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Looking for indoor entertainment for the family in December? Current Berklee students will perform holiday-inspired concerts at the Prudential Center the week of December 13. The December 19 show features Neara Russell and Dear Havannah.
Pianist/vocalist Neara Russell has performed in churches, coffee houses, concert halls, art galleries, sound sculptures, rock clubs, and living rooms. From the 1200-seat Berklee Performance Center and world-reknowned acoustics of Jordan Hall to the homegrown orchestra pit of Spring Green's Gard Theater, her keyboard has seen stages and basements and the grass in between.
However, this musical mastermind is happiest in her living room studio with a cat in her lap and notebook in hand. Her newly released five-song EP, Information Fiction, is perfect evidence. Russell composed, recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered the album herself with self-invested guerrilla gear and an obsessive love for D.I.Y.
After winning the Berklee Songwriting Contest in 2006 with her celebrity satire "Don't Be Mad," Russell earned an infamous reputation as "the girl who crashed her parents' car." She joined with some of Berklee's best performers and booked local clubs, including TT the Bear's Place, All Asia Bar, and Matt Murphy's Pub. Enthusiastic word-of-mouth led to featured showcases on WBZ-TV, Tufts University Freeform Radio, Berklee Internet Radio Network, and the New Music Festival.
Every so often, a band comes along that blurs the lines of musical genres. With hints of pop, soul, and rock 'n' roll, Dear Havanah is that band. For the Boston-based trio, drawing from a multitude of styles is easy, because each member comes from his own unique musical background. Citing influences that include Dave Matthews and the Motown sound, Dear Havanah has no problem offering listeners something diverse and original.