It’s time to do it all again. In order to continue studying at Berklee, I will need raise to raise a further £23,000 by the end of July!! These funds go towards the cost of accommodation, rent, food, school books, travel, necessary equipment and pretty much my survival as an international student in the US. The syllabus and new learning material alone is an immense challenge as it is. That is without taking into consideration the monetary stress that comes with living in a city as expensive as Boston. When you are stressed; you cannot prosper.
The journey that I am embarking on, is bigger than me and more than just a successful musical career. It’s the long-term fulfillment of my purpose; to meet my listeners where they’re at by enabling the deepest outpouring of my soul through music, to inspire, to elevate, to encourage, to comfort, to advocate for. I am living proof that God can turn an impossible looking situation upside down! However, faith without works is dead. I cannot see this through to completion without sustenance and support. I extend so much love and gratitude already, to those taking time out of their day to read this. Please, I implore you; never dare to dream.
Below are details of my first semester at Berklee so far
In my first semester alone I was able to:
· Finish with a 3.93 grade average! All the hours of hard work and sacrifice paid off!
· Hang and played with the world-renowned jazz saxophonist Kenny Garrett at Sculler’s Jazz club in Boston.
Garrett played piano and drums during the hang; it was unbelievable. I also was blessed to be able to watch him play his orignals on piano. It was amazing to watch the composer of the tunes that I love so much play them for me on my main instrument. He imparted so much wisdom from his own playing experience to myself and my friends too. There truly was nothing like it!
· Go to New York for the first time!!!
There I was able to see and meet the legendary Jazz Bassist Ron Carter during his residency at the iconic jazz club Birdland. He played with such elegance and poise; listening to him was like watching all of my favourite Jazz records (he has an extensive discography) come to life!
· I learnt how to use DAW's like Reason, Protools, Logic Ableton/Ableton live!!
This is a massive achievement for me, as before coming to Berklee I’d never had access to anything Mac or even known what MIDI was. Being out here is allowing me to grow and reinvent myself and my sound in so many ways. (Disclaimer: the soundtrack for my campaign video is my take on "Pure Imagination" from the 1971 classic, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!” It's also my first Protools session which features sounds from Logic and Reason as well as Protools).
· Be mentored by the legendary Jazz Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington in her newly founded “Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice”
Studying with Terri Lyne Carrington is an absolute privilege and dream come true. From the very first ensemble rehearsal, I was introduced to challenging material and concepts; which is exactly what I signed up for. I find it highly motivating and inspiring. Being part of the Jazz and Gender Justice institute has allowed me to work closely in pseudo- professional rehearsals and obtain 1 to 1 private lessons with artists who are at the forefront of today’s global Jazz scene.
· Terri Lyne Carrington Herself- myself and other Berklee students opened up for the album launch of her critically acclaimed newest album, “Waiting Game,” at Berklee’s Café 939.
· I was also blessed to make an appearance on American television with Terri Lyne Carrington and other members of the Berklee Jazz and Gender Justice Institute! -WGBO on Basic Black (link to full video on my youtube channel)
· Melissa Aldana(workshop and private sax lesson) -Tenor Saxophonist
first female instrumentalist to win the international Thelonius Monk Jazz competition winning Jazz Saxophonist
· Kris Davis(Workshop and private lessons)- phenomenal pianist and composer
latest album “Diatom Ribbons as #1 Jazz album of 2019
· Linda Oh (private lessons) -award winning Jazz double and electric bassist and composer
currently the touring bassist with guitarist, Pat Metheny.
· Aaron Parks (workshop and private lesson)- acclaimed pianist, keyboardist and composer,
became established for his work in Jazz Trumpeter Terrance Blanchard’s band at just 18 years old
· Dee Dee Bridgewater!! (workshop)- American Jazz Singer, NEA jazz master (2018)-
three-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, as well as Tony award- winning stage actress.
· Georgia Anne Muldrow- (Workshop, studio recording session) – Los Angeles singer/songwriter, producer, multinstrumentalist.
She has an extensive discography her genres expanding over experimental , funk, blues, neo-soul,electro,jazz fusion, hip hop
· Nona Hendryx-Jimi Hendrix distant cousin (workshop) – critically acclaimedAmerican vocalist, record producer, songwriter, musician, author, and actress.
Formed part of the renowned trio ,”Labelle. Her music spans funk, pop, soul, R&B , hard rock, new wave, new age
· Elena Pinderhughes- (Workshop)- Prodigy,Jazz flautist and vocalist, has been performing since 11 years old, has performed with jazz legends like Herbie Hancock and Christian Scott. Has played at renowned festivals such as Monterey and Montreux Jazz Festivals, and graced none other than Carnegie Hall and the White House.
· Michele Rosewoman-(workshop)- pioneering Jazz pianist in her own right. Has played venues such as the Village Vanguard in NYC. Her music fuses acoustic modern Jazz, sophisticated funk, dynamic electric fusion and elements of Cuban Folkloric music.
Val Jeanty- (workshop, ensemble private lessons) – Haitian New York electronic music artist soundchemist , percussionist, turntablist. Has performed internationally at music festivals in Austria and Switzerland as well as at renowned venues such as the village Vanguard
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