Starting in 2009, Berklee had the opportunity to bring a student lead group to Nancy Jazz Pulsations Festival. The festival is two weeks in length and has featured Miles Davis, Elvin Jones, Dave Holland, and Joshua Redman among others.
By: Christine Typadis and Alexander Toth
Berklee touched down in Cape Verde in mid April! This amazing trio including, Chair of the Ensemble Department, Ron Savage, Professor Jetro da Silva and current student Bassist
Alexander Toth performed at the festival, conducted clinics at the University of Cape Verde and exchanged their musical spirits as they learn about the culture and music of this region. The fifth edition of Kriol Jazz Festival was held on April 10th to the 13th and it is brought by a partnership between the City of Praia and Harmonia, Lda. Thanks to the support of the Kriol Jazz festival organizers and Harold Tavares, this was great opportunity for musical exchange!
The international reputation of KJF has grown much throughout the years. It is a scene of Creole inspiration, gathering artists from Cape Verde, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and Africa, also interacting with American and European music, a fusion called Creole Jazz. Numerous international artists, producers, media and specialized press reps from different countries have already taken part to the festival. In 2012 and 2013, Kriol Jazz Festival is recognized listed in the top 25 best world music festivals by British magazine Songlines, confirming KJF is on the good path in becoming a main reference in the network of world music festivals.
Discovering Cape Verde
From the road…
Alexander Toth is in his last semester here at Berklee and gives us his perspective of his travels and first impressions of Cape Verde. What a way to wrap up the spring semester before he walks in about a week for graduation. Congratulations Alexander!
”I’m sitting here in Boston about one week after a life changing musical and cultural experience I had in beautiful Cape Verde. The Ron Savage Trio was invited to perform at the 2013 Kriol Jazz festival. On the map it seemed like such a long way from home but the flight felt pretty short. After stepping off the plane we were greeted by hot sunshine and warm people with a scenic ride to the city of Praia, Santiago.
Day one, we dove straight in, checking out the traditional Cape Verdean music and exhibits at the Atlantic Music Expo. Ron Savage and Jetro Da Silva were interviewed by the local Radio Station. Later on in the week the band had an unforgettable time performing at the Festival. We played in front of an endless stream of enthusiastic audience members. Though our set was quite different from what the locals usually hear, the concert was very well received and unique in the sense that some say they had never even seen an upright bass up close before. It was also a new experience for me to assist the trio in conducting a workshop at the University of Cape Verde. Traditional Jazz language along with the “12 bar blues” was discussed, as well as my audition experience and the time I spent at Berklee. It was a great pleasure to know that the workshop had a huge impact. We met many talented musicians both at the workshop and Jazz Festival.
Aside from performing and meetings, we had the opportunity to get to know so many friendly people who carry a typical Island vibe that is familiar to me coming from Trinidadian roots. It was gratifying to not only have met the Mayor of Praia Ulisses Correia E. Silva, but also the President of Cape Verde Jorge Carlos Fonseca who both also attended our concert. We also had the opportunity to meet with the US Ambassador Adrienne O’Neal during our visit. We had a most memorable day when we visited “Cidade Velha” or the “Old City”, which is the oldest settlement in Cape Verde. It was such a deep cultural experience, as it was the first place to be colonized by the Portuguese, and the main port of Africa during the slave trade.
Although we had a busy schedule, we were fortunate enough to enjoy the beach and tasty seafood, along with jamming with the local musicians at night. I even found some time to pick up some Portuguese and Kriol!! It was nice to trade the offices and practice rooms for the outdoor café “Sophia’s”, where we had many gatherings and great conversation.
I am truly honored to have had opportunity of representing Berklee College of Music with the Ron Savage Trio on this trip to Cape Verde. The memories will last forever!! My deepest gratitude to all of the warm Cape Verdean people I have met, and also a special thanks to Ron Savage and Jetro Da Silva.
For more information about the KJF, follow this link.
Durante más de medio siglo, el Berklee College of Music ha sido el líder en la educación de la música contemporánea. Hemos puesto en marcha la carrera de muchos de los profesionales de éxito de hoy en día en la industria de la música. Más de 200 premios Grammy han sido de nuestros antiguos alumnos. Berklee ofrece los más altos estándares en la educación musical, incluyendo las tecnologías de vanguardia, y sostenemos que la mejor manera de preparar a los estudiantes para carreras en la música es a través del estudio y la práctica de la música contemporánea.
Sophie Maricq is the Communications Manager for Global Initiatives. She´s a Berklee alumna and has been working closely on the Berklee College of Music – Valencia campus project.
On the flight from Boston to Vegas, I started to think about what I would want to write about during my trip. The fact of flying to another city for Berklee reminded me of my previous journey’s that got me here.
I remember flying to Barcelona for my Berklee audition a few years ago. When I got to the Liceo I was excited, nervous, physically exhausted but so energized, ready for the next challenge in my life. When it was my turn and I was asked to enter the room I felt at home. Three gentlemen greeted me, made me feel comfortable and with a smile, Greg Badolato said “you have nothing to worry about, just sing” and so I did! Then I had my interview with Tod Oliviere and remember saying I heard about the Berklee in Valencia project and really wanted to be involved in it, although at that time it was still not a fact. It is such a wonder and a pleasure to be working closely with them now, and also be so involved in the Valencia project. After weeks of expectation and checking all the cables and plugs in the house to make sure internet was working and I didn’t miss any emails, I received the acceptance and scholarship letters, I WAS GOING TO BERKLEE!!! Continue reading