Berklee Artists Join Forces for #BerkleeTogether Concert Series

By 
Eugene Ahn
October 13, 2020
Press release
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The biweekly series, which starts on Wednesday, October 14, has Berklee musicians from across the globe collaborating for new virtual performances.

Edmar Colon (L) and Luis Gamarra (R)
Edmar Colón and Luis Gamarra
Images courtesy of the artists

Starting on Wednesday, October 14, Berklee College of Music will debut #BerkleeTogether, a new biweekly performance series. The spirit of collaboration and artistry has continued to flourish during this time of remote learning, as students, faculty, and alumni continue to make music and create. In this series of performances, Berklee will be featuring some of its best pairings and collaborations, bringing new live music to a global audience via its YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook pages every two weeks at 8:00 p.m. EDT/EST. 

“Collaboration is key at Berklee, and this series allows our community to continue doing so on a regular basis despite operating remotely,” says Jonathan Foo, concert producer and event liaison for Berklee. “A silver lining in this unprecedented time is that we can perform 'together' regardless of where all the performers are.”

The first #BerkleeTogether show will feature Luis Gamarra and Edmar Colón collaborating from separate Boston-area locations. Gamarra is an independent Latin music/pop artist originally from Bolivia. While at Berklee, Gamarra dedicated his time to use music in social projects, creating his own foundation that helped young Bolivians get opportunities in music education. He developed “Yo Soy Inmigrante” ("I Am an Immigrant"), a music video recorded with more than 50 musicians from across the world that was featured by the United Nations and the International Organization for Migration. He was named Bolivian Person of the Year by El Deber, Bolivia's largest newspaper, and was featured on El Mundo's Latino 30 Under 30 list. 

A native of Puerto Rico, Colón received the prestigious Presidential Scholarship to attend Berklee, where he studied at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) under direction of Danilo Pérez and Marco Pignataro. Colón has played at the Detroit Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, and others. He recently performed at the Kennedy Center's Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, and has toured with Grammy winners Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding B.M. ’05, Dianne Reeves, and Dee Dee Bridgewater. In 2016, Colón was included on El Mundo's Latino 30 Under 30 list, and was awarded first prize at the Keep an Eye International Jazz Awards in Amsterdam as part of the BGJI. 

The duo will debut Gamarra's new song “La Paz," which addresses his desire for world peace amidst the many challenges the world is currently experiencing. "I wanted to combine all the voices and social issues that the world is currently facing and put it in one single song as a way of protest,” says Gamarra. “Working with Edmar, one of the most talented Berklee alumni I know, has been very humbling, and doing it from a distance made me realize that even though we couldn't share a space together, our love for music and the world gave us the ability to strongly connect and create a very deep and beautiful song."

Upcoming Berklee World Strings Performance

On October 28, #BerkleeTogether will feature the Berklee World Strings, directed by Eugene Friesen and featuring cellist Kely Pinheiro and violist Noah Leong. The performance includes students in locations ranging from Brazil to Kazakhstan collaborating virtually for this special performance. Berklee World Strings features Berklee’s finest string players, led by four-time Grammy Award winner Friesen, a renowned composer, conductor, and teacher who has worked and recorded with artists such as Dave Brubeck, Martin Sexton, Will Ackerman, Dream Theater, and many others. Pinheiro is a Brazilian multi-instrumentalist and arranger who has been performing since she was 12 years old. She has toured with Rio’s popular string orchestra Camerata Laranjeiras and with the Norweigian singer Astrid S. A classically trained cellist, Pinheiro specializes in a number of musical styles, and continues her work while enrolled at Berklee. Leong, a current student at Berklee, is an avid violist, producer, and bassist and focuses his studies on jazz viola, production, and sound design. 

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