Berklee Announces Spring 2020 Signature Series

This semester's concerts highlight pop with a twist, along with the music of the African diaspora, the Middle East, and more.

January 30, 2020

The Signature Series at Berklee returns with performances by students, faculty, alumni, and world-renowned, award-winning musicians. The spring half of the 2019–2020 season includes concerts by Grammy-nominated alto saxophonist Tia Fuller, a Singers Showcase featuring theme songs from over 50 years of the James Bond franchise, celebrated Armenian pianist and composer Tigran Hamasyan, and more.

All concerts will take place at the Berklee Performance Center (BPC), with tickets available at, the BPC box office, or by calling 617-747-2261. Seating is reserved.

The BPC is a wheelchair-accessible venue. ASL interpreters will be on site for the Great American Songbook and the Singers Showcase event.

Great American Songbook: Nu-Vintage Pop—Today’s Hits, Time Traveled 

Sunday, February 23, at 7:30 p.m.

Join an eclectic and global cast of Berklee’s finest vocalists, instrumentalists, arrangers, and dancers, as they reimagine and perform modern-day pop songs in jazz and retro styles from a bygone era including: ragtime, Dixieland, swing, big band, doo-wop, and Motown. Marrying 21st-century melodies with the sonic warmth and sass of a vintage 78-RPM record, prepare to be transported back in time with our yesteryears makeover of hit songs by contemporary artists such as John Legend, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Charlie Puth B.M. '13. From sumptuous street corner harmonies, and hot Harlem stride piano, to the bump and sway of jitterbug dancers, expect a reverent and unashamedly feel-good evening that will appeal to people of all ages. Pork-pie hats, zoot suits, spats, and victory-roll hairstyles are encouraged.

Admisision: $15 / $20 in advance; $20 / $25 day of show

The Coming: Black History Month Celebration

Thursday, February 27, at 7:30 p.m.

In celebration of Black History Month, we commemorate 400 years since the first Africans were brought onto American soil at Point Comfort, Virginia, in August 1619. This musical narrative features excerpts from Daniel Black's novel The Coming, and compositions performed by Tia Fuller, drawing on her Grammy-nominated album, Diamond Cut. Also performing will be the Rainbow All-Stars Ensemble and other ensembles on the rich traditions and more contemporary portrayals of the African diaspora, firmly depicting the unrighteous capture and journey of the transatlantic slave trade.

Black’s book, The Coming, has been described as “lyrical, poetic, and hypnotizing, telling the story of a people’s capture and sojourn from their homeland across the Middle Passage—a traumatic trip that exposed the strength and resolve of the African spirit.” Through the music direction of Fuller and the prose of Black, they will pay homage to the diverse cultures of Africa and evolution of African American music.

Admission: $10 / $15 in advance; $15 / $20 day of show

The Show

Thursday, March 5, at 8:00 p.m.

Rob Lewis '94 directs and produces The Show, a concert spanning multiple genres and styles. The musical director, who has worked with Christina Aguilera, New Kids on the Block, and Toni Braxton, develops Berklee talent to be prepared for the industry. This concert will present students at their best, highlighting their talent and passion through popular music. 

Admission: $10 / $15 in advance; $15 / $20 day of show

Singers Showcase: Bond...James Bond—Theme Songs

Thursday, April 9, at 8:00 p.m.

While the world eagerly awaits the launch of No Time to Die, the 25th James Bond movie, prepare to be shaken and stirred as Berklee’s most outstanding lead vocalists pay tribute to novelist Ian Fleming’s immortal and debonair Secret Intelligence Service agent, 007. The concert will feature a full rhythm section, horns, strings, background vocalists, dancers, and special guests, who will interpret the stylistically diverse canon of James Bond theme songs from over 50 years of the Bond franchise. 

Through musical arrangements served straight up and with a twist, relive Monty Norman’s signature Bond theme and iconic hits made famous by legends Shirley Bassey, Nancy Sinatra, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon, Tina Turner, Adele, Sam Smith, and Alicia Keys, to name but a few. And, don’t miss your chance to hear the winning song entry from our exclusive James Bond academic competition. Hosted by Berklee Presents, in collaboration with Berklee’s Songwriting and Film Scoring departments, students will compose the “next” James Bond theme song.

The show will feature an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter.

Admission: $15 / $20 in advance; $20 / $25 day of show

Berklee Middle Eastern Festival: The Tigran Hamasyan Trio Meets Pletenitsa

Tuesday, April 28, at 8:00 p.m.

The Berklee Middle Eastern Festival is a celebrated annual event that brings together guest artists from the region, as well as community musicians, students, visual artists, and dancers from all over the world to celebrate the music of the Middle East, the Balkans, the Caucasus, and the Mediterranean.

In this edition, festival founder Christiane Karam, associate professor, Voice Department and the Pletenitsa Balkan Choir will perform in a stunning collaboration with celebrated Armenian pianist and composer Tigran Hamasyan and his trio. Known for melding jazz, folk, progressive rock, and classical forms, Hamasyan has established himself as one of the most innovative artists today.

Admission: $15 / $20 in advance; $20 / $25 day of show

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