Clinics and Master Classes

Väsen: Acoustic Neo-Traditional Folk Music

Tuesday / February 21, 2012 / 12:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
United States



Väsen is a Swedish folk music band composed of Olov Johansson and Mikael Marin. The duo started playing together as teenagers around 1980. During the early 1980s they would regularly visit Curt and Ivar Tallroth and Eric Sahlström, older musicians who lived nearby in the Uppland region, where they would play and learn traditional music from them. In this way they became a link in the living tradition that Swedish folk music has enjoyed through the centuries.

In 1989, at a music gathering in Røros, Norway, Johansson met Roger Tallroth and asked if he would like to try to jam on nyckelharpa and guitar for a bit. Tallroth declined, intent at that moment on taking a shower. Fortunately, the shower was occupied, so he returned with his guitar, and they played for the rest of the day and far into the night. Among the witnesses to this fateful jam session was Olle Paulsson, who thought it was the best music he had ever heard, and made a promise to start a record label if they were willing to be recorded for a CD (and thus Drone Music was born).

The following summer Johansson became world champion of both the modern chromatic and older historical nyckelharpas at the first-ever Nyckelharpa World Championships at Österbybruk, Sweden. The added momentum for the first CD recording, which was entitled Olov Johansson: Väsen. Väsen is a Swedish word with many meanings: spirit, noise, a living being, and essence among the most prominent. It was originally meant to just be an album title, but soon people were calling to book the band "Väsen" and the name stuck.

Initially some traditionalists (or something else, it wasn't many at all) in the Swedish folk music community showed some resistance to Väsen. While Johansson and Marin were playing fairly straightforward folk music duets, Tallroth's guitar definitely provided a different twist on Swedish traditional music. Yet it's exactly the guitar chordings and rhythms that also attracted an entirely new audience, and the band's popularity gradually grew, along with their international reputation.

In 1994, with two more studio albums under their belt (Vilda Väsen on Drone and Essence on the French Auvidis/Ethnic label), Väsen were asked to participate on a project of Swedish rock musician Mats Wester called Nordman, which featured rock music and lyrics but with arrangements and playing by Väsen. The first Nordman CD was a huge hit in Sweden, and the band embarked on two tours and recorded a second Nordman CD, playing in front of audiences of up to 25,000 people. On the first Nordman tour they meet drummer André Ferrari and eventually experiment with a drums-and-bass version of Väsen. Ultimately, they settled on Ferrari playing hand percussion, and the band officially becomes a quartet in 1996.

In 1997 the quartet went into the studio and recorded Varldens Väsen (Whirled in North America). Tours of Norway, Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, the United States and Canada followed, as did a Swedish Grammy and two appearances on the national radio program A Prairie Home Companion in the U.S. In 1999 the band released its sixth CD, Gront.

A widespread U.S. tour in September 2001 had to be scrapped after 9/11. Although the tour was rescheduled for 2002, Ferrari's reluctance to tour and economics forced the band to decide to come over as the original trio. Ever since, Väsen has toured the U.S. as a trio, playing concerts and festivals from coast to coast, including the prestigious Savannah Music Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Vancouver and Calgary folk festivals, and the Skirball Cultural Center, to name only a few.


Olov Johansson - nyckelharpa

In 1990, Johansson became the first world champion of the nyckelharpa. He began to play the nyckelharpa in 1980 as a 14-year old, and was named a "riksspelman" (master musician) in 1984. He has studied with the legendary Curt Tallroth and Erik Sahlström. He is regarded as one of Sweden's most prominent nyckelharpa players, and is an inspiration for numerous young performers on the instrument. He is teaching regularly at the Eric Sahlström Institutet.

Apart from his association with Väsen, Johansson has also played with groups such as Kronos Quartet, the Nyckelharpa Orchestra, as well as solo performances. He has also recorded and toured with the chart-topping Swedish rock group Nordman, and has played on the albums Early Music (with Kronos Quartet) and his solo project, Storsvarten (released on NorthSide).

Mikael Marin - viola

Mikael is a violist who isn't satisfied with merely playing "second fiddle." His influences are literally unlimited in their scope, and oscillate between Schöenberg and the Beatles. He became a national fiddler in 1983, and was chosen to play in a world orchestra under the direction of Leonard Bernstein in 1989.

When not performing with Väsen, he composes, produces, and arranges music for artists such as Mikael Samuelsson, Nordman, and Kronos Quartet. He composed (together with Mats Wester) the opening music to the World Police and Fire Games in Stockholm, 1999.

Marin can be heard on several recordings, for example Nordman (with Nordman), Barfota (with Mikael Samuelsson), Ånon (with Ånon Egeland, released on NorthSide), and Flow my Tears (with The Forge Players).

Roger Tallroth - 12-string guitar

With his specially tuned guitar (A-D-A-D-A-D), Roger Tallroth has developed a distinctive sound of his own. In addition to the guitar, he plays the Swedish bouzouki and octave mandolin. He received his first guitar when he was 13. Since then, he has studied at Sjövik Folkhögskola and Örebro. He has about 50 followers throughout the world using his tuning, a number still growing. He has given numerous seminars around Europe and the US. Roger has performed together with Nordman, Annbjørg Lien, and the Gunnel Mauritzson Group, among other artists, and has also participated in several stage and theater productions.

Tallroth's discography includes Nordman (with Nordman), Felefeber, Prisme, Baba Yaga, and Aliens Alive (with Annbjørg Lien), Siluette and Raisu Äut (with the Gunnel Mauritzson Group), The Horse and the Crane by Ale Möller (on NorthSide), and Kat Kombat (Kombat). He also produced the self-titled début album of the group Draupner (on Caprice).




Don Gorder Clinic: It's Your Business

Wednesday / December 9, 2009 / 3:00 p.m.
SGAE Valencia
C/ Blanquerías, 6
46003 Valencia, Spain
United States

The music business has always been about moving music into the stream of commerce, and generating revenue from it. Historically, artists developed their fan base through touring and recordings, and their success was usually dependent on the backup of a record label that promoted and marketed the recordings and supported touring. Radio airplay and press coverage were essential to success, and the record labels were in control. 

In today's music industry, artists have options that allow them to take control of their careers, and avoid the dependency on the corporate backup. The internet has brought mechanisms and techniques for connecting with an audience; building a fan base;and generating income from touring, selling recordings and merchandise, securing endorsements and branding partnerships, and licensing songs. This is the new order of the music industry, and all the key players (artists, labels, promoters, marketers, managers, publishers, etc.) are adapting to it.

This clinic will explore the new order in depth. We'll examine the business models that are taking shape in corporate environments in contrast with the independent sector and the DIY (do-it-yourself) artist, and the online services that artists and intermediaries alike are using to build their careers and generate income. We'll teach you what every music professional must know about rights management and protection, contractual deal points, licensing sources and strategies, viral marketing techniques, business organizations, and the importance of social media. The clinic will provide music professionals in all categories with an understanding of how to mind their business and get on the track to success.

Don Gorder, chair and founder of the Music Business/Management Department at Berklee College of Music, is an educator, attorney, and musician. He holds advanced degrees in law and music (B.M. University of Nebraska, M.M. University of Miami, J.D. University of Denver), has authored numerous articles on the music industry, and has spoken at many national and international music industry events. He co-authored the course Legal Aspects of the Music Industry for Berkleemusic, Berklee's online school. As an attorney, he has represented clients in matters of copyright and contracts, and he remains active as a trumpet player in a variety of jazz and commercial settings. 

50€ for SGAE members and 60€ for non-members

Berklee College of Music Visits the School of the Arts - Singapore

Tuesday / February 7, 2012 / 3:00 p.m.
School of the Arts - Singapore (SOTA)
1 Zubir Said Drive
United States

Berklee College of Music will present an afternoon of clinics and master classes at the School of the Arts - Singapore. The sessions will include:

  • How to Prepare for a Live Audition
  • Road Map for the Composer/Arranging
  • Ensemble and Rehearsal Techniques

The presenters will be professor of contemporary writing and production Kurt Biederwolf, director of international programs Jason Camelio, and assistant director of admissions Pearly Lee.

For more information, email or call +65 6338 9663.


Ken Perlman Clinic

Wednesday / February 1, 2012 / 12:00 p.m.
Berk Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
United States

Perhaps the best-known exponent of the "melodic" clawhammer style, Ken Perlman is known whereever banjos are played as an expert teacher of clawhammer mechanics. He has been a Banjo Newsletter columnist for over 25 years and has written several books on clawhammer instruction, including the well-known works Melodic Clawhammer Banjo and Clawhammer Style Banjo. He has also recorded several audio and video banjo instruction series. He directs (and teaches at) three banjo camps of his own—American Banjo Camp, Midwest Banjo Camp, and Suwannee Banjo Camp—and he has taught at many other music instruction camps, including Banjo Camp North, Bath Banjo Festival, Breaking up Winter, the Celtic College, Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Maryland Banjo Academy, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, Common Ground on the Hill, and Tennessee Banjo Institute. Also an independent folklorist, Perlman spent over two decades collecting tunes and oral histories from traditional fiddle players on Prince Edward Island in eastern Canada. He has published a collection called The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island and is now at work on a website devoted to PEI traditional fiddle music, sponsored by the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Perlman's most recent recordings include Southern Summits (with Alan Jabbour) and Northern Banjo; his most recent book is Everything You Wanted to Know about Clawhammer Banjo. For more information, visit


Maggie Scott Clinic

Thursday / December 8, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
United States

A clinic with faculty vocalist Maggie Scott with guest artists Antonia Bennett, Lalah Hathaway, Robin McKelle, Esperanza Spalding, and Nadia Washington.


Music Business Clinic: Focus on Songwriting

Monday / December 5, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
United States

At this clinic, a panel of industry professionals (Eric Beall, music publisher; Cliff Jones, A&R; Paul Kolderie, producer) will talk about the music business and answer any questions. Don't miss this amazing opportunity to get close to people who are otherwise very hard to reach!


Tony Trischka and Béla Fleck Clinic

Friday / November 18, 2011 / 12:30 p.m.
The Loft
939 Boylston St.
United States

Tony Trischka is perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world. For more than 35 years, his stylings have inspired a whole generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians. He is not only considered among the very best pickers, he is also one of the instrument's top teachers, and has created numerous instructional books, teaching video tapes, and cassettes.


A native of Syracuse, New York, Trischka's interest in banjo was sparked by the Kingston Trio's "Charlie and the MTA" in 1963. Two years later, he joined the Down City Ramblers, where he remained through 1971. That year, Trischka made his recording debut on 15 Bluegrass Instrumentals with the band Country Cooking; at the same time, he was also a member of Country Granola. In 1973, he began a two-year stint with Breakfast Special. Between 1974 and 1975, he recorded two solo albums, Bluegrass Light and Heartlands. After one more solo album in 1976, Banjoland, he went on to become musical leader for the Broadway show The Robber Bridegroom. Trischka toured with the show in 1978, the year he also played with the Monroe Doctrine.

 Beginning in 1978, he also played with artists such as Peter Rowan, Richard Greene, and Stacy Phillips. In the early 1980s, he began recording with his new group, Skyline, which recorded its first album in 1983. Subsequent albums included Robot Plane Flies over Arkansas (solo, 1983), Stranded in the Moonlight (with Skyline, 1984), and Hill Country (solo, 1985). In 1984, he performed in his first feature film, Foxfire. Three years later, he worked on the soundtrack for Driving Miss Daisy. Trischka produced the Belgian group Gold Rush's No More Angels in 1988. The following year, Skyline recorded its final album, Fire of Grace. Trischka also recorded the theme song for Books on the Air, a popular National Public Radio show, and continued his affiliation with the network by appearing on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, From Our Front Porch, and other radio shows. Trischka's solo recordings include 1993's World Turning, 1995's Glory Shone Around: A Christmas Collection and 1999's Bend. New Deal followed in 2003. The new studio album was a bluesy adaptation of bluegrass standards that featured, among other things, a vocal cameo by Loudon Wainwright. 

Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular, featuring an appearance by comedian Steve Martin, Earl Scruggs, and many other luminaries, came out four years later. For this recording he went back to bluegrass and reinvigorated the double banjo tradition of that style along the way and brought along some fine companions.

In October 2007, Trischka was given an International Bluegrass Music Association award for Banjo Player of the Year 2007. Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular received IBMA awards for Recorded Event of the Year and Instrumental Album of the Year and a Grammy Nomination.

 Trischka's latest critically acclaimed release, Territory, roams widely through the banjo's creative terrain. Nine selections partner Tony with fellow banjoists Pete Seeger, Mike Seeger, Bill Evans, Bill Keith, Bruce Molsky, and twelve all-Trischka solo tracks explore a panorama of tunings, banjo sounds, and traditions; tapping the creative potential of America's signature musical instrument. 

Throughout his upcoming tours, he will be presenting his solo works from Territory and will continue to present an "astonishing" (Boston Herald) group of musicians to perform his Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular.

Tony Trischka has plated with: The Boston Pops Orchestra, 
Barry Bostwick,* 
Sam Bush,* 
David Bromberg, 
William S. Burroughs,* 
Buddy Cage,* 
Larry Campbell,* 
Keith Carradine,
 Vassar Clements,* 
Ornette Coleman, 
John Denver,* 
Hazel Dickens,* 
Jerry Douglas,* 
Bill Evans (saxophonist with Miles Davis),* 
Bela Fleck,* 
the Flecktones
, John Goodman, 
Richard Greene,* 
Merv Griffin Orchestra, 
Nancy Griffith, 
David Grisman,* 
Thomas Hampson,* 
John Hartford, 
Levon Helm, 
Chris Hillman, 
Garth Hudson, 
Ferlin Huskey, 
David Johansen (aka Buster Poindexter),* 
Jorma Kaukonen
, Jeannie Kendall, 
Alison Krauss,* 
Malachy McCourt, 
Roger McGuinn, 
Steve Martin,* 
John Medeski, 
Natalie Merchant,* 
Edgar Meyer, 
Jane Monheit, 
Bill Monroe, 
National Radio Orchestra of Korea, 
Mark O'Connor,*
Charles Osgood,* 
Van Dyke Parks,* 
Tom Paxton, 
Robert Randolph, 
the Roche Sisters,* 
Peter Rowan,* 
Earl Scruggs,* 
Mike Seeger,* 
Pete Seeger,* 
Ricky Skaggs
, Phoebe Snow, 
Bruce Springsteen, 
Ralph Stanley,* 
Tanya Tucker, 
Jay Ungar and Molly Mason,* 
Violent Femmes,* 
Loudon Wainwright,* 
Doc Watson, 
Waverly Consort,* 
the Whites,* 
Wichita Percussion Ensemble, and 
Tom Wopat.

*denotes recordings

Béla Fleck is often considered the premier banjo player in the world. A New York native, he picked up the banjo at age 15 after being awed by the bluegrass music of Flatt and Scruggs. While still in high school he began experimenting with playing bebop jazz on his banjo, mentored by fellow banjo renegade Tony Trischka. In 1980, he released his first solo album, Crossing the Tracks, with material that ranged from straight-ahead bluegrass to Chick Corea's "Spain." In 1982, Fleck joined the progressive bluegrass band New Grass Revival, making a name for himself on countless solo and ensemble projects ever since as a virtuoso instrumentalist. In 1989 he formed the genre-busting Flecktones, with members equally talented and adventurous as himself.

Throw Down Your Heart, the third volume in Fleck's renowned Tales From the Acoustic Planet series, is his most ambitious project to date. In on-location collaborations with musicians from Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, Mali, South Africa, and Madagascar, Fleck explores the African origins of the banjo, the prototype of which was brought to American shores by African slaves. Throw Down Your Heart is a companion to the award-winning film of the same name, which Fleck and director Sascha Paladino are currently premiering at festivals nationwide. Transcending barriers of language and culture, Fleck finds common ground with musicians ranging from local villagers to international superstars such as the Malian diva Oumou Sangare to create some of the most meaningful music of his career. The music on the album is as adventurous and varied as anything we've come to expect from Fleck, ranging from the tradition-based opening track, performed with a group of Kenyan women singers, to the exquisite title track, performed with the Haruna Samake Trio and Bassekou Kouate from Mali.

While many of these recordings were made in the field, in Uganda, Tanzania, the Gambia, and Mali, the album is beautifully recorded. The lasting impression is that Béla Fleck has revealed many subtle facets of African music, from the fully modern to the deeply traditional. It is some of the most exciting and beautiful music he's ever made.


JD Allen Trio

Wednesday / November 9, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
United States

Marsalis Berklee Jams is an innovative combination of concert performance, jam session, and classroom interaction. The program brings up-and-coming jazz groups to Boston for performances and jam sessions with Berklee students, as well as master classes and clinics. The series is produced in partnership with Marsalis Music, the Cambridge-based record label founded by Berklee alumnus Branford Marsalis.

The special guest for the latest Marsalis Berklee Jams is the JD Allen Trio, a highly regarded trio who has recorded I Am I Am and Shine. On November 9 and 10, the trio will perform a short set, followed by a jam session open to all Berklee students.

Originally from Detroit, JD Allen's apprenticeship, anchored by his lengthy tenure with Betty Carter, occurred largely in New York. His unique and compelling voice on the instrument-the result of a patient and painstaking confrontation with the fundamentals of the art-has recently earned Allen a blaze of critical attention signaling his ascension to the upper ranks of the contemporary jazz world. Since his 1996 debut album, Allen has enjoyed stints at the Village Vanguard; headlining festivals in Barcelona and major U.S. festivals including Newport, Charlie Parker/Summerstage, Saratoga, NYC Winter, and Undead jazzfests, which have further established Allen among today's foremost jazz composers and tenor saxophonists.


Kathak Dance of India

Monday / November 7, 2011 / 10:00 a.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
United States

A master class presented by renowned master of traditional kathak dance Pandit Chitresh Das. Sponsored by the Liberal Arts Department.
Pandit Chitresh Das, an amazing, great dancer, master, a virtuoso performer of the Kathak tradition, a classcal dance form of North India. A prolific artist, his performance, choreography and evolution of Kathak has influenced the art form world-wide. Once a child prodigy, Pandit Chitresh Das has become one of the most dynamic and far-reaching artists to have emerged from modern India. Based on his concept of‚ innovation within tradition, Pandit Das explores the boundaries of Kathak technique and performance, creating compelling, new works and techniques that are inventive, yet deeply rooted in the Kathak tradition. Pandit Das has also received numerous awards and grants from Olympic Arts Festival, National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, California Arts Council, Rockefeller Foundation, Fellowships in Dance, among others. His own school, Chhandam, founded in 1980, now has branches in California, Boston, Toronto, Metro DC Area, Denver, Tokyo, Japan and Kolkata and Coimbatore in India. The California school is the largest Indian classical dance school in North America.


Christian Scott Clinic

Thursday / November 17, 2011 / 1:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
United States

Edison Prize-winning and Grammy-nominated trumpeter, bandleader, and composer Christian Scott is widely considered to be one of the leading jazz artists of his generation. Raised in New Orleans, Scott toured from his early teens in the band of his uncle, saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr. '81. After graduation from Berklee in 2006, where he completed two degrees in just two years, Scott signed with Concord Records.

His first effort for the label, Rewind That, was nominated for a Grammy Award. Three subsequent releases for Concord have each garnered critical acclaim, including 2010's Yesterday You Said Tomorrow, recorded at the legendary Van Gelder Studio.

Scott will be joined by his working band, Matthew Stevens '04 (guitar), Lawrence Fields '08 (piano), Kris Funn (bass), and Jamire Williams (drums). The group has played the Monterey and Newport jazz festivals and many of the other major jazz concert venues in the U.S. and Europe. 

In the afternoon clinic, Scott and the band will perform and discuss comping, dynamics, and group sound. They will also compare and contrast the very different experiences of recording Yesterday You Said Tomorrow and their upcoming release for Concord.

Scott and the band are on campus to perform the inaugural broadcast of The Checkout - Live at Berklee. They'll be heard live on November 17 at 8:00 p.m. in New York on WBGO-FM and webcast live on and