Berklee did Dublin (again)

Berklee in Dublin 2010 closing jam session. Photo by Matt Kavanagh, the Irish Times. (Click on image to read Irish Times story.)

In its second year, Berklee in Dublin drew more than 50 musicians representing 12 countries, including 19 from Ireland and 14 from England, along with students from Norway, Italy, Sweden, Poland, Spain, Greece, France, and the U.S. This year’s workshops were held at Newpark Music Centre, a Berklee International Network partner site in Blackrock, Ireland.  

By day, students worked with Berklee faculty Greg Badolato, Jim Kelly, John McGann, and Ken Zambello, and Ronan Guilfoyle of Newpark. Nights and mornings were spent lounging at Brookville Guesthouse (a charming nearby B&B which this blogger couldn’t possibly recommend more highly).

The event concluded on Friday, April 9, with a boisterous, impromptu jam session that echoed through the halls of Newpark. Eager to test drive their new skills, students played with reckless abandon, meshing Irish trad, classical, rock, blues, and other styles—and reinforcing the program’s central idea: improvisation is not all about jazz, it is fundamental to the realization of all music.

After the jam, nine outstanding participants from the workshops received scholarships totaling $40,000 for Berklee summer programs and online courses.

From left: Áine O’Doherty, Doug Ward, Johanna Bernard, Damien Bracken, Cassie Kinoshi, Aran Johnston, and Daniel Walsh.

Five Irish musicians celebrated on their home turf—singer-songwriter Áine O’Doherty (Donelgal), and drummers Aran Johnston (Dublin) and Daniel Walsh (Cork) won full-tuition scholarships to Berklee’s Five-Week Summer Performance Program, in Boston; and pianist Robert Cunney (Dublin) and guitarist Frank Simon (Roscommon) each received a free course on Berkleemusic.com. Summer scholarships were also presented to German-born, UK-schooled violinist Johanna Bernard, alto saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi (London), and drummer Doug Ward (Dorset, England); while alto saxophonist Martin Olsen (Leirsund, Norway) took home the final Berkleemusic scholarship.

The Irish Times ran a piece on the scholarship winners the next morning. Meanwhile, Berklee trustee Bill Whelan spoke to the Sunday Tribune, and dean of admissions Damien Bracken was interviewed by the University Observer, RTE Lyric fm, and Dublin City fm.

Earlier in the week, three students (and eventual scholarship winners), Johanna Bernard, Cassie Kinoshi, and Frank Simon, appeared on Balcony TV, a popular online viral music show that features bands, musicians, and other variety acts on balconies. The trio’s first and only rehearsal took place in the backseat of a taxi on the way to the gig.

More images from the Berklee in Dublin 2010 workshops:

Violinist Johanna Bernard (front) and saxophonist Robbie Clarke (right).

From left: students Francis Simon and Robbie Clarke, and Greg Badolato of international programs.

Drummer Doug Ward.

Saxophonist Martin Olsen.

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