Every year, a different Berklee jazz group goes on a trip to the world-renowned Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, California. This year, I am honored to be the pianist in the 2012 Berklee Monterey Sextet for four concerts between September 20 and 22. This year’s sextet is one of the largest Berklee Monterey groups in recent history. So there’s a lot of preparation involved. But with all the intense preparation comes great excitement for the trip, and it’s going to be a big deal. We’ll be playing four concerts- two at the festival, a school concert, and a house concert.
The six of us are all good friends from Berklee. I will be co-leading the group with alto saxophonist (and Presidential Scholar) Erena Terakubo, who is very skilled in the bebop jazz tradition and has already made a name for herself in her home country of Japan. The other musicians are trumpeter Nick Frenay, trombonist John Egizi, bassist Hoo Kim (from South Korea), and drummer Anthony Fung (from Canada). We will also feature a special guest (drummer Ayinde Webb, who just received a full scholarship from Berklee).
We’ve already done one rehearsal today, and will do another one tomorrow.
All six of us have prepared our own compositions for the trip, but we’ll also play classic standards as well. Most of our tunes lean toward the straight-ahead jazz tradition, but there are a couple of crazy pieces in there as well!
In short… we absolutely cannot wait.