Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival Celebrates the Next Generation of Jazz

By
Margot Edwards
July 9, 2013
Meshell Ndegeocello
Robin McKelle
Mike Tucker Trio
Matt Jenson & the Liquid Revolution
photo by Charlie Gross
photo by Benoit Courti

On September 28, music lovers of all ages will gather for the 13th annual Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival in Boston’s historic South End—home to several legendary clubs during Boston’s jazz heyday. The all-day, free outdoor event will offer contemporary jazz, Latin, blues, and soul acts on three stages. Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM), one of the world’s leading asset managers, is the presenting sponsor of the festival and will present a $5,000 scholarship to a student musician. Past Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festivals have drawn as many as 80,000 music fans.

“The Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival is a landmark event in Boston that unites neighborhoods and exposes communities to exceptional musical talents in a free, family-friendly environment,” said John Hailer, president and chief executive officer, Natixis Global Asset Management–the Americas and Asia. At the festival, NGAM will present a $5,000 Natixis-Berklee City Music Scholarship for the third consecutive year. “Granting the Natixis-Berklee scholarship aligns with our commitment to education and the arts. Supporting the opportunity for young musicians to enhance their talents brings us great pride and helps keep music alive for future generations.”

The Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival—Boston’s biggest block party—takes place on Saturday, September 28, from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Columbus Avenue between Massachusetts Avenue and Burke Street in Boston’s South End. The outdoor performances are open to the public and free of charge. Highlights include Meshell Ndegeocello; Will Calhoun Trio, led by the Grammy Award-winning alumnus and drummer of the band Living Colour; and Robin McKelle & the Flytones.

Check out Berklee's BeanTown Jazz Festival 2013 Sampler for streaming tracks by many of the festival's artists at BerkleeCollegeofMusic.bandcamp.com.

This year, the festival celebrates the theme Jazz: The Next Generation, with performances by some of the genre’s most acclaimed up-and-coming alumni artists, including Grammy-nominated trumpeter Christian Scott; Mike Tucker Trio featuring vibraphonist Warren Wolf; and the Matt Savage Quartet featuring saxophone great Bobby Watson.

Faculty and students also play a major role, with performances by faculty artists Lawrence “Larry” Watson and the Workforce, the Bell Affair featuring Karen Bell, Matt Jenson and the Liquid Revolution, and Rick DiMuzio Quintet; and students including Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors featuring Adam Cruz, Jazz Revelation Records artist the Simon Moullier Quartet, Giorgi Mikadze Group, the Berklee P-Funk Ensemble, and the Berklee City Music All-Stars Big Band Jazz Ensemble. Street performers Marcus Santos and Bloco AfroBrazil will perform throughout the afternoon.

Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival also presents ticketed concerts during the weekend of the festival:

On Friday, September 27, and Saturday, September 28, Gary Burton’s 70th Birthday Tour stops at Scullers Jazz Club for performances at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. each night by the New Gary Burton Quartet featuring Julian Lage, Scott Colley, and Antonio Sanchez. Visit ScullersJazz.com for more information.

On Sunday, September 29, instrumental jazz, funk, and world music collective Snarky Puppy perform at the Berklee Performance Center at 8:00 p.m. Visit Berklee.edu/bpc for more information.

Berklee College of Music, for the fourth year, is the proud recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival and its theme. In awarding the Art Works grant to Berklee, the NEA cited the festival as a celebration of Boston’s diversity as reflected in the attendees, music, food, and crafts. An educational program about the importance of mentorship in jazz is being planned.

“The next generation of creative musicians is quite strong and, having stood on the shoulders of their predecessors, are now hopefully prepared for unlimited boundaries. How exciting to witness and be a part of this process,” said Terri Lyne Carrington, Grammy Award-winning drummer, composer, Berklee professor, and artistic director for the festival. “Mentoring has always been an important part of the continuance and advancement of jazz, so we are proud to recognize mentor-mentee relationships this year.”

The Natixis Family Park will transform Carter Playground on Columbus Avenue with activities including inflatables, face painting, and an instrument petting zoo staffed by Berklee professionals. The park also hosts KidsJam, an interactive program led by Berklee’s Music Education Department that introduces young children to a variety of musical activities, including singing and sound exploration, playing rhythm instruments, and creating, listening, and responding to music.

The outdoor celebration also features a variety of vendor booths offering foods and crafts from all over the world.

Discover Roxbury's High Notes of Jazz Roxbury Walk is offering tours throughout the day for a nominal fee, exploring the area around the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival. The site was once the epicenter of music, food, and nightlife for Boston's jazz community during the 1930s through 1950s. Tours will organize from the Discover Roxbury booth at the festival.

Check beantownjazz.org for updates and a full schedule of events.

NGAM is also the presenting sponsor of the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.

Margot Edwards is a manager in the Office of Media Relations. Media inquiries: medwards@berklee.edu.