Nadia Washington Quartet Plays Monterey Festival April 9-10

By
Rob Hayes
March 23, 2010
The Nadia Washington Quartet. From left: Jonathan Pinson, drums; Jiri Nedoma, piano; Nadia Washington, voice; and Josh Hari, bass.
Photo Kelly Davidson

The Nadia Washington Quartet from Berklee College of Music, will perform as part of the Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation Festival, April 9 -11, at the Monterey Conference Center, in downtown Monterey, California.

On Saturday and Sunday, Berklee professors will audition applicants to the college for the prestigious, full-tuition Jimmy Lyons Scholarship to Berklee, named for the Monterey Jazz Festival's late founder. These faculty members will be auditioning students for other, sizable scholarships as well.

Throughout the weekend, Berklee professor of percussion Terri Lyne Carrington will be working as a festival adjudicator. The Grammy-nominated Carrington, known for her work with Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, and Wayne Shorter, among others, will share insights with student musicians about performance, composition, and arranging.

On Friday, April 9, following the festival's welcome concert, the Nadia Washington Quartet will anchor the popular student jam session in the Serra Ballroom. On Saturday, April 10, at 2:00 p.m., also in the Serra Ballroom, the group will give a performance clinic for the assembled high school musicians, entitled Voice + Rhythm = Band, focused on how vocalists can lead and thrive in a working band. Later on Saturday, the group will perform a 4:30 p.m. set in the conference center's Portola Room.

The Nadia Washington Quartet, composed of four top scholarship students at the pioneering Boston music college, has been created in joyful, unapologetic service to the music of the Great American Songbook.

Dallas, Texas native, jazz vocalist Nadia Washington is attending Berklee on the full, Bill Cosby Presidential Scholarship. Before enrolling at the college, Washington was a member of the Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Jazz Ensemble, with which she performed at numerous Grammy events throughout the United States. In 2006, she was named the Outstanding Jazz Vocalist of the Monterey High School Jazz (now Next Generation) Festival.

Washington has been featured in settings as diverse as the Blue Note in New York, the Vibrato Grill and Jazz Club in Bel Air, a major tribute to Dave Brubeck, the Trinidad & Tobago Steel Pan and Jazz Festival, and has sung the national anthem for the NFL's St. Louis Rams. She has also recorded several jingles and commercials for notable clients, including Frito Lay and McDonald's.

At Berklee in 2009, Washington played the title role in the original musical Love and Hunger: The Life and Music of Billie Holiday, featuring special guest Dee Dee Bridgewater. She has worked in numerous recording sessions with major artists including David and Tamela Mann of the new television sitcom Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns. Most recently, she appeared as guest vocalist on gospel artist Greg O'Quinn's After the Storm (Universal Music Christian Group/Pendulum Records 2009).

Jiri Nedoma was born in Prague, Czech Republic. He started piano at the age of 5. After high school he decided to study jazz and classical performance at the KJJ Conservatory in Prague. During his studies, he became a member of the Czech Radio Big Band, and performed and recorded with many important jazz and pop artists on the Czech scene. Between 2005 and 2007, he joined the faculty of the conservatory, teaching jazz piano. In 2008 he recorded an album with Yvonne Sanchez entitled My Garden, which was nominated for album of the year in the Czech Republic.

Nedoma is living his dream in Boston as a scholarship recipient from Berklee's World Scholarship Tour. He has studied with many acclaimed musicians there, including Terri Lyne Carrington, Hal Crook, JoAnne Brackeen, Joe Lovano, Dave Santoro, George Garzone, Phil Wilson, Dave Samuels, and others. He is busy composing and performing with the Terri Lyne Carrington Ensemble, Phil Wilson's Rainbow Big Band, and others.

Josh Hari is an upright and electric bassist from Oakland, California and Guadalajara, Mexico. He has performed and/or recorded with: Dianne Reeves, Terri Lyne Carrington, Lalah Hathaway, Goapele, Lyrics Born, Killah Priest, Richie Rich, John Ellis, Bobby Sparks, Nona Hendryx, Bobby Ozuna, and many others. He is also active as a music educator, having taught a series of hip-hop master classes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area school system, and jazz improv clinics at both the college and high school levels nationwide. He has been a private lesson and ensemble teacher at the Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley and at the Boston Arts Academy. 

Hari has been fortunate to perform at: the White House, Carnegie Hall, Bonnaroo, the Anguilla, BeanTown, Fillmore, Jazz a Vienne Martinique, Monterey, Montreux, and Ouro Preto jazz festivals; and  at the Blue Note NY, Dakota Jazz Club, and Yoshi's. He is in his final semester at Berklee, working on a number of original projects. 

Jonathan Pinson, 20, attends Berklee College of Music as the 11th recipient of the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship, a four-year, full award presented jointly by Berklee and the Monterey Jazz Festival. He studied jazz and percussion at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles, where he was the first drum set student in the history of the school to receive a merit scholarship. While at Colburn, Pinson formed his own band, the TDJ Quintet (teenagers diggin' jazz), with four other young, talented musicians, mentoring young percussion enthusiasts and conducting jazz workshops for inner city youths in public elementary schools.

Pinson has performed at the Jazz Bakery, Catalina's Bar & Grill, the House of Blues, the Ford Amphitheatre, and the Panama Jazz Festival. He also has performed with such notable artists such as, John Clayton, Barbara Morrison, Nolan Shaheed, Tony Dumas, and Dwight Tribble.