Julian Lage Trio on New Year's Eve

Rob Hayes
December 16, 2011
Julian Lage '08
Manami Morita '08
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist

First Night Boston, Berklee College of Music, and 89.7 WGBH present the Julian Lage Trio, featuring Larry Grenadier and Eric Harland, performing at the Berklee Performance Center on New Year's Eve, Saturday, December 31, kicking off NPR's annual worldwide jazz broadcast of Toast of the Nation. The concert is a centerpiece of this year's First Night Boston festival. 

Admission is $18 by purchase of a First Night button. The Julian Lage Trio performs two sets, at 7:45 p.m. (NPR broadcast at 8:00 p.m. Eastern), and 9:30 p.m. Jazz on WGBH host Eric Jackson will be the Boston broadcast's master of ceremonies. Lage's performance will also be rebroadcast on NPR at 4:00 a.m. Eastern (1 a.m. Pacific), closing the broadcast as they started it off.

Hailed by All About Jazz as "a giant in the making," 2008 Berklee graduate Julian Lage grew up in California and was the subject of an Academy Award–nominated documentary, Jules at Eight. He gained pivotal early exposure as a protégé of legendary vibraphonist Gary Burton, recording and touring with Burton on three projects: Generations (2004), Next Generation (2005), and Common Ground (2010). Following his Grammy-nominated 2009 debut Sounding Point, Lage's latest release is the evocative and finely wrought Gladwell. For New Year's Toast of the Nation concert broadcast, he will be joined by two of his newest collaborators, the jazz virtuosos Larry Grenadier on bass and Eric Harland on drums.

Fun and endearingly off-kilter jazz pianist Manami Morita, also a 2008 Berklee grad, performs the first set of the evening at 6:30 p.m. Morita leads a crack trio of fellow Berklee alumni that includes Zak Croxall on bass and Tom Hartman on drums. Each of the three performances will be seated separately. The Berklee Performance Center is located at 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA. Call 617 747-2261 for more information.

New Year's Eve 2011 marks the eighth consecutive year that Berklee, 89.7 WGBH, and NPR have collaborated to kick off the live holiday special Toast of the Nation. It is the fourth year that First Night Boston has been a partner, as well. Heard on more than 200 NPR affiliate stations worldwide, Toast of the Nation begins in Boston and will move across the country, with highlights from the Newport Jazz Festival; a Tribute to Billy Taylor from the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; Wynton Marsalis live from Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center; Sing the Truth, with Lizz Wright, Angelique Kidjo, and Dianne Reeves; the Junior Mance Quintet, live from Denver; and the Billy Childs Quartet, live from Los Angeles' Blue Whale club.

For a full schedule of performances, and to find local participating NPR stations, visit wbgo.org/toast. The concert can be heard in the Boston area on 89.7 WGBH FM. Toast of the Nation is produced for NPR by WBGO-FM, Newark; WGBH Radio produces the Boston portion of the broadcast.