Cali Immersive Residency

We welcome the greater NJ area community to join us for our second annual reimagined professional residency program at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. The seven week-long residencies include a rotation of top-rated artists and ensembles. Each residency will contribute to an ongoing exploration of the ever-changing landscape of music today, introducing students and the community at large to amazing events of today and to a future that will be, at times, less traditional. (Subscribe to the full residency Google Calendar!)

Please join us for the public events at the Cali School of Music and the co-hosted Bridges Series concerts at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City.

Co-presented with Kaufman Music Center

Kaufman music center      Cali School of Music logo

Our Guests

CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE

Fall 2022–Oct 18, Nov 22
Spring 2022–Jan 25–27, Feb 20–21, Mar 13–14

TUE NOV 22
9:45-11AM
Marketing Class (MKTG 300) with Professor Tom Miller
Feliciano School of Business SBUS 101
Discussion topic:
Responsibilities as Artistic Director of the Newport Jazz Festival

12:30-2PM
General Masterclass: Performance and Practice Tips
Christian McBride and Carl Allen: This masterclass will feature two of the most in demand musicians in jazz and popular music. They have been heard working in tandem on countless records and performances.
Leshowitz Recital Hall, Chapin Hall

2:30-3:45PM
Jazz Arranging
Hear Christian McBride discuss important recordings and his approach to big band arranging.
Leshowitz Recital Hall, Chapin Hall

Bio

Christian McBride is an eight-time GRAMMY-winning bassist, composer, and bandleader. He is the Artistic Director of the historic Newport Jazz Festival, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. McBride is also a respected educator and advocate for youth, and serves as Artistic Director of Jazz House KiDS and the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Sessions. In addition to artistic directing and consistent touring with his ensembles, he hosts NPR’s “Jazz Night in America” and “The Lowdown: Conversations With Christian” on SiriusXM. Whether behind the bass or away from it, Christian McBride is always part of the music. From jazz to R&B, and pop/rock and hip-hop/neo-soul to classical, he is a luminary with one hand ever reaching for new heights, and the other extended in fellowship—and perhaps the hint of a challenge—inviting us to join him.

With over 200 recordings to his credit, the gifted Milwaukee-born, New York-based drummer, sideman, bandleader, entrepreneur, and educator, Carl Allen’s profound and propulsive percolations provided soulful and syncopated support for nearly three decades. Allen maintains an exhaustive schedule of recording, touring and teaching. He remains active as a sideman with Christian McBride and Inside Straight, Benny Golson and others. As a leader most recently leading The Carl Allen Quartet as well as The Art of Elvin, a tribute band dedicated to his two drum influences, Art Blakey and Elvin Jones was started after the passing of Elvin Jones in 2004. Carl Allen’s multifaceted career provides the perfect template for what a modern musician should be. As Sid Gribetz of Jazz Times wrote, “more than just another fine drummer, Carl Allen has it all together as a bandleader, businessman, and producer, becoming a force in today’s jazz world.

 

RHIANNON GIDDENS Nov 8–10

A MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient, the acclaimed musician Rhiannon Giddens uses her art to excavate the past and reveal bold truths about our present.  During this residency, Giddens will unpack what it means to be a musician and a composer and how to empower the next generation to break free of Western chains, challenging what has always been done.

Rhiannon Giddens Bio

The acclaimed musician Rhiannon Giddens uses her art to excavate the past and reveal bold truths about our present. A MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient, Giddens co-founded the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, and she has been nominated for six additional Grammys for her work as a soloist and collaborator. Giddens’s lifelong mission is to lift up people whose contributions to American musical history have previously been erased, and to work toward a more accurate understanding of the country’s musical origins. Giddens is featured in Ken Burns’s Country Music series, where she speaks about the African American origins of country music. She is also a member of the band Our Native Daughters with three other black female banjo players, and co-produced their debut album Songs of Our Native Daughters (2019), which tells stories of historic black womanhood and survival. 

Named Artistic Director of Silkroad in 2020, Giddens is developing a number of new programs for the organization, including one inspired by the history of the American transcontinental railroad and the cultures and music of its builders. She recently wrote the music for an original ballet, Lucy Negro Redux, for Nashville Ballet (premiered in 2019), and the libretto and music for an original opera, Omar, based on the autobiography of the enslaved man Omar Ibn Said for the Spoleto USA Festival (premieres in 2022).

As an actor, Giddens had a featured role on the television series Nashville. 

Rhiannon Giddens Schedule

Please join us. Reservations not required unless indicated.

NOV 8

11am-12noon | Leshowitz Recital Hall PUBLIC EVENT
Composition Practicum

1:30-2:20  Students Only
Jazz Theory 

2:30-3:45 Students Only
Jazz Arranging 

4:15-5:45pm | Leshowitz Recital Hall Students Only
Vocal Accord  “cry no more”

6:30pm | Leshowitz Recital Hall PUBLIC EVENT
Cali Conversations with Rhiannon Giddens and Director Tony Mazzocchi
Free Event Reservations Required

NOV 9

11-12 | Room 201 Students Only
“Workshop scenes from Omar” in 201 Students Only

1:30pm | Leshowitz Recital Hall
Cali Midweek Concert with Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi
Original compositions featuring collaboration with students: vocal and strings.
Free Event Reservations Required

3.30-5pm | Leshowitz Recital Hall PUBLIC EVENT
Vocal Masterclass 

 

NOV 10
11:15-12:45pm | Leshowitz Recital Hall PUBLIC
Vocal Masterclass

 

CAROLINE SHAW Feb 6–12

Caroline Shaw is a musician who moves among roles, genres, and mediums, trying to imagine a world of sound that has never been heard before but has always existed.  During this residency, Shaw will bring students of different disciplines together—strings, voice, composers and media; putting them all together like a great chef for a brilliant discovery of just what is possible when you think outside the box. 

Caroline Shaw Bio

Caroline Shaw is the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Music for Partita for 8 Voices (Roomful of Teeth), and she works often in collaboration with others, as producer, composer, violinist, and vocalist. 2022 will see many new releases (check her website) Caroline has written over 100 works in the last decade, for Anne Sofie von Otter, Davóne Tines, Yo Yo Ma, Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, LA Phil, Philharmonia Baroque, Seattle Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Aizuri Quartet, The Crossing, Dover Quartet, Calidore Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Miro Quartet, I Giardini, Ars Nova Copenhagen, Ariadne Greif, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Britt Festival, Vail Dance Festival, and many others. She has produced for Kanye West, Rosalía, Woodkid, and Nas. Her work as vocalist or composer has appeared in several films, tv series, and podcasts including The Humans, Bombshell, Yellowjackets, Maid, Dark, Beyonce’s Homecoming, jeen-yuhs: a Kanye Trilogy, Dolly Parton’s America, and More Perfect. (CS 2022)

Caroline Shaw Schedule

Please join us. Reservations not required unless indicated.

Free Event Reservations Required

VOCES8 Feb 15–17

The British vocal ensemble VOCES8 is proud to inspire people through music and share the joy of singing. Touring globally, the group performs an extensive repertoire both in its a cappella concerts and in collaborations with leading orchestras, conductors, and soloists. Versatility and a celebration of diverse musical expression are central to the ensemble’s performance and education ethos.

VOCES8 Bio

The British vocal ensemble VOCES8 is proud to inspire people through music and share the joy of singing. Touring globally, the group performs an extensive repertoire both in its a cappella concerts and in collaborations with leading orchestras, conductors and soloists. Versatility and a celebration of diverse musical expression are central to the ensemble’s performance and education ethos.

VOCES8 Schedule

DECODA Mar 20–26

As an artist-led collective, Decoda seeks to create a more compassionate and connected world through music and training the next generation of musical artists to rethink and reimagine their role in society.   As passionate advocates for music in communities crossing standard venues and economic thresholds, Decoda will explore and inspire students and concert attendees. 

Decoda Bio

Decoda was founded in 2012 by musicians who first collaborated as members of Ensemble Connect, a two-year fellowship program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Institute in partnership with the NYC Department of Education. Its work as an ensemble has grown out of this collective training, which focused on developing skills as exemplary performers, dedicated teachers, and passionate advocates for music in communities around the world. 

Decoda’s versatile musicians are equally committed to virtuosic performance and audience engagement. Its flexible instrumentation, from trios to large mixed ensemble, allows for unique, inspiring and engaging concert experiences for a vast array of audiences, from concert halls to schools, hospitals, and correctional facilities. As alumni of Ensemble Connect and in recognition of its members’ ongoing success as artists, educators, and advocates for music, Decoda is the only independent ensemble to be recognized as an affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall. Our virtuosic musicians perform creative chamber music programs for curious audiences. Drawing from a dynamic continuum of styles, eras, and instrumentations, we seek to create inspiring musical experiences for all.

Decoda Schedule

Please join us. Reservations not required unless indicated.

Completed 2022-23 Residencies

HIP HOP AND R+B WEEK Oct 2–7
JON B. | RAHZEL
with Special Guests Toni Blackman, Dr. Elliot Gann, and Amir Issaa

Don’t miss this deep dive Hip Hop and R&B Residency week where you will be immersed in beatboxing, rapping, and R&B.  Join us as we explore the intersections of Hip Hop in education, activism, and healing through a variety of performances, workshops, lectures, and community cyphers. 

SUN OCT 2
Hip Hop + R&B Week Kickoff Concert

with Residency Guests: Jon B and Rahzel
6PM Alexander Kasser Theater
Free Tickets

Join two of the most exciting artists in the Hip Hop and R&B world for this “not to be missed” Kickoff Concert.  During this concert, Jon B. and Rahzel will perform not only solo but also with Cali students. 

Hip Hop and R+B Week Bios

Rozell Manely Brown is an American beatboxer and rapper, formerly a member of the Roots. Rahzel is known for an ability to sing or rap while simultaneously beatboxing, as evidenced in his performances of “Iron Man” and his signature song “If Your Mother Only Knew”, a hidden track on Make the Music 2000. His talents are showcased in various solo projects as well as on Ben Harper’s 2000 single “Steal My Kisses.” He also provided his own voice on video games SSX and SSX Tricky. Rahzel was featured on the album True Love by Toots and the Maytals, which won the Grammy Award in 2004 for Best Reggae Album, and showcased many notable musicians including Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Trey Anastasio, Gwen Stefani / No Doubt, Ben Harper, Bonnie Raitt, Manu Chao, The Roots, Ryan Adams, Keith Richards, Toots Hibbert, Paul Douglas, Jackie Jackson, Ken Boothe, and The Skatalites.

 

Grammy Nominated songwriter, producer, vocalist, and instrumentalist Jon B. brought a distinctive focus on smooth melodies to contemporary R&B. Born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and raised in Pasadena, California, Jon B. (short for Jonathan Buck) was the son of a professor of music and a concert pianist. Influenced by music found in his grandparents’ record store, he began combining the spirit of ‘70s soul with hip-hop-inspired productions on his 1995 debut album, Bonafide. It peaked on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart at number 24, led by the Top Ten R&B single “Someone to Love,” a duet with prime influence Babyface, and went gold. His second album, 1997’s Cool Relax, continued the emphasis on hip-hop soul and featured two of his biggest singles in They Don’t Know and the Tupac Shakur-assisted Are U Still Down. As a result, the set sold over a million copies, thus earning it platinum certification. During the following decade, Jon B. released three more albums — Pleasures U Like(2001), Stronger Everyday (2004), and Helpless Romantic (2008). In 2011, the singer returned with Comfortable Swagg; an appearance from DJ Quik was payback for several contributions to Quik’s The Book of David, released earlier in the year. Also an accomplished songwriter for other artists, he penned material for the likes of Maxi Priest, For Real, After 7, Spice Girls, Az Yet, and Toni Braxton.

Toni Blackman is an award-winning artist whose steadfast work and commitment to hip hop led the U.S. State Department to select her as an American Cultural Specialist and one of the first Hip Hop Envoys. She recently served in Benin this past June. Her past tours have included Senegal, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, southern Africa, southeast Asia and Brazil. She has traveled to 47 countries performing, speaking and teaching. So far, Toni has co-produced versions of Invisible Woman, a project conceived in the Congo, in Kinshasa, Kampala, Nairobi and Cotonou. Her Afro-Hip-Hop music collaborations preceded the current trend and Toni hopes to share the music in 2020. Honored as a DOVE Real Woman for her work building the self-esteem of girls, Toni is an Echoing Green Fellow, an Open Society Institute/Soros Fellow, creator of The Cypher Workshop (also known as the Freestyle Union) and Rhyme like a Girl, and author of Inner-Course, a collection of poetry and inspirational prose, released on Villard/Random House (2003).

 

Elliot Gann, PSY.D. A clinical psychologist/psychotherapist by training, producer/beat maker and DJ, Dr. Gann has been teaching in Oakland and San Francisco Bay Area schools, community and juvenile justice settings for over a decade, and the past six years he has done this work with his non-profit organization, Today’s Future Sound (TFS).  As Executive Director and lead instructor, his work with TFS has taken him across the globe teaching, presenting, consulting, organizing, performing and advocating for the use and inclusion of Hip Hop culture and beat making/music production in these settings in North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia working with more than 40,000 youth. Additionally, Dr. Gann continues to provide national and international consultation and professional development on therapeutic and educational applications of Hip Hop beat making and culture in a variety of settings, as well as presenting regularly at a variety of universities, institutions and conferences in the U.S. and globally. Working at a grassroots level with local artists, promoters and activists, he has organized “beat battle” fundraisers and engaged local Hip Hop scenes across the world and used this as a tool to recruit artists to become active in mentoring and teaching youth Hip Hop beat making and performance in their communities. In January of 2015, he joined the U.S. State Department and UNC Chapel Hill’s joint “Next Level” program to do conflict resolution and cultural diplomacy in Dakar, Senegal, and since then hasn’t stopped traveling doing similar cross-cultural work.

 

Born and raised in Rome by an Italian mother and an Egyptian father, Amir Issaa is an internationally renowned hip-hop artist who has creatively collaborated with several artists over the decades. Check out Non respiro (I can’t breathe), Ius Music, and other songs on Amir’s webpage. He is also a passionate social activist and educator committed to the BLM agenda in Italy. As part of his activism, Amir regularly holds rap writing workshops in schools, prisons, and colleges around the world. Amir is also an author: Vivo per questo (2017), his personal and artistic autobiography, is a testament to the challenges and imagination of the second generation in Italy, while his second book, Educazione Rap (2021), looks at rap as a poetic linguistic exercise as well as a shared experience of social impact across borders.

Hip Hop and R+B Week Schedule

Please join us. Reservations not required unless indicated.

MON OCT 3

1-3PM | Leshowitz Recital Hall PUBLIC EVENT
Beatboxing Masterclass with RAHZEL

1-3:00 PM | Room 122 School of Communications (Students Only)
Composer Practicum with Jon B. with a Focus on Production, Beat Making/Recording

2:30-5PM | Room 122 School of Communications (Students Only)
Digital Music Production with Jon B.

6:00 PM | Leshowitz Recital Hall PUBLIC EVENT
Cali Conversations with RAHZEL hosted by Director Anthony Mazzocchi
Rahzel
is not simply a beatboxer but is a master of linguistics, and vocal traditions from African diasporic musicianship. Rahzel is one-of-a-kind and audiences will be in awe of his ability to be a one person band all with his voice. This presentation will be interactive and cover the history, linguistics, and musicianship of his vocal prowess.

Free Event Reservations Required

8:00PM | Leshowitz Recital Hall PUBLIC EVENT
Amir Issaa, Afro-Italian Rapper in Performance with Q&A
Special Guest Amir Issaa, Afro-Italian rapper and social activist will perform in collaboration with MSU’s Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies. Amir is a passionate human rights activist and his music and poetry reflect this. Amir will conduct a Q&A at the end of the performance, giving audiences an opportunity to gain deeper insight into his artistry.

Free Event Reservations Required

TUE OCT 4
11:15am-12.55pm | Leshowitz Recital Hall PUBLIC EVENT
Secrets to Audio Production with Jon B.
Focus on production, beatmaking and recording

4:30-5:30PM | Leshowitz Recital Hall (Students Only)
Toni Blackman Workshop: Using voice, words, and group energy for transformation
Rapper, entrepreneur, entertainer, motivational speaker, and healer. Toni Blackman has been immersed in vocal freestyling from the early days of Hip Hop and has developed a way of working and inspiring people through her work in vocal cyphers.  A vocal cypher uses improvisation to share stories and songs with a group of others in a circle environment. Toni will work closely with our Music Therapy and Music Education students to share her experiences as a cypher leader and how to use voice, words, and group energy for transformation.

7-8:30PM | Leshowitz Recital Hall (Students Only)
Toni Blackman will lead the Graduate Teaching Popular Music Class

WED OCT 5
1:30PM | Leshowitz Recital Hall PUBLIC EVENT
Cali Midweek Series with Toni Blackman
Toni Blackman is a renaissance woman! Rapper, entrepreneur, entertainer, motivational speaker, and healer. She has been immersed in vocal freestyling from the early days of Hip Hop and has developed a way of working and inspiring people through her work in vocal cyphers. Toni share her experiences as a cypher leader and how to use voice, words, and group energy for transformation. She will perform with Cali students, demonstrating her techniques of freestyle rapping and poetry.

Free Event Reservations Required

THU OCT 6
4:30-6PM | Leshowitz Recital Hall PUBLIC EVENT
Sample This: The Foundations of Sampling and It’s Legacy on Beatmaking and Music Production
Dr. Elliot Gann,
Director of Today’s Future Sound, is a psychologist and beat producer who works internationally bringing music technology to youth and adults in a variety of settings. Dr. Gann will discuss the history of Hip Hop sampling, provide demonstrations, and get audience participation. He will share his experience in cultivating beat cultures to help manifest the inherent health and educational benefits of Hip Hop across a wide variety of communities around the world.

7-9:30PM | Leshowitz Recital Hall (Students Only)
Workshop with Elliot Gann with MUTC 101 Students 

FRI OCT 7
5:00-10:00PM | Montclair State Outdoor Amphitheater PUBLIC EVENT
Grand finale event with Elliot Gann
#BEATCYPHERNJ + CLASH OF THE TITANS BEAT BATTLE:
Brown Jewel VS. PS TheGreat
S3oul C1ty VS. Ivonne
JVH VS. Urban Acoustics
YTC VS. JHersheyland

FEAT TIMESTRETCH ON THE DECKS
Hosted by Phillipdrummond, Quis Chandla (Dr. X Dr.), and Myster-E

LIVE BEAT SETS FROM #GLOBALBEATCYPHER FAM:
Seneca B
Cryptic One
Chaix
YTC
D3sign3r
Dr3ams
DrMistalow
Philthydrummond (aka Dr. Elliot Gann)
Landos
bmoons
Madzoki

LIVE PERFORMANCE BY: 
Quis Chandla

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CAVANI QUARTET Oct 31–Nov 6 

Leading American String Quartet Cavani Quartet is thrilled to shape the musical lives of the next generation through seminars that feature audience engagement and a “team -work” approach to rehearsal techniques. Join us as Cavani motivates all with their dedication to interact with all audiences, striving for empathy and connectivity between cultures and nations.

Cavani Quartet Bio

The Cavani Quartet’s musical career maintains an energetic balance between performing masterpieces by traditional composers; collaborating with living composers; and creating new programming that joins multiple disciplines, such as visual art, poetry, and dance.The quartet’s motivation to interact with all audiences enhances their approach to performing, teaching and mentoring. The empathy and connectivity of chamber music is recognized by the Cavani Quartet as a metaphor for the kind of communication that we should always strive for. 

Cavani Quartet Schedule

Please join us. Reservations not required unless indicated.

MON OCT 31
5-7PM | Leshowitz Recital Hall PUBLIC EVENT
The Art of Collaboration: Chamber Music Rehearsal Techniques and Teambuilding Seminar with The Cavani Quartet
Join the internationally renowned Cavani String Quartet for an outside-the-box presentation about creating and maintaining a collaborative and productive rehearsal or work environment. This interactive session features a variety of sublime music from the 18th through the 21st century, from Beethoven to Bruno Mars. The quartet will offer an inspiring and interactive presentation using chamber music as a catalyst to explore topics such as generative team building , the ability to listen, react, how to alternate between leadership and supportive roles, elements of conflict resolution and group cohesion.

TUE NOV 1
2:30pm-3:30PM | Feliciano School of Business Building SBUS 101 PUBLIC EVENT
The Art of Collaboration: Building Empowered and Collaborative Teams by Applying Principles of Chamber Music Pedagogy with The Cavani Quartet 

Join the internationally renowned Cavani String Quartet for an outside-the-box presentation about creating and maintaining a collaborative and productive rehearsal or work environment. This interactive session features a variety of sublime music from the 18th through the 21st century, from Beethoven to Bruno Mars. The quartet will offer an inspiring and interactive presentation using chamber music as a catalyst to explore topics such as generative team building , the ability to listen, react, how to alternate between leadership and supportive roles, elements of conflict resolution and group cohesion. cavani.org. A recent review form a Weatherhead School of Management MBA student:

“This was easily my favorite Case MBA experience thus far! The team dynamics of the quartet resonated for me in my current workplace. It is quite amazing to observe a self-organizing team in action. I imagine it requires a ton of vulnerability by each member of the team. I also think the quartet demonstrated the value and importance of time spent together iterating on their craft as a high-functioning unit. I feel like new and different neurons were firing in my brain when observing team dynamics while listening to world-class music! Thank you for this wonderful opportunity; I loved it!”  More

4-5PM | Leshowitz Recital Hall PUBLIC EVENT
Chamber Coaching

WED NOV 2
10-12PM | Leshowitz Recital Hall PUBLIC EVENT
Chamber Coaching

1:30PM  | Leshowitz Recital Hall PUBLIC TICKETED EVENT
Cali Midweek Concert “Careers in Music”
Free Event Reservations Required

THU NOV 3

1-3PM | Leshowitz Recital Hall (students only)
Compositions Practicum Composer Reading

FRI NOV 4
11-1PM | Leshowitz Recital Hall PUBLIC EVENT
Chamber Music Performance Masterclass

SAT NOV 5
7:30PM | Merkin Concert Hall, New York, NY
PUBLIC TICKETED EVENT
The Cavani Quartet Bridges Concert
Tickets $30 at Merkin Concert Hall

2021–22 Cali Immersive Residencies