Jazz Revelation Records CD Release Concert

By 
Margot Edwards
March 31, 2010
Christoph Huber
Tom Kain
Utar Dundarartun
Kazuyo Kuriya
Lihi Haruvi Quartet
Nathan Cepelinski
Aditya Balani
Enrico de Trizio
Italo Cunha (left)
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist

Berklee's student-run label Jazz Revelation Records (JRR) celebrates the release of its seventh compilation CD, Birds of a Feather, with a concert at the Berklee Performance Center on Thursday, April 22. The concert will feature seven of the label's most exciting student artists: Christoph Huber, Tom Kain, Utar Dundarartun, Kazuyo Kuriya, Lihi Haruvi, Nathan Cepelinski, and Roy Guzman.

The seventh annual Jazz Revelation Records CD Release Concert is $10 ($5 for seniors) and begins at 8:15 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center, located at 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. For more information, call 617 747-2261 or visit berkleebpc.com. The BPC is wheelchair-accessible.

Birds of a Feather features original compositions by 11 Berklee student bandleaders. The scope of the CD is wide-ranging, with artists performing styles including traditional and contemporary jazz, nu-jazz, fusion, and jazz with experimental, classical, world, electronica, ambient, and funk influences.

The CD is a showcase for some of Berklee's top jazz players from around the world, with artists hailing from Turkey, Puerto Rico, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, Brazil, Japan, India, Israel, Greece, and the United States, each bringing a unique perspective to their compositions. Says Kevin McCluskey, faculty advisor and executive producer for Jazz Revelation Records, "Our bands are young and incredibly vital, yet there is something ancient in the wisdom of their musings. They are both students and masters of their craft, and as such will always be on the cusp of the new, the exciting, and the authentic."

JRR is operated by Berklee students who possess a keen desire to discover, record, promote, and market fantastic jazz musicians. The JRR team is responsible for choosing the artists; producing, engineering, and promoting the album; and designing its artwork. Birds of a Feather will be available at the concert and on CDBaby and iTunes. All proceeds go towards maintaining the label and recording next year's project.

Jazz Revelation Records was founded in 2003 by Berklee College of Music students deeply involved in original jazz composition and performance. With the help of the college's Professional Music Department, the ensuing years have seen the release of six full-length compilation CDs: Rebirth, Two, Ars Nova, The New Old School, Common Ground, and Dedication. To support the students, visit JRR's page at cdbaby.com.

About the artists on Birds of a Feather:

Nikolas Anadolis, a Berklee Presidential Scholar hailing from Thessaloniki, Greece, started playing piano and improvising at age 4. His father, a professional drummer, encouraged him to pursue music and has been a guiding force in his development. Before arriving at Berklee, Anadolis attended the Music School of Thessaloniki, studied with Margarita Efremidou at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki, and took private lessons in jazz piano. Anadolis's primary interests are classical and jazz piano styles, and musical expression and creation.

Tom Kain is a jazz pianist, composer, and producer from Moorestown, New Jersey. Kain, a music production & engineering and performance major at Berklee, has worked on both sides of the glass to encourage inspired performances. He has studied with top jazz educators, including Joanne Brackeen, Ray Santisi, and Victor Mendoza. Kain performs with the Mark Hadley Group and Chloe Bean & the Spills, and also volunteered at JRR, overseeing the label's 2009 CD and concert. Says Kain of his tune "Glenn's Caliper"—written by his brother Will—"The song is about a struggle. You begin a project, get stuck, take a step back, and iterate until a solution launches you to the next step. Glenn and his caliper are that catch that forces you to stop and reevaluate your work."

Lihi Haruvi, from Gan Yavne, Israel, studies at Berklee on a full-tuition scholarship. She picked up the saxophone at 10 and soon realized it was more than a hobby. Says Haruvi, "The ability to explore and express things in music was really magical and fascinating to me." She enrolled in Tel Aviv's Thelma Yellin High School for the Performing Arts, where she met pianist Ronen Shmueli. Haruvi and Shmueli then served together in the Israeli army orchestra where they developed a close camaraderie with bassist Tamir Shmerling. Haruvi came to Berklee in 2009, and Shmueli and Shmerling soon followed. Drummer Eran Fink, who is also from Israel, completes the group. Haruvi has performed with Jeff "Tain" Watts and Joel Frahm, and was chosen to represent Israel around the world during her army service. 

Christoph Huber, from Aarau, Switzerland, grew up in a musical environment, inspired by his father Felix, a professional pianist, composer, and arranger. He began drum lessons at age 8, tenor saxophone at 9, and improvising at 11. Huber studied saxophone with former Berklee faculty member Fritz Renold for five years. From 2005 to 2009 he participated in the Jazzaar festival—which he attends again in April—where he performed with Randy Brecker, Donny McCaslin, Tierney Sutton, Tia Fuller, Steve Reid, and others. Says Huber, "I've gotten a lot of motivation to become a professional musician from collaborating with all those great musicians." Huber, who attends Berklee on scholarship, is also developing his skills as a composer and arranger.

Nathan Cepelinski, a saxophonist and composer from Ottawa, Canada, is studying at Berklee on a full-tuition scholarship. He picked up the saxophone at age 12 and soon built a reputation as a strong and versatile player. Cepelinski has been praised for his technical proficiency, melodic maturity, and deep understanding of the jazz language. He studied with Billy Robinson, who had performed with Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp, and Freddie Hubbard, before Robinson's death in 2005. Cepelinski received five Down Beat student awards in high school, played in the Clifford Brown-Stan Getz Fellowship All-Star Band, and was awarded the Yamaha Kando Scholarship by Musicfest Canada.

Enrico de Trizio, from Molfetta, Italy, started playing piano at age 10. He studied at N. Piccinni music conservatory in Bari, where he formed his first electric jazz trio. In 2006, de Trizio attended Berklee clinics at the Umbria Jazz Festival, where he received a scholarship to study in Boston. He earned numerous accolades at Berklee, including the Technics Endowed Scholarship '09 and the BT Production Award '10, and graduated this year with a degree in electronic production and design. De Trizio has performed with Mitch Applebaum, Winston Maccow, Kenwood Dennard, Fred Wesley, and Joe Lovano. In addition to performing solo and with his trio, he also plays with French singer Violette De Bartillat, hip-hop band RE-UP, and the Global Sonification Network Ensemble directed by Neil Leonard.

Kazuyo Kuriya is a flautist and pianist from Kumamoto, Japan, home of Mount Aso, a volcano with the largest caldera in the world. She earned a degree from Tokyo's Musashino Academia Musicae before coming to Berklee on scholarship to study jazz. Kuriya performed with Maria Schneider and McCoy Tyner as a member of the Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra. She has also performed with Cesar Camargo Mariano, Eddie Gomez, and Kazumi Watanabe, and led her group, Ceu do Brasil, on a tour of Japan. Kuriya hopes listeners feel a mother of living things when hearing her song "Rain Dance." She explains, "Rain becomes rivers, river becomes the sea. Ancient civilizations were generated near the rivers, so rain is one of the mothers of humans and animals."

Italo Cunha, a 17-year-old jazz guitarist, composer, arranger, student, and teacher from Brasilia, Brazil, attends Berklee on a scholarship. He started playing piano at age 4, guitar at 9, and was performing professionally by 12. Cunha was chosen by the Escola de Musica de Brasilia to play for Brazil's Minister of Education as part of Young Artist Revelation. He received a contemporary musical education degree from the Toque de Classe Institute in 2007—becoming the youngest recipient ever. Relating his song to the album title, Cunha says, "I think Birds of a Feather means friendship. My song reflects that. 'Stories' is about good times and memories with my friends, that's how I got the inspiration. Friendship is one of the most valuable things we have in life."

Aditya Balani from Delhi, India leads the Aditya Balani Group, a Boston-based world/jazz ensemble that brings together talented musicians from around the world, including Spain, Serbia, Chile, and the U.S. Drawing from their ethnic roots, each musician adds a unique color to the band's sound: an exciting blend of the spontaneity and harmonic interplay of jazz, with the sheer intensity of melodies and rhythms of Indian classical/folk music. The group—featuring Berklee students Balani on guitar, Aaron Bahr on trumpet, Will Cafaro on bass, Tarun Balani on drums, and Sharik Hasan on piano—recently completed its second tour of the Indian sub-continent.

Utar Dundarartun is a composer, arranger, and pianist from Ankara, Turkey, who studies film scoring and jazz composition at Berklee on scholarship. He graduated from Hacettepe University State Conservatory in classical percussion. Dundarartun has performed at many festivals in Turkey, including the 12th International Ankara Jazz Festival, the 7th Eskisehir Jazz Festival, and the International Bursa Music Festival. He has composed and arranged over 30 pieces for symphony orchestra, and 50 pieces for brass and big band. He is currently recording an album with his band Betone. Says Dundarartun, "Human creativity and imagination really impressed my scope about music and history. To create something to [give to] humanity is considerable reason for improvement."

Roy Guzman is a guitarist and composer hailing from Cupey, Puerto Rico. He studied classical guitar at the Pablo Casals Conservatoire of Puerto Rico, later transferring to Berklee on scholarship. He is the recipient of the Billboard Endowed Scholarship at Berklee and was a semifinalist in the Gibson Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition in Switzerland. He currently leads the Roy Guzman Quintet, a group that performed at George Wein's Jazz Festival 55 in Newport, Rhode Island; the Duke Ellington Jazz Fest in Washington, D.C.; and Lincoln Center in New York. Guzman has also recorded two albums with the Orbits Quintet.