Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival Presented by Natixis Global Asset Management
On September 27th, music lovers of all ages gathered for the 14th annual Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival in Boston's historic South End–home to several legendary clubs during Boston's jazz heyday. The all-day, free outdoor event offered contemporary jazz, funk, Latin, pop, and soul acts on three stages. Natixis Global Asset Management, one of the world's leading asset managers, is the presenting sponsor of the festival and will present a $5,000 scholarship to a student musician. Past Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festivals have drawn as many as 80,000 music fans.
The Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival–Boston's biggest block party–took place from noon to 6 p.m. on Columbus Avenue between Massachusetts Avenue and Burke Street in Boston's South End. This year, the festival celebrated the theme Jazz: The Global Ambassador. Check beantownjazz.org for updates and a full schedule of events.
“We have seen how important music and the arts are to fostering a cultural exchange, so I am happy that our theme this year is Jazz: the Global Ambassador,” said Terri Lyne Carrington, Grammy Award-winning drummer, composer, Berklee professor, and Artistic Director for the festival. “Creative music expression affects the universal rhythm of life and is a profound tool in aiding our global society.”
Highlights of the festival included Grammy-nominated singer/percussionist and former Prince collaborator Sheila E., who was backed by a Berklee student band; jazz-funk collective Snarky Puppy; alto saxophonist, MacArthur “genius” fellow, and Berklee alumnus Miguel Zenón; Grammy-winning vocalist Dionne Farris, formerly of the alternative hip-hop group Arrested Development, with the Russell Gunn Quartet, and rising jazz trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire.
Faculty and alumni also played a major role, with performances by faculty artists Bill Banfield's the Jazz Urbane with special guest Grace Kelly; the Yoron Israel/Bill Pierce Quintet; the Screaming Headless Torsos, led by David Fiuczynski; and Marco Pignataro Jazzet featuring Eddie Gomez; as well as alumni acts such as Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio, and Aubrey Logan.
“The BeanTown Jazz Festival provides the city of Boston with amazing access to world-class performers–many of whom got a start here in Boston,” said John Hailer, president and chief executive officer, Natixis Global Asset Management–The Americas and Asia. “Music and culture should be a shared experience in our communities–not locked away in a museum or concert hall. We’re proud to be a part of the Festival and to continue our annual scholarship program.”
This year, Natixis Global Asset Management launched the “2014 Jazz Diplomacy Project,” which includes a series of more than 200 events celebrating jazz and bringing together thought leaders to explore solutions to challenges facing the world today. As part of the Jazz Diplomacy Project, Natixis has provided support to the Foundation for the National Archives and the Newport Festivals Foundation. Natixis was also presenting sponsor of the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival.
“Our hope is to encourage more people to become ‘Jazz Ambassadors’ by sharing the history of jazz and exploring the lessons the world has learned through the genre,” added Hailer. “BeanTown’s ‘Global Ambassador’ theme and ideals of using music as a tool for peace, intercultural dialogue, social change, and democracy tie in nicely to our year-long Jazz Diplomacy effort.”
The Natixis Family Park at the BeanTown festival transformed Carter Playground on Columbus Avenue with activities including inflatables, face painting, and an instrument petting zoo staffed by Berklee professionals. The park also hosted KidsJam, an interactive program led by Berklee’s Music Education department, introducing young children to a variety of musical activities, including singing and sound exploration, playing rhythm instruments, and creating, listening, and responding to music.
The Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival also features a variety of vendor booths offering foods and crafts from all over the world.
Discover Roxbury's High Notes of Jazz Roxbury Walk offered tours throughout the day for a nominal fee, exploring the area around the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival. The site was once the epicenter of music, food, and nightlife for Boston's jazz community during the 1930s through 1950s. Tours were organized from the Discover Roxbury booth at the festival.
Berklee College of Music, for the fifth year, is the proud recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival and its theme. In awarding the prestigious Art Works grant to Berklee, the NEA cited the festival as a celebration of Boston’s diversity as reflected in the attendees, music, food, and crafts.
About Berklee College of Music
Berklee College of Music (berklee.edu) was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For more than 65 years, the college has evolved to reflect the current state of the music industry, leading the way with baccalaureate studies in performance, music business/management, songwriting, music therapy, film scoring, and more. With a focus on global learning, Berklee in Valencia, a new campus in Spain, is hosting the college’s first graduate programs, while Berklee Online serves distance learners worldwide with extension classes and degree-granting programs. The Berklee City Music Network provides after-school programming for underserved teens in 45 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. With a student body representing nearly 100 countries and alumni and faculty that have won more than 310 Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, Berklee is the world's premier learning lab for the music of today–and tomorrow.
About Natixis Global Asset Management, S.A.
Natixis Global Asset Management, S.A. (ngam.natixis.com) ranks among the world’s largest asset managers based on assets under management¹ and was recognized as the #1 U.S. mutual fund family for 2013 performance in the annual Barron’s/Lipper Fund Family Ranking.² As a multi-affiliate company, NGAM brings together the expertise of multiple specialized investment managers under one umbrella with the belief that this combined expertise offers unique market perspective. The firm spreads this same idea in the global community by sponsoring programs that help enrich the lives of individuals and preserve the cultural experience for future generations through music. The 2014 Jazz Diplomacy Project was launched as an extension of this ideal and aligns with NGAM’s innovative approach to engaging thought leaders and harnessing the power of collaboration. Visit JazzDiplomacy.org or follow #jazzdiplomacy to learn more.
¹ Cerulli Quantitative Update: Global Markets 2014 ranked Natixis Global Asset Management, S.A. as the 16th largest asset manager in the world based on assets under management as of December 31, 2013.
² Barron's/Lipper 2013 one-year fund family ranking based on 64 qualifying U.S. fund companies. Each fund family must have at least three funds in Lipper's general U.S.-stock category, one world (global and international), one mixed-asset/balanced (stocks and bonds), two taxable bond and one tax-exempt bond fund. Natixis was not ranked for the 5- and 10-year periods. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. For more details visit ngam.natixis.com/TopFundFamily.
Grammy is a trademark of National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc.