Qantara Berklee is an ensemble that blends Arab, jazz, Western classical, and Latin American music to transcend the boundaries of genre and geography. Qantara means arch in Arabic, and this ensemble provides students an entryway to these musical cultures. Students in this ensemble will develop their instrumental, aural, and improvisational skills in this unique context at the same time as understanding how to fuse different modes, rhythms, and compositional concepts to create a cross-cultural ensemble.
Development of ensemble group-playing skills, focusing on the roles of the guitarist. Development of melodic performance, rhythm guitar/accompaniment techniques, and improvisation in an ensemble setting. Material will be learned through use of recordings and call-and-response techniques as well as written music materials. Instrumentation: six electric guitars, bass, and drums.
Performing groups for guitar principals. Offered in stylistically delineated sections, including jazz, rock, metal, acoustic pop, funk, fusion, and blues, this course focuses on development of performance skills in the specified style. Students should consult the Guitar Department in order to enroll in the appropriate section.
This ensemble will aid the student in performing in a jazz trio setting of guitar, acoustic bass, and drum set. Topics will range from idiomatic introductions and endings; challenging standard tunes/melodies; single note, octave, and chord soloing; soloing in double stops; solo introductions (rubato and in tempo); trading fours; comping for bass solos; reharmonization considerations; modulation/transposition for variation of color; fingerstyle/pick considerations; and attaining a good sound.
An ensemble for aspiring classical guitarists of all levels, based on the traditional repertoire class, where standard and lesser-known works of guitar literature are performed, coached, and discussed. Students will regularly perform level-appropriate pieces agreed upon with the instructor, and through these performances, the class will provide a survey of guitar literature. Coaching will cover issues of classical guitar performance such as tone, technique, musicality, interpretation, and style. The course will also include study of major classical guitarists and their recordings.
An intermediate level ensemble focusing on the rehearsal, recording, and performance of literature written or transcribed for classical guitar.
In-depth approach to guitar performance, with each section of the course dedicated to signature repertoire and vocabulary of specific artists. Students will focus on the artist's harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic styles. Students should consult the Guitar Department in order to enroll in the appropriate section.
Sight-reading and performing more advanced literature written or transcribed for classical guitar.
Level 3 Small Band Jazz ensemble will study and perform jazz in the context of a small band. Students will participate in weekly supervised rehearsals. They will focus on playing standard jazz arrangements with special attention to the swing feel, playing through song forms, and the further development of standard jazz repertoire and vocabulary. Emphasis will be given to stylistic integrity, as well as melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic accuracy.
The Music of Elvin Jones ensemble will focus on the work of legendary jazz drummer Elvin Jones as featured with John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Hank Jones, McCoy Tyner, and many others. In this course, students will participate in weekly supervised rehearsals. Students will gain experience in performing and entertaining. Emphasis will be given to stylistic integrity, as well as melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic accuracy.
The Level 3 Smooth Jazz ensemble will study and perform smooth jazz in the context of a small band. Students will participate in weekly supervised rehearsals. They will focus on playing smooth jazz compositions, which involve contemporary grooves such as R&B, hip-hop, funk, jazz, and Latin. Additionally, students will be introduced to the use of jazz vocabulary in the context of the smooth jazz genre. Emphasis will be given to stylistic integrity, as well as melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic accuracy.
Big Band Jazz Rating 3 ensemble will perform arrangements associated with, but not limited to, jazz legends such as Count Basie, Woody Herman, and Buddy Rich. In addition, arrangements encompassing the contemporary genre may be included. Emphasis will be given to hearing and expressing your musical ideas with stylistic integrity, as well as melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic accuracy.