The New Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Ensemble to Play Cafe 939

By
Nick Balkin
May 22, 2009
The new Thelonious Monk Institute Sextet: (from left) Victor Gould, Godwin Louis, Matt Marantz, artistic director Terence Blanchard, Nick Falk, Hogyu Hwang, and Billy Buss.

Hear the latest crop of young Thelonious Monk Institute wizards—five of them Berklee alumni—in their only public performance before heading off to New Orleans for studies with Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and other jazz greats. The event takes place on Wednesday, June 17, 8:00 p.m., at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston Street, Boston. General admission tickets are $10 and available at the Cafe 939 website. Tickets are free for Berklee students, faculty, and staff. The show will also stream live on BIRN 2, Berklee Internet Radio

To date, 49% of all students in the New Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance program have been Berklee alumni. Class of 2011 members are selected by internationally renowned jazz artists Terence Blanchard, Gary Burton, and Jimmy Heath. The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance is a prestigious, full-scholarship, graduate-level college program at Loyola University New Orleans that enables the world's most gifted musicians to study free for two years with the greatest living jazz masters, who also serve as artists-in-residence. Three-time Grammy Award–winning composer and internationally renowned trumpeter Terence Blanchard serves as the program's artistic director. Visit the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz website for more information. 

The New Thelonious Monk Institute Sextet

Billy Buss—Trumpet
Playing trumpet since the age of nine, Berkeley, California native Billy Buss has received numerous awards, including the Monterey Jazz Festival's full-tuition Jimmy Lyons Scholarship to Berklee, two Down Beat Student Music Awards as Outstanding Soloist, and the Gold Award in Jazz from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. He has performed at the Monterey, Umbria, and Montreux jazz festivals; the Dubrovnik Summer Music Festival in Croatia; numerous festivals in Japan; and a variety of clubs in New York.

Nicholas Falk—Drums
Nicholas Falk is from Cape Elizabeth, Maine. After graduating from Berklee in 2006, he moved to New York, where he performed throughout the city, most notably with the Bryan Baker Quartet and Sara Serpa Quintet. He has also performed and recorded with Seamus Blake, George Garzone, Greg Osby, and many others. He has performed at the Blue Note, the Monterey Jazz Festival, House of Blues Chicago, and internationally in Portugal, Japan, France, Korea, and Ecuador.

Victor Gould—Piano
Victor Gould, a pianist from Los Angeles, is the recipient of Berklee's full-ride Herbie Hancock Presidential Scholarship. He has been awarded chairs in the Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation All-Star Band and the 2005 Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Jazz Band. Gould's honors include the Los Angeles Music Center's 2004 Spotlight Award and the Charles "Dolo" Coker Scholarship Foundation prize. Among the groups he has played with is the quartet of Los Angeles–based jazz and film composer Jason Goldman.

Hogyu Hwang—Bass
The winner of multiple major scholarships in his native South Korea, Hogyu Hwang graduated from Berklee in 2007. He has toured with various musicians in Spain, Poland, Germany, France, Ecuador, and Japan. Hwang has appeared at renowned jazz clubs such as New York's Blue Note, Iridium, and Jazz Standard. He has performed with jazz greats including JoAnne Brackeen, Terri Lyne Carrington, Dave Douglas, Donald Harrison, Jimmy Heath, and Joe Lovano.

Godwin Louis—Alto Saxophone
A native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, saxophonist Godwin Louis graduated from Berklee in 2008 and has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Jimmy Heath, the Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Billy Preston, the Either/Orchestra, and others. Louis has performed at numerous jazz venues and festivals worldwide, including the JVC Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Trinidad and Tobago Steelpan Jazz Festival, the Glastonbury Festival, Nancy Jazz Pulsation, and the Tuscia in Jazz Festival, where he won the Jimmy Wood Award for Best Saxophonist.

Matt Marantz—Tenor Saxophone
Saxophonist Matt Marantz, from Cedar Hill, Texas, holds a bachelor's degree in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music. He has played with Dave Brubeck, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Kurt Elling, Chris Potter, Branford Marsalis, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Ingrid Jensen, Frank LoCrasto, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Marantz has received 26 awards from Down Beat magazine, including Top Jazz Soloist for four years in a row, and co-won the Top Jazz Soloist award in 2006 for university level. In 2001, he was invited by Keilwerth Saxophones and Rico Reeds to be the companies' youngest artis/clinician. Marantz plays tenor saxophone on the 2008 release In the Night with the Jonathan Batiste Quintet.