Boston, MA, February 13, 2009. Female Berklee students from countries around the world – including Scotland, Japan, the U.S., Turkey, and Hungary – will showcase their formidable songwriting, arranging, performing, and producing skills at the 12th annual Berklee Women Musicians Network (WMN) concert, Thursday, March 12. The show features 12 exciting and diverse acts across a wide spectrum of genres, with jazz, world, Celtic, Latin, pop, rock, and r&b all represented.
This year’s concert features a special guest duo: renowned vocalist and Berklee professor Mili Bermejo and bassist Dan Greenspan. WMN also welcomes back high-energy world beat band Zili Misik. Zili’s Kera Washington, who teaches the Yanvalou Drum and Dance Ensemble at Wellesley College, will collaborate with students from Berklee to form an extended ensemble comprised of students from both colleges that will share the stage with the group.
Women Musicians Network is $10, all ages, and begins at 8:15 p.m., at the Berklee Performance Center, located at 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA. Please call 617-747-2261 or visit www.berkleebpc.com for more information.
The concert shines a spotlight on female musicians, bandleaders, composers, and sound engineers, but not to the exclusion of men. Says associate professor Lucy Holstedt, «If a woman is leading a band that also has guys, terrific. This show is about inclusion. The bottom line is great music.»
WMN, under the direction of Holstedt and voice instructor Christiane Karam, is the only annual concert at the Berklee Performance Center presented by a student club. In addition to Bermejo and Zili, performers include Mariko Awada, The Folk Arts Quartet, Kana Dehara, Maureen McMullen, Julgi Kang and Rika Ikeda, Liz Barak, Leah Gough-Cooper, Ann Driscoll, Aslihan Niksarli, and Kata Kozma.
About the artists
Mili Bermejo is a vocalist, composer, and Berklee professor whose music blends the beautiful stories and infectious rhythms of Latin American poetry and folk with social awareness and jazz improvisation. Bermejo’s latest album, De Tierra, is an expression of hope and meaning in response to the violence and instability in the world today. The music is a mix of original compositions and arrangements of work by various Latin American composers and poets.
Zili Misik is a nine-piece, all-female band that bridges cultures and continents. With captivating sounds that evoke the African continent, Zili retraces routes of forced exile and cultural resistance through rhythm and song. Powerful Haitian, Brazilian, and West African rhythms infuse Zili’s original and traditional folk songs. Reconnecting Haitian mizik rasin, jazz, roots reggae, samba, Cuban son, and neo soul, Zili honors its influences while creating a unique sound.
Mariko Awada is a pianist and vocalist from Gifu, Japan. Awada attended Osaka University – where she joined an a cappella jazz group – and Koyo Conservatory in Japan, before being granted a scholarship to attend Berklee. She has been studying singing, arranging, and composition at Berklee since 2007, and is a member of the Berklee Gospel Choir, the Berklee Musical Theater Club, and Boston Jazz Voices, a 19-member a cappella chorus.
The Folk Arts Quartet (FAQ) combines folk styles from the fiddle world with the heritage of the classical string quartet. The result is a new hybrid genre, «ChamberGrass.» As pioneers of this style, FAQ is gaining recognition for its musicianship and innovation. The members – Liz Davis Maxfield (cello), Ivonne Hernandez (fiddle), Julie Metcalf (viola), and Hanna Read (fiddle) – hail from Scotland, Canada, and the U.S., and met while studying at Berklee.
Kana Dehara is a pianist from Osaka, Japan. At 11, she played a Mozart concerto as her first professional concert.