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.

Tommy LiPuma at the BCMN Conference

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The three-time Grammy award-winning producer of 29 gold or platinum records, and Chairman Emeritus of Verve Music, Tommy LiPuma will be a panelist at this year’s Berklee City Music Network Conference.  For decades LiPuma has been a major creative and innovative musical force and with more than 30 Grammy nominations he is one of the most successful pop and jazz producers ever.

Tommy LiPuma is a record producer, talent scout, and record company executive. A trained musician and saxophonist born and raised in Cleveland, LiPuma started in record promotion and quickly rose to become a celebrated producer and music industry leader. He has served in significant positions at almost every major record company including being the first staff producer at A&M Records and cofounder of Blue Thumb Records in the 1960s; the head of jazz and progressive Music at Warner Bros. through the ‘80s; and the senior vice president of A&R at Elektra and president of GRP and Impulse in the ‘90s. From 1998 to 2005, he was chairman of Verve Music, and chairman emeritus from ’05 through ’11.

He has worked with an incredible array of renowned musicians, including Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, The Pointer Sisters, Gabor Szabo, João Donato, Hugh Masekela, Willie Nelson, Michael Bublé, Ben Sidran, Bill Evans, Antonio Carlos Jobim, David Sanborn, Earl Klugh, the Jazz Crusaders, Natalie Cole, George Benson, Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Claudine Longet, Dave Mason, the Yellowjackets, Michael Franks, Diana Krall, Sir Paul McCartney, Randy Newman, The Crusaders, Joe Sample, Randy Crawford, Dr. John, to a few.  Check out more of his discography here.

Don’t miss Tommy LiPuma at this year’s conference.

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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.

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Register for the BCMN Conference

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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.

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