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New Berklee classes for the fall semester


ENVC-322-005 Vocal Jazz Choir
"Vintage Vocals"
Dig Postmodern Jukebox? Try a premodern jukebox on for size.
This four- to ten-voice group explores the breadth of vocal jazz ensemble music of the mid-20th century, when the big bands were the cat's meow. We start in the ‘30s with the Mills Brothers and Boswell Sisters; through the swing era with the Modernaires and Pied Pipers; through 50’s bebop with Lambert, Hendricks & Ross.
By performing transcriptions and listening to classic recordings, students internalize classic jazz styles, harmonies, and arranging techniques.
Contact David Scott now at to audition.
Class meets Monday 5-6pm and Thursday 4-6pm
ENVC-242-001 Vocal Improv Ens 2: Jazz
Improve your improv! This is an intermediate ensemble for vocalists focusing on improvisation in the jazz idiom. Topics include articulation and groove, melodic and rhythmic phrasing, embellishments, using tone colors, hearing basic instrumental patterns, blues patterns, vamps, turnarounds, and II-V progressions.
Berklee has been building better singers through blues and bebop since before you were born. You got this. 
Prerequisites: ET-112, HR-112, and ENVC-111; or overall ensemble rating 3
Contact David Scott now at for more information.
Class meets Monday 11am-1pm.


The Dudes of the VVQ


These guys, doing some playing and singing at our Vintage Vocal Quartet rehearsal the other day.

IMG_1661.jpg_resized Daniel Henderson, of "Jazz For Cows" fame, playing hot trumpet and singing tenor.

Paul Pampinella, of "Five O'Clock Shadow" and "Vox One" (aka the best vocal group to ever exist), swinging on guitar and singing baritone. Fun times ahead!

Wedding March


Ever heard an all-female wedding march? ‪#‎acappella‬ ‪#‎mendelssohn‬‪#‎samesexmarriage‬

Coming soon to

It's called a pitchpipe


#pitchpipe #acappella

Gunther Schuller


RIP Gunther Schuller. He was still going strong, folks. I saw him at Symphony Hall recently when they played one of his newer works, "Dreamscape". It was trippy and funny and engaging. I will never forget hearing him describe his "education": wake up at 8am, head to the NY public library for reading and score study, maybe catch a film in the afternoon, then head to the Met, play french horn for an opera, then go to 52nd street to hear some jazz, jam and talk with the jazzers afterwards until 4am, repeat.

Why aren't there more lawsuits since "Blurred Lines"?


In my little corner of the music business, it is important to be thought of as a nice person. You never know who you're going to work with next, and being a good hang is often part of the gig.

I think this collegiality is the only thing stopping everyone in the music business from suing each other. Since the blurred lines verdict came down for Marvin Gaye, it seems that everybody can think of a laundry list of examples that should be litigated. And yet no one does it. At least not yet. Why not?

Ahmad Jamal and the Poinciana beat.Miles Davis doing Bye Bye Blackbird as a jazz tune. Who was the first person to do my funny Valentine has a funk tune, anyhow? We could name a hundred of these examples.

These are all arrangements that have been copied endlessly. And yet you don't see a line of lawsuits.

If Marvin Gaye's estate gets $7M for a cowbell pattern, what has stopped this thing from escalating out of control? My answer is that, in general, musicians see themselves as part of a musical community spanning the time and space. They don't want to pee in the pool, so to speak.

If only every line of work had this ethic.

fun pop music


Getting ready for the East Enders gig and transcribing Uptown Funk. Lovin' it.




Thanks to Diane Cline with El Sistema Somerville for bringing the Vintage Vocal Quartet to perform at East Somerville Community School today. The kids made a great audience and asked excellent questions at the Q&A. I hope we convinced a few of them that singing and playing an instrument are mutually beneficial, and super fun.

I knew it!


Here's an article that confirms something I have long taught: when your voice is tired, it's okay to phonate! Just be careful!

DYAD shows


New music and new gimmicks for DYAD are rearing their heads this spring, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.  We are adding songs by Samuel Barber and Hall & Oates. Mark Shilansky (recently featured on NPR and in the Boston Globe) is singing and holding down the piano seat while I sing and play assorted instruments (bass, mandolin, and trumpet). Following a concert for the 30th anniversary of the Concord Community Music School last week, we will be doing shows in Jamaica Plain (Boston) and Somerville.  Check 'em out.

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Next appearances

  • February 21, 2019
    Avery Bar, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Boston, MA
  • February 28, 2019
    Avery Bar, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Boston, MA
  • March 4, 2019
    Southgate at Shrewsbury
  • March 21, 2019
    Avery Bar, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Boston, MA
  • March 28, 2019
    Avery Bar, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Boston, MA