Concert

Emily Wells / Live Footage / Apollo Run

Thursday / March 29, 2012 / 8:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115
Emily Wells

Emily Wells has long been turning heads with her unique songcraft. The performer, producer, and songwriter trades in a striking mix of classical instrumentation, folk rawness, and hip-hop production anchored by her haunting combination of voice and violin. Her burgeoning reputation owes as much to her hypnotic live show where, working a looping pedal, Wells becomes a one-woman orchestra, playing live drums, guitars, analogue synthesizers, and beat machines, as well. It's that same blend of deft composition and hand-wrought quality that deeply colors each of Wells's albums.

Emily Wells is an anomaly among musicians, most of whom spend their careers striving for a major label deal. Before she was old enough to vote, a major label was courting Wells, two music-publishing companies were competing for the rights to her songs, and she was recording with award-winning producers. By the time she was legally buying her first drink, however, Wells had chosen a different path. With true indie ethos, she moved from New York, leaving in her wake a lucrative deal from a major label, renowned producers, recording studios, and a manager. During that period of her life, Wells had been offered everything that most musicians want. Everything except what she, as an artist, needed most: creative control.

Attaining the ever-elusive artist's dream of creative control, as Wells would soon learn, comes only at a price. Wells's cost was the thousands of miles logged, traipsing across the country, playing in and outside of bars, pubs, and juke joints. She traveled in a tiny car, dragging along guitars, a tiny bass, a giant old Linn 9000 drum machine, and a four-track. When flush, Wells would spend the occasional night in a seedy motel room, where she would tirelessly record with her archaic four-track and dirty old instruments. Wells didn't look back to her swank days as a would-be priority artist on a major label and regret any of her choices; she saw each obstacle in her path as a challenge. Eventually landing in Los Angeles, Wells finally learned through recording and performing how to have the creative control she craved. Slowly building her own studio, she taught herself how to record and produce. This is the studio in which she would create, record, mix, and produce The Symphonies: Dreams Memories and Parties, her latest release. To get the sound of a full orchestra, Wells didn't take the easy way out and simply loop the layers of violins; instead, she played up to 21 separate tracks of violin on each symphony, often using an octave pedal to create the tones of an underwater cello or viola. In addition to the strings, there is a plethora of other sounds, electronic and organic alike. Two years ago, Wells found a bassist, Joey Reina, and a drummer, Sam Halterman, who add a richness to both the live show and the recordings. Their contributions to The Symphonies give the compositions more depth as well as a little junk in the trunk.

Admission: 
$10 in advance, $12 day of show

David Choi / Jeff LeBlanc

Wednesday / March 28, 2012 / 8:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115
David Choi

David Yong Choi is a Korean American musician and YouTube video producer living in Los Angeles. On YouTube, he has more than 900,000 subscribers, 102 million total video views, and more than 13 million channel views. As of November 2011 he is YouTube's 15th most subscribed musician and 62nd most subscribed user overall.

Choi performs a mix of original songs and covers of pop hits. He released his debut album, Only You, in October 2008. His second album, By My Side, was released on May 19, 2010. His songs and tracks have been heard on NBC, FOX, VH1, MTV, A&E, E!, Travel Channel, Style, PBS, Food Network, and Disney, as well as in commercials internationally. 

His humorous song "YouTube, A Love Song" has received more than 2.6 million views. The music videos for his singles "Won't Even Start" and "That Girl," which are posted on both his and producers Wong Fu Productions' YouTube channels, have received a total of over 5 million views. He also posts nonmusic videos such as vlogs on his second channel. Choi often appears in online videos with fellow YouTube personalities, mostly playing a humorous character with a very straight face (his prominent trait). Some YouTube personalities, like Shane Dawson and Wong Fu Productions, use Choi's music in their videos.

Jeff LeBlanc is using his college degree a little differently than he first envisioned. His immediately familiar-sounding blend of pop and acoustic rock quickly took him from dorm room concerts at Sacred Heart University to a 60-date tour of colleges across the country, where he was praised as everything from "the new John Mayer" to an artist "perfectly in tune with his audience." His debut album, Signals, has scored praise from the likes of Clear Channel, Sirius/XM Radio, Seventeen Magazine, and AOL Music.

After graduation, he hit the road, headlining venues across the U.S. and also opening for artists like the Goo Goo Dolls, Ingrid Michaelson, Matt Nathanson, Augustana, Brett Dennen, Jon McLaughlin, Lee DeWyze, and Third Eye Blind.  

Admission: 
$15 General Admission

Best Inventions 2011

Monday / March 26, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Best Inventions is a concert of the student projects from the Tonal Canon and Inventions (Counterpoint 2) course, performed by faculty pianist Marti Epstein.

Admission: 

Mark Shilansky's Join the Club Sextet

Monday / April 9, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
Arsenal Center for the Arts
321 Arsenal Street
Watertown
MA
United States
02472
Mark Shilansky

Mark Shilansky's Join the Club Sextet features exciting arrangements of jazz standards, originals, and popular tunes, informed by Latin jazz, swing, and world music influences. Often described as 21st-century space-age bachelor pad music, this group breathes new life into music by Dave Brubeck and Wayne Shorter, and weds jazzy complexity to music by such artists as the Police, the Cardigans, and Sara Bareilles, all with exciting soloing and interaction, and a relentless groove. The band this evening features Shilansky on piano and voice, his long-time rhythm section mates Fernando Huergo on bass and Bertram Lehmann on drums, guitarist Eric Byers, saxophonist Dino Govoni, and trumpeter Doug Olsen.

Growing up in a suburb of Concord, NH, Mark Shilansky wrote songs as early as elementary school, followed by performances in original rock bands and jazz study at the Concord Community Music School. He received a B.A. in music performance in 1992 from the University of New Hampshire, where he played classical and jazz piano and apprenticed with such adjunct professors and visiting artists as Clark Terry, Phil Woods, and Jimmy Heath. He moved to Boston, continuing his studies at New England Conservatory, receiving a master's of music degree in jazz studies in 1994, working with such teachers as Bevan Manson, Paul Bley, and John McNeil, supplementing his education since then by studying with jazz gurus Kenny Werner, Hal Crook, and Charlie Banacos.

Following a move to New York in the mid-'90s to immerse himself in the hotbed of music that is Manhattan, and a subsequent return in 1997 to become an assistant professor at Berklee College of Music and to teach at UNH, Shilansky released his debut CD, First Look (1997), a piano trio date featuring Steve LaSpina on bass and Jeff Hirshfield on drums. He followed this release with a shift in artistic direction, continuing on the path of jazz, but also incorporating the singer-songwriter influences of his early years, such as Elvis Costello and Steely Dan. This direction culminated in a collection of original music, Different Songs (2000), featuring Shilansky as principal vocalist as well as producer/keyboardist. Other Voices (2003), Shilansky's third CD as leader, marked a return to jazz, Latin jazz, and longform (occasionally free-jazz) compositions, all featuring the voice in some way, and featuring the vocal work of Luciana Souza, Lisa Thorson, and Paul Stiller of Vox One. Join the Club (2007), Shilansky's latest CD, features original compositions and Latin jazz renderings of jazz standards and contemporary pop tunes by the bands Police and the Cardigans, and features saxist Donny McCaslin, trombonist Jay Ashby, and vocalist Kim Nazarian. Of this CD, Jon Garelick of the Boston Phoenix, says "Shilansky knows how to make every moment engage, [with] long arcs of melody as he works through the chord changes . . . . This 'club' is one anyone would be happy to join."

All throughout this creative career as a pianist and composer of his own material, Shilansky has been a consistent presence as a sideman. A tenure throughout much of the '90s as a member of the Luciana Souza quintet (along with his current bandmates, bassist Fernando Huergo and drummer Bertram Lehmann) led to his almost ubiquitous presence as an accompanist of vocalists such as Lisa Thorson, the New York Voices, Kris Adams, Carolyn Leonhart, Rebecca Parris, and Patrice Williamson (for whom he has written copious arrangements, and produced her CD, Free to Dream). He played piano and contributed arrangements and an original song, "I Have Found," on the debut release by rising star vocalist Robin McKelle, Never Let Me Go. Most recently, Shilansky is a strong presence on vocalist Chris Humphrey's debut CD Nothin' but Blue Skies, featuring Martin Wind (bass) and Matt Wilson (drums), and for the last four years has been the pianist and occasional arranger for the vocal jazz group Syncopation, appearing on the band's CDs and accompanying them on tours of the U.S. and Japan.  

Shilansky has kept active as a sideman with instrumentalists, as well, notably with guitarist Steve Kirby (playing piano and organ on his North Light CD), trumpeter Kenny Wheeler (with concerts at the Regattabar and New York's Birdland), and on drummer David Jamrog's Visions, a collective group featuring saxist George Garzone. Also, increasingly, Shilansky is in demand in the recording studio as a producer/arranger as well as a performer, with a growing list of artists (singer-songwriters as well as jazz artists), having served in this capacity on CDs by Kaye Kelly, Celia Slattery, Dana Edelman, Christina Watson, Lauren Wool, Allyssa Jones, and Michelle Mailhot.

Admission: 
$18, $15 students, seniors, and Arsenal members

Gospel Night: Worship Experience

Monday / April 30, 2012 / 8:15 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02115

An evening of gospel music featuring the Negro Spiritual Ensemble, Traditional Gospel Ensemble, Men's Gospel Choir, Women's Gospel Choir, OverJoyed, and Reverence Gospel Ensemble.

Admission: 
$8 in advance (discount applied at checkout), $12 day of show, general admission

Northway Church

Sunday / April 1, 2012 / 7:00 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02115

The Greater Boston region offers a unique mix of modern change and historic culture where people are looking for a place to be challenged and inspired.  In this unique event explore how Northway Church can serve this dynamic and diverse community.

Nine years ago, pastor Buddy Cremeans and his wife, Debbie, had a dream to start a church that believes the best in people. Today, Northway Church is inspiring love, hope, and faith and has become one of the fastest growing churches in the Northeast with locations in New York and Massachusetts, as well as an inspirational TV program.

Northway Church Boston could be a place where you make new connections and call home. Look for 2012 monthly events at the Berklee Performace Center as well.

Admission: 
Free

The Boston Rio+20 Project

Saturday / March 31, 2012 / 4:00 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02115

The Sounding Board teams up with the City of Boston and the United Nations to showcase Boston's top youth artists as they take on sustainable development.

Featuring: Artists for Humanity, Berklee College of Music, Boston Children's Chorus, City Year, NPR's From The Top, Grooversity, Project Hip Hop, and Zumix.

Admission: 
Free

Rethink Music Conference

Monday / April 23, 2012 / 9:30 a.m.
Hynes Convention Center
900 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115
Seth Godin

Meet colleagues and make connections while tackling the biggest issues facing the music industry. Whether you are established in the music business, just starting out, or still in school, Rethink Music serves as an incubator for novel ideas and creativity. Join the debate about how to move the industry forward. 

The long list of speakers includes author Seth Godin

Rethink Music, presented by Berklee and midem, in association with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and Babson College, brings together the strongest minds from across all facets of the music industry to examine current challenges and formulate paths forward.

Read more about Rethink Music.

Admission: 

Rethink Music Conference

Tuesday / April 24, 2012 / 9:30 a.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02115
Seth Godin

Meet colleagues and make connections while tackling the biggest issues facing the music industry. Whether you are established in the music business, just starting out, or still in school, Rethink Music serves as an incubator for novel ideas and creativity. Join the debate about how to move the industry forward. 

The long list of speakers includes author Seth Godin

Rethink Music, presented by Berklee and midem, in association with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and Babson College, brings together the strongest minds from across all facets of the music industry to examine current challenges and formulate paths forward.

Read more about Rethink Music.

Admission: 

Artists and Social Action

Monday / March 26, 2012 / 6:00 p.m.
The Loft
939 Boylston St.
Boston
MA
United States

Matt Jenson, assistant professor of piano, known for his popular class on Bob Marley, will perform some of his thought-provoking and revolutionary original compositions with a student drum ensemble, Vance Gilbert, Garrison Fewell, and special guests.

Admission: 

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