Keppie Coutts is immersed and reveling in the new wave of folk fusion—an eclectic melding of acoustic-based songs that step inside jazz, soul, and quirky pop.
Multi-Grammy Award–winning artist John Mayer heard one of her new tunes ("Waiting for the Avalanche") and within a week had taken it into the studio in Boston to record. Coutts had scored a private audience with Mayer as one of 12 young songwriters hand-selected to spend the week with Mayer.
Since arriving in Boston in 2005 she has won the praise of peers, audiences, and mentors, and has performed extensively in the Northeast, including at the Bitter End and the Bowery Poetry Club in New York, as well almost every conceivable venue in Boston. Her host of achievements has led her to the position of assistant professor at Berklee College of Music.
Formed in 2007 and recently signed to Jazz Revelation Records, the Zac Zinger Group is one of Berklee's most promising up-and-coming bands. Led by saxophonist/composer Zac Zinger, the quartet's repertoire includes an ever-expanding list of more than thirty originals and an extensive knowledge of the old classics. Though each member has a strong base and fundamental knowledge of the standards, ZZG's focus is on the development of new music, incorporating unique forms, grooves, harmony, and melody to each piece. Influenced by elements of jazz, soul, funk, gospel, fusion, and r&b, but not quite fitting into one specific genre, ZZG boasts a fresh contemporary sound that has been compared to artists as prominent as the Yellowjackets, John Coltrane, and Cannonball Adderly.
The Folk Arts Quartet has stormed the global folk scene, combining traditional styles from the fiddle world with the arts heritage of the classical string quartet. The result is a new, grooving, and prodigiously tasteful progressive string quartet pioneering a new genre: "ChamberGrass."
The original members met while studying at Berklee, arranging traditional Celtic and old-time tunes and original compositions using an array of techniques and ideas. Their groovy, contemporary style nods to their many influences and breathes new life into folk and chamber music. The quartet has had the honor of being mentored by some of the best contemporary string players around, including Eugene Friesen, Mads Tolling, Matt Glaser, and John McGann. The band released its self-titled debut to critical acclaim in 2009.
$23 adults, $18 seniors, $15 members, $10 college students, $5 children ages 5–17
Dopapod is an experimental funk band led by Berklee student and Philadelphia native Eli Winderman. Winderman has played Hammond organ and other keyboard instruments in a variety of bands throughout the Nnrtheast, performing with artists such as G. Love, Melvin Sparks, and Stanton Moore.
Thumping up from basement parties in Boston to bumping the sound systems of major venues all across the east coast, Dopapod has been steadily growing as a musical tour-de-force. Winderman and Michelangelo Carubba began Dopapod in 2007 to make people dance. The band's Dopapod's debut album Radar received critical acclaim from Performer Magazine, which called Dopapod's members "incredibly talented musicians." The band has big plans for 2010, including a new album and more East Coast tours.
With his rich tenor voice, distinctive looks, and endearingly innocent charm, Jason Castro won over millions of viewers as a contestant on the seventh season of American Idol. Now Castro releases his self-titled debut album on Atlantic Records. Also appearing are Camera Can't Lie and Michael Castro, Jason's brother.
In the midst of a sea of throaty voices, Austin, Texas singer/songwriter Dave Madden is a pleasant surprise. His songs are catchy, yet fraught with meaning. His delivery is both impeccable and sexy. Trained at Berklee, he moves deftly between the piano and various guitars. He will be sharing music in an "in-the-round" style with Phoebe Hunt from the Belleville Outfit. With special guest Lukas Nelson (son of Willie).
The Student Activities Center at Berklee College of Music is holding its first ever Spring Fest outdoor concert and market, cosponsored by the Shops at Prudential Center. It takes place rain or shine on the outdoor plaza on the Boylston Street side of Prudential Center. This event features some of Berklee's most talented musicians including Emily Elbert, Eric Robertson and the Boston Boys, Julia Easterlin, Re-Up, Tin Soldiers, and Berklee's 17-piece Prince ensemble Purple Rain. The event will also feature a mini-bazaar with various community vendors as well as a few activities for children.
Berklee students from the Advanced Theater Production Workshop and Michael Jackson Ensemble present an original play, with music and dance, about the life and death of Michael Jackson. Students perform Jackson's hits and examine his life, with guest artist Michael Bearden, musical director for This Is It. Read more about the event.