Bacharach Songbook with Paula Cole, March 1

By
Joyce Linehan
February 11, 2009
The music of Burt Bacharach is the theme for the annual Great American Songbook concert, part of the Sovereign Bank Music Series.
Grammy Award–winner Paula Cole will be a guest vocalist.

The Sovereign Bank Music Series at Berklee continues with the Great American Songbook: The Music of Burt Bacharach on Sunday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center. General admission tickets are $30 and are on sale now at ticketmaster.com and the Berklee Performance Center box office, 617 747-2261. For more information, visit berklee.edu/events.

Bacharach will be in Boston especially for the concert, eager to hear Berklee's and his friend Paula Cole's interpretations of his songs. Berklee President Roger H. Brown will present Bacharach with an honorary doctorate of music during the program.

Under the direction of ensemble professor Ken Zambello, with composition professor Julius P. Williams conducting, and assistant voice professor Didi Stewart as vocal coordinator, students, faculty, and alumni will perform such Bacharach classics as "Walk on By," "What the World Needs Now Is Love," "Alfie," and "I Say a Little Prayer," among many others from the rich catalog of pop chart toppers by one of the most treasured songwriters on all time.  

Grammy-winner Paula Cole, also a Berklee alumna, will make a special appearance adding her distinct voice to some Bacharach favorites. Professor Stewart, also a well-known Boston rock veteran, will be center stage, too, for a turn at the mic.

Burt Bacharach is one of the most accomplished popular composers of the 20th century. In the '60s and '70s, he was a dominant figure in pop music, responsible for a remarkable 52 Top 40 songs. Bacharach's songs differed from much of the music of the era. His compositions typically boasted memorable melodies, unconventional and shifting time signatures, and atypical chord changes. Combining elements of jazz, pop, Brazilian music, and rock, Bacharach created a unique new sound that was as contemporary as it was popular.

Hal David, Bacharach's primary collaborator, supplied Bacharach's music with tart lyrics worthy of the best Tin Pan Alley composers—lyrics often in striking contrast to Bacharach's soaring melodies.

Berklee presents its Great American Songbook concert annually to pay tribute to songwriters whose work has endured over generations and who continue to inspire listeners, and other writers, across the globe. Previous concerts have honored Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, and Stevie Wonder.