Banner Year for Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival

By
Rob Hochschild
October 9, 2009
Pianist and vocalist Amina Claudine Myers sets the tone at the Kickin' the Blues show.
Vocalist Kevin Mahogany performs with his band at the Berklee Performance Center.
Terri Lyne Carrington, Berklee faculty member and artistic director of the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival
Saxophonist David Sanborn introduces blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker, who made a surprise appearance at the Kickin' the Blues concert.
Student guitarist Randy Runyon (right) accompanies vocalist Kevin Mahogany.
Bassist Aaron Bellamy performs with Elan Trotman's band.
Jane Bunnett
Bloco AfroBrazil roams the streets and keeps the crowd dancing.
Faculty member Craig Macrae shows a future horn player how to hold the trombone.
A young drummer gets a bang out of his new hobby.
Saxophonist Elan Trotman
Sunshine and temperatures in the mid-60s provide a welcome setting for the music-loving throng.
Jane Bunnett's Cuban jazz attracts a large crowd at the Dunkin' Donuts stage.
From left, BeanTown festival founder Darryl Settles; Roger H. Brown, Berklee president; Boston mayor Tom Menino; Christine Deputy, senior vice president of human resources for Dunkin' Donuts; and Larry Simpson, senior vice president for academic affairs at Berklee
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

The ever-expanding Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival had its biggest year ever, featuring 20 bands and 130 musicians on ten stages, stretching over several days in September. While the ticketed concerts attracted large crowds, the free outdoor festival drew an estimated 80,000—a new festival record, earning accolades from The Boston Phoenix: "Berklee is a bottomless resource for the city's music scene—the BeanTown Fest has to rank as one of its sweetest gifts," writes Jon Garelick.

The Baystate Banner drew comparisons to the New Orleans Jazz Festival and cited the "multicultural mix of music" as one of the BeanTown festival's strong suits. 

Over the nine days of the festival, performers took to stages at Scullers Jazz Club, Regattabar, and Wally's Cafe, in addition to several Berklee venues. Artists ranged from legendary musicians to emerging stars and from veteran Berklee faculty members and alumni to current students.