Berklee presents seven groups on the main stage at Copley Square during the Boston Book Festival, a free event open to the public with over 100 authors and presenters. Performances include folk, poetry, jazz, and pop.
11:00 a.m.–11:25 a.m.
Christa Gniadek is a prolifically talented singer-songwriter, performer, and businesswoman—all at 21 years old. At first glance, she seems like another pretty face with a guitar, but behind that also lies poignancy, grace, and tenaciously driven character that everyone can appreciate and love. To date, she has released an EP, Alone or Lying (2009), a full-length album, No One's Dolly (2010), and a two-track single, Hello June (2010). While promoting her second full-length album, Get Me (2011), Gniadek is pursuing her passion as a full-time student at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston as a guitar principal.
11:30 a.m.–11:55 a.m.
Born and raised in London, Ontario, Ken Yates holds true to his roots as a Canadian singer-songwriter by following the influence of such folk stars as Neil Young by crafting rhythmic guitar arrangements blended seamlessly with melodies that transport his listeners into the world of his lyrics. The recent Berklee graduate's debut EP has been grabbing the attention of listeners worldwide, most notably from John Mayer who recently blogged about Yates's song "I Don't Wanna Fall in Love."
Berklee Poetry Slam
12:00 p.m.–12:50 p.m.
No costumes, no props—just raw creativity and a courageous soul. Performance poetry sweeps across all genres, spanning hip-hop, stand-up, comedy, theater, social commentary, bittersweet love ballads, and personal evolution. The end result is an electric event that inspires, transforms, entertains, and liberates.
Caili O'Doherty Trio
1:00 p.m.–1:50 p.m.
Pianist Caili O'Doherty, 19, is currently a sophomore at Berklee College, studying jazz performance on a full scholarship. She began studying classical piano at age 5 and discovered her love for jazz at 11, when she transferred to an arts school in Beaverton, Oregon. As part of the school's award-winning jazz band, she played twice at the Monterey Jazz Festival and at Jazz at Lincoln Center while still in middle school. O'Doherty went on to win two DownBeat Student Music Awards for jazz piano performance and composition. She was honored to receive a 2009 ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award for her song "Padme." Last May, she was selected as one of five female jazz pianists to participate in the inaugural Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Emerging Artist Workshop and to perform at the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.
2:00 p.m.–2:50 p.m.
The Daydream is a dynamic blend of the energy and drive of improvisation, mixed with the sound effects and experimentation of modern music. Under the direction of bassist Justin Richey, the band is comprised of Berklee alumnus and Julliard grad student Alex Wintz on guitar, keyboardist Zach Tenorio, and Berklee alumnus Vishal Nayak on drums. The group now plays regularly with local up-and-coming visual artists from schools located in and around Boston, taking musical improvisation in a new artistic direction.
Ada Pasternak Featuring the Fourth Floor Band
3:00 p.m.–3:50 p.m.
Ada Pasternak was born in Moscow and immigrated to the United States at the age of 6 where she began taking violin lessons. A year later, she was accepted into Manhattan School of Music as a scholarship student. Pasternak continued with her training in classical music for 10 years, winning numerous competitions and awards. However, she always had an interest in improvising and other styles of music besides classical. In 2007, Pasternak was awarded Berklee's Presidential Scholarship. She now also plays mandolin and piano, and composes and writes music, often accompanying herself on the violin while singing.
4:00 p.m.–4:50 p.m.
This young trio from the Berklee College of Music, has opened for the Temptations, Bobby McFerrin, and the Yellowjackets, and is committed to providing entertaining and inspiring performances that will groove you and move you. Be sure not to miss out on this exciting collaboration between Devon Yesberger (keys/vox), Spencer Stewart (bass), and Gabriel Smith (drums) as they combine their jazz roots with pop sensibilities and stretch these sonic means towards a worldly end.