The Family Stone
Sly and the Family Stone cut a phenomenal swath through the landscape of popular music in the late 1960s and early 1970s, releasing some of the greatest rock and roll music ever recorded. Their music was an inspired blend of rock, soul, pop, jazz and an emerging genre soon to be dubbed funk. The band is credited as one of the first racially integrated bands in music history, belting their message of peace, love and social consciousness through a string of hit anthems.
The Family Stone boasts three founding members of the band – saxman Jerry Martini, trumpet player Cynthia Robinson and drummer Greg Errico. Rounding out the group and helping to deliver the band’s trademark tight grooves are lead singer/keyboardist Alex Davis, Blaise Simon on bass, lead guitarist Nate Wingfield and vocalist Trina Johnson Finn. The band is powerful and high energy, performing endless hits from one of pop music’s beloved catalogs: Dance to the Music; Everyday People; Family Affair; Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).
Hip Pocket Orchestra
The Hip Pocket Orchestra, with host and bandleader Karen Bell, is a dynamic 11-piece band that energizes a room to party and dance. The Boston-based orchestra provides a unique, multi-generational approach to all styles of popular dance music that is fun and sophisticated. Bell, a Berklee alumna, is the college’s chief alumni officer. Berklee faculty member and guitarist Eric Byers is the band’s musical director.
Berklee Full Circle Band
The Berklee Full Circle Band with Steve Oristaglio lights up the night with fresh sounds, driving beats and a passion for playing rock and roll, blues and pop favorites. The band of star Berklee musicians features Samantha Schultz, a singer and songwriter from Edmonton, Alberta who started playing the guitar at age 11. Pianist and singer Oristaglio, who has been in the financial services industry his whole career, loves music and has been participating with friends and family most of his life.
Berklee Global Jazz Institute
The Berklee Global Jazz Institute is a performance program for talented jazz students from around the world, designed to foster creativity and musicianship through various musical disciplines. In addition to being mentored by and playing with jazz masters, students travel together and perform at festivals throughout the world, including Newport, Monterey, and Panama. This past April a septet performed at UNESCO World Headquarters in Paris as part of the first International Jazz Day. The Institute’s Artistic Director is pianist and composer Danilo Perez, among the most influential and dynamic musicians of our time.
Scratch Ambassadors! Directed by Stephen Webber
Scratch Ambassadors! brings together Berklee turntable students and acoustic musicians, creatively mixing alternative string players, DJs, singers and rappers into a concoction of hip-hop, bluegrass, reggae, classic and world beat. Turntable expert Stephen Webber, a.k.a. Professor Scratch founded Berklee’s first turntable ensemble in 2005 and directs Scratch Ambassadors! A music production and engineering professor at Berklee, Webber is a veteran record producer, engineer, music director, studio designer, recording artist and session player.
The Berklee Salsa Ensemble, directed by Bernardo Hernandez
The Berklee Salsa Ensemble features the best student performers of the tropical dance rhythms of salsa. The ensemble is directed by Berklee Assistant Professor Bernardo Hernandez, who has played with a wide range of innovative artists, including Tito Puente, Jr., Victor Mendoza, Vicky Carr, and Nancy Wilson, and has led the group in a string of performances throughout the Boston area, including the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival. Hernandez is an alumnus of Berklee and the Jose Angel Lamas Music Conservatory in Caracas, Venezuela.
Country Blues Showcase
Guitarist Paul Rishell and Harmonica ace Annie Raines are a country blues-inspired musical duo who have recorded and performed on John Sebastian’s J-Band, and appeared on the soundtrack to A Prairie Home Companion. They are devoted to the study and performance of a wide range of blues styles, from the syncopated acoustic guitar wizardry of Blind Lemon Jefferson and Son House to Chicagoan “Little” Walter Jacob’s swinging amplified harmonica. The Country Blues Showcase also features guitarist and vocalist Woody Mann.
Eun Sun Kim
Playing piano to set the bidding mood during the 4th floor silent auction will be Berklee student Eun Sun Kim, a native of Seoul, South Korea, who is the keyboardist/organist for the Berklee Tower of Power Ensemble and a piano accompanist at Berklee.
City Music All-Stars
The Berklee City Music All-Star Ensemble is composed of the best and brightest City Music students from Berklee's Five-Week Summer Performance Program. This ensemble of full-tuition scholarship recipients performs many genres of contemporary music, including jazz, pop, hip-hop, and rhythm and blues.
The nationally-recognized City Music All-Star ensemble was the house band for the 2011 TED conference, and is supported by funds from the Encore Gala.