Concert

Berklee Jazz/World String Orchestra

Tuesday / November 24, 2009 / 6:00 pm
Cathedral Church of St. Paul
138 Tremont Street
BOSTON
MA
United States
02111

Under the direction of Eugene Friesen, the Berklee Jazz/World String Orchestra presents a special concert at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul at 138 Tremont Street, Boston.

The program will include music by Pat Metheney, Shostakovich, and Berklee faculty composer Mimi Rabson. The concert will feature Mexican vocalist Mili Bermejo in three love songs from Mexico and Argentina. Soloists from the ensemble will also be featured improvising in a variety of jazz and folk styles.

Berklee voice professor Mili Bermejo blends Latin folk music and jazz improvisation with poetic and socially aware lyrics. Critics have described her sound as “part poetry-folk, part Sarah Vaughn sophistication” (Boston Magazine). Included on her selections will be Dan Greenspan on bass and pianist Tim Ray, a longtime sideman with Lyle Lovett.

Pat Metheny’s “Jaco” is a tribute to the late bassist Jaco Pastorius. Arranged by legendary American fiddler Darol Anger, “Jaco” showcases powerful, rhythmic string writing and the improvisational abilities of  Berklee’s best string soloists.

“The Next Vehicle” by Mimi Rabson is a bluesy, polytonal exercise in groove, virtuosic string unisons, and contemporary jazz improvisation.

“Chamber Symphony,” by Dimitri Shostakovich, is dedicated to the victims of fascism and war. Originally composed as his eighth string quartet in July 1960, the music is austere, anguished, serenely beautiful, and violent. The piece attains new heights in the version for string orchestra by Lucas Drew.

Conductor Eugene Friesen is a graduate of the Yale School of Music. A Grammy Award–winning cellist and composer, he has been on the faculty at Berklee since 1999.

The Berklee Jazz/World String Orchestra is committed to the art of ensemble playing and the development of repertoire featuring improvisation and the rhythmic capabilities of string instruments and players.

Admission: 
Free

The Loomers / The Bloodline

Wednesday / November 18, 2009 / 6:00 pm
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115
The Loomers

Tom Simons—president/creative director of the independent, full-service marketing communications firm PARTNERS+simons—is a guitarist by avocation and a longtime Loomer. Along with Michael Cahill (drums, background vocals), who owns his own business, CK Environmental; PARTNERS+simons controller Jack Cavalier (bass guitar, background vocals); Everett Pendleton (electric guitar, harmony vocals); and Jon Svetkey (acoustic guitar, harmonica, lead vocals), Simons comes back for another evening of original, high octane rock and blues songs at Cafe 939. The Loomers, whose latest album Tomorrow Today is available on iTunes, have performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and twice made it to the final round of Fortune magazine's Corporate Battle of the Bands. They are currently recording their next album. For more information, visit loomers.com.

The Bloodline is a Boston-based power trio of bass, drums, and guitar. They play rock with a heavy influence from groove-oriented music like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Band of Gypsys. Shawn Crowder has held down the drums for 11 years, since he started out in Colorado. He has made it a musical goal to draw influence from all styles and always keep an open ear. Mike Ball has taken care of the low end for 7 years. His powerful attack and stage presence set him apart from anyone you'll ever see. Elliott Klein, the Bloodline's leader, is the baby of the group, having played for only 5 years. He grew up in California; the music he writes and his guitar playing are the sum of influences ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Johnny Cash to Trent Reznor. Together they create the unique tone of the Bloodline. 

Admission: 
$20 general admission; free for Berklee students with valid ID

Nneka / Afro DZ ak All-Starz / Keppie Coutts

Thursday / November 12, 2009 / 7:00 pm
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Since 2003, Nneka has been working closely with German hip-hop beatmaker DJ Farhot. She has supported artists such as Femi Kuti, Lenny Kravitz, Sean Paul, and Gnarls Barkley. In February 2008 she released her second album, which combined the personal and the political to talk about the plight of the Niger Delta and the corruption in Nneka's homeland.

The Afro DZ ak All-Starz originated as the backing band for Boston-based MC/trumpet player Afro DZ ak, but has since evolved into a well-balanced collective of singers, MCs, and instrumentalists with a smooth, unique, funky style, blending original tunes with covers of artists such as Common, Sam Cooke, Michael Jackson, and Jill Scott.

Keppie Coutts revels in the new wave of folk fusion—acoustic-based song that steps inside jazz, soul, and quirky pop. 

Admission: 
$10

John Funkhouser Trio CD Release Concert

Wednesday / November 18, 2009 / 6:30 pm
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

This concert celebrates the release of the John Funkhouser Trio's new CD, Time. The acoustic trio, featuring Funkhouser on piano, plays progressive original jazz influenced by '70s funk and prog rock, among many other things.

Admission: 

Canadian Brass

Sunday / December 20, 2009 / 7:00 pm
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02115
Canadian Brass

The virtuosi of Canadian Brass have made the brass quintet an exciting vehicle for serious concert music. The quintet-now entering its 40th season-has a long history of recording classical repertoire. They have a special affinity for baroque music, which requires the brilliance and musical structure that has become the Canadian Brass's trademark.

Their more than 80 recordings to date include works by Purcell, Vivaldi, Gabrieli, Pachelbel, Beethoven, and Wagner—all in meticulously crafted transcriptions that are setting new musical traditions in brass performance. They are especially drawn to the works of J.S. Bach.

The Canadian Brass sprang from modest and highly experimental roots in Toronto, Ontario, in 1970. The brass quintet was not established as a serious concert ensemble at that time, and it proved an irresistible challenge to Gene and Chuck. Their imagination and consummate musicianship eventually elevated the art of the brass quintet to what it is today.

Thanks to their pioneer status, the quintet developed a unique character and rapport with audiences that proved so successful that it has been emulated by many other ensembles. Canadian Brass master the gamut of concert presentations—from formal classical concerts to music served up with lively dialogue and theatrical effects. No matter what the style, the music is central and performed with utmost dedication and excellence.

The "fab five" spend most of their time on tour, and have performed with many major symphony orchestras in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan. They have gained a large international following of their solo performances that offer a large variety of musical styles.

Having started with the very limited base of traditional works for brass, Canadian Brass set out to create their own musical world by transcribing, arranging and commissioning more than 200 works; two of these have already become standard repertoire for brass quintets around the world, Quintet by Michael Kamen and Santa Barbara Sonata by Canadian composer/conductor Bramwell Tovey.  

They are not only presenting works in the classical repertoire but continue to take daring leaps into jazz, contemporary concert music and popular songs. This has been most recently exemplified by collaborations with young baritone Giles Tomkins on his classical-crossover debut And So It Goes, and the Brass's release High Society, a collection of early jazz favorites arranged for the group by Duke Ellington's legendary collaborator Luther Henderson. Most of this music is published by Hal Leonard. It is the inspiration and musical staple of students and brass ensembles in North America and Europe.

Millions of television viewers have seen the Canadian Brass on such shows as The Tonight Show, Today, and Entertainment Tonight. They have appeared as guest artists on Evening at Pops with John Williams and the Boston Pops, Beverly Sills' Music Around the World, and numerous PBS specials. The quintet has also created eight videos that have gained an international audience and has just released a DVD that captures the group in performance over three decades, entitled Three Nights with Canadian Brass.

All members of the Canadian Brass are keenly interested in training the next generation of players. On their travels around the world, they often pause for master classes. The famous five are chamber quintet-in-residence at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. Additionally, they have created an innovative brass summer course at the famous Eastman School of Music. They have been invited by the Canadian Government to play for visiting heads of states on numerous official occasions.

With four decades under their belts, Canadian Brass continues to fill concert halls and thrill audiences around the world, and they don't look like letting up anytime soon.

Admission: 
$50, $35, reserved seating

Blake Branch Jazz Composition Recital

Tuesday / December 1, 2009 / 6:00 pm
Oliver Colvin Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

Blake Branch presents his jazz composition portfolio in this recital.

Admission: 

Berklee Artist Series featuring Greg Osby

Tuesday / November 3, 2009 / 7:00 pm
Scullers Jazz Club
400 Soldiers Field Road
Boston
MA
United States
02134
Greg Osby

The new Berklee Artists Series at Scullers is a monthly concert series featuring Berklee faculty artists and students in intimate combined concert performances at the world-renowned Scullers Jazz Club. On Tuesday, November 3 the series spotlights saxophonist Greg Osby.

Saxophonist, composer, producer, and educator Greg Osby has made an indelible mark on contemporary jazz as a leader of his own ensembles and as a guest artist with other acclaimed jazz groups for the past 20 years. 

Highly regarded for his insightful and innovative approach to composition and performance, Osby is a shining beacon among the current generation of jazz musicians. He has earned numerous awards and critical acclaim for his recorded works and passionate live performances. 

Born and reared in St. Louis, Osby began his professional music career in 1975, after three years of private studies on clarinet, flute, and alto saxophone. Coming from a vibrant and musical city, Osby showed an early interest in the performing arts and spent his years in secondary school with a heavy involvement in blues and jazz groups. In 1978 Osby furthered his musical education at Howard University (Washington, D.C.) where he majored in jazz studies. He continued his studies at the Berklee College of Music from 1980 to 1983. 

Upon relocating to New York in early 1983, Osby quickly established himself as a notable and in-demand sideman for artists as varied as Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Jack DeJohnette, Andrew Hill, Muhal Richard Abrams, Jim Hall, and Jaki Byard, as well as with many ethnic and new music ensembles in the New York area.

In 1985 Osby was invited to to join Jack DeJohnette's innovative group, Special Edition. It was as a member of this ensemble that Osby was able to fine tune the more challenging aspects of his conception in an open-ended, no-holds-barred musical situation.

In 1987, Osby signed his first recording deal with a new German label, JMT (Jazz Music Today). With this situation, he felt that he was finally able to document life as he saw it through music. He had free creative reign to do whatever he liked. He recorded four CD titles for that label. Osby signed with Blue Note Records in 1990 and recorded 15 outstanding recordings for that label as a leader. 

In 2008, Osby launched his own label, Inner Circle Music, which serves as a platform for many of today's brightest artists. From the pulse of the streets and the language of a generation, Osby has sketched numerous musical essays set to a contemporary score using the improvisational nature of jazz as the connecting thread. 

On 9 Levels, his latest recording on Inner Circle Music, Osby presents his wares in a sextet format and is joined by special guests, Nir Felder, guitar; Adam Birnbaum, piano; Joseph Lepore, bass; Hamir Atwal, drums; and a welcome newcomer to the international jazz scene, vocalist Sara Serpa.

The 2009/2010 Berklee Artist series will also include Terri Lyne Carrington; Donna McElroy; Marc Rossi; Gabrielle Goodman; Six Guitar Brothers: David Fiuczynski, David Gilmore, David Thomas, James Peterson, Thaddeus Hogath, 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.

Admission: 
$18

Singers' Night

Tuesday / November 3, 2009 / 7:15 pm
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Singers' Night features voice students performing in a range of genres.

Liz Longley is a seventh semester student studying voice and majoring in songwriting. Within the past six months, Longley has won recognition in four major songwriting competitions in the folk/acoustic scene: new folk finalist at the Kerrville Folk Fest; emerging artist at Falcon Ridge Folk Fest; cowinner of Mountain Stage New Song Contest and grand prize winner of the Rocky Mountain Folk Festival's Songwriter Showcase.

Nicole Boggs is a professional music major from Denver, Colorado focusing on songwriting, performance, and contemporary writing and production. She has shared the stage with artists like Meshell Ndegeocello, Siedah Garrett, Joyce Kennedy, Josh Groban, Dianne Reeves, and Don Lewis, and has extensive studio experience with artists and producers including David Fair, Ryan Chrys, Justin Peacock, and Berklee alumnus Fernando Curiel.

Dewin Hernandez is a fourth semester student and a music education and music business/management major and vocalist/songwriter who fuses his love of jazz, soul, merengue, and salsa to create a unique sound that is completely his own. A previous Five-Week Singers Showcase participant, Hernandez was awarded the Youth of the Year award by Lawrence Community Works and a Spotlight award at the North Shore Music Theatre.

Caroline Allen is a first semester student from Shelby, North Carolina, who has been singing competitively since the age of 12. She won first place three years in a row at Carolinas' Star Systems Showcase in Charleston, South Carolina, and sang the national anthem for the Charlotte Bobcats, Charlotte Checkers, and Budweiser Summer Shootout at Lowes Motor Speedway. She has also worked with Brian Greene, a producer for Disney and a Christian label in Nashville, Tennessee. She has been been a demo vocalist for John Deboard and Rick Bowels. 

Joelle has been a contestant and finalist on a variety of shows including Showtime at the Apollo (2001), Star Search (2002), America's Most Talented Kid (2004), and season six of American Idol, where she was a Top 40 finalist. At age 11 Joelle performed "Georgia On My Mind" for the late Ray Charles at the Temecula Valley International Film and Music Festival, and she is a regular national anthem performer for professional sports teams in California and in Boston, where she recently sang for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Nick Hakim was born and raised in Washington, D.C. Growing up he was surrounded by many different styles of music such as classic rock, soul, hip-hop, funk, punk rock, reggae, and Latin music. His mother is from Chile and his father is from Peru. Hakim started getting interested in music when he was 16. Some of his influences include Jimi Hendrix, D'angelo, Erykah Badu, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Toot and the Maytals, and many more. 

Edwin Sims is a seventh semester voice principal and songwriting major from Pflugerville Texas, who one day aspires to be a well respected songwriter in many genres from country and pop to Christian and r&b.

Dana Lauren is a jazz vocalist from Hartford, Connecticut, who's Dana Lauren Sextet was one of four groups chosen last summer to receive a full scholarship to the Aspen JAS Academy led by bassist Christian McBride. She performed with Arturo Sandoval at Sculler's in Boston, Birdland in New York, the Arturo Sandoval Jazz Club in Miami, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and is scheduled to appear with him at the Blue Note in New York in January. Sandoval also produced and is featured on her current CD, Stairway to the Stars.

Shea Rose, a Boston native and fifth semester professional music major, has been described as the female Lenny Kravitz meets Lauryn Hill, and was recently nominated for the 2010 New England Urban Music Awards in the r&b female category.  Shea performed at the BPC last fall as the opener for Berklee's Women in Rock concert, and was featured on Berklee's Heavy Rotation Records' Dorm Sessions 6 CD. She also collaborated with Cindy Blackman on a six-song EP, and she was called to open the 2009 New England Urban Music Awards.

Lillie Grace Tinsley is a first semester vocalist from Upper Marlboro, Maryland where she majored in classical piano in the Visual and Performing Arts Program at Suitland High School. Tinsley has performed at many different venues both nationally and internationally including the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center. Other high-profile gigs include the swearing-in ceremony of Washington, D.C.'s police chief, Cathy Lanier, and performing "God Bless America" at the Washington Nationals Baseball game in 2007, as well as several Presidential inaugural events in 2008.

Sophia Pizzulo is a 19 year-old vocal performance major from Los Angeles, California. In addition to her work here at Berklee, she plays with her band Sister Kin with classmate Sveta Bout; has appeared as a member of the chorus on the 2007 feature film Hairspray soundtrack; was featured on a track for the hip-hop artist Metaphor from New Jersey, released on the Northeastern record label, Greenline Records; and landed a part on three episodes of the new television series 90210, singing and dancing in a high school musical production of Spring Awakening.

Sidharth (Sid) Sriram is a third semester MP&E and vocal performance double major, with an interest in r&b/soul and jazz vocal music. He is also a professional performer of carnatic (South Indian classical) vocal music who has multiple songwriting competitions in and outside of Berklee.

Admission: 

Mili Bermejo: Love Songs of the Americas

Tuesday / November 10, 2009 / 7:15 pm
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Love Songs of the Americas A Collection of Classic Songs from North and South America Mili Bermejo, voice; Eugene Friesen, cello; Dan Greenspan, bass; Tim Ray, piano. This new musical project features Berklee faculty members Mili Bermejo and Eugene Friesen in truly luscious music - - romantic songs from a variety of lyrical traditions and cultures. Songs in Spanish and English will feature the vocal artistry of Mili in arrangements enhanced by the soulful cello of Eugene. Using musical language authentic to each song and filtered by jazz and other world traditions, Love Songs of the Americas will reveal a different facet of the four veteran musicians, all contributing to the compositions and arrangements and reflecting a great diversity of style and talent. The project will be recorded in the near future and will also include the World String Orchestra with 25 members.

Admission: 

Canada Night at Berklee

Wednesday / October 28, 2009 / 7:00 pm
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115
Canada Night at Berklee

Canadian students have become one of the largest international groups among those coming from Berklee's 70 different countries. This night showcases Lucian Gray (guitar) and Samantha Schultz (voice and guitar), winners of the prestigious Slaight Family Scholarship. The night also introduces a stunningly talented group of Canadian singer/songwriters, all current Berklee students: Keisa Ellestad (voice, piano, guitar), Matthew Genovese (voice, guitar), Ali Slaight (voice), and Ivonne Hernandez (fiddle, step dancing, vocals, percussion). Join us to celebrate the amazing cultural diversity at Berklee.

Read the full press release.

 

Admission: 
$20 general admission, free with Berklee ID

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