Concert

Wally's Stepchildren

Monday / September 21, 2009 / 9:00 p.m.
Wally's Cafe
427 Massachusetts Ave.
Boston
MA
United States
02118

Wally's Stepchildren is a funk/fusion band that has had rotating musicians at Wally's for almost 15 years. Some past notable members of this night include drummers John Blackwell (Prince), Adam Deitch (Justin Timberlake), Niki Glaspie (Beyoncé), and John Roberts (Janet Jackson); guitarist Eric Krasno (Soulive); and keyboardist Rob Lewis (Puff Daddy).

Wally's Cafe was established on January 1, 1947 in Boston. The nightclub is located at the famed intersection of Massachusetts and Columbus Avenues. The area was once home to many renowned jazz clubs during the 1940s and '50s—places with names like the High Hat, Savoy Ballroom, Chicken Lane, the Wig Wam, Big M, and Wally's Paradise that played a major role introducing jazz to the New England community. Wally's Café now features live music 365 days a year. Many of the musicians are professionals, but Wally's still maintains its tradition of providing students of academic institutions such as Berklee, the Boston Conservatory, and the New England Conservatory of Music with a stage to perfect their craft.

See the full Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival Schedule.

 

Admission: 
Free

Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane/Hartman

Friday / September 25, 2009 / 8:00 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club
400 Soldiers Field Road
Boston
MA
United States
02134
Kurt Elling

Berklee BeanTown Jazz concertgoers get a rare treat this year: four chances to hear a special performance, "Dedicated To You"—Kurt Elling Sings Coltrane/Hartman, Featuring Joel Frahm and the Laurence Hobgood Trio. The original 1960s era recording captured lightning in a bottle when the two legends came together, and Elling has made it his mission to put his own mark on what was a seminal moment in jazz history.

Elling's rich baritone voice spans four octaves and displays an astonishing technical facility and emotional depth. His repertoire ranges from his own compositions to modern interpretations of standards, both of which can be the springboard for free-form improvisation, scatting, spoken word, and poetry.

One of Elling's major contributions is as a writer and performer of vocalese, the art of putting words to improvised solos of jazz artists. Elling, who has earned eight Grammy nominations, has set the solos of Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny, and others to his own deeply spiritual and compelling lyrics, an approach that reminds us of the beauty of the original music and opens us up to a fresh vision.

Elling's new Concord recording, Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman, celebrates a 45-year-old collaboration between saxophonist John Coltrane and vocalist Johnny Hartman. The two jazz legends recorded several tracks on one day in March 1963, and the result quickly became a jazz classic. Elling's Dedicated to You features his take on several of the original tracks, including "Autumn Serenade" and "You Are Too Beautiful." 

During his four Berklee BeanTown concerts, Elling will be accompanied by his frequent collaborator, pianist Lawrence Hobgood, and by saxophonist Joel Frahm. 

See the full Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival schedule.

 

Admission: 
$28

The Branford Marsalis Quartet

Wednesday / September 23, 2009 / 8:00 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02115
Branford Marsalis

Shortly following the release of what had already been described as their greatest work to date, Metamorphosen, the Branford Marsalis Quartet's personnel changed for the first time in over a decade.  With the departure of protean drummer, Jeff "Tain" Watts, the bandleader was faced with the enormous task of finding another drummer, and what he found in 18-year old Justin Faulkner was nothing short of astonishing. The "new" Branford Marsalis Quartet includes Faulkner on drums, Eric Revis on bass, Joey Calderazzo on piano, and, of course, Branford Marsalis on saxophone. 

See the full Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival Schedule.

Admission: 
$41, $35

Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane/Hartman

Friday / September 25, 2009 / 10:00 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club
400 Soldiers Field Road
Boston
MA
United States
02134

Berklee BeanTown Jazz concertgoers get a rare treat this year: four chances to hear a special performance, "Dedicated To You"—Kurt Elling Sings Coltrane/Hartman, Featuring Joel Frahm and the Laurence Hobgood Trio. The original 1960s era recording captured lightning in a bottle when the two legends came together, and Elling has made it his mission to put his own mark on what was a seminal moment in jazz history.

Elling's rich baritone voice spans four octaves and displays an astonishing technical facility and emotional depth. His repertoire ranges from his own compositions to modern interpretations of standards, both of which can be the springboard for free-form improvisation, scatting, spoken word, and poetry.

One of Elling's major contributions is as a writer and performer of vocalese, the art of putting words to improvised solos of jazz artists. Elling, who has earned eight Grammy nominations, has set the solos of Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny, and others to his own deeply spiritual and compelling lyrics, an approach that reminds us of the beauty of the original music and opens us up to a fresh vision.

Elling's new Concord recording, Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman, celebrates a 45-year-old collaboration between saxophonist John Coltrane and vocalist Johnny Hartman. The two jazz legends recorded several tracks on one day in March 1963, and the result quickly became a jazz classic. Elling's Dedicated to You features his take on several of the original tracks, including "Autumn Serenade" and "You Are Too Beautiful." 

During his four Berklee BeanTown concerts, Elling will be accompanied by his frequent collaborator, pianist Lawrence Hobgood, and by saxophonist Joel Frahm. 

 

See the full Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival schedule.

 

 

Admission: 
$28

Berklee Salsa Ensemble

Saturday / September 26, 2009 / 12:00 p.m.
Dunkin Donuts Stage
594 Columbus Ave
Boston
MA
United States
02120

Come dance to the tropical rhythms of the Berklee student Salsa Ensemble, directed by Bernardo Hernández, assistant professor. Hernández, who has played with a wide range of innovative artists, has led the group in a string of performances throughout the Boston area. The ensemble features Berklee's best student performers of salsa.

Hernández has worked as a composer, arranger, and producer of music for Radio Caracas TV musicals and the WCVB-TV Boston talk show Aqui, and has written jingles and arrangements for singers and orchestras in Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Spain, Mexico, and the United States. Hernandez has recorded as a leader for CBS and Polydor. 

He has performed with Soledad Bravo; Vicky Carr; Chekeré; Tito Gomez; Humano; Antonio Lauro; Israel Lopez; Victor Mendoza; Pablo Milanes; Dan Moretti; the Pampero Studio Orchestra; the Pan-American and Palladium 51 big bands; Los Pleneros del Coco; Tito Puente, Jr.; Ismael Miranda, Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez; Oscar Stagnaro; Cecilia Todd; Bebo Valdez; Roberto Vizcaino; and Nancy Wilson. 

 

Hernández is an alumnus of Berklee and the Jose Angel Lamas Music Conservatory in Caracas, Venezuela.

See the full Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival schedule.

 

Admission: 
Free

The Donna McElroy Quartet

Saturday / September 26, 2009 / 12:50 p.m.
Target Stage
681 Columbus Ave.
Boston
MA
United States
02120

Donna McElroy is an arranger/background vocalist on gold and platinum releases "Why Haven't I Heard From You?" by Reba McIntyre; "We Shall Be Free" by Garth Brooks, "Addictive Love" by BeBe and CeCe Winans, and "House of Love" by Amy Grant. She is the recipient of Grammy nomination for Bigger World (WB), a Dove Award for Songs from the Loft (Reunion), and a 1993 Best Actress Award for the Circle Players' performance of Sister Mary Regina (Nunsense).
Television appearances include Arsenio Hall, Tonight Show, and Grammy Awards.

Lately, McElroy's been doing more in her community and in the Boston area; hosting a website for pedagogical support for new singers; developing an American Negro spirituals curriculum for the Voice Department at Berklee; and working to raise money for the schools and young music students in the Ivory Coast, West Africa. 

See the full Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival schedule.

Admission: 
Free

Ashanti Munir

Saturday / September 26, 2009 / 12:00 p.m.
Berklee Stage
732 Columbus Ave.
Boston
MA
United States
02120
Ashanti Munir

Ashanti Munir's powerful voice has earned her comparisons to Lalah Hathaway.  She's still riding high from the success of her 2008 debut CD, Balance, which received rave reviews internationally. The single "I'm Staying Home Tonight" was a dance floor favorite in the UK, and Balance was #18 on Solar Radio's Best of 2008 chart in London. A native Bostonian, Ashanti was nominated for a 2006 New England Urban Music Award, and won the historic Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in 1992. She was a background vocalist for Michael Buble at the Verizon Center in Manchester, N.H. and has opened for Johnny Kemp, Alyson Williams, Esperanza Spalding, Freddie Jackson, Helen Rogers, and Terri Lyne Carrington.

See the full Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival schedule.

Admission: 
Free

Elan Trotman

Saturday / September 26, 2009 / 1:20 p.m.
Berklee Stage
732 Columbus Ave.
Boston
MA
United States
02120
Elan Trotman

Barbados native and saxophonist Elan Trotman has made a name for himself as one of New England's up-and-coming jazz artists. His reputation was cemented in 2008 when he was named Best Jazz Artist at the New England Urban Music Awards. He has performed, recorded, and toured with an elite group of artists, including vocalists Roberta Flack and Brian McKnight and saxophonist Kirk Whalum. Trotman also serves as musical director, saxophonist, and keyboardist in the band led by Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo.

Trotman is a graduate of Berklee and a music teacher in the Boston public schools system.

Listen to Elan Trotman

See the full Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival schedule.

Admission: 
Free

Marcus Santos and Bloco AfroBrazil

Saturday / September 26, 2009 / 1:00 p.m.
Columbus Avenue (Street Performance)
688 Columbus Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
Bloco AfroBrazil

Led by Marcus Santos, Bloco AfroBrazil takes to the streets of Boston throughout the outdoor festival day, mixing traditional Brazilian grooves like samba, maracatu, and baião with funk, rock, jazz, and hip-hop. Always one of the most visible and high-energy groups of the day, The group consists of more than 20 of the most talented percussionists and musicians in New England.

Bloco AfroBrazil is a Boston-area ensemble dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the vibrant Afro-Brazilian carnival traditions of Bahía, a state in northern Brazil where 90 percent of the population is of African descent. Carnival in Bahía's capital city of Salvador centers around the blocos Afros, or carnival clubs, that provide the musical "voice" of this celebration. As the blocos Afros parade throughout Salvador, they pick up revelers, promoting the traditional notion that Carnival is a time to join in, a time when rules can be broken and social barriers crossed. In some years, Carnival parades in Salvador have included up to 340,000 participants.

The energetic Marcus Santos leads Bloco AfroBrazil, which delivers captivating performances to its audiences. Born and raised in the city of Salvador, Santos grew up in the blocos Afros tradition. After performing with Brazilian groups like Mambolada and Jheremmias, he won a scholarship to attend Berklee. Upon his arrival, Santos founded Bloco AfroBrazil and its parent organization, AfroBrazil, dedicated to keeping Brazilian percussion traditions alive in the United States. Marcus has performed with artists such as the Gypsy Kings and Paquito D'Rivera.

Bloco AfroBrazil was recently nominated for a Boston Music Award for Best World Music Act.

See the full Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival schedule.

Admission: 
Free

Donald Harrison

Saturday / September 26, 2009 / 1:30 p.m.
Dunkin Donuts Stage
594 Columbus Ave
Boston
MA
United States
02120
Donald Harrison

In the classic jazz genre, Donald Harrison is the originator of the nouveau swing style, which merges acoustic swing with modern r&b, second-line, hip-hop, New Orleans African American roots culture, and reggae rhythms. Harrison is a proven master of many musical genres and has written and performed many innovative classic jazz compositions. Some of his compositions are now part of the standard repertoire of jazz. He has also written and performed as a hip-hop MC. His influence on the whole rap culture as an early mentor of the Notorius B.I.G. on the science of rap and life was documented on VH-1. He is also a master singer/dancer in traditional New Orleans culture.

Today the 47-year-old saxophonist is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of these times, yet he remains inextricably tied to his New Orleans roots. Harrison has also discovered and nurtured some of the finest young jazz musicians like the young trumpeter Christian Scott, Mark Whitfield, Dwayne Burno, Christian McBride, Cyrus Chestnut, as well as rap icon the Notorious B.I.G.—his neighbor in Brooklyn for eight years. In the new millennium, Harrison has written and performed major orchestral works. Recently he has performed with his own groups as well as with the Head Hunters, Jennifer Holliday, Larry Coryell, and the Art of Four with Billy Cobham, Ron Carter, and James Williams.

See the full Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival schedule.

 

Admission: 
Free

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