10 Reasons To Visit Boston's Berklee College Of Music

Courtesy of Berklee College of Music | © Bruce T. Martin
Courtesy of Berklee College of Music | © Bruce T. Martin
Photo of Doug Hall
9 February 2017

Boston has so much to offer, and the Berklee College of Music is one of its most esteemed offerings. With events year-round, there’s always a reason to head to the college. Make sure you make this a highlight of your trip by booking an unforgettable performance.

Courtesy of Berklee College of Music | © Bruce T. Martin

The variety

Berklee Performance Center in Boston showcases more than 200 events each year, so you’re bound to find something for your musical taste. If not, this is the place to take a chance and try a new flavor of music as there’s such an exceptionally high standard of musical talent on tap. Who knows, you may just see the next Sting or Aretha Franklin. See the live performance schedule at Berklee Performance Center.

Courtesy of Berklee College of Music

The location

This Boston campus is not only vibrant in sound but also in location. In the Back Bay neighborhood, find restaurants, bars, and nightclubs before or after your visit to the Berklee College of Music campus.

Berklee Internet Radio

An eclectic and electric mix of styles and sounds awaits you at the Berklee Internet Radio Network (BIRN), which regularly schedules in-studio performances. Admission is free. The full schedule is available at thebirn.com.

Courtesy of Berklee College of Music

Rub shoulders with future stars

Berklee alumni have been awarded over a total of 253 Grammy Awards. Some of the greats include Donald Fagan (lead singer and co-songwriter for Steely Dan), Quincy Jones (producer of Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Bad, composer, arranger and musician), Diana Krall (five-time Grammy award-winning jazz singer extraordinaire), and Branford Marsalis (from musical family dynasty including brother Wynton, guest appearances with influential jazz greats Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Herbie Hancock — and recipient of the NEA’s Jazz Master’s award in 2011).

Courtesy of Berklee College of Music

Have an intimate experience

Drop by one of the three recital halls at Berklee. Berk Recital Hall accommodates just 118 seats, so you’re certain to see and hear it all. David Friend Recital Hall has a movable stage that creates surround sound. Oliver Colvin Recital Hall is the perfect intimate setting – you’ll feel special in an 86-seat venue. These venues have all modern acoustics, and they’re almost always free.

Courtesy of Berklee College of Music

Bring the kids

Visit The Red Room at Cafe 939 and enjoy a 200 capacity show (which are almost always free) where your kids are alright, anytime, with entertainment from Hosier, Snarky Puppy, Ryan Bingham, Betty Who and Owl City. Share an evening with your family, enjoying exceptional performances from a whole range of musical influences.

Berklee Dining Hall: cheap eats with music

Where in the world would you be able to walk through the doors of a college cafeteria and enjoy a very inexpensive meal in a modern multi-level balcony setting as a backdrop for a concert stage? After evening hours, expect some musical notes with your dessert. Students perform on stage in the late evening for free with original compositions and jams of every kind of flavor at Berklee Dining Hall.

Courtesy of Berklee College of Music

Hot fun in the summertime

Berklee Summer in the City’s concert series brings you more than 200 free performances outdoors from May through September. Find a venue in Boston to visit and take in the local scene in Beantown while listening to some great live music at Berklee College of Music’s moveable feast of gigs around town. Locations include the Atlantic Wharf, Boston Public Library, Charlestown Navy Yard, jazz at the historic fort on the harbor, the beautiful stretch of city lawn at Boston Greenway, and more.

All that jazz

The Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival is Boston’s largest annual outdoor jazz-based festival (a crowd of 70,000 or more) with lots of range in between. There’s a free explosion of sound from 12pm to 6pm on a chosen Saturday in autumn, with six blocks of high-voltage showmanship and musical notes on three stages in Boston’s historic South End. Bring the family for arts and crafts events, food, drink, face painting, cotton candy and even an instrument petting zoo.

Courtesy of Berklee College of Music

Not your average high school band competition

Berklee High School Jazz Festival, held once a year, is an all-day ‘burning down the house’ affair between the best of a very talented list of high school jazz bands. The largest event of its kind in the U.S., big band, combos, and vocal jazz ensembles from all over the country perform and compete for the spirit of it and also for a variety of music-related scholarship awards. Come feel the heat.

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