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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Posted on March 29, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged Akenda, Berklee College of Music, Bert Cheshire, boston, concert review, Devon DiPaolo, Evans Carter, Lee Dockery, Tim Wolf. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.