Sol Hee Jun has developed a passion for writing jazz at Berklee College of Music. Born in Seoul, South Korea in 1990, Sol’s musical path began at age six, when she started playing classical piano. She came to the United States in 2006 to expand her musical horizons, attending high school in West Virginia, where she played piano and was first exposed to jazz. Influenced by jazz greats like Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Bob Brookmeyer, she now focuses largely on big band jazz.
Giorgi Mikadze began playing piano at age five and performed a piano concerto with a symphony orchestra by age 12. Hailing from Tbilisi, Georgia, Mikadze started composing music at age 14 and, after discovering the music of Oscar Peterson, quickly fell in love with jazz.
After graduating from the V. Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire, Mikadze earned a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music, where he has become known for his skill as a fantastic pianist and a composer adept at many styles. He was recently selected for the competitive Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., where he performed for three nights.
Mikadze has also performed with the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra and the Berklee Symphony Orchestra. He served as musical director for Berklee’s tribute to Quincy Jones and he has composed for plays at the Rustaveli National Theatre in Georgia. He has played jazz with renowned artists such as Roy Hargrove, Patti Austin, and Justin DiCioccio, among others, and he has received awards at international piano competitions in Georgia, Ukraine, and the United States.
The Christian Li Group plays with a dynamism that breaks down intricate structures into free-floating energy. Compositions are written for and informed by each member of the group. Their idiosyncrasies and diverse backgrounds feed a music that exists for and because of those who experience it. Members of the band are Matthew Halpin, tenor; Christian Li, piano; Zach Brown, bass; Sergio Martinez, percussion; and Roberto Giaquinto, drums.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
2700 F Street NW
Piano professor Kevin Harris leads a group of top student instrumentalists in performing original compositions. Performers are Joseph Streater, flute and flugle horn; Edmar Colon, tenor and soprano; Ido Meshulam, trombone; Cyrus Chestnut, piano; Tabari Lake, bass; and John Lee, drums.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Caili O’Doherty has received national awards for her jazz piano playing and composition from Downbeat Magazine as well as the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award in 2009. Initially trained as a classical pianist, she discovered her love for jazz at age 11 when she transferred to a performing arts school in her hometown. She attended Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship, majoring in jazz piano performance. While at Berklee, she was selected to be a member of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, an honors performance program directed by highly acclaimed pianist Danilo Pérez. Through this program, O'Doherty worked closely with leading musicians in the jazz world, including Joe Lovano, John Patitucci, Dave Liebman, Adam Cruz, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Danilo Pérez. Her combo performed and conducted workshops and master classes in the United States and abroad, including at the Panama Jazz Festival (where they opened for the Wayne Shorter Quartet), the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia (opening for French pianist Martial Solal), the UNESCO Center in Paris for the launch of the first International Jazz Day, the Toronto Jazz Festival, the Monterey High School Jazz Festival, and on a tour of Togo and Benin in Western Africa on a U.S. State Department grant.
In 2010, O'Doherty was the youngest of five female jazz pianists invited to participate in the inaugural Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Emerging Artists Workshop held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and she also performed at the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival. Other notable performance venues include Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Beantown Jazz Festival, the Portland Jazz Festival, the MICI International Film Festival in Mexico, and the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival (as the pianist for Terrell Stafford). O'Doherty is an avid proponent of jazz education, and in 2012 she was selected as the Stanford jazz piano mentor, a two-year teaching internship at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, where she teaches lessons, clinics, and master classes to young people and performs with fellow mentors at the Stanford Jazz Festival.
Keyboardist Evan Waaramaa brings an eclectic trio featuring Andre Vasconcelos on guitar and bass, and Tiago Michelin on drums.
Born out of the latin jazz scene of Hartford, CT, keyboardist Evan Waaramaa brings an eclectic blend of wild rhythms and jazz sensibilities to every venue he enters. As well as being avid performer of world music, he composes tunes in far-ranging genres from Afro-Cuban Salsa, to Venezuelan Joropo, and even Arabic jazz. Evan is a budding film composer, having already scored numerous short films throughout New England.
Jake Sherman was playing music before he could tie his shoes. He began taking Suzuki piano lessons at age 5 but soon fell in love with ragtime, learning many Scott Joplin classics and even composing some original rags. It wasn’t until Sherman was 12 that he began studying jazz piano. He learned very quickly and was soon playing in ensembles. At 14, Jake discovered the Hammond organ. He received his first Hammond from the Brookline Music School and taught himself how to play it by listening to records and reading countless posts on Hammond organ listservs and websites.
Sherman has moved into the top tier of young musicians in the Boston and New York areas. He has appeared with Ralph Peterson, Gretchen Parlato, Bilal, Lalah Hathaway, Casey Benjamin, Jamire Williams, and Dave Fiuczynski, among others. In addition to jazz, he has become passionate about a variety of other styles of music. He plays gospel organ every Sunday at Eliot Church in Roxbury and often performs with other up-and-coming artists such as Nick Hakim, Jesse Scheinin, Sid Sriram, and Margaret Glaspy. He recently released his first solo album, which is available through his website.
Possessing an enormous talent and a remarkably fertile musical imagination, Moira Lo Bianco is a bona fide triple threat as a composer, arranger, and pianist. Mature beyond her young years, she has an intense personal musical vision and all of the tools to consistently bring it to life. Her ability to transcend genre and category is organic and seemingly effortless.
Since 2009, Kyumin Shim has been studying at Berklee on scholarship, working with Joanne Brackeen, Danilo Pérez, Ed Tomassi, and Hal Crook, to name a few. He has also performed at the Newport Jazz Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Martha's Vineyard Jazz Festival, and Smalls Jazz Club.
Pianist Christian Li grew up in the town of Horseheads, New York. Largely self-taught in the jazz discipline until his college years, Li has won several DownBeat magazine Student Music Awards and attended highly selective programs, including the Skidmore Jazz Institute, the Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony, the Vail Jazz Workshop, and the Berklee Global Jazz Institute.
Watch a segment of the Christian Li Group performing "El Duende" here: