Aftersong: Songwriters as Responders

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Monday / March 24, 2014 / 7:30 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street

On December 14, 2012, the world was shocked by the terrible events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. In April 2013, tragedy hit even closer to home for the Berklee community, with bombings at the Boston Marathon and the surreal manhunt and city lockdown that followed. Musicians and songwriters responded in artistic ways, both during and after these events. What is the role of creative work, both as personal response and as an expression of collective social response and healing for the wider community? This concert—not a contest showcase—features selected work from students, alumni and faculty exploring the role of “songwriter as responder.”

Joining the Berklee community for this special concert will be renowned Senegalese social-change oriented hip-hop group Bideew Bou Bess, joined by tama (talking drum) master Massamba Diop, and Tony Vacca on balafon. With their innovative fusion of traditions and languages, Bideew Bou Bess—brothers Moctar, Baidy, and Ibrahim Sall—have been called 21st century griots, a living link between African and American hip-hop traditions, and outspoken global citizens. (This flash concert appearance of Bideew Bou Bess is made possible with the generous support of the Cycon family and Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee.)

As a follow-up to this concert, visiting artist songwriter and guitarist Patty Larkin will lead a clinic and discussion on Songwriting and Social Change: How Songs Can Change Our World, on Wednesday, March 26 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. To participate in the clinic, contact Mark Simos of the Songwriting Department at

Please note: This spring, this concert and clinic take the place of the annual Songs for Social Change songwriting contest and showcase, which will be re-envisioned for future semesters. We expect that this concert and clinic will bring to light additional creative work, by current students and others in Berklee’s extended community, from this difficult period. The Songwriting Department will be working with Berklee’s FUSION magazine to explore other ways to present this work.