Berklee Alumni Fuel Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z's Horn Section
Photo by Kelly Davidson
Berklee alumni (from left to right) Kevin Williams ‘03, Sean Erick ‘06, and Leon Silva Jr. ‘07, are currently playing trombone, trumpet, and saxophone, respectively, on Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z’s “Legends of the Summer” tour, which made a stop at Boston’s Fenway Park for concerts on August 10 and 11. The trio, known as the Regiment Horns, delighted the crowd, particularly on Timberlake’s new brass-driven jam, “Take Back the Night.”
Berklee alumna Nicole Hurst '03 (not pictured above) is also touring with Timberlake and Jay-Z, singing backing vocals. After several performances and rave reviews throughout the U.S. and Canada, the tour concludes in Miami on Friday, August 16.
"Personally, I was aiming to be a jazz player," Williams says. "Back in school, I wanted to be a bebop dude. I didn’t see playing hip-hop in my future at all."
But Williams adds that the music education he and his bandmates received at Berklee “has helped tremendously” in enabling them to adapt to different styles.
“Berklee prepared us for this moment,” Williams says of the current stint in the spotlight with Timberlake and Jay-Z. “It helped us to be able to play with any musician without feeling intimidated.”
Timberlake is featured on Jay-Z's latest album, Magna Carta...Holy Grail, which is currently the No. 1 album in the U.S. The album features sample recreation work by Grammy-winning Berklee alumni Ken Lewis '01 and Brent Kolatalo '03.