At trip’s completion, my back-of-the-van benchmates, rhythm section partners Josh (bass) Hari, and drummer Mark Whitfield, Jr., shot over their thoughts on the project:
What a great trip! It was such a rewarding experience being able to play Mr. Walden’s music with him and with such a killin’ close-knit band. There is also really no other place like the Blue Note in NY, it truly encompasses the history of this american art form. And thank you to Berklee for being hip enough to realize that jazz cannot simply be learned from textbooks, but by playing, hanging with, and listening to the great teachers and students this school brings together. ~Josh Hari
The trip to the Blue Note was a very enjoyable experience. It was great to be around other greats musicians and people. Hanging and playing with Myron was definitely an added bonus to the trip. It was amazing to play with Myron and Darren. Playing at the Blue Note is an experience I will never forget. ~Mark Whitfield
The Sextet, hammering along on Myron Walden's "The Road." From left: Jonathan, Ilan, Josh, and Emile.
On the way back to the club, passing the West 4th subway, I look to my left and there’s guitarist Jeff Miles, sporting a lemurian grin. He’s lent Ilan Bar-Lavi his guitar amp, and so is anointed for the guest list. We cross the threshold a half hour before downbeat, the place is gloriously packed, and we’re extra glad to have seats reserved down front. Continue reading →
Another thrilling van ride. I was much reminded of The Matrix, and Morpheus’s admonition to his crew. “You told me never to get on the freeway; you said that it was suicide,” Trinity reminds him. His reply: “Then let us hope that I was wrong.” Intact but enervated, we arrive in Greenwich Village at the Blue Note.
In live performance on WBGO-FM, the Berklee Scholarship Sextet. From left: Victor Gould, piano; Emile Martinez, trumpet; Jonathan Greenstein, saxophone; Ilan Bar-Lavi, guitar; Josh Hari, bass; and Mark Whitfield, Jr., drums.
To close out the month, Berklee staff are checking in from the hallowed Blue Note Jazz Club in Manhattan, a place whose very name evokes the genre’s sophisticated greats. Some of our best young jazz musicians will appear there on April 27 (buy tickets), getting their first gander at the city where many move after graduation. Read about the concert.
Associate professor Darren Barrett directs the 2009 Berklee Scholarship Jazz Sextet with student performers Ilan Bar-Lavi, Victor Gould, Jonathan Greenstein, Josh Hari, and Emile Martinez. Watch for updates from the weekend.
p.s. At 2 p.m. that day, the sextet is playing live on my two jazz uncles’ favorite station, WBGO-Newark. Listen in!