Its so amazing that Berklee invites all these wonderful musicians to give workshops and masterclasses 🙂
Today it was Cheryl Bentyne, known for singing with the Manhattan Transfer, one of the best vocal groups in the world. When studying jazz choir conducting I studied a lot of their music. And, since I am also a big fan of Bobby McFerrin I really love their version of ‘Another night in Tunisia’.
Next to her career with the Manhattan Transfer she also performs as a soloist and played with musicians like Kenny Barron, David Newman, Don Alias and Lewis Nash.
A couple of statements that resonated with me:
* trust in simplicity
* study the meanings of the songs
* you must bring joy
* instant fame is not the way
This week we had Lizz Wright visiting the vocal department of Berklee. Amazing.
Lizz Wright (1980) is an American Jazz/R&B singer and composer, originally from Georgia. She is mainly self taught and she signed a contract with Verve in 2002 and her first album, salt was released in 2003 and reached number two on the Billboard Jazzchart. You could compare her voice with Norah Jones, but you will find a lot of gospel influences. She is an very spiritual person, and the way she answered all our questions was touching. I am a fan 🙂
Here some short tips she gave us that I like to share.
* Try to “sit in the bass” when there is a nice blues shuffle
* When you improvise in a swinging tune, focus on the hi-hat.
* LIsten to Shirley Horn when you wanna learn the perfect spacing.
* Always for technique focus on your hips and shoulders when you do your exercises.
* Watch Dianne Reeves for microphone technique, but also for everything else she does.
A short video: