|Drum summit co-headliner Terri Lyne Carrington has toured and performed with Dizzy Gillespie and Herbie Hancock. (Photo courtesy of www.terrilynecarrington.com)|
In a new wrinkle to what is fast becoming Boston’s largest and most popular outdoor music festival, this year’s 8th annual Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival will feature a first — an all-star drum summit featuring decorated percussionists Terri Lyne Carrington and Cindy Blackman — that promises to move Boston to a brand new beat.Tomorrow’s summit at the Berklee Performance Center (BPC) kicks off the headline event of Berklee College of Music’s Summer Concert Series and is a showcase for the many local, regional and worldwide performers connected to the college.
The sheer scope of the jazz festival — which drew an estimated 70,000 people last year, according to Berklee — makes producing it feel “like … throwing a big party for Boston,” said Lawrence Simpson, Berklee senior vice president for academic affairs and the festival’s executive director.
On Saturday, the festivities move from the BPC to Columbus Avenue, where more than a dozen performers and ensembles will take three stages over six blocks, playing from noon until 6 p.m. In addition to the music, the festival will feature kid-friendly offerings like temporary tattoos, face-painting and an instrument “petting zoo” that allows children to try out the instruments they see on stage.
But the BPC will be the venue for the explosive drum summit, a ticket topped by Blackman and Carrington, two longtime veterans of the session and touring scenes, both inside and outside the jazz world.
The 49-year-old Blackman is perhaps best known as the afro-and-sunglasses-sporting drummer in the 1993 video for the Lenny Kravitz hit “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” Some in the audience may recognize Carrington, 43, from her time as the house drummer for “The Arsenio Hall Show” in the late 1980s.