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Brown Bag Concert Series Spring 2019

Wednesday, March 13
Dayramir Gonzalez, Cuban Jazz Pianist

Starting his professional career as a pianist and composer with former Irakere member, Oscar Valdes’ Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble Diákara at the age of 16, Dayramir’s accomplishments only continue to impress. Since winning Havana’s JoJazz festival in 2004 and 2005, Dayramir has gone from winning three Cubadisco awards for his 2007 debut album “Dayramir & Habana enTRANCé” to become Berklee College of Music’s first Cuban national “Presidential Scholarship” recipient to performing in 15,000-seat stadiums with legends like Chucho and Bebo Valdes and headlining Carnegie Hall, representing the young generation of Afro-Cuban jazz. The culmination of his journey as a young Havana-native continuing and bringing the Afro-Cuban music legacy to New York is synthesized in his latest album “The Grand Concourse,” a name inspired by the thoroughfare that runs through the Bronx and a concept that reflects the uncommonly dynamic range of pieces from the pulsating West African bass motif found in Situaciones en 12/8 to the contemporary take on the classical Cuban tradition of the late 19th century to haunting orchestral jazz ballad of Blood Brothers. Dayramir is making his mark as a leading international composer, orchestrator, bandleader, and pianist.


Wednesday, March 20
Sheila del Bosque Trio
Berklee College

Born in 1994, Havana, Sheila del Bosque is one of the most in-demand young flutists in Cuba. Performer of recorder, baroque and modern transverse flute, with a background of Ancient, Classical and Cuban popular music, has played with orchestras such as Ars Longa, Orchestra of Lyceum Mozartian from Havana adjunct to Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg and the National Orchestra of Cuba. Sheila has toured the world with various ensembles like the dance company Habana Compas Dance and the Cuban European Youth Orchestra, playing for important personalities like Usher, Bon Jovi, and The Rolling Stones. The proposal of Sheila del Bosque’s Trio is the result of the mix of all these worlds, a selection of contemporary and traditional Afro-Cuban music with the influence of European and Jazz ingredients. She and the members of her trio are currently studying at Berklee College of Music.


Wednesday, March 27
Army Field Band: Jazz Ambassadors

Known as America’s Big Band, the Jazz Ambassadors are the premier touring jazz orchestra of the United States Army. Formed in 1969, this 19-piece ensemble has received critical acclaim throughout the United States and abroad performing America’s original art form, jazz.

Performances by the Jazz Ambassadors offer some of the most versatile programmings of any big band. Concerts include classic big band standards, instrumental and vocal solo features, patriotic favorites, contemporary jazz works, and original arrangements and compositions by past and present members of the Jazz Ambassadors. Many of these original works are available for free download through Perspectives, a jazz education initiative by the Jazz Ambassadors.

The Jazz Ambassadors have performed in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India, and Europe, and in joint concerts with the Boston Pops, National Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and at Carnegie Hall with Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops. Appearances at international jazz festivals in Montreux, Newport, Toronto, Brussels, and the Netherlands have been met with enthusiastic acclaim, as well as concerts in England, Wales, Luxembourg, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Norway


Wednesday, April 3
Lisa Thorson Quartet

Lisa Thorson is a popular Boston based jazz vocalist, actress and music educator. She has performed at jazz clubs, on the radio, on stage, in film, and on television for over forty years. Legendary jazz vocalist Sheila Jordan calls Lisa “one of the most exciting jazz singers on the scene today”. She has toured throughout the U.S., Canada, and Italy as a concert artist and jazz vocal clinician. Lisa has released six jazz recordings as a leader. Her most recent, 2014’s “Lisa Thorson Quartet Live’ received unanimous critical acclaim and international airplay. Critic and writer Michael Nastos hailed “Resonance” her quintet’s CD on GM Recordings as “one of the very best musical offerings of the year, and an astonishing vocal document.” Lisa received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from the Boston Conservatory and a Master’s Degree in Jazz Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory. She is a Professor in the Voice Department at Berklee College of Music where she received the Distinguished Faculty Award. Lisa has taught at New England Conservatory, Longy School of Music and Wellesley College. The National Endowment for the Arts, Berklee College of Music and numerous public and private foundations have supported her creative performance and educational projects.

In addition to her work as a vocal and jazz educator, Lisa’s current projects include her jazz quintet, The Post 1960 Repertoire Project and Without Words; Inspiration, Discovery and Practice, an Ebook scheduled for publication in 2019.