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13th Annual Bean Town Jazz Festival

Kassmin Williams
13th Annual Bean Town Jazz Festival
Bean Town Jazz Festival 2012 (Photo: Courtesy of Berklee College of Music)

The 13th annual Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival is calling music lovers from across the city.

Boston’s biggest block party hosted by Berklee College of Music will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 in the South End where several legendary Jazz clubs existed during the genre’s peak.

The daylong, free event—on Columbus Avenue between Massachusetts Avenue and Burke Street—will include three stages where attendees can enjoy contemporary jazz, Latin, blues and soul acts from award winning musicians and Berklee alumni, faculty and students and children activities.

Highlights include performances by songwriter, rapper, bassists and vocalist Meshell Ndegeocello; Will Calhoun Trio, lead by the Grammy Award-winning alumnus and drummer of the band Living Colour; and Robin McKelle and the Flytones.

This year the festival celebrates the theme “Jazz: The Next Generation” and will incorporate performances by some of Jazz’s most acclaimed up and coming Berklee alumni artists including Grammy-nominated trumpeter Christian Scott; Mike Turner Trio featuring vibraphonist Warren Wolf; and the Matt Savage Quartet featuring sax-great Bobby Watson.

Faculty and students will also perform during the festival.

Berklee College of Music has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the festival and its theme.

NEA cited the festival as a celebration of Boston’s diversity as reflected in the attendees, music, food and crafts, according to a press release from Berklee.

“The next generation of creative musicians is quite strong and, having stood on the shoulders of their predecessors, are now hopefully prepared for unlimited boundaries. How exciting to witness and be a part of this process,” Berklee professor and festival artistic director Terri Lyne Carrington said.

To further push its theme, presenting sponsor Natixis Global Asset Management will present a $5,000 scholarship to a student musician during the festival.

“Granting the Natixis-Berklee scholarship aligns with our commitment to education and the arts. Supporting the opportunity for young musicians to enhance their talents brings us great pride and helps keep music alive for future generations,” NGAM president and chief executive officer John Hailer said.

In the past, the event has attracted as many as 80,000 music fans of all ages.

Carter Playground on Columbus Avenue will be transformed into a kids zone with activities, inflatables, face painting and an instrument petting zoo staffed by Berklee’s Music Education department.

Children can also participate in KidsJam, an interactive music program led by Berklee’s education department.

For updates and a full schedule of events visit and to listen tracks by many of the festival performers check out the Berklee’s BeanTown Jazz Festival 2013 Sampler at

Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival also presents ticketed concerts during the weekend of the event.

On Friday, Sept. 27 and Saturday Sept. 28, Gary Burton’s 70th Birthday Tour stops at Sculler Jazz Club with performances at 8 and 10 p.m. each night.

For more information, visit

Instrumental jazz, funk and work music collective Snarky Puppy will stop by the Berklee Performance Center Sept. 29 at 8 p.m.

Visit for more information on Snarky Puppy’s performance.