By Jason Camelio, director of international programs.
The afternoon session at the end of the first day of the Art of Improvisation: Blues and Jazz program was coming to an end. As the room began to clear an oddly familiar — in the land of Berklee — event took place. Two young women were having a discussion with assistant chair of the guitar department, Rick Peckham. This is fairly common. It gets interesting when you learn about the two talented musicians speaking with Rick.
First, we have a young Brazilian Blues vocalist and harp player Sarah Messias. Sarah is the winner of the 2012 Lollapalooza – Brazil Scholarship. The award affords her the chance to attend the Art of Improvisation program at no cost! Her peer is also a talented young Blues vocalist from India, Ipshita Roy. Both musicians are enjoying some level of musical success in their home countries. Both have traveled a great distance to the new campus in Valencia to make this connection.
For some, this would be the makings a fine Odd Couples sequel. But, for those of us at Berklee it is just another day in the classroom. The exceptions being that these two musicians totally ROCKED it during the afternoon master class.