Berklee's 2014-15 Signature Music Series continues as Berklee and Revive Music present the first live performance of Marvin Gaye's storied album, Vulnerable, on December 4. The concert features special guest Aloe Blacc, who co-wrote and sang on Avicii's chart-topping single Wake Me Up," and whose current album, Lift Your Spirit, includes the hit song I'm the Man."
The all-star lineup also includes Bilal, a genre-bedning R&B/jazz vocalist who has collaborated with Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Common; funk/soul crooner Chris Turner, who has toured with Gwen Stefani, Kelly Clarkson, and Chris Brown; and multi-instrumentalist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, who arranged and conducted the J Dilla tribute album, A Suite for Ma Dukes, and has appeared on more than 300 recordings, from Ray Charles and Henry Mancini to Erykah Badu and Flying Lotus. The guest artists will be backed by the Berklee Neo-Soul Ensemble, directed by associate professor Skip Smith, and the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra. Atwood-Ferguson will serve as music director.
Over a 10-year period starting in 1966, Gaye embarked on a passion project, a collection of orchestral torch songs that he later described as the best material he ever recorded. The album was originally set to be released in 1979 under the title, The Ballads, but it was shelved for nearly two decades. In 1997, Motown finally released the album, renamed Vulnerable, featuring songs such as Why Did I Choose You?," She Needs Me," Funny (Not Much)," This Will Make You Laugh," and The Shadows of Your Smile."
Vulnerable: A Marvin Gaye Tribute takes place on Thursday, December 4, 8:00 p.m., at the Berklee Performance Center (BPC), 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Tickets are $38 and $28, and available at berklee.edu/bpc or the BPC Box Office. For more information, call 617-747-2261. The venue is wheelchair accessible.
Revive Music, founded in 2006 by Berklee alumna Meghan Stabile, is a boutique live music agency that specializes in producing genre-bending, creative-concept shows that tour worldwide with the purpose of educating and inspiring audiences about artistic and authentic forms of music. Stabile's local-grown vision of live music exploded worldwide with help from Revive's digital space dedicated to musicians, revive-music.com, partnered with Okayplayer and the newly launched label imprint with Blue Note Records.
Revive Music will present two additional events earlier that week. Wednesday, December 3, at 9:00 p.m., the Revive Big Band performs at Cafe 939. The concert can be heard live in New York on WBGO-FM, as part of the Checkout - Live at Berklee series of live broadcasts.
It will also be streamed live in HD video that night on NPR Music, WBGO's checkoutjazz.org, and on the web sites of many NPR affiliate stations across the country. In the months to come, the Revive Big Band's concert will be the subject of NPR Music's new, national radio program, Jazz Night in America, heard on more than 100 NPR affiliate stations, and nprmusic.org. Tuesday, December 2, trumpeter and Berklee alumnus Igmar Thomas hosts the Evolution Jam Session at Wally's Cafe Jazz Club, from 9:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., 21+, no cover.