Berklee Opens Cafe 939

By
Nick Balkin
March 6, 2008
Cafe 939's 200-person capacity concert venue
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

Berklee College of Music presents Cafe 939, a state-of-the-art, all-ages, student-run music venue and coffee house. Located at 939 Boylston Street, adjacent to the Cactus Club, Cafe 939 will showcase Berklee's emerging student talent, local artists, and national acts seeking a more intimate, personal space in which to perform and connect with their fans. Cafe 939 is open to the general public and  hopes to attract musicians and music fans from all walks of life. While most rooms in Boston have a specific musical niche, Cafe 939 will embrace nearly any style, from rock, jazz, folk, and world, to bluegrass, hip-hop, electronica, avant-garde, and beyond.

"We don't care if you play the saw, accordion, or electric sitar-as long as you're good, this could be the room for you," says Jacqueline Indrisano, Cafe 939 event manager. "We want this to be a place where all are welcome and anything can happen."

Cafe 939 will hit the ground running with a stellar lineup of events. Puerto Rican saxophone phenom, Marsalis Music recording artist, and Berklee grad Miguel Zenón will kick off Marsalis Berklee Jams, April 2-3, an ongoing series that will bring outstanding working ensembles from the jazz world to Berklee to perform with the college's finest students. (The quartet returns to Boston to perform a full concert program at the Jorge Hernandez Cultural Center on May 1.) Executive Sessions, a Thursday night concert series with bands that include local CEOs, will open with folk rockers the Loomers, led by Tom Simons, president/creative director, Partners & Simons, on April 17. Berklee's student-run label Heavy Rotation Records will present an artist showcase concert in April (TBA). For information on all upcoming events at Cafe 939, visit berklee.edu/events. Ticket prices vary, and are available at the Berklee Performance Center box office, located at 136 Massachusetts Avenue, through Ticketmaster at 617 931-2000, or at ticketmaster.com. Tickets will be available on site the night of shows. Cafe 939 is wheelchair accessible.

Regular evening programming, starting in early April, will take place Wednesday through Sunday, from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. The New Brew, a free lunchtime concert series featuring up-and-coming student performers, is currently running Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., and a weekly jazz brunch is being planned for this summer.

The 200-person capacity concert venue, featuring high-end PA and lighting systems, video and DVD capabilities, and flexible seating, is equipped for a wide variety of performances. Music business/management majors are responsible for the booking, marketing, publicity, and promotion of all shows in this almost completely student-run operation. Berklee students also work as ushers, box office clerks, and in the stage crew.

The coffee house, open for business since December 2007, features a sleek, modern design concept, a relaxed atmosphere with a number of large, comfortable sofas and chairs, and a Berklee history room with walls covered in old photographs and materials chronicling the college's past. The menu includes a variety of coffees, teas, sandwiches, paninis, salads, bagels, muffins, cakes, and other snacks. The coffee house is open Monday-Tuesday, 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Wednesday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-11:00 p.m.; Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-11:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m.

Booking Information

Cafe 939 is a warm, inviting, state-of-the-art facility and the ideal space for an artist or band looking to perform in an intimate setting. The depth and breadth of the room will provide artists with a very real and tangible opportunity to connect with their audience while showcasing their talents.

If you would like to perform at Cafe 939, submit information in one of the following ways:

  1. Submit materials through Sonicbids. If you are not yet a Sonicbids member and want to submit online, visit theCafe 939 link and sign up for the Sonicbids Combo Package (includes your submission and a discounted Sonicbids membership). If you are already a Sonicbids member, log onto your account and visit the Promoter Drop Box to submit.

    Berklee students can now create an electronic press kit and account on Sonicbids for six months for free. Use the promo code "soniccafe939" when signing up.

  2. Mail your materials:
    Cafe 939
    Berklee College of Music
    1140 Boylston Street, MS-939
    Boston, MA 02215-3693
    Attn: Talent Buyers

  3. We are also accepting booking inquires at: 939booking@berklee.edu

Programming decisions will be based on a number of factors, including artistic talent, curatorial vision, performance and sales history, and the appropriateness of the event for the venue and the college.

Please note: Promo packs and other materials will not be returned to you.

Venue Rental Information

If you are interested in renting the venue for a concert or private event, contact the director of Concert Operations at 617 747-2474 or chorn@berklee.edu.

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