Performing to celebrate the legacy of Fred Taylor are Kurt Elling, Monty Alexander, Danilo Perez, Terri Lyne Carrington, Grace Kelly, Catherine Russell, Kat Edmonson, John Patitucci, Jason Palmer, James Montgomery, Bo Winiker, Mark Walker, with a special appearance by Pat Metheny, and more. Grace Kelly and Robin Young will host the evening with additional surprises to be announced from the stage.
A bevy of All-Stars, the best snazzy graphics that iMovie can churn out, music by the gracious and ever-so talented Ms Kelly with the bopfullated Mr Batiste. Go ahead, play it. Get enticed to snag a ticket.
We are so gratified these companies have stepped up to help fund the scholarship with their sponsorship of the concert. Give them a warm and gracious thank you if you can. And yes, that Aerosmith!
The proceeds of the concert will endow the continuing legacy of Fred Taylor through the establishment of the Fred Taylor Endowed Scholarship Fund. The fund will nurture deserving, gifted and needy Berklee students in areas of Music Business as well as Performance at the Berklee College of Music starting in the spring of 2017.
On September 12th, 7:30, these All-Stars will grace the stage at the Berklee Performance Center to pay tribute to Fred Taylor, the iconic promoter, producer, and music impresario who has enlivened and enlightened the Boston Music Scene for over five decades.
Kurt Elling is a jazz vocalist, composer, lyricist, and vocalese performer. The New York Times called Elling, “the standout male vocalist of our time.” The Washington Post said, “Since the mid-1990s, no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic, or interesting as Kurt Elling. With his soaring vocal flights, his edgy lyrics, and sense of being on a musical mission, he has come to embody the creative spirit in jazz.” Elling is a Grammy Award winner and an 11-time Grammy nominee. Elling has won the DownBeat Critics Poll thirteen times, the DownBeat Readers Poll seven times, and the JazzTimes Readers Poll eight times, all in the Male Vocalist of the Year category. He has also received the Jazz Journalists Association Male Singer of the Year award eight times.
In 2010, Fred was granted a Jazz Hero Award from the Jazz Journalists of America. The "why", as noted by JJA President Howard Mandel below, underscores the reasons so many have dedicated their time and energy to produce this event honoring Fred and endowing his scholarship fund.
“Jazz needs presenters, and Fred Taylor has all the attributes of the best of them -- big ears, good ways of working with people, a real love of the music,” Mandel said. “Without people like Fred, the music doesn’t get put on and audiences have no place to go.
“Fred’s run Boston clubs, been a host to its hottest scenes, produced breakthrough concerts, established Tanglewood as a major jazz festival and worked to put Scullers on the international jazz map. He’s still ﬁnding new talent, and he still loves the music -- all that makes him a jazz hero.”
Monty Alexander is an well-considered and acclaimed American classic, after he moved to the United States from Kingston, Jamaica, his home town fifty-five years ago. Monty tours the world relentlessly with various projects, delighting a global audience drawn to his vibrant personality and soulful message. His spirited conception is one informed by the timeless verities: endless melody-making, effervescent grooves, sophisticated voicings, a romantic spirit, and a consistent predisposition, as Alexander accurately states, “to build up the heat and kick up a storm.” In the course of any given performance, Alexander applies those aesthetics to repertoire spanning a broad range of jazz and Jamaican musical expression—the American songbook and the blues, gospel and bebop, calypso and reggae. Like his “eternal inspiration,” Erroll Garner, Alexander—cited as the fifth greatest jazz pianist ever in The Fifty Greatest Jazz Piano Players of All Time (Hal Leonard Publishing) and mentioned in Robert Doerschuk’s 88: The Giants of Jazz Piano—gives the hardcore-jazz-obsessed much to dig into while also communicating the message to the squarest “civilian.”
The concert is being held to establish an endowed scholarship in Fred Taylor’s name at the Berklee College of Music for Music Business or Performance students. Fred has always had a keen interest in the future of music through education and this fund will be his way to ensure students can build upon his legacy in the future.
Danilo Pérez , a Grammy Award–winning pianist and composer, is among the most influential and dynamic musicians of our time. His distinctive blend of Pan-American jazz—incorporating the music of the Americas, folkloric music, and world music—has attracted critical acclaim and loyal audiences. Whether leading his own ensembles or touring with renowned jazz masters such as Wayne Shorter, Roy Haynes, and Steve Lacy, Pérez has made a decidedly fresh imprint on contemporary music, guided by his love for jazz. Born in Panama, Pérez attended Berklee in the 1980s and has led his own groups since the early 1990s. He has also worked as a music educator for more than 20 years. In addition to his role as artistic director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, Pérez serves as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, a cultural ambassador for Panama, and as artistic director of the Panama Jazz Festival.
All the artists involved in this fundraising concert were "mentored" by Fred over the years, by his bookings, his conversations, and subtle notes, like the time Miles Davis asked how his performance at the Jazz Workshop went and Fred told him "you were good, your band not so much." And Miles agreed.
Consider this: Miles asked Fred what he thought, Fred told him the truth, and Miles agreed. Miles agreed!
Terri Lyne Carrington is a three-time Grammy Award–winning drummer, composer, bandleader, producer, entrepreneur, and Berklee alumna. After touring extensively for more than 20 years with luminaries like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Al Jarreau, Stan Getz, David Sanborn, Joe Sample, Cassandra Wilson, Clark Terry, and Dianne Reeves, she returned to Boston, where she was appointed a professor at Berklee. Carrington also received an honorary doctorate from Berklee in 2003. In 2013, Carrington made history when she became the first woman to win a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album.
Tickets for this gala event are available through the Berklee Performance Center Box Office.
Tickets are available for purchase online.
The Berklee Performance Center (BPC) is located at 136 Massachusetts Avenue. The box office is directly inside the front doors of the building.
Box Office Hours (Summer Hours Beginning May 14)
Monday–Saturday from 1:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Please note: The box office takes phone orders during business hours. Processing fees apply. The BPC box office accepts cash, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover Card, but no checks. All sales are final. Tickets are nonrefundable and cannot be exchanged or replaced. Click here for accessible ticket purchasing information.
For additional general box office information, please call 617-747-2261.
Grace Kelly – a saxophonist, singer, songwriter, and Berklee alumna – recorded her first album at 12, orchestrated for and performed with the Boston Pops Orchestra at 14, and performed at President Obama’s inauguration at 16. As a bandleader, she has performed over 800 concerts in over 30 countries. In 2016, Kelly released her 10th album as a bandleader. It was voted #2 Jazz Album of the Year in the DownBeat Readers Poll. She also won the DownBeat critic’s poll for Rising Alto Sax Star, was named Jazz Artist of the Year at the Boston Music Awards, and was named Alto Saxophonist of the Year by NYC Jazz Fans Decision 2016. Kelly is a regular performer with Jon Batiste’s Stay Human on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and is featured as herself on the Emmy-nominated Amazon Prime series Bosch . She has been featured in Vanity Fair , Glamour Magazine , Billboard , Forbes , NPR , and CNN , among others.
Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker born into musical royalty. Her father, Luis Russell, was a legendary pianist, bandleader, arranger, and composer, as well as Louis Armstrong’s long-time collaborator and musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, was an influential bassist, guitarist, and vocalist. Unsurprisingly, Russell is a one of a kind musician and vocalist. A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Russell has toured the world performing and recording with the likes of David Bowie, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, Jackson Browne, Levon Helm, Paul Simon, Rosanne Cash, Wynton Marsalis, Dr. John, and many more. She has appeared on over 200 albums. Russell won a Grammy Award for her appearance on the soundtrack for the HBO series Boardwalk Empire and her album Harlem on My Mind received a Grammy nomination.
Kat Edmonson is an American singer-songwriter who has toured with Michael Kiwanuka, Chris Isaak, Gary Clark Jr, and Jamie Cullum. In 2010, Edmonson was invited by Lyle Lovett to be the opening act for his U.S. summer tour. In December of that year, he invited her to perform "Baby, It's Cold Outside" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno . Their version of the song was released on Lovett's 2012 album, Release Me . Edmonson has appeared in two films: Angels Sing and Café Society . In Café Society , directed by Woody Allen, she plays the Les Tropiques nightclub singer, performing "Mountain Greenery" and "Jeepers Creepers." In 2013, she received the Abe Olman Scholarship Award for Excellence in Songwriting from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
John Patitucci , a Berklee artist-in-residence, has performed throughout the world both with h is own band and with jazz luminaries such as Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Stan Getz, Pat Metheny, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, McCoy Tyner, Nancy Wilson, and many more. He has also played with many pop and Brazilian artists such as Sting, Aaron Neville, Natalie Cole, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Milton Nascimento, Astrud and Joao Gilberto, Ivan Lins, Joao Bosco, and Dori Caymmi. His association with Chick Corea has brought him worldwide acclaim and has put him at the forefront of the jazz world. His many recordings with Chick Corea’s Elektric Band and Akoustic Band, his six solo recordings for GRP Records, and his subsequent recordings have brought him two Grammy Awards (one for playing and one for composing) and over fifteen Grammy nominations.
Jason Palmer – trumpeter, composer, and educator – is becoming one of the most in demand musicians of his generation. He has performed with Roy Haynes, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Smith, Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Ravi Coltrane, to name a few. In addition to performing on over a forty albums as a sideman, Palmer has recorded eight albums under his own name and has toured over 30 countries. Palmer’s quintet has led the house band every weekend at Boston’s famous Wally’s Café Jazz Club for the past twelve years. He is currently an assistant professor of ensembles and brass at Berklee and a visiting assistant professor at Harvard University.
James Montgomery "brings it on home" whenever he plays his harmonica. Whether recording with Kid Rock, sitting in with Gregg Allman, or fronting his own band of thirty years, Montgomery plays with authority. Growing up in Detroit, he learned first-hand from the masters – James Cotton, John Lee Hooker, and Jr. Wells – at the legendary Chessmate. Over the years, he's carried on in the tradition and continues to be a vital presence in blues as one of the most dynamic performers on the scene. Montgomery has toured with artists including Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, the Allman Brothers, and Steve Miller. He has jammed on stage with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Charlie Daniels, Bonnie Raitt, LaVern Baker, Patti LaBelle, and Peter Wolf, among others, including an impromptu session with Mick Jagger at New York's Trax.
Bo Winiker began his professional music career at 10, performing in his hometown of Millis, MA, with the Winiker Family Band alongside his mother, father, and older brother. He went on to graduate from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he joined the school’s Grammy award–winning Ragtime Ensemble. In 1992, Winiker recorded the movie soundtrack for A League of Their Own with Billy Joel. He has performed at the White House for Presidents Ford and Carter, and at Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Ball he performed alongside the incredible Aretha Franklin. This year, Winiker was honored to take the stage at Symphony Hall to lead the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra for his fourth consecutive sold-out New Year’s Eve Gala.
Robin Young brings more than 25 years of broadcast experience to her role as host of Here & Now. She is a Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker who has also reported for NBC, CBS and ABC television and for several years was substitute host and correspondent for "The Today Show." Robin has received several Emmy Awards for her television work, as well as cable's Ace award, the Religious Public Relations Council's Wilbur Award and the National Conference of Christians and Jews Gold Award. She has also received radio's regional Edward R. Murrow award.
She has had an eclectic career in broadcasting, serving as second director on Boston Bruins and Red Sox telecasts, was one of the first hosts on the groundbreaking television show "Evening Magazine," and she's pretty sure she's the only Peabody Award-winner who has also hosted a cooking game show! (Yes, that was Robin on the Food Channel's "Ready Set Cook!" When they cast their vegetables and vote? That was Robin's idea!)
Mark Walker is one of the most versatile and musical drummers, composers and educators (Professor at Berklee College of Music) in the business. His long-standing relationships with artists such as Paquito D’Rivera (26 years) and the group Oregon (19 years) show his commitment to creating the music of the highest quality. He has played on over 60 albums, including five Grammy winning and nine Grammy nominated projects.
Walker has toured extensively and recorded with Lyle Mays, Michel Camilo, Eliane Elias, Cesar Camargo Mariano, Patricia Barber, the WDR Big Band, the Caribbean Jazz Project, Grace Kelly, Linda Eder, and Andy Narell, and has also performed live with Rosa Passos, Michael Brecker, Toninho Horta, Chucho Valdes, Filo Machado, Dianne Reeves, Regina Carter, James Ingram, Joao Bosco, and Leny Andrade. He appears in the Latin Jazz documentary “Calle 54”(Miramax) with Paquito D’Rivera and Dave Samuels.
As a composer, he was a recipient of a Grammy nomination for his composition “Deep Six”, which appeared on the group Oregon’s Grammy nominated recording “1000 Kilometers.” He also wrote “What About That!” for the Paquito D’Rivera Quintet?’s Grammy Award winning CD “Funk Tango.
Pat Metheny recently received the nation’s highest honor in jazz, the NEA Jazz Masters Award. The guitarist and composer has won 20 Grammy Awards in 10 different categories. Metheny has won multiple DownBeat awards and has been named to the Down Beat Hall of Fame. In addition, he has recorded three gold albums . Metheny has continued to redefine the genre of jazz by utilizing new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument. He has performed with many great artists including Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, Milton Nascimento, and David Bowie. Metheny’s body of work includes compositions for solo guitar, small ensembles, electric and acoustic instruments, large orchestras, and ballet pieces, with settings ranging from modern jazz to rock to classical.