Concord Music Group visits Berklee

On March 12th, Berklee alumnus Jason Linder, VP of Project Management for Concord Music Group, shared some insight on today’s music industry and where it’s headed. Concord Music Group started as a jazz record label, but over the years it began working on a new vision: introducing established legends to new, upcoming artists. They recently released an album titled Take Me To the River: Music from the Motion Picture. The album is a companion to Martin Shore’s award-winning documentary Take Me to the River that brings multiple generations of musicians together in collaboration.

Linder discussed the marketing aspects of a record company and provided a list of marketing strategies including PR, radio, new media, video, and sales. Many say that CD sales are dead, but Linder believes otherwise. Though it’s not a predominant source of income, people are still supporting artists through CD sales. Linder explained how an artist’s income is a huge indicator of who their audience is.  For example, in one week Big Sean received 17 million streams on Spotify, while Kid Rock only received 500,000 streams. This shows us that Big Sean’s audience is mostly young people who choose online streaming over hard copy.

I learned that 1500 streams of one song is equal to 1 album sale.  This means that Big Sean’s 17 million streams are equivalent to only about 12,000 albums sales. Since CD sales are plummeting with the new generation, the music industry will have to adapt or artists will no longer be able to support themselves.

Lastly, Linder discussed an internship for students here at Berklee to work with Concord Music Group in various cities around the country. It’s an amazing opportunity for students to see the nooks and crannies of the music industry and the big changes that Linder believes are on the horizon. For questions about the internship program, contact Arin Canbolat.

Grace Mann is a City Music Scholar from Boston, MA, and is currently studying at Berklee College of Music.



Welcome The Motivational Edge to The Berklee City Music Network

Please join us in welcoming the 48th site the Berklee City Music Network, The Motivational Edge in Miami, Florida.  The Motivational Edge utilizes culturally relevant arts as a motivational platform to inspire youth towards academic achievement, increased self-confidence and the building of essential life skills.  Their programs include art, dance, literacy, homework assistance and music.  Within the music program they offer a DJ program, music production, and private instrument instruction.  Click here to learn more about their music programs.

Checkout out their SoundCloud playlist below to hear their students’ work.

Lalah Hathaway Added to the BCMN Conference and Master Class

 Click Here to Register

Lalah Hathaway is a Grammy Award-Winning musician.  She recently won the Grammy for best R&B Performance with Snarky Puppy for “Something” check out the video below to hear her performance. Originally from Chicago she was born into a musical family as Donny Hathaway is her father.  She wrote her first song as a 10th grader and later went on to study music at Berklee College of Music, and released her first self titled album in 1990 that had hits such as “Baby Don’t Cry,” “Heaven Only Knows” and “I’m Coming Back.”  Currently Lalah is working on a new albumn titled “Lalah Hathaway Live,” you can find out more on her website and contribute to her Pledge Music Campaign:

Lalah Hathaway will be participating in the Berklee City Music Network Conference in two roles.  She will first participate on Terri Lyne Carrington’s panel titled “Working Hard, Aiming High: Developing the Young Artist” on Monday, November 3 from 11:05am-12:05pm.  Later that night she will be one of two clinicians at the Berklee City Music Network Conference Master Class (check out the video below) hosted at the Clive Davis Theater at the Grammy Museum where she will critique five bands from across the Berklee City Music Network during a live performance.

Check out her interview with Shea Rose ’11, a Berklee City Music alumna, and where they discussed her experiences at Berklee and beyond, her perspective on the music industry, and her experience with Berklee City Music Network member member Stax Music Academy in Memphis.

 Click Here to Register


Register for the BCMN Conference


Click Here to Register

Berklee City Music Network Conference

Monday, November 3 – Wednesday, November 5
Omni Hotel – Los Angeles, CA
American Popular Music III: Innovations in Youth Development
Engage in presentations and conversations with music industry and education giants including Terri Lyne Carrington, Ron Weisner, Tommy LiPuma, Lalah Hathaway, Kevin Eubanks, Patrice Rushen and Mark Slavkin.

Register to Attend: 1-day and 3-day passes available

  • $275 for the three-day conference (or $125 per day) for network members, Berklee alumni, and music educators (with a .edu email address)
  • $350 for the three-day conference (or $175 per day) for nonmembers
  • Student rate: We are giving away 25 free three-day passes to undergraduate and graduate students (passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis; RSVP to Christina Quarles). Undergraduate students are also eligible for a $25 per day rate.

Schedule, registration and speaker bios are available on the conference website.

BCMN Conference Master Class – Monday, November 3, 7:00pm

Clive Davis Theater at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, CA
Students from five of our Berklee City Music Network sites will be coached by leading industry artists, including Kenny Lattimore, Ashley Rodriguez, Shoshana Bean before performing on stage that evening for a panel of clinicians.

Limited seating is available at the Clive Davis Theater, and therefore admission can only be guaranteed to the first 100 Conference registrants. Tickets are free with registration for attendees who register for 3-day passes or with a single day (Monday). Be sure to register early to secure your seat!

Check out the highlights from last year’s BCMN Conference Master Class.

Click Here to Register

Apply to the Jam Sessions led by Kevin Eubanks

Kevin_Eubanks_jam_session_poster_WITH_LINK copy


At Youth Power-Up Day on Sunday, November 2, part of the Berklee City Music Network Conference, there will be a jam session with Kevin Eubanks, the former leader of The Tonight Show Band.  The jam session is open to current high school students, and in order to participate you must APPLY.  The application will take no longer than 5 minutes.

Join us at Youth Power-Up Day for a free outdoor community festival to learn tips on entering the music industry, preparing for college training, and engaging with others in playing an instrument — beginner or advanced. Youth and their families are especially encouraged to attend. Free and open to the public, in downtown Los Angeles! Presented by Berklee City Music and A Place Called Home, in cooperation with Grand Performances, as part of the 2014 Berklee City Music Network Conference.

For those students who would like to participate in the jam session please CLICK HERE to complete the application.

Watch the Berklee City Music Scholarship Concert



Tomorrow night is the annual Berklee City Music Scholarship Concert at the Berklee Performance Center at 7:30PM.  If you are going to be in Boston be sure to get your tickets now for this incredible event.

Over 100 Berklee City Music Network students will take the stage to perform rock, pop, jazz, hip-hop, inspirational, and R&B songs throughout the evening.  You will not want to miss out on the scholarship presentation where students from our Network members will be awarded with four-year full-tuition scholarships for study at Berklee College of Music.

Not everyone is able to be physically present at the show, so we invite you to watch the live-stream coverage of the performance.  Below is the link to the stream.  Be sure to tune in and enjoy the show!


Dean’s Set List: So What (Season 2: EP1)

It’s the start of a new Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance Program and there are Berklee City Music Summer Scholars from all over the country attending.  During the Five-Week Program we record students who are featured on the Dean’s Set List.

The Dean’s Set List features students from around the Berklee City Music Network performing in the office of our Dean, Dr. Krystal Banfield.  In order for a student to be selected they must fulfill certain criteria pertaining to their academic standing, Berklee City Music standing, involvement in their community, and musicianship.  It is a musical Dean’s List.

To start off season 2 our first episode features John Michael Bradford  on Trumpet from Tipitina’s Foundation, Yesseh Furaha-Ali on tenor saxophone from The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts, Ayinde Williams on piano from Richmond Youth Jazz Guild, and Daniel Winshall on bass from City Music Boston performing Miles Davis “So What.”

NOTE: Be sure to watch it in 1080 HD by adjusting the video settings using the gear icon on the bottom right of the video.

The State of Jazz Composition Symposium and Concert Series

Berklee’s The State of Jazz Composition Symposium is a 6 day event of clinics, panels, master classes, workshops and concerts that explore the evolution of the music industry and how the discipline of jazz composition is being shaped to follow this maturation.

state of jazz

Berklee College of Music handpicked an outstanding array of today’s crème de la crème jazz artists and industry professionals to share their knowledge, insights, experience and stories with the Berklee community. These names include Patrice Rushen, Billy Childs, Terence Blanchard, Danilo Perez, Geri Allen, George S. Clinton, Maria Schneider with the keynote address by Don Was, President of Blue Note Records.

Some of the covered topics are:

  • Biological Foundations of Music
  • Outside of the Box – breaking free of perceived constraints in approaching jazz
  • Writing for Strings
  • Broad Issues of Compensation in the New Music Business
  • Women in Jazz
  • Composers of Color
  • Blurred Lines in Composition

The State of Jazz Composition Symposium and Concert Series will be held at various locations on Berklee’s campus from April 22-27, 2014.

To view the detailed schedule, register and read more about the visiting artists and panelists, please visit:

City Music Alumnus Aaron Liao Performs with Meshell Ndegeocello


On Saturday, September 28, former City Music student, Aaron Liao, took the stage at the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival with renowned artist, Meshell Ndegeocello. Liao is in his final semester at Berklee and this performance marks a milestone in his career as an artist. In a post-concert interview  Liao shared what this experience meant for him.

When did you find out you would be playing with Meshell?

Terri Lyne Carrington contacted me in mid-August about the gig. She mentioned that Meshell  – someone who I’ve looked up to ever since hearing her song GOD.FEAR.MONEY when I was 15 – was coming to Boston and was going to play Beantown Jazz Fest with a student band. I confirmed without looking at my calendar, and she asked me to put a band together.


What was it like working with Meshell?

It was like breathing the freshest air your lungs have ever had. She was critical and precise, but maintained an incredibly uplifting and loving spirit the whole time rehearsing. She lived and breathed the music from the first to the last note. She is a one of a kind singer, writer, performer, and all around artist. She is also of course, one of the best bass players alive and even though I played maybe 80% of the time, one huge part of the experience was trading the bass role with her, from song to song, and even from section to section within a song. She would start off some songs and lay down the groove, and when she started singing, she’d stop playing bass and I would jump right in and pick up where she left off.


Observing what she focused on in rehearsal was also a huge lesson in itself. Meshell blew me away with how in tune she was to each element of the music, and how visually expressive she was. More than anything, she heightened my musical awareness in a playing situation to a whole new level. I felt like I made a big step forward as a leader, bass player, and overall person and musician from this experience. Before the first rehearsal, her first words to us were “Be yourself, otherwise it won’t work.” At the end of the last rehearsal, she said, “I don’t see you all as students; I see you as peers. We are fellow musicians making music together, and I am grateful for your time.” Hearing that from a hero of mine knocked me out.

What performances do you have coming up?

I am a member of an electronic ambient rock project called ISIS LUNE, hitting at the Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge on Monday, October 14th at 9pm(Columbus Day). This band formed just about a year ago, and I’m extremely excited about the recordings we are currently working on.

I’m playing bass and singing backups behind my dear friend and amazing guitarist/singer Maddie Rice for her show at the Copley Boston Book Festival in Copley Square, just down the street from Berklee on Saturday, October 19th at 2:30pm. (FREE SHOW)

I am the student musical director for the Berklee Dwele ensemble, taught by Tia Fuller, and we have our first recital this semester Monday, October 21st at 7:30pm at David Friend Recital Hall. (FREE SHOW)


What can we expect to see from Aaron Liao within the next few years?

Right now, I am going through what is probably the biggest transition period in my life: bridging the gap between being a student and being out of school. All I know is that my current idea of whatever life post-college is like is going to be very different than what it will actually be like. BUT, if I were to look into the next few years, I would say that the groups I’ve been playing with hopefully will have developed and become more seasoned, and I will likely be on tour with someone, somewhere. Maybe with one of those groups, maybe not. I also have some original music that I might decide to focus on. Who knows. Anything can happen…