Kathy Mattea Performs with Students March 10

Nick Balkin
February 18, 2011
Kathy Mattea
Sierra Hull
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist

The 2011 Berklee College of Music Signature Series, where world-renowned musicians share the stage with Berklee students, continues on Thursday, March 10 with two-time Grammy Award-winning country and bluegrass singer Kathy Mattea. Best known for blending folk, Celtic, and country sounds, Mattea, a repeat Country Music Association Award–winner, has recorded 17 albums over nearly 30 years and has charted more than 30 singles on the Billboard charts. Mattea will be backed by a Berklee student band. Her relationship with Berklee goes back as far as 2005, when she recorded a song written by Berklee students with Grammy-winning producer/engineers Elliot Scheiner and George Massenburg.

19-year-old bluegrass mandolin phenom Sierra Hull will perform with Mattea and open the show with her band Highway 111. She is performing in support of Daybreak, her upcoming release on Rounder Records (March 8). Hull, who recently performed at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC with Alison Krauss and Dan Tyminski, is in her final year at Berklee. She is the first student to be awarded Berklee's Presidential Scholarship specifically for bluegrass music.

Kathy Mattea Meets Berklee takes place on Thursday, March 10, at 8:15 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. General admission tickets are $15/$10, reserved seating, and are available at the box office, at ticketmaster.com, or by calling 617 931-2000. For more information, call 617 747-2261 or visit berkleebpc.com. The venue is wheelchair-accessible. The concert is produced by Music Production and Engineering professor Stephen Webber, who cohosts Berklee's annual spring break trip to Nashville.

Mattea, in residence at Berklee from March 7–10, will teach a vocal master class and work with a student recording ensemble. She will also present "My Coal Journey," a clinic about her family's ties to coal mining culture in Appalachia. The event includes a discussion of the social/environmental issues surrounding the coal mining industry and performances of songs from her 2008 release, Coal.

Twice named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association, Kathy Mattea carved out a role for herself in the late 1980s and 1990s as a sensitive yet energetic artist, at ease both with country tradition and free-ranging innovation. The West Virginia native won her first Grammy in 1990, earning the Best Female Country Vocal Performance award for "Where've You Been," cowritten by husband Jon Vezner. With close to 30 Top 40 country hits, including 15 Top 10s and four Number One entries, and five gold albums and a platinum-selling greatest hits compilation, she is among the most successful women in the genre's history.

Kathy Mattea meets Berklee and other upcoming Berklee Performance Center concerts can be viewed live at concertwindow.com/berklee. Berklee is teaming with Concert Window to broadcast live streams of BPC concerts. Concert Window is dedicated to presenting live music on the web and is building a network of venues, including Berklee and the legendary Club Passim in Cambridge.