Concert

Christian Li Trio

Sunday / August 21, 2011 / 1:00 p.m.
Spectacle Island
Boston Harbor Islands
Quincy
MA
United States
02171
Christian Li

Christian Li is a jazz pianist from Horseheads, New York. He has won several Down Beat Student Music Awards and has attended highly selective programs, including the Skidmore Jazz Institute, the Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony, and the Vail Jazz Workshop. Li was the New York State All-State Instrumental Jazz Band pianist for 2006 and 2007 and the New York State Band Directors Association Honors Jazz Band pianist in 2006.

In 2008, he received a full-tuition scholarship to attend Berklee. There he studies privately with JoAnne Brackeen and Ed Bedner and has had the opportunity of working with Jack DeJohnette, Danilo Perez, and Terri Lyne Carrington, among others. Li has also worked with the Cornell University and Ithaca College big bands and played solo piano at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Admission: 
Free

Arooj Aftab

Wednesday / August 10, 2011 / 12:30 p.m.
Harvard Longwood Campus
25 Shattuck Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115
Arooj Aftab

Arooj Aftab innovates off classical sufi music for a sound that is fresh, graceful, and musically complex. To her subtle, intricate, dynamic vocals grounded in an ancient mystical tradition is added acoustic guitar, drum, and bass. This is music that moves you to peace, to inspiration, to embrace the divine.

"Aftab's ethereal voice swirls and dives in the delicate, complicated motions of her country's long musical heritage, and the young musician merges sonic palettes with natural grace." —Boston Globe

 

Admission: 
Free

Felix Peikli Quartet

Monday / August 1, 2011 / 6:00 p.m.
Regattabar
One Bennett Street, Cambridge, MA
Cambridge
MA
United States
02138
Felix Peikli Quartet

Born in Oslo, Norway, Felix Peikli found his way into music through the local marching band at the age of 8. They picked out the instrument, which today seems to have been the perfect choice, a clarinet. Two years later, he received a Benny Goodman recording from his grandfather, and Benny Goodman became the new idol. His first performance was during a jam session at the Oslo Jazz Festival in 2002. Too young to enter the bar, Peikli and his mother argueed their way in. Unaware that celebrities like Joe Lovano were in the audience, he played and was invited back the next day for his first hired gig playing with a visiting band in the Mirror Hall of the Grand Hotel.

Peikli became a student at the Barratt Dues Classical Institute of Norway and studied there with Fredrik Fors from 2004 to 2008. He also was selected to compete won National Dream Prize in 2005. Peikli became a student at Foss Music High School in 2006, and in the same year he won the Grand Chance on national TV. He began playing concerts internationally, including Italy, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Croatia, and the U.K. He received the Capital of Norway Honors Prize as the youngest recepiant ever in 2007, and the same year he attended Berklee's Five-Week Summer Performance Program. He received a full-tuition scholarship to Berklee in fall 2008 and has had the opportunity to study with Frank Tiberi, Harry Skoler, Terri Lyne Carrington, Leo Blanco, Greg Osby, Hal Crook, and Joe Lovano.

Admission: 
Free

Mark Whitfield Jr. Quartet

Thursday / September 8, 2011 / 6:00 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art
Putnam Investment Plaza, 100 Northern Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02210
Mark Whitfield Jr

Mark Whitfield Jr. was born in Brooklyn. The son of two musicians, his early years were filled with music and he began playing the drums at an unusually early age. At the age of 2, Whitfield made his first concert appearance at the Varsity Theater at Louisiana State University as a guest drummer with his father, guitarist Mark Whitfield and legendary clarinetist Alvin Batiste. The story of his prodigious talent began to spread as his musical abilities continued to develop and at age 4 he appeared with his father's quartet on the Good Morning America 1994 Thanksgiving Day broadcast. The performance was so successful that it led to several subsequent TV appearances, including a CNN lifestyle piece, a full feature with Dr. Billy Taylor for his CBS Sunday Morning jazz segment, and a follow-up appearance on the Good Morning America 1995 Thanksgiving Day broadcast with his dad's group.

In 2001, Mark Jr. and his younger brother Davis returned to the New York area to live with their father and attend school in Jersey City. Whitfield continued to perform with his father's group, including a performance at the Iridium in New York as part of the JVC Jazz Festival and occasional appearances at Smoke, another popular jazz club in New York, and performed regularly with three other talented teenagers as part of the Stephen Chaplin Quartet. Since the summer of 2004, they have performed at the prestigious Newport Festival in Rhode Island and appeared as the opening act for Peter Cincotti, Chris Botti, and many others. Their debut CD, Just among Brothers, is a favorite among local jazz fans.

As a junior in high school, just a couple weeks after his 16th birthday, Whitfield was the first participant in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program under 18 years old. For his performance at Jazz Ahead the following June Whitfield was invited to participate in Ravinia at the Steans Institute for the Arts, under the instruction of Nathan Davis, David Baker, Rufus Reid, and James Moody.

That same summer, Whitfield attended the Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance Program, where he was rewarded a full-tuition scholarship. Since coming to Berklee, he has worked with jazz greats such as Joe Lovano, Terri Lyne Carrington, Hal Crook, Ralph Peterson, Darren Barrett, and Dave Santoro. He is also a member of the Roy Guzman Quintet, which played at the Newport, Duke Ellington, and Monterey jazz festivals representing Berklee. Since then, Whitfield has gone on to be a member of the inaugural class of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute and perform at other jazz festivals around the world, such as the Vitoria Jazz Festival and Summertime Jazz Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Admission: 
Free

Mark Whitfield Jr. Quartet

Thursday / September 8, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Kendall Square
300 Athenaeum Street
Cambridge
MA
United States
Mark Whitfield Jr

Mark Whitfield Jr. was born in Brooklyn. The son of two musicians, his early years were filled with music and he began playing the drums at an unusually early age. At the age of 2, Whitfield made his first concert appearance at the Varsity Theater at Louisiana State University as a guest drummer with his father, guitarist Mark Whitfield and legendary clarinetist Alvin Batiste. The story of his prodigious talent began to spread as his musical abilities continued to develop and at age 4 he appeared with his father's quartet on the Good Morning America 1994 Thanksgiving Day broadcast. The performance was so successful that it led to several subsequent TV appearances, including a CNN lifestyle piece, a full feature with Dr. Billy Taylor for his CBS Sunday Morning jazz segment, and a follow-up appearance on the Good Morning America 1995 Thanksgiving Day broadcast with his dad's group.

In 2001, Mark Jr. and his younger brother Davis returned to the New York area to live with their father and attend school in Jersey City. Whitfield continued to perform with his father's group, including a performance at the Iridium in New York as part of the JVC Jazz Festival and occasional appearances at Smoke, another popular jazz club in New York, and performed regularly with three other talented teenagers as part of the Stephen Chaplin Quartet. Since the summer of 2004, they have performed at the prestigious Newport Festival in Rhode Island and appeared as the opening act for Peter Cincotti, Chris Botti, and many others. Their debut CD, Just among Brothers, is a favorite among local jazz fans.

As a junior in high school, just a couple weeks after his 16th birthday, Whitfield was the first participant in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program under 18 years old. For his performance at Jazz Ahead the following June Whitfield was invited to participate in Ravinia at the Steans Institute for the Arts, under the instruction of Nathan Davis, David Baker, Rufus Reid, and James Moody.

That same summer, Whitfield attended the Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance Program, where he was rewarded a full-tuition scholarship. Since coming to Berklee, he has worked with jazz greats such as Joe Lovano, Terri Lyne Carrington, Hal Crook, Ralph Peterson, Darren Barrett, and Dave Santoro. He is also a member of the Roy Guzman Quintet, which played at the Newport, Duke Ellington, and Monterey jazz festivals representing Berklee. Since then, Whitfield has gone on to be a member of the inaugural class of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute and perform at other jazz festivals around the world, such as the Vitoria Jazz Festival and Summertime Jazz Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Admission: 
Free

Sierra Hull and Highway 111

Thursday / September 1, 2011 / 6:00 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art
Putnam Investment Plaza, 100 Northern Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02210
Sierra Hull

A native of Byrdstown, Tennessee, Sierra Hull became well known in bluegrass circles for her skill on guitar and mandolin at age 8, performing on the Grand Ole Opry with Alison Krauss when she was just 11. As a teenager, she joined the Great High Mountain tour with Krauss, Ralph Stanley, and others. At 16 she released her debut album, Secrets, coproduced by Ron Block of Alison Krauss and Union Station. Her follow up, Daybreak, was coproduced by Barry Bales. She's a recipient of Berklee's presidential scholarship and has performed in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the National Prayer Breakfast.

Admission: 
Free

Sierra Hull and Highway 111

Thursday / September 1, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Kendall Square
300 Athenaeum Street
Cambridge
MA
United States
Sierra Hull

A native of Byrdstown, Tennessee, Sierra Hull became well known in bluegrass circles for her skill on guitar and mandolin at age 8, performing on the Grand Ole Opry with Alison Krauss when she was just 11. As a teenager, she joined the Great High Mountain tour with Krauss, Ralph Stanley, and others. At 16 she released her debut album, Secrets, coproduced by Ron Block of Alison Krauss and Union Station. Her follow up, Daybreak, was coproduced by Barry Bales. She's a recipient of Berklee's presidential scholarship and has performed in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the National Prayer Breakfast.

Admission: 
Free

Troy Cartwright

Wednesday / August 31, 2011 / 12:30 p.m.
Harvard Longwood Campus
25 Shattuck Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115
Troy Cartwright

Troy Cartwright is a singer-songwriter out of Dallas, Texas who has a passion for writing songs and using his talents to captivate any audience. At age 21, he has already played for crowds of more than 15,000 and doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.

Admission: 
Free

Grace Kelly

Thursday / August 25, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Kendall Square
300 Athenaeum Street
Cambridge
MA
United States
Grace Kelly

When it comes to saxophonist, vocalist, composer, lyricist, and arranger Grace Kelly, people seem to be divided into two groups: those who marvel at her proficiency, creativity, and ever-accelerating growth, and those who have yet to encounter the 18-year-old wunderkind. The ranks of the former are growing by the day. Trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln Center artistic director Wynton Marsalis was so impressed with Kelly's three-night stand as guest of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in November that he invited her to join the ensemble at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C. for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day/Inauguration Eve concert. Harry Connick Jr. heard Kelly in a master class on a December afternoon and brought her on stage to sit in with his band that night. This capped an already exceptional end of 2008 in which Kelly's appearance on NPR's Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland was syndicated nationally, the Boston Music Awards declared her the city's Outstanding Jazz Act, and local ABC affiliate WCVB-TV named her one of five Bostonians to Watch in 2009. The 2009 Downbeat Critics Poll added to her list, naming her one of the Alto Saxophone Rising Stars, the youngest ever to be named so. She has numerous other awards to her credit.

To this astonishing list of kudos and credits, Kelly now adds Mood Changes, the fifth release on her PAZZ label. The album mixes six standards with four Kelly originals and features her working quintet (Jason Palmer, trumpet; Doug Johnson, piano; John Lockwood, basses; Jordan Perlson or Terri Lyne Carrington, drums), with guest appearances by guitarist Adam Rogers on two tracks and trombonist Hal Crook on one.

Adventure has been the watchword for the teenaged phenom, who was born Grace Chung on May 15, 1992. (She became Grace Kelly after her mother divorced and remarried and her stepfather, Bob Kelly, legally adopted Grace and her sister Christina.) The strong classical music background of her mother's family led her to begin piano lessons at age six, and she still does much of her composing at the piano as she sings wordlessly. Singing, dancing, writing songs, and theater were also early passions, soon joined by a fascination with the recordings of Stan Getz and other jazz saxophonists that her parents played during Sunday brunches. She began to study the clarinet at her elementary school in the fourth grade, and began private saxophone lessons a few months later. Further inspiration was provided by Ann Hampton Callaway, who detected "the boundless spirit and imagination of a natural artist" when she met Kelly in 2002. Another early champion, middle school music teacher Ken Berman, was so inspired by the pre-teen's playing and writing that he insisted, "you have to record." What followed was her first disc, Dreaming. "The CD release took place on March 17, 2004, when I was 12," she recalls, "and as soon as I walked on stage, I realized that performing was my favorite thing to do."

A growing list of triumphs and testimonials to Kelly's brilliance followed. Times Too (2005), a two-disc set, found her expanding her musical pallet while interpreting such classics as "Isfahan" and "'Round Midnight" with the gravitas of a veteran. The title track of her next disc, Every Road I Walked (2006), garnered the first of her ASCAP Foundation awards and an invitation to perform with the Boston Pops. When conductor Keith Lockhart asked her to play the composition at the concert with just a rhythm section, Kelly countered by suggesting that she write an arrangement for the full orchestra.

Kelly continued to garner accolades from artists she revered, sitting in with the likes of Dave Brubeck, Frank Morgan, and Phil Woods. ("I gave her my hat, that's how good she sounded," Woods enthused. "She's the first alto player to get one.") Perhaps her most intensive connection has been with Lee Konitz, who Kelly has studied with for the past three years. "The biggest lesson that Lee taught me has been spontaneity, from day one," she emphasizes, while Konitz has referred to Kelly as "all ears and all heart." Kelly asked Konitz to guest on two tracks for her fourth album, an invitation that led to the joint composition "GRACEfulLEE" and an entire disc of the same name. GRACEfulLEE, with the all-star support of guitarist Russell Malone, bassist Rufus Reid, and drummer Matt Wilson, garnered a rare four-and-a-half-star review in Down Beat, and has been widely acclaimed as one of the best jazz recordings of 2008.

Kelly received a full scholarship to Berklee and started college at the age of 16. Since age 12 Grace has performed over 500 concerts as a leader all around the world.

Admission: 
Free

Grace Kelly

Thursday / August 25, 2011 / 6:00 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art
Putnam Investment Plaza, 100 Northern Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02210
Grace Kelly

When it comes to saxophonist, vocalist, composer, lyricist, and arranger Grace Kelly, people seem to be divided into two groups: those who marvel at her proficiency, creativity, and ever-accelerating growth, and those who have yet to encounter the 18-year-old wunderkind. The ranks of the former are growing by the day. Trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln Center artistic director Wynton Marsalis was so impressed with Kelly's three-night stand as guest of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in November that he invited her to join the ensemble at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C. for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day/Inauguration Eve concert. Harry Connick Jr. heard Kelly in a master class on a December afternoon and brought her on stage to sit in with his band that night. This capped an already exceptional end of 2008 in which Kelly's appearance on NPR's Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland was syndicated nationally, the Boston Music Awards declared her the city's Outstanding Jazz Act, and local ABC affiliate WCVB-TV named her one of five Bostonians to Watch in 2009. The 2009 Downbeat Critics Poll added to her list, naming her one of the Alto Saxophone Rising Stars, the youngest ever to be named so. She has numerous other awards to her credit.

To this astonishing list of kudos and credits, Kelly now adds Mood Changes, the fifth release on her PAZZ label. The album mixes six standards with four Kelly originals and features her working quintet (Jason Palmer, trumpet; Doug Johnson, piano; John Lockwood, basses; Jordan Perlson or Terri Lyne Carrington, drums), with guest appearances by guitarist Adam Rogers on two tracks and trombonist Hal Crook on one.

Adventure has been the watchword for the teenaged phenom, who was born Grace Chung on May 15, 1992. (She became Grace Kelly after her mother divorced and remarried and her stepfather, Bob Kelly, legally adopted Grace and her sister Christina.) The strong classical music background of her mother's family led her to begin piano lessons at age six, and she still does much of her composing at the piano as she sings wordlessly. Singing, dancing, writing songs, and theater were also early passions, soon joined by a fascination with the recordings of Stan Getz and other jazz saxophonists that her parents played during Sunday brunches. She began to study the clarinet at her elementary school in the fourth grade, and began private saxophone lessons a few months later. Further inspiration was provided by Ann Hampton Callaway, who detected "the boundless spirit and imagination of a natural artist" when she met Kelly in 2002. Another early champion, middle school music teacher Ken Berman, was so inspired by the pre-teen's playing and writing that he insisted, "you have to record." What followed was her first disc, Dreaming. "The CD release took place on March 17, 2004, when I was 12," she recalls, "and as soon as I walked on stage, I realized that performing was my favorite thing to do."

A growing list of triumphs and testimonials to Kelly's brilliance followed. Times Too (2005), a two-disc set, found her expanding her musical pallet while interpreting such classics as "Isfahan" and "'Round Midnight" with the gravitas of a veteran. The title track of her next disc, Every Road I Walked (2006), garnered the first of her ASCAP Foundation awards and an invitation to perform with the Boston Pops. When conductor Keith Lockhart asked her to play the composition at the concert with just a rhythm section, Kelly countered by suggesting that she write an arrangement for the full orchestra.

Kelly continued to garner accolades from artists she revered, sitting in with the likes of Dave Brubeck, Frank Morgan, and Phil Woods. ("I gave her my hat, that's how good she sounded," Woods enthused. "She's the first alto player to get one.") Perhaps her most intensive connection has been with Lee Konitz, who Kelly has studied with for the past three years. "The biggest lesson that Lee taught me has been spontaneity, from day one," she emphasizes, while Konitz has referred to Kelly as "all ears and all heart." Kelly asked Konitz to guest on two tracks for her fourth album, an invitation that led to the joint composition "GRACEfulLEE" and an entire disc of the same name. GRACEfulLEE, with the all-star support of guitarist Russell Malone, bassist Rufus Reid, and drummer Matt Wilson, garnered a rare four-and-a-half-star review in Down Beat, and has been widely acclaimed as one of the best jazz recordings of 2008.

Kelly received a full scholarship to Berklee and started college at the age of 16. She has already performed over 500 concerts as a leader all around the world.

Admission: 
Free

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