Berklee Presents CMJ Music Marathon Showcase

Berklee presents its seventh annual CMJ Music Marathon showcase of alumni and student artists on Thursday, October 17, at Sullivan Hall in New York. 

October 1, 2013

Berklee College of Music, Heavy Rotation Records (HRR), and Berklee Alumni Affairs present their seventh annual CMJ Music Marathon showcase of alumni and student artists on Thursday, October 17, from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. at Sullivan Hall in New York City. The show features rock, Americana, funk, reggae, and Latin music by the Hello Strangers, Shun Ng, Sylvana Joyce + The Moment, Sirma (HRR), Red Oblivion (HRR), Miko and the Musket, and Numasbala. The lineup is curated by the Red Room at Cafe 939, Berklee's all-ages nightclub that hosts national and local acts year-round.

Berklee's CMJ Music Marathon 2013 Showcase is open to ages 18 and up. Admission is free for CMJ badge holders and $10 for the general public. Sullivan Hall is located at 214 Sullivan Street (between Bleecker and West 3rd), New York, NY (A, B, C, D, E, F, M train to West 4th; 1 or 9 to Houston Street; 6 to Bleecker). For more information, call 212 477-2782. 

The event includes free raffles for a chance to win a badge to attend next year's CMJ Music Marathon. Free copies of HRR's latest album, Dorm Sessions 8, which features showcase artists Sirma Red Oblivion will also be given away.

CMJ Music Marathon is one of the world’s most important outlets for new music, drawing 120,000 people with more than 1,400 performers in more than 80 nightclubs and theaters. Berklee has presented many up-and-coming acts at its past CMJ showcases, including Lucius, Nini & Ben (of HAERTS), Elizabeth and the Catapult, Julia Easterlin, Christopher Barnes (Gem Club), and Golden Bloom.

Check out Berklee's CMJ Music Marathon Showcase Sampler 2013 on Bandcamp for streaming and free downloads.

Artists, in order of appearance:

What does Austin-influenced, rural-Pennsylvanian, indie-folk sound like? Uniquely like the Hello Strangers, whose haunting harmonies and noir songwriting style are the backbone of their sound. The Hello Strangers were born in Austin, Texas, when Berklee alumna Larissa Chace Smith and and her sister Brechyn Chace wrote their first song together, “Pregnant in Jail,” based on true events. Soon, the mountains of Pennsylvania beckoned, and they packed up and returned to their two-stoplight hometown. The move has been a boon for the duo. They have created original music with nods to American folk traditions, modern indie rock, Texas country, and roots rock, all tied together with lilting harmonies.

Shun Ng was born in Chicago and raised in Singapore. Diagnosed with dyslexia at 8, he faced challenges throughout his education. He turned to gymnastics and competed nationally at 10, but left at 14 after discovering guitar. Ng explored many different genres, including Latin, classical, jazz, funk, Motown, and soul. After earning a degree from Singapore Polytechnic, he served in the Singapore Armed Forces as an arranger and band guitarist. In 2012, he released his debut, Funky Thumb Stuff. He was featured on Channel News Asia and performed for the president of Singapore on national TV. Ng was then awarded a scholarship to Berklee, where he attracted the attention of manager Ralph Jaccodine.

Sylvana Joyce + The Moment (SJATM) brings a dynamic interplay of blues-rock and Balkan folk music that has audiences raving. SJATM's supreme musicianship, coupled with singer/pianist Sylvana Joyce's stage presence (drawing comparisons to Janis Joplin and Grace Potter), make the band one of the most exciting new acts around. SJATM has opened for Nikka Costa, the Aristocrats, and Lettuce, and has been accepted to myriad prestigious festivals this year, including SXSW, CMJ, Musikfest, Culturefest, and MidPoint Music Festival. Accolades include placing in the Top 5 on ReverbNation’s Blues/Gypsy Rock New York Charts for seven months, MTV's Needle In The Haystack, and several nominations for Hoboken Music Awards.

Sirma (HRR) is an electronica/experimental/ambient artist influenced and inspired by creativity, humanity, and multimedia. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, and now living in New York, Sirma's multicultural background influences her to strive for collaboration and connection. Constantly exploring her sound, Sirma has experience in production and arranging, on top of her solo work. Her debut EP, Traces, was released this fall and is available on SoundCloud. She is currently working on both new material and her live show.

Red Oblivion (HRR) is composed of Berklee alumni Emma Torres (guitar), Zach Adams (lead vocals/bass), and Carson Groenewold (drums). The Boston-based band made a splash at Lollapalooza Chicago in 2012, and also performed at Lollapalooza Chile and Brazil this year. The group is a trio with backgrounds in classical, metal, pop, electronic, and world music. Red Oblivion recorded with producer Paul Kolderie (Radiohead, Portugal. The Man, Pixies) for HRR’s Dorm Sessions 8 CD. 

Miko & the Musket’s pop-infused Americana steadily propels these seasoned musicians to impressive heights, such as being named Philly Rising’s Standout Performer for 2011 by World Café Live. The smooth blend of songwriter Miko de Leon’s lead vocals and the impeccable harmonies of Lannon Killea and Molly McAdoo—joined by cellist Brandon Ellis, Berklee alumnus percussionist Chris “Moses” Kinlow, guitarist Mike Steinmetz, and bassist Peter Longofono—solidifies the group’s uniqueness. Leon’s carefully crafted acoustic-based melodies evoke gutbucket bluegrass, breezy folk ballads, and simmering New Orleans funk. New York-based Miko & the Musket recently released its second EP.

Numasbala features Berklee alumni, Colombian singer and bass player Fabio Montenegro; Guatemalan cook, keyboardist, singer, accordionist Javier Samayoa (aka. Capitan Clavier); Colombian lick-smacking guitar master Felipe Piedrahita (aka. El Caido); and Peruvian drummer and beat master David Cornejo. The New York-based group is self-described as a blend of reggae-funky-rap-attack-afro-gypsy-ska, upbeat authentic music with satirical and witty lyrics, performed live with powerful and positive energy to get you shaking your bodies on the dance floor. The group also features a powerful horn section, percussionist, and backup singers. Numasbala recently released its new album A Ver.


Heavy Rotation Records (HRR) gives music business/management majors at Berklee hands-on experience running a record company. The students oversee all label functions, including A&R, marketing, sales, touring, web development, media, and accounting. HRR's releases since 1995 include Shekinah: 13 Artists, distributed by Epic; Apollo Sunshine's second album, coreleased with spinART; Dorm Sessions 1–8; and Under the Influence. Many up-and-coming artists have appeared on HRR compilations, including Annie Clark (St. Vincent); members of Passion Pit (as the Peasantry); Christopher Barnes (Gem Club); Madi Diaz; Elizabeth and the Catapult; and Big D and the Kids Table. The label also serves as a springboard for careers in the industry. Alumni have gone on to work at Interscope, Capitol, DreamWorks, BMG, Universal, Live Nation, AEG Live, and RightsFlow, among other companies.

The Red Room at Cafe 939 is a state-of-the-art, all-ages venue and coffeehouse dedicated to showcasing, developing, and supporting musical and performance endeavors that fit in a 200-capacity club. Berklee music business students work alongside industry professionals to make this venue a real world experience. Top quality sound, superb engineering and a savvy staff focused on the fan/artist experience make it the perfect environment for artists and fans to connect. The venue is open to the public and attracts musicians and fans from all walks of life. Past shows include Ingrid Michaelson, Pomplamoose, Karmin, Lenka, Elephant Revival, The Click Five, Greg Laswell, Kina Grannis, Harper Simon, The Civil Wars, Rachael Yamagata, Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys, Jason Castro, Brooke Fraser, Boyce Avenue, the Rescues, Owl City, and many others.

Margot Edwards is a manager in the Office of Media Relations. Media inquiries: