What's New: Dave Douglas, Sara Serpa, Precious Perez, and More

News from NEC alumni and faculty members Dave Douglas, Dominique Eade, Simón Willson, Sara Serpa, Satoko Fujii, Bruce Brubaker, Precious Perez, and the Alinéa Ensemble.

President Andrea Kalyn spoke with ArtsFuse for their Performing Arts Series: Stories of Surviving COVID-19:

New England Conservatory’s students are scattered across the globe in lockdown. NEC wanted to connect to its pupils through their inspirational love of  performance, so the school created the video “Music Prevails.” The idea was to project a sense of togetherness through music. It is also an assertion of the institution’s future — a sign that these difficult days will pass.

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NEC alum Dave Douglas's new album, If There Are Mountains, is "an instant classic" according to ArtsFuse.

The album features vocals by NEC alumna and faculty member Dominique Eade ’82, ’89 AD, bass by Simón Willson ’15, ’17 MM.

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Sara Serpa rests her head on her hand and looks to the side. She is wearing a dark outfit and is seated in shadows.

Jazz alum Sara Serpa ’08 MM has released an album that explores the history of Portugese colonialism in Africa and legacies of racism throughout the Western world through a personal lens, making use of family video footage and her own history.

“The painful history Ms. Serpa confronts was, she said, unspoken in her home and schools. Perhaps, then, it makes sense that she considers it mostly through wordless vocals.”

—The Wall Street Journal

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12 musicians who have been awarded the 2020 Instant Award in Improvised Music

Jazz alumna Satoko Fujii ’96 GD is one of a dozen members of the international improvised music community to be honored with a 2020 Instant Award in Improvised Music from The Horse with No Name.

“I am beyond thrilled and grateful to be recognized with so many other remarkable creative musicians. It means so much to receive this acknowledgement,” says Fujii, a tireless, prolific and versatile pianist, composer and accordionist.

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Black and white photo of Bruce Brubaker and Max Cooper standing next to a line of classical statues of women in robes.

NEC piano department chair Bruce Brubaker's new album Glassforms with Max Cooper seeks to reimagine compositions by Philip Glass in new and exciting ways.

Magnetic Magazine interviewed the artists, discussing the album track by track. On many of the tracks, “the piano’s sound is transubstantiated through technology,” explains Brubaker.

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Four images of singer and string player Precious Perez

Prep alumna Precious Perez ’16 Prep spoke with Wicked Local Medford about her advocacy for the blind community:

“Before COVID-19 cancelled almost everything, musician Precious Perez was ready to hit the stage for an April 19 event initially aimed to be the celebration of National Volunteer Week for an event called “Beats for Braille.”

“Sponsored by the National Braille Press, 17 blind musicians were going to share their stories and entertain in a virtual concert and leading the event was Perez.”

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Alinéa Ensemble, formed at NEC and comprised of Robbie Bui, Matthew Henson, Emma Burge, Aleksis Martin, Xiaoyu Lin, Jack Yarbrough, Alex Garde, Tyler Bouque, and Cassandra Cavalieri, is curating a YouTube series:

“In the face of the pandemic and sweeping cancellations of in-person festivals and concerts, Alinéa has curated “Everything But The Kitchen Sink” (EBTKS): a summer-long virtual summer festival featuring zoom interviews with living composers paired with performances of their solo works by Alinéa members. While the concert hall is closed for the time being, we are extremely thrilled to welcome our ‘Composers-in-(their)-residence.’”

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