Jazz Revelation Records Presents CD Release Concert, April 23

By
Nick Balkin
March 31, 2009
Cover art for <em>Dedication</em>
Emi Inaba
Billy Buss
Dopapod, featuring Eli Winderman

Berklee's student run label Jazz Revelation Records will celebrate the release of Dedication, its sixth album in as many years, Thursday, April 23, 8:15 p.m., at the Berklee Performance Center (BPC). The concert will feature six of the label's most exciting student artists: Billy Buss, Lucas Ellman, Emi Inaba, Randy Runyon, Eli Winderman, and Alex Wintz. Tickets are $10 ($5 for seniors) and on sale now at the BPC box office, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. For more information, call 617 747-2261 or visit the Berklee events calendar. The BPC is wheelchair-accessible.

Listen to tracks from Dedication

Dedication is dedicated to the late Richard Ehrman, Berklee's concert office manager for the past 25 years, who passed away last November. The album includes 13 original compositions by 13 student bandleaders, who each dedicated his or her song to a musical or personal inspiration ("Ravel," Michael Brecker: "our dog, Sandwich"). The title also refers to the tremendous discipline it takes to live the life of an artist. "The musicians presented here are a living embodiment of dedication in action," said Kevin McCluskey, faculty advisor and producer, Jazz Revelation Records.

Dedication features artists from Russia, Belgium, London, Chicago, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and California, and musical styles ranging from third stream, contemporary, and straight ahead jazz to fusion, groove, and funk. The label's staff are responsible for managing a strict budget; choosing artists from a pool of more than 100 submissions; producing, engineering, and promoting the album; and designing its artwork. The artists, in turn, receive a free professional recording and invaluable production experience. Dedication is $10, and will be available at the BPC on April 23, and on CD Baby, iTunes, and through Jazz Revelation Records. All proceeds go towards maintaining the label and the recording of next year's project.

About the artists on Dedication:

Billy Buss, from Berkeley, California, has been playing trumpet since he was 9. He has received numerous awards, including Berklee's full-tuition Jimmy Lyons Scholarship, two Outstanding Performance/Soloist awards from Down Beat, the Gold Award in Jazz from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and recognition from the White House as a 2006 presidential scholar. He has performed at the New Orleans, Monterey, Umbria, Montreux, and JVC jazz festivals; the Dubrovnik Summer Music Festival in Croatia; and multiple festivals in Japan. Buss is currently in his final year at Berklee, where he has studied and performed with Joe Lovano, Terri Lyne Carrington, Phil Wilson, Greg Hopkins, and Dave Santoro.

CERN is a drum 'n' bass/fusion quartet comprised of Berklee students Gregg Albert, Andy Berman, Devin Collins, and Jeremy Vovcsko. Members have performed with the likes of Joe Maneri, Bob Moses, John Medeski (of Medeski, Martin and Wood), D'Antony Parks, George Garzone, Sal DiFusco, and Jorrit Dijkstra; and at such venues as House of Blues, Symphony Hall, and Regattabar, in Boston; Fitzgerald, in Chicago; E3 Playhouse, in Santa Cruz; The Bitter End, in NYC; Le Bon Temps, in New Orleans; and Whiskey a-Go-Go, in Los Angeles.

Lucas Ellman, from Chicago, Illinois, has been playing saxophone for 10 years. He gigs regularly with the Reverend Funk Connection at various venues in the Chicago area. In 2006, he was invited to go on tour with New Orleans-based funk band Galactic. Ellman is currently majoring in performance at Berklee, where he studies with George Garzone. He is also a member of Esperanto, a Boston quartet that performs reimagined jazz standards by such artists as Duke Ellington, Wayne Shorter, and Radiohead.

Emi Inaba, a pianist from London, England, grew up with extensive classical music training, though her current tastes are more influenced by jazz and contemporary styles. In London, she performed at world-renowned venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and the Jazz Cafe. In 2007, she received a scholarship to Berklee, where she is pursuing a degree in jazz composition.

Casimir Liberski is an electronica-influenced pianist from Brussels, who, prior to enrolling at Berklee, had already studied privately with an avant-garde icon (Ornette Coleman) and a modern jazz superstar (Brad Mehldau). At 12, he'd formed a jazz trio and was playing festivals in France and Belgium. Two years later, he was leaning "harmolodics" with Coleman, which required him to travel between Brussels and New York frequently. His relationship with Coleman allowed him to jam with Charnett Moffett, Larry Grenadier, Tony Falanga, Albert McDowell, and Coleman's son Denardo. Other top-tier jazz musicians he has studied with, either privately or at workshops, include Sal Mosca, Connie Crothers, Jeff Ballard, Steve Coleman, Danilo Perez, Craig Taborn, Vijay Iyer, Jason Moran, and Greg Osby. Liberski is the recipient of Bekrlee's full-ride Presidential Scholarship.

Kyle Nasser, a saxophonist and composer from New Bedford, Massachusetts, has taken a somewhat unusual path toward a career in music. Though active in his high school jazz program (lead tenor in the All-State and All-East Honor jazz ensembles), he chose to pursue economics and political philosophy at Harvard, graduating in 2005, magna cum laude. While at Harvard, he performed with many jazz greats—Joe Lovano, Hank Jones, Dave Douglas, Jim Hall, Joanne Brackeen—which led him to pursue a career in music. He was accepted to Berklee on a full scholarship, where he now studies performance and composition. At Berklee, he has performed with Lovano, Greg Osby, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Nasser leads his own jazz and funk/soul groups and plays as a sideman with several other bands.

Oleg Ostapchuk, a saxophonist from Velsk, Russia, is a recipient of Berklee's full-ride Presidential Scholarship. Prior to enrolling at Berklee, he studied at Arkhangelsk music college and then Gnesin's Academy of Music in Moscow with renowned Russian jazz saxophonist Alexander Oseichuk. He has won several jazz competitions and played clubs and festivals in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Norway, and Finland. In February 2006, he took part in the Open World scholarship program at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, where he played with the likes of Jeff Hamilton, Antonio Hart, Roy Hargrove, Benny Green, Claudio Roditi, and John Stowell.

Randy Runyon, from Washington, D.C., began playing guitar at 11. He grew up listening to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix, but later discovered a love for jazz and began studying with Baltimore guitar great Carl Filipiak. In 2005, Runyon came to Berklee on scholarship. In the past four years, he has performed with Terri Lyne Carrington at the Blue Note and Iridium jazz clubs in New York as well as with Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Mark Walker, Joe Lovano, and Tiger Okoshi at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. He has also played at the Thailand Jazz Conference in Bangkok, IAJE in New York, and the International Trumpet Guild in Alberta, Canada. Runyon currently plays in the jazz/rock/funk band Animal Zoo.

Jordan Seigel, a pianist and composer from Westlake Village, California, is the recipient of Berklee's Alex Ulanowski and Jazz Performance awards. He has played high-profile gigs at Lincoln Center, Jazz Bakery, and Playboy Jazz Festival; in 2007, he was selected to perforn with the Disneyland All-American College Band. He has studied such with renowned musicians as Danilo Perez, Aaron Goldberg, Hal Crook, Russ Ferrante, and JoAnne Brackeen.

Eli Winderman, from Philadelphia, has played Hammond organ and other keyboard instruments in a variety of bands throughout the Northeast. He has performed with the likes of G. Love, Melvin Sparks, Sam Kininger, Toussaint, Stanton Moore, and many others. Winderman's main project is Dopapod, an experimental funk four-piece.

Alex Wintz, born in California and raised outside New York City, began playing guitar at 4. In 2006, Wintz was named a Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellow and received a NFAA ARTS Award for Jazz. Other honors include a Most Outstanding Jazz Soloist Award from Down Beat and the Berklee Guitar Achievement Award. He has performed at the Monterey and Montreal jazz festivals as well as Jazz at Lincoln Center. Since coming to Berklee on a full scholarship, he has studied with Mick Goodrick, Hal Crook, Dave Santoro, and others.

Zac Zinger, from Pittsburgh, plays alto and soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet, and EWI (electronic wind instrument), and has written and arranged more than 50 pieces, many of them for his band, Zac Zinger Group. Zinger has played music professionally since he was 16, performing over 100 gigs with renowned Pittsburgh musicians Mark Lucas, Eric Suseoff, Kenny Blake, David Pellow, and others. Privately, he has studied with Grammy-winning saxophonist Eric Defade and with Berklee faculty members Dino Govoni and Shannon LeClaire.

Jazz Revelation Records (JRR), Berklee's student-run jazz record label, was formed in 2003. Under previous management, JRR released the compilation CDs Rebirth, Two, and Ars Nova. Under the direction of faculty advisor Kevin McCluskey, the label has released The Old New School (2007), Common Ground (2008), and Dedication (2009). This summer, the label will present its fifth annual Kendall Square Concert Series and its second annual Regattabar Courtyard Series—both weekly showcases of the label's artists—and for the second straight year, JRR will be represented at the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival. For more information on Jazz Revelation Records, visit the label website.