Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Tag: Africa Scholars Program (Page 1 of 2)

Africa Scholars Program

Kenya trip concludes with a visit to Starehe Boys Centre

The music education outreach wrapped on Monday, the team’s last day in Kenya, with a visit to Starehe Boys Centre, where the Berklee professors gave a workshop and clinic for students in the music class.

Read More

Berklee visits Haba na Haba music program in Nairobi

On Saturday, the Berklee team visited a community music program in Nairobi’s Eastleigh slum called Haba na Haba. The project is an after school and Saturday music program that also offers opportunities for youth to participate in dance, drama, puppetry, and acrobatics. Eastleigh is one of the poorest areas of Nairobi.  We knew we were getting close when the road went from paved to entirely dirt, and the ride got extremely bumpy.

At this point, we were surrounded by tin shacks and buildings in disrepair, large piles of burning trash, and goats and turkeys roaming free by the side of the road. Despite the poverty, the young people here have a positive attitude and their passion for playing music is clear. Although they have very limited resources, they benefit greatly from attending the program.

Read More

Workshops at Brookhouse in Nairobi, and concert performance

After the Independence Day party at the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya’s residence, we headed back to the Brookhouse School where professors Ron Reid and Dan Moretti gave clinics for Brookhouse students, musicians who had auditioned earlier in the week, and local musicians.

Here, Reid works with an ensemble – and gets the entire class to participate – on the first part of a song he just taught them.  The song, “Ogu Aye,” is a traditional Yoruba chant.

In Moretti’s workshop, “Understanding and Communicating Styles for all Musicians,” he demonstrated some basic scat techniques he developed that are used to sing drum and bass grooves. The techniques help players better communicate their groove ideas in rehearsal and performance situations.

Read More

Videos from the 4th of July celebration at the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya’s residence

On Friday, the Berklee team in Nairobi was invited to the residence of Michael E. Rannenberger, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, for his annual Independence Day celebration (two days early).  It was a swanky affair held in the Ambassador’s spacious back yard.  Getting in was akin to going through airport security, complete with metal detectors and pat downs (and a strict no photos policy at the gate), but once inside we were treated to drinks and tasty food – including four large American flag cakes – and mingled with local and foreign dignitaries.

mmmm, cake!

Read More

Videos from Berklee’s events in Nairobi

Actually, these are the first of many videos from the events last week.  On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 82 musicians from several different African countries auditioned at the Brookhouse School in Nairobi, Kenya, for scholarship opportunities to attend Berklee through the Africa Scholars Program. Many others had to be turned away because there just wasn’t enough time.

One day I was doing work in a second floor office in the school.  From my tower (literally, see earlier post), I heard a song break out in the distance, so I went down to check it out.  The singers told me they had just met at the auditions. Many of them heard about the events in the newspaper, from friends, or on Facebook, which is very popular here. Most people access it – and the web in general – on their phones since they don’t always have access to computers.

Here they perform the song “Malaika,” in the zilizopendwa genre, by Kenyan artist Fadhili Williams.  Several of the candidates sang it in their auditions.

Read More

Page 1 of 2

Copyright © 2019 Berklee College of Music