Berklee Monterey Sextet Plays Monterey Jazz Festival

By
Rob Hayes
September 18, 2012
The Berklee Monterey Sextet

The Berklee Monterey Sextet—six top scholarship students from the pioneering Boston music college—will perform twice on the 55th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, in Monterey, California.  

The Monterey Jazz Festival takes place September 21, 22, and 23. The Berklee Monterey Sextet will perform on Friday, September 21, at 8:00 p.m.m on the Garden Stage, and again on Saturday the 22nd, at 5:00 pm, in the intimate Coffee House.  The group will be joined by the winner of the full-tuition, 2012 Jimmy Lyons Scholarship to Berklee, drummer Ayinde Webb of Oakland, California.  For festival tickets and information, visit montereyjazzfestival.org/2012/tickets.

Six of the finest young contemporary musicians at Berklee, the members of the Berklee Monterey Sextet, come from Japan, Korea, Canada, and the U.S. The group, led by pianist Matt Savage, will perform largely original music, most of it written by the group’s members. Previous members of the Berklee Monterey groups have performed with such artists Terence Blanchard, Gary Burton, John Mayer, Wayne Shorter, the Manhattan Transfer, Christian Scott, Eddie Palmieri, the Roots, and Roy Haynes, to name just a few.

The Berklee Monterey Sextet

Matt Savage, 20-year-old jazz pianist/composer/arranger, entered Berklee College of Music in the fall of 2009 at the age of 17. He has studied with many eminent professors at Berklee, including Joanne Brackeen, Terri Lyne Carrington, Hal Crook, Dave Samuels, Ray Santisi, and Darren Barrett. He will graduate from Berklee in December 2012.

Savage also tours as a solo artist and as the leader of his own trio. He has performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, the Late Show with David Letterman, the Today show, NPR's Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland, and All Things Considered. He has also played at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and some of the top jazz clubs in America, including the Blue Note, Birdland, and Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center. Savage's ninth and latest CD, Welcome Home, features Bobby Watson and Jeremy Pelt, among others, and is heard on jazz radio stations across the country.

Erena Terakubo was born in Sapporo, Japan in 1992.  She began playing the alto saxophone at the age of nine.  Between the ages of 10 and 15, she participated in the Sapporo Junior Jazz Orchestra, where she had the opportunity to have jazz clinics with jazz musicians including Herbie Hancock, and Tiger Okoshi. Erena later attended the Berklee 5-week summer program where she was rewarded a full tuition scholarship, and was selected for the Berklee Summer Jazz Workshop, studying with Terri Lyne Carrington.

In 2010, she recorded her first album, North Bird with Kenny Barron, Christian McBride, Lee Pearson, and Peter Bernstein. The album was released in Japan by Japanese major record label King, reached No. 1 on the Japanese jazz charts, and was awarded Swing Journal’s Gold Disc.  Later that year, she performed with Ron Carter, Omar Hakim, and Will Boulware as part of the Tokyo Jazz Festival. In 2011, Terakubo recorded her second disc, New York Attitude with Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Lee Pearson, and Dominick Farinacci, and she was chosen as one of just six Presidential Scholars from across the world to attend Berklee.

Her concert appearances have included Tokyo Jazz Festival, Sapporo City Jazz Festival, Jazz Week Osaka 2010 (with Michel Camilo Trio), Nagoya Jazz Festival (with Yosuke Yamashita), Kitara Hall (with Sapporo Symphony Orchestra), and more. She has been fortunate to work with such musicians as Sadao Watanabe, Terumasa Hino, Eddie Gomez, Jimmy Cobb, and Anthony Jackson. Terakubo has been selected to perform this summer at the Playboy Jazz Festival in Los Angeles, as part of Bill Cosby’s portion of the program.

Winner of the 2009 International Trumpet Guild Jazz Improvisation competition, 20-year-old trumpeter Nick Frenay has recently completed a two-year fellowship at the Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific. During the last two years, Frenay has performed as part of the Institute's combo at venues from Yoshi's in Oakland, California to Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., recorded four CDs, mentored hundreds of middle and high school students at jazz clinics, and worked with visiting artists including Sean Jones, Nicholas Payton, and Karriem Riggins—all while maintaining a 3.9 GPA. DownBeat has recognized Frenay as a soloist, composer, and arranger with awards at both the high school and college level. Aside from his primary instrument, Frenay also plays trombone, piano, bass guitar, and drums and is developing his chops as a vocalist. He is continuing his education at the Berklee, where he has been awarded the Presidential Scholarship.

John Egizi decided to pick up the trombone in middle school without realizing that his family had been playing the instrument for generations. Shortly after, his father introduced him to jazz music, which Egizi became increasingly obsessed with. This obsession led him to attend LACHSA (LA County High School for the Arts) where he picked up the bass (acoustic/electric), began composing/arranging music both acoustically/electronically, and performed at places like the Monterey, North Sea, Toronto, Montreal, and Playboy jazz festivals, and at the White House with artists such as Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Maceo Parker, Bobby Watson, Antonio Hart, and Dianne Reeves.

Egizi was awarded a Presidential Scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he currently resides, studying performance/electronic production and design. He has continued to perform with a wide variety of artists (Bilal, Peter Erskine, George Garzone, etc.) while working as a core music tutor for Berklee and as a copyist/arranger for Onyx Productions (Ralph Peterson Jr.).

Bassist Young Hoo Kim, from Seoul, South Korea, is majoring in jazz performance at Berklee College of Music. Before coming to Berklee, he was already performing as a professional musician in Korea. He participated in many albums of various genres and appeared in many TV and radio shows. At Berklee, Kim is studying under George Garzone, Hal Crook, Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, John Patitucci, Ed Tomassi, and many other great musicians. He has earned the Elvin Jones scholarship and the scholarship from the Asia Tour of Berklee, and got into the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. He has performed in numerous jazz venues and festivals worldwide, including the Jarasum Jazz Festival in South Korea, the Santo Domingo Jazz Festival in the Dominican Republic, the Taichung Jazz Festival in Taiwan, and the Penang Jazz Festival in Malaysia.  

Anthony Fung, drummer from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, is a freshman at Berklee College of Music, pursuing a dual degree of jazz performance and music production and engineering. During his high school years, he was the drummer selected for the 2010 Berklee Five-Week Summer Jazz Workshop, and the 2011 Monterey Next Generation Jazz Orchestra. He is currently studying in the prestigious Berklee Global Jazz Institute under the tutelage of Danilo Perez. Fung has played at numerous jazz festivals, which include the Monterey Jazz Festival in California, the Toronto Jazz Festival, the JEN conference, and the Ottawa Jazz Festival. He has performed with the likes of Benny Green, Joshua Redman, John Patitucci, Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Donny McCaslin, Hal Crook, Darren Barrett, the Vince Mendoza Orchestra, and Terence Blanchard. He has studied with Terri Lyne Carrington, Billy Hart, Ralph Peterson, Ari Hoenig, Dennis Mackrel, and Joaquin Nunez Hidalgo.