Brown, along with co-director and Northeastern colleague Emmett Price, has been trying to bring the hip-hop connection to the Coltrane concert for a few years, talking with Mos’ Def and Talib Kweli as well as with Guru. And since the event is housed at Northeastern, they’re intensely aware of the possibility of reaching a new audience. Expect Jazzmatazz to tackle some Coltrane as well as originals.
Meanwhile, also this weekend, Berklee mounts the eighth annual BeanTown Jazz Festival. This event was started by South End restaurateur and jazz enthusiast Darryl Settles (Bob’s Southern Bistro, the Beehive), who turned the festival over to Berklee two years ago. Drummers Terri Lyne Carrington and Cindy Blackman will lead their bands at a Friday-night paid-ticket performance at the Berklee Performance Center with guests Geri Allen, Patrice Rushen, and young saxophonist Tineke Postma. The free Saturday show (going west on Columbus Ave from Mass Ave) will feature 15 different acts covering the jazz spectrum, from the all-star Gold Sounds band to Randy Weston, local bands Enclave and Fernando Brandão.
“It’s a big party for the community, and it’s a way to expose people to the music in a big way,” says Berklee senior VP for academic affairs Larry Simmons. Last year’s event drew 70,000 people. Does he foresee the event expanding farther? “It depends on the reaction from the community. When Darryl first started it, a few thousand people came, then a few thousand more. Now we’ve grown from 50 and 60 thousand to 70 thousand. But we like having this — and this may sound like a non-sequitur — this intimate party atmosphere with the people we can put on those six blocks of Columbus Avenue.”
BEANTOWN JAZZ FESTIVAL | Cindy Blackman + Terri Lyne Carrington | Berklee Performance Center, 136 Mass Ave, Boston | September 26 at 8:15 pm | $40 | 617.931.200 or www.ticketmaster.com | “Block Party” along Columbus Ave | September 27: noon–6 pm | free | www.beantownjazz.org | JOHN COLTRANE MEMORIAL CONCERT | Blackman Theatre, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston | September 27 at 8 pm | $20 | 617.373.4700 or www.gonu.com/tickets
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