The first-ever SongwriterLink, a new songwriting collaboration platform created by recent Berklee College of Music grad Lisa Occhino, celebrates its launch this Thursday, August 7 at 7 p.m. at the Red Room at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston Street, Boston, with the Boston Songwriter and Musician Hangout. The event, featuring an open mic and jam, is an opportunity to bring together potential collaborators from the Boston music community.
SongwriterLink is the only website that uses matching engine technology -- the same kind that dating websites use -- to help users find exactly the type of songwriters they're seeking for collaborations. The site can match songwriters with composers, lyricists, topline writers, and beat producers. Once a match is made, the collaborators can start writing songs together immediately through video chats and file sharing.
Occhino developed SongwriterLink as a student with the assistance of Berklee's Business Startup Initiate (BSI, a program designed to help students transform their ideas into successful small businesses. The BSI helped recruit beta testers and advised on legal matters. Occhino, who built the site on her own despite limited web design experience, is now juggling a start-up with her job as Managing Editor at Sonicbids.
At the end of July, Berklee signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Seoul, South Korea's Baekseok Arts University (BAU) to create mutual educational opportunities for students at both schools. The collaborative agreement will comprise internships for Berklee students at BAU, opportunities for BAU students to attend Berklee programs in the U.S. and Spain, and teaching residencies by Berklee faculty at the university's campus in Seoul. As part of the agreement, BAU, which has more than 50 faculty members who are Berklee alumni, will host internships for Berklee undergraduate and graduate students from its Boston and Valencia, Spain, campuses as part of the academic and career development experiences offered to them.
The annual Berklee Gala takes place on October 25, with music and dancing; George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic will perform as well as Fred Wesley from the James Brown Band. Money raised from the event will help City Music Program which provides music instruction for kids in grades 4 through 12 in underserved communities.
In other Berklee news, Lollapalooza and Berklee have an ongoing partnership to bring more outstanding rock artists to the college through scholarship awards. The partnership also includes a festival performance for Berklee alumni, which took place August 3, with Oyinda. Jackie Foster, an 18-year-old vocalist from Poway, California, is this year's recipient of the Berklee Lollapalooza Endowed Scholarship, a four-year, full tuition scholarship. Foster's selection is the result of a search process that spanned Berklee auditions and interviews in 20 cities across the U.S. In high school, Foster performed in choir and as lead soloist in jazz band. She plans to double major in performance and music business/management at Berklee.
Sean Jones, an internationally acclaimed composer and trumpeter who just released his seventh album as a leader, "im-pro-vise - never before seen," on Mack Avenue Records. has been named chair of Berklee's Brass Department. Jones was originally a drummer but discovered the trumpet at age 10 upon hearing Miles Davis's Kind of Blue and Amandla. Soon after earning his master's degree from Rutgers University, he was named lead trumpeter for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
On the other side of Massachusetts, the Tanglewood Wine and Food Classic returns to the festival in the pastoral setting of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer home in Lenox, from August 7 to 10.
Participants in the wine and food classic include vintner Joseph Carr, wine historian and raconteur Nina Wemyss, Jim Nejaime of Spirited, and the Elyse Winery, Chefs Arnaud Cotar of Blantype and Daniel Bruce of Meritage and Boston Harbor Hotel, and restaurateur Ian Just of Society on High, proprietor Jeremy Stanton of the Meat Market, and Josh Needleman of Chocolate Springs.
Tickets for individual events run from $55 to $250 and may be purchase by calling or visiting www.bso.org.
The four-day culinary event, on the grounds of Tanglewood and in nearby venues in the Berkshire Hills. takes place alongside the BSO's world renowned summer concert series. It features celebrity chef dinners, cocktail receptions, seminars, cooking demonstrations, cheese and chocolate wine pairings, and more.