2014 BCMN Conference Highlights

City Music Network Students performing at Youth Power-Up Day
City Music Network Students performing at Youth Power-Up Day in Los Angeles, California. Photo credit: Amy Bojanowski

Over 200 Network members, music educators, and arts advocates came together in Los Angeles to discuss “Innovations in Youth Development,” the theme of this year’s Berklee City Music Network Conference.

The conference kicked off on November 2 with “Youth Power-Up Day,” a free outdoor festival at Grand Performances, that featured performances by youth ensembles from around the country, a community drum circle hosted by Remo, and a jam session led by Kevin Eubanks.

Attendees moved indoors to the nearby Omni Hotel for the next three days full of inspiring presentations, panel discussions, and interactive activities. BCMN Conference veteran Libby Chiu started each day with a networking workshop that featured special guests such as Jonathan Zeichner (APCH), Andy Davis, and youth ambassadors from A Place Called Home.

Two of the more popular sessions were a panel discussion led by Berklee faculty member Terri Lyne Carrington with Sheila E, Patrice Rushen, Lalah Hathaway, and Donald Harrison about working with young musicians
; and Ron Weisner’s all-star panel discussion about the music industry featuring Bill Withers, Gladys Knight, Bobby Colomby, Tommy LiPuma, Ray Chew, and Ricky Minor.

The conference also featured a master class at the Grammy Museum; presentation by Network members such as Mike Anderson, Joey Arreguin, Gordon Cobb, Kevan Ellis, Greg Holt, Thomas Howard, Mark Kohler, Bethany Paulsen, Milton Ruffin, Ed Sublett, Frank Van Bree, and Cliff Weeks; plus a visit by the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.

With so many thought-provoking sessions, attendees left Los Angeles feeling inspired to further their work with young musicians.

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Bill Withers Just Added to the BCMN Conference

Bill Whithers Conference Photo copy

Bill Withers will join Ron Weisner on his panel on Tuesday, November 4 titled “The Challenges of Change: Remaining Fresh, Being Creative, Developing for Tomorrow’s Industries” with other guests Tommy LiPuma, Bobbie Colomby, and Ray Chew.

Withers, originally from West Virginia, recorded a number of hits including “Lean on Me,” “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Use Me,” “Just the Two of Us,” and “Lovely Day.”  In 1967 he relocated to Los Angeles and financed his own demos, which led him to Sussex Records with Clarence Avant who got Booker T. Jones to produced Withers’ first album Just As I Am, which featured “Ain’t No Sunshine.”  At the 14th Annual Grammy Awards in 1972 he won the Grammy for Best R&B Song for “Ain’t No Sunshine.”  Prior to winning the Grammy the song had previously sold over a million copies and went platinum.  In 1980 he released “Just the Two of Us” with saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., which later went on to win a Grammy.

In 2005 Withers was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 2006 received the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award presented to ASCAP members who have had a major impact on the legacy of Rhythm and Soul music.

Don’t miss out on this great event and the opportunity to interact with Bill Withers and others at the Berklee City Music Network Conference in Los Angeles November 2-5.

Click Here to Register

Click Here to Register

Dean’s Set List: Just the Two of Us

Our next episode of the Dean’s Set List features students from four Berklee City Music Network sites performing Bill Wither “Just the Two Us” made famous on his recording with Grover Washington, Jr.  The band features Thomas Stewart on vocal from Campus Club Milledgeville, Jonathan Acevedo on tenor saxophone from Escuela de Bellas Artes de Carolina, Joshua Sutherland on keys from City Music Boston, and Larry Monroe on guitar, Antonio Robinson on electric bass, and Cameron Cephas on percussion from The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts.

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.

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