Unlimited Perception was born in 2012 as a community of artists and creators. Its members hail from different parts of the world: Turkey, Israel, Colombia, and Japan. The collaboration between them took place while attending Berklee. They generated a harmonious, eclectic, and earthy sound due to their diverse backgrounds. The music features a blend of South American rhythms such as bambuco and cumbia with microtones and lyrical melodies. The band emphasizes the element of improvisation and musical conversation during their performances.
Unlimited Perception features Andres Fonseca Alfonso on drums, Miguel Angel Lous on saxophone and flute, Utar Artun on piano, Burcu Gulec performing vocals, Hagai Perets on guitar, Ren Yamamoto on bass, and Victor Andres Cruz on percussion.
Student ensembles perform a series of afternoon and evening concerts, led by faculty members Kudisan Kai and Christiane Karam. These end-of-semester performance finals will cover a wide range of styles.
Venezuelan musician and guitar player Luis D’Elias got into music at age 14 when, for the first time after mandatory music lessons, a teacher motivated him to develop his musical skills. At that moment, he began studies at the Olga Lopez Conservatory, where he took two years of classical training in different areas such as piano, guitar, and choir. Later, he participated in the 2004 Berklee Summer Performance Program, which got him into jazz theory and contemporary music.
Afterward, D'Elias enrolled at the Taller de Jazz Caracas, founded by renowned bass player Oscar Fanega, where he began developing his skills in different areas of jazz under the guidance of musicians like Pedro Barboza, Luca Vincenzetti, and Hugo Fuguet, each very well known within the Venezuelan music scene.
At the same time, he was undertaking studies in electronics engineering at the prestigious Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, Venezuela, from which he received a bachelor’s degree with honors in 2011. Right after that, he finally applied to Berklee College of Music for full time studies. He obtained a partial scholarship and is now pursuing a double diploma in film scoring and electronic production and design.
As a composer, he has already scored 10 student short films, most recently a full-length documentary titled El Camino de La Voluntad. He also has experience with video game scoring and creating underscores for different types of visual media. As a performer, he has shared the stage with Venezuelan artists like Francisco Vielma, Diego Maldonado, and Fabio Rojas. In addition, he has experience as a pit musician for different musical theater productions.
D'Elias has also had experience as the bandleader of Venezuelan prog-rock band Systaltic and later of his own band, with whom he recorded his first demo as a solo jazz artist in 2010. Currently he is working as an arranger for several musical theater productions at Berklee and leading a new band in order to showcase his own music, which is a blend of traditional Venezuelan influences mixed with contemporary jazz and rock. Currently he is part of the roster for 2013’s Jazz Revelation Records coming CD, Catalyst.
Sergio Martinez is a percussionist from Madrid who grew up in the flamenco tradition.
Since the beginning of his professional career, he has performed internationally with some of the most important artists on the flamenco scene, including Diego el Cigala, Enrique Morente, Pepe de Lucía, and José Mercé. He has won international awards in flamenco composition, and has worked with Grammy-winning producer Javier Limón on Mercé's last album.
Martinez has offered master classes and clinics in many countries around the world and he is the leader of the Sergio Martinez Flamenco Collective, developing his skills as a composer and leader, and performing at international festivals.
Bringing together five seasoned international musicians, Jussi Riejonen traverses the boundaries between musical cultures, paying tribute to the traditions of American and Scandinavian jazz and the folk musics of the Middle East and Africa in his search for new sounds and textures. Reijonen’s original music draws from a wide pool of influences and experiences gathered from growing up in five different countries on three different continents. In both his original compositions and his playing, the open spaces and silences of Scandinavia effortlessly rub shoulders with the maqamat of the Arab world and the rhythmic richness of India and West Africa, creating a truly enchanting musical mosaic.
Between the five musicians, the quintet shares and impressive resume that reads like a who's who of contemporary jazz and world music: the members have worked with such artists as Paul Simon, Jack DeJohnette, Pepe de Lucia, Enrique Morente, Diego el Cigala, Simon Shaheen, Javier Limon, George Garzone, Ben Monder, and Mick Goodrick.
Inspired by the music of Fela Kuti, Miles Arntzen, drummer for Antibalas and Superhuman Happiness, created EMEFE in 2009. Since that time, the band’s infectious and energetic blend of afrobeat, funk, soul, and rock has supported the likes of Passion Pit and Rusted Root and members of EMEFE have played with artists such as the Budos Band and Medeski, Martin, and Wood, just to name a few. EMEFE’s instrumentation includes a drummer, a bassist, two guitarists, two percussionists, a keyboardist and a four-piece horn section. Dubbed “one of the Big Apple’s best live acts” by SarasotaDay.com, EMEFE’s motto is “music frees all.” The evening will feature members of Antibalas and the Big Mean Sound Machine.
Watch a music video from EMEFE below:
Noble Savage is a mash-up of virtuoso musicians from Boston-based jam bands. Members of Noble Savage are drawn from Spiritual Rez, the Effective Dose, Rapplesauce, and the Philadelphia-based dub/rock trio Among Criminals. Noble Savage plans to leave its mark on Boston’s thriving local music scene.
$10 in advance, $12 day of show, general admission
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.
Heavy Rotation Records is a student-run record label developed for music business/management majors at Berklee to gain hands-on experience in running a record company. The dark winters of Boston bore a band that crawled out of the womb and called itself Bent Knee. The multicultural sounds of Sirma and Stone Giant will open the showcase.
Bent Knee combines orchestral textures, haunting vocals, experimental sounds, and an astonishing dynamic range. Described by Mass Mic as "a theatrical and imaginative group that puts on a great spread," Bent Knee has original songs that morph rapidly and unpredictably between fragile passages that are "dark, mysterious… and dare I say beautiful," according to Olive Music. Ryan's Smashing Life described Bent Knee's walls of sound as "a shrieking and wailing banshee, stadium-sized guitar heroics, and pounding rhythmic tides." Deli magazine named Bent Knee New England's Artist of the Month in 2012, and the band's 2011 release was selected as one of the Best Albums of the Year by Ryan's Smashing Life and Olive Music.
Sırma is influenced and inspired by creativity, humanity, and multimedia. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, and now living in Boston, Sırma's multicultural background influences her to strive for collaboration and connection. Constantly exploring her sound, Sırma has experience in production and arranging in addition to her solo work. She is currently finishing her debut EP Traces, which will be released this fall.
Stone Giant emerged from Berklee College of Music in 2012. Sebastian Fernandez and Joao Nogueira have been struggling to find the right team and energy required for this project. The band has finally found five members who have been rocking Boston and New York venues such as the Hard Rock Café, House of Blues, and continues to expand their live performances during 2013.
The Middle Eastern Festival is a celebrated annual event that brings together artists from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean with students from all over the world to learn and experience the musical traditions of those regions. This year's edition, The Soaring Voices of the Balkans, will bring into focus the vocal traditions of the Balkans and the Caucasus, featuring world-renowned names from the folk and folk a cappella traditions as well as acclaimed instrumentalists. The featured artists include Juliana Svetlitchnaia from Juliana and Pava, the Zulal Armenian Folk A Cappella Trio from New York City, Gaida and Accordeon virtuoso Aleksandar Raichev from Bulgaria, as well as internationally acclaimed Mystère des Voix Bulgares sensation Binka Dobreva, hailing from Bulgaria as well. Berklee's own Balkan Choir and Festival Band will also be featured and will perform with the artists, as well as many special guests. In addition, the dance group Ludo Mlado will thread folk dances from Bulgaria throughout the concert.