Beantown Jazz Festival 2014
The 14th annual Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival brought more than 60,000 fans out into Boston's South End for a packed day of eclectic music, food, and fun that energized all in attendance. Speaking to the overall success and record-setting crowd at this year's festival, Grammy-winning drummer, composer, and Berklee professor Terri Lyne Carrington said, "The 2014 Beantown Jazz Fest had the best turnout ever and was a great day for all, with Sheila E., Snarky Puppy, Dionne Farris, and Ambrose Akinmusire setting the stages on fire!" Other notable performances included saxophonist and MacArthur "genius" fellow Miguel Zenón, and festival mainstays and crowd favorites Bloco AfroBrazil.
This year's theme was "Jazz: The Global Ambassador" and highlighted the genre's ability to expand cultural borders and bring a diverse crowd together. Faculty and alumni also played a major role, with performances by faculty artists, including Bill Banfield's the Jazz Urbane with special guest Grace Kelly; the Yoron Israel/Bill Pierce Quintet; the Screaming Headless Torsos, led by David Fiuczynski; and Marco Pignataro Jazzet featuring Eddie Gomez; as well as alumni acts such as Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio, and Aubrey Logan.
For the fifth year, Berklee was the recipient of the Access to Artistic Excellence grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support this year's festival. Reflecting this year's global theme, the NEA cited the festival as a celebration of Boston’s diversity as evidenced by the attendees, music, food, and crafts.