Born in Portland, Oregon, Grant Richards has been around music since he was very young. He began playing piano and composing at age 8 and by the time he entered college, he had won four awards from DownBeat magazine and recorded his first album as a leader. In 2009, Richards enrolled in Berklee College of Music, where he received the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship, a distinction awarded each year to one music student in recognition of his or her outstanding talent. In his short career, Richards has performed with many renowned artists including Esperanza Spalding, Chuck Israels, Terri Lyne Carrington, Dave Liebman, Ben Wolfe, Damian Erskine, Greg Hopkins, John Lockwood, and Filo Machado. Now, at age 22, he is a formidable pianist, composer, and teacher in his own right, remaining active in the Boston music scene by performing and recording as a leader and sideman.
With his new quintet, guitarist Eduardo Mercuri explores his personal approach to modern Brazilian music. Alongside Gustavo D’Amico on saxophone, Paul Sanchez on trumpet, Do-Young Kim on bass, and Juan Alejandro Saenz on drums, Mercuri mixes jazz textures with contemporary Brazilian music, bringing a new and fresh sound to both genres. Regardless of its short existence, the group is already signed with Berklee’s Jazz Revelation Records and has performed at Berklee Performance Center and other venues around the Boston area.
Israeli saxophonist Eitan Gofman will lead a quartet performing original music written by the members of the band. This group will play music that will make the distance between Israel, Japan, Korea, and the U.S. seems much shorter than it actually is. The band is Eitan Gofman on saxophone, Takafumi Suenaga on piano, Sang-Ouk Jung on bass, and Oscar Suchanek on drums.
Gofman is an Israeli saxophonist, composer, and arranger. He began his music education through a youth band in the Tel Aviv conservatory. Later, at the age of 18, he served the Israeli official army orchestra as a leading saxophonist, arranger, and musical director. After completing three years of service, he spent a year at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music while studying with the best teachers in Israel, such as Eli Benacot, Guri Agmon, Avi Adrian, and Mamelo Gaitenopoulos. That same year he was awarded a tuition scholarship from Berklee.
Gofman relocated to Boston in September 2011 and began full-time studies toward a bachelor's degree in jazz composition. He soon received the prestigious Andy McGhee award for outstanding saxophonist. He played with top-level bands at the school and studied with excellent teachers, such as Hal Crook, Ed Tomassi, Greg Hopkins, Phil Wilson, George Garzon, Shannon Le Claire, Frank Tiberi, and Ralph Peterson.
Eitan has performed as a leader or a sideman at festivals and venues around the US, Europe and Israel and performed and played with renowned artists such as Randy Brecker, Terry Lyne Carrington, Eddie Gomez, Gerald Clayton, Brian Bromberg, Julian Lage, Dave Liebman, Antonio Sanchez. A condensed list of the venues will be the “Red Sea Jazz Festival”, “Tri-C Jazz Festival”, “Tel-Aviv Jazz Festival”, “Wally’s Jazz Club”, “Scullers Jazz Club”, “Isabella Gardner Museum” and many more. In addition, he is the winner of the “American-Israeli Cultural Foundation Jazz Scholarships” for the years 2008-2009 and 2010-2011.
Eitan is expected to graduate from Berklee in August and move down to New York City and start working on his debut album.
Albino Mbie was born in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, a country in southern Africa known for its rich musical and cultural heritage. Fueled by the resourcefulness and determination that have always characterized Mozambicans, he built his first guitar at age 16 from scrap wood, strings made out of electrical cords, and a five-liter can of oil.
Drawn to the sounds of neighborhood street musicians in Maputo, Mbie began to play in a number of local bands and wanted to combine styles, incorporating diverse elements in his music. For his talents to grow, he knew he needed experience new places, cultures, and sounds.
While studying music education and performance at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique, he heard about Berklee and soon afterward became one of the first students to receive a full scholarship to Berklee through the African Scholars program in 2009.
At Berklee, he was exposed to a variety of influences but wanted to go deeper into the roots of jazz and expand his knowledge of music. He auditioned and was selected to participate in the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI), which is directed by Danilo Pérez and has a roster of teachers that includes Joe Lovano, John Patitucci, and Terri Lyne Carrington. BGJI fosters a musician's artistic vision, and has helped Mbie find his own unique voice in the art form.
Mbie still felt the absence of his Mozambican traditions in his music. With the help of his mentors, Richard Bona and Lionel Loueke—two of the most prominent African musicians in the United States—he began to bridge that gap.
Today, Mbie's music succeeds in combining many disparate parts into an organic whole. It incorporates his musical experiences from Mozambique, the U.S., and many other places around the world, combining rhythmic patterns and musical concepts to create a unique "Moz-jazz" sound.
His original composition "Mozambique Dance" was released by Jazz Revelation Records, a student-run record label at Berklee, in 2011. He recorded another original, "Awusiwana," for the Berklee 2012 Summer in the City disc. His debut album, also called Mozambique Dance, will be released soon.
Mbie is an active musician, and has performed in several countries, including Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Italy, the U.S., and Mexico. He has also produced and recorded various projects in Mozambique and in the United States. He graduated from Berklee in 2012 with a dual degree in performance and music production and engineering, and a minor in acoustics.
Born in the U.K. and raised in the West Indies, Thaddeus Hogarth is an associate professor of guitar at Berklee College of Music. A two-time winner of the Independent Music Award for R&B/Blues, he has been a prominent singer, guitarist, harmonica player, and singer-songwriter in the R&B tradition on the New England music scene since 1990.
Hogarth has shared the bill or stage with acts such as of Tower of Power, Average White Band, Johnny Winter, Ernie Isley, Fred Wesley (James Brown), Jimmy Cliff, the Neville Brothers, Steve Kimock, Bernie Worrell, Eric Gales, and James Montgomery. His band was among those chosen to represent Bose in live venues nationwide when it launched its L1 line of products, the personalized amplification system. His former notable contribution to the Boston music scene was back in the early 90s as the prinicipal lead singer-songwriter, guitarist, and harmonica player for the Heavy Metal Horns. As a harmonica player, he has been featured on radio and in soundtracks for PBS programming.
At the Arsenal, Hogarth joins the John Baboian Trio—Baboian, guitar; Bruce Gertz, bass; and Jon Hazilla, drums—to bring you some of his his chromatic harmonica repertoire, featuring music of Stevie Wonder, Henry Mancini, Michel Legrand, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, along with many other well known jazz standards. This is the fifth year of Berklee's faculty artist series at the Arsenal Center for the Arts.
Drummer Basil Al Bader gives his final Berklee recital. He will be performing as part of an international jazz quintet.
This recital represents the four years Al Bader has spent at Berklee, the lessons learned, the experience gained, and the love received. The quintet will be playing a set of modern jazz music, both original compositions and covers.