Amazing Recital at Berklee College of Music

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I have a passion for live music of many genres; I also appreciate both established musicians as well as newcomers.  Last week I had the opportunity to attend a recital by some of the latter in the form of Akenda, a group composed of students at Berklee College of Music.

Akenda

Akenda

Akenda was formed by Bert Cheshire (guitar), and includes Lee Dockery on bass, Devon DiPaolo on keyboard, and Tim Wolf on drums.I had the privilege of hearing Akenda rehearse a month ago, so I had an inkling of what to expect but it did not prepare me for the amount of talent that emanated from the stage.

Tim Wolf

Tim Wolf

Devon DiPaulo

Devon DiPaolo

Bert Cheshire

Bert Cheshire

Lee Dockery

Lee Dockery

Akenda’s music is initially reminiscent of jazz-fusion powerhouse Return to Forever, a band I have loved since they formed in 1972. The task of a good artist – whatever the medium – is to take one’s influence, change it and make it their own.  Akenda has done just that.

All the songs were written by the members of the band, some by Bert, some by Bert and Lee, and one by all of Akenda. The music is deeply rooted in jazz-fusion but is quite accessible (one complaint some people have about jazz is that it is difficult to listen to; that is not something I have ever felt).

Bert

Bert

Bert is clearly the front person of the band. When I listen to his guitar-playing, I am in awe that someone so young can write music and play as well as he does. Frankly, I’m equally in awe of Devon, Lee, and Tim (they range from late teens to early 20s). Their style is mature now; I can only imagine what they will be doing in five years.

Akenda with special guest Evans Carter on vocals

Akenda with special guest Evans Carter on vocals

There was a special guest for this recital: Evans Carter who knows Bert and Tim from their home town of Augusta, Georgia. I enjoyed listening to him sing and thought he was a good addition.

Watching Tim on the drums is a joy; he smiles ALL THE TIME and is so clearly loving what he’s doing that he makes everyone love it as well.

Tim

Tim

I think my favorite number was the last one they played, ‘People Are Not Disposable.’  But I also loved the first three numbers which were woven together into one long number. I hope they put together an album soon so I can have at least some of this music in my iPod rotation.

I have met a few current Berklee students recently and all have done more than merely impress me. They are extraordinary young people with a clear vision of themselves and their future.  We all need to support these musicians, for they are the future.

About suze72

I've loved the arts all my life... I go to a lot of concerts, take lots of photos and want to share them. Every once in a while I do something other than a concert, too. The Boston area is full of opportunities to indulge my passion - I'd like to help make it yours too!

Posted on March 29, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. petsbrown@gmail.com

    nice! never knew the name of their band. i’ll be up there for the next one.

  2. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and
    now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?

    Thanks a lot!

    • I can’t – I think you need to do it from your end. I’m guessing there’s some sort of unsubscribe or unfollow button on the email you receive that notifies you of a new comment. Sorry!

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