New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Musical Arts Program shines a spotlight on alumni with Live at the Burren
on Saturday, June 17. The evening begins at 7 p.m. with a performance by the Lucy Little Trio featuring Little (violin), Miguel Landestoy (piano), and Kelly Bray (trumpet). A solo performance by NYC-based singer/songwriter Katie Martucci follows. Headlining the show is Grammy-nominated vocalist Farayi Malek, a NEC faculty member and CMA alumna whose music has been described as “skillfully managing to walk the line between rich, tradition informed vocal jazz, and the very cutting edge of contemporary singing” (Origin Records). The Burren is located at 247 Elm St. in Somerville, Tickets are $25, $20 advance. For more information visit bit.ly/cma-50th
The performance is part of Coast to Coast
, a month-long celebration that caps the CMA Department’s 50th Anniversary year. From June 1 – 30, 2023, a diverse slate of CMA alumni performers will be featured including jazz, folk, klezmer, Indian classical, bluegrass, original music and more. Among the participating artists are Grammy Award winning singer-songwriters Aoife O’Donovan and Sarah Jarosz, keyboardist John Medeski, saxophonist Matana Roberts, vocal harmony trio The Ladles, and improviser/composer Isabel Crespo Pardo.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to cap our 50th Anniversary Celebration than shining a light on our brilliant alumni,” says department Co-Chair Eden MacAdam-Somer. “By highlighting their performances during one single month, Coast to Coast
will show the remarkable diversity, versatility and vision of our graduates.”
Members of the public can follow New England Conservatory’s Instagram stories
and check the NEC website
to follow the month-long musical journey highlighting alumni and faculty events across the United States and around the world.Live at the Burren
Farayi Malek is a jazz and contemporary vocalist, composer and educator. She received her bachelor’s degree in Contemporary Improvisation in 2017 from NEC, where she studied with Dominique Eade. She received a master’s degree in Contemporary Performance from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in 2018, under the tutelage of world-renowned pianist and composer Danilo Perez. Since 2018, Farayi has been a member of Danilo Perez’s Global Messengers. Their 2022 album Crisalida was nominated for a Grammy. In addition to her performance ventures, Farayi is a passionate musical educator. In January of 2020, she founded Allegro Virtual Preparatory Instruction. Beyond helping students develop the necessary technical, performance, and professional skills, Allegro Virtual Prep strives to inspire each student to be socially conscious, and to use their music to make a positive impact in their own communities. In September 2021, Farayi joined the faculty at Berklee College of Music as Assistant Professor in the Ensemble Department, as well as Pop Ensemble teacher at Berklee’s City Music Boston High School Academy. In January 2022, she joined the faculty at New England Conservatory.
Katie Martucci is a performer, bandleader, singer and composer who believes in the necessity of creative process for the self and the power of music to build and sustain community. Her latest release Note to Self
on La Reserve Records is a collection of songs about the “unspoken third thing in the room” — stories surrounding friendship, family history, imposter syndrome, her own personal journey with epilepsy and more. Drawing inspiration from the writing and production of artists like Madison Cunningham and Emily King, Martucci's songs are lush and cinematic. No matter what Katie Martucci chooses to sing, it absolutely captivates us. Her voice is incredible, warm, and personal."—Ear to the Ground Music.
Lucy Little has an eclectic background in the arts and music, multimedia storytelling production and communications, and social service. Originally from New York City and with roots in Chicago, Amsterdam, and now Boston, Lucy is a classically-trained violinist and multi-instrumental composer and improvisor. Lucy’s musical practice lives on the edge of many styles, inspired by a lifelong exploration of classical, minimalist, modal, jazz and electronic music. A collaborative artist at heart, Lucy plays with blues/indie rock outfit Half Gringa, singer/songwriter Dani Larkin, singers Lykanthea and MICHA Música, qanun player Afarin Nazarijou, vibraphonist/composer Julian Loida, and trumpeter/improvisor Kelly Bray. As a composer, Lucy has written scores for live theatrical and dance productions and podcasts. She has a solo electro-acoustic performance project that incorporates violin, vocals, guitar, and electronics. Lucy’s first solo EP For Now
was released in January 2021.
Kelly Bray is a multi-genre musician and educator based in the Greater Boston area. Having recently completed her Master’s Degree in Contemporary Improvisation at NEC, Kelly also holds a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance and Music Education from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She studied classical trumpet with Steve Emery, jazz trumpet with John McNeil, and improvisation with Joe Morris and Anthony Coleman. She has an eclectic background, having performed in prestigious orchestras and jazz ensembles while also taking particular interest in contemporary, electronic, and experimental genres. Her interest in studying a variety of styles and techniques has led to a unique personal style and knowledge of many methodologies. Kelly has recorded and performed as a member of the DIY band Nervous., whose debut album released in 2019 amassed over 80,000 streams on Spotify.
Miguel Landestoy is a Jazz Pianist, Educator and Arts Administrator based out of Boston. As a “multi-hyphenate” he is constantly looking towards the next step on his artistic journey and how he can better serve the artistic community. The first of his family to be born and raised in the U.S, Miguel produces art that reflects his unique lived experience in the hopes that it might inspire others to do the same.
About Contemporary Musical Arts
Founded in 1972 by Gunther Schuller and Ran Blake, NEC’s Contemporary Musical Arts program, originally called Third Stream, prepares musicians for today's musical world. The department brings together a diverse group of the world’s finest young artists in a setting where they can grow in a community of composers, performers and improvisers. This year NEC changed the name to Contemporary Musical Arts to acknowledge the breadth of the program’s training. With an emphasis on detailed listening to and performance of diverse oral musical traditions, advanced aural skills, conceptual ideas and interdisciplinary collaboration, the CMA program is uniquely positioned to cultivate the complete 21st century global musician.
Alumni of the department, “a thriving hub of musical exploration” (Boston Globe), include Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz, composer and clarinetist Don Byron, virtuosic pianist and jam-band pioneer John Medeski, internationally acclaimed vocalist and educator Dominique Eade, klezmer clarinet virtuoso Michael Winograd, contemporary singer songwriter Aoife O’Donovan, and current co-chair Eden MacAdam-Somer, a virtuoso violinist, vocalist, percussive dancer and scholar.
About New England Conservatory (NEC)
Founded by Eben Tourjée in Boston, Massachusetts in 1867, the New England Conservatory (NEC) represents a new model of music school that combines the best of European tradition with American innovation. The school stands at the center of Boston’s rich cultural history and musical life, presenting concerts at the renowned Jordan Hall. Propelled by profound artistry, bold creativity and deep compassion, NEC seeks to amplify musicians’ impact on advancing our shared humanity, and empowers students to meet today’s changing world head-on, equipped with the tools and confidence to forge multidimensional lives of artistic depth and relevance.
As an independent, not-for-profit institution that educates and trains musicians of all ages from around the world, NEC is recognized internationally as a leader among music schools. It cultivates a diverse, dynamic community, providing music students of more than 40 countries with performance opportunities and high-caliber training from 225 internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. NEC pushes the boundaries of music-making and teaching through college-level training in classical, jazz and contemporary improvisation. Through unique interdisciplinary programs such as Entrepreneurial Musicianship and Community Performances & Partnerships, it empowers students to create their own musical opportunities. As part of NEC’s mission to make lifelong music education available to everyone, the Preparatory School and School of Continuing Education delivers training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students and adults.