Submitted by Margot Edwards
On September 28, music lovers of all ages will gather for the 13th Annual Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival in Boston’s historic South End – home to several legendary clubs during Boston’s jazz heyday. The all-day, free outdoor event will offer contemporary jazz, Latin, blues, and soul acts on three stages. Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM), one of the world’s leading asset managers, is the presenting sponsor of the festival and will present a $5,000 scholarship to a student musician. Past Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festivals have drawn as many as 80,000 music fans.
This year, the festival celebrates the theme Jazz: The Next Generation, with performances by some of the genre’s most acclaimed up-and-coming alumni artists, including Grammy-nominated trumpeter Christian Scott; Mike Tucker Trio featuring vibraphonist Warren Wolf; and the Matt Savage Quartet featuring sax great Bobby Watson. Highlights will include Meshell Ndegeocello; Will Calhoun Trio, led by the Grammy Award-winning alumnus and drummer of the band Living Colour; and Robin McKelle & the Flytones.
Faculty and students also play a major role, with performances by faculty artists Lawrence “Larry” Watson & the Workforce, The Bell Affair, Matt Jenson & the Liquid Revolution, and Rick DiMuzio Quintet; and students including Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors featuring Adam Cruz, Jazz Revelation Records artist the Simon Moullier Quartet, Giorgi Mikadze Group, the Berklee P-Funk Ensemble and the Berklee City Music All Stars Big Band Jazz Ensemble. Street performers Marcus Santos & Bloco AfroBrazil will perform throughout the afternoon.
Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival also presents ticketed concerts during the weekend of the festival:
On Friday, September 27, and Saturday, September 28, Gary Burton’s 70th Birthday Tour stops at Scullers Jazz Club for performances at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. each night by the New Gary Burton Quartet featuring Julian Lage, Scott Colley, and Antonio Sanchez. Visit scullersjazz.com for more information.
On Sunday, September 29, instrumental jazz, funk, and world music collective Snarky Puppy perform at the Berklee Performance Center at 8:00 pm. Visit berklee.edu/bpc for more information.
“The next generation of creative musicians is quite strong and, having stood on the shoulders of their predecessors, are now hopefully prepared for unlimited boundaries. How exciting to witness and be a part of this process,” said Terri Lyne Carrington, Grammy Award-winning drummer, composer, Berklee professor, and Artistic Director for the festival. “Mentoring has always been an important part of the continuance and advancement of jazz, so we are proud to recognize mentor-mentee relationships this year.”
The Natixis Family Park will transform Carter Playground on Columbus Avenue with activities including inflatables, face painting, and an instrument petting zoo staffed by Berklee professionals. The park also hosts KidsJam, an interactive program led by Berklee’s Music Education department, introducing young children to a variety of musical activities, including singing and sound exploration, playing rhythm instruments, and creating, listening, and responding to music.
The Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival takes place on Saturday, September 28, from noon to 6 p.m. on Columbus Avenue between Massachusetts Avenue and Burke Street in Boston’s South End.
The outdoor performances are open to the public and free of charge. Check beantownjazz.org for updates and a full schedule of events.