Berklee Guitar Sessions: August 12–16

By 
Susan Scotti
July 9, 2018
Wayne Krantz
Tomo Fujita
Berta Rojas
David Gilmore
Julien Kasper
Image courtesy of the artist
Image courtesy of the artist
Image courtesy of the artist
Image by Phil Farnsworth
Image courtesy of the artist

Guitar Sessions returns August 12–16 with performances by Wayne Krantz, Tomo Fujita, David Gilmore, Berta Rojas, and Julien Kasper. One of the largest, most comprehensive summer guitar programs available anywhere, the program, now in its 27th year, emphasizes practical playing experience through a variety of classes, clinics, and performance activities. 

All concerts are open to the public and take place at the Berklee Performance Center, located at 136 Massachusetts Avenue, in Boston. For tickets and more information, visit berklee.edu/bpc.

Sunday / August 12, 2018 / 3:30 p.m.
Guitar Sessions Opening Ceremony and Welcome Concert with Tomo Fujita
Admission: Free

Tomo Fujita has been a faculty member at Berklee College of Music since 1993. Perhaps the most famous of his former Berklee students are Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno (“Kraz”), Lettuce guitarist Adam “Schmeeans” Smirnoff, and John Mayer.

Fujita’s philosophy is that music is not just about playing; it’s about feeling. He teaches students to inject emotion into every phrase, whether the style is blues, jazz, funk, or rock.

Fujita has performed with Will Lee, Steve Gadd, Bernard Purdie, Susan Tedeschi, and Phil Collins. He also played guitar in a Boston production of the musical Rent. When he isn’t performing, Fujita likes to sit in with other artists, including Ronnie Earl, Coco Montoya, Eric Gales, Josh Smith, and Kirk Fletcher.

Monday / August 13, 2018 / 7:30 p.m.
Guitar Sessions: David Gilmore
Admission: $8 in advance / $12 day of show

David Gilmore has performed and recorded with many of today’s most influential artists, including Wayne Shorter, Steve Coleman, Christian McBride, Dave Douglas, and Rudresh Mahanthappa.

His latest release, Transitions, was named one of DownBeat’s top albums of 2017. Gilmore, whose style has been compared to guitarists as diverse as George Benson and Jimi Hendrix, has received numerous grants, including from Chamber Music America and New Jazz Works. He has been nominated for the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award.

Committed to an improvisational approach that reflects global awareness, Gilmore conducts master classes around the world, and is a professor at Berklee College of Music.

Tuesday / August 14, 2018 / 7:30 p.m.
Guitar Sessions: Berta Rojas
Admission: $8 in advance / $12 day of show

Berta Rojas, who ranks among today’s foremost classical guitarists, will perform a selection of Latin American classical guitar music featuring works from composers such as Manuel María Ponce, Agustín Barrios, Edín Solís, and Quique Sinesi.

Rojas, a three-time Latin Grammy nominee, has been praised as a “guitarist extraordinaire” by the Washington Post and as an “ambassador of the classical guitar” by Classical Guitar Magazine. Her warmth and musicality have earned her the admiration of audiences at major venues including the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Frederick P. Rose Hall of Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland, where she performed as a soloist with the Irish Radio and Television Orchestra. She also has performed at Flagey Studio 4 with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra for Belgian National Television.

Rojas recently joined Berklee College of Music as an associate professor, sharing her knowledge and love of music with young guitarists from all over the world.

Wednesday / August 15, 2018 / 7:30 p.m.
Guitar Sessions: Wayne Krantz
Admission: $8 in advance / $12 day of show

Wayne Krantz has performed and recorded with artists such as Steely Dan, Michael Brecker, Billy Cobham, Chris Potter, and David Binney. Since the early 1990s, he has focused primarily on his solo career, mostly as the leader of a trio. Krantz has released 10 albums since 1991.

Thursday / August 16, 2018 / 7:30 p.m.
Guitar Sessions: Julien Kasper
Admission: $8 in advance / $12 day of show

Animated by the exquisite soundscape created by Jimi Hendrix, Julien Kasper has constructed a deep, jazz-shaped identity of his own. The Berklee College of Music guitar professor plays with a giant palate of electric texture and tone. His music—an organic amalgam of jazz, rock, and funk—has an evocative, bluesy groove and a deep, expressive vocabulary.

Kasper has released three critically acclaimed albums of original music and has performed extensively in the United States and abroad as a leader and sideman.