The Best of Executive Sessions

By
Allen Bush
March 9, 2011

Unbutton the white collar for Executive Sessions 2011—an innovative concert series showcasing bands whose members include Boston-area CEOs and corporate executives returns for its fourth season.

Since the series began in 2008, the stage of Cafe 939 has hosted presidents and CEOs of international corporations, an NBA club-owner, venture capitalists, investment bankers, software and biotech engineers, heart surgeons, jet pilots, pharmaceutical scientists, Emmy Award–winners, executive producers, philanthropists, board of trustees members. . . . With top student singer/songwriters opening for the bands, the diverse audience is in for a special treat! The series is booked and produced by Berklee's Mirek Vana and Tom Simons, president and creative director of communications firm PARTNERS+simons.

This season adds a 24-track recording and live web broadcast to all of the shows! All proceeds from the series directly support the Executive Sessions scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior who has outstanding musical merit, entrepreneurial promise, and demonstrated financial need.

Get your tickets early—all these shows sold out last season in record time. For tickets or more information, call 617 923-8487. All shows at Cafe 939 are all-ages. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., and tickets are $10 (students free with valid student ID). For tickets or more information, call 617 923-8487. For Executive Sessions booking, call 617 747-2941.

March 26: The Blood Mountain Brothers Featuring Berklee President Roger Brown

The Blood Mountain Brothers make their return to Cafe 939 with another set of their rootsy Americana music—this year with a bit more Southern rock and country in the mix. The band takes its inspiration from Patsy Cline, Levon Helm, Bill Withers, Hank Williams, and the Allman Brothers, and will feature a four-piece horn section as well as guest artists on mandolin and banjo. The band is Richard Curzi on piano and vocals; Mark Caddell on bass and vocals; Jim Wooster, guitar and vocals; Paul Judge, guitar and vocals; and Roger Brown on drums.

March 30: The Loomers with Special Guest the Bleeding Hearts

The Loomers are returning after their debut at the Encore Gala in October 2010 and their epic Jury Award win in the first Battle of the Executive Bands in 2009. Bringing the original music of Boston Music Award nominee Jon Svetkey, the band transcends trends and generations by playing honest and well-crafted songs with high-voltage live performance.  

For almost 15 years, the band has one of Boston's most-underrated, best-kept rock 'n' roll secrets. The Loomers played with rock legend John Mellencamp at a party; they were finalists in Fortune magazine's Battle of the Corporate Bands; have performed hundreds of shows, at such esteemed venues as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Fenway Park, the House of Blues, Irving Plaza, the Knitting Factory, and CBGBs; and have been the backing band for Ellis Paul and countless sold-out '70s and '80s Tribute Nights at the legendary Club Passim in Harvard Square.

April 20: House Red
Featuring Dean Goodermote on bass

House Red is an eclectic band that combines classic jazz (Mingus and Parker) and rock ranging from the classic (the Doors) to the contemporary (3 Doors Down). It covers many tunes that are not often heard live, including those from the basic food groups—Smashing Pumpkins and Red Hot Chili Peppers—all sweetened with a little of Turrentine's "Sugar." The band features Marc Caruso on guitar and vocals, Dean Goodermote on bass and vocals, John Rule on drums, and George Skelly on guitar and vocals. The performance will showcase guest artists from the Berklee student and staff community. The band supplements its musician income with other gigs: Caruso, vice president of enterprise services, Data Intensity; Goodermote, chairman and CEO, Double-Take Software; Rule, director, fuel cell development, Lilliputian Systems; and Skelly, partner, Nixon Peabody.

April 26: Steve Oristaglio and Friends

After his smash-hit performance last year, Oristaglio returns with original arrangements of his favorite unplugged and upbeat music. This time, he joins forces with the extraordinary violin player and bandmaster Jakub Trasak, a seventh-semester Berklee student, and brings together the best instrumentalists and vocalists on campus to perform two sets of music ranging from Beatles to Coldplay to Charlie Daniels.

May 11: BUMC Band

For the past year, physicians, researchers, residents, nurses, and students on the Boston University Medical Campus have met almost weekly for jam sessions, sharing the fun of improvising and playing music together while getting to know each other. The BUMC Band members gather in Bakst Auditorium and transform the lecture space into a hip South End musical venue as act by act, the musicians wow the audience with their performances of rock, jazz, salsa, and reggae. Says one member, "The evolving nature of the band is satisfying because we've made a lot of friends and the collective experience helps us to become better musicians." Band organizer Rafael Ortega, MD, professor of anesthesiology at BUSM and vice chairman of academic affairs at Boston Medical Center, credits Dean Antman for her strong support of the musical endeavor, as she has allowed the group to use the space for their rehearsals.