marc Rossi; Terri Lyne Carrington; Six Guitar Brothers: David Fiuczynski, David Gilmore, David Thomas, James Peterson, Thaddeus Hogath, and Bill Banfield; George Russell Jr.; Lenny Stallworth; Stan Strickland; and Kenwood Dennard. The concert series is arranged by Fred Taylor, Scullers' artistic director, and produced by Bill Banfield, professor of Africana Studies at Berklee College of Music.

Admission: 
$18, $10 with student ID

Ensemble Showcase: Joni and Jazz

Tuesday / December 1, 2009 / 12:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Student ensembles perform two afternoon recitals, led by faculty members Abigail Aronson and Mark Whitfield.

1:00 p.m.    Abigail Aronson: Music of Joni Mitchell

2:15 p.m.    Mark Whitfield: Advanced Small Band Ensemble

 

Recitals will run about 45 minutes long. Performance times are subject to change, without notice.

Admission: 
Free

Berklee Tower of Power Ensemble

Monday / December 14, 2009 / 7:15 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02115

One of Berklee's most popular ensembles. The funk and soul group performs the music of the famed Tower of Power band, creating a wall of energy with six vocalists, eight horns, and five rhythm players.

Admission: 
$10

Ensemble Showcase: Jazz, Contemporary Classical, Merengue

Thursday / December 10, 2009 / 12:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Student ensembles perform a series of afternoon and evening recitals, led by faculty members Robin Ginenthal, Ron Mahdi, Ricardo Monzon, Ralph Peterson, and Dave Weigert. These end-of-semester performance finals will cover a range of styles, including jazz, contemporary classical, and merengue.

1:00 p.m. Dave Weigert: Berklee Yellowjackets Ensemble
2:15 p.m. Ron Mahdi: Berklee Art Blakey Ensemble
3:30 p.m. Ralph Peterson: Advanced Small Band Ensemble
6:30 p.m. Robin Ginenthal: Contemporary Chamber Music Ensemble
8:00 p.m. Ricardo Monzon: World Music, Merengue

Recitals will run about 45 minutes long. Performance times are subject to change without notice.

 

Admission: 
Free

Ensemble Showcase: Jazz, Middle Eastern

Wednesday / December 9, 2009 / 12:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Student ensembles perform a series of afternoon and evening recitals, led by faculty members Terri Lyne Carrington, Christiane Karam, Alain Mallett/Jamey Haddad, and Dave Samuels. These end-of-semester performance finals will cover a range of styles, including jazz and music from the Middle East.

1:00 p.m. Christiane Karam: Middle Eastern Ensemble
2:15 p.m. Alain Mallett/Jamey Haddad: Advanced Small Band Ensemble
3:30 p.m. Dave Samuels: Advanced Small Band Ensemble
6:30 p.m. TBA
8:00 p.m. Terri Lyne Carrington: Advanced Jazz Ensemble

 

Recitals will run about 45 minutes long. Performance times are subject to change without notice.

 

Admission: 
Free

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