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Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain, has launched a semester-long residency with four-time Grammy-winning jazz-funk-fusion ensemble Snarky Puppy. Over the course of 10 weeks, members of the band, as well as their crew and management team, are taking part in a range of virtual activities presented by the Valencia campus.
During the residency, members of the band will visit Contemporary Performance (Production Concentration) classes; share their expertise with students at instrument-based clinics; present workshops and master classes on production, pedagogy, composition, and improvisation; and offer feedback on student performances via livestreaming.
Snarky Puppy’s leader Michael League, pianist and composer Bill Laurance, trumpeter and keyboardist Justin Stanton, and other members of the band are coaching student ensembles performing at the virtual Musaico Festival on Saturday, April 24. Chris Bullock, a saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist in the band, will take part in an event called Journey in the Soundscape of Brazil on April 13. On April 20, drummer and vocalist Jamison Ross will join historian Aminah Pilgrim; producer, educator, and multi-instrumentalist Patrice Rushen; and steel pan musician Joy Lapps Lewis for a discussion titled A Luta Continua: Global Black Cultural Resistance, in collaboration with Student Affairs, Diversity, and Inclusion.
On the recording and production side, League will offer feedback to students in the Music Production, Technology, and Innovation graduate program as well as work with undergraduate students at a recording session in mid April. Grammy-winning producer, mixer, and engineer Nic Hard will present a master class on the techniques he uses to record Snarky Puppy’s projects.
The band’s management team and crew will also have an active role in the residency. GroundUP CEO Eric Lense and label manager Jamie Margulies will provide an overview of a modern independent record label; sound engineer Matt Recchia will join League for a presentation on how to run an efficient soundcheck; and tour manager Rosanna Freedman will moderate a conversation on sustainable touring with special guest percussionist Manu Delago.
The residency ends on Tuesday, May 4, with a town hall meeting in which 16 members of the band will interact with students on the topics of resilience and adaptability.