Lalah Hathaway Added to the BCMN Conference and Master Class

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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.

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Berklee City Music Network Conference Master Class – Stax Music Academy

Stax Music Academy was the last band to perform at the 2013 Berklee City Music Network Conference Master Class.  The band was led by Paul McKinney, Instrumental Director; Terrilyn Douglas, Vocal Coordinator; and Justing Merrick, Artistic Director.  The band featured Craylon Davis, Ronesha Davis, Tia Henderson, April Horner, Kyler Gilkie, and Johnathan Lee on vocals; Tahj Mason and Josiah Taylor on alto sax; Anthony Moore on baritone sax; Dallas Dodson and Kordae Maples on guitar; Lijulianna Thomas and Joshua Huggins on keys; David McKinzie and Solomon Smith on bass; and David Pruitt and Marrick Flowers on drums.

Check out the other master class performances featuring Tipitina’s Foundation’sLincoln Park Performing Arts Center’sBerklee City Music Boston’s, and the Philadelphia Clef Club.

If you are interested in performing at this year’s Conference Master Class in Los Angeles please click here for more information and to apply.

Rickey Minor Workshop at Stax Music Academy

Rickey Minor with Stax Music Academy Student-Photo Courtesy of Ronnie Booze Photography
Rickey Minor with Stax Music Academy Student – Photo Courtesy of Ronnie Booze Photography

Emmy-nominated music director, Rickey Minor, visited Stax Music Academy last month. During the workshop students performed 3 songs arranged by Rickey Minor, received invaluable feedback, and enjoyed Q&A session about the music industry. One of the highlights of the event included Rickey Minor as well as Kirk Whalum joining the students on a few songs such as, “Rock Steady,” by Aretha Franklin, and “What’s Going On,” by Marvin Gaye.

Photo Courtesy of Ronnie Booze Photography
Photo Courtesy of Ronnie Booze Photography
Kirk Whalum and Rickey Minor with Stax Academy Students - Photo Courtesy of Ronnie Booze Photography
Kirk Whalum and Rickey Minor with Stax Academy Students – Photo Courtesy of Ronnie Booze Photography

Rickey Minor is the Emmy-nominated music director of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He was formally the music director of American Idol. His distinguished resume also includes the Grammys and the Super Bowl, and he has collaborated with major recording artists including Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Ray Charles, Beyoncé Knowles, and many more. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Karen.

Article courtesy of Stax Music Academy.

Photos courtesy of Ronnie Booze Photography.

For more information please read Soulsville Foundation and Stax Music Academy Newsletter: Click Here

UPDATE: “Walking in Memphis” BCMN 2013 Conference Playlist

This week’s update to the playlist features many Stax artists such as Otis Redding, The Staples Singers, Sam & Dave, Johnnie Taylor, Eddie Floyd, and Rufus Thomas.  A special thank you a blog reader Peter, for his suggestions of The Staple Singers’ “I’ll Take You There” and Johnnie Taylor’s “I Believe in You.”

If you have any suggestions of songs you would like to be added to the playlist please leave a comment and we will add them to the to the playlist next Friday.  Also, if you are in coming to this year’s BCMN Conference or are planning on going to Memphis for another reason, be sure to stop by and see our friends at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.  You will not be disappointed and will leave with a great amount of knowledge on the music of Memphis.

“Walking in Memphis” – The 2013 BCMN Conference Playlist

Beale Street – Memphis, TN

We are getting more and more excited as the conference draws nearer, and we want to share our excitement with you through our 2013 BCMN Conference Playlist entitled “Walking in Memphis,” after the song by Marc Cohn (who is actually from Cleveland, OH).  Aside from Marc Cohn, the playlist features artists who are from the Memphis area, including just over the state lines into Mississippi and Arkansas, as well as Stax artists.

Be sure to follow the playlist as we will update it each Friday until the conference begins, and please comment below to tell us songs that you would like to be added to it.

BCMN Conference Speaker: Traci Slater Rigaud


Traci Slater-Rigaud directs the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities through a cooperative agreement with NASAA. Slater-Rigaud is the former program coordinator for arts in education with the National PTA where she managed the Reflections Program. Prior to the National PTA, she was curator of education at Miami Art Museum. Her work there included developing and managing a broad range of educational programming for school, family, and adult audiences. Slater-Rigaud’s background also includes work as the public programs manager at the Baltimore Museum of Art, where she created and managed large-scale programs for the permanent collection and special exhibitions. She has several years of experience in community-based arts education and has a sincere passion for making the arts accessible to all communities. She holds a B.S. in social science and an M.A. in art education, both from the University of Cincinnati.

Traci will be a featured speaker at this year’s Berklee City Music Network Conference in Memphis. If you want to get with other leaders in education, register for the conference here.

BCMN Conference Speaker: Libby Chiu


Prior to her role as the Chief of Staff at the Illinois Council, Libby Lai-Bun Chiu was the Senior Advisor for Learning where she managed the Arts and Foreign Language Grants program and directed the Education Leaders Institute, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts. She is an adjunct professor of two courses – Arts Education and International Arts Policy, at Goucher College; she is a consultant specializing in program evaluation.

Libby is an active member of the Asian Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy; she has served in leadership roles in nonprofit organizations in various sectors. Libby Chiu will be a featured guest speaker at this year’s Berklee City Music Network Conference in Memphis. To learn more from leaders in music education, register here!

BCMN Conference Speaker: Will Power


Will Power is an award-winning playwright and performer. Power’s adaptation of the Greek tragedy Seven Against Thebes, retitled “The Seven,” enjoyed a successful Off-Broadway run at the New York Theater Workshop and The La Jolla Playhouse. His solo show, FLOW, was featured in the Hip Hop Theater Festival before touring nationally and internationally to critical acclaim.

Power’s numerous awards include a United States Artists Prudential Fellowship, a Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, the TGG Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, a Jury Award for Best Theater Performance at HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, a Drama Desk Award nomination, and the Trailblazer Award from The National Black Theater Network.

Powers’ numerous film and television appearances include The Steven Colbert Report (Comedy Central), Bill Moyers on Faith and Reason (PBS). Presently, Power is in the process of developing new works for The Dallas Theater Center, The Center Theater Group in Los Angeles, Hartford Stage, and The Royal Shakespeare Company.

Will Power will be a featured speaker at this year’s Berklee City Music Network Conference in Memphis. To learn more from top leaders in music education, register for the conference here!

Food in Memphis: Interactive Map

Memphis is famous for two things: music and food. The two complement each other to offer one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States. In Memphis, the food is rich in flavor, but cheap in price. The local BBQ is well-known, and you can sample it “wet” – with spicy, tangy sauce – or “dry” – rubbed with spices before cooking. Above is a map of low to moderately priced dining options in Memphis. It includes vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

If you haven’t signed up to join us in Memphis for the Berklee City Music Network Conference 2013, register here!