November 1, 2016

NEC Alumni Lake Street Dive Return to Alma Mater to Kick Off NEC’s 150th Birthday Celebration

Thursday, February 16, 7:30pm at NEC's Jordan Hall

Lake Street Dive will perform two sets, one with the band alone
and another with large student ensembles including the
NEC Philharmonia, NEC Jazz Orchestra, and NEC Gospel Ensemble

“We hope it’s hard for people to stay seated; we hope it’s exultant!”
—Mike Calabrese, Lake Street Dive, about this concert

“Having an orchestra, and big band, great faculty, arrangers and conductors—that will be very special for us.”
—Bridget Kearney of Lake Street Dive

NEC alumni Lake Street Dive return to their alma mater on Thursday, February 16 to kick off NEC’s 150th birthday celebration. The performance will include a rare opportunity to hear Lake Street Dive in concert with larger ensembles, as well as a set by the band alone. The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. at NEC’s Jordan Hall, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston. Tickets go on sale on November 1. Tickets $30, $40. There are also a limited number of VIP seats at $150. The VIP package includes a pre-concert reception, post-concert meet-and-greet with Lake Street Dive, and tickets to NEC's A Feast of Music after-party on February 25. Tickets are available in person and by phone at the NEC box office (617-585-1260), and at More information here

Lake Street Dive will perform two sets, one with the band alone and one with large student ensembles, including the NEC Philharmonia, NEC Jazz Orchestra, and NEC Gospel Ensemble.

“Having an orchestra, and big band, great faculty, arrangers and conductors – that will be very special for us,” says Bridget Kearney of Lake Street Dive. Mike Olson of the band continues: “We’ve seen our heroes doing this, so it’s very cool to get a chance to do it ourselves.”

NEC Jazz Studies Chair Ken Schaphorst, who also directs the NEC Jazz Orchestra, notes: “It seems only fitting that Lake Street Dive celebrates NEC’s 150th Anniversary with a program combining elements of jazz, classical, and popular music. Throughout its history, NEC has been dedicated to the development of creative music making, fostering a respect for the varied traditions of our contemporary musical world. I’m looking forward to collaborating with Lake Street Dive in the performance of their music with our students, along with “Angel Eyes” arranged by Gunther Schuller and “God Bless the Child” arranged by Jaki Byard."

Lake Street Dive band members feel strongly about the importance of their NEC education. “It’s so important to really know technique and theory—these are such a gift for existing in a world of pop and rock and roll. These allow us to compose and improvise … we’re so lucky to have had this from NEC,” says band member Bridget Kearney.

Mike Olson continues, “We’ve taken our NEC jazz education, tucked it under our arm, and are running as fast as we can … We work really fast and efficiently—we have this framework in which we can work. We all speak the same language at a very high degree, and that comes from NEC.”

After meeting while students at NEC in the early 2000s, Lake Street Dive has catapulted to stardom. The foursome—vocalist Rachael Price '07, trumpet/guitar player Mike Olson '05, stand-up bassist Bridget Kearney '08 Tufts/NEC, and drummer Mike Calabrese '07—have filled major concert venues all over the country, and have been seen and heard on NPR, "A Prairie Home Companion," and everywhere music is heard.

On February 18, 1867, Eben Tourjée opened the doors to New England Conservatory, then located in Boston's Music Hall—the building now known as the Orpheum Theatre. The school and its musicians have since played a major role in the musical life of Boston, the nation, and the world. This concert is the first of many events celebrating the anniversary, most of which will take place during the 2017–2018 season.

Please direct media inquiries to:
Ann Braithwaite
Braithwaite & Katz