Bill Pierce brings the Berklee Blue Note Ensemble to celebrate
the tenth year of student performances at the club. This year's group: Melissa Aldana, tenor saxophone; Jeremy Sinclair, trumpet; Michael Palma, piano; Nadia Washington, vocals; Jeonglim Yang, bass; Dan Pugach, drums.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
2700 F Street NW
String jazz student supergroup.
Named for a bird that both chatters and improvises, Dr. Magpie is an ensemble of six of Berklee's finest string instrument players, who've come together to play jazz that draws equally from Appalachia, New York, Fort Worth, and the Left Bank of prewar Paris. This performance is part of the fifth season of the Conservatory Project, the Kennedy Center's effort to showcase the students of America's finest music colleges and conservatories.
This all-star group of top scholarship students from Puerto Rico, Israel, and the continental United States was named this year's Best College Jazz Band in Down Beat's prestigious Student Music Awards thanks to its tracks "Puertorro," and "Electrik." With graduation still ahead, these artists have performance and recording experience beyond their years. Leader and percussionist Paulo Stagnaro performs on Paquito D'Rivera's Funk Tango, winner of the 2007 Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Recording. Other members have performed with Cachao, Victor Manuelle, Danilo Perez, and Dave Valentin, among others, and recorded for XM Radio. Later this year the band will headline the Tito Puente Latin Music Series in Boston and perform in Washington, D.C.'s Duke Ellington Jazz Festival.
An amalgamation of talent, the Zach Hillyard Band has been playing throughout New England, with stints in New York City and southern California, for audiences of all ages and musical interests. With elements of pop, funk, and soul, this group offers a little something for everyone. It was recently named the Best College Band in New England in OurStage.com's College Clash competition.
Founded by Ernie Boch Jr., the Automatics feature a dream machine lineup. Ernie, a guitarist and Berklee alumnus, drew from some of Boston's most successful musicians. "I've got two retired rock stars, and two professional guys that play all the time," said Boch. The band features the musical talents of Sib Hashian and Barry Goudreau—both former members of the multi-platinum selling band Boston—along with Tim Archibald and Brian Maes. Maes had played with Barry in the post-Boston project RTZ that also featured the late Brad Delp, as well as with Peter Wolf and the House Party Five. Rounding out the band is special guest Michael "Tunes" Antunes on sax, an original and current member of John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band. On any given night there could be any number of Boston's finest musicians joining in, as well, including James Montgomery or Johnny A. The band has opened for Johnny Winter, B.B. King, Godsmack, and Los Lobos.