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Michel Camilo Professes, Kevin Mahogany Sings, and Students to Return to the Blue Note

AAJ Staff By

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This week, piano virtuoso and composer Michel Camilo began his appointment as a Herb Alpert Visiting Professor at Berklee College of Music. Hailed by jazz and classical connoisseurs alike, Camilo is also one of today's most prominent figures in Latin jazz. During the week, he presents master classes for faculty and students, and rehearses and performs with student ensembles.

Camilo's 2000 Verve CD Spain won Best Latin Jazz Album in the first-ever Latin Grammy Awards. In 1987, Michel Camilo won an Emmy Award for his composition, The Goodwill Games Theme. And his 2002 CD Triangulo (Telarc Jazz) was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Camilo received an honorary doctorate of music from Berklee in 2000, and in 2001, he was awarded the highest honor from the President of the Dominican Republic — the Silver Cross of the Order of Duarte, Sanchez and Mella. Camilo is the fourth Herb Alpert Visiting Professor, following previously appointed pianist/composer Alan Broadbent '69, bassist Abe Laboriel, Sr. '72, and most recently guitarist/composer Pat Metheny.

The Alpert Professorship was established in 2000 with the support of the Herb Alpert Foundation, the philanthropic organization launched by A&M Records cofounder and seven-time Grammy-winning recording artist Herb Alpert. The Alpert Visiting Professorship Program brings to Berklee a steady stream of world-class performance and music industry leaders.

The internationally renowned Berklee Rainbow Band, directed by trombonist and Berklee Professor Phil Wilson, will present its spring concert on Monday, April 14, 2003. Making a special appearance will be one of today's most highly acclaimed jazz vocalists, Telarc recording artist and Berklee Associate Professor Kevin Mahogany. Named Best Male Vocalist in several Down Beat critics and readers polls, Mahogany will perform several songs with the big band.

Also featured with the Rainbow Band that evening will be the jazz vocal quartet Syncopation, comprised of Berklee students. The group leaves next month for its second tour of Japan, and will be featured in June with the Rainbow Band at this year's Boston Globe Jazz and Blues Festival. For information on Berklee events, visit .

From Tuesday, April 15 through Friday, April 18, Berklee's Guitar Department will present Guitar Week 2003, an annual series of concerts and clinics featuring Berklee's renowned faculty and some of the college's top guitar students. Guitar Week 2003 will feature faculty guitarists Wayne Krantz, Ben Sher, Jim Kelly, John Wilkins, Abigail Aronson and Norm Zocher, and Dave Newsam. For more details, visit .

For the fifth year in a row, a group of Berklee's top student instrumentalists will play at one of the world’s premier jazz clubs, the Blue Note in New York's Greenwich Village. Directed by Berklee Associate Professor Dave Santoro, who performs regularly with Jerry Bergonzi and Dick Oatts, the Berklee Scholarship Jazz Ensemble will play two shows, at 8:00 and 10:30 p.m., on Monday, May 12, 2003. For ticket information, contact the Blue Note at 212-475-8592, or visit

There will be a reception at the Blue Note that night for Berklee alumni and guests beginning at 6:30 p.m. To register for the alumni event, contact Adrian Ross at .

The Berklee Scholarship Jazz Ensemble includes Christian Scott (trumpet), Michael Birnbryer (tenor sax), Takuji Yamada (alto sax), Paul Vinton (guitar), Mayuko Katakura (piano), Damien Cabaud (bass), and Yoshifumi Nihonmatsu (drums). Student Christian Scott tours regularly with his uncle, Berklee alum Donald Harrison '83.

Berklee's Percussion Department presented its annual "Percussion Week" earlier this month. This year's vibraphone-heavy schedule included one of the premier voices on vibes, Jay Hoggard, plus a concert by four faculty vibists, Grammy winners Gary Burton and Dave Samuels, and internationally renowned recording artists Victor Mendoza and Ed Saindon, who paid tribute to Red Norvo, Cal Tjader, Milt Jackson, and Lionel Hampton, respectively.

Last month Berklee presented Piano Week 2003, featuring concerts and clinics by visiting artists, Berklee's world-renowned piano faculty, and some of the college's top student pianists. Associate Professor and Grammy-nominated Arkadia recording artist JoAnne Brackeen performed with a quartet, and new Piano Assistant Chair Jetro Da Silva '93 teamed up with two fellow Berklee alums — Prince drummer John Blackwell '95 and Berklee Woodwind Chair Bill Pierce '73, former saxophonist with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.


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