Berklee Today

Berklee Beat:
Joe Lovano to Headline Vineyard Vibes '02

Joe Lovano '72


While the year-round population of Martha's Vineyard hovers at 15,000, at the height of the summer season it swells to over 125,000. This popular vacation destination, 15 miles off the southern coast of Massachusetts, is the perfect location for a premier summer jazz event. The first Vineyard Vibes jazz concert was held last August before a nearly sell-out audience. As a result of its success, Vineyard Vibes will return this year. The hope is not only that it will become a permanent part of the island's annual entertainment calendar, but that it will grow into a multiday summer jazz festival.

The concert is the brainchild of producer Barry Rosenthal, president of B/R Creative Group, an agency that handles recruitment advertising for the college, and Steven Lipman, Berklee's assistant vice president for Student Affairs. "The idea is to promote the extraordinary talent that populates the college," said Rosenthal. "We believe that the best way to demonstrate what Berklee is all about is to showcase its people. Audiences are blown away by the performances."

Topping this summer's bill will be international jazz saxophone giant, Joe Lovano '72. He will be performing in an ensemble with various Berklee students, but not just any Berklee students. Lovano will combine his talent with members of the Rainbow Band All-stars, one of Berklee's longest-standing and most prestigious ensembles, led by its musical director, trombonist Phil Wilson.

No strangers to the Vineyard Vibes audience, the Rainbow Band All-Stars stole the show last year. In his review in the Vineyard Gazette, Nils Kildegaard wrote, "Each time you thought you'd seen the last wunderkind of Berklee College of Music, another kid would step up to the microphone and rock the house with a new show of virtuosity!"

All the acts appearing at Vineyard Vibes have connections to Berklee. Lipman believes that the concert gives the audience a deeper appreciation for the college. "There are four generations of Berklee musicians appearing on the same stage," he said. "They range in experience from jazz greats like Joe Lovano and Phil Wilson to younger professionals like this year's opening act, Joanne Cassidy '99, to the future professionals among the members of the Rainbow Band All-Stars. It's an oppor-tunity to bring world-class jazz to an appreciative audience, provide experience for our students, and further enhance the profile and reputation of Berklee."

There is another education-related component to Vineyard Vibes. Each year, the concert funds a scholarship to attend Berklee for a Martha's Vineyard Regional High School student. Last year's recipient was current Berklee student Zack Charter of Tisbury, Massachusetts.

This year's Vineyard Vibes will take place on Thursday evening, August 1, at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets will be $20. Information about the concert and ticket reservations can be obtained by calling 508-693-0305.