Fall Signature Series Highlights Pop, Bebop, Latin, and <i>Abbey Road</i>

By 
Allen Bush
August 17, 2010
Berklee alumna Paula Cole kicks off this fall's Signature Series on September 24. An Evening with Paula Cole at the BeanTown Jazz Festival is also a celebration of her new album, <i>Ithaca</i>.
Berklee honorary doctorate of music recipient Ron Carter and the Berklee World Stings will pay tribute to Oscar Pettiford on October 14.
Jorge Drexler won an Academy Award for Best Original Song with "Al Otro Lado del Río," from <i>The Motorcycle Diaries</i>. He performs on November 18.
The annual Singers Showcase concert will spotlight music from the Beatles' <i>Abbey Road</i> on December 2.
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist

The 2010 Berklee College of Music Signature Series announces a fall season that embraces the college's global community and Boston's diverse musical tastes. The monthly series of concerts from September to December includes Paula Cole (9/24), Ron Carter (10/14), Jorge Drexler (11/18), and the annual Singers Showcase spotlighting the Beatles' Abbey Road (12/2). Many of the performances will feature Berklee faculty and students.

Concerts take place at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Shows start at 8:15 p.m., except for Paula Cole starting at 8:00 p.m.  For information on these and all other fall concerts, call 617 747-2261 or visit Berklee.edu/events. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

Tickets for the Signature Series go on sale August 20 at Ticketmaster.com and the Berklee Performance Center Box Office.  A special Signature Series package for all four shows is $65. 

September 24 - An Evening with Paula Cole at the BeanTown Jazz Festival.

Paula Cole celebrates the release of her anticipated new album Ithaca on September 21. A native of Rockport, Massachusetts, Grammy Award–winner Cole received a scholarship to Berklee, graduating in 1990. In 1993, Peter Gabriel asked her to join his Secret World Tour, after her Imago debut, Harbinger. The fan base she built from two years of extensive touring embraced her next album, This Fire. It was a breakthrough smash, yielding the hits "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" and "I Don't Want to Wait" (also known as the theme song to the hit TV series Dawson's Creek). She won the 1997 Grammy for Best New Artist. In 1999, she released her third album, the spiritually soul-influenced Amen. After a seven-year hiatus, she returned in 2007 with a powerful album titled Courage, her daily mantra. 

October 14 - Ron Carter with the Berklee World Strings Play the Music of Oscar Pettiford. 

For five decades, two-time Grammy Award–winner Ron Carter has been recognized as one of the most original, prolific, and influential bassists in music. He has played on more than 2,500 albums with an array of superstars, including Coleman Hawkins, James Brown, Lena Horne, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, B.B. King, Dexter Gordon, Wes Montgomery, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, and A Tribe Called Quest. From 1963 to '68, Carter was a member of the legendary Miles Davis Quintet with Tony Williams, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter. He has released more than a dozen albums as a leader; the most recent was 2008's Jazz and Bossa. Carter was artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Studies and was named Distinguished Professor Emeritus at City College of New York. Carter and the Berklee World Strings will pay tribute to pioneering bebopper Oscar Pettiford, who, like Carter, is one of the most-recorded bass-playing bandleader/composers in jazz.

November 18 - Jorge Drexler Meets Berklee.

Oscar-winning singer/songwriter Jorge Drexler matches a world music sensibility with the rhythms of his native Uruguay. Artists like Mercedes Sosa, Shakira, Omara Portuondo, Maria Rita, Ana Belén, Victor Manuel, and Zélia Duncan have recorded of his songs. Drexler released his first album, La Luz Que Sabe Robar, in 1992, the same year he earned a doctorate from the University of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. His albums have received a combined total of seven Grammy and Latin Grammy Award nominations, and he's won two Spanish Music Prizes. He became the first Uruguayan to win an Academy Award with a Best Original Song Oscar for "Al Otro Lado del Río," from the internationally acclaimed film The Motorcycle Diaries. Drexler's recent work includes the soundtrack for James Ivory's film The City of Your Final Destination

December 2 - Singers Showcase: The Other Side of Abbey Road.

The annual Singers Showcase highlights some of Berklee's most talented vocalists. Featured singers don't easily earn the spotlight—auditions attract more than 100 students vying for a place in the program. Alumnae Paula Cole, Lalah Hathaway, Susan Tedeschi, Gillian Welch, and American Idol contestant Ashley Rodriguez have all performed in Singers Showcase. For this installment, singers will present a jukebox of pop, r&b, Latin, blues, jazz, and folk tunes in the first half of the concert, followed by a set composed of selections from the Beatles' Abbey Road, the first time the Showcase has focused on a specific album.