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.

Giving Tuesday: The “UNselfie”

Yesterday was Giving Tuesday, a day that started two years ago in an effort to give back to our community and organizations that are helping to make a difference.  In contrast to this idea is the 2013 word of the year, “selfie,” a craze that has taken over the internet with many people posting photos of themselves.

Berklee City Music Board Member, Jeff Walker, suggests in his Huffington Post Blog Post that we turn it around and make it the “UNselfie” and show our support of those who are doing good by taking “pictures could be of people doing good things, of acts of kindness, of compassion in action! Being UNselfish!”  To help start the trend here is a collection of Instagram pictures from around the Berklee City Music Network and our supporters showing the “UNselfies” of those giving back.

Jeff Walker, author of The Generosity Network and Berklee City Music Board Member engaging members of the Berklee City Music Network at the 2013 Berklee City Music Network Conference about board development.

Boston Celtics power forward Brandon Bass, participating in a master class with Berklee City Music Boston students.

Berklee Alumni, performing artist, and Artistic Director of the Internship Program at our Network site Tipitina’s Foundation in New Orleans, Donald Harrison, teaching a master class with Berklee City Music Boston students.

Network member A Place Called Home‘s Executive Director, Jonathan Zeichner, and staff providing Thanksgiving Dinner to the South Central Los Angeles community.

The Shoe Crew providing 804 pairs of shoes to children at A Place Called Home.

The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation presenting Berklee City Music with a donation at half-time. 

Berklee City Music providing full-college scholarships to students from across the Berklee City Music Network at the Scholarship concert this August.

You can support these organization and members of the Berklee City Music Network by visiting their websites (click here for a list of Network members).  Berklee City Music sends a big Thank You to all those mentioned above, our Network members, and supporters for their continued efforts to Making Dreams Possible One Note at a Time.

Jazz Artist in Residence: Donald Harrison

Donald Harrison will be the jazz artist in residence at Tulane University for the 2013-2014 school year.  During that time he will teach six masterclasses each semester as well as theory and improvisation classes.

Donald is a Berklee College of Music alumni and has performed with many of greats including Art Blakey, Roy Haynes, Miles Davis, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, and Dr. John among others.

He is also the co-founder and the artistic director of the Tipitina’s Intern Program at Tipitina’s Foundation, a Berklee City Music Network member, where he teaches music, theory and history to students.

Please join us in congratulating him on being Tulane’s jazz artist in residence!

Visit our previous post on The King of Nouveau Swing for more information on Donald Harrison.

New Video: Tipitina’s Students and Donald Harrison

Check out our new video of Tipitina’s Foundation featuring students from the Internship Program and Donald Harrison discussing the importance of recording in helping students advance as musicians.

The Tipitina’s Internship Program is an after school jazz performance program for high school students ages 13 through 19, and is led by artistic director Donald Harrison.  The program is free of charge and focuses on instrumental performance, music recording, music theory, and music career professionalism.

Jazz Appreciation Month: The King of Nouveau Swing

“Nouveau Swing” is a style of jazz that merges popular dance music and Afro-New Orleans tradition music with swing, and Donald Harrison is its creator.  Be sure to listen to some of Donald Harrison’s “Nouveau Swing” on our Jazz Appreciation Month playlist.

Donald Harrison was born in 1960 in New Orleans, and was influenced by The Crescent City’s musical traditions and diverse styles.  His father was also a large influence, as he was a Big Chief in the African and Native American influenced culture of New Orleans’ Black Mardi Gras Indians.  Donald also became a Big Chief in 1999, and created the term “Afro-New Orleans” to describe the culture surrounding it.  Check this album cover to see him in one of his costumes.

Donald Harrison Jr. with Dr. John “Indian Blues” Album Cover (Candid Records)

Donald is a Berklee College of Music alumni and has performed with many of greats including Art Blakey, Roy Haynes, Miles Davis, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, and Dr. John among others.

He is also the co-founder and the artistic director of the Tipitina’s Intern Program at Tipitina’s Foundation, a Berklee City Music Network member, where he teaches music, theory and history to students.

Donald Harrison at the Tipitina's Intern Program
Donald Harrison at the Tipitina’s Intern Program

He will be performing at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Friday, April 26 at 3:40pm on the Congo Square Stage.  Click here for Friday’s schedule.