Berklee Presents Latin Culture Celebration 2009

The event will showcase music from Cuba, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, and more.
October 23, 2009

Berklee presents its 11th annual Latin Culture Celebration, an event organized by students to showcase music from Cuba, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, and other parts of Latin America. Public events take place throughout the month of November, with concerts and clinics presented by students, faculty, alumni, staff, and guest artists. Highlights include concerts by Puerto Rican pianist Angel David Mattos November 4, vocalists Mili Bermejo and Patricia Elena Vlieg November 10, and Cuban superstar Issac Delgado November 12. 

All concerts are open to the public; clinics are only open to Berklee students. Concerts at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, are $10 for general admission unless otherwise noted. Events at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston Street; David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston Street; and Recital Hall 1A and 1W, 1140 Boylston Street are free. Visit for more information. Berklee's Latin Culture Celebration 2009 was coordinated by bass professor Oscar Stagnaro, and Jane Stachowiak, director of special projects for student affairs. 

Monday, November 2

Victor Mendoza/Marcus Santos
Concert, 8:00 p.m., Cafe 939

Mexico-born vibist and composer Victor Mendoza is considered one of today's finest Latin jazz artists. Recordings and performances with artists such as Paquito D'Rivera, Danilo Pérez, Michel Camilo, Claudio Roditi, and Antonio Sánchez have earned him the respect of critics and fans around the globe. 

Raised in the uniquely African-influenced culture of Bahia, Brazil, Marcus Santos has passionately committed his life to the study, preservation, and teaching of Afro-Brazilian music and heritage. The Berklee alumnus is the leader of the 20-piece ensemble Bloco AfroBrazil. 

Tuesday, November 3

Mariano Martos
Clinic, 4:00 p.m., Recital Hall 1A

Mariano Martos has taught workshops on flamenco bass all over the world. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he studied at the Escuela Superior de Jazz Walter Malossetti, with Bucky Arcella at the Estudio Escola de Música in Santiago de Compostela, with Carles Benavent (from Paco de Lucía's band), and with Rafael Cañizares in Barcelona. 

Wednesday, November 4

Ramón Vázquez
Clinic, 1:15 p.m., Recital Hall 1A

Ramón Vázquez has performed or recorded with Chick Corea, Tito Puente, Eddie Gomez, Justo Almario, Hilton Ruiz, Paquito D'Rivera, and others. The Cuban-born/Puerto Rico-raised bassist is also a distinguished educator who helped develop the International Association for Jazz Education, Chapter of Puerto Rico, and has taught at Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music and Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. 

Angel David Mattos/Pan-American Faculty Band
Concert, 8:15 p.m., Berklee Performance Center

Puerto Rico-born pianist/composer Angel David Mattos fuses elements of Latin and straight-ahead jazz, classical, and Puerto Rican folk music. The Berklee alumnus has performed or recorded with Dave Valentin, Alex Acuña, Bob Mintzer, John Benitez, Mike Stern, and Antonio Sanchez, among others. Berklee's Pan-American Faculty Band, directed by professors Bernardo Hernandez and Bertram Lehmann, will perform in the concert's second half. 

Thursday, November 5

Taller de Musica Experimental
Clinic, 4:00 p.m., Recital Hall 1W
Concert, 7:30 p.m., David Friend Recital Hall

Taller de Musica Experimental (Experimental Music Workshop), from Carabobo, Venezuela, is an eight-piece ensemble that combines Afro-Caribbean rhythms and instruments with elements of jazz.

Monday, November 9

Fernando Brandão
Concert, 8 p.m., Cafe 939

Berklee professor Fernando Brandão is an award-winning flutist, composer, and author. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he has performed or recorded with Luciana Souza, Bill Pierce, Marta Gomez, and many others. A student vocal group will open the show. 

Tuesday, November 10 

Issac Delgado
Clinic, 1:00 p.m., Cafe 939

Issac Delgado was one of Cuba's most well-known musicians before defecting to the United States in 2006. A founding member of timba's seminal group NG La Banda, Delgado has received two Latin Grammy nominations, and his solo recordings with Gonzalo Rubalcaba earned him a number of EGREM prizes, the Cuban equivalent of the Grammy. 

KC Porter
Clinic, Music Production and Engineering

KC Porter is a world-renowned producer and composer whose work has earned several Grammy and Latin Grammy awards and nominations. He has worked with Carlos Santana, Ricky Martin, Selena, Luis Miguel, Bon Jovi, Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, Toni Braxton, and Boyz II Men, to name just a few. 

Milli Bermejo/Patricia Elena Vlieg
Concert, 8:15 p.m., Berklee Performance Center

Voice professor Mili Bermejo blends Latin folk music, jazz improvisation, and socially aware lyrics. Critics have described her sound as "part poetry-folk, part Sarah Vaughn sophistication" (Boston Magazine). Tonight, she will perform Love Songs of the Americas, a program featuring romantic songs from a variety of lyrical traditions and cultures, with faculty cellist Eugene Freisen and the student World String Orchestra. 

Panama-born Patricia Elena Vlieg is a pianist, vocalist, and composer whose music combines a variety of Latin rhythms and styles with elements of jazz and other genres. She will perform with professor Oscar Stagnaro, a Latin Grammy–winning bassist. 

Thursday, November 12

Issac Delgado
Clinic, 1:00 p.m., Cafe 939

Benny Faccone 
Clinic, Music Production and Engineering

Eight-time Grammy Award–winning mixer/producer Benny Faccone has worked with Ricky Martin, Boyz II Men, Sting, Reba McEntire, Nat King Cole, Barbra Streisand, Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, and many others. 

The Heart of Cuban Salsa: Issac Delgado Meets Berklee
Concert, 8:15 p.m., Berklee Performance Center
$25, $20 reserved seating

The 2009-2010 Music Series at Berklee continues with Cuban superstar Issac Delgado: The Heart and Soul of Cuban Salsa. The Grammy-nominated vocalist is one of the most famous interpreters of timba in the world. Delgado will be backed by his son, Issac Jr., on piano, and a group of more than than 20 Berklee students, faculty, and alumni. Bass professor Oscar Stagnaro produced this concert, and Matthew Nicholl, chair, contemporary writing and production, is the music director. 

Monday, November 16

Noel Schajris
Clinic, 1:15 p.m., Recital Hall 1A

Noel Schajris, a singer/songwriter and pianist, was one-half of the Latin pop duo Sin Bandera, whose debut album sold more than a million copies and received the Latin Grammy Award for Best Group Album. 

Luis Marin
Clinic, 4:00 p.m., Recital Hall 1A

Luis Marin is one of the top Latin jazz pianists in his native Puerto Rico. Says the San Juan Star, "He's truly admired by his peers—and fans—for his adventurous artistic expression as well as his passion for perfection." 

Berklee Canta en Español Showcase
Concert, 8:00 p.m., Cafe 939

This concert will feature artists who competed in Berklee Canta en Español, the Spanish-language songwriting contest sponsored by Berklee College of Music and SGAE. Performers include contest cowinner Joel Waldman, finalist Juliana Ronderos, and artists Tornsol and Pablo Latapi. 

Tuesday, November 17

Berklee/Puerto Rico Conservatory Ensemble
Concert, 7:00 p.m., Recital Hall 1W

Students from Berklee and the Puerto Rico Conservatory team up for a concert billed as "Boston meets San Juan." 

Wednesday, November 18

Advanced Latin and Jazz Performance Workshop
Concert, 2:00 p.m., Berk Recital Hall

This student ensemble, directed by voice professor Mili Bermejo, features some of the college's top players working in the Latin jazz and traditional jazz idioms. 

Friday, November 20

Marcus Santos
Clinic, 1:00 p.m., David Friend Recital Hall

Raised in the uniquely African-influenced culture of Bahia, Brazil, Marcus Santos has passionately committed his life to the study, preservation, and teaching of Afro-Brazilian music and heritage. The Berklee alumnus is the leader of the 20-piece ensemble Bloco AfroBrazil. 

Tuesday, November 24

Latin Jazz Ensemble
Concert, 5:00 p.m., Recital Hall 1W

A student ensemble directed by assistant professor Rebecca Cline will perform Latin jazz from Brazil, Cuba, and New York.