Concert

Perfect Pitch

Tuesday / April 19, 2011 / 7:15 p.m.
Royale Nightclub
279 Tremont Street
Boston
MA
United States
02116

Perfect Pitch is a contest that gives students a chance to simulate the role of a songwriter signed to a major label. The end result will be a night of great live music, featuring Berklee's top vocalists performing tunes written by some of the college's brilliant songwriters, backed by talented student bands.

Doors open at 7:00 p.m., and the music starts shortly after.

In the songwriting world, when a superstar artist (e.g., Faith Hill) records an album, she will put out a call to songwriters asking them to write songs for her to record. The songwriters do their best to fit Hill's musical and lyrical style and vocal range, and in the end Hill (and her producers) get to pick which song works best.

The singers will choose the winning song, and then perform it with some of the best players at Berklee for an audience gathered at one of Boston's leading nightclubs, Royale. Audience voters will determine the top three songs of the night.

Learn more at the Perfect Pitch website. It's an opportunity to hear the future of music . . . now.
Admission: 
free

Jason Reeves / Amber Rubarth

Saturday / April 30, 2011 / 1:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115
Jason Reeves

Throughout history, there have been countless albums written about love. Passion and heartbreak still serve as timeless muses across the spectrums of both pop and rock.  On his second full-length album and long-awaited major-label debut, The Lovesick, Jason Reeves offers a fresh perspective on everybody's favorite subject from the stance of those who aren't in love but want to be. With lilting pop harmonies and heartfelt, honest lyrics, Reeves examines the world's need for connection on personal and universal levels. 

At 21 years old, Amber Rubarth decided to quit her career as a chainsaw sculptor in Nevada in order to pursue music. She taught herself guitar, started playing open mics, and began touring throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. New fans told their friends, and soon her songs had received over 1.5 million plays on MySpace. Many of her concerts started selling out, and she was asked to share the stage with such greats as Loudon Wainwright III, Colin Hay, Martin Sexton, and Lisa Loeb. She is also half of Brooklyn buzz band the Paper Raincoat, an iTunes Indie Spotlight feature.

 

Admission: 
$12 general admission

David Ryan Harris / Matt Lowell

Saturday / April 9, 2011 / 8:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115
David Ryan Harris

David Ryan Harris is searching for the truth in music. Through his devotion to the truth he hopes to connect to an audience. Raised in Atlanta, he heard music, melodies, and stories in his head as a child. It never went away and he hopes it never does. After experimenting with drums, piano, and other instruments in his teens he began his love/hate affair with the guitar. Drawn to the blues after hearing songs by Son House, Robert Johnson, and others and growing up at a time when Prince, Parliament/Funkadelic, Stevie Wonder, and other musicians were stretching the boundaries of popular music he began to understand that music could not and should not be limited by our often narrow views of what it should be. He has had the pleasure of writing, playing, and/or producing for numerous artists from Dave Matthews to jazz singer Cassandra Wilson, from Widespread Panic to Santana, from Marc Broussard to Guy Sebastian, from Dionne Farris to John Mayer.

Matt Lowell released his new EP, Swan Lake, on March 8. Swan Lake is cowritten with Dead Oceans Recording artist John Vanderslice and produced by Joel Hamilton (Black Keys, Matisyahu, Sparklehorse) and John Davis at Avatar Studios (John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith). Lowell has transformed his sound from the singer-songwriter arena to an impressive artwork of intricate instrumental parts and thought-provoking lyrics that showcase his indie credibility. After one listen you can feel that throughout Lowell's musical career, this album showcases who he truly is as a musician. After graduating from Berklee College of Music, having two EPs under his belt, an extensive tour history, and placement on various TV programs, there is no question this will be a highly anticipated release for 2011.

Admission: 
$12/Adv $15/Day of

Albino Mbie and John Egizi

Wednesday / March 23, 2011 / 8:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Artist showcase concert for JRR's eighth compilation album, Octave.

Admission: 
Free

Berklee Global Jazz Institute Ensemble

Saturday / April 9, 2011 / 8:00 p.m.
Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center
260 South Broad Street
Philadelphia
PA
United States
19102

Student musicians from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute will perform in a concert celebrating Thelonious Monk's 1959 New York Town Hall concert. Parisian jazz pianist Martial Solal is the headliner.

Admission: 

William Fitzsimmons / Slow Runner

Saturday / April 2, 2011 / 8:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115
William Fitzsimmons

William Fitzsimmons draws from those early folks stylings of his mother's music and the embellished instrumentation of his father's. He is often compared to contemporaries Sufjan Stevens, Iron & Wine, and the late Elliott Smith, not only for his unique style and skill in writing and proclivity to deal with substantive and evocative subject matter, but also for his use of organic and colorful melodies and arrangements.

William Fitzsimmons is one of the oddest people you will ever meet. Born the youngest child of two blind parents, he was raised in the outskirts of the steel city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Due to the family's inability to communicate through normal visual means, his childhood home was filled with a myriad of sounds to replace what eyes could not see. The house was suffused with pianos, guitars, trombones, talking birds, classical records, family sing-a-longs, bedtime stories, and the bellowing of a pipe organ, which his father built into the house with his own hands. When his father's orchestral records were not resonating through the walls, his mother would educate him on the folk stylings of James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and Simon & Garfunkel. By the completion of his schooling, Fitzsimmons had become well-versed at a variety of instruments, at the minor expense of social standing, interactional skills, and a knowledge of proper shaving technique.

Fitzsimmons's path into music was likewise unusual, forsaking the hobby for many years to work with the mentally ill and pursue an education in the field of mental health. It was during his last semester of graduate school that Fitzsimmons pooled money from past birthdays, holidays, and snow shoveling outings, and bought cheap home recording equipment to begin creating songs again (the first collection of which eventually became his debut album). After finally achieving his goal of becoming a practicing therapist, Fitzsimmons returned again to his love of crafting and playing songs. Somewhere between a singing therapist and a counselor who writes songs is where Fitzsimmons endeavors to be, using songs to address matters that he believes need to be addressed.

His first two records were completely self-produced, and his new album, The Sparrow and the Crow, produced by Marshall Altman at Galt Line Studios in Los Angeles, is his first studio recorded work. While his lyricism deals often with darker undertones (his most recent album is said to have been written following his own divorce), a measure of hopefulness is always carefully blended in. Even with his short tenure as a songwriter, Fitzsimmons has already received mention in noted publications such as Billboard, Paste, and Performing Songwriter Magazine, and his music has been featured on several television programs such as Grey's Anatomy and Army Wives.

Also appearing is Slow Runner. The group started in 2003 when singer-songwriter Michael Flynn and multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaler began musically fornicating together after college.

Admission: 
general admission, $15, advance, $17.50 day of show

Convey / Noize Tank / The Bloodline

Friday / April 8, 2011 / 8:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Whether the inspiration comes from light and color, from social concerns, from cathartic moments, or simply from any one of the bands' diverse musical influences, Convey uses music to reach its audience at a level both personal and deep. Convey's music is a dynamic, jarring, chaotic, controlled, melodic, and meaningful glimpse into the band's personal and collaborative sensitivities.

Formed in the spring of 2010 from students at Berklee College of Music, each member of Noize Tank has a unique background and influence, drawing all the way from Art Blakey to Muse. Since then, they've worked to develop an inspiring sound: not so much defined by its bright grooves, lush harmonies, or blaring intensity, but by the way it makes gets a person moving and to tell their friends about it.

Consisting of Elliott Klein (guitar/voice), Mike Ball (bass) and Shawn Crowder (drums), the Bloodline provides a fresh new face to Rock delivering powerful riffs and solos combined with a soulful voice. The band just released its debut album, with simple lyrics that cut deep set to a infectious groove. Over the past year, they've played such showcases as the Levi/Fader Fort at SXSW and NYRP's NYC Grows Festival. Make sure to stay tuned for shows coming this fall.

Admission: 
Free

Columbus / China Fox

Thursday / March 31, 2011 / 8:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115
Columbus

Columbus is an authentic '70s funk/soul band, celebrating the '70s music legacy, paying homage to funk pioneers like James Brown, George Clinton, and Sly and the Family Stone. Columbus guarantees a funky performance you will not forget.

Starting as merely an idea conceived from a number of influences, China Fox has grown to become a pop/soul/R&B band, playing music for whoever wants to share in the experience. They have reinvented the meaning of diversity, bringing in sounds from all over the world, while maintaining old-school, "get up and dance" kind of grooves.

Admission: 
$5

The Be-Bop Guitars

Sunday / April 17, 2011 / 4:00 p.m.
Shalin Liu Performance Center
37 Main St.
Rockport
MA
United States
01966

The Be-Bop Guitars is an all-faculty guitar ensemble featuring five guitars and rhythm section performing specialized compositions and arrangements written specifically for the band. The group is celebrating its 20th year of existence. Trumpet/flute, vibes, bass, and drums are also from the esteemed Berklee faculty. The nine members of the band have a combined total of more than 200 years of Berklee jazz educator experience and an equal number of years in which the individuals have performed in numerous musical settings throughout the world.

The group began in 1991 by performing arrangements from Supersax and other similar ensembles. Later, the group expanded their repertoire by adding to the book,  writing new arrangements and compositions. Although rooted in the bop tradition, the band plays a variety of materials that reflect the long history of jazz music. Over the years, the ensemble has garnered a steady following of fans that enjoy guitar-oriented jazz.

The band has released two albums:  The Be-Bop Guitars . . . And More! (2000) and Freshly Painted Blues (2007).

Members are John Baboian (guitar and music director), Larry Baione (guitar), Jon Damian (guitar), Garrison Fewell (guitar), John Marasco (guitar), Jerry Seeco (trumpet/flute), Rich Greenblatt (vibes), Ron Mahdi (bass), and Larry Finn (drums).

Admission: 
$18, $24, $32

Syncopation

Monday / April 11, 2011 / 7:30 p.m.
Arsenal Center for the Arts
321 Arsenal Street
Watertown
MA
United States
02472

The Boston Globe calls Syncopation "the 21st-century Manhattan Transfer or Lambert, Hendricks and Ross," and it is easy to see why. Like those legendary vocal groups, Syncopation performs jazz and pop music in four-part harmony with a style that is both timeless and up-to-the-minute. As an added treat, each of the singers also plays an instrument or two—trumpet, trombone, piano, and percussion—providing the excitement of a band much larger in size.

You may have seen Syncopation on WBZ-TV singing with the Boston Pops on their 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular (2009). The group often performs with instrumental accompaniment of piano, bass, and drums, but it is equally renowned for its a cappella singing, which has earned it regional and national awards from Harmony Sweepstakes.

In its inception, Syncopation was mentored by Cheryl Bentyne of the Manhattan Transfer. Its first album, A New Dance, featured contributions from bebop trombone legend Phil Wilson, formidable jazz fusion trumpeter Tiger Okoshi, and Paul Stiller of the groundbreaking vocal group Vox One.

After signing a record contract with Geneon Entertainment in Japan, Syncopation's album Of Blue was recorded in Tokyo with some of Japan's hottest jazz musicians such as pianist Satoru "Salt" Shionoya.

On Wonderful You, Syncopation's most recent CD, the group interprets pop songs from the past 40 years. R&B, soul, folk, fusion and electropop are transformed by jazz harmonies, rhythms, and style. "A unique spin on classic syncopated music with great voices," says Jordan Rich (WBZ).

A collaboration with Gold and Platinum award–winning producer Anthony Resta has produced several Syncopation singles which have been released as digital downloads.

Syncopation has performed at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, the Tri-C Vocal Jazz Festival, the Boston Globe Jazz Festival, the Meihou Music Festival in Japan, and the International Association for Jazz Education Conference. The group regularly plays jazz clubs in New England like Scullers, Ryles, the Hi-Hat, the Sahara Club, and the Press Room. Media appearances have included radio (WBZ, Jordan Rich; WBUR, Robin Young's Here and Now; WGBH, Eric Jackson's Eric in the Evening) and TV (CN8's Backstage with Sara Edwards).

All About Jazz calls Syncopation "a thoroughly modern, bright, and fresh take on ensemble jazz vocals that effectively updates the entire genre."

Syncopation is: Aubrey Johnson, Christine Fawson, David Thorne Scott, and Tsunenori "Lee" Abe, accompanied by Mark Shilansky- on piano, Greg Holt on bass, and Steve Langone on drums.

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

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