Soul singer-songwriter Nick Hakim is from Washington, D.C. He and his band have been performing at venues around Boston and New York, cultivating a powerful new sound in preparation for an album to be released this summer. Some of Hakim’s influences include Jimi Hendrix, Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, and the Beatles.
Watch an excerpt of Hakim singing “Here With Me” with Jaime Woods in the video below:
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.
Possessing an enormous talent and a remarkably fertile musical imagination, Moira Lo Bianco is a bona fide triple threat as a composer, arranger, and pianist. Mature beyond her young years, she has an intense personal musical vision and all of the tools to consistently bring it to life. Her ability to transcend genre and category is organic and seemingly effortless.
In 2011, she won a scholarship to study at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where her past and future influences came together. She explored the traditions of other countries – including Indian, Arabic, and flamenco – and matured into a sought-after arranger and composer with a newfound passion for Middle Eastern music. Lo Bianco graduated from Berklee in 2012 and began work on her debut full-length album, Lunaria, which was released in spring 2013.
Jazz percussionist and film scoring and performance dual major Fabio Rojas strives to express emotions through music that cannot be put into words. For this performance, he will be joined by recent Berklee graduate Daniel Rotem on tenor saxophone and bassist Osmar Okuma.
Hailing from Valencia, Venezuela, Rojas began his musical studies with drums at the age of 13, and then studied orchestral percussion at Colegio Emil Friedman in Caracas and jazz drums at the Universidad Nacional Experimental de las Artes. By age 19, he was playing with the most acclaimed and recognized jazz musicians in Venezuela, such as Pablo Gil, Diego Alvarez, and Gonzalo Mico.
Rojas has performed at numerous venues and events since coming to Boston, including Boston Symphony Hall, TEDx Boston, the Berklee Middle Eastern Festival, and the Boston Esplanade.
Seong-Min's senior recital consists of two tunes by his guitar hero, Al DiMeola, "Electric Rendezvous" and "Egyptian Danza," which are a mixtures of Latin, rock, jazz, and classical. Also included on the program wiill be Seong-Min's originals. "Heart of the Warrior" is the sum of inspirations from rock, jazz, and Latin music, and "The Suite Affection" and "Her Surroundings" are acoustic-based, inspired by classical, jazz, and Latin music. Overall, the music is composed of rhythms, melodies, and harmonies that are inspired by music and musicians throughout Seong-Min's life.
The chamber jazz group the Paintbrush Orchestra is dedicated to the live composition language of soundpainting born out of the work of Walter Thompson. Composer Yeonathan Shachar directs the Paintbrush Orchestra, and this seasoned group of improvisers also includes Andres Fonseca (drums), Marika Galea (bass), Roman Maresz (piano), Laura Hamel (marimba), Zach Baldwin-Way (violin), Shachar Ziv (French horn), Carlos Llerena (tenor saxophone), and Joe Ricard (trombone).
The Paintbrush Orchestra was born – entirely by accident – in the fall of 2012 during a series of experimental jams at Berklee College of Music. The ensemble was formed out of a desire to explore new ways to allow the composer to play an integral, real-time role in jazz-based improvisation. Each piece allows the group to display its members’ diverse and multi-faceted musical backgrounds and its unusual instrumentation has proven to be an integral part of its sound.
The band attempts to take the concept of improvisation into territory that encourages spontaneity while creating pieces that nonetheless often resemble pre-composed music. The resulting sound presents a palette that is different from that which is most commonly found in contemporary jazz ensembles.