Guitar Sessions

Guitar Sessions Final Concert Schedule

Friday, July 11, 2014

10:00 a.m. —11:00 a.m.: Soundcheck

11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m.: Performance

(two bands per instructor and 15-minute sets per band)

Faculty Member Style Location
Julien Kasper Blues 921 Boylston Street, Room 411
Curt Shumate Blues 921 Boylston Street, Room 411
Jeff Lockhart Funk/fusion/jam band Oliver Colvin Recital Hall (1140 Boylston Street, Room 1W)
Jim Peterson Funk/fusion/jam band Oliver Colvin Recital Hall (1140 Boylston Street, Room 1W)
Kevin Belz Classic rock Oliver Colvin Recital Hall (1140 Boylston Street, Room 1W)
David Gilmore Jazz 921 Boylston Street, Room 511
Richie Hart Jazz 921 Boylston Street, Room 511
Tim Miller Jazz 921 Boylston Street, Room 511
Craig Hlady Classic rock David Friend Recital Hall (921 Boylston Street)
Don Lappin Rock metal/contemporary David Friend Recital Hall (921 Boylston Street)
Scott Tarulli Rock metal/contemporary David Friend Recital Hall (921 Boylston Street)
Ethan Brosh Rock metal/contemporary Berklee Performance Center (136 Massachusetts Avenue)
Shaun Michaud Rock metal/contemporary Berklee Performance Center (136 Massachusetts Avenue)
German Schauss Rock metal/contemporary Berklee Performance Center (136 Massachusetts Avenue)
Bob Stanton Fingerstyle The Red Room at Cafe 939 (939 Boylston Street)
Amanda Monaco Songwriting performer The Red Room at Cafe 939 (939 Boylston Street)
Jane Miller Songwriting performer The Red Room at Cafe 939 (939 Boylston Street)


July 6–11, 2014

What's the program like?

Get ready for a practical, hands-on playing experience through a variety of classes, clinics, and performance activities featured as part of the largest, most comprehensive guitar program available—anywhere. You’ll be placed in performance ensembles with guitarists of similar training, stylistic interest, and ability. 

For students who are also interested in enrolling at Berklee full-time, there are several benefits to attending Guitar Sessions:

  • Find out what it takes to succeed in music and at Berklee.

  • Study with Berklee faculty.

  • Get a head start on your full-time studies.

  • Get to know Boston, New England's hub of culture and academia.

  • Learn about admission, audition, and scholarship requirements.

What guitar styles can I study?

We offer ensembles, classes, and clinics in blues, metal, jam band funk/fusion, classic rock, contemporary rock, acoustic rock/pop, jazz, fingerstyle acoustic, and the performing songwriter. You'll choose your main style for ensemble and from there you can branch out in our clinics and jams. At this time, players with a classical background can choose to branch out in a fingerstyle acoustic, jazz, acoustic rock/pop, or songwriting ensemble if they choose to bring their nylon-string instruments. Fretboard classes will be helpful to all students in any style.

Who are the instructors?

Berklee's talented and experienced guitar faculty will provide the instruction for the program and will appear in concert and clinics throughout the week. Guitar Sessions ensemble classes feature professional rhythm sections on staff for the program.

Visiting Artist

The Guitar Department is pleased to announce this year's Guitar Sessions visiting artist, Tommy Emmanuel.

Two-time Grammy nominee Emmanuel is one of Australia’s most respected musicians. With a professional career spanning five decades, Emmanuel has garnered hundreds of thousands of loyal fans worldwide. His unusual talent and life are common lore in Australia: born into a musical family, Emmanuel got his first guitar at age 4 and was taught by his mother. He quickly learned by ear, with no formal instruction, and has never read music. By age 6 he was working as a professional musician in the family band (variously named Emmanuel Quartet, Midget Surfaris, and Trailblazers). By the age of 10, Emmanuel had already played his way across Australia.

Chet Atkins honored Emmanuel with the title of Certified Guitar Player for his contribution to guitar music, a very rare distinction shared by only four other people in the world. After an amazing performance with his brother Phil at the Sydney Olympic Games Closing Ceremony, the world wanted to know who this mysterious Australian guitar virtuoso was.

In 2001, Emmanuel released his first solo acoustic album, ONLY, and his popularity has grown by leaps and bounds, aided by a nonstop touring schedule and increased exposure in the media. His album The Mystery earned him another Grammy nomination, and in 2008 Guitar Player magazine and Acoustic Guitar magazine named him best acoustic guitarist and gold medalist in the in the Readers’ Choice and Players’ Choice awards. Guitar Player’s 2010 Readers' Choice awards named him best acoustic guitarist for the second time. In all, Emmanuel’s catalogue includes over 20 musical recordings of solos, duets, ensembles, cover tunes, originals, utilizing both electric and acoustic guitar. He has made six live performance DVDs, six additional instructional DVDs and CD-ROMs, and he regularly teaches master classes while on the road. Earlier this year, Emmanuel released The Colonel and the Governor, a jazz-inspired duet album recorded with the equally talented Martin TaylorEmmanuel’s latest album is the self-released and highly anticipated live CD/DVD combo Tommy Emmanuel CGP: Live and Solo in Pensacola, Florida. Recorded live in early 2013 in Pensacola, this CD/DVD includes old and new favorites, exhibiting Emmanuel’s amazing showmanship and musical talent as he performs before a packed house. Read more about Emmanuel here.


Kim Perlak is the assistant chair of the Guitar Department at Berklee and the director of Guitar Sessions. Her versatile and inclusive approach to the instrument embraces new composition, scholarship, and public service. Her performances of new classical works and collaborations with jazz and traditional players have been featured on National Public Radio, at the Yale Guitar Extravaganza, and at the National Guitar Workshop. Her work combining performance, American music history, and outreach has been funded through grants from the Carolina Institute for Leadership and Engagement in Music, the Center for African American Southern Music, and the Yale Alumni Ventures program. Perlak is the founder of the concert series Ben & I Play for Peace, which has raised $25,000 for the Veterans’ Guitar Project, Wounded Warrior Project, and Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids. In its first year, this project was honored by the PBS program From the Top as part of their Arts Leadership series and was officially recognized by the House of Representatives. In 2012, Perlak was named the editor-in-chief of Soundboard, the journal for the Guitar Foundation of America.

Click here for a full list of this year's instructors.

What should I bring?

Electric guitarists should bring cords for connection to amplifiers and electronic guitar tuners. Acoustic guitarists should bring guitars (and pickups, if applicable). We provide amplifiers for all participants to use in our ensembles for rehearsal and final performances. No amplifiers are provided for use in practice rooms, so you may elect to bring a set of practice headphones or a very small practice amplifier.

What's the schedule?

Classes during the week generally run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and clinics and concerts take place in the late afternoon and evening. Jam sessions run from 9:00 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.

Every participant's schedule will include a class in each of the following:

  • Fretboard harmony: Music theory for the guitarist. You will learn music theory and how it applies to the guitar. The class includes scales, modes, chord voicings, and chord inversions.
  • Style: Focused specifics of the style of your choosing (blues, groove funk, fusion, performing songwriter, classic rock, contemporary rock, metal, or jazz) and theoretical concepts as they apply to your chosen style.
  • Ensemble: You will rehearse with other instrumentalists and perform in concert with your group on the last day of the program. Friends and family will not want to miss these performances.
  • Visiting artists: Guitar Sessions will host several visiting artists and clinicians during the week. Past programs have included John Abercrombie, Ronnie Earl, J. Geils, Greg Howe, Wayne Krantz, Lage Lund, Vinnie Moore, John Petrucci, Vernon Reid, Duke Robillard, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Mark Whitfield.
  • Jam sessions: Open to all. Play with professional rhythm sections on staff for the program under the direction of Guitar Sessions faculty members. Diverse musical styles in various venues allow you to learn more about your favorite styles and to stretch your own musical boundaries.

Where will I eat and sleep?

Applicants will be sent information and an application for residence hall housing once accepted to the program. Most program participants elect to stay in the Berklee residence halls; however, space is limited. To optimize your chances for on-campus housing, you must return the housing application immediately upon receiving it.

To be eligible to live in the residence hall, you must be 15 years old by the start of the program. If you apply to the program after mid-May, please call the Housing Office at 617 747-2292 to find out if residence hall space is still available.