Boston and Beyond: Berklee's CMJ Music Marathon Showcase

Margot Edwards
September 30, 2014
Press release
Smoke Season
Drunken Logic
Los Rumberos de Massachusetts
Amy & the Engine
Kate Diaz
The Western Den
Tumbleweed Company
Photo provided by the artist.
Photo provided by the artist.
Photo provided by the artist.
Photo provided by the artist.
Photo provided by the artist.
Photo provided by the artist.
Photo provided by the artist.

Boston and Beyond: Berklee’s CMJ Music Marathon Showcase of alumni and student artists takes place on Friday, October 24, from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. at Carroll Place in New York. The show features rock, Americana, folk, Latin, and electro-pop by Drunken Logic, Tumbleweed Company, Kate Diaz, the Western Den (HRR), Los Rumberos de Massachusetts (HRR), Amy & the Engine, and Smoke Season.

The showcase is presented by The Red Room @ Cafe 939, Berklee Alumni Affairs, and Heavy Rotation Records (HRR), with media sponsor Vanyaland.

Vanyaland will be live streaming the event at Vanya Radio.

Boston and Beyond: Berklee’s CMJ Music Marathon Showcase is open to all ages. Admission is free for CMJ badge holders and $10 for the general public. Carroll Place is located at 157 Bleecker Street (between Thompson and Sullivan streets), New York, New York. For more information, call 212 260-1700. 

The event includes free raffles for a chance to win a badge to attend next year’s CMJ Music Marathon. Free copies of HRR’s latest album, Dorm Sessions 9, featuring showcase artists the Western Den and Los Rumberos de Massachusetts, will also be given away.

CMJ Music Marathon is one of the world’s most important platforms for the discovery of new music, drawing 120,000 people with more than 1,400 performances in more than 80 venues. Berklee has presented many up-and-coming acts at its past CMJ showcases, including Lucius, Nini & Ben (of HAERTS), Elizabeth & the Catapult, Christopher Barnes (Gem Club), Bleu, Julia Easterlin, and Golden Bloom.

Artists, in order of appearance:

The seed for Drunken Logic took root when frontman Jake Cassman walked away from an Ivy League education to make music and form a band at Berklee in 2012. Drunken Logic brews an eclectic powder keg of alternative rock and indie folk with classic rock and pop influences. Songs range from folky reflections on growing up to bluesy barn-burners about corporate greed. The quintet released its debut album in 2013 and was named Musicians of the Year by Raw:Boston.

Nashville-based Tumbleweed Company strives to craft each song with care and exploration. The group—Berklee alumni Maria Kowalski, Jeff Adamczek, Ryan Toll, Will Cafaro, and Jayme Tardiff—brings listeners a sound that combines the comfort of the South with the adventure of the West, while blending the members’ diverse roots, including folk, Americana, rock, and soul. Vocal harmonies ring over an orchestra of instruments in each song’s story.

Kate Diaz, a student singer-songwriter and guitarist from Chicago, has released four acoustic albums and three singles, books her own gigs, and does her own website design. Diaz wrote a song for the U.N.’s International Day of the Girl, and raises funds for child cancer research with her song “Christmas Smiles.” She has performed at Kidzapalooza, Taste of Chicago, Milwaukee Summerfest, Earth Day Festival in Washington, D.C., and at Chicago venues including House of Blues and the Metro.

Driven by a shared passion to create music with purpose, the Western Den (HRR) is the collaboration of students Deni Hlavinka and Chris West. They blend compelling folk harmonies with ambient textures on their debut EP, Battle Hymns, and opened for Berklee associate professor of songwriting Melissa Ferrick on the Northeastern leg of her national tour. The Western Den is currently based in Boston, performing and working on a full-length album.

Los Rumberos de Massachusetts (HRR)—Mexican guitarists Lito de la Isla and Angel Cespedes, and percussionist Paul Sefchovich, who met as Berklee students—create a powerful sound combining Latin cultures with other influences like blues, flamenco, rock, dance, funk, and reggae. The band's unique style and energetic flavor attracts a wide range of enthusiastic followers in Mexico, the U.S., Latvia, Russia, and Spain, where it has performed with Juanes, Julieta Venegas, and Ziggy Marley.

Amy & the Engine, self-described as “indie-folk-pop,” formed at Berklee in 2014 and features the songwriting of student Amy Allen. The band performed at festivals throughout New England and appeared on TV programs and radio stations including Good Morning Maine, Good Morning Emerson, WCLZ, WCYY, WJBQ, and WMBR this summer. Amy & the Engine’s debut single, “I Got You,” was released in July and a six-song EP will be completed in the fall of 2014. 

Gabrielle Wortman and Berklee alumnus Jason Rosen formed Smoke Season in early 2013. Combining their musical backgrounds, the Los Angeles-based duo’s folk and electronic-fused take on Americana has been steadily capturing the attention of fans and press. LA Weekly said of the group, “Smoke Season aren’t strictly traditional rustic revivalists: juxtaposing eerie roots rambles with more ethereal, electronic-pop interludes.The duo has released two critically acclaimed EPs, Signals and Hot Coals, Cold Souls.


Vanyaland is a Boston-based online music magazine. Launched in May 2013, it is an interactive source for music news, live shows, new releases, downloads, and nightlife around Boston and beyond. In February 2014, Vanyaland launched VanyaRadio, a live 24/7 streaming radio station that features new music from around the world. The radio content is anchored by "This Is 617," an hour-long local music show airing thrice daily and hosted by Vanyaland cofounder Michael Marotta. Its weekend playlist raises a glass to global nightlife with specialty shows from renowned DJs like Fergie, Kissy Sell Out, and Felix Da Housecat.

Heavy Rotation Records (HRR) gives music business/management majors at Berklee hands-on experience running a record company. The students oversee all label functions, including A&R, marketing, sales, touring, web development, media, and accounting. HRR's releases since 1995 include Shekinah: 13 Artists, distributed by Epic; Apollo Sunshine's second album, coreleased with spinART; Dorm Sessions 1–9; and Under the Influence. Many up-and-coming artists have appeared on HRR compilations, including Annie Clark (St. Vincent); members of Passion Pit (as the Peasantry); HAERTS (as Nini & Ben); Christopher Barnes (Gem Club); Madi Diaz; Elizabeth & the Catapult; and Big D and the Kids Table. The label also serves as a springboard for careers in the industry. Alumni have gone on to work at Interscope, Capitol, DreamWorks, BMG, Universal, Live Nation, AEG Live, and YouTube/Google, among other companies.

The Red Room at Cafe 939 is a state-of-the-art, all-ages venue and coffeehouse dedicated to showcasing, developing, and supporting musical and performance endeavors that fit in a 200-capacity club. Berklee music business students work alongside industry professionals to make this venue a real world experience. Top quality sound, superb engineering and a savvy staff focused on the fan/artist experience make it the perfect environment for artists and fans to connect. The venue is open to the public and attracts musicians and fans from all walks of life. Past shows include Ingrid Michaelson, Pomplamoose, Karmin, Lenka, Elephant Revival, the Click Five, Greg Laswell, Kina Grannis, Harper Simon, the Civil Wars, Rachael Yamagata, Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys, Jason Castro, Brooke Fraser, Boyce Avenue, the Rescues, Owl City, and many others.


Margot Edwards is a manager in the Office of Media Relations. Media inquiries: