47 Palmer St
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

Berklee, whose alumni include renowned folk artists Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Casey Driessen, Sierra Hull, and Rushad Eggleston, among others, is taking a new generation of emerging roots musicians on the road, and launching a concert series at an iconic folk venue in its own backyard.

The Berklee American Roots Music Series at Club Passim takes place on the fourth Tuesday of every month at the historic venue in Harvard Square. March 27 will feature faculty mandolinist John McGann's Celtic Ensemble and the college's Old-Time Ensemble. April 24, billed as "fiddle night," will feature guest fiddle master Fletcher Bright. Club Passim, which opened in 1958 as Club 47, holds an iconic place in folk history — Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Tom Rush, Taj Mahal, Patty Larkin, and others cut their teeth at the club before playing larger venues.

The Berklee American Roots Music Program teaches blues, gospel, early country, bluegrass, old-time, Cajun, Tex-Mex, western swing, polka, and other styles — some of the building blocks of today's contemporary music — through a curriculum based on folk music's oral tradition. Also, using a broader definition of "roots," the program explores the origins of our western musical traditions, from Bach to traditional African music.

The artistic director is Matt Glaser, a violinist who was chair of Berklee’s String Department for 28 years, and has performed with Stephane Grapelli, Yo-Yo Ma, and Bob Dylan. The managing director is Joe Walsh, who was Berklee’s first-ever mandolin major, and a current member of the Gibson Brothers. The board of advisors includes Bela Fleck, Darol Anger, Charlie Haden, Ricky Skaggs, Lloyd Maines, Edgar Meyer, and others.

Among its many projects, the program has hosted acclaimed visiting artists Alison Krauss, Bela Fleck, Mark O’Connor, Tony Trischka, Del McCoury, Punch Brothers, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Crooked Still, and others; and showcased students at the Grey Fox, RockyGrass, MerleFest, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and Celtic Connection festivals. In September, the program will present Inspired by Ray, a three-day symposium on Ray Charles.

Added by Berklee MR on March 13, 2012

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