Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hitting the jazz highway

Salinger-Ridley, Ko, Jensen, Zamora, Barnick *

Building your jazz skills isn’t just about playing your instrument, singing your songs, developing your style and strengthening your improvisational skills. It’s also about dealing with challenges on the road, disruptive sleep patterns, and getting along with your band mates as you jump on the van and head to the next gig.

Four students from the Boston-based Berklee College of Music will absorb a lot of that experience starting Thursday when they join trumpeter Ingrid Jensen on a five-date concert tour winding through parts of New England and the Mid-Atlantic. They’ll perform five gigs in five nights.

The students in Jensen’s quintet for this mini-tour include drummer Peter Barnick from Homewood IL, saxophonist Daniel Ko from Ottawa, Canada; bassist Max Salinger-Ridley from Boston; and pianist Zahili Gonzalez Zamora from Manzanillo, Cuba.

They will perform at the Regattabar in Cambridge MA (Thursday, May 14), the Mary Lou Williams Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC (Friday, May 15), Philadelphia’s Clef Club (Saturday, May 16), the Side Door in Old Lyme CT, (Sunday, May 17), and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City (Monday, May 18).

Jensen (Berklee Class of 1989) is giving the students more than they would ever absorb in master classes, although she is skilled at that as well.

The trumpeter has taught jazz at the University of Michigan and the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, and has performed and lectured at universities, colleges, and conservatories throughout the US and Europe. She is a guest director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, and has participated in a variety of summer institutes and workshops, including the Centrum Jazz Workshop, The Dave Brubeck Institute and the Banff Centre Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music.

This is the third, and most expansive year, of Berklee's Masters on the Road series. Pianist Cyrus Chestnut (Berklee Class of 1985) took a student sextet to Dizzy’s and the DC Jazz Festival. Last year, saxophonist Donald Harrison (Berklee Class of 1981) performed with students at clubs in Connecticut and New York.

(*Berklee-provided photo by David Green)

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