In 2009, Grant Richards enrolled at Berklee College of Music, where he received the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship, a distinction awarded each year to one music student in recognition of outstanding talent. In his short career, Richards has performed with many renowned artists, including Esperanza Spalding, Chuck Israels, Terri Lyne Carrington, Dave Liebman, Ben Wolfe, Damian Erskine, Greg Hopkins, John Lockwood, and Filo Machado. Now, at age 22, he is a formidable pianist, composer, and teacher in his own right, remaining active in the Boston music scene by performing and recording as a leader and sideman.
At 21 years old, Clifton Williams is an accomplished pianist from Washington, D.C. In the spring of 2010, Williams was invited by the U.S Ambassador to Vienna to perform a series of concerts in Vienna, Austria, and Paris, France. He is a graduate (valedictorian) of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts High School and now attends Berklee College of Music on a presidential scholarship. While at Berklee, he has taken full advantage of its prominence, accompanying numerous concerts, vocal classes, and recitals.
Recently Williams has toured with the Harlem Gospel Choir both nationally and internationally. He is a dual major in music education and contemporary writing and production. He aspires to be a well-rounded musician and an inspiration to all who encounter him.
Created in the fall of 2012 by vocalist and composer Raquel Rivera, Amethyst brings together six of Boston’s up-and-coming young musicians for a unique and anticipated project. The six-piece group delivers an eclectic mix of Rivera’s originals and collaborative new arrangements of covers from artists such as Kimbra and Taylor Eigsti. These contrasts are typical of the group’s material, which effortlessly combines pop, jazz, and Latin influences to create a magnetic sound. Amethyst just released its EP, Something About Evergreens, this February, and they are performing their material in Boston and New York this spring.
Isis Lune is a Boston-based group formed at Berklee College of Music. Led by Israeli vocalist Ella Joy Meir, the band creates a unique soundscape that combines electronic textures with a raw human element. Titles such as "In the Belly of a Whale" and "Bring Me the Moon" submerge the listener in the band's world: a realm of demons and magic, of vast oceans and endless skylines. The band’s music reflects its members' eclectic musical backgrounds, ranging from classical to ethnic, from jazz to rock and R&B.
Isis Lune is Ella Joy Meir (vocals and piano), Asher Kurtz (guitar), Ran Gil (keys), Aaron Liao (bass), and Tim Merle (drums). Watch Isis Lune perform "Leaking" in this music video:
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Juana Aquerreta blends her musical roots with contemporary styles. She will be performing a set of original tunes, joined by her friends Jacinta Clusellas (guitar), Tomas Latorre (bass), Tiago Michelin (drums), and Eleni Arapoglou (vocals).
Gabriela Lencka—an actress, singer-songwriter, and videographer—incorporates all of her passions and expresses herself best as a performer. Her music is a tasty mix of many styles, and it is hard to stay indifferent to her lyrics. As if that were not enough, her performance is a genuine feast for the eyes and ears.
KeL is a colorful-sounding band, combining jazz piano, rock solos, fresh pop grooves, and hints of smooth Brazilian melodies.
Kel do Nascimento was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. Very early in her childhood, she showed an interest in the arts, specifically theater, dance, and music. She finally decided to take vocal lessons in 2008 and got accepted at Souza Lima Conservatory in 2009, where she dove into music studies for three years before transferring credits to Berklee College of Music. While in Brazil, she toured the country as the background and lead vocalist for a few bands, released a single on the radio, and played weekly in nightclubs with her trio. She came to Berklee in the fall of 2011 and has been performing, songwriting, and producing her own music project, KeL, as well as expanding her network and opportunities.
Born into a musical family in Barranquilla, Colombia, Esther Rojas started playing the violin at age 10, mainly focusing on a classical music repertoire. From 1995 to 1997, she continued her studies at the University of Cauca and the Antonio Maria Valencia Conservatory in Cali, Colombia, where she also performed with their youth symphony orchestras. In 2000, she switched her musical interest to electric and acoustic bass, entering the commercial arranging and composition and the jazz performance studies programs at the prestigious Javeriana University in Bogotá, Colombia. She has studied with Alain Caron, Oscar Stagnaro, and Luis Angel Pastor. Recently, she performed with Latin superstar Luis Enrique.
She is currently enrolled in the contemporary writing and production program at Berklee College of Music. Rojas’s style is a combination of the influences of Colombian traditional music, R&B, pop, salsa, Cuban timba, Brazilian music, and jazz. She is a very creative and solid player with a strong focus on the groove.
For this performance, she will feature the great Colombian singer Maria Mulata, 2008 winner of the world-renowned Viña del Mar Festival in Chile. Rojas and Mulata have been working together for the past four years. Their work includes performances at the most important festivals in Colombia and concerts in Asia and the United States. Rojas has also collaborated on Maria Mulata's most recent album, Cantos y Vuelos, which was released in 2013.
Nicolas Castañeda is a harpist from Bogotá, Colombia, currently studying jazz composition at Berklee. Castañeda takes various and sometimes disparate musical elements to build a personal language in both his compositions and in his interpretation of traditional tunes. He will be performing with his quintet.