Kicking Back at Kendall
This was not yout typical grab-a-sandwich-and-go lunch break. On this Thursday, close to 50 people converged at umbrella-shaded tables in Kendall Square to enjoy the smooth sounds of the genre-defying Sol Melodiq.
The Kendall shows, held every Thursday through the fall two blocks from the Kendall Square T stop, are part of Berklee's 2008 Free Summer Concert Series and a chance for Berklee students and recent graduates to showcase their talent. These same bands reconvene Thursday evenings for Harborwalk Sounds: Berklee at the Institute of Contemporary Art.
Sol Melodiq had something for everyone in the space of two hours, performing originals and covers of jazz, rock, hip-hop, funk, classic soul, and world music. "We play whatever makes your head move," said Clynton Cox, vocalist and guitarist for the band.
Michelle Mason, who works at Genzyme Corporation across the street, had attended the lunch series for the past several weeks. Even though they're free, "I'd pay money to see these bands," she said.
Another concert-goer had a lot farther to travel; Rosezina Braxton was on her lunch break from her job as a health care worker in Dorchester. In fact, she makes the trek to Kendall every Thursday for the show. "It's very relaxing to sit under a tent and listen to music," she said.
Meanwhile, the series gives musicians a great opportunity to get their music heard by many audiences. "It gives them great exposure," said Michael Borgida, producer of the concert series.
To Sol Melodiq, the Kendall show offered a venue at which to present themselves in a different atmosphere, as well as the chance to get some professional experience. "We can see how it feels like to be on the road," said keyboardist and vocalist Stacey Wade, a professional music major. "We have to be on time. It's good practice for what we're trying to do as a band."
In addition to the music, there are plenty of restaurants nearby, as well as a farmer's market across the street.
Members of the Zach Hillyard Band talk about performing in the concert series.