Berklee Celebrates Latin Culture in November

By 
Margot Edwards
October 29, 2010
Maria Mulata
C4
Rodolfo Reyes
Larry Harlow
Nacho Mena
Almir Cortes
Photo by Rafael Baena
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 presents its 12th annual Latin Music and Culture Celebration, showcasing musicians from 30 countries, including Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Brazil, and Spain, performing tango, flamenco, Latin jazz, salsa, merengue, traditional Venezuelan cuatro, and Afro-Cuban. The celebration features concerts by Mariano Martos, Maria Mulata, Nando Michelin, C4, Rodolfo Reyes, Larry Harlow, Almir Cortes, and several student groups. A unique program of additional events include a Day of the Dead Celebration; clinics and discussions with faculty, alumni, and guest artists; a documentary film screening; dance classes; capoeira/yoga classes; and networking sessions.

Berklee's Latin Music and Culture Celebration 2010 was coordinated by Oscar Stagnaro, professor of bass, and Jane Stachowiak, director of student wellness and health promotion. Said Stachowiak, "The events were planned on suggestions from faculty and staff in close collaboration with students to provide clinics and performances that would enhance understanding and appreciation of the diversity of Latin music and culture."

All events are open to the public. Concerts at the Berklee Performance Center, located at 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, are $10 for general admission unless otherwise noted. Events at Cafe 939, and The Loft, both at 939 Boylston Street; David Friend Recital Hall, at 921 Boylston Street; and Berk Recital Hall and Recital Hall 1W, both at 1140 Boylston Street, are free. Visit berklee.edu/events for more information.

Monday, November 1

Day of the Dead Celebration
7:00 p.m., The Loft
Berklee's Latin Music Culture Celebration 2010 kicks off with an event featuring music, video, art, and food.

Tuesday, November 2

Mariano Martos
Clinic, 7:00 p.m., Berk Recital Hall
Mariano Martos is a flamenco bassist from Argentina. This concert and clinic offers a close-up look at the flamenco style.  Flamenco has a great deal of history, rhythms, polyrhythms, and aesthetical conceptions that will be explained through the use of recorded examples. Students will have the possibility of playing a bass solo composition with samples or improvising over original recordings.

Latin Jazz Big Band directed by Bernardo Herandez, Maria Mulata
Concert, 8:15 p.m., Berklee Performance Center
The first half of this concert features Maria Mulata's group performing traditional Colombian music and original compositions. Mulata is an up-and-coming female singer from Colombia. Her style blends the rich cultural influences of Totó la Momposina, Etelvina Maldonado, Petrona Martinez, and Nidia Góngora, among others. She is sought after for her memorable, high-energy performances that incorporate an array of new sounds in her vast folkloric repertoire. The second half of the concert features a student Latin jazz big band led by Bernardo Hernandez, associate professor of contemporary writing and production, with special guests vibraphonist Victor Mendoza, professor of percussion, and Cuban percussionist Jorge Najarro. The group presents a diverse program of instrumental and vocal numbers, from mambo to contemporary Latin jazz, that includes artists like Machito and Tito Puente.

Thursday, November 4

Maria Mulata with Diana Hernandez and Esther Rojas
Clinic, 4:00 p.m., David Friend Recital Hall
Mulata, Hernandez, and Rojas will be joined by a student group organized by Oscar Stagnaro, professor of bass, and Colombian student Leonardo Tatis.

Spain the Lighter
Concert, 7:30 p.m., David Friend Recital Hall
Spain the Lighter, featuring Berklee student Mario Carrillo, is a group of talented musicians from Spain performing flamenco music, diving into the best of their country's rich musical heritage to present it to the audience with a fresh and surprising, powerful and modern vision.

Saturday, November 6

Latin Dance Class
Class, 2:00 p.m.-5:00 pm, The Loft
Learn the tango in a dance class taught by Katalin Matyus.

Sunday, November 7

Capoeira/Yoga Class
Class, 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., The Loft
Learn capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, music, and dance, in a class led by Paola Gonzalez.

Monday, November 8

Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê
Film Screening, 6:00 p.m., The Loft
Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê is a documentary following women competing to be an Afro-Brazilian carnival queen. Selection is based on Afro-centric notions of beauty, in contrast to the prevailing standards in Brazil, famous for supermodels and plastic surgery. The screening will be followed by a discussion. The event also features Brazilian drumming lessons with Berklee alumnus Marcus Santos, leader of the group Bloco AfroBrazil.

Tuesday, November 9

C4
Clinic, 4:00 p.m., David Friend Recital Hall
Jorge Glem, Héctor Molina, and Edward Ramírez converged in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas to form the trio C4. In 2006, the group recorded its first album with producer Aquiles Báez. Within a few weeks, the album became a huge hit in Venezuela, reaching double Gold Record status. In 2009, C4 released Entre Manos, including a CD and a live DVD. Bassist Rodner Padilla joined in 2009, enriching their uncommon repertoire for cuatro and adding improvisation to the group's performances.

Clara Marcano
Clinic, 4:00 p.m., Berk Recital Hall
Distinguished pianist Clara Marcano tells the story of Venezuelan merengue, one of the most representative genres of that country's music history. Marcano will illustrate her lecture with historic recordings, photos, and images from the period, as well as eloquent interpretations at the piano mingled with delicious anecdotes and good-humored explanations behind the origin of the lyrics of famous merengues and popular sayings.

Rodolfo Reyes
Clinic, 7:00 p.m., Recital Hall 1W
Venezuelan saxophonist and flautist Rodolfo Reyes, a Berklee alumnus and leader of the group Saxomania, will talk not only about music, but also about the Latin music industry, as he is an owner/partner of his own international music label. Reyes is donating his scores and charts to Berklee's Stan Getz Library so that students can access them in the future.

Nando Michelin
Concert, 7:30 p.m., David Friend Recital Hall
Uruguayan Nando Michelin, assistant professor of piano, performs original jazz with a South American influence. Michelin's group includes Eyal Shmuel Hai on saxophone, Tal Gamlieli on bass, Tiago Michelin on drums, and Nando Michelin on piano.

Latinite: El Mariachi, La Babilla, Latina/Italia
Concert, 8:00 p.m., Cafe 939
This concert features music from Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil performed by Berklee students Paola Gonzalez, Andres Fonseca Alfonso, and Sissy Castrogiovanni.

Wednesday, November 10

C4 / Rodolfo Reyes
Concert, 8:15 p.m., Berklee Performance Center
Jorge Glem, Héctor Molina, and Edward Ramírez converged in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas to form the trio C4. In 2006, the group recorded its first album with producer Aquiles Báez. Within a few weeks, the album became a huge hit in Venezuela, reaching double Gold Record status. In 2009, C4 released Entre Manos, including a CD and a live DVD. Bassist Rodner Padilla joined in 2009, enriching their uncommon repertoire for cuatro and adding improvisation to the group's performances. In the second half of the concert, Venezuelan saxophonist and flautist Rodolfo Reyes, a Berklee alumnus, shares his outstanding charts. They will be performed by a big band that includes Berklee faculty and students. Since returning to Venezuela after studying at Berklee, Reyes has worked with every major jazz and classical artist and symphony orchestra in the country, and has appeared on countless recording sessions. Reyes is the cofounder of Saxomania, a sixteen-piece big band specializing in jazz-influenced salsa music.

Friday, November 12

Spanish Conversation Hour
Networking, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., The Loft
This event is a networking session for songwriters, arrangers, singers, and producers.

Sunday, November 14

Capoeira/Yoga Classes
4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., The Loft
Learn capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, music, and dance, in a class led by Paola Gonzalez.

Tuesday, November 16

Larry Harlow
Clinic, 1:00 p.m., Berk Recital Hall
Fania recording artist and important salsa musician Larry Harlow presents a clinic in advance of his concert appearance with students and faculty.

Nacho Mena and Andres Sylleros
Clinic, 4:00 p.m., David Friend Recital Hall
For this clinic, Chilean drummer and Berklee alumnus Nacho Mena is joined by pianist Andrés Sylleros. After studying arrangement, composition, and drums at Berklee, he joined Ornette Coleman's group before forming Rapa Nui to record his own compositions. Mena is currently director of the School of Music and Technology at the Universidad del Pacifico's Music Department, and he performs with his new group.

I-Yun Chung: Aries from Argentina
Concert, 4:00 p.m., Berk Recital Hall
I-Yun Chung and her student group perform tangos and original music.

Wednesday, November 17

Songs from Latin America
Concert, 4:00 p.m., Berk Recital Hall
This concert presents students from the Latin and Jazz Performance class taught by Mili Bermejo, professor of voice, including singers and rhythm section, with Latin and jazz arrangements.

Thursday, November 18

Ariadana Pliego
Concert, 4:00 p.m., Recital Hall 1W
Ariadana Pliego and her student group perform flamenco music.

Berklee Signature Series
Larry Harlow Meets Berklee
Concert, 8:15 p.m., Berklee Performance Center
Larry Harlow is one of the most important figures in the history of salsa. He helped shape the sound of Fania records, recording more than 40 albums under his own name and producing more than 200 more for other artists at the label. For his contribution to Latin music, he has received the Grammy Trustees Award. Tonight, with a Berklee student group produced by Oscar Stagnaro and conducted by Matt Nicholl, Harlow will perform his classic salsa and Afro-Cuban hits. Tickets, $20 general, $15 for seniors

Friday, November 19

Richy Pena - Coffee and Casual Conversation
Networking, 1:00 p.m., The Loft-Room 221
Local hip hop/reggaeton artist Richy Pena is a native of the Dominican Republic. Through a unique combination of different sounds and drawing inspiration from various genres, he has emerged as one of the most dynamic reggaeton producers in Boston. He has produced numerous songs for Don Omar, Jadiel, Marcy Place, Las Moscas, and many others.

Saturday, November 20

Latin Choreography and Dance
Class, 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., The Loft-Room 221
Katalin Matyus teaches a dance and choreography class in merengue and salsa.

Monday, November 22

Almir Cortes
Clinic and Concert, 4:00 p.m., Berk Recital Hall
Brazilian musician Almir Côrtes plays mandolin, guitar, cavaquinho, and viola caipira.  He performs traditional and regional genres including choro, frevo, and baião, with a contemporary approach that includes experimentation and improvisation. Cortes is also an academic researcher. He is working towards a Ph.D. in popular music performance at UNICAMP. He has played and held workshops all over Brazil, the U.S., and Europe, and recorded two CDs.