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Sage Wisdom

"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."



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January 14, 2013 | Berklee Tribute to John McGann, February 12, 2013

A special note from Berklee Staff faculty teacher and professional mandolinist Joe Walsh from his post on the Mandolin Cafe Message Board:

"I don't suppose I have to tell anyone here how big of a hole John McGann's passing left in so very many communities, one of which of course is here in the Cafe. Another of those holes is in the Berklee community, and especially the mandolin community here, where even the very existence of a mandolin scene (a thriving one!!) is a tribute to John's time, effort, and inspiring approach to music and life.

In light of that I wanted to let you know that we here at Berklee are rounding up a show to pay tribute to John next month. Every year he'd schedule a concert entitled "Mandolin Mashup" and before he passed he'd scheduled one for the 12th of this coming February. Fellow mandolin instructor Jason (Anick) and I are aiming to make this a proper tribute to him by the mandolin community he established here, and have rounded up a lot of the best mandolin players who got to work with him in his too short time at Berklee.

In addition to Jason and I, the lineup will include Dominick Leslie (of the Deadly Gentlemen), Jake Jolliff (Joy Kills Sorrow), Eric Robertson (the Boston Boys), and Alexander Gable (general all around adventurous mandolinist), all of them alums who'll be coming back to pay their respects. Current students who'll be playing a part of the show include Dan Bui, Bryce Milano, Matt Witler, with repertoire including some of John's tunes and a song composed specifically in tribute to him.

In addition to this cross-section of the first few years of mandolin at Berklee, some other ringers will be rounding out the evening, including Darol Anger, Matt Glaser and Alex Hargreaves on fiddle, Courtney Hartman on guitar, Sarah Jarosz on octave mandolin, and Sam Grisman on the upright bass.

There are so many ways to get a gauge of the way people felt about John, but one of them in this process has been seeing how readily each of these performers has signed on, shifting schedules around in order to play a few notes in memory of this ever inspiring man.

One especially cool thing is that this concert will be broadcast live on Concert Window, so anyone with an internet connection anywhere in the world will be able to watch the show. For folks who are within striking distance of Boston the details on tickets can be found here .

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Mandolin Cafe Message Board

Posted by Ted at January 14, 2013 5:34 AM


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