Elise MacDonald has returned to her alma mater Berklee after 15 years of coaching high school jazz combos. A multi-instrumentalist (flute, fretless electric bass, and piano), she has performed in both jazz and classical genres and taught privately as well. She worked as a music reviewer for Boston’s Stuff Magazine (which merged with the Boston Phoenix in 2012), owned and operated a freelance proofreading/editing/web content management company, and is intermittently happy to be known to her friends as a 24/7/365 grammar wonk.
Dominic Florio is a pianist, singer, and composer from Gurnee, Illinois (just north of Chicago) and is currently studying Composition and Performance at Berklee College of Music. Before entering college, Dominic attended Chicago’s prestigious Merit School of Music where he studied Jazz Piano and Vocal Performance. There, and at his High School, he had the opportunity to perform with Bob Rummage, Paul Wertico, Fred Simon, Lou Solloff, Jon Irobagon, and Steve Million to name a few. In Gurnee and the surrounding towns, Dominic gained a reputation as a reliable performer in the bar scene. Dominic’s passions lie in becoming a proficient songwriter and performer, mixing soul and gospel styles of music with pop.
Nik Rodewald is a tenor saxophonist currently studying Jazz Composition and Performance at Berklee College of Music. Nik originally hails from Nashville, Tennessee, and spent his high school years playing in dance bands and jazz combos, as well as working as a recording engineer, all the while being fascinated by jazz and blues, particularly musicians such as Lester Young, Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Oscar Peterson, Percy Mayfield, Stanley Turrentine, Ray Charles and Muddy Waters. As an amateur student of philosophy and theology, he loves reading the works of G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Thomas Aquinas, John Paul II and Friedrich Nietzche, and exploring the relationship between philosophy, religion and music.
Chris Andersen is a drummer from Charlottenlund, Denmark and is currently studying Performance at Berklee College of Music. Before coming to Berklee, Chris went to Berklee’s International Network School in Ireland, Newpark Music Centre. Here he got to attend master classes with jazz greats such as Dave Liebman, Joshua Redman and Kenny Werner.
From his time back in Denmark he started playing percussion at age 12 and moved to drum set at age 15. During his time in Denmark his drumming got serious when playing in the high school’s musical all three years, where rock- and Broadway music was mixed together. He grew up listening to artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and James Brown. Jazz became a serious factor when attending Newpark where he learned about jazz vocabulary.
Lindsay Kupser is a 20 year old jazz musician from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is going into her 5th semester at Berklee as a dual-principle student on Voice and Guitar, and double majoring in Jazz Composition and Performance. Lindsay was exposed to jazz for the first time in her first few years of high school, and she fell in love with the music immediately. She loves jazz old and new, from Louis Armstrong to Robert Glasper, but it was the Coltrane record A Love Supreme that really changed the way she heard music. She hopes to follow in the footsteps of artists like Esperanza Spalding and Gretchen Parlato who are really breaking down the barriers of jazz today and creating something new and organic.
Jake Feingold is a guitarist at Berklee College of Music planning on majoring in Professional Music with a minor in Philosophy. Originally from West Hartford, Connecticut, he grew up listening to artists such as James Taylor, The Beatles, Earth Wind and Fire, the Doobie Brothers, and more. Hitting high school, Jake became affiliated with the high school big band jazz scene as a rhythm guitarist, preceding his entrance to Berklee with a greater appreciation, fascination, and passion for Jazz and Jazz-affected music.
Amanda Konkel has been a tenor saxophone player for over twelve years and just recently graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Music Education. She grew up on the west coast where she gained most of her jazz experience in and around Seattle clubs. Amanda attended the Centrum Port Townsend Jazz Camp five years in a row and got a chance to meet and learn from west coast players such as John Clayton, Benny Green, Paquito D’Rivera, Jeff Hamilton and many more. Jazz has been one of her loves since she was fourteen and she thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to share that passion with others.
Will Cafaro is a doubling bassist, composer, and Jazz Composition and Professional Music dual-major at Berklee College of Music. While attending high school in Detroit, Will was a member of the civic ensembles under the direction of Detroit jazz legend Rodney Whitaker and developed a local reputation as a versatile free-lance player. He found himself playing in multiple house bands and local rhythm sections every night of the week, and eventually performed on We Travel the Spaceways with the Planet D Nonet, which won Best Jazz Record in the 2011 Detroit Music Awards. Since beginning at Berklee, Will has remained an in-demand bassist and has found himself playing in India and Concert Hall at Lincoln Center in New York. Will has performed and studied with Benny Golson, Josh Roseman, Julian Lage, Lin Biviano, Phil Wilson, Eric Alexander, Dave Samuels, Bruno Raberg, John Lockwood, Jo Thompson, Andy McGee and Dicky Betts among others.
Armeen Musa is a singer and songwriter from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Prior to attending Berklee, she studied Economics at the University of Nottingham and has performed as a solo performer and backing vocalist in England, Bangladesh and North America with musicians including Bobby McFerrin, Mark Mondesir, Fazal Qureshi and Arnob.
Tom Weeks is a saxophone and guitar player from Danville, California (in the San Francisco Bay Area), and is currently a Jazz Composition major at Berklee College of Music. Before attending Berklee, he studied history and music at San Francisco State University and Diablo Valley College, and has performed with such musicians as Rory Snyder, Dave Eshelman, Steed Cowart, Joe Livotti and Bruce Mishkit. As a composer and player, Tom is mainly interested in combining traditional jazz with hardcore punk, metal, free improvisation, experimental, and film and video game music. He has played in numerous punk and experimental groups in the Bay Area, and led and composed for the progressive rock/punk band Star Destroyer, with which he toured the western US several times.