Clinics and Master Classes

Luis Bonilla Clinic

Tuesday / March 6, 2012 / 12:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

If ever an artist could be called an octopus, Luis Bonilla is it. The California raised, Costa Rican trombonist, composer, and arranger has sought out, taken in, and mastered an incredible array of musical styles. His success as a sideman with such greats as McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Tom Harrell, Freddie Hubbard, Astrud Gilberto, Willie Colon, and Toshiko Akiyoshi attests not only to the skill and variety of Bonilla’s talent, but also to a mind restlessly committed to exploring some of the most complex and demanding music of our time. Yet there is nothing rarefied about the Bonilla experience. He has worked as a studio musician with Tony Bennett, Marc Anthony, La India, and Mary J. Blige and understands and exploits the liveliness of pop as well as the rhythmic sway and punch of Latin jazz. Currently a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra under Arturo O’Farrill’s direction (both 2009 Grammy winners) and Dave Douglas’s latest group (Dave Douglas and Brass Ecstasy), Bonilla is one of those rare artists whose work is always expanding, taking in more and more while remaining singular and focused.

“Bonilla may be a trombonist used to handling that big long sliding thing, but when it comes to execution of his ideas, he lets nothing slide,” said All About Jazz. Critics praised his first two albums on the Candid label, Pasos Gigantes (1998) and iEscucha! (2000), acknowledging Bonilla’s ability to give voice to radically different musical sensibilities with an ease and seamlessness that belies the rigor and sophistication of the music. Pasos Gigantes made Jazziz’s top ten Latin list of 1998. Even as early as these first two albums, critics noted Bonilla’s leadership and sophisticated use of tonal colors. As a faculty member at both Temple University and Manhattan School of Music, Bonilla has an intuitive sense in how to bring out the best in those working with him. Listen to any of his albums and you will hear an extraordinary level of trust and inspiration in each band member’s playing.

As the critic for All About Jazz noticed, “Bonilla gives his colleagues ample space to breathe, adding momentum to the flow of his compositional ideas.” His next album, 2007’s Terminal Clarity was a celebration, reflection, and aesthetic extension of his years working with Lester Bowie. While retaining the brash harmonic structures of his mentor’s work from Brass Fantasy to his earlier and justly famous work with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Bonilla adds a “contagious exuberance” (Jazzwise magazine) that is at the heart of his artistic vision. Without in any way diminishing Bowie’s audacity, Bonilla manages to balance “the cerebral and the downand- dirty (Jazz Times), taking “bold steps to merge Latin genres, free jazz and a variety of other influences (Latin Jazz Corner).

In Bonilla’s album I Talking Now! (2009), he pushes these disjunctions even harder, politely demanding that we feel connections between wildly disparate styles of music. A heady mix of swing, rock, free jazz, funk, movie soundtracks, avant-garde noise and ballads, I Talking Now!, for all its musical diversity, speaks with one voice. It is a distinctly American vision, a gentle craziness that suggests that every one and every sound can co-exist if we just keep on taking in more and more. Bonilla is moving in directions that are expanding our notions of jazz and leading us into startling new realms with “remarkable creativity and versatility” (Newsday).

Admission: 

Beth Bruno: A Vocal Master Class

Wednesday / April 11, 2012 / 1:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Beth Bruno teaches an intuitive approach to vocal mastery by developing vocal skills through observation and self-study.

The critics celebrate Beth Bruno as one of the great voices of Brazil's new generation of musical artists. Marked by a sensual sweetness, her voice and personality endear her to fellow musicians and captivate her audiences. 

A native of Brazil, Bruno began her career in Rio de Janeiro, performing at festivals where she won awards for best interpretation. She has performed in Brazil with some of the greatest Brazilian artists and songwriters, including Milton Nascimento, Djavan, Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins, and Roberto Carlos.

Bruno began singing as a child. She spent countless hours listening to live music and recordings and intuitively forming her own approach to growing as a vocalist.

Often she would play records repeatedly while singing along. This helped her discover many vocal nuances that contributed to her own unique style. Her observations were on techniques including: projection, phrasing, texture, accuracy, diction, and the overall refinement of musical expression.

Bruno will share this approach by playing recordings and speaking about discovering specific attributes to expand a vocalist's artistic range. Her intention is to share the process of self-discovery. 

The demonstration will include examples and discussion on vocalists such as: Elis Regina, Gal Costa, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, and Mahalia Jackson.

 

 

Admission: 

Charles Randolf-Wright

Monday / March 5, 2012 / 12:00 p.m.
Oliver Colvin Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

Charles Randolf-Wright has built a dynamic and diversified career in directing and producing for film, television, and theater. Most recently, he directed the Pulitzer Prize–winning play Ruined and the record-breaking musical Sophisticated Ladies at Arena Stage, the 75th anniversary international tour of the opera Porgy and Bess, and Daniel Beaty's Through the Night at the Union Square Theater. Currently he is directing Motown, a musical based on the life of Berry Gordy, featuring the work of various Motown composers.

Admission: 

Dom Salvador Clinic

Monday / March 5, 2012 / 12:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Dom Salvador is the legendary Brazilian jazz musician and composer considered to be one of the fathers of the samba-jazz movement. Besides his celebrated solo career, Salvador also has extensive international experience as accompanist of Brazilian popular music (MPB) acts such as Elis Regina, Quarteto em Cy, Jorge Ben, Edu Lobo, Rosinha de Valença, Sílvia Telles, and Elza Soares. His Rio 65 Trio, which had arguably the most important Brazilian drummer of all time, Edison Machado, recorded very influential albums, including one of them in Germany. His musical and political research also led him to be a precursor of the Black Rio movement, putting together the musicians who would later form the homonymous band.

At 12 Salvador was already playing in an orchestra in his hometown of Rio Claro. At 23 he was already making a name for himself and decided to move to São Paulo. He became the pianist of the Lancaster nightclub, the meeting point of the city's jazz musicians. Joining the Copa Trio, he moved to Rio and played in the famous jazz scene Beco Das Garrafas (Rio's 52nd Street), where he accompanied the then-novice artists Elis Regina, Quarteto em Cy, and Jorge Ben.

In 1965, he formed the Rio 65 Trio, with bassist Sérgio Barroso and drummer Edison Machado. The trio performed extensively, and recorded the album Rio 65 Trio in the same year. In 1966, the trio toured Europe, accompanying Edu Lobo, Rosinha de Valença, Silvia Telles, and Rubens Bassini through nine countries. The trio recorded an album in Germany that included Salvador's famous song "Meu Fraco é Café Forte." In the same year, Salvador played in the U.S., returning there again while accompanying Elza Soares.

But one of Salvador’s most significant career points actually came a few years later, while researching music and other different projects and collaborations. Salvador formed the group Abolição, which was composed only by black musicians, and that band was the core of the movement that combined black/soul music with funk and samba, and paved the way for many other groups that came after, such as the world-famous Banda Black Rio. The group Abolição recorded the seminal album Som, Sangue E Raça in 1971, still widely regarded as a classic recording.

In the mid-'70s, Salvador relocated to the U.S. and started many successful musical collaborations, including work as the musical director and pianist for Harry Belafonte. Salvador continued to record and perform his music under many different configurations.

Some of his recordings include My Family (1976); Puro Amor and Rio Claro Suite (1984); Romantic Interlude at the River Café, and Unconditional Love (2000); and Transition (1997). His most recent recording, The Art of Samba Jazz (2010) brings back the sound of the samba-jazz and gafieira styles, a samba-jazz that Salvador experienced firsthand, lived, and helped to create and develop, while also maintaining his uniqueness and originality. The recording features a sextet of some of the most in-demand musicians in the New York scene, playing through some of Salvador’s best and most beloved compositions.

Salvador has also participated on recent jazz festivals both in Brazil and the U.S. with his group. Some of his notable performances included the Chivas Jazz Festival Brazil in 2003 and an emotional return to the legendary Copacabana Palace hotel in Rio de Janeiro after 45 years, to perform at the CopaFest festival 2010 with his sextet. In 2012, Salvador is reunited with the group Abolição and also with Brazilian singer Tony Tornado on a series of shows throughout Brazil, besides leading his quartet/sextet both in the U.S. and Brazil. Salvador also regularly serenades his fans at the prestigious River Café in Brookyln, New York, and for his long engagement with this world famous venue (35-plus years) he is bound to be included on the Guinness Book of Records.

Admission: 

David Grisman

Friday / March 2, 2012 / 9:30 a.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

For nearly half a century, mandolinist, composer, bandleader, and producer David Grisman has been a guiding force in the evolving world of acoustic music. His musical range is wide and deep — embracing many styles, genres and traditions.

An acoustic pioneer and innovator, Grisman forged a unique personal artistic path, skillfully combining elements of American jazz and bluegrass with international flavors and sensibilities to create his own distinctive music. In doing so, he's inspired new generations of acoustic string musicians, while creating his own niche in contemporary music.

In 1963 Grisman made his first recordings both as an artist (Even Dozen Jug Band) and producer (Red Allen, Frank Wakefield and the Kentuckians). In 1966 Red Allen offered David his first job with an authentic bluegrass band, the Kentuckians. Grisman began composing original tunes and playing with other urban bluegrass contemporaries like Peter Rowan and Jerry Garcia, with whom he would later form Old & in the Way.

David's interests spread to jazz in 1967, while playing in the folk-rock group Earth Opera. A failed attempt at learning to play alto sax turned him into a student of jazz musicianship and theory. His burgeoning career as a session musician gave him experience playing many types of music and opportunities to stretch the boundaries of the mandolin. His discography is filled with notables including Jerry Garcia, Stéphane Grappelli, the Grateful Dead, John Hartford, Del McCoury, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Earl Scruggs, James Taylor, and Doc Watson.

Admission: 

Paula Cole Clinic

Wednesday / March 28, 2012 / 1:00 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Grammy winner and seven-time Grammy nominee Paula Cole has released six albums spanning a 17 year career. She has sold approximately three million albums and has performed with Counting Crows, Matchbox 20, Sarah McLachlan, Melissa Etheridge, Lilith Fair, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris, and many more. Emotionally deep and thrilling performances are a trademark. Poetically melodic, fiercely touching, and intelligent writing makes Cole stand apart. Other artists such as Herbie Hancock, Annie Lennox, and Katherine McPhee have covered her compositions. With a loving allegiance to her fans, she maintains loyal communication through the web and after her live shows. As the first woman in history to solely produce and receive a Best Producer Grammy nomination for her work, This Fire, Cole has broken boundaries with a searcher’s spirit. From her top ten hits of the 1990s to her more recent critically acclaimed albums, Paula Cole continues to write, produce, record, and perform heartfelt, meaningful, lasting music.

Admission: 

Snarky Puppy: Global Styles and Group Improvisation

Monday / February 27, 2012 / 12:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Snarky Puppy is spending an unprecedented three consecutive months on the road this winter and spring supporting its brand new DVD/CD Ground Up, released officially on February 28 through its own recently launched record label, GroundUP Music (a sublabel of Ropeadope Records).

For the very first time, this tour will take the band all the way to the United Kingdom and France, as well as every major market in the United States. Always focused on music education, Snarky Puppy will be giving clinics and master classes at various educational institutions throughout the trip in addition to its scheduled concerts. Joining the group for the U.K. leg of the tour is groundbreaking London electro-pop duo the Fix.

Ground Up was filmed and recorded live over three nights in legendary bassist Matt Garrison's new performance space, Shapeshifter Lab, in front of a 40-person studio audience. Similar to the setting of their last live album/DVD, Tell Your Friends (Ropeadope Records, 2010), the new project captures the rawness and spontaneity of Snarky Puppy's live energy, but this time in a stripped-down Brooklyn warehouse.

The film also features the addition of behind-the-scenes touring footage amassed over the band's last two years of shows, offering a peek into the world of a traveling grassroots ensemble.

With the release of their last two live CD/DVDs on Ropeadope Records and GroundUP Music, Snarky Puppy has gone from an underground secret to one of the most internationally respected names in instrumental music.

The three-time Dallas Observer Music Award–winning group (Best Jazz Act 2008, 2009, 2010) has, over the last four years of touring, gained a reputation for putting on a live show unparalleled in energy, virtuosity, and musicianship. They seamlessly fuse a deep knowledge and respect for musical tradition with sonic and conceptual innovation in a way that is able to reach the most critical or the most carefree audience.

It is, in its physical makeup, a group of musicians from two different cultures and traditions—jazz and rock kids from white America and gospel/R&B kids from black America. This convergence, which occurred while the band was in its adolescence at the University of North Texas, has naturally established a series of combinations and a system of balance that instantly draws listeners to the music—raw funk and sensitive dynamics, relentless pocket and lyrical melodicism, lush harmony and soulful simplicity, and most importantly, a delicate mixture of composition and improvisation.

Snarky Puppy is somewhere between a garage band and a collective, with over 25 players in regular rotation. The core of the group, which remains consistent, features Grammy Award–winners Robert "Sput" Searight on drums (God's Property, Snoop Dogg) and Shaun Martin on keys (Kirk Franklin, Erykah Badu), as well as young organ prodigy Cory Henry (Kenny Garrett, Kim Burell) and multi-instrumentalist Louis Cato (Marcus Miller, Q-Tip, George Duke). Its members are mainstays with artists like Erykah Badu, Marcus Miller, P Diddy Dirty Money, the Polyphonic Spree, Snoop Dogg, Roy Hargrove's RH Factor, Morcheeba, Tower of Power, Ari Hoenig/Adam Rogers, Justin Timberlake, Kenny Garrett, Yo-Yo Ma, Lucy Woodward, and Bilal, among many more.

The group was conceived and is held together by award-winning bassist, guitarist, composer, and arranger Michael League, whose creative grassroots approach to a tougher-than-ever industry has created a unique musical animal. It is a three-headed creature: first, and most obviously, an original music ensemble. Second, a production team and session band for individual artists. Third, and probably most importantly, a group of musicians unanimously and enthusiastically committed to music education and community outreach. Working with groups like ROAM (Roots of American Music) in inner-city Cleveland and the Music Lab at Jefferson Center in Roanoke, as well as giving clinics at over 40 colleges, high schools, and middle schools worldwide (League is faculty at London's Institute of Contemporary Music Performance), the band has made a strong commitment to spreading a love of music and general positivity to a young generation looking for something real to hold on to.

Snarky Puppy is spending 2012 promoting its new, live in-studio CD/DVD (released in February) and League's new record label, GroundUP Music (in conjunction with Ropeadope Records) with tours across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Admission: 

Q-Brew: Trying to Get Your Band Noticed?

Friday / February 24, 2012 / 12:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

This panel—Trying to Get Your Band Noticed?—will discuss how to navigate the local press, radio, and blog scene. Featuring five experienced panelists from different avenues of the entertainment industry: Luke O'Neil, Angie "C" Shaw, Michael Marotta, Sarah Rodman, and Anngelle Wood.

Trying to Get Your Band Noticed? 

These panelists will examine the best way to generate attention for your band and give you pointers as to what gets their attention or peaks their curiosity to check out a band or artist. You can say all you want about yourself, but when someone else says it, that shows that they're paying attention to your band and others will take notice. Your fan base will grow! Come listen to the experts, ask your "pressing" questions, and take away some valuable tools of the trade. Bring your lunch.

Featuring five experienced panelists from different avenues of the entertainment industry: 

Luke O'Neil, a professional blogger and journalist for the Boston Globe, Boston PhoenixAlternative Press, and Wall Street Journal.

Angie "C" Shaw, an on-air personality for the radio station WFNX, as well as social media and marketing entrepreneur.

Michael Marotta of the Boston Phoenix, the Pill, WFNX Radio, and Vanya Records.

Sarah Rodman, who covers popular music within the A&E section of the Boston Globe.

Anngelle Wood, a local music director for WZLX and organizer of Boston's Rock 'n' Roll Rumble. 

Cafe 939 and the Professional Music Department bring you a monthly series about the reality of branding, booking, touring, and producing your band in the now. It's called the Q-Brew series because you have questions and we have answers.

Whether you're a band, solo/duo artist, or a future business and industry person, come and join us and our speakers from various fields in the industry for a heartfelt conversation. We will keep it concise and honest. Come with questions or email them ahead of time to 939booking@berklee.edu with the subject line "Q-Brew questions."

Admission: 

Kristin Korb: Come Together

Tuesday / March 13, 2012 / 1:00 p.m.
Berk Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

Vocalists and instrumentalists working together on listening to each other and the joy of musical conversation.

Life really could be very simple. We could be quiet, operate within the confines of rules, and color in the lines. But that would be boring! Kristin Korb is a rebel like you, not the "paint her nails black and scream bloody murder at the world" kind of rebel. She's also not quite subtle enough either for her devious personality. She's the quiet kind of rebel who looks for trouble in the unglamorous parts of life, she speaks out against injustice, helps the less fortunate in times of need, supports public education, and plays music that speaks only to those who are actually listening to the message.

"Why Can't You Behave" is the theme of Kristin Korb's new project. It examines all the facets of acting, functioning, and reacting to life outside the parameters of mindless conformity. Sure, being a rebel has its consequences. But as you know, that's what makes it so frustrating and rewarding at the same time. We look for the thrill of the moment in physical and mental challenges.

Fueled by daydreams and visions of further adventures, the rebel in us pushes on to "misbehave" again, take chances, and face the consequences without hesitation. Life is not easy. There are no set guidelines or a clear path to get the results or happiness we want. We have to get through the full gamut of experiences. Kristin Korb offers you the rare gift of looking at it from the outside to see what is really happening.

Admission: 

Oriente Lopez

Thursday / March 1, 2012 / 12:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Grammy Award-winner Oriente Lopez was born in 1962, Havana, Cuba.  As soon as he could reach the piano he began playing by ear, and is self-taught on that instrument. 

In 1969 he began studying violin and two years later moved to flute as his primary instrument.  Since his early years, Oriente experienced a growing interest in jazz and popular music. He also received 15 years of classical training at various institutions in Havana. 

In 1983, Oriente joined Afrocuba.  He was with the band for seven years.  Selected recordings: Dile Que Vuelvo (1981), Eclipse De Sol (1987), Sobrevolando (1988). Afrocuba shared the stage for five years with Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, and also produced two double albums CDs: Causas y Azares (1986) and Oh, Melancolía (1988). 

In 1993 Oriente moved in to New York City area. He has worked as pianist, flautist, musical director, composer, arranger, and producer.  Throughout the years he has distinguished himself as a composer and has been especially prolific as arranger. His collaborations include works with Regina Carter, Paul Simon, Paquito D’Rivera, Ralph Irizarry and Timbalaye, Patato, Fito Paez, Mauricio Zottarelli, Charlie Haden, and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, among others.

At present, Oriente performs his music with various sizes ensembles. His compositions and arrangements continue to be recorded and performed by many artists around the globe.

 

 

 

Admission: 

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