Join us for the 14th Annual Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival, Saturday, September 27, 2014. Three stages of live music, arts, crafts, a family park - even an Instrument Petting Zoo. Free and fun for all ages.

2014 Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival Schedule

BeanTown Jazz Festival 2012

  • Federator N°1

    Saturday, September 27, 2014, 12:00 pm
    BeanTown Stage
    Columbus Ave.
    Boston MA 02215 [Map]
    Federator N°1
    Federator N°1

    Federator N° 1 is a big band playing up-tempo Afrobeat and reggae that will make you dance while also delivering a message.

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    Federator N° 1 is a big band playing up-tempo Afrobeat and reggae that will make you dance while also delivering a message.

    This 12-piece band includes three horns, two vocalists, keys, guitar, bass, three percussionists, and a dancer. The lineup includes Berklee professors, globe-trotting musicians, teachers, fathers, software developers, activists, cooks, and poets—all of whom are dedicated to presenting an exceptional live Afrobeat experience featuring originals and arrangements of familiar tunes. The band balances that which is deeply traditional with that which is unapologetically modern, and advances the power of music to speak to today’s culture, politics, and people. Come free your body and mind with Federator N°1.

    Free
  • Marco Pignataro Jazzet featuring Eddie Gomez

    Saturday, September 27, 2014, 12:00 pm
    Berklee Stage
    Columbus Avenue and Northampton Street
    Boston MA 02118 [Map]
    Marco Pignataro Jazzet featuring Eddie Gomez
    Marco Pignataro Jazzet

    Italian saxophonist Marco Pignataro has performed extensively across Europe and the Americas in jazz festivals and international music venues. Pignataro's latest album, Sofia’s Heart, was produced by jazz legend Eddie Gomez and features Pignataro's compositions and arrangements. 

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    Italian saxophonist Marco Pignataro has performed extensively across Europe and the Americas in jazz festivals and international music venues. Pignataro's latest album, Sofia’s Heart, was produced by jazz legend Eddie Gomez and features Pignataro's compositions and arrangements.  

    The album was recorded in Philadelphia by a stellar group, including Gomez, Bill Drummond, Matt Marvuglio, and Mark Kramer. A native of Bologna, Italy, Pignataro studied classical music at the Bruno Maderna Conservatory of Music, and jazz at the University of Miami and Florida International University. He has also studied with jazz artists and educators, such as Steve Grossman, Gary Campbell, Ed Calle, Gary Keller, Ron Miller, Vince Maggio, Mike Orta, Renato D'Aiello, and Richard Dunscomb.

    Legendary bassist and two-time Grammy Award-winner Gomez has been on the cutting edge of music for over four decades. His impressive resumé includes performances with jazz giants Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, Gerry Mulligan, and Benny Goodman. Gomez's unique sound and style can be heard on many Grammy-winning records as well as on hundreds of recordings spanning the worlds of jazz, classical, Latin jazz, R&B, popular, and contemporary music. 

    Free
  • Marcus Santos and Bloco AfroBrazil

    Saturday, September 27, 2014, 1:00 pm
    Columbus Avenue (Street Performance)
    688 Columbus Avenue
    Boston MA [Map]
    Marcus Santos and Bloco AfroBrazil
    Marcus Santos & Bloco AfroBrazil

    Brazilian Marcus Santos is a contemporary percussionist and educator. He commits his life to the study, teaching, and performance of his hometown's Afro-Brazilian music.

     

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    Brazilian Marcus Santos is a contemporary percussionist and educator. He commits his life to the study, teaching, and performance of his hometown's Afro-Brazilian music.

    Santos has performed for the president of Brazil, on TEDx, and on Telemundo with the One World Band, produced by MTV. He also performed on the soundtrack for the Oscar-nominated movie Rachel's Getting Married (Sony Pictures), starring Anne Hathaway. He has received several industry honors, including the KoSA Recognition Award (2013), the Outstanding Arts Performer Award by the Brazilian Immigrant Center (2008), and the Outstanding Percussionist Award by Berklee College of Music (2004). 

    Free
  • Screaming Headless Torsos

    Saturday, September 27, 2014, 1:15 pm
    BeanTown Stage
    Columbus Ave.
    Boston MA 02215 [Map]
    Screaming Headless Torsos
    Screaming Headless Torsos

    Screaming Headless Torsos, or SHT, is a genre-defying rock band that formed in 1989. The band's music mixes and mashes guitar-driven rock, jazz, hip-hop, funk, and more.

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    Screaming Headless Torsos, or SHT, is a genre-defying rock band that formed in 1989 and consists of founding member and guitarist David Fiuczynski, vocalist Freedom Bremner, bassist David Ginyard, percussionist Daniel Sadownick, and alternating drummers, including Gene Lake, Skoota Warner, and James "Biscuit" Rouse. The band's music mixes and mashes guitar-driven rock, jazz, hip-hop, funk, soul, R&B, reggae, and drum 'n' bass grooves and concepts, along with future shock percussion, improvisation, acrobatic vocals, and, most recently, Eastern microtonal influences.

    Free
  • Ambrose Akinmusire

    Saturday, September 27, 2014, 1:15 pm
    Berklee Stage
    Columbus Avenue and Northampton Street
    Boston MA 02118 [Map]
    Ambrose Akinmusire
    Ambrose Akinmusire

    Ambrose Akinmusire brings his artistic vision to the next level with his second release for Blue Note Records. The New Yorker calls him “a thrilling young trumpeter and astute bandleader (with a) unique spark in his playing.”

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    Ambrose Akinmusire brings his artistic vision to the next level with his second release for Blue Note Records, The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to PaintThe album follows his acclaimed major label debut, When the Heart Emerges Glistening, which New York Times critic Nate Chinen called his No. 1 album of 2011. On his newest release, Akinmusire takes a more compositional turn, writing 12 of the 13 tracks and producing the album himself. The New Yorker calls him “a thrilling young trumpeter and astute bandleader (with a) unique spark in his playing.”

    Free
  • Aubrey Logan

    Saturday, September 27, 2014, 2:15 pm
    Natixis Global Asset Management Stage
    640 Columbus Avenue
    Boston MA 02118 [Map]
    Aubrey Logan
    Aubrey Logan

    Aubrey Logan is an award-winning artist. Her vocals range from deep and electric to delicate and vulnerable. She breaks traditional genre barriers by combining jazz vocals with R&B, neo-soul, pop, and a touch of rock.

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    Aubrey Logan is an award-winning artist. Her vocals range from deep and electric to delicate and vulnerable. She breaks traditional genre barriers by combining jazz vocals with R&B, neo-soul, pop, and a touch of rock. She won the Audience’s Choice and Jury’s First Place Awards at the 2009 Montreux Jazz Festival Voice Competition in Switzerland, and has performed as a featured vocalist, horn player, and educator on stages across the United States. She has worked with the late Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Solomon Burke, as well as Grammy nominee Patrice Rushen.

    Free
  • Bill Banfield’s Jazz Urbane with Special Guest Grace Kelly

    Saturday, September 27, 2014, 2:30 pm
    BeanTown Stage
    Columbus Ave.
    Boston MA 02215 [Map]
    Bill Banfield’s Jazz Urbane with Special Guest Grace Kelly
    Bill Banfield's Jazz Urbane

    The Jazz Urbane is a contemporary jazz recording/performing collective that embraces and is infused with great R&B songwriting, grooves, and style.

     

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    Bill Banfield's the Jazz Urbane is a contemporary jazz recording/performing collective that embraces and is infused with great R&B songwriting, grooves, and style. It is a collaborative collective of artists, and plays a music that crosses several bridges. This is music that has grown from urban places and thrives because of creative musicians who are tapped into the people, and into progressive music that is urbane, hip, and noncategorical. The band released its 2014 recording debut, produced by the legendary George Duke, to rave reviews. In addition to Banfield on guitar, the band's members include Annette Philip (vocals), Carlos Averhoff (woodwinds), Charles Burchell (drums), Lenny Stallworth (bass), and Jonathan Singleton (keyboards). Special guest artist Grace Kelly will perform with the band.

    [[{"fid":"103361","view_mode":"default","type":"media","attributes":{"height":500,"width":670,"alt":"Gracy Kelly","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

    Grace Kelly

     

    Free
  • Miguel Zenon

    Saturday, September 27, 2014, 2:30 pm
    Berklee Stage
    Columbus Avenue and Northampton Street
    Boston MA 02118 [Map]
    Miguel Zenon
    Miguel Zenon

    Multiple Grammy Award nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón is part of a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blende innovation and tradition. 

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    Multiple Grammy Award nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón is part of a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended innovation and tradition. Widely considered one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation, Zenón has developed a unique voice as a composer and as a conceptualist, concentrating his efforts on perfecting a fine mix of Latin American folk music and jazz. 

    Free
  • Dionne Farris with the Russell Gunn Quartet

    Saturday, September 27, 2014, 3:45 pm
    Berklee Stage
    Columbus Avenue and Northampton Street
    Boston MA 02118 [Map]
    Dionne Farris with the Russell Gunn Quartet
    Dionne Farris and Russell Gunn

    Producer, actor, and Grammy Award-winning vocalist Dionne Farris is a powerhouse. 

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    Dionne Farris

    Producer, actor, and Grammy Award-winning vocalist Dionne Farris is a powerhouse. Her vocals propelled the song “Tennessee,” by '90s hip-hop sensation Arrested Development, into a smash hit. Farris is well-known for her critically acclaimed, genre-bending debut, Wild Seed—Wild Flower, which yielded the Top 5, Grammy-nominated hit “I Know.”

     

    Russell Gunn

    If one were attempting to design a prototype for the quintessential contemporary musician, trumpeter/fluegelhornist/composer Russell Gunn would be the model. A certified member of the hip-hop generation, Gunn's interest in the world of rap music took precedence over the trumpet that he had been playing since the fourth grade. At 16 years old, he became dedicated to jazz. 

    Rather than abandoning the music he loved, he simply applied its energy and spirit to the jazz idiom, creating a synthesis that is truly contemporary and singular.

     

    Free
  • Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio

    Saturday, September 27, 2014, 3:45 pm
    BeanTown Stage
    Columbus Ave.
    Boston MA 02215 [Map]
    Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio
    Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio

    Melissa Aldana began playing saxophone at the tender age of 6. After watching pupils come in and out of her home in Santiago, Chile, to take lessons from her father, Marcos Aldana—a renowned jazz saxophonist himself—the young Melissa would pester him to teach her as well. 

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    Melissa Aldana began playing saxophone at the tender age of 6. After watching pupils come in and out of her home in Santiago, Chile, to take lessons from her father, Marcos Aldana (a renowned jazz saxophonist himself), the young Melissa pestered him to teach her as well. Her father began teaching her by showing her how to play two notes. From that moment, she was hooked. She was given her first saxophone, an alto, and continued to study with her father.

    Marcos Aldana’s teaching technique included a great deal of transcription. “When I first started learning, we were using cassettes to transcribe,” says Melissa. “My dad would choose a song that he really liked, so the first person I learned from was Charlie Parker. We would take one phrase, and listen. Then I would play it really slow, over and over, hundreds of times, until it sounded exactly like him. I think it’s one of the best ways to teach a little kid because I learned everything by listening to the masters.”

    Melissa Aldana won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in September 2013. In doing so, she became the first woman to take the top prize in the instrumental contest.

    Free
  • Snarky Puppy

    Saturday, September 27, 2014, 3:45 pm
    Natixis Global Asset Management Stage
    640 Columbus Avenue
    Boston MA 02118 [Map]
    Snarky Puppy
    Snarky Puppy

    Snarky Puppy seamlessly fuses a deep knowledge and respect for musical tradition with sonic and conceptual innovation in a way that is able to reach the most critical—or most carefree—audience.

    [details]

    Snarky Puppy seamlessly fuses a deep knowledge and respect for musical tradition with sonic and conceptual innovation in a way that is able to reach the most critical—or most carefree—audience. This convergence of musicians from white and black America, which occurred while the band was in its adolescence at the University of North Texas, has naturally established a balance that draws listeners to the band's music—it's raw funk and sensitive dynamics, relentless pocket and lyrical melodicism, lush harmony and soulful simplicity, and, most importantly, delicate mixture of composition and improvisation. The Grammy-winning Snarky Puppy also performs regularly with artists like Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg, Kirk Franklin, Justin Timberlake, Roy Hargrove, and Marcus Miller, among others.

    Do you love Snarky Puppy and want to see them again? If so, it doesn't get any better than this, because you can! Get tickets to their concert on Sunday, September 28 at the Berklee Performance Center here.

     

     

    Free
  • Yoron Israel/Bill Pierce Quintet: Tribute to James Williams

    Saturday, September 27, 2014, 5:00 pm
    Berklee Stage
    Columbus Avenue and Northampton Street
    Boston MA 02118 [Map]
    Yoron Israel/Bill Pierce Quintet: Tribute to James Williams
    Yoron Israel

    Yoron Israel, a native Chicagoan, is a gifted and sought-after musician whose exciting and tasteful drumming, along with his compositional talents, are spotlighted throughout his recordings. His recordings have received enthusiastic praise from journalists, musical peers, and fans alike.

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    Yoron Israel, a native Chicagoan, is a gifted and sought-after musician whose exciting and tasteful drumming, along with his compositional talents, are spotlighted throughout his recordings. His recordings have received enthusiastic praise from journalists, musical peers, and fans alike. They represent the extensive depth of Israel's musicianship as he continues to evolve as a leader. He brings his unique influences and experiences in jazz, world styles, gospel, contemporary Christian, funk, R&B, and orchestral idioms full circle with his compositions, arrangements, repertoire, and ensemble concept: "Music to be enjoyed by all."

    Renowned saxophonist and educator Bill Pierce will perform at this Jazz at the Arsenal concert. Pierce, chair of Berklee’s Woodwinds Department, is a 1972 Berklee College of Music graduate who has appeared with artists such as Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. In 1980, he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, serving as music director and sharing the bandstand with other talented musicians such as Donald Harrison, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, and Bobby Watson.

    After three years of recording and touring with Blakey, Pierce joined Berklee’s Woodwind Department while remaining active in both the Boston and New York scenes and regularly performing with the Freddie Hubbard Quintet. In 1985, Pierce joined the Tony Williams Quintet. He made five recordings with Williams and toured Europe, Asia, and America. He has also recorded several albums under his own name for the Sunnyside label. Since 1999, Pierce has been a member of the Kevin Eubanks Quartet, which has released five recordings. In addition to his many performances and recordings, Pierce is an internationally recognized music educator who has presented clinics in Europe, Asia, and South America as well as throughout the United States.

    Pianist James Williams channeled the gospel and R&B influences of his youth into a soulful, deeply expressive approach to contemporary jazz. A gifted soloist and accompanist, he was also a respected producer and educator. 

    Free
  • Kneebody

    Saturday, September 27, 2014, 5:00 pm
    BeanTown Stage
    Columbus Ave.
    Boston MA 02215 [Map]
    Kneebody
    Kneebody

    Kneebody's sound is a combination of explosive rock energy, high-level nuanced chamber ensemble playing, and highly wrought compositions that are balanced with adventurous no-holds-barred improvising. 

    [details]

    Kneebody's sound is a combination of explosive rock energy, high-level nuanced chamber ensemble playing, and highly wrought compositions that are balanced with adventurous no-holds-barred improvising. All “sounds like” references can be set aside; this band has created a genre and style all its own.

    Kneebody bassist Kaveh Rastegar thinks of the band's sound this way: “Personally, I think calling Kneebody 'jazz' or 'electric jazz' is fantastic because then we can move on from that hang up and play our music—and alter expectations of what jazz is.”

    Free
  • Sheila E

    Saturday, September 27, 2014, 5:00 pm
    Natixis Global Asset Management Stage
    640 Columbus Avenue
    Boston MA 02118 [Map]
    Sheila E
    Sheila E

    Sheila E was obviously influenced by her father, Latin jazz legend and timbalero Pete Escovedo (then band leader of the influential band Azteca), while watching him rehearse. At 5 years old, she made her concert debut at the former Sands Ballroom in Oakland, California, when her father invited her on stage to play a solo in front of an audience of 3,000. 

    [details]

    Sheila E was obviously influenced by her father, Latin jazz legend and timbalero Pete Escovedo (then band leader of the influential band Azteca), while watching him rehearse. At 5 years old, she made her concert debut at the former Sands Ballroom in Oakland, California, when her father invited her on stage to play a solo in front of an audience of 3,000. At that moment, Sheila knew exactly what she wanted to do: she was going to be a percussionist.

    From age 17, Sheila E has recorded and toured extensively with renowned artists such as Babyface, Billy Cobham, Natalie Cole, George Duke, Pete Escovedo, Gloria Estefan, Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Nicks, Patti LaBelle, Cyndi Lauper, Prince, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Ringo Starr, Tito Puente, Don Was, Stevie Wonder, and countless others.

    Free
  • Snarky Puppy / Kneebody

    Sunday, September 28, 2014, 8:00 pm
    Berklee Performance Center
    136 Massachusetts Avenue
    Boston MA 02115 [Map]
    Snarky Puppy / Kneebody

    The once Texan, now New York-based Grammy Award-winning quasi-collective Snarky Puppy has gone from a best-kept secret to one of the most respected names in instrumental music. Although still underground in many respects, the band has earned high praise from critical stalwarts like the BBC, Village Voice, Guardian, and Boston Herald, and has performed at some of the best venues and festivals in Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America.

    [details]

    The once Texan, now New York-based Grammy Award-winning quasi-collective Snarky Puppy has gone from a best-kept secret to one of the most respected names in instrumental music. Although still underground in many respects, the band has earned high praise from critical stalwarts like the BBC, Village VoiceGuardian, and Boston Herald, and has performed at some of the best venues and festivals in Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America.

    The band has always used live performance as its chief form of evangelism, and maintains a more intense tour schedule than many bands. Over the course of 2013, Snarky Puppy gave almost 200 performances and workshops on four continents. It played at several festivals, including North Sea Jazz, Monterey Jazz Festival, Jazz á Vienne, Blue Note Tokyo, and the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

    It's most recent album, Family Dinner—Volume Onewith featured guest Lalah Hathaway, earned a Grammy for Best R&B Performance and charted at No. 1 on the iTunes Jazz Chart.

    Kneebody's sound is a combination of explosive rock energy, high-level nuanced chamber ensemble playing, and highly wrought compositions that are balanced with adventurous no-holds-barred improvising. All “sounds like” references can be set aside; this band has created a genre and style all its own. Kneebody bassist Kaveh Rastegar thinks of the band's sound this way: “Personally, I think calling Kneebody 'jazz' or 'electric jazz' is fantastic because then we can move on from that hang up and play our music—and alter expectations of what jazz is.”