The Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) is a performance program designed to foster creativity and musicianship through various musical disciplines, with pianist and composer Danilo Pérez as its artistic director. The BGJI provides a comprehensive contemporary music environment where students are given opportunities to explore their creativity to the highest level possible, advance the power of music as a tool for the betterment of society, and connect musical creative thinking with the natural environment.
Daniel Rotem is an Israeli tenor saxophonist and composer who has been leading a trio since he arrived at Berklee in 2011. During the year the trio has been together, they have recorded with Jazz Revelation Records and performed during the Regattabar Courtyard Series. Rotem has also had the opportunity to work with Phil Wilson, Greg Hopins, Hal Crook, Terri Lyne Carrington, and others since his arrival at Berklee.
The Berklee Stage at the 2012 Boston Book Festival will feature six student groups with music ranging from world, folk, jazz, R&B, and indie. Juana Aquerreta is a folk singer from Buenos Aires, Argentina; Berklee Interdisciplinary Arts Institute combines original musical composition with other art forms; Alex Baboian is a jazz guitarist from Boston, Massachusetts; Ali Amr is a vocalist and qanun performer from Ramallah, West Bank; Daniel Woods is a songwriter from Chicago, Illinois; and Willington, New Jersey, born Gizmo presents a fusion of "jazz, hip-hop, and experimental sensabilities" - Okayplayer.com.
Juana Aquerreta: 11:00 a.m.–11:50 a.m.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Juana Aquerreta grew up surrounded by music. Her first steps came along with the guitar and the singing of traditional Argentinean folk. From a very young age she admired and absorbed the South American sounds, and this is what her original compositions and songs present: a musical journey that blends her roots with more contemporary styles and instruments.
Berklee Interdisciplinary Arts Institute: 12:00 p.m.–12:50 p.m.
Berklee's Interdisciplinary Arts Institute advances student's own interdisciplinary art projects from the planning stage to the final public presentation. The seminar is designed for music students who aspire to create portfolio-quality work in collaboration with artists outside of music. Emphasis is placed on the student’s original composition, sound design, and musical performance for collaborative interdisciplinary work. Students learn to collaborate with artists from various disciplines, including dance, theater, installation art, film, video, sculpture, spoken word, experimental performance, robotics, virtual reality, and other emerging genres.
Alex Baboian: 1:00 p.m.–1:50 p.m.
Alex Baboian is a guitarist, teacher, and composer from Boston, Massachusetts. While primarily a jazz guitarist, he keeps a busy schedule performing, recording, and teaching in several styles in and out of Boston. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Isabella Stuart Gardener Museum, and Boston Symphony Hall, in groups ranging in size from solo guitar to big band. Festival appearances include the Washington D.C. Jazz Festival, the Louisville Jazz Educators conference, and the Boston Beantown Jazz Festival. He has been awarded the Berklee College of Music Guitar Department Achievement Award in both 2011 and 2012. In 2010 he spent time living, studying, and performing abroad in Japan and South Korea. He has had the privilege to study with wonderful teachers such as Hal Crook, Phil Wilson, Jamey Haddad, Dave Tornio, and Jon Damian.
Ali Amr: 2:00 p.m.–2:50 p.m.
Ali Amr is a vocalist and qanun performer. His work incorporates and reflects a legacy of Arabic music while it forges ahead to new frontiers, embracing many different styles in the process. He was honored with three advanced Marcel Khalife Competition prizes as the Best Arabic Music Performer, 2004-2007. Amr dazzles his audience as he smoothly leaps from traditional Arabic sounds to jazz and other contemporary styles. His soaring technique, melodic ingenuity, and unparalleled grace have earned him acclaim as a virtuoso on the qanun.
Daniel Woods: 3:00 p.m.–3:50 p.m.
Daniel Woods is a singer-songwriter hailing from Chicago. His love for music began at age sixteen and was nurtured throughout his high school years. In 2009 he was accepted to study at Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee, Woods has performed and shared the stage with Terri Lynn Carrington, Nona Hendrix, Vernon Reid, the Clark sisters, Bilal Oliver, and Lalah Hathaway. He has also shared the stage with New York singer-songwriter Emily King and sings background vocals and plays guitar for fellow Berklee singer-songwriter Nick Hakim. Woods's major influences include Donny Hathaway, Jeff Buckley, Marvin Gaye, Richie Havens, and Tracy Chapman, to name a few. While playing his music he calls upon all of these inspirations to create a sound that reaches to the soul and captures the heart of his listeners.
Gizmo: 4:00 p.m.–4:40 p.m.
Most musicians wait a lifetime to share stages with their musical heroes. Hoping to accomplish such a feat while still racking up college credits would be considered nothing more than a pipe dream. But having performed with such esteemed artists as Meshell Ndegeocello and Talib Kweli as well as serving as music director for shows with Bilal and Lalah Hathaway, it’s safe to say that 21-year-old bassist Kenneth “Gizmo” Rodgers has been living that dream for quite some time now. With a wealth of experience that belies his years and touting a vast array of musical influences spanning the realms of jazz, pop, funk, rock, and Latin, Gizmo has released his debut sonic masterpiece Red Balloon. Produced by Derrick Hodge, musical director for Maxwell and bassist for artists that include Robert Glasper Experiment, Kanye West, and Common, Red Balloon is a wondrous 13-track odyssey through the multifaceted human experience. Gizmo and his band will be performing selections from that CD today.
Berklee presents Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers at the IBMA Award–winning Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival. Blue Moose melds old time, bluegrass, Celtic, and Scandinavian influences via four- and five-string fiddles, mandolins, acoustic jazz guitar, and the nyckelharpa. This is a band that truly embodies the lovingly weird, brilliant musical fusions that come out of Berklee.