By: Jason Camelio, Director of International Programs
An exceptionally talented group of young musicians is en route to Ireland to present a series of master classes and concerts in Sligo, Cork and Dublin. The quintet, led by Berklee presidential scholar and native of Ireland Matthew Halpin, will also feature drummer Roberto Gianquinto, bassist Jared Henderson, pianist Christian Li (not in photo) and guitarist Mike Bono (also a Berklee Presidential Scholar).
Tenor saxophonist and composer Halpin has just completed his sixth semester at Berklee. His most recent project is one which includes four musicians who he has been working with and studying with in various scenarios since he began at Berklee in fall of 2009. Matthew states, “In that time this group has grown to be some of my best friends and musical connections. What we’ve been able to develop is something which I have not experienced before.”
Halpin describes this quintet as, “a group of musicians (that) are stand out players in their own right, most of them studying on full scholarships at Berklee College of Music. I’m currently composing a set of music specific to this group that I think will show off the highly interactive capabilities and the incredible soloing skills each musician has. What I am trying to make most prominent in the music is the enjoyment and humor that we find in playing together and which has always come naturally to us, while being true to the intensity and emotional depth of the music which we all love.
Halpin’s quintet will be performing at the Hawkswell Theatre and Sligo Jazz Project in Sligo, the International Bar in Dublin, at Berklee International Network partner institution Newpark Music Centre in Dublin and other locales. For mote details about their Ireland tour, please go to Matt and Mike’s web sites.
This is the first time that Berklee has sent a group co-led by Presidential Scholars on an international tour. The quintet will also be on tour in France in October as part of a student exchange program with Berklee International Network partner Music Academy International in Nancy, where they will be feature at the 2012 Nancy Jazz Pulsation.