Written in 1975 by American composer Frederic Rzewski, The People United Will Never Be Defeated! remains one of the greatest large-scale concert works composed for piano in the 20th century. Pianist and composer John Kramer, an assistant professor in Berklee's Harmony Department, has performed widely throughout the United States and in France. He has also released a compilation of his solo piano music entitled Orange Earth/ Blue Ether and is the music director at the Winchester Unitarian Society. His performance of Rzewski is highly anticipated.
Piano Department faculty member Jason Yeager leads a concert celebrating a great man and striking composer: Billy Strayhorn. Strayhorn integrated the musical styles of various contemporary composers such as Igor Stravinsky and Duke Ellington to create his most memorable themes. He would have turned 100 this month, but his music will live on much longer.
Julien Kasper's highly personal, original music is an amalgam of jazz, rock, and blues in equal measure, played with virtuosity, dynamics, and tonal nuance. He has performed extensively across the United States and Europe, and released three acclaimed CDs of all-original instrumental music. Guitar Player Magazine described Trance Groove, his most recent release this way: “Exquisite tones, masterful execution, and innate soulfulness drive this jazzy, funky, bluesy, Sco-and-Beck-meet-Hendrix-for-drinks-at-the-Harvard-Psychedelic-Club instrumental joyride.”
David Gilmore and Bruce Saunders are both longtime faculty members in the Berklee Guitar Department, and each has performed with some of the biggest names in jazz.
Gilmore has recorded and performed with some of the most highly influential and innovative artists in modern music today including Wayne Shorter, Sam Rivers, Steve Coleman, Dave Douglas, and Cassandra Wilson, among others. He has appeared on over 70 recordings and has been a major presence on the international touring scene.
Saunders has recorded, performed, and toured with some of the world's best jazz musicians including Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Bill Stewart, Peter Erskine, and Kenny Werner, among others.
Bob Stanton is an assistant professor in the Guitar Department and an award-winning guitarist and songwriter. Stanton has performed and recorded with a wide variety of artists including James Taylor, Garrison Keillor, Mark O'Connor, Richie Havens, and Gillian Welch, among many others.
To those in guitar and metal circles, Joe Stump needs no introduction. He was named one of the top ten fastest shredders of all time by Guitar One Magazine, and Guitar World Magazine called him “one of the 50 fastest players of all time.” He has toured the world as a soloist and in power metal bands, and has released nine albums. Stump has also been an associate professor in the Guitar Department at Berklee for 19 years.
Don’t miss Burton Cummings, the former lead singer, songwriter, and keyboardist of the Guess Who, performing his hits such as “These Eyes,” “No Time,” “Laughing,” and “Stand Tall,” among many more. The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame describes him as receiving such accolades as John Lennon calling Cummings "his favorite singer” and Robert Plant calling him "one of rock’s best voices.”
Alto saxophonist Alexa Tarantino and pianist Dariusz Terefenko will present a clinic on strategies for duo improvisation. Students will be invited to duet with the performers during the clinic. Then from 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m., Tarantino and Terefenko will play a set for the assembled audience. Their repertoire explores the potential of interactive improvisation using lesser-known standard tunes as well as 20th-century post-tonal compositions and original material.