Free Regattabar Courtyard Series
Berklee presents the Regattabar Courtyard Series, featuring rising young artists from a variety of styles—including swing, a world mix, Latin, and contemporary jazz—with executive chef Peter Davis flipping burgers on the grill. It takes place Mondays—July 20, 27, and August 3, 10, 17—5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Charles Hotel Courtyard (behind the hotel) at One Bennett Street, Cambridge. The concerts are wheelchair accessible. For more information, call 617 661-5000 or visit regattabarjazz.com.
Monday, July 20 – Katie Thiroux Trio
Los Angeles-bred bassist and vocalist Katie Thiroux brings her trio to Cambridge. The Katie Thiroux Trio has performed from coast to coast at venues such as the Kitano, Cachaca Jazz Club, the Lighthouse, and Catalina's Jazz Club. Influenced by the styles of Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Bill Evans, and Anita O'Day, the Katie Thiroux Quartet swings hard every time. Thiroux's acrobatic vocal arrangements and instrumentals have established the group's unique style, which is why its leader is regarded as one of today's most exceptional young talents. Thiroux is also an on-call sideman, asked to perform at the 2009 Münster Jazz Festival, joining Mosaic, a group led by drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and also featuring Geri Allen and Ingrid Jensen. Other notable performances include the Monterey, Newport Beach, and Vail jazz festivals.
Monday, July 27 – International String Quartet
The International String Trio was founded in 1999 by its musical director and guitarist, Slava Tolstoy. During the last 10 years the group has performed at more than 1000 venues across the United States and has gained national recognition for its distinct sound and stylistic diversity. The trio's repertoire includes classical, jazz, popular, and world music (Italian, French, Russian, Jewish, Spanish, Latin American, Gipsy, and Irish). The International String Trio has developed a unique concert program that is both highly entertaining and educational, energetic, and musically gratifying. At performances the IST enjoys leading its audiences on a cultural musical journey, as performances include music from countries around the world. For more information, visit myspace.com/istringtrio.
Monday, August 3 – Rocco and the Stompers
Boston-based all-star octet Rocco and the Stompers merges the traditional 1930s swing era sound with contemporary arrangements and compositions. Rocco and the Stompers shows typically consist of swing covers, ranging from well-known hits like Benny Goodman's "Sing Me a Swing Song" to hidden gems like Duke Ellington's "Rendezvous with Rhythm." Along with flawless transcriptions, the Stompers play original arrangements of modern tunes like "Master of Puppets" (Metallica), "Casino Night Zone" (Sonic the Hedgehog 2), and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" (Daft Punk), all arranged in the style of the great writers, such as Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, and Artie Shaw. The group also performs a collection of original compositions that blur the line between the swing era and beyond. For more information, visit myspace.com/roccoandthestompers.
Monday, August 10 – Carlos Averhoff Jr. and IRESI Project
Carlos Averhoff Jr. is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, and educator whose sound combines the rhythms of his native Cuba with modern styles of jazz and funk. Born in Havana, Averhoff began his musical training at the Manuel Saumell Music Conservatory, following in the footsteps of his father, also a renowned musician and educator. He has recorded with Buena Vista Social Club, Roberto Fonseca, Elmer Ferrer, Jorge Reyes, and others. In 2004, he settled in Spain, where he began leading his own quartet, and the following year he took first place honors at the SGAE Awards for Jazz Interpretation and Composition. He came to Berklee in 2008 after receiving several scholarships, including the prestigious Charlie Parker Scholarship. For more information, visit myspace.com/averhoffjr.
Monday, August 17 – Gina Cimmelli
Twenty-two-year-old singer/songwriter Gina Cimmelli and her band Gina's Picture Show cook up familiar throwback melodies from the 1920s to the 1960s, married with sincere lyrics and served with a wild variety of instrumentation. Cimmelli and her group are touring throughout New England this summer, having just released a five-song EP, Don't Be Mad. For more information, visit cdbaby.com/cd/ginacimmelli.