This past Saturday I attended the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival. I first caught this festival back in 2012 when I first moved to Boston but hadn’t been back since. At the last minute, a friend of ours asked if we were attending. Thankfully I had the day free.
Coincidentally, I occasionally read No Treble, a blog for bass players. Sometime in 2014, they turned me on to bassist Alissia Benveniste, a recent Berklee grad. Two beats into the first song and I was in love. It immediately brought me back to high school when I was listening to George Clinton, Parliament, Funkadelic, and Bootsy Collins obsessively. While I listen to funk so much less than I used to (note to self: fix that in 5776), I’m immediately brought back to a feel good state when I hear this music.
I had been meaning to see Alissia and her band but the timing never worked out. This year, she was playing the main stage at this Beantown Jazz Festival. I got there wicked early so I could be right up in front. She came through ten times over. I was on cloud nine the whole set. Her arrangements blew me away and the dancing never stopped. She studied up, too, teasing Bootsy and P-Funk in her lyrics and and jams. I can’t wait to see Alissia and her band the Funketeers perform again. They reminded me just how much I love this music.