All-Star Concert to Benefit the Fred Taylor Scholarship Fund

By 
Susan Scotti
July 31, 2017
Press release
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Veteran Boston music promoter Fred Taylor will be honored in a benefit concert featuring some of the brightest stars in the jazz world on Tuesday, September 12, 2017.

The continuing legacy of iconic Boston music promoter Fred Taylor will be honored by the establishment of the Fred Taylor Endowed Scholarship Fund, designed to nurture gifted and deserving Berklee students in need of financial assistance who are studying music business/management or professional music.

To celebrate Taylor and to raise funds for the scholarship, Berklee will hold a concert featuring some of the brightest stars in the jazz world, including Kurt Elling, Danilo Pérez, Terri Lyne Carrington, Grace Kelly, Catherine Russell, Monty Alexander, John Patitucci, Kat Edmonson, Jason Palmer, James Montgomery, and Bo Winiker. The concert will also feature a special appearance by Pat Metheny and surprises to be announced from the stage. Berklee alumna Grace Kelly, who organized the concert and scholarship, and Robin Young of WBUR-FM, will host the event.

The Fred Taylor Scholarship Fund Concert will take place at the Berklee Performance Center on Tuesday, September 12, at 7:30 p.m. Admission ranges from $35 to $200. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Berklee Performance Center Box Office.

Taylor has been an unparalleled driving force in making Boston a great music city. For more than five decades, Taylor—Boston's ageless, irrepressible impresario—has devoted his life to nurturing gifted artists, presenting the who's who in jazz and beyond, and providing grateful audiences with extraordinary listening experiences. He has done so at his legendary clubs Paul's Mall and the Jazz Workshop; as the artistic director of the Tanglewood Jazz Festival from 2001 to 2007; and over the course of more than 25 years as artistic director of Scullers Jazz Club.

Taylor has presented artists such as Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Charles Mingus, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross, and Bruce Springsteen, as well as comedy legends like Flip Wilson, Richard Pryor, and Lily Tomlin. Taylor has also always had his eye on the future, helping to bring up stars of today including Norah Jones, Esperanza Spalding B.M. '05, Grace Kelly B.M. '12, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah B.M. '04, and Chris Botti, to name a few. He has earned awards from the Jazz Journalists Association, JazzBoston, and Berklee, which presented Taylor with the inaugural George Wein Impresario Award in 2015.

About the Artists

Pat Metheny recently received the nation’s highest honor in jazz, the NEA Jazz Masters Award. The guitarist and composer has won 20 Grammy Awards in 10 different categories. Metheny has recorded three gold albums and continues to redefine the genre of jazz by utilizing new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument.

Kurt Elling is a jazz vocalist, composer, lyricist, and vocalese performer. The New York Times called him “the standout male vocalist of our time.” The Washington Post said, “Since the mid-1990s, no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic, or interesting as Kurt Elling." He is a Grammy Award winner and an 11-time Grammy nominee, and has won Male Vocalist of the Year in the DownBeat Critics Poll 13 times, the DownBeat Readers Poll seven times, and the JazzTimes Readers Poll eight times. He has also received the Jazz Journalists Association Male Singer of the Year award eight times.

Danilo Pérez, a Grammy Award–winning pianist and composer, is among the most influential and dynamic musicians of our time. His distinctive blend of Pan-American jazz has attracted critical acclaim and loyal audiences. Born in Panama, Pérez attended Berklee in the 1980s and has led his own groups since the early 1990s. He has also worked as a music educator for more than 20 years. In addition to his role as founder and artistic director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, Pérez serves as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, a cultural ambassador for Panama, and as artistic director of the Panama Jazz Festival.

Terri Lyne Carrington is a three-time Grammy Award–winning drummer, composer, bandleader, producer, entrepreneur, and Berklee alumna. After touring extensively for more than 20 years with luminaries like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Al Jarreau, she returned to Berklee in Boston, where she is Zildjian chair in performance with the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. Carrington also received an honorary doctorate from Berklee in 2003. In 2013, she made history when she became the first woman to win a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album.

Grace Kelly, a saxophonist, singer, songwriter, and Berklee alumna, recorded her first album at 12, orchestrated for and performed with the Boston Pops Orchestra at 14, and performed at President Obama’s inauguration at 16. As a bandleader, she has performed more than 800 concerts in more than 30 countries. In 2016, she released her 10th album as a bandleader; it was voted the No. 2 Jazz Album of the Year in the DownBeat Readers Poll. She is a regular performer with Jon Batiste’s Stay Human on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and is featured as herself on the Emmy-nominated Amazon Prime series Bosch. 

John Patitucci, a Berklee Global Jazz Institute artist-in-residence, has performed throughout the world both with his own band and with jazz luminaries such as Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and many more. The recipient of two Grammy Awards and many more nominations, his association with Chick Corea has brought him worldwide acclaim and has put him at the forefront of the jazz world. His many recordings with Chick Corea’s Elektric Band and Akoustic Band, his six solo recordings for GRP Records, and his subsequent recordings have garnered him widespread critical acclaim.

Catherine Russell is a one-of-a-kind musician and vocalist who has appeared on more than 200 albums. A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she has toured the world performing and recording with the likes of David Bowie, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, and many more. Russell won a Grammy Award for her appearance on the soundtrack to the HBO series Boardwalk Empire and her album Harlem on My Mind received a Grammy nomination.

Kat Edmonson is an American singer-songwriter who has toured with Michael Kiwanuka, Chris Isaak, Gary Clark Jr, and Jamie Cullum. In 2010, Lyle Lovett invited her to be the opening act for his U.S. summer tour. In December of that year, he invited her to perform "Baby, It's Cold Outside" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Edmonson has appeared in two films: Angels Sing and Café Society, performing "Mountain Greenery" and "Jeepers Creepers" in the latter. In 2013, she received the Abe Olman Scholarship Award for excellence in songwriting from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Jason Palmer—trumpeter, composer, and educator—is quickly becoming one of the most in-demand musicians of his generation. He has performed with Roy Haynes, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Smith, and Wynton Marsalis, to name a few. In addition to performing on more than 40 albums as a sideman, Palmer has recorded eight albums under his own name. His quintet has led the house band at Boston’s famous jazz club, Wally’s Café, for more than a decade. He is currently an assistant professor of ensembles and brass at Berklee and a visiting assistant professor at Harvard University.

Bo Winiker began his professional music career at age 10, performing with the Winiker Family Band alongside his mother, father, and older brother. He went on to graduate from the New England Conservatory of Music. In 1992, he recorded on the movie soundtrack for A League of Their Own with Billy Joel. He has performed at the White House for Presidents Ford and Carter, and at Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Ball he performed alongside Aretha Franklin. This past year, Winiker was honored to take the stage at Symphony Hall to lead the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra for his fourth consecutive sold-out New Year’s Eve Gala.

When blues legend James Montgomery plays the harmonica, he "brings it on home." Whether recording with Kid Rock, sitting in with Gregg Allman, or fronting his own band of 30 years, Montgomery plays with authority. Growing up in Detroit, he learned first-hand from masters James Cotton, John Lee Hooker, and Junior Wells at the legendary Chessmate. Montgomery has toured with artists including Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, the Allman Brothers, and Steve Miller. He has jammed on stage with B.B. King and Buddy Guy, among others, including an impromptu session with Mick Jagger.