Berklee Advanced Vocal Jazz Ensemble Bring 'Power, Poise, and Passion' to New Orleans

By 
Tori Donahue
January 17, 2020
The Berklee Advanced Vocal Jazz Ensemble performed at one of the jazz world's biggest conferences on January 8.
Image by Michelle Tsimtsos

The Berklee Advanced Vocal Jazz Ensemble performed a special showcase at the 11th annual Jazz Education Network Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Wednesday, January 8. Led by Ned Rosenblatt, an associate professor in the Voice Department, and featuring faculty vocalist Patrice Williamson, the 11-member student ensemble made the most of their 50-minute set. It was the group’s first performance after a successful 2019 that included winning the DownBeat Student Music Award in the Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble category.

“The Advanced Vocal Jazz Ensemble gave a stellar performance in New Orleans,” said Williamson. “The students performed with precision, power, poise, and passion—I was honored to sing with them, and proud of their representation of Berklee College of Music.”

The performance marked the second time the ensemble has been selected to perform at the conference, with the group previously hosting a showcase in 2014. The Jazz Education Network Conference brings together thousands of jazz beginners and experts from around the world to focus on networking, performance, and education within the genre.

“This is truly an audience of your peers…you are performing for a very prestigious audience comprised of top jazz educators and performers,” said Rosenblatt. “From a director's standpoint, it's a very high-pressure responsibility to produce an impressive program. The students in the ensemble fully understood the enormity of this honor, and the responsibility of their preparation and presentation.”

Following their showcase, the students and faculty members from Berklee participated in the conference’s ample professional and performance events, creating, in Rosenblatt’s words, “overall just a great experience.”