The Indian Ensemble at Berklee is one of the largest and most diverse ensembles at Berklee, with musicians currently representing 34 countries. Its fall concert will feature Clinton Cerejo, one of the most well-known names in Indian music today. A versatile multi-instrumentalist, a highly sought-after vocalist and vocal arranger in the booming Indian advertising and film industry, and a gifted and experienced composer, Cerejo has mastered the art of merging Western theoretical and harmonic concepts with Indian classical and folk music. He has worked extensively with acclaimed artists, including A. R. Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, and Kailash Kher. Cerejo’s signature sound is recognized and appreciated not only in India, but in international circles as well. His song “Madari,” featuring Vishal Dadlani and Sonu Kakkar, went viral on YouTube, scoring more than 1.5 million views.
Watch an exclusive interview with Clinton Cerejo at Berklee here:
Directed by Indian Berklee alumna and faculty member, Annette Philip, "Shuruaat" (meaning, "beginning") will celebrate Cerejo's signature sound, and will also premiere new student compositions, with repertoire encompassing Indian classical, Quwali, folk, Indian rock, and Indo-jazz music.
$8 in advance (discount applied at checkout), $12 day of show, general admission
Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble presents traditional Japanese gagaku music, which was born in the fourth century as imperial court music. The music and dancing has remained unchanged and is still performed in its original form. The instrumentation of this ensemble is comprised of three wind instruments, three percussion instruments, two string instruments, and two to four dancers. Berklee Brass department professor Tiger Okoshi will perform with the ensemble for the "Etenraku" piece. The concept of blending traditional sounds with the modern tones of the trumpet will be a premier in the history of this ancient style. For many listeners, the gagaku experience is one of spirituality, purity, and a tranquility unlike anything they have previously known.
This event is made possible from with support by the consulate general of Japan in Boston, Japan Society of Boston, and Japanese Association of Greater Boston.
$8 in advance (discount applied at checkout), $12 day of show, general admission
Presented by singer-songwriter, French horn player, and pianist Shachar Ziv, Pieces of a Puzzle is a musical journey from traditional Israeli music through Argentinian tango and folklore to classical, jazz, and pop/rock. The instrumentation is a mixture of a rock band with a string trio. Ziv will be joined by musicians from Israel, Holland, Canada, Venezuala, Argentina, Spain, and the U.S.
Renowned master of world percussion, composer, and author Jerry Leake presents a master class focusing on Hindustani and Carnatic Indian music. On tabla, Leake has accompanied Ali Akbar Khan, Steve Gorn, Sharafat Ali Khan, and Chitravena Ravikiran, to name just a few. Leake is the co-founder of the award-winning world music ensemble Natraj, and also performs with Club d’Elf, the Agbekor Drum and Dance Society, and his acclaimed world-rock-fusion octet Cubist.
In this clinic, Leake will address the Hindustani music of North India and the Carnatic music of South India. Leake will also discuss merging rhythm theory and practice, compositional forms, improvisation, and much more.
Christiane Karam, along with members of her band and choir, will present a diverse repertoire ranging from music from the Balkans to the Middle East and will provide insights into the techniques and stylistic elements involved in those musical traditions. Vocal production, odd meters, and microtonal modes will be explored.
De Cantos y Vuelos, Maria Mulata´s most recent album, is a sonic journey that goes into the depths of Colombia: its forgotten lands and their stories, its people, and the great musical diversity of its coasts, valleys, rivers, mountains, forests, towns, and cities.
It is a musical flight throughout the small world condensed in Colombia, which is the fruit of the mixture of African, indigenous, and European elements combined with Jewish and Arab influences. This world ranges from the euphoria of the Caribbean to the saudade of Amazonian music, and passes through the mystique of the Pacific coast, the nostalgia of the Andes, and the ancestral runaway slaves and indigenous communities.
This project represents music born of the encounter between tradition and modernity, making Maria Mulata a singer of the 21st century. Cumbias, bullerengues, currulaos, sung dances, bambucos and serene tunes all take shape organically through a dialogue with the contemporary in renewed forms and novel explorations which, though duly evoking teachers and sages of old, mark a new path for Colombian music.
Not only do we have roots, we can now say that we also have wings.
Uruguayan singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler came to the world's attention with his 2005 Oscar for the song "Al Otro Lado del Rio" from the acclaimed movie The Motorcycle Diaries. Born in Montevideo, Drexler is the son of German Jews who immigrated to South America just before World War II. His music is a combination of Uruguayan traditional music (candombe, murga, milonga, tango), bossa nova, pop, and jazz. The result is an assortment of very personal compositions with original arrangements that reflect on love, identity, race, and religion.
“Amjad Ali Khan—improvising furiously around the melody line with repeated, rapid-fire playing and then letting his equally frantic tabla player take over—it was easy to see why great Indian music can be as exciting as classic blues and rock.”—The Guardian
In a career spanning 50 years, Amjad Ali Khan has single-handedly elevated the sarod to one of the most popular instruments in the Northern Indian tradition. Trained by his father, the legendary Haafiz Ali Khan, Amjad Ali Khan is the sixth in an uninterrupted line of music masters. Joining him are his sons, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan, who are already beloved as the next generation of masters of this ancient instrument. Two tabla virtuosi will add percussive richness to the ensemble sound.
Albino Mbie was born in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, a country in southern Africa known for its rich musical and cultural heritage. Fueled by the resourcefulness and determination that have always characterized Mozambicans, he built his first guitar at age 16 from scrap wood, strings made out of electrical cords, and a five-liter can of oil.
Drawn to the sounds of neighborhood street musicians in Maputo, Mbie began to play in a number of local bands and wanted to combine styles, incorporating diverse elements in his music. For his talents to grow, he knew he needed experience new places, cultures, and sounds.
While studying music education and performance at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique, he heard about Berklee and soon afterward became one of the first students to receive a full scholarship to Berklee through the African Scholars program in 2009.
At Berklee, he was exposed to a variety of influences but wanted to go deeper into the roots of jazz and expand his knowledge of music. He auditioned and was selected to participate in the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI), which is directed by Danilo Pérez and has a roster of teachers that includes Joe Lovano, John Patitucci, and Terri Lyne Carrington. BGJI fosters a musician's artistic vision, and has helped Mbie find his own unique voice in the art form.
Mbie still felt the absence of his Mozambican traditions in his music. With the help of his mentors, Richard Bona and Lionel Loueke—two of the most prominent African musicians in the United States—he began to bridge that gap.
Today, Mbie's music succeeds in combining many disparate parts into an organic whole. It incorporates his musical experiences from Mozambique, the U.S., and many other places around the world, combining rhythmic patterns and musical concepts to create a unique "Moz-jazz" sound.
His original composition "Mozambique Dance" was released by Jazz Revelation Records, a student-run record label at Berklee, in 2011. He recorded another original, "Awusiwana," for the Berklee 2012 Summer in the City disc. His debut album, also called Mozambique Dance, will be released soon.
Mbie is an active musician, and has performed in several countries, including Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Italy, the U.S., and Mexico. He has also produced and recorded various projects in Mozambique and in the United States. He graduated from Berklee in 2012 with a dual degree in performance and music production and engineering, and a minor in acoustics.