Swingin' Near Fenway

By 
Nick Balkin
June 16, 2008
Carolyn Wilkins
Photo provided by the artist

For the tenth straight year, Berklee College of Music, the Fenway Civic Association, and ParkARTS present the free outdoor jazz concert series Swingin' in Mothers Rest, Wednesdays, July 9, 16, and 23, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (weather permitting), at Mothers Rest playground, located down the stairs from the Boylston Street bridge in the Back Bay Fens, at the corner of Boylston Street and The Fenway. Folding chairs, blankets, and picnic dinners are encouraged. The event is wheelchair accessible. For more information call 617 747-2447. Swingin' in Mothers Rest is cosponsored by Bank of America, Piano Forte, and the Mission Hill/Fenway Neighborhood Trust.

Swingin' in Mothers Rest is a way of bringing families and people of all ages together to experience live jazz in this historic park. Each year, Swingin' in Mothers Rest presents Berklee's talented up-and-coming students and renowned professors and alumni, performing a variety of jazz styles.

"Swingin' in Mothers Rest continues to present some of the world's finest musicians in the beautiful surroundings of the Back Bay Fens," said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "We invite music fans of all ages to come down and enjoy these great performances made possible by our ongoing partnership with Berklee College of Music and the Fenway Civic Association."

Wednesday, July 9 - Carolyn Wilkins: Berklee professor of ensembles Carolyn Wilkins is a pianist/vocalist in the tradition of Diana Krall, Shirley Horne, and Nina Simone, as well as an educator who has helped launch the careers of thousands of singers. Her performance experience includes radio and television appearances with her group SpiritJazz, work as a Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department, and concert appearances with Melba Moore, Nancy Wilson, the Fifth Dimension, and the Pittsburgh Symphony under Andre Previn. Wilkins has released four critically acclaimed CDs of original compositions, including SpiritJazz I, SpiritJazz II, Healin' Time, and Praise Song on Tiphareth Records.

Wednesday, July 16, Yuki Ito Quartet: Berklee student Yuki Ito, a native of Sapporo, Japan, is a talented acoustic bassist who began playing at 12. Ito is the recipient of the prestigious Lawrence and Alma Berk Scholarship and has studied with such renowned Berklee faculty as JoAnne Brackeen, Hal Crook, Bruce Gertz, Greg Hopkins, and David Santoro. Her composition "Picture" is featured on Common Ground, the new CD from Berklee's student-run Jazz Revelation Records. She scored a high-profile gig in 2004, performing at the International Association of Jazz Education (IAJE) conference, as a member of the Jazz Month in Asahikawa Junior Jazz Orchestra.

THE JAZZ WORKSHOP CONCERT HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO RAIN.

Wednesday, July 23 - Berklee Jazz Workshop directed by Terri Lyne Carrington and Rick DiMuzio:

The Berklee Jazz Workshop is comprised of the best and brightest high school jazz players from around the country who are studying at Berklee under acclaimed drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, artistic director of the Summer Jazz Workshop during the Five-Week Summer Performance Program. Codirecting the ensemble is saxophonist Rick DiMuzio, assistant professor of ear training. The ensemble plans to play standards, jazz arrangements of popular songwriters, and original student compositions. A native of Medford, Massachusetts, Carrington received a full scholarship to Berklee at 11. She later became the drummer for The Arsenio Hall Show, toured with Herbie Hancock, and was nominated for a Grammy Award. DiMuzio has performed with Bill Pierce, Danilo Perez, James Williams, and Bob Moses, and released his solo debut, First Offerings.

Now in its twelfth year, ParkARTS began as Mayor Thomas M. Menino's initiative to present a yearlong program of arts- and culture-related programs and events in Boston's park system. ParkARTS, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department's multifaceted arts program incorporates the visual, performing, and participatory arts. The 2008 ParkARTS performing arts program presents concerts at Boston neighborhood parks that will range from jazz to symphonic music. Over 80 participatory arts programs will be offered including arts and crafts workshops and landscape watercolor painting classes.

The Fenway Civic Association, the area's oldest community organization, works with residents, public agencies, and institutions to enhance urban living for residents and visitors. Run entirely by volunteers, it sponsors an annual Rose Garden picnic, Back Bay Fens Bird Walk, and other civic events that highlight Olmsted's historic parks and the natural, cultural, and academic riches of the Fenway. For more information about the Fenway Civic Association, visit fenwaycivic.org.